Friday, November 04, 2005

Italians rally for Israel

More good news, from Ynetnews 11.03.05, 23:10...

Pro-Israel demonstration held in Rome following recent statements made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saying Israel 'should be wiped off the map.' Rome mayor: It is only natural that a city that advocates peace and dialogue object to any kind of intolerance
Nir Magal

A pro-Israel demonstration was held in Rome Thursday following recent statements made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saying Israel 'should be wiped off the map.'

Approximately 15,000 people participated in the rally, which was accompanied with chants of 'viva Israel! viva freedom!' the website of the Italian newspaper La Republica reported. The rally was concluded with the singing of the Israeli national anthem, 'Hatikvah.'

Protesters included right and left-wing politicians, local celebrities and Walter Veltroni, the mayor of Rome. Toward the closing of the rally, many demonstrators attempted to approach the Iranian embassy, but were blocked by police.

About 2,000 people gathered opposite the Iran consulate in Milan for a similar rally.

Israel's ambassador to Italy, Ehud Gol, said he felt immense satisfaction following the rally.
"I know of no other place in the world where so many people will rally in Israel's support," Gol told Ynet.

...Mayor Veltroni said in his speech at the rally that “my presence here is natural, because the statements by Iran's president should be taken seriously. It is only natural that a city that advocates peace and dialogue object to any kind of intolerance...” .

Italy's Communication Minister Mario Landolfi, who was also present at the rally, said: "I am here to support two principles. One is Israel's right to exist in safety and peace. The other is the need of Israel and Palestine to live peacefully side by side as separate states. I believe this is possible."

Another Italian politician, Marco Follini, who attended the demonstration, said that "it is sad that a rally to support Israel's right to exist within safe borders is at all needed."

Rome's Rabbi Di-Segni said, "our protest is against Iran, not against the Iranian people. We do not burn flags. The Iranian flag is respected here, and stands alongside the Italian and Israeli flag. Our response to what is done in Iran is by no way motivated by imperialistic notions. We do it because Europe had paid costly for some such ideas." ....

A Muslim speaker at the demonstration called Israel "a great island of democracy," and said that war on terror must ensue.

Earlier on Thursday, Italy's Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini said he will not participate in the rally, to avoid damaging Italian national interests....Berlusconi stated he supported Fini's decision not to attend. Ambassador Gol said that although Fini did not participate in the rally, the majority in Italy supports Israel, and said Italy was a friend to Israel.

Many of Italy's major news websites dedicated their headlines to the rally.

Protests in support of Israel were also held in Paris and Vienna.

....The Italian Ambassador in Tehran, Roberto Toscano, was summoned Wednesday by the Iranian Foreign Ministry to account for his country's reservations regarding Ahmadinejad's words. Italian Reforms Minister Roberto Calderoli, a member of the far-right Northern League party, said Rome should react to the summons by recalling its ambassador from Tehran. "I believe one cannot have a civilized relationship with people who have shown themselves to be uncivilized," he said.

New agencies contributed to the report

A sieve with very large holes

From DEBKAfile’s security sources: November 2, 2005, 5:03 PM (GMT+02:00) ...

Plan for European inspectors at Rafah crossing – a sieve with very large holes. Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz holds talks in Washington.

He took with him Israel’s approval of a plan to deploy European inspectors at the Gaza-Egyptian border terminal of Rafah in lieu of an Israel security monitoring presence of four decades. The World Bank director for the West Bank and Gaza Strip commended this concession “as a very big step, a major departure in Israeli policy.”

But the Palestinians are stalling.
They object to handing the European monitors any authority but that of passive observers and will not hear of CCTV cameras for screening entrants to be linked to Israel. Ahead of Israel’s pullout from the Gaza Strip, Mahmoud Abbas agreed the Rafah border would be reopened only with Israel’s agreement.

DEBKAfile adds: Because of Palestinian non-cooperation, the European monitors will be about as effective as the Egyptian border police in blocking out access to terrorists and smuggled goods. In any case, the Europeans are only offering technical equipment for operating the terminal and will function only in conjunction with the Egyptians and the Palestinians. They have agreed to take possession of an Israeli list of undesirable terrorists or suspects but without commitment – or authority - to bar them from entering. The European observers are left with the option of complaining to the Egyptian and Palestinian Authorities when dangerous individuals are waved through from Sinai to the Gaza Strip and reporting to Israel.

Israel security sources have described the plan to DEBKAfile as a sieve with very large holes.

Israel's Military Containment of Terror

A good news story (for a change) from Jerusalem Post Nov. 3, 2005 1:26 Updated Nov. 3, 2005 7:07 By ARIEH O'SULLIVAN ...

...Each night, security forces fan out across Judea and Samaria and detain suspected fugitives. Nearly 1,000 have been nabbed and brought in for questioning in the past few months. While many were eventually released, the arrest of key terrorists has decimated their ranks, particularly in Hamas, who are now suffering from a dearth of local leaders in the run-up to Palestinian elections.

But most of the pressure has been focused on Islamic Jihad, which has carried out three suicide attacks during the so-called truce (Netanya, Tel Aviv and Hadera). In the past week alone, the Israeli security forces have killed two Islamic Jihad commanders in Tulkarm, another seven in Gaza, and at least five in Kabatiya. The IAF also killed a top Fatah and Hamas terrorist in Gaza.
But the crackdown on the terrorist groups in the West Bank has been so vast and consistent that they are resigned to attempting to sneak in from the Gaza Strip not just know-how, but muscle as well.

....According to senior security officials, fewer and fewer people are involved in Palestinian terror. Hamas is refraining from openly staging attacks in order to present itself as a political movement in the lead-up to the elections. A poll conducted by the PCPO showed that three out of four Palestinians favor the continuation of the "calm" and indicates that the escalation in terror by the Islamic Jihad and Hamas was not supported.....

"They lack a political agenda other than causing attacks," a senior Shin Bet official said. "The Popular Resistance Committees are the closest to the ideology of global jihad because they don't have a political agenda other than the destruction of the West."

.... Israel never trusted the Palestinians and their various cease-fires, lulls and informal truces. And it is highly unlikely at this stage that Israel will accept any kind of agreement to halt its targeted killings so (that) Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas can declare he will start dismantling the terrorist infrastructure.

Even IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz said that as far as he was concerned it was possible to defeat terrorism through military means. "In contrast to the theory that the army cannot exterminate terrorism, I believe the army can reduce terrorism to the very lowest level," Halutz told The Jerusalem Post last month. While not promising to bring terrorism to an "absolute zero" level, Halutz said the IDF policy has proven that there was a military answer to terrorism, and we are watching this unfold daily.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Repeat Offenders

From The New Republic Online (subscription needed) : IRAN SAYS IT WANTS TO DESTROY ISRAEL. WHY IS EVERYONE SHOCKED? by Efraim Karsh & Rory Miller Post date 10.31.05 ...

Last week, in an address to the delightfully named 'World Without Zionism' conference in Tehran, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be 'wiped off the map....

Of course the responses from individual world leaders--such as Kofi Annan, who expressed "dismay," and Tony Blair, who proclaimed his "real sense of revulsion" at Ahmadinejad's "completely unacceptable" words--are to be welcomed. So too is the response of the 25-member European Union, whose leaders, meeting at the time in London, issued an immediate condemnation noting that "calls for violence, and for the destruction of any state, are manifestly inconsistent with any claim to be a mature and responsible member of the international community."

All this does beg a question, however: Why single out Iran for such exceptional opprobrium at this particular moment?...The U.N. Charter was introduced in 1945, and since that time Arab and Muslim leaders have expressed the desire to obliterate the Jewish state with impressive regularity.

No sooner was the State of Israel proclaimed on May 14, 1948 than it was invaded by neighboring Arab states, with Arab League Secretary-General Abdel Rahman Azzam proclaiming that "this will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades."

...During the 1950s and '60s it was Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, the self-styled champion of pan-Arabism, who led the call for Israel's destruction. "... our main objective will be the destruction of Israel." Nasser's goal was ultimately frustrated when Israel routed its Arab adversaries in the shortest war in modern history. But the baton passed to a new generation of aspiring pan-Arab champions, notably Syrian president Hafez Assad and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

For his part, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini emphasized the need to destroy the Jewish state well before coming to power in 1979; and during his reign the destruction of Israel evolved into one of the most fundamental tenets of his revolutionary creed. Since Khomeini's death in June 1989, Iran's approach toward Israel has remained uncompromising, with both conservatives and leading reformers in total agreement on the issue. After meeting Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmad Yasin in 1998, Khomeini's successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, vowed that Iran would not recognize Israel "even for one hour" and would "continue to struggle against this cancerous growth." In 2000, he explained that the only "remedy" for Israel was "to destroy the root and cause of the crisis," and in a statement reported by Reuters later in the year he called Israel a "cancerous tumor" which "should be removed from the region."

The next year, former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, widely regarded as a pragmatist, noted that Israel was more vulnerable to nuclear attack than Muslim countries "because the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything." Then he added, "It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality."

For his part, former president Mohammed Khatami, often held up as Iran's leading moderate, has described Israel as "a parasite in the heart of the Muslim world" and argued that "all of Palestine must be liberated."

And let's not forget the PLO. Since its establishment in 1964, the organization's publicly stated objective has been the destruction of Israel. In June 1974, the group introduced a new phased strategy whereby it would use whatever land Israel surrendered as a springboard for further territorial gains, until the "complete liberation of Palestine"--in other words the destruction of Israel--"could be achieved."

.... In 1980, just weeks after Fatah, the PLO's dominant constituent group, had reiterated its objective of liquidating Israel, the European Community issued the Venice Declaration that called for the PLO's "association" with the political process.Given this history, it is hardly surprising that despite their official commitment to peace with Israel within the framework of the Oslo process, Arafat and his PLO successors have never truly abandoned their commitment to Israel's destruction. Instead they have embarked on an intricate game of Jekyll-and-Hyde politics, constantly reassuring Israeli and Western audiences of their peaceful intentions while at the same time denigrating the peace accords to their Palestinian constituents as a temporary measure to be abandoned at the first available opportunity. Neither this duplicity nor the war of terror launched in September 2000 seems to have much discredited the PLO as a peace partner in the eyes of the international community.

Against this backdrop of six decades of international acquiescence in the face of constant calls for Israel's destruction Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would have legitimate reasons to feel that he has been singled out a bit unfairly these last few days. Indeed, while the international community's uncharacteristically harsh response to his comments was certainly welcome, one wonders whether it was motivated by real concern for Israel's safety--or by the West's growing frustration with Iran's dogged drive toward nuclear weapons.

Whatever the reason, we can all hope that the West will now take a stand against all those who call for the destruction of Israel. Otherwise, there will be only one lesson from this tawdry affair: that countries should feel free to advocate genocide against the Jewish people--as long as they aren't developing weapons that can be turned on London, Paris, or Moscow once they've finished the job in Tel Aviv.

Efraim Karsh is the head of the Mediterranean Studies Programme at King's College, University of London. Rory Miller is Senior Lecturer in Mediterranean Studies at King's College, University of London. Copyright 2005, The New Republic

IAF kills 2 top fugitives in Gaza strike

From Jerusalem Post: Nov. 1, 2005 16:27 Updated Nov. 2, 2005 0:47 By MARGOT DUDKEVITCH ...

A top terrorist commander responsible for the deaths of at least 20 Israelis was one of two wanted men killed Tuesday afternoon in a targeted Israeli airstrike. The car in which they were traveling in the Gaza Strip's Jabalya refugee camp was hit by a missile.

Hassan Madhoun, 32, a leader of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, and Hamas commander Fawzi al-Kudrawas were killed...Madhoun was involved in numerous attacks and was in the midst of planning a suicide bombing at the Karni goods crossing. He also maintained contact with terror cells in the West Bank, urging them to launch additional attacks. Many of the terror attacks he masterminded were carried out with the cooperation of Hamas and Popular Resistance Committee operatives.

...Several times this year, Israel requested that the Palestinian Authority arrest Madhoun because his terrorist activities could lead to a sharp deterioration in the situation, but the requests were ignored. Madhoun had served in the PA's Preventive Security Service and, according to the army, some of his activities were funded by Hamas.

In March 2004, Madhoun dispatched the two suicide bombers who were smuggled in a false-backed container through the Karni crossing to Ashdod Port where they killed 10 Israelis. He was also involved in Kassam rocket production, including recent attacks.

Madhoun recruited and dispatched the female suicide bomber who was intercepted by troops as she was en route to blow herself up at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba. He was also involved in the January bombing at the Karni crossing in which six were killed and the January 2004 suicide bombing at the Erez crossing in which four were killed.

...Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Musry said his organization would retaliate. He said the air strike was a declaration of war, and Abu Odai, an Aksa Martyrs Brigades spokesman in Gaza, also vowed retaliation. He said the strike brought an end to any understandings concerning a truce...

Self Hating Jews Endanger Israel

From Jerusalem Post Nov. 1, 2005 2:43 Updated Nov. 1, 2005 20:25: "Norman Finkelstein's world" By ISI LEIBLER ...

...self-hating Jews besmirching their kinsmen ...have assumed pivotal roles in the global campaign to delegitimize Israel.

The most recent chapter in the ongoing offensive is Norman Finkelstein's book Beyond Chutzpa, which endeavors to depict Israel as one of the most evil countries in the world. The author also defames Alan Dershowitz, author of the widely acclaimed The Case for Israel. Dershowitz is particularly hated by the anti-Israeli pack because of his impeccable credentials as a champion of human rights.

...Finkelstein also accused Dershowitz of trying to suppress his views on the grounds that he expressed surprise that a purportedly reputable publisher like University of California Press would associate itself with so unscholarly a work. But Dershowitz was entirely justified in describing Beyond Chutzpa as a vile, unscholarly anti-Semitic tract. It employs similar techniques that Holocaust revisionists do in seizing upon tiny grains of truth to build a framework of lies, employing myriads of distorted or misleading footnotes to provide a veneer of pseudo scholarship.

...NEVERTHELESS Beyond Chutzpa is likely to confuse those unaware of the extent to which human rights agenda of NGOs as been hijacked and transformed into a vehicle for demonizing Israel. Finkelstein quotes extensively from organizations such as Human Rights Watch, B'Tselem, Physicians for Human Rights, Amnesty, and the Public Committee against Torture which have long track records of bias and employing double standards in relation to Israel.

Finkelstein had already assumed the role of a global cult figure among anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli groups prior to the publication of Beyond Chutzpa. In an earlier book, Finkelstein described the "holocaust industry" as "an extortion racket", a vehicle "to crush any dissent, any criticism of the State of Israel." Jewish leaders were referred to as "gangsters" and "crooks." Eli Wiesel was depicted as "the resident clown for the Holocaust circus." He challenged the authenticity of survivors, "If everyone who claimed to be a survivor is one, my mother used to say 'Who did Hitler kill then?'"

In subsequent interviews, Finkelstein attacked Leon Uris, author of Exodus alleging that "the chief character was named Ari Ben Canaan because Ari is the diminutive for Aryan." He admired Hizbullah - "The honorable thing now is to show solidarity with Hizbullah as the US and Israel target it for liquidation." Israeli demolitions of terrorist homes are equivalent to the "Nazi destruction of the village of Lidice" (in Czechoslovakia). Being compared to the Gestapo would "flatter" Israel; its human rights record "is interchangeable with that of Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

But his most bizarre comments related to Osama bin-Laden: "Regrettably it is payback time for the Americans... We deserve our problems because some things Bin Laden says are true... Bin Laden said 'until we [Moslems] live in security, you are not going to have any security' ... and there is certain rightness in that... Why should we go on merrily with our lives when so much of the world is suffering - with us as the direct and indirect perpetrators?"

IN Beyond Chutzpa Finkelstein writes: "From a combination of economic and political power [Jewish American elites] have sprung a mindset of Jewish superiority... From this lethal brew of formidable power, charismatic arrogance, feigned or marginal victimhood, and Holocaust immunity to criticism, has sprung a terrifying recklessness and ruthlessness on the part of American Jewish elites. Alongside Israel, they are the main fomenters of anti-Semitism in the world today. Coddling them is not the answer. They must be stopped."

He also claims that "like the Holocaust" anti-Semitism is an ideological weapon to deflect justified criticism of Israel and concomitantly, powerful interests. In its current usage, "anti-Semitism" alongside the "war against terrorism" serve to cloak a "massive assault on international law and human rights." Jewish leaders "resemble stereotypes straight out of Der Sturmer" and are also "de facto agents of a foreign government" and "in service to their Holy State."

IN A sane political world one might have assumed that such trash would be relegated to the fringe. Not in todays frenzied anti-Israeli climate where Finkelstein's ravings are boosted, among others, by a long parade of academics of Jewish origin praising his lies and describing his distortions as scholarship. The blurb on the dust jacket of this appalling book includes commendations from Daniel Boyarin of the University of California, Avi Shlaim of Oxford, and of course, Noam Chomsky from MIT.

But the most outrageous paeans of praise come from Israeli academics whose universities are sponsored by the state they demonize and supported by contributions from Diaspora Zionists.
Thus Hebrew University professor of sociology, Baruch Kimmerling, describes the book as "the most comprehensive systematic and well documented work of its kind... about the daily practices of the occupation and colonization of the Palestinian territories by Israel."
In a review of Finkelstein's book in the National Catholic Reporter, Neve Gordon of Ben-Gurion University, who also promotes international war crime tribunals against Israeli military officers, described Beyond Chutzpa as "an attempt to expose how elements in academia have played a role in concealing Israel's abuse... the heated response to his book is just another example of how the literature discussing the new anti-Semitism delegitimizes those who expose Israel's outrageous violations of international law. The major irony in relation to this saga is that Dr. Finkelstein's book, not Dershowitz's, constitute the real case for Israel, that is, for a moral Israel."

THE INCREDIBLE damage to Israel's reputation inflicted by renegade Jews has been greatly underestimated. The distortions have already persuaded the average European that Israel represents a greater threat to world peace than Iran or North Korea. We cannot afford this to be extended to the United States.

Israel must realize that the battle of ideas is crucial to our future. There are hundreds of talented Israelis and friends of Israel throughout the world who possess the scholarship and communication skills to enable them to make a major contribution. The government should invite the best of them to join in a campaign to reverse the tide. When the poisonous ravings of people like Finkelstein gain credence in the mainstream media, it is surely time to ring the alarm bells.

The writer chairs the Diaspora-Israel relations committee of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He is a veteran international Jewish leader.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Fatah Implicated in Palestinian Terror - Egyptian Military Also

From a DEBKAfile - Special Report October 31, 2005, 1:41 PM (GMT+02:00) ...

... The al Aqsa Brigades, a wing of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas' ruling Fatah, either led or took active part in all the terrorist strikes of late.

...DEBKAfile's intelligence sources point to the evidence that the Gush Etzion strike and a synchronized attack further north at Ely were the work of two Fatah gangs from Nablus and Bethlehem....

... It suits the Hamas at this moment to feign non-participation in the Fatah-Jihad Islami pact. However, the capture on Oct. 5 of three Qassam missile engineers on their way to set up a missile factory in Jenin gave the game away. The Hamas was exposed as a senior partner in the Palestinian terrorist coalition, although it tried to hide behind the Popular Committees. This coalition is not working in a vacuum. The Shin Beit reconstruction of their mission and route deeply implicated Egyptian special troops who were assigned in lieu of Israeli forces to guard the Philadelphi border route between Sinai and Gaza against arms smuggling.

It transpired that these troops, deployed as a pre-condition for Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, can be bought for the trifling sum of NIS200 (less than $50) – and have been from Day One of their deployment last month. With Egyptian connivance, the three Palestinian weapons pros used one of the forbidden arms smuggling tunnels to cross into Sinai from Gaza, picked up a Hizballah disk containing instructions on how to construct a missile workshop in Jenin, and then infiltrated southern Israel through the Egyptian border.

What is more, picked up with the three Palestinian “engineers” was an Egyptian “guide,” familiar enough with the southern Israeli Negev region to shepherd them to Mitzpe Ramon, where they were intercepted by Israeli security police. This discovery floored Israeli security experts who would have expected Palestinians to guide Egyptians inside Israel – not the reverse. They were appalled to find an Egyptian terrorist cell supporting al Qaeda and Palestinians operations in Sinai had planted a tentacle deep inside Israel’s southern and central Negev regions, as a branch of the Sinai organization.

...The serious security deterioration can be summed up by -
1. The influx of a huge, illegal war arsenal from Sinai into Palestinian Gaza;
2. Al Qaeda-Sinai’s establishment of a Gaza cell;
3. The ascending spiral of Palestinian terrorist attacks in and from the West Bank, supported from a logistical base in Gaza;
4. Intense Palestinian preparations for a Qassam missile and mortar offensive against densely populated central Israel.

Follow this link for the full article.

Sharon opens Knesset Winter Session

From Ynetnews - News and Jerusalem Post, 31/10/05 ...

During the past few days we were reminded of the reality in the region that is filled with hate toward Israel, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said as the Knesset's winter session opened in Jerusalem on Monday...

"The terror masterminds from Iran and Damascus, from Gaza and Jenin, do not need reasons or excuses, but only opportunities," Sharon added. “In the face of this reality Israel will continue to protect itself and hurt the terrorists. We have no choice. We will continue to build the (West Bank) security fence with no political, practical or budgetary problems. The international community is united in its demand from the Palestinian Authority to meet all of its obligations, and above all the dismantling of terror organizations."

According to Sharon, "The government's policy is to aim to implement the Road Map with the 14 Israeli reservations, as approved by the government. The Road Map is the only political program providing a possibility of peace and hope for both the Israeli and Palestinian people."

...These (reservations) stress Israel's demand that the Palestinians dismantle the terrorist organizations, that Jerusalem remain Israel's united capital, that the Palestinian refugees not have a "right of return" and that Israel keep sovereign powers such as control of the borders and the airspace in any future political settlement. (Israel has already gone a long way toward giving up control of Gaza's borders.)

The 14 reservations also included a stipulation that a cessation of terror would be the first condition for progress in the road map, something at odds with the US understanding of the road map that has Israel and the Palestinians fulfilling their obligations in parallel, not sequentially....

...Regarding the economic crisis, Sharon said that "The improvement in Israel's economic condition enables us to allocate more resources to deal with the internal problems which affect our lives....It's no secret that the economic crisis harmed the poor and the middle class...we now have a chance to mend our past mistakes."

Knesset Chairman, MK Reuven Rivlin, who spoke before Sharon, hinted in his speech that there was a good possibility that the parliamentary elections would be pushed forward. "The great historical storm is already behind us. It does not matter whether the elections are held in the winter or in spring, they will hover over everything that will be done in the Knesset," Rivlin said....

UN adopts Syria resolution

From The Australian: UN adopts Syria resolution [November 01, 2005]: By Gerard Aziakou in New York November 01, 2005 ...

The UN Security Council overnight unanimously adopted a resolution demanding full Syrian cooperation with the UN probe into the murder of Lebanon's ex-premier Rafiq Hariri but dropping any immediate threat of sanctions.

The resolution, sponsored by Britain, France and the United States, calls for Damascus to detain suspects and urges a travel ban and a freeze of assets on all individuals designated as suspects in Mr Hariri's killing.

But to gain crucial support from veto-wielding China and Russia as well as Algeria, the only Arab member of the council, Britain, France and the United States dropped a reference threatening economic and diplomatic sanctions under the UN Charter. Instead the resolution warned that if Syria fails to cooperate with the UN probe into the slaying of Mr Hariri in February, the council 'if necessary, could consider further action'. It did not say what the action could be.

However the resolution preamble stated that 'this terrorist act and its implications constitute a threat to international peace and security' and makes it clear that the council is acting under chapter seven of the UN charter, which provides for sanctions in case of a threat to world peace....

Monday, October 31, 2005

Peres criticises IDF operations in Samaria

From Jerusalem Post Oct. 30, 2005 13:39 Updated Oct. 30, 2005 17:56 By REBECCA A. STOIL ...

Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres spoke out Sunday morning against the isolation of northern Samaria as part of the government's offensive against the Islamic Jihad terror organization that began in response to last Wednesday's deadly suicide bombing in Hadera . 'It is unacceptable under any circumstances to isolate northern Samaria. It is against all promises made by Israel,' Peres asserted.

Immediately following Wednesday's deadly bombing, which killed five Israelis, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz approved a series of measures, unlimited in time and scope.... As part of those measures, the IDF issued a major clamp-down on Palestinian movement in northern Samaria, as well as a total ban on Palestinians entering Israel. Private Arab vehicles were barred from traveling in northern Samaria and the IDF erected numerous additional roadblocks across the region.

...The offices of both Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (said) it was unclear why Peres would say such a thing, as the decision to isolate northern Samaria was an operational military decision and was thus not dependant on receiving an okay from the cabinet or the government. "... this activity will continue until we can say that the Islamic Jihad infrastructure can no longer carry out suicide bombings," Mofaz said Sunday ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting...

Two Jihad fugitives killed in West Bank gun battle

From Jerusalem Post Oct. 30, 2005 20:30 Updated Oct. 31, 2005 0:42 by MARGOT DUDKEVITCH ...

An Islamic Jihad fugitive was shot and killed by Israeli security forces in an on-going gun battle that erupted outside a house in the center of Kabatiyah near Jenin on Sunday.

Israeli security forces surrounded a house in the afternoon where Islamic Jihad fugitives, possibly linked to last week's suicide bomb attack in Hadera in which five Israelis were killed, were believed to have been hiding. Four Palestinian men, a woman and two children left the house and surrendered to troops outside. They were questioned by security forces in order to gain information about the identities of those holed up inside. Shortly after the house was encircled, fugitives inside the house opened fire on troops. Palestinian media reports said heavy gun battles erupted between the sides.

...In the wake of last week's bombing, Israel decided to intensify its crackdown on Islamic Jihad cell members in northern Samaria located especially in areas between Tulkarm and Jenin. Aside from isolating areas where the terrorists are believed to be active, the army intends to conduct widespread arrests and launch specific operations against specific terror targets. "Our operations focus on routing out Islamic Jihad members and are not aimed at the local population. ..." an officer told The Jerusalem Post.

...Meanwhile Israel agreed to reopen the Karni goods crossing in northern Gaza and the Sufah crossing in southern Gaza on Sunday in order to allow products and merchandise to enter the Gaza Strip. The decision was made following an assessment of the security situation on the ground by top IDF and senior defense and security officials. The Erez crossing which permits the entry of Gazan laborers into Israel remained closed until further notice....

Harvard activists support "wiping Israel off the map"

LittleGreenFootballs has published this photo of a sticker posted all over Harvard University campus by a leftist group.

(Note: "Gone Baby Gone" is a band, who apparently have nothing to do with the new stickers.)

Israel will fall from within: Ayatollah

From The Australian, correspondents in Tehran, October 31, 2005 . . .

IRAN'S supreme leader said yesterday that Palestinian "resistance" will topple the Israeli regime, amid international condemnation of the Iranian president's remarks that Israel should be erased from the map. "It is the resistance in Palestine which will undoubtedly lead to the fall of the Zionist regime," said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a statement carried by the student-run news agency ISNA.

Mr Khamenei's statement came four days after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sparked international outcry when he declared that the Jewish state should be "wiped off the map."
The UN Security Council condemned the hardline president's words.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Saturday the statement "only demonstrates why we are working so hard to keep Iran from getting technologies that lead to a nuclear weapon under cover of civilian nuclear power."

Mr Khamenei retorted: "These ignorant people do not realize that nuclear weapons are no good for toppling regimes or governments. It is the nation's resistance and will that destroys corrupt regimes.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Iranian Cash Contracts for Terrorists to Hit American Troops and Israeli Civilians

From a DEBKAfile Special Report, October 29, 2005, 10:54 PM (GMT+02:00) ...

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s outrageous statements were not just the empty rhetoric of an inexperienced politician. They were backed up by solid action... American and British intelligence in Iraq have turned up Iran’s fingerprints deep inside the terrorist campaign against US and British forces in Iraq ever since mid-September....Israeli intelligence too has uncovered growing Iranian involvement in Palestinian terrorist attacks inside Israel, notably the Hadera suicide bombing by a Jihad Islami suicide bomber Wednesday Oct. 26 in which 5 Israelis died.

...According to DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources, Iranian intelligence shells out a fee of $50,000 and 80,000 to Sunni hit squads in central and western Iraq for every attack on American troops. Half this amount is paid out up front with the hit list; the balance, when the mission is accomplished. Unlike al Qaeda which kills Iraqis indiscriminately, Iranian intelligence paymasters insist on pinpointing Americans only.

The rate for Palestinian terrorist groups setting up strikes against Israelis is around $50,000 for each “successful” suicide killing.

The rate is lowest in southern Iraq, where there are plenty of pro-Iranian Shiite gangs. They can earn $20,000 to $30,000 from Iranian intelligence for murdering or injuring British soldiers. There, as in Israel, Iranian intelligence sends over advanced bombs and operating technology through the Hizballah.....

Go to Debkafile for the full report.

...another final solution

From Cox & Forkum ...