Friday, January 06, 2006

Terrorism must be beaten, not appeased

This hard-hitting, direct article, a "must-read," is posted here in full from Ynet News (01.05.06, 16:30) by Yoram Ettinger, former Israeli consul general in Texas and Israeli embassy official in Washington, D.C....

The problem: A "titanic" attitude and "ship of fools" that has characterized Israel's political leadership since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority has bolstered terrorism by rescuing thousands of terrorists from the brink of oblivion overseas, bringing them
to the doorsteps of their intended victims and arming them, all in the hope that they would eradicate terror.

We gave them financial support, pressured the American Congress to moderate its stance towards them, reconciled ourselves to a balance of terror between Israel and Palestinian and Lebanese terror, we reconciled ourselves to the establishment of the PA and treated it as if it were a partner with which one could actually negotiate a peace agreement.

Despite the fact that they educate their children to eradicate Israel, they incite Arab Israelis, support terror and systematically and murderously break their promises. Gaza and the West Bank have become the largest terror base in the world, and we have progressed from an intifada of rocks and Molotov cocktails to one of rockets and missiles and suicide bombers that threaten every person in this country.

The price: 250 Israelis were killed by Palestinian terrorists in the 15 years that preceded the establishment of the PA. Some 1,800 have died in the 12 years since.

Until the PA was created, Israeli prime ministers believed ours was a just cause and understood the role of weapons as a deterrent in the Middle East. They had confidence in our ability to withstand American pressure, to overcome the demographic threat and to eradicate Palestinian terrorism. Since May, 1994, there has been an unprecedented erosion of faith in the justice of our cause, in our ability to use weapons in the long run and to withstand demographic, terrorist, and diplomatic pressures from Washington. And all this as terrorism has reached unprecedented levels and despite our military, economic and demographic superiority, not to mention the American war on Islamic terror.

The combination of a vigorous political option with a "low level" military one is every terrorist's wet dream – and nightmare of a democratic society. 12 years of Palestinian autonomy has proved that low-level warfare strengthens terrorism, has given terrorism stunning political and territorial gains, has eroded our strategic image and frustrated Israel's leadership.

The weakness of our leadership gives adrenalin to terrorists motivated by the dream of destroying the Jewish state. This hope must be extinguished by a determined, fierce military option, as Germany, Italy, Turkey, Peru, Egypt, Algeria, Sri Lanka and the United States did with the Baader Meinhof, the Red Brigades, PKK, Shining Path, the Tamil Tigers, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban and the Ba'ath Party.

The answer: the return to "targeted killings" has sent Hamas leaders back into hiding, but the organization itself continues to gain strength. How? Because Israeli leaders have forgotten the old Texas axiom: Fertilizing and watering a poisonous, thorny plant doesn't make it friendly, and targeted pruning only strengthens it's roots and makes it more deadly. There's only one way to neutralize the poison – uprooting from the roots.

Restraint with regard to terrorists trying to destroy us is neither a moral or strategic merit. Rather, it is an expression of suicidal fatigue. There is no measured or moderate answer to a radical threat. The lesson of the past 12 years requires us to change the way we fight terror:

1. Put a stop to moral fuzziness, which gives a green light to murderous terrorism as if it were a partner to the peace process, and the elimination of the legitimization of its existence are a condition for strategic clarity and victory on the battlefield.

2. Uprooting hate education from kindergartens, elementary schools, universities, mosques and official media – education which creates the suicide bombers and are an expression of the PA's strategy - are essential if terror is to be disconnected from its oxygen source.

3. Quick, offensive, preventive war in areas breeding terror, not a war of attrition of targeted assassinations, targeted and temporary operations, defensive and reactive. Showing disproportional strength to renew our deterrent ability for the long term.

4. Definitive war to eliminate the political – ideological – fiscal infrastructure that feeds terrorism, rather than ceasefires and coexistence with terrorism.

5. Wars are not won by remote control (artillery, missiles or helicopters), but rather by controlling territory and people that breed terror.

6. Pulling the IDF and Shin Bet intelligence service out of Gaza and cities in the West Bank and granting control to the PA did much to fan the flames of terror. Bringing the army back to the cities reduced terrorism by 90 percent! Control of territory significantly reduces the terrorist's ability to incite, enlist, train, create, smuggle, plan and execute. It also strengthens Israel's ability to deter, gather intelligence, prevent attacks and respond to them.

7. The war on terror must not be placed in the hands of outside bodies such as the Quartet, Egypt, the United States, Italian inspectors or Turkish security guards). Terrorism is not something to complain about, but rather something to be destroyed, while displaying "zero tolerance" for every potential expression of terrorism.

8. We must not negotiate any more agreements with any body that systematically and murderously breaks every agreement it signs. You don't negotiate with terrorists. You eliminate terrorism.

9. The Geneva Convention says that human shields do not override the rights of self-defense. The responsibility for civilian casualties is clearly on the shoulders of terrorists who use Palestinian civilians as human shields. This is what every Western country does.

A country that allows terrorism to determine the national agenda is doomed to die.

Only a leadership that is prepared to dramatically change the Oslo-Hebron-Wye-Road Map -Disengagement menu has any hope of preventing a fatal clash of the Titanic with the iceberg.

This change may cost us politically and economically in the short term, but in the long term it will lead to security, economic, social and diplomatic improvements, as has been proven by even tougher tests we've gone through.

Ahmadinejad hopes for Sharon's death

From Ynet News (01.05.06, 20:17) ...

President Ahmadinejad says he hopes (Sharon) '...has joined his ancestors'

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted Thursday as saying he was hoping for the death of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. “Hopefully the news that (Sharon) has joined his ancestors is final," the semi-official students news agency ISNA quoted him as telling a group of Shi'ite Muslim clerics in Iran's holy city Qom.

...The former Revolutionary Guardsman has made a string of verbal attacks on Israel since taking office in August. In October he called Israel a "tumor" which should be “wiped off the map .” In subsequent speeches he suggested Israel should be moved to Europe or North America and called the Holocaust a myth. He reiterated his remarks earlier Thursday in a speech from Qom broadcast on state television. ...“Be sure that not only the Palestinian nation, but all Islamic nations, will not tolerate this occupier-regime (Israel) in the region for a minute," he said.

Sharon's brain may be damaged

From Ynet News First Published: 01.05.06, 22:56 Latest Update: 01.05.06, 23:12 (with VIDEO) ...

Hospital source offers grim prognosis, but Hadassah Ein Kerem director qualifies remarks, says Sharon's condition cannot be determined as long as he's anesthetized. PM said to be in stable condition, may be anesthetized for days
Meital Yasur-Beit Or

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered extensive brain damage, a source at Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital estimated Thursday evening, but the hospital's director qualified the remarks, saying the implications of Sharon's stroke would only be determined once the prime minister's condition improves

Sharon may now spend several days anesthetized, before doctors attempt to rouse him on Sunday.

Hadassah Director Mor Yosef refused to predict Sharon's chances of recovery, but noted the prime minister suffered damage to his right lobe. The PM's reaction to various forms of stimulus cannot be examined because he is still under anesthesia and being ventilated, Mor Yosef said, but added Sharon's pupils were reacting well to tests.

...The fact Sharon's pupils are reacting properly is an encouraging sign, said Dr. Avi Cohen, who heads the Department of Neurosurgery at Be'er Sheva's Soroka hospital....adding that a hemorrhage on the right side of the brain may cause harm to the left side of Sharon's body.

Mor Yosef told reporters Thursday evening that Sharon is currently being treated in the Neurosurgery intensive care unit and has remained in a stable condition since the afternoon.

... Meanwhile, concerned foreign and local well-wishers continue to call the hospital and express their support for the prime minister in the hopes he fully recovers from the massive stroke...

Efrat Weiss and Ronny Sofer contributed to the story

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Sharon suffers serious stroke, cerebral hemorrhaging

From JPost, Jan. 4, 2006 22:22 Updated Jan. 5, 2006 0:40 By HERB KEINON, GIL HOFFMAN AND JPOST STAFF with Judy Siegel-Itzkovitch, Dan Izenberg and AP ...

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a serious stroke and had been anesthetized, the director general of Hadassah Ein Karem hospital in Jerusalem said late Wednesday. The prime minister was reportedly in serious condition and was suffering from cerebral hemorrhaging. He is currently undergoing emergency neurosurgery in an effort to stop internal bleeding in his brain.

According to a medical expert, the procedure is life threatening. Asked what are the chances of surviving this type of surgery, the doctor replied, "Let's be optimistic, some people survive it." The prime minister's close associates said of his condition: "Hope for a miracle."

According to Justice Ministry spokesman Ya'acov Galant, a prime minister legally remains in his post only as long as he is capable of making decisions. Since Sharon is not conscious after suffering from what doctors termed "a serious stroke," his powers and prerogatives were transferred to his deputy, Finance Minister Ehud Olmert.

Deputy Director of Hadassah Ein Karem, Dr. Shmuel Shapira, told Channel 10 TV that Sharon suffered "a massive stroke, he was taken to an operating room to drain the blood."

The dramatic downturn in Sharon's health comes as Sharon runs for re-election on March 28 at the head of a new centrist party, Kadima, and he enjoys a wide lead in the polls. The party's strength is centered on Sharon himself, and if he were forced to leave the scene, Israel's political scene would be thrown into turmoil.

The Rabbinate was organizing a prayer rally service at the Western Wall....

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Jihad coming

From Ynet News 01.03.06, 18:12 ...

Israel had better start taking al-Qaeda terrorism seriously
Dore Gold

For the first time, Israeli defense experts are noting that groups identifying with al-Qaeda - or the global jihad - are determined to acquire operational footholds close to Israel's borders.

...Al-Qaeda operations around Israel are becoming more prominent. In August, an al-Qaeda rocket strike at the Jordanian Red Sea port of Aqaba also reached the Israeli resort town of Eilat. To Israel's south, a growing al-Qaeda presence in Sinai led to attacks on Israeli tourists in Taba and other coastal resorts in October 2004, followed by a major bombing at a hotel in Sharm al-Sheikh last July.

Sinai has also served as a rear base for the beginning of an al-Qaeda presence in the Gaza Strip. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the deputy head of al-Qaeda, has encouraged Zarqawi to extend his jihad in Iraq to neighboring states (i.e., Jordan and Syria), where there are already increasing signs of jihadi activity. In the next stage, Zawahiri envisions "the clash with Israel."

Twofold implication
For Israel, there are two implications worth considering.

First, Zarqawi's branch of al-Qaeda is determined to destabilize the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. In the last year there have been increasing concerns that Jordanian public opinion has been radicalized by the US-led war against the Sunni insurgency in western Iraq.

... .Second, Israel has to understand that the new terrorism of al-Qaeda involves attacks of far greater lethality than those carried out by the Palestinians in the past.

Many Western sources are convinced that Zarqawi was training his recruits in the use of toxins, including poisons and chemical weapons, at the Herat training camp in Afghanistan.

In 2004, a Zarqawi associate named Azmi al-Jailusi confessed to trying to set off a chemical explosion in central Amman...which had the potential to kill 80,000 people. In April 2005, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned that recurrent U.S. intelligence reports indicated that Zarqawi was seeking to obtain a "radiological explosive"- also known as a "dirty bomb".

It would be a cardinal error for Israel to conclude that after the U.S. war in Iraq....Israel can take the risk of conceding strategic assets in the West Bank. Zarqawi...clearly seeks to target Israel as well.

...Were Israel to withdraw from the strategic barrier it controls in the Jordan Valley and open its doors to the east, then Israeli vulnerability could very well attract more global jihadi elements to Jordan, who would seek to use the kingdom as a platform to reach the West Bank and then Israel.

Did the Israeli Army Really Shoot that Boy in 2000?

Richard Landes is a Medieval Historian at Boston University and co-founder of the Center for Millennial Studies.

Earlier this year he and other historians set up Second Draft, a website to watchdog the media.

He explained the goal of the website in an article on HNN. He can be contacted at:

Wiretapping is easy to justify

From Jerusalem Post Jan. 3, 2006 23:44 Updated Jan. 4, 2006 1:46 , an opinion by URI DAN, veteran Israeli newspaper columnist ....

. . .The sounds of "Jingle Bells" mingling with Hanukka songs last week in New York was incessantly interrupted by a cacophony of talking heads on television arguing whether the president was right, whether Bush had broken the law, and if he had violated American civil liberties when he ordered that telephone calls between the United States and Afghanistan be listened in on immediately after the massacre al-Qaida carried out in the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

Bush-bashers maintain that the president should have first received legal authorization to bug American citizens' phone calls. His supporters explain that he could not have behaved otherwise ....

. . . wiretapping and bugging of every possible kind carried out by Israel's security and intelligence services that have become a key weapon in stemming the wave of terror let loose by Yasser Arafat and Marwan Barghouti, and which is continuing even under the impotent management of Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel has continually honed its eavesdropping methods to an art in its struggle against terrorists and spies, and in order to obtain timely warnings of impending attacks. It uses wiretapping to eliminate the terrorist leaders and stop suicide bombers in their tracks. ironclad law in Israel's democracy - just as in democracies like England and the United States - stipulates that material obtained via wiretapping may be used for operational security needs only.

At a time when the US and other democracies are still being threatened by international Islamist terror, one might ask why the Times and other American papers of its ilk are working so hard to undermine the status of President Bush

...The global war being waged by Islamism against the world's democracies may bring further catastrophes. These will show just how justified Bush and his policies, including wiretapping, are.

Retired Syrian intelligence chief has fled to London

DEBKAfile reveals, January 3, 2006, 10:04 PM (GMT+02:00):

Retired General Ali Duba, known as father of Syrian intelligence and loyal aide of Presidents Assad father and son has fled to London from Damascus

This defection follows the blunt charges leveled against Bashar Assad by former Syrian vice president Khalam Haddam last Friday, and the UN inquiry commission’s demand that the Syrian president make himself available for questioning in the Hariri assassination.

Diskin: Hamas Victory in PA Poll Spells Deep Trouble for Israel

From Arutz Sheva 20:37 Jan 03, '06 / 3 Tevet 5766 By Scott Shiloh ...

The head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s undercover security agency, told a Knesset committee that a victory for the Hamas in January’s PA election would mean “deep trouble” for Israel.

“Israel will be in deep trouble if Hamas wins the elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council or if it scores a significant achievement," said Diskin. He told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that an electoral victory for the Hamas will allow them to “penetrate (PA) goverment offices, and strengthen their grip on the territory." In such an eventuality, Diskin said, the PA would make no effort at all to stop terrorists from attacking Israel from PA controlled territory.

....Recent polls show the Hamas, a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel’s destruction, receiving at least 30% of the PA vote. Hamas terrorists have killed hundreds of Israelis since the signing of the Oslo Accords.

Committee Chairman, MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud), was deeply disturbed by Diskin’s prognosis. He said Israel would be facing a new, unpleasant political reality, if a group calling for Israel’s destruction wins the PA election or becomes a significant force in the PA parliament.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Better late than never

From Ynet News (01.02.06, 14:52) ...

The U.S. decision to deport John Demjanjuk ('Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka') goes far to right an Israeli (Supreme Court) wrong

by Noah Kliger

... Ivan Demjanjuk was sentenced to death by an Israeli court. But 15 years later, he is still not only alive but free, living with his extended family in Cleveland, Ohio.

How is it possible that a man sentenced to death by the State of Israel was not executed? The unbelievable answer remains with five Supreme Court judges, headed by former Chief Justice Meir Shamgar, who heard Demjanjuk's appeal in the early 1990s. Relying on evidence that would be thrown out of court in a simple shoplifting case, the judges freed the Ukranian volunteer "because of a doubt." They also said Demjanjuk served in death camps and took part in crimes against Jews.

There is no need to rehash claims made during the trial and appeal, but it should be noted that the three judges who sentenced him to death 15 years ago were some of the most senior judges in the country. The panel was headed by the late Justice Dov Levin, and included Dalia Durner and Tzvi Tal, each of whom subsequently was appointed to the Supreme Court.

But the five "saints" that heard the appeal in 1993 - Meir Shamgar, Aharon Barak, Theodor Orr, Menachem Elon and Eliezer Goldberg - overrode their colleagues and freed Demjanjuk.

'Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka'

Last week, Dalia Durner (one of the judges who originally found him guilty), long since retired, was interviewed on TV. She said she continues to believe with all her heart that Demjanjuk is Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka.

It now appears that a series of American judges agree, and one after the other they have convicted him of crimes during the Nazi period, and have ordered his deportation. .... Let him die in the Ukraine or in Ohio – it makes no difference. The important thing is that different judges in the U.S. found him guilty....

Terrorists fugitives return to Gaza

From JPost Jan. 1, 2006 21:05 By KHALED ABU TOAMEH ...

One of the founders of Hamas's armed wing, Izzaddin al- Kassam, on Sunday returned to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing. Palestinian security sources told The Jerusalem Post that Bashir Hammad, who fled the Gaza Strip in 1992, arrived at the Gaza Strip on Sunday afternoon. They said Hammad had been wanted by Israel since 1988.

The sources said that at least 45 Hamas and Fatah fugitives have returned to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah terminal since it was handed over to the Palestinian Authority four months ago.

Among those who returned to the Gaza Strip are Ahmed al-Milh and Fadel Zahar, brother of Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar. Fadel Zahar was deported from the Gaza Strip in 1991 along with three other top Hamas operatives: Imad Alami, Mustafa Kanu, and Mustafa Liddawi. He spent most of his time in Sudan and Syria, where other Hamas leaders are located.

Rafik al-Hasanat, another senior member of Hamas who has been wanted by Israel for more than a decade, arrived through the Rafah crossing in October. Hasanat belonged to Izzaddin al-Kassam; he fled to Egypt in 1993 after he learned that the IDF was searching for him because of his involvement in terror attacks. Since then he has been hiding in Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Jordan.

PA officials said they were aware of the fact that many fugitives were returning to the Gaza Strip. "Our policy is to allow any Palestinian to cross through the Rafah terminal," explained one official. "We don't classify passengers according to their political affiliation."

Sunday, January 01, 2006

UK Chief Rabbi warns of anti-Semitic 'tsunami'

From the Telegraph, by Chris Hastings, Arts Correspondent, (Filed: 01/01/2006)...

Sir Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, fears that a "tsunami of anti-Semitism" is threatening to engulf parts of the world.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4's Sunday programme...Dr Sacks admitted he was "very scared" by the rise in anti-Jewish feeling, which had led to Holocaust denial, attacks on synagogues and a boycott of Jewish groups on university campuses.

...Figures produced by the London-based Community Security Trust and the Israeli government show that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Britain. The trust recorded 532 anti-Semitic incidents in 2004, including 83 physical assaults.

Meanwhile, some groups opposed to Israeli government policy have organised boycotts of Jewish academics and student groups. Since 2002, Jewish student groups on 17 British campuses have faced the threat of expulsion from fellow students opposed to Israeli action.

In April, the Association of University Teachers became the latest in a line of academic bodies to announce action against Israel. It declared a boycott of two Israeli universities at the request of Palestinian leaders, but later changed its mind after widespread condemnation.

...He said that while the Jewish experience in Britain was in general a "real cause for celebration", British Jews were experiencing a globalised anti-Semitism through satellite television, the internet and e-mail. He was also worried by the strength of anti-Jewish feeling in some European states including France.

"A number of my rabbinical colleagues throughout Europe have been assaulted and attacked on the streets. We've had synagogues desecrated. We've had Jewish schools burnt to the ground - not here but in France … So it's the kind of feeling that you don't know what's going to happen next, and that is making some European Jewish communities feel uncomfortable."

Dr Sacks, who was being interviewed to mark the 350th anniversary of the re-entry of Jews to England, said he hoped that the Jewish voice would become more "articulate" over the coming year.