Saturday, March 06, 2010

Iran developing massive launch site

From JPost, 06/03/2010:

Iran is building a new rocket launch site with North Korean assistance, Israel Radio quoted IHS Jane’s as reporting overnight Friday.

The new launcher, constructed near an existing rocket base in the Semnan province east of Teheran, is visible in satellite imagery, according to the report.

The defense intelligence group said the appearance of the launcher suggests assistance from North Korea ..."This is a major technological breakthrough and could mean that the Iranians are on their way to obtaining an ICBM," [Tal Inbar, head of the Space Research Center at the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies] said.

...In August 2009, President Shimon Peres told his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev during a visit to Moscow “The fact that Iran is investing billions of dollars in the development of long-range missiles, in parallel to its nuclear project, is clear indication of its intent.” The president said there would be no point for any country to develop missiles capable of reaching targets so far and then loading them with conventional warheads.

...Peres likened an Iranian nuclear bomb to a “flying death camp.”

Moslems fabricated myths to make Jerusalem holy for politics

From Democast, February 17, 2010:

Dr. Mordechai Kedar reveals: "Moslems fabricated myths to make Jerusalem holy for politics"

Arabic-studies scholar from Bar ilan University in Israel, Dr. Mordechai Kedar explains what al-Jazeera's interviewer wouldn't let him say - that Jerusalem, never mentioned in the Koran, was deemed holy for Islam for political purposes.

Targeted assassination is one of the weapons of states at war

From FT, March 2 2010, by Andrew Roberts:

Is state-sanctioned assassination justifiable, or does it somehow de-legitimise the state that undertakes it?

Two articles in this newspaper last week, by Henry Siegman and David Gardner, have been violently critical of Israel in the wake of the assassination of the Hamas arms smuggler Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai on 19 January.

Mr Siegman wrote of how “Israel’s colonial ambitions” and “checkpoints, barbed wire and separation walls” were “turning Israel from a democracy into an apartheid state”, thereby creating a “looming global threat to the country’s legitimacy”. Two days later Mr Gardner wrote of how Israel’s “militarist extroversion” over the Dubai murder demonstrated an “Israeli preference for instantly satisfying executive solutions to complex political and geopolitical problems” which would “widen the international battle-space for tit-for-tat attacks” and “encourage the perception that [Israel] is a rogue state”.

Both commentators are completely wrong. All that the Dubai operation will do is remind the world that the security services of states at war – and Israel’s struggle with Hamas, Fatah and Hizbollah certainly constitutes that – occasionally employ targeted assassination as one of the weapons in their armoury, and that this in no way weakens their legitimacy.

As for the “separation walls” and checkpoints that one sees in Israel, the 99 per cent drop in the number of suicide bombings since their erection justifies the policy.

There is simply no parallel between apartheid South Africa – where the white minority wielded power over the black majority – and the occupied territories, taken by Israel only after it was invaded by its neighbours. To make such a link is not only inaccurate, but offensive. If Arab Israelis were deprived of civil and franchise rights, that would justify such hyperbole, but of course they have the same rights as every Jewish Israeli.

Far from having any colonial ambitions, Israel wants nothing more than to live peaceably within defensible borders. But equally it demands nothing less.

Furthermore, rather than some kind of knee-jerk “preference for instantly satisfying executive solutions”, the decision to kill Mahmoud al-Mabhouh – assuming it was sanctioned, planned and carried out by Mossad alone, which is anything but clear at this stage – would have been minutely examined from every political and operational angle. Yet sometimes complex political and geopolitical problems do require the cutting of the Gordian knot, and this was one such.

When Britain was at war, Winston Churchill sanctioned the assassination by its Special Operations Executive of the SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the capture (and killing if necessary) of General Heinrich Kreipe on Crete; ditto Erwin Rommel. Just as with some Mossad operations, such as the disaster in Amman in 1997 when agents were captured after failing to kill Khaled Meshal of Hamas, not all Churchill’s hits were successful. But the British state was not de-legitimised in any way as a result.

The intelligence agents of states – sometimes operating with direct authority, sometimes not – have carried out many assassinations and assassination attempts in peacetime without the legitimacy of those states being called into question, or their being described as “rogue”. In 1985 the French Deuxième Bureau sank Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior trawler, killing photographer Fernando Pereira, without anyone denouncing France as a rogue state. Similarly, in 2006, polonium 210 was used to murder Alexander Litvinenko without Putin’s Russia being described as “illegitimate”. That kind of language is only reserved for Israel, even though neither Pereira nor Litvinenko posed the danger to French and Russian citizens that was posed to Israelis by the activities of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.

The reason that such double standards still apply – more than six decades after the foundation of the state of Israel – is not because of the nature of that doughty, brave, embattled, tiny, surrounded, yet proudly defiant country, but because of the nature of its foes.

Even though one has to be in one’s seventies to remember a time when Israel didn’t exist, nevertheless there are still those who call the country’s legitimacy into question, employing anything that happens to be in the news at the time – such as this latest assassination – to try to argue that Israel is not a real country, and therefore doesn’t really deserve to exist. Real rogue states such as North Korea might be loathed and criticised, but even they do not have their very legitimacy as a state called into question because of their actions.

Those who wish to understand Israel’s actions and put them in their proper historical context should read Michael Burleigh’s cultural history of terrorism, Blood and Rage. Burleigh quotes a senior Mossad agent saying after the Munich Olympics massacre of 11 Israeli athletes: “If there was intelligence information, the target was reachable and if there was an opportunity, we took it. As far as we were concerned we were creating a deterrence, forcing them to crawl into a defensive shell and not plan offensive attacks against us.”

Is that attitude so very different from the pre-emptive targeted assassination of Taliban leaders that Nato carries out by flying drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan today? Yet are Messrs Siegman and Gardner going to call into question America’s legitimacy? No, that insult is reserved for only one country: Israel.

Turkish "honor" threatened

From JPost, 05/03/2010, by ASSOCIATED PRESS:

Turkish FM calls US recognition of World War I [Armenian] genocide a matter of "honor."

Turkey warned the Obama administration on Friday of negative diplomatic consequences if it fails to impede a US resolution branding the World War I-era killing of Armenians as genocide. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said his country, a key Muslim ally of the US, would assess what measures it would take, adding that the issue was a matter of "honor" for Ankara.

A US congressional committee approved the measure Thursday. The 23-22 vote sends the measure to the full House of Representatives, where prospects for passage are uncertain. Minutes after the vote, Turkey withdrew its ambassador to the US

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I, an event widely viewed by scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide, saying the toll has been inflated and those killed were victims of civil war and unrest.

...[Foreign Minister] Davutoglu  ...complained of a lack of "strategic vision" in Washington. ...The measure was approved at a time when Washington is expected to press Turkey to back sanctions against Iran to be approved in the UN Security Council, where Turkey currently holds a rotating seat. Turkish cooperation is also important to US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Also at stake are defense contracts. Turkey is an important market for US defense companies, many of which had lobbied against the measure.

Davutoglu  ...added that the vote had put the ratification of agreements to normalize ties with Armenia into jeopardy.

...Armenian-American groups have sought congressional affirmation of the killings as genocide for decades and welcomed Thursday's vote.

The vote also came at a time when relations with the United States — strained by Turkey's refusal to allow its territory to be used for the invasion of Iraq — had recently improved. Turkey was the first Muslim country Obama visited after taking office.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Temple Mt. clashes

From JPost, 05/03/2010, by ABE SELIG AND AP:
Rocks hurled at Kotel worshipers after mosque sermon, skirmishes erupt in W. Bank.

Eighteen policemen were lightly wounded in their attempt to restore order on the Temple Mount after Arab youths emerging from Friday prayers started hurling rocks down onto those worshiping at the Western Wall.

Having restored calm by use of stun grenades, and following helpful intervention by other Muslim worshipers to defuse the clash, police eventually withdrew in coordination with the Waqf to allow older worshipers to leave the Temple Mount.

Eight of the injured policemen were hospitalized in light condition. Five suspects were arrested during the riots.

...Najeh Btirat, a Waqf official, said the clash followed a mosque sermon on the issue. "The Friday sermon focused on the Islamic sites that are being targeted by Israel and the need to preserve them," he said. About 300 young men threw stones at police after prayers, he said.

Rock-throwing then spilled over into Jerusalem's Muslim Quarter. Police deployed stun grenades, restoring calm.

Throughout the afternoon, stun grenades fired by security forces could be heard exploding in the Muslim Quarter. The faces and bloodshot eyes of Arab medics, who could be seen running through the alleyways, clearly reflected the usage of tear gas. Crowds were milling around waiting for something to happen.
In the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras el-Amud, some 20 Arab youths threw rocks at security forces. They were later dispersed. Clashes also broke out at the entrance to Issawiya, near the French Hill.

From the , across the valley, smoke could be seen rising up from Ras el-Amud as the young men throwing rocks at police set garbage on fire.

Skirmishes also broke out to the south, in the West Bank city of Hebron, after Friday prayers but no serious injuries were reported. A group of about 100 Palestinians protested outside the holy site known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi mosque.

Last Sunday, Jerusalem’s Old City erupted in violence as clashes between Arab rioters and security forces broke out on the Temple Mount and spread into the alleyways of the Muslim Quarter and the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras el-Amud. Four policemen were wounded and upwards of a dozen Muslim protesters were reportedly hurt during the clashes...

Meanwhile on Friday afternoon, some 250 Palestinians and left-wing activists clashed with security forces in violent protests in the Ramallah area.

No one was wounded in the demonstrations in the villages of Na'alin, Bil’in and Dir Nizam.

Jewish Genealogy

From Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado, January 27, 2010:

Professor Alan Dershowitz's "Case Against Israel's Enemies"

From the Pro-Israel conference in Geneva, 22 April 2009 ( but even more relevant today):

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Britain apologises for using fake IDs

From Huffington Post, February 23, 2010, by Martin Lewis:

Nazi-Gestapo chief Reinhard Heydrich. His undercover assassins used FAKE IDs!!!

The British Government has issued a profuse apology to the German and Slovakian governments that two of Britain's special operatives during World War II used fake IDs in their successful ...mission to assassinate Nazi SS chief Reinhard Heydrich in 1942.

The mission in May 1942 -- codenamed Operation Anthropoid -- took place in German-occupied Czechoslovakia (renamed the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia by the Nazis). Two British-trained undercover operatives working for the UK's Special Operations Executive -- Jan Kubiš (a Czech soldier) and Jozef Gabčík (a Slovak paratrooper) -- were transported on a secret flight with other operatives to the market town of Nehvizdy near Prague in December 1941.

Given the nature of their mission -- to eliminate a vicious war-criminal who was proudly and openly committed to the annihilation of their nation -- all the members of the undercover squad were naturally given fake IDs. As was customary in such clandestine missions, they were given papers that used the names of real-life people.

The mission was planned over a five-month period and the attack took place on May 27th 1942. Heydrich initially survived the attempt but died a few days later on June 4th. ...Sadly, Kubiš and Gabčík died later in June following a brutal SS reprisal raid.

At the time -- and in the 68 years since the raid -- the British government consistently refused to apologize for the fact that their Special Operations Executive had had the temerity to give their undercover operatives passports that bore the names of unrelated living people!

...the British government attempted to justify this heinous act by pointing out that Reinhard Heydrich was a proven war-criminal dedicated to the elimination of the nation of Czechoslovakia and to the extermination of Czechs and Jews.

...However -- after 68 years of deliberation -- the British government has come to its senses and has realized that simply because Heydrich was a leading member of the Nazi elite that was on a publicly-declared mission to kill every Jew on the planet - (about 17 million in 1940) this was no excuse to have used the names of a dozen innocent people on fake passports that could have taken the victims UP TO THREE WEEKS TO REPLACE!

The British government has now admitted that it would have been far better if SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich would have lived and continued being a leader of the Gestapo and key aide to Hitler in their mission to wipe the Jews off the map rather than causing a dozen people to have to apply for a new passport.

Proposed Master Plan for Jerusalem is inadequate

From the synopsis of a JCPA report (ISBN: 978-965-218-083-4), 2010, by Nadav Shragai, entitled: "Demography, Geopolitics, and the Future of Israel's Capital: Jerusalem's Proposed Master Plan":

The aspiration to create and preserve a stable Jewish majority in the unified capital of the State of Israel has been the dream of the Jewish people over many generations.

Yet, the Jewish majority in Jerusalem is declining due to the mass migration of the Jewish population from Jerusalem, together with the migration of an additional Arab population into Jerusalem.

According to the proposed master plan for the city, the planned inventory of Jewish housing does not meet expected needs for 2020, while the planned inventory of Arab housing will suffice until at least 2030.

Lands earmarked on paper for expanding Jewish neighborhoods are Arab-owned, have unregistered ownership, and a minority are Jewish-owned. In the current political and diplomatic reality, it is not plausible that the state will expropriate land as it did in the past.

Furthermore, the proposed master plan will create urban contiguity between eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods and Palestinian neighborhoods outside the city, reinforcing the Palestinian demand to recognize the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem as a single political entity.

The demographic struggle for a Jewish majority in Jerusalem should be waged with an emphasis on staunching the emigration of Jews from the city. The steps required include building tens of thousands of housing units.

Click here to read the complete report.

Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs are incontestably Jewish

From JPost, 03/03/2010, by MICHAEL FREUND:

You don’t have to be a biblical scholar to recognize the incontestable Jewish nature of Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs.

...“holy hysteria,” ..has ...struck some of the leading members of the international community. irrational overreaction to the Jewish people’s basic and fundamental right to revere its own sacred spaces. In especially severe cases, the symptoms of this illness have also been known to include denying the Jewish historical connection to various holy sites and willfully ignoring the mounds of evidence to buttress such claims.

... Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ...this week joined the growing ranks of world leaders who have denounced Israel’s recently-published list of national heritage sites.

...the Palestinian leadership ...tried to outdo one another in their condemnation of the Jewish state.

...Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who on a visit to Brussels last week asserted that the decision could spark hostilities, labeling it “a serious provocation which may lead to a religious war.”

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza likewise called on Palestinians to launch a new intifada and defiantly declared that “Jerusalem is ours, the land is ours. We will not accept these decisions.”

And at its weekly meeting in Ramallah, the PA cabinet went still further, denying the Jewish link to the burial places of the biblical patriarchs and referring to them in a statement as “Palestinian archeological and heritage sites.”

Not surprisingly, the international community was also quick to side with the Palestinians. The European Union called it a “provocative act,” as did the US State Department, and the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process issued a statement saying he was “concerned” by the decision.

This tempest over tombs is both absurd and offensive, and Israel should not in any way buckle under to the pressure.

Sites such as Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs are part of the national and religious patrimony of the Jewish people, and we do not need anyone’s permission to renovate and maintain them. Our reverence for these sites and attachment to them predates Muhammad and precedes Jesus, and no one has the right to lecture us about where and how we choose to serve God.

In fact, this entire episode provides a revealing glimpse of just how transparently hypocritical our critics have become. After all, it was nearly 15 years ago, in the September 1995 Oslo II Accords, that the Palestinians themselves recognized Israel’s attachment to Rachel’s Tomb. In Article V, Annex I to the agreement, the Palestinians agreed that “the present situation and existing practices in the tomb shall be preserved,” meaning that they clearly consented to Israeli control and use of the site, which has never been anything other than a place of Jewish worship.

...YOU DON’T have to be a Biblical scholar or a learned archeologist to recognize the long-standing and incontestably Jewish nature of Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs. Arguing otherwise is akin to asserting that the earth is flat, Elvis is still alive and the moon is made of cheese, and that is how the Palestinian claims should be viewed.

Indeed, the late Prof. Ze’ev Vilnai, in his monumental study Holy Tombstones in the Land of Israel, noted that “the Cave of Machpela and the tombs of the patriarchs were known throughout all of the eras, and Jews looked upon them with great esteem” (Vol.1, p. 102). Similarly, regarding Rachel’s Tomb, Vilnai, considered the leading expert on the subject, wrote that it “was known throughout all of the generations, from the earliest ones onward” (Vol.1, p. 149).

But the sad fact is that history and reality just do not seem to matter all that much when it comes to how the world views Israel. Consumed by “holy hysteria,” they prefer to insult and even denigrate our most ancient traditions even as they give the Palestinians a free pass for their refusal to return to the negotiating table.

...We have nothing to apologize for in paying our respects to the founding fathers and mothers of the Jewish people, and it is a blessing that our generation has been given access to their resting places. Treasuring our past, it should be clear, is no sin. But allowing others to trample on it most assuredly would be.

Two-faced Russia on Iran

From Al-Mustaqbal, Lebanon, March 3, 2010:

Russia's Stance: Talking 'Smart Sanctions' On Iran, Giving Smart Arms To Iran

Cartoonist: Hassan Bleibel

Hamas says 'Arabs may have killed Mabhouh'

From JPOST 04/03/2010:

... sources from [Hamas] charged on Tuesday that certain Arab countries may have been complicit in the [assassination of Hamas terrorist Mahmoud al-Mabhouh on Jan. 19 in Dubai]. ...before the killing, Jordanian and Egyptian intelligence agencies had tracked Mabhouh.

The original report from Al-Quds Al-Arabi, cited by Reuters, quoted Damascus-based Hamas official Mahmoud Nassar, Mabhouh’s right-hand man, as saying that there was evidence that Mabhouh had been targeted by moderate Arab countries.

Jordan and Egypt had helped the Mossad track Mabhouh, Nassar charged, because he previously handled sensitive information concerning the activities of Hamas as well as other Islamist operations. Nassar added that the killing may have been carried out by spies either from the Palestinian Authority or from an Arab intelligence service earlier than planned. The paper added that Nassar was in charge of Hamas’s ties with Iran.

Al-Quds Al-Arabi noted that Nasser had also worked reportedly closely with Mabhouh.

...Mabhouh “never stopped thinking about how to fight the occupation by supplying quality weapons to the Palestinian fighters,” Nassar said. “He participated with me in searching for weapons.”

Mabhouh and Nassar fled Gaza in 1990, after capturing and killing two IDF soldiers, Pvt. Ilan Sa’adon and Sgt. Avi Sasportas, in separate incidents the previous year.

Nassar described Mabhouh’s celebration after one of the murders, as he stood by the soldier’s corpse. “Aboul Abed [Mabhouh] stood on the last body and raised his hands to the sky and said, ‘Praise God who honored me with capturing and killing him,’” Nassar said...

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Arab League (except Iranian ally Syria) backs indirect talks

From JPOST.COM 03/03/2010:

CAIRO — Arab nations gave the green light Wednesday for Palestinians to enter indirect negotiations with Israel for a preliminary four-month period, a decision that likely breaks the months-long deadlock over resuming Mideast peace talks.

The United States has proposed so-called proximity talks to end the impasse between Israelis and Palestinians over the conditions for resuming negotiations...
...Abbas has  ...been wary of entering even indirect talks without Arab backing. ...Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa ...said [14 Arab League] foreign ministers backed the talks on the condition that they last four months. "This should not be an open-ended process," he said.

The ministers also said the indirect talks, mediated by US officials, should not turn into direct Israeli-Palestinian talks without a total freeze in settlement construction.

...The statement did not receive the unanimous support of the 14 Arab nations that took part in the meeting. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem interrupted Moussa while he was reading the statement, insisting that the decision on whether to join indirect talks or not was up to the Palestinians....
Government spokesman Mark Regev welcomed the Arab decision. "Prime Minister Netanyahu has been calling continuously for the resumption of peace talks and we hope now that the talks can move forward," he said...

Historian blasts British policy on Israel

From Jerusalem Post, 03/03/2010, by Jonny Paul:

LONDON - One of Britain's most eminent historians has assailed the country's policy towards Israel, questioning why Queen Elizabeth II has visited a host of despotic regimes but has never made an official visit to the Holy Land.

Speaking at the Anglo-Israel Association dinner in central London last week, Andrew Roberts suggested that the Foreign Office had a de facto ban on royal visits to Israel. "The true reason of course, is that the FO [Foreign Office] has a ban on official royal visits to Israel, which is even more powerful for its being unwritten and unacknowledged," he said. "As an act of delegitimization of Israel, this effective boycott is quite as serious as other similar acts, such as the academic boycott, and is the direct fault of the FO Arabists."

Roberts, whose work includes biographies of Churchill and Chamberlain, as well as Hitler and Roosevelt and a look at the relationship between Napoleon and Wellington, said that Britain had been at best "a fair-weather friend" to Israel.

The 400 attendees at the dinner, held at the prestigious Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, included ambassadors, diplomats, lords and Christian leaders celebrating the 60th anniversary of the AIA, the oldest organization of Anglo-Israel friendship in the UK. Roberts told them that he wanted to try to strip away some of the myths surrounding the relationship between Israel and Britain. "It is, therefore, no coincidence that although the Queen has made over 250 official overseas visits to 129 different countries during her reign, neither she nor one single member of the British royal family has ever been to Israel on an official visit," he said. Even though, he said, Prince Philip's mother, Princess Alice of Greece, was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations for sheltering a Jewish family in her Athens home during the Holocaust, and is buried on the Mount of Olives, Prince Philip did not visit her grave until 1994 - "and then only on a private visit."

Roberts questioned the Foreign Office's attitude to Israel, because it is the Foreign Office that organizes and sanctions royal visits. The Foreign Office has responded that Israel was not unique in not having received an official royal visit, as "many countries have not had an official visit," Roberts said. "That might be true for Burkino Faso and Chad, but the FO has somehow managed to find the time over the years to send the queen on state visits to Libya, Iran, Sudan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan and Turkey. So it can't have been that she wasn't in the area.

"Perhaps her majesty hasn't been on the throne long enough, at 57 years, for the Foreign Office to get round to allowing her to visit one of the only democracies in the Middle East. "At least she could be certain of a warm welcome in Israel, unlike in Morocco, where she was kept waiting by the king for three hours in 90-degree heat, or at the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Uganda the time before last, where they hadn't even finished building her hotel."

Roberts, whose current book The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War reached No. 2 on the Sunday Times best-seller list, also attacked those who accuse Israel of responding "disproportionately" to provocation. "William Hague [a Conservative MP] called for Israel to adopt a proportionate response in its struggle with Hizbullah in Lebanon in 2006, as though proportionate responses ever won any victories against fascists," he said. "In the Second World War, the Luftwaffe killed 50,000 Britons in the Blitz, and the Allied response was to kill 600,000 Germans - 12 times the number and hardly a proportionate response, but one that contributed mightily to victory. Who are we therefore to lecture the Israelis on how proportionate their responses should be?"

He then questioned how Britain would respond to similar provocations faced by Israel. "Very often in Britain, especially when faced with the overwhelmingly anti-Israeli bias that is endemic in our liberal media and the BBC, we fail to ask ourselves what we would do placed in the same position? "The population of the UK is 63 million - nine times that of Israel. In July 2006, to take one example entirely at random, Hizbullah crossed the border of Lebanon into Israel and killed eight patrolmen and kidnapped two others, and that summer fired 4,000 Katyusha rockets into Israel which killed a further 43 civilians. "Now, if we multiply those numbers by nine to get the British equivalent, just imagine what we would not do if a terrorist organization based as close as Calais were to fire 36,000 rockets into Sussex and Kent, killing 387 British civilians, after killing 72 British servicemen in an ambush and capturing a further 18? "I put it to you that there is absolutely no lengths to which our government would not go to protect British subjects under those circumstances, and quite right, too. So why should Israel be expected to behave any differently?"

US President Barack Obama was also criticized by Roberts. "At a time when Barack Obama appears to be the least pro-Israeli president since [Dwight] Eisenhower, the dangers are even more obvious. For there is simply no way that Obama will prevent [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, perhaps Jewry's most viciously outspoken and dangerous foe since the death of Hitler, to acquire a nuclear bomb," he said.

Ending his speech to rapturous applause, Roberts said Israel, and Israel alone, knew how to act in the best interest of the Jewish people. "In her hopes of averting the threat of a second Holocaust, only Israel can be relied upon to act decisively in the best interests of the Jews," he said.

Roberts's book "A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900" brought him an invitation to the White House in February 2007, where he delivered the prestigious White House Lecture. His books have been translated into Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Estonian and Spanish.

Israel, US join forces against airline terror

From Ynet News, 3/3/2010, by Yoav Zitun:

...Israel and the United States have signed an agreement to tighten their security cooperation in a bid to prevent airline terror on civilian planes. The new agreement includes joint exercises aimed at examining scenarios of terrorist incidents in the air.

Danny Shenar, head of security at the Transportation Ministry, told Ynet that "the agreement was formed after we established an operations center for aviation security at the security unit two years ago..." ...the center's activity handles 60,000 planes entering Israel every year.

"The Americans found a partner in thwarting terror, and the security cooperation has been going on for seven months now," he noted, adding that "it has proved itself on an extraordinary level in aviation security incidents which have taken place over the past year." For security reasons, Shenar refused to elaborate on those incidents.

The agreement states that in case of a plane hijacking, the two countries will share information instantly, as part of their tightened cooperation. In addition, American and Israeli teams in charge of civilian aviation security will hold meetings to plan simultaneous reactions by both countries in cases of airline terror attacks.

...US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano noted that the agreement would allow her country and Israel to respond better to airline terror incidents...

IDF unveils upgrades to Gaza defences

From JPost, 3 March 2010, by YAAKOV KATZ:

...Israel has augmented its defenses along the Gaza border with new surveillance and radar systems capable of better detecting infiltrating Palestinian terrorists.

On Tuesday, the Ground Forces Command unveiled its newly-upgraded Combat Collection Corps, headed by Brig.-Gen. Eli Polak, which is responsible for providing field intelligence and surveillance along Israel’s borders as well as accompanying ground forces as they pursue moving targets.

...The corps’ biggest challenge is currently along the border with the Gaza Strip, where since Operation Cast Lead last year it has upgraded its detection systems, integrating new, more advanced radar systems as well as additional remotely controlled weapons.

In December, the remote weapon system, called Roeh Yoreh (See Shoot) by the IDF, was successfully used to engage four terrorists as they made their way to the northern border to infiltrate into Israel. Two of the terrorists were killed and a third was wounded. Combat Collection teams then directed an attack helicopter to the scene, which neutralized the cell.

The new radar systems deployed along the border come from the family of the ELM 2112 Persistent Ground Surveillance Radar developed by Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries.

The radars, according to Elta, can cover from 300 m. to 20 kilometers for moving persons, and ranges of up to 40 km. for vehicles. The radars do not rotate and therefore can provide uninterrupted 360-degree coverage of an area.

The Combat Collection Corps has also decided to purchase over 100 new surveillance systems to bolster its intelligence-gathering capabilities. They will be deployed along all of Israel’s borders.

The corps is also in the process of developing a new mobile surveillance platform together with Elta called RADMIP, or Granite by the IDF. Based on a pickup truck, the Granite will be coated with reinforced steel protective plates and will hold a 6 m. extendable tower that can carry various sensors.

Monday, March 01, 2010

How to pamper terrorists

From Jerusalem Post, 1 march 2010, by ELY KARMON:

The Western pattern for dealing with terrorists led to the 9/11 attacks.

In September 1970, Leila Khaled tried to hijack an El Al flight en route to New York, was disarmed by Israeli security marshals and arrested by British police when the plane landed in London. Israeli authorities asked for her extradition but days later, after a BOAC jet was hijacked on its way to Jordan, British prime minister Edward Heath decided to release her as part of a prisoner exchange deal.

On September 5, 1972, members of Black September broke into the Israeli quarters at the Olympic Games in Munich, killing two Israeli athletes and taking nine others hostage. After a shootout with police, the hostages, five of the terrorists and a West German policeman were killed. The three surviving terrorists were released several weeks later, after the hijacking of a Lufthansa jet. They were received as heroes in Beirut, Damascus, Tripoli and Algiers.

From 1981 to 1991, the Iranian regime led a secret war against France: assassinations of Iranian opposition leaders on French territory, 13 bombings in Paris between 1985-87, kidnappings of French journalists and diplomats in Lebanon. All the arrested Iranian terrorists and intelligence agents involved in the plots were eventually released in a secret deal with Teheran.

In the deadliest suicide attack until 9/11 against American and French peacekeeping forces in Beirut, on October 23, 1983, 241 American servicemen and 58 French paratroopers were killed when two trucks laden with explosives slammed into the respective buildings of their barracks. The Syrian minister of defense, Gen. Mustafa Tlass, later said in an interview, “After the deployment of the Multinational Force, I gathered the Lebanese resistance leaders together and told them: Do whatever you want with the US, British and other forces, but I do not want a single Italian soldier to be hurt... because I do not want a single tear falling from the eyes of [Italian actress] Gina Lollobrigida, whom [I] loved ever since my youth.”

Did Syria, or Iran or Tlass pay any price for the attacks?

On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was destroyed by a bomb, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew members aboard. Eleven people in Lockerbie, southern Scotland, were killed as large sections of the plane fell in the town. In January 2001, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer, was convicted of involvement in the bombing and sentenced to life imprisonment in Scotland.

In August 2009, the Scottish government released him “on compassionate grounds” to return to Libya as he was suffering from terminal prostate cancer and had “a life expectancy of less than three months.” Col. Muammar Gaddafi thanked Prime Minister Gordon Brown, “my friend,” for interceding with the Scottish government to let the man go. Six months later, where is Megrahi?

THESE ARE only a few examples of the pattern developed by Western powers in dealing with terrorists since the Palestinians began in the late 1960s the wave of what is today called “global terrorism,” which directly led to the al-Qaida 9/11 attacks on American soil, the Madrid 2004 and London 2005 bombings.

All the Arab countries have hosted, nourished and some of them, like Syria, Iraq and Libya, have sponsored Palestinian and Arab terrorist organizations for decades, even when they killed fellow Palestinians, Jordanians, or Saudis, like the Abu Nidal organization did.

How many of these terrorists have been put on trial in Arab countries or are in prison? None! Iran and Syria have hosted, supported and sponsored, since 1982, Hizbullah, Turkish Islamists, the Kurdish PKK, Iraqi terrorists, acting throughout the region and beyond.

Imad Mughniyeh, the mastermind of the attacks on the Marine and French barracks in Beirut and of the bombing of the Jewish community building in Buenos Aires in 1994, for which Interpol issued an international warrant arrest, was assassinated in Damascus in 2008. He was celebrated as a “martyr” by Hizbullah and the highest religious and political authorities of Iran.

Five years ago, Syria was the principal suspect in the UN investigation into the assassination in 2005 of Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. Saad Hariri, Lebanon’s current prime minister and Rafik’s son, recently met with Syria’s president, Bashar Assad, in a reconciliation move between the two countries. The investigation, upgraded to a UN special tribunal lost key members and had to release suspects for lack of formal indictments. Some observers believe “international political pressure” has played a role in “slowing down and even rolling back” the search for Hariri’s killers. Can anyone guess which direction the pressure came from? France? The US?

Mahmoud Mabhouh, the assassinated Hamas operative in Dubai, allegedly by the Mossad, was one of the founders of Hamas’s Izzadin Kassam Brigades, responsible since 1994 for dozens of suicide bombings which killed hundreds of Israeli civilians. He was personally behind the kidnapping and assassination of two IDF soldiers in 1989, Avi Sasportas and Ilan Sa’adon. He most recently was in charge of the acquisition and smuggling of heavy weapons and explosives to Gaza, in cooperation with Iran.

What bothered Dubai Police Chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim during the investigation of Mabhouh’s assassination was not his past terrorist activity, but rather that he had travelled under a different name. “If we had been told of his presence, we would have provided him with the necessary protection,” he told Al Arabiya TV. He added that he believed the Hamas leader was in Dubai for business and not for any kind of arms transactions, but no information about the cameras monitoring Mabhouh’s activities has yet been released by Dubai police.

So for all the noise about who falsified the British, Irish, French, Australian passports
allegedly used by the hit team, there is absolute silence from Dubai about who falsified Mabhouh’s passports.

Western states, who at least understand that they have to pursue and punish al-Qaida thugs in Iraq, Yemen and Pakistan, are silent in the face of the relentless activities against Israel by Hamas terrorists travelling freely in the Gulf states. There is also not a peep from these powers when Hamas and Hizbullah leaders are hosted by their patrons in Damascus and Teheran, where they join the noisy chorus of those who profess “the divine promise” to “uproot the Zionist entity.”