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Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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DAILY ALERT

July 15, 2005

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In-Depth Issues:

Al-Qaeda-London Bomb Link Confirmed - Daniel McGrory and Michael Evans (Times-UK)
    The British-born mastermind of the London attacks had direct links with al-Qaeda, police sources confirmed Thursday.
    He is believed to be connected to a senior figure who took part in an al-Qaeda terror summit in Pakistan 16 months ago where a list of future targets was reportedly finalized.
    Forensic scientists said the explosives used were the same type used by convicted British shoe-bombers Richard Reid and Saajid Badat, made from ingredients known to be taught to al-Qaeda recruits in Afghanistan training camps, and confirming suspicions that the London bombings were the work of al-Qaeda.
    The mastermind, of Pakistani origin, is thought to have trained in an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan and has been linked to previous terror operations.
    The alleged mastermind is understood to have flown out of a London airport the night before the bombings.

    See also British Seek Egyptian-Born Chemist in Connection with London Attacks - Glenn Frankel (Washington Post)
    British authorities were searching Thursday for an Egyptian-born academic who recently taught chemistry in Leeds, the city where three of the suspected London bombers lived.
    Police released a chilling photo from a security video camera showing bus bomber Hasib Hussain carrying a large backpack full of high-grade explosives on the morning of the bombings.
    View photo (Reuters/Yahoo)


Israel HighWay
- July 14, 2005

Issue of the Week:
    The 17th Maccabiah Opens in Israel

PA TV: "Annihilate the Infidels" - Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook (Palestinian Media Watch)
    Less than 24 hours after the July 7 terrorist bombings in London, a Palestinian Authority Television sermon called for the extermination of every single Infidel:
    "Annihilate the Infidels and the Polytheists! Your [i.e. Allah's] enemies are the enemies of the religion! Allah, disperse their gathering and break up their unity, and turn on them, the evil adversities. Allah, count them and kill them to the last one, and don't leave even one."
    (Suleiman Al-Satari, PA TV, July 8, 2005)
    View an excerpt of this sermon.


Three Jewish Victims of London Bombings Named (JTA/Jerusalem Post)
    Miriam Hyman, 31, a freelance photo editor, died in the bus bombing in Tavistock Square.
    Susan Levy, 53, a mother of two, was named by police Monday.
    Israeli Anat Rosenberg, 39, who was traveling on the same bus as Hyman, will be buried in Jerusalem. (Ynet News)


Reassessing Control of the Gaza-Egypt Border - Ze'ev Schiff (Ha'aretz)
    The date for the IDF withdrawal from the Philadelphi route depends on the Palestinians and the Egyptians.
    Israeli intelligence is saying that since the beginning of May, it has received no information about serious arms smuggling via the Philadelphi route.
    With successful intelligence work, the Egyptians and the Palestinians have succeeded, each on their own, in thwarting the weapons smuggling during this period.
    The conclusion is that the Egyptians and the Palestinians are capable of preventing the waves of smuggling.
    If this trend continues, it will be only a few months before the IDF withdrawal from the Philadelphi route is implemented.
    At the Defense Minister's Bureau it has been decided that a reassessment will take place at the end of the year.


Israel on Cutting Edge of Stopping Bombers - Gavin Rabinowitz (AP/Washington Post)
    Israel, on the forefront of nations fighting terrorist bombings, has decreased the number of suicide attacks by using methods ranging from employing Palestinian informants to asking guards to look each passenger directly in the eye.
    Experts say good intelligence, relentless military pursuit, and a vigilant public - not technological innovation - is behind most of Israel's success in stopping bombers.
    See also Israelis Describe Living with Bombers (BBC News)


Israeli Settlers Demolish Greenhouses and Gaza Jobs - Steven Erlanger (New York Times)
    About half the greenhouses in the Israeli settlements in Gaza have already been dismantled by their owners, who have given up waiting to see if the government was going to come up with extra payment as an inducement to leave them behind, say senior officials working on the coordination of this summer's Israeli pullout from Gaza.
    These greenhouses provide thousands of jobs to Gazans.


British Keep Out of Basra's Lethal Islamic Takeover - Oliver Poole (Telegraph-UK)
    The bodies of young women began to appear in Basra six weeks ago.
    They worked as prostitutes and their killers are widely believed to be one of the city's armed militias, who have become increasingly violent in their campaign to enforce a strict interpretation of the social code of Islam.
    Basra welcomed liberation by the British two years ago, but bringing democracy to the Middle East can easily usher into power religious forces at odds with the West.
    In January's historic Iraq election a majority of religion-inspired leaders were elected in Basra, who then struck a deal that effectively gave the militias free rein in the city.
    The militias help impose order and warn of any Sunni infiltrators, but only while working to transform the city into a miniature theocracy reminiscent of that found in Iran.


Italy Convicts Two North Africans on Terror Charges - Marta Falconi (AP/Washington Post)
    An Italian judge convicted Moroccan Mohamed Rafik and Tunisian Kamel Hamraoui on Wednesday of belonging to an extremist cell that planned attacks in Italy, including one against Milan's subway.
    Investigators said the cell was connected to international terrorist networks, raised money, produced faked identity documents, and recruited extremists to fight abroad.


3 Palestinians Nabbed for Antiquities Theft - Etgar Lefkovits (Jerusalem Post)
    Three Palestinians were caught red-handed over the weekend plundering antiquities dating back to the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods during a night-time Antiquities Authority raid at an archaeological site in the West Bank, said Amir Ganor, head of the Authority's anti-theft division.
    The men did "irreparable damage" to the site near Sdot Micha, he said.
    Antiquities thefts have risen more than 50% in the last year, with 314 reported cases in 2004 compared to less than 200 in 2003.
    The phenomenon has taken on gold-rush dimensions, with an antiquities site now plundered every day on the average.


Useful Reference:

Israel to Pass U.S. as Largest Jewish Community - Matthew Tostevin (Reuters)
    Israel will by next year become home to the largest Jewish community in the world for the first time in nearly 2,000 years, surpassing the Jewish population in the U.S., a report from the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute said Tuesday.
    The report said the Jewish population of Israel was about 5.24 million and of the U.S. some 5.28 million, but the balance was shifting quickly.
    "The Jewish community in Israel is the most vibrant in the world," said Avinoam Bar-Yosef, director general of the Jerusalem-based JPPPI.
    The birth rate of Israeli Jews is much higher than abroad - each woman has an average of up to 2.7 children.
    See also 2005 Annual Assessment of the Situation and Dynamics of the Jewish People (Jewish People Policy Planning Institute) (783k pdf file)


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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:

  • Palestinian Rocket from Gaza Kills Israeli Woman at Home - Mark Heinrich
    A rocket fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza killed an Israeli woman at her home on Thursday in the first lethal rocket attack over the border from Gaza since February. Four rockets crashed into Netiv Haasara in southern Israel near Gaza. At least one struck a house, killing Dana Glakowitz, 22, who was sitting on her porch. Three mortars fired from Gaza landed in nearby Nahal Oz soon afterwards, injuring three people. (Reuters)
        David Baker, an official in the Prime Minister's Office, said, "the Palestinian Authority is responsible for this fatal attack because it continues to refuse to take the necessary steps to fight terror. Israel has lost six people this past week to terror. If the PA does not take the necessary steps to end terror, Israel will." (Ha'aretz)
        See also Palestinian Rocket Barrage into Israel Continues - Hanan Greenberg and Shmulik Haddad
    Palestinian terrorists fired seven Kassam rockets at the southern Israeli town of Sderot on Friday. One rocket landed in a residential neighborhood, damaging a house. Another rocket landed near a school. Meanwhile, Palestinians fired 15 mortar shells at Gaza Strip communities Friday. (Ynet News)
  • Two Palestinians Killed in Gaza Internal Fighting
    Two Palestinian bystanders were killed and more than a dozen people wounded on Friday in gun battles between Palestinian security forces and militant factions, hospital sources said. The internal conflict erupted Thursday after militants fired rockets into Israel and Palestinian police confronted them in an effort to prevent further barrages. Fighting raged in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza, a known Hamas stronghold, pitting Palestinian security forces in armored vehicles against militants firing anti-tank missiles, witnesses said. Hospital sources said six of the wounded were members of the security forces and the rest were civilians. Families of the casualties were outraged by the violence and armed relatives fired shots inside Shifa hospital before Palestinian police moved in to restore order. (Reuters)
  • 32 Dead as Iraqi Bomber Attacks Children - Oliver Poole
    32 people, most of them children, were killed Wednesday when a suicide bomber exploded his car beside a convoy of American soldiers handing out sweets in a Baghdad suburb. 31 people were wounded in the explosion, many of them also children, and an American soldier was among the dead. (Telegraph-UK)
  • Muslim Doubts on Extremism - Brian Knowlton
    Nearly four years after the Sept. 11 attacks, and with terrorist attacks continuing around the world, a growing number of Muslims say that violence against civilian targets is never justified, a survey conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes Project has found. That figure is highest in Morocco, followed by Indonesia and Turkey, with big majorities rejecting suicide bombing as an acceptable means of defending Islam. A belief that democratic governance would work for the Muslim world has risen sharply. But at the same time, in many Muslim countries, support is strong for a greater Islamic role in national governments.
        In almost every European country with a Muslim minority, a majority of respondents said they viewed Muslim immigrants as slow to accept and take on local values and customs, and they overwhelmingly viewed a growing sense of Islamic identity among Muslims in their countries as "a bad thing." Still, in Canada, the U.S., and Russia, majorities said they had very or somewhat favorable views of Muslims, as they did in France. Only in the Netherlands did a bare majority hold unfavorable views, as did nearly half of Germans.
        Polling in most Muslim countries found falling levels of confidence in Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda. But in Jordan, confidence rose from 55% two years ago to 60%, and in Pakistan it rose from 45% to 51%. There was near-universal antipathy in the Muslim countries toward Jews. (International Herald Tribune)
  • News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:

  • Air Force Retaliates for Gaza Rocket Fire - Amos Harel
    Israel Air Force helicopters fired missiles at targets in the Gaza Strip Friday in retaliation for a rocket attack on a Negev moshav that killed a young Israeli woman. The targets included a pro-Hamas Islamic charity in Gaza City and a cemetery in Khan Yunis used as a launching pad to fire mortars at an adjacent Jewish settlement. The army said it struck a Hamas ammunition depot in Khan Yunis. (Ha'aretz)
  • Netanya Bombing Death Toll Rises to Five
    The toll from Tuesday's Netanya bombing rose to five Thursday when IDF soldier Moshe Maor Jan died after being taken off life support. Jan's wife, Moriah, is eight months pregnant. (Ynet News)
  • Sharon Opposed to Gaza-Samaria Connector Road
    Sources in the Prime Minister's Office clarified Thursday that Prime Minister Sharon is opposed to building a sunken road connecting the Gaza Strip and West Bank. If there were an agreement to build such a crossing between the disconnected Palestinian territories, he would only back the construction of a train route, which would be under Israel's full control, Israel Radio quoted. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Germany FM: No Palestinian State If Violence Goes On
    Two days after a Palestinian suicide bombing in Netanya, German Foreign Minister Fischer sharply rebuked the Palestinian leadership Thursday, saying the Palestinians will never have an independent state until "violence and terrorism" end. "Terrorism will have no positive results, and there will be no chance to establish an independent Palestinian state as long as violence and terrorism continue," Fischer said after meeting Palestinian Prime Minister Qurei. On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Rice phoned PA Chairman Abbas and said he must take immediate action to find and prosecute those responsible for the Netanya bombing. (AP/Ha'aretz)
  • Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):

    Israel and the Palestinians

  • Is a Third Intifada Inevitable? - Yoram Schweitzer
    Abbas is widely perceived as a transitional figure, and many among the younger generation already want to replace the veteran leadership still dominated by "outsiders" who came to the West Bank and Gaza with Arafat. Most recent terrorist acts have actually been carried out by marginal Fatah elements as a way of asserting their individual or collective demands, or by splinter groups financed by Iran or Hizballah. But even Islamic Jihad, whose political weight among Palestinians is minimal, recognizes that it will eventually have to accept the parameters dictated by the mainstream forces in Palestinian politics or else risk being repressed.
        Predictions that another round of large-scale violence is inevitable do not realistically reflect either the strategic balance between Israel and the Palestinians or the interests of the two sides as perceived by their respective mainstreams. (Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies)
  • How Development of Democracy in Palestine Is Frustrated
    According to the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, democracy exists more in theory than in practice in the Palestinian territories. The Palestinian legislative council elections originally scheduled for this month have been postponed indefinitely. The emergence of a truly pluralist party structure has been hindered by the dominance of the so-called "old guard" of Fatah and the religious extremism of Hamas. The judiciary branch has been virtually nonexistent, resulting in a lack of ability to enforce laws. Security services under Arafat came to be associated with authoritarianism, corruption, and human rights violations against fellow Palestinians, including illegal detentions, improper trials, torture, and executions. (Palestine Media Center-Ramallah)

    The War on Terror

  • Europe's Native-Born Enemy - Charles Krauthammer
    The fact that native-born Muslim Europeans are committing terrorist acts in their own countries shows that this Islamist malignancy long predates Iraq, long predates Afghanistan, and long predates Sept. 11, 2001. News reports of the London bombings mentioned that police found no suspects among known Islamist cells in Britain. Come again? Why in God's name is a country letting known Islamist cells thrive, instead of just rolling them up?
        The problem is essentially a civil war within a rival civilization in which the most primitive elements are seeking to gain the upper hand. Sept. 11 forced us to intervene massively in this civil war. The vast majority of European Muslims who are peace-loving and not engaged in terror must also join the fight. They must actively denounce not just the terrorist attacks, but their source: Islamist ideology and its practitioners. Decadence is defined not by a civilization's art or music but ultimately by its willingness to simply defend itself. (Washington Post)
  • Europe Makes a Dangerous Pact with the Muslim Brotherhood - Fiammetta Venner
    It seems quite delusional, if not suicidal, to count on the Muslim Brotherhood to fight Muslim extremism. But the British government continues to support the Muslim Brotherhood in the Muslim Council of Britain, thus destroying any chance of seeing an enlightened and tolerant Islam emerge in Europe. In France, Nicolas Sarkozy is following exactly the same policy ever since he allowed the Muslim Brothers of the Union of French Islamic Organizations, or UOIF, to enter the French council for the Muslim faith. In the U.S., several thinktanks are advising the Bush administration to build closer ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, so as to anticipate a regime change in Egypt, and maybe conclude a pact that would allow to reshape the political map without launching military operations.
        If the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood promises us a radical and fundamentalist Islamization that could destabilize the world, how could it possibly serve as an antidote to terrorism? Are not the London terror attacks evidence enough that this approach is doomed to failure? Those leaders who wish to go down this path should consider this warning from Churchill to Chamberlain: "You were given the choice between war and dishonor...you chose dishonor and you will have war." (Wall Street Journal, 15Jul05)
  • A Poverty of Dignity and a Wealth of Rage - Thomas L. Friedman
    Of course, not all Muslims are suicide bombers, but virtually all suicide bombers, of late, have been Sunni Muslims. There are a lot of angry people in the world, but the only ones who seem to feel entitled and motivated to kill themselves and totally innocent people, including other Muslims, over their anger are young Sunni radicals. Islam has a long tradition of tolerating other religions, but only on the basis of the supremacy of Islam, not equality with Islam.
        Sunni Islamic civilization is supposed to be superior, yet its decision to ban the reform and reinterpretation of Islam since the 12th century has choked the spirit of innovation out of Muslim lands, and left the Islamic world less powerful, less economically developed, and less technically advanced. When a British Muslim citizen, nurtured by that society, just indiscriminately blows up his neighbors and leaves behind a baby and pregnant wife, to me he has to be in the grip of a dangerous cult or preacher - dangerous to his faith community and to the world. (New York Times)
  • We Could Use a Security Wall Like Israel's - James P. Pinkerton
    Mercifully, the U.S. doesn't have the security problems of either the Israelis or the Europeans - yet. Which is to say, the time to act is now. We need a defensible perimeter, perhaps a physical wall, to protect our northern as well as southern borders. U.S. authorities should be able to identify everyone coming into this country. Terrorists may already be in our midst, but we can at least cut off the pipeline of new ones. The wall is working for the Israelis, albeit after hundreds of fatalities that might have been prevented if it had been built earlier. As for America, a wall could prevent an unfathomable number of fatalities here on our own soil. (Newsday)
        See also Sharon Protects His People While Abbas Fiddles - James Klurfeld
    PA chairman Abbas has either been unwilling or unable to control the Palestinian radicals. But if he can't do anything about the violence, then the Israeli government will act to protect its people. During the past five months of seeming quiet, Israeli officials have often said they feared that the radicals had agreed to a cease-fire not because they have had a change of heart, but because they needed a prolonged period to regroup and reorganize to create more terror. No organization that wants to call itself a government can allow so many groups to have their own arms. Sooner or later, Abbas, for all his good intentions, must either control the security forces or not be taken seriously as a leader. Sharon is building a barrier. Abbas is not in control. Two stories. One story. (Newsday)
  • Plan B on Terror - Christopher Brown
    The U.S. is reassessing its strategy for fighting terrorists with a view to targeting middle and lower levels of terrorist networks. Such reevaluation is routine in wars and represents a flexibility needed now more than ever. But the new strategy discussed would not lead to victory. It will not dry up the manpower reserve from which terrorist leaders draw followers. It is the low- and mid-level people, not the leaders, who volunteer for suicide/martyrdom operations. Death is unlikely to dampen their zeal. Any strategy is doomed from the outset that does not directly engage and discredit the Wahhabi, Deobandi (Taliban), and Khomeini schools of Islamicism, which share many characteristics and are the fountainheads of Islamic terrorism and ideology. (Washington Times)
  • Islamist Terrorism is the Root Cause - Abraham H. Foxman
    No sooner was the tragic news out concerning the carnage in London than the old refrain surfaced once again that if only the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were resolved, the world would not be facing the huge threat of Islamist terrorism. In fact, however, the "root cause" of Islamist terrorism is simply that there are murderers out there who will stop at nothing to extirpate and terrorize anyone whom they don't like (which includes Christians, Jews, Muslims, and a lot of other folk). All kinds of reasons, motives, and goals are attached to this behavior, but in the end one is left with brutal action by people who want to maim and murder innocents.
        Islamist terrorism itself is the ultimate "root cause" of the Middle East conflict because absent its violence and ideology of hatred, Israelis and Palestinians would likely be able to work out the issues between them in a way where both parties could live in peace and security. (Ynet News)
  • An Enemy Who Has No Fear of Death - Kevin Toolis
    There can be no real negotiation with the groups who organized the London campaign. It is now the role of the British security authorities to hunt down the men behind the attackers, to disrupt their networks, and to assassinate their leaders wherever they can find them. In this pitiless war the British security authorities must endeavor to use all means to stop further terrorist outrages - even if it means hunting down and killing those responsible without a trial or a jury. (Mirror-UK)
  • A Scourge in "Londonistan" - Jonathan Spyer
    Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, successive British governments adopted an astonishingly myopic policy of tolerance toward the ideologues and activists of radical Islam. Britain's liberal asylum laws allowed the entry of radical ideologues of global Islamism, many wanted by the authorities in their own countries. These individuals set about organizing and proselytizing deep in the heart of Britain's urban Muslim communities. A recent British government report estimates between 10,000 and 15,000 supporters of radical Islamist groups resident in Britain by the end of the 1990s. The writer is a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya. (Ha'aretz)
  • How Are We Going to Fight This War? - Matthew d'Ancona
    "It is a war," one Cabinet minister said to me. "People didn't believe that till last Thursday. But they do now." We face three, inextricably linked threats: from Islamist fanatics, from the rogue states that harbor them, and from the deadly weapons which they seek to acquire.
        Ironically, it has taken a local event to remind us of the global nature of this conflict, its pervasiveness, and our consequent inability to escape its consequences simply by blaming this or that head of government. Does anyone seriously believe that 52 more Londoners would be alive today if Gordon Brown were prime minister, and John Kerry were president?
        On Monday, Mr. Blair warned: "Just using the normal processes of law will not be enough," thus opening the necessary debate on the proper balance between security and liberty. That debate will now be carried out in the proper context. This is not about party politics, Mr. Blair's future, or the Iraq war. It is about what a civilized society does to confront those who will do anything to themselves, and to others, in the name of a murderous mission that knows no limit. (Telegraph-UK)

    Syria

  • A Second Chance In Syria - David Ignatius
    Administration officials argue that Syrian President Bashar Assad has been supporting violent extremists in Lebanon, in the Palestinian territories, and most of all in Iraq. That's "unacceptable," says a senior administration official, and Assad must show he's serious about change. "We are not trying to destabilize Syria, but we are trying to change the conduct of the regime," he says.
        A second senior administration official notes: "Assad needs to make a strategic choice for change. That's the only way he saves himself. Otherwise he's isolated." The officials say they're unimpressed by arguments that a post-Assad Syria could be as bloody and chaotic as post-Saddam Hussein Iraq has become. As for Assad's claims that he's fostering internal reform, administration officials say the regime's pressure on dissidents has actually increased in recent weeks. (Washington Post)
        See also The Enigma of Damascus - James Bennet
    To the Bush administration, Bashar al-Assad is a murderous proxy warrior, permitting or even encouraging jihadists to stream eastward into Iraq, and allowing Iranian weapons to stream westward to the guerrilla group Hizballah in Lebanon. The Bush administration accuses him also of encouraging terrorism to the south, against Israel, by permitting militant Palestinian leaders to operate in Damascus. It sees him as a dictator interrupting a new expansion of democracy from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. (New York Times Magazine)

    Weekend Features

  • NGOs Behind Anti-Israel Divestment Campaign
    The divestment campaign has become the latest political instrument of the drive designed to progressively delegitimize Israel in international frameworks based on the 2001 "Durban strategy." This campaign is being conducted by Protestant church groups, such as the World Council of Churches, the Presbyterians, the Anglican Church, and the United Church of Christ. Funding for the political NGOs spear-heading the anti-Israel divestment campaign comes from church groups in Europe and North America (including the Mennonite Central Committee and Christian Aid), government aid agencies (including Canada, Norway, Switzerland, and the EU), and foundations (such as the New Israel Fund and the Ford Foundation). (NGO Monitor)
  • New York Times Reports Anti-Israel Propaganda as Fact - Alex Safian
    Covering the recent controversy over building and demolition orders in the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem, New York Times reporter Christine Hauser (July 9, 2005) credulously repeated false allegations that Palestinians in Jerusalem were "discriminated against when applying for building permits," reported as fact groundless claims that Israel has attempted to "change the city's demography," and accepted without challenge charges that Israeli construction on the outskirts of the city threatened to cut it off from Palestinian cities in the West Bank. Hauser is apparently unaware that Arabs in Jerusalem have actually built new housing units at a faster rate than have Jews.
        According to a detailed report by Justus Weiner, Illegal Construction in Jerusalem, the city "has authorized more than 36,000 permits for new housing units in the Arab sector, more than enough to meet the needs of Arab residents through legal construction until 2020"; and that "Both Arabs and Jews typically wait 4-6 weeks for permit approval, enjoy a similar rate of application approvals, and pay an identical fee ($3,600) for water and sewage hook-ups on the same size living unit." (CAMERA)
  • Is Zionism Colonialism? The Root Lie - Martin Kramer
    The tragedy of academy is that it has become home to countless people whose mission is to prove the lie that Zionism is colonialism. Thus research is undertaken, books are written, and lectures delivered to establish a falsehood. The investigation at Columbia University has shown that in some cases students are more credible than professors, even in the eyes of the university itself. Middle Eastern studies is an academic field where scholarship has taken a backseat to advocacy, a few biases became the highest credentials, and dissenting views became thought-crimes. (Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism)
  • Iran's New Dark Side - Nir Boms and Reza Bulorchi
    Since the election in Iran of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad under the banner of a renewed Islamic revolution, the clerical regime hanged six people and sentenced another to death in the past week alone. Far from being a "populist" son of a blacksmith who is hoisting the flag of class warfare against the "wretched rich and corrupt," Ahmadinejad's win can be attributed to his unquestioned loyalty to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the full support of the Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards top brass. A former commander of the Qods (Jerusalem) Force in the Guard Corps - tasked with planning and execution of terrorist plots and assassination abroad - Ahmadinejad was catapulted to presidency by the ultra-conservative faction. (Washington Times)
  • Arab Genocide, Arab Silence - Joseph Britt
    What responsibility do Arabs have to stop genocide being committed by Arabs? Genocide in the Darfur region of western Sudan, inflicted on mostly Muslim African tribespeople by the nomadic Arab militias called janjaweed with the enthusiastic assistance of the Arab-dominated Sudanese government, has been going on for over two years now. Egypt, with a huge army, a modern air force, and more contacts within Sudan than every Western country combined, has looked on while as many as 400,000 people have been slaughtered just beyond its southern border. Canada, by itself, has pledged more aid than all the Arab countries combined. (Washington Post)
  • Observations:

    Why Blame the Terrorists? It's Britain's Fault - Gerard Baker (Times-UK)

    • Why do they hate us? But the "they" of my question are not the al-Qaeda slaughterers, the jihadis from Leeds and elsewhere, and their sympathizers across Europe. I think we know by now why they hate us. The "they" of my question are the massed ranks of so many British opinion-formers, who act in a way that suggests they honestly think this country is the principal author of the bad things that happen to it.
    • Suppose we'd never invaded Iraq, and terrorists had blown up London in pursuit of their cause, what would the apologists have said about last week's attacks? In fact we know exactly what they would have said because many of them did say it after al-Qaeda attacked the U.S. on September 11 - long before any American or British soldier set foot in Afghanistan or Iraq. They said it was because of our support for Israel and its "brutal occupation of Palestinian territory," our complicity in the victimization of Arabs from the Balfour Declaration to the ascent of the Jewish lobby in America.
    • But what if there had never been an Israel and instead a Palestinian state existed peaceably in the heart of the Middle East, and the terrorists had still attacked us? What would the apologists have said then? They would have said, of course, that we were to blame for having abused the Arabs and Muslims generally for decades through our colonial ambitions and economic exploitation of Arabia and the broader Middle East.
    • And what if there had never been a British Empire and British occupation of Arab lands, and terrorists had still attacked us? Then it would have been the Crusades, and the long-standing ill-treatment of Muslims at the hands of deplorable Christian warriors.
    • And what if there had never been a crusade, and they'd still attacked us? I'm stumped at this point to confect an answer, but I can guarantee that whatever it was that would have been said it would have been Britain's fault.


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