Rabbi speaks out with moral clarity

Eliyahu advocates carpet bombing Gaza
Matthew Wagner, THE JERUSALEM POST

All civilians living in Gaza are collectively guilty for Kassam attacks on Sderot, former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu has written in a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Eliyahu ruled that there was absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive military offensive on Gaza aimed at stopping the rocket launchings.

The letter, published in Olam Katan [Small World], a weekly pamphlet to be distributed in synagogues nationwide this Friday, cited the biblical story of the Shechem massacre (Genesis 34) and Maimonides’ commentary (Laws of Kings 9, 14) on the story as proof texts for his legal decision.

According to Jewish war ethics, wrote Eliyahu, an entire city holds collective responsibility for the immoral behavior of individuals. In Gaza, the entire populace is responsible because they do nothing to stop the firing of Kassam rockets.

The former chief rabbi also said it was forbidden to risk the lives of Jews in Sderot or the lives of IDF soldiers for fear of injuring or killing Palestinian noncombatants living in Gaza.

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May 31, 2007 | 2 Comments » | 290 views

The academic boycotters may not have the last word

By Ted Belman

Yesterday the University and College Union decided by 158 votes to 99 to circulate a motion to all its branches to discuss calls from Palestinian trade unions for a “comprehensive and consistent international boycott of all Israeli academic institutions”.

Carol Gould of Current Viewpoints sent me this article by Leo McKinstry, an Irish gentile, which describes the soil in Britain that gives rise to such activity.

SHAME ON THE LEFT AND ITS VICIOUS HATRED OF ISRAEL

The Guardian Unlimited, of all places, weighs in with Academics express outrage at Israeli boycott by Debbie Andalo.

Carol Gould recently took on the BBC in Paddy Ashdown and Rod Liddle Demolish Israel

Happily there are still voices of sanity in the UK.

May 31, 2007 | 0 Comments » | 123 views

Declare Gaza an hostile political entity

By Ted Belman

A week ago I posted that Giora Eiland was proposing that Gaza be treated as a separate political entity from Judea and Samaria. It was announced that this “would threaten the future of the Palestinian state” which he considered as a positive.

Now Avigdor Leiberman also wants to Declare Gaza hostile political entity and an enemy state.

The plan’s main points include complete severance of ties with the Gaza Strip, isolating the Strip from the West Bank, bombing Gaza in retaliation of Qassam attacks, canceling Palestinian prisoners’ visitation rights until kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is released, and ending all contact with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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May 31, 2007 | 8 Comments » | 154 views

Netanyahu goes on the attack

Olmert defends himself before the Knesset on Winograd findings.

Netanyahu Responds
Former Prime Minister and Opposition Chief Binyamin Netanyahu took the podium following PM Olmert, saying that although he agreed with the decision to go to war, the way which it was carried out eroded Israel’s deterrence.

“[The Opposition] offered the government its full support to achieve the [stated] goals, but [the government] failed to do so,” Netanyahu said, citing the failure to disarm Hizbullah and return the captives as two examples. “In my opinion, the greatest failure is that as a result of the war, Israel’s deterrent capability has been severely harmed.”

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May 30, 2007 | 6 Comments » | 250 views

Public Figures Express Regret For Disengagement

Read it and weep.

At least they are doing penance.

Maj.-Gen (ret.) Yiftah Ron-Tal, IDF ground forces commander at the time of the Disengagement: In the year preceding the Disengagement, the army trained mostly for dismantling communities, and that prevented it from preparedness for the war in Lebanon. The training for the Disengagement not only prevented preparedness for such a war, but dragged it away from the consensus as a people’s army. It is nearly certain that the excitement of those who led the decision and implementation of this is directly tied to the big failure in Lebanon…I still cannot understand how Israel gave up parts of its land willingly and with abandon, and how the residents connected to that land were turned into criminals, instead of raising their dedication as a banner of preserving the Jewish identity of the state of Israel.
– Kfar Chabad weekly, October 6, 2006

May 30, 2007 | 1 Comments » | 142 views

McMaster U. in Hamilton is suing Dr.Paul Williams. Why?

Because he was investigating Islamic terrorists at McMaster.

    1. McMaster was harbouring known al Qaeda operatives.
    2. When the operatives left McMaster, 180 pounds of nuclear material was reported missing.
    3. The College of Engineering at McMaster contains an over-abundance of professors from terror-sponsoring countries
    4. Members of the Ontario Provincial Police have confirmed that McMaster has been under scrutiny for a long time; that many of the students have ties to radical Islam and terrorist organizations; and that Islamic members of the faculty have conducted clandestine meetings at an off-campus address in Hamilton.
    5. Hundreds of postings on the internet calling for the jihad and the nuclear destruction of America have been traced back to McMaster

For reporting these findings, Dr. Williams has been sued by McMaster University for $4 million plus punitive damages.

Dr. Williams refuses to be intimidated, and indeed welcomes the lawsuit because this will give him access to all of McMaster’s records through the legal process of discovery and he will be able to expose what he believes could well be the nerve center for Osama’s “American Hiroshima” project to blow up ten American cities with suitcase nukes.

Please contribute to The Dr Paul Williams Defense Fund.

May 30, 2007 | 1 Comments » | 258 views

Can Islam be reformed or transformed?

By Ted Belman

In my article America’s Limited Options I noted how scholars are divided on whether “moderate Islam is the solution”.

Perhaps the last word should go to Fjordman who in his column, Do we want an Islamic Reformation? wrote

    “The only way you could, even theoretically, create a peaceful, tolerant Islam would be to permanently ignore all teachings, contained in the Koran, the hadith and the sira, originating from the violent Medina period. I doubt whether this is practically possible, and even if it was, it would mean that Muslims quite literally have to get rid of half of the Koran, which again means that Mr. Wilder is correct.”

[Dutch MP Geert Wilders has said provocative things such as that the country faces being swamped by a “tidal wave of Islamization,” that if Muslims want to stay in the Netherlands, they should tear out half the Koran and that “If Muhammad lived here today, I would propose he be tarred and feathered as an extremist and driven out of the country.”]

May 30, 2007 | 36 Comments » | 580 views

The peaceniks won’t give up – scary

MKs’ proposal would hand control of Gaza Strip to Arab League
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz

[..] Livni has also expressed interest in stationing a multi-national force in the Gaza Strip.

The call to the Arab League to take responsibility for the Gaza Strip is part of “a package deal,” which would begin with negotiations between Arab and Israeli representatives on the Arab Peace Initiative. The next stage will include the exchange of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit for Palestinian prisoners, including Hamas ministers and parliamentarians. Then, a mutual cease-fire will be declared and the Quartet – the U.S., Russia, EU and UN – will propose a multi-national force deployment in front of the UN Security Council.

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May 30, 2007 | 5 Comments » | 218 views

US arms Palestinian terrorists

Aaron Klein, WND

A long-wanted terrorist chief captured this week by Israeli forces was trained by the US, served in a senior capacity on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ US-backed security detail, and was a ranking member of a team that received and distributed American arms shipments the past two years, the WND has learned.

Khaled Shawish, an officer in Abbas’ Force 17 presidential guards, was arrested Sunday by undercover Israeli police forces following scores of shooting attacks Shawish is suspected of carrying out.

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May 30, 2007 | 0 Comments » | 164 views

Time to change course

‘Two-state solution’ irrelevant; new thinking needed to resolve conflict

Moshe Yaalon, former IDF chief of staff, YNET

It is not in vain that Michael Oren’s book “Six Days of War'” begins with Fatah’s botched terror attack under the orders of Yasser Arafat on the night of December 31st, 1964.

The attack aimed to strike at the national water carrier and to ignite the region. Its failure didn’t prevent the rising Fatah leader from publishing an official victory statement that glorified the “Jihad duty” and to set January 1st 1965 as the date marking the organization’s establishment.

Indeed, the Six Day War changed the face of the Middle East. From a historic perspective it can be viewed as marking the beginning of the end of national-secular Arab ideology, which in turn encouraged the emergence of Islamic-Jihadist ideologies; it can also be viewed as marking the beginning of the end (temporarily?) of conventional wars between armies and the shifting of the threat on the State of Israel.

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May 30, 2007 | 1 Comments » | 141 views

Israel’s land practices are not discriminatory

Middle East Quarterly published an article in Dec ’97 by Alexander Safian, titled Can Arabs Buy Land in Israel? [After discussing all the propaganda, he continues with the facts.]

LAND LAW IN ISRAEL

The present landholding system in Israel can be traced back to the events of nearly a century ago, when the Fifth Zionist Congress meeting in 1901 created a private charitable organization called the Jewish National Fund (JNF) with the intent to purchase land for the resettlement of Jews in their ancient homeland. By the eve of statehood, the JNF had acquired a total of 936,000 dunums of land; another 800,000 dunums had been acquired by other Jewish organizations or individuals.11 These holdings amounted to some 8.6 percent of the total land of what would later be Israel; of the rest, more than 70 percent were public lands vested in the British Mandatory authorities.12 All the lands purchased by the JNF remained in JNF hands; these were never sold, either to Jews or Arabs, but instead were leased on a long—term basis for kibbutzim and other forms of Jewish settlement.

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May 29, 2007 | 0 Comments » | 229 views

Are JNF lands a Pandora’s Box

Meron Benvenisti responded to “Mazuz versus Herzl” (Haaretz, May 25), in which Israel Harel reminds us that we grew up on the ethos of the Jewish National Fund’s “blue box” for donations, whereby thanks to our small coins, the JNF’s lands were redeemed.

For Israel Harel’s information: Of the more than 2.5 million dunams owned by the JNF, two million dunams were not purchased with the small coins put into the blue boxes, but were rather lands abandoned by Arabs that David Ben-Gurion, in a typical maneuver, “sold” to the JNF in 1949-1950. The first deal was clinched on January 27, 1949. It included the sale of a million dunams of abandoned land in various areas in return for about 18 million Israeli pounds.

He says these lands “were abandonned by Arabs”. He does not say whether they owned the lands or were just squatters. He refers to Res 181 which recommended that the Arabs be allowed to return as if this gave them rights.

Israel also took over title to much land and set up a fund to compensate the owners. More on this later. Does anyone know the facts.

May 29, 2007 | 1 Comments » | 223 views

Abbas and Dahlan dealt mortal blow by Barghouti

DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources report exclusively

Palestinian Fatah-al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades group splits, with 40 percent defecting to Hamas

[US strategy is an abject failure]

The breakaway Fatah rebel group based in the West Bank has turned its back on Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and his senior adviser Mohammed Dahlan and established a separate suicide terrorist militia. Called the Martyr Abu Amar (Yasser Arafat) Brigades, the rebel group’s new commanders are Hamas Gaza operatives Hussein Hijaz and Abu Hilas (Abu Maher). They also take orders, as well as explosive supplies and funds, from the Lebanese Hizballah.

DEBKAfile quotes Israeli military and intelligence sources as rating this split as extremely dangerous. It affords Hamas a prime strategic asset for escalating its violent campaign against Israel.

Read more …

May 29, 2007 | 0 Comments » | 165 views

Unilateralism is out. The centre is strong and large

INSS published a detailed analysis of Israeli Public Opinion. Keep in mind that Israelis are subject to a predominently leftist spin. Much could change with an election campaign in which the issues are more fully aired.

The main findings begin as follows;

The Israeli center – sometimes known as the silent majority – remains strong and steady. Over half of the Jewish population in Israel can be broadly described as belonging to the center. There is little homogeneity in any group, including the extremes of the spectrum; moreover, the hard core extreme right as well as the hard core extreme left are marginal, each consisting of no more than 10 percent of the population. There is a good deal of flexibility in Israeli public opinion, what allows under certain circumstances – especially strong and charismatic political leadership or some dramatic event – considerable room for change.

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May 29, 2007 | 3 Comments » | 102 views

Israel’s choice, either occupy Gaza or embrace Arab “peace” plan

By Ted Belman

In What Price Gaza I concluded

    Ultimately the decision must reflect what augers better for peace, the two state solution or a Jewish state from the Mediterranean to the Jordan.

Yossi Beilin, as might be expected, argues against an invasion which he calls a 3rd gift for Hamas. He prefers a ceasefire even in Judea and Samaria and

    This is a rare opportunity to work vis-a-vis the world, the Arab League, and pragmatic Palestinians in an attempt to reach understandings despite Hamas resistance to them. We must press for a comprehensive ceasefire, launch negotiations with the PLO in the framework of the Arab Initiative, praise the increasing American involvement, and isolate the radicals.

Read more …

May 29, 2007 | 4 Comments » | 195 views

Lawmakers Push for Big Subsidies for Coal Process

The New York Times carries his story and explores the pros and cons.

[..] The political momentum to subsidize coal fuels is in odd juxtaposition to simultaneous efforts by Democrats to draft global-warming bills that would place new restrictions on coal-fired electric power plants.

The move reflects a tension, which many lawmakers gloss over, between slowing global warming and reducing dependence on foreign oil.

Many analysts say the huge coal reserves of the United States could indeed provide a substitute for foreign oil.

The technology to convert coal into liquid fuel is well-established, and the fuel can be used in conventional diesel cars and trucks, as well as jet engines, boats and ships. Industry executives contend that the fuels can compete against gasoline if oil prices are about $50 a barrel or higher.

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May 29, 2007 | 1 Comments » | 119 views

Bibi is back for the right reasons

Hillel Halkin writes in Welcome Back, Netanyahu explains Netanyahu’s comeback.

[..] But it’s more than just that. The Likud, and Benjamin Netanyahu in particular, have rebounded spectacularly in Israeli popular opinion because they have proved to be right on two major issues.

One of these is the economy. During Mr. Netanyahu’s three years as minister of finance between 2002 and 2005, when he was not without some justification accused by the Israeli Left of seeking to radically change Israeli society by means of economic “Thatcherism” or “Reaganism,” it was not yet clear what the outcome of his policies would be. Today, it is — and they have been, if anything, an even more spectacular success than Mr. Netanyahu predicted they would be. With unemployment sharply down, gross national product sharply up, the budget balanced for the first time in Israel’s history, the shekel one of the world’s stronger currencies, and Israel’s growth rate among the highest in the developed world, it is hard for Israelis to deny that Mr. Netanyahu, whatever his faults, was one of the best finance ministers — perhaps the best — that Israel ever had.

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May 29, 2007 | 2 Comments » | 137 views

Jerry Falwell: In memorium

View from America: Our most unwelcome ally

Jonathan Tobin, THE JEWISH EXPONENT

In 1984, the United States rectified a diplomatic anomaly when it formally recognized the Vatican and agreed to exchange ambassadors with the papal mini-state in Rome.

But when Congress held hearings on the measure, at least one discordant voice was heard in dissent. Rev. Jerry Falwell, by then already a familiar figure as the head of the “Moral Majority” group, hustled to the Capitol to testify against the move.

One might have expected Falwell’s position to be based in the sort of theological antagonism between Baptists and Catholics that had its roots in the Reformation. But the roly-poly evangelical had another agenda that day: He was mad about the Church’s foreign policy in the Middle East. He urged the Senate not to recognize the Vatican until it extended the same courtesy to the State of Israel.

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May 27, 2007 | 1 Comments » | 319 views

What price Gaza?

By Ted Belman

The Institute for National Securities Studies (INSS) has published a Policy Brief on the question Is an Expanded Military Operation in Gaza the Option of Choice? by Shlomo Brom. This link takes you to a comment by Dr Lerner following which is the full article.

It is an excellent analysis of the issues

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether military actions of this kind in the Gaza Strip are indeed essential, and if so, whether it is worthwhile to conduct them as soon as possible.

There are two ways to examine whether wide scale operations of this kind are necessary. One is to examine the supposition that the security and political dynamic in Israel will necessarily force the decision to carry out such operations. A second way is to examine the strategic logic of such operations. Even if the answer to the first question is in the affirmative, which means there is a high probability that the government of Israel will reach such a decision, there is still reason to undertake the second examination because it will aid in planning operations, which will serve Israel’s best interests.

It concludes that a ground operation is highly likely.

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May 27, 2007 | 7 Comments » | 148 views

Palestinians in Lebanon

By Arlene Kushner

In the last several days world attention has been drawn to the Nahr al Bared UNRWA refugee camp in northern Lebanon, where Lebanese Armed Forces have entered and are doing battle in order to drive out a militant Sunni group associated with al-Qaida, called Fatah al-Islam. The group, which has Syrian support, is led by a Palestinian, Shaker Abssi, and consists, according to reports, mostly of Palestinians, but includes others such as Syrians and Jordanians.

The Lebanese army has encountered stiff resistance in the camp – where they were fired upon by machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. That a militant group would headquarter in a Palestinian refugee camp, and that violence would ensue, should not come as a surprise.

There are presently close to 400,000 Palestinian Arabs in Lebanon who are registered with UNRWA as refugees. Of these, some 225,000 live in the 12 official UNRWA refugee camps that currently exist in Lebanon – all but one of these camps (the exception being one adjacent to Ba’albek) are situated near the Mediterranean coast. The remainder of the registered refugee population lives in close proximity to the camps.

Read more …

May 26, 2007 | 1 Comments » | 120 views