Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Israel's Deadly Appeasement Process

A very important point very well expressed

by Alex Epstein and Edward Cline
Aug 29, '05 / 24 Av 5765

The Israeli withdrawal from Gaza is being portrayed as a wise (albeit unpleasant) move by Ariel Sharon. By addressing a longtime grievance of the Palestinians and their supporters -- the presence of Israeli security forces and Jewish residents on the Gaza strip -- we are told, Israel will abate the hatred that drives so many Palestinians to terrorism.

In fact, the Gaza withdrawal is a deadly act of appeasement toward Israel's committed enemies: the Palestinian Authority (PA), its rabidly anti-Semitic Palestinian supporters and other Arab regimes throughout the Middle East. It will only increase their hope and ability to achieve their long-standing goal: the obliteration of Israel.

Contrary to their pronouncements to Western media that they seek peace with Israel via a "reasonable" land-for-peace "compromise", the PA and its supporters have proven by their actions -- and by repeated statements in Arabic -- that they seek to destroy Israel. Due to their racist, tribalist, primitive philosophy, much of the Arab world seeks the eradication of Jews -- and, more broadly, Western Civilization -- from the Middle East. In polls taken, 80 percent of Palestinians say they do not regard Israel as legitimate. As for Israel's other Arab neighbors, they have attempted to destroy Israel in three previous wars.

Why have those who seek Israel's annihilation turned from open warfare to the negotiating table? Because they have learned that this -- combined with terrorism -- is their most effective means of destroying Israel.

Observe what the absurdly named "peace process" has consisted of. The PA and its Arab neighbors deliberately keep the Palestinians in misery, indoctrinate them with anti-Semitism and sponsor terrorism against Israel. They then blame Israel's "occupation" of territories won in a war of self-defense (and crucial for Israel's security today) for the Palestinians' misery, and blame the Palestinians' misery for Palestinian terrorism. The solution, they convince Israel and the West, is more land, loot and power for the "downtrodden" Palestinians; money which the Palestinian leadership uses to fund still more attacks on Israel.

By relying on terror and unearned guilt, the enemies of Israel have been able to undermine Israel's security and moral confidence in a way they never could by direct attack.

Consider the recent history. In response to his long record of terrorizing Israel in the name of "Palestinian liberation", Yasser Arafat got recognition as the "legitimate representative" of the Palestinians. Under the Oslo Accords, he was given billions in cash and a vast arsenal of deadly weapons for "security forces" that he would use to oppress Palestinians and terrorize Israel. Unsurprisingly, terrorism coupled with blaming Israel, having been handsomely rewarded, increased dramatically. Then, in 2000, Arafat was offered unprecedented territorial concessions; figuring he could get more by terrorism, he rejected the proposal and launched a second Intifada. The resulting escalation of terrorism, along with Arab nations claiming that anti-American terrorism stems from sympathy for the mistreatment of Palestinians, led to a promise from President George Bush for a Palestinian state and endless calls for Israel to show "restraint" in the face of a terrorist onslaught.

Terrorize Israel and blame it for the misery you inflict on Palestinians, the Palestinian leadership has been taught, and you shall be rewarded. Now, further terrorism and Israel-bashing have gotten the PA an unconditional withdrawal from Gaza -- a crucial launching base for Arab wars of the past, and an easy means from which to further terrorize Israel. Smelling blood, Palestinians and their beloved terror organizations are already boasting: "Today Gaza, tomorrow Jerusalem."

Any further Palestinian terrorism, of course, will simply be blamed on Israel not conceding enough, and we will be told that peace can only be achieved if Israel takes more "risks for peace"; i.e., continues to give Palestinian murderers more resources with which to launch their aggression.

The only way to stop Palestinian terrorism is for Israel to identify the PA and its supporters as the evil they are and to righteously defeat them. Not only should Israel retain Gaza, it should destroy the Palestinian leadership and do anything else necessary to eradicate the hope that drives Palestinian terrorism -- the hope of Israel's destruction.

Then, and only then, will Israel be able to adopt a new slogan of its own: "Yesterday Palestinian terrorism, today Palestinian defeat."

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Privlideged spies of the enemy

Why do Journalists feel they have the right to know everything that's going on in the army? why do newspapers feel they can print anything they want, even though it may very well lead to the deaths of troops? wherever they get it from, it didn't start anytime recently, as this excerpt from Grant's memoirs shows:

'There was a certain incident connected with the wilderness caampaign of which it may not be out of place to speak; and to avoid a digression further on I will mention it here.

a few days before my departure from culpepper the honorable E. B. Washburne visited me there, and remained with my headquarters for some distance to the wilderness and, I think, to spottsylvania. He was accompinied by a Mr. Swinton, whom he presented as a literary gentleman who wished to accompany the army with a view of writing a history of the war when it was over. He assured me -and I have no doubt Swinton gave him the assurance-that he was not present as a correspondent of the press. I expressed an entire unwillingness to have him (swinton) accompany the army, and would have allowed him to do so as a correspondent, restricted. however, in the character of the information he could give. We recieved Richmond Papers with about as much as regularity as if there had been no war, and knew that our papers were recieved with equal regularity by the confederates. It was desirable, therefore, that correspondents should not be privelidged spies of the enemy within our lines.

Probably Mr. Swinton expected be an invited guesy at my headquarters, and was disappointed that he was not asked to become so. At all events he was not invited, and soon I found that he was corresponding with some paper (I have now forgotten which one), thus violating his word either expressed or implied. He knew of the assurance Washburne had given as to the character of his mission. I never saw the man from the day of our introduction to the present that I recollect. He accompanied us, however, for a time at least.

The second night after crossing the rapidan (the night of the 5th of may) Colonel W. R. Rowley, of my staff, was acting as night officer at mt headquarters. a short time before midnight I gave him verbal instructions for the night. Three days later I read in a Richmond paper a verbatim report of these instructions.

A few nights still later (after the first, and possibly after the second day's fighting at the wilderness) General Meade came to my tent for consultation, bringing with him some of his staff officers. both his staff and mine retired to the camp-fire some yards in front of my tent, thinking our conversationshould be pivate. One of my Staff, Colonel T. S. Bowers, saw what he took to be a man seated on the ground and leaning against a stump, listening to the conversation between Meade and myself. He called the attention of Colonel Rowley to it. The latter immediately took the man by the shoulder and asked him, in language more forceful than polite, what he was doing there. The man proved to be Swinton the "historian," and his replies to the question were evasive and unsatisfactory, and he wa warned against further eaves-dropping.

The next I heard of Mr. Swinton was at Cold Harbor. General Meade came to my headquarters saying that General Burnside had arrested Swinton, who at some previous time had given great offence, and had ordered him to be shot that afternoon. I promptly ordered the prisoner to be released, but that he must be expelled from the lines of the army not to return again on pain of punishment.'

How this mania for 'Freedom of the Press' even in army headquarters started, I don't know. But it is a great problem that will have to be dealt with.

A War to Be Proud Of

I found this on weeklystandard.com (good stuff there) I found this to be a well-written expression of what we all know but(I at least) have never been able to express satisactorily.

From the September 5 / September 12, 2005 issue: The case for overthrowing Saddam was unimpeachable. Why, then, is the administration tongue-tied?
by Christopher Hitchens
09/05/2005, Volume 010, Issue 47

LET ME BEGIN WITH A simple sentence that, even as I write it, appears less than Swiftian in the modesty of its proposal: "Prison conditions at Abu Ghraib have improved markedly and dramatically since the arrival of Coalition troops in Baghdad."

I could undertake to defend that statement against any member of Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International, and I know in advance that none of them could challenge it, let alone negate it. Before March 2003, Abu Ghraib was an abattoir, a torture chamber, and a concentration camp. Now, and not without reason, it is an international byword for Yankee imperialism and sadism. Yet the improvement is still, unarguably, the difference between night and day. How is it possible that the advocates of a post-Saddam Iraq have been placed on the defensive in this manner? And where should one begin?

I once tried to calculate how long the post-Cold War liberal Utopia had actually lasted. Whether you chose to date its inception from the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, or the death of Nicolae Ceausescu in late December of the same year, or the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, or the referendum defeat suffered by Augusto Pinochet (or indeed from the publication of Francis Fukuyama's book about the "end of history" and the unarguable triumph of market liberal pluralism), it was an epoch that in retrospect was over before it began. By the middle of 1990, Saddam Hussein had abolished Kuwait and Slobodan Milosevic was attempting to erase

the identity and the existence of Bosnia. It turned out that we had not by any means escaped the reach of atavistic, aggressive, expansionist, and totalitarian ideology. Proving the same point in another way, and within approximately the same period, the theocratic dictator of Iran had publicly claimed the right to offer money in his own name for the suborning of the murder of a novelist living in London, and the génocidaire faction in Rwanda had decided that it could probably get away with putting its long-fantasized plan of mass murder into operation.

One is not mentioning these apparently discrepant crimes and nightmares as a random or unsorted list. Khomeini, for example, was attempting to compensate for the humiliation of the peace agreement he had been compelled to sign with Saddam Hussein. And Saddam Hussein needed to make up the loss, of prestige and income, that he had himself suffered in the very same war. Milosevic (anticipating Putin, as it now seems to me, and perhaps Beijing also) was riding a mutation of socialist nationalism into national socialism. It was to be noticed in all cases that the aggressors, whether they were killing Muslims, or exalting Islam, or just killing their neighbors, shared a deep and abiding hatred of the United States.

The balance sheet of the Iraq war, if it is to be seriously drawn up, must also involve a confrontation with at least this much of recent history. Was the Bush administration right to leave--actually to confirm--Saddam Hussein in power after his eviction from Kuwait in 1991? Was James Baker correct to say, in his delightfully folksy manner, that the United States did not "have a dog in the fight" that involved ethnic cleansing for the mad dream of a Greater Serbia? Was the Clinton administration prudent in its retreat from Somalia, or wise in its opposition to the U.N. resolution that called for a preemptive strengthening of the U.N. forces in Rwanda?

I know hardly anybody who comes out of this examination with complete credit. There were neoconservatives who jeered at Rushdie in 1989 and who couldn't see the point when Sarajevo faced obliteration in 1992. There were leftist humanitarians and radicals who rallied to Rushdie and called for solidarity with Bosnia, but who--perhaps because of a bad conscience about Palestine--couldn't face a confrontation with Saddam Hussein even when he annexed a neighbor state that was a full member of the Arab League and of the U.N. (I suppose I have to admit that I was for a time a member of that second group.) But there were consistencies, too. French statecraft, for example, was uniformly hostile to any resistance to any aggression, and Paris even sent troops to rescue its filthy clientele in Rwanda. And some on the hard left and the brute right were also opposed to any exercise, for any reason, of American military force.

The only speech by any statesman that can bear reprinting from that low, dishonest decade came from Tony Blair when he spoke in Chicago in 1999. Welcoming the defeat and overthrow of Milosevic after the Kosovo intervention, he warned against any self-satisfaction and drew attention to an inescapable confrontation that was coming with Saddam Hussein. So far from being an American "poodle," as his taunting and ignorant foes like to sneer, Blair had in fact leaned on Clinton over Kosovo and was insisting on the importance of Iraq while George Bush was still an isolationist governor of Texas.

Notwithstanding this prescience and principle on his part, one still cannot read the journals of the 2000/2001 millennium without the feeling that one is revisiting a hopelessly somnambulist relative in a neglected home. I am one of those who believe, uncynically, that Osama bin Laden did us all a service (and holy war a great disservice) by his mad decision to assault the American homeland four years ago. Had he not made this world-historical mistake, we would have been able to add a Talibanized and nuclear-armed Pakistan to our list of the threats we failed to recognize in time. (This threat still exists, but it is no longer so casually overlooked.)

The subsequent liberation of Pakistan's theocratic colony in Afghanistan, and the so-far decisive eviction and defeat of its bin Ladenist guests, was only a reprisal. It took care of the last attack. But what about the next one? For anyone with eyes to see, there was only one other state that combined the latent and the blatant definitions of both "rogue" and "failed." This state--Saddam's ruined and tortured and collapsing Iraq--had also met all the conditions under which a country may be deemed to have sacrificed its own legal sovereignty. To recapitulate: It had invaded its neighbors, committed genocide on its own soil, harbored and nurtured international thugs and killers, and flouted every provision of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The United Nations, in this crisis, faced with regular insult to its own resolutions and its own character, had managed to set up a system of sanctions-based mutual corruption. In May 2003, had things gone on as they had been going, Saddam Hussein would have been due to fill Iraq's slot as chair of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament. Meanwhile, every species of gangster from the hero of the Achille Lauro hijacking to Abu Musab al Zarqawi was finding hospitality under Saddam's crumbling roof.

One might have thought, therefore, that Bush and Blair's decision to put an end at last to this intolerable state of affairs would be hailed, not just as a belated vindication of long-ignored U.N. resolutions but as some corrective to the decade of shame and inaction that had just passed in Bosnia and Rwanda. But such is not the case. An apparent consensus exists, among millions of people in Europe and America, that the whole operation for the demilitarization of Iraq, and the salvage of its traumatized society, was at best a false pretense and at worst an unprovoked aggression. How can this possibly be?

THERE IS, first, the problem of humorless and pseudo-legalistic literalism. In Saki's short story The Lumber Room, the naughty but clever child Nicholas, who has actually placed a frog in his morning bread-and-milk, rejoices in his triumph over the adults who don't credit this excuse for not eating his healthful dish:

"You said there couldn't possibly be a frog in my bread-and-milk; there was a frog in my bread-and-milk," he repeated, with the insistence of a skilled tactician who does not intend to shift from favorable ground.

Childishness is one thing--those of us who grew up on this wonderful Edwardian author were always happy to see the grown-ups and governesses discomfited. But puerility in adults is quite another thing, and considerably less charming. "You said there were WMDs in Iraq and that Saddam had friends in al Qaeda. . . . Blah, blah, pants on fire." I have had many opportunities to tire of this mantra. It takes ten seconds to intone the said mantra. It would take me, on my most eloquent C-SPAN day, at the very least five minutes to say that Abdul Rahman Yasin, who mixed the chemicals for the World Trade Center attack in 1993, subsequently sought and found refuge in Baghdad; that Dr. Mahdi Obeidi, Saddam's senior physicist, was able to lead American soldiers to nuclear centrifuge parts and a blueprint for a complete centrifuge (the crown jewel of nuclear physics) buried on the orders of Qusay Hussein; that Saddam's agents were in Damascus as late as February 2003, negotiating to purchase missiles off the shelf from North Korea; or that Rolf Ekeus, the great Swedish socialist who founded the inspection process in Iraq after 1991, has told me for the record that he was offered a $2 million bribe in a face-to-face meeting with Tariq Aziz. And these eye-catching examples would by no means exhaust my repertoire, or empty my quiver. Yes, it must be admitted that Bush and Blair made a hash of a good case, largely because they preferred to scare people rather than enlighten them or reason with them. Still, the only real strategy of deception has come from those who believe, or pretend, that Saddam Hussein was no problem.

I have a ready answer to those who accuse me of being an agent and tool of the Bush-Cheney administration (which is the nicest thing that my enemies can find to say). Attempting a little levity, I respond that I could stay at home if the authorities could bother to make their own case, but that I meanwhile am a prisoner of what I actually do know about the permanent hell, and the permanent threat, of the Saddam regime. However, having debated almost all of the spokespeople for the antiwar faction, both the sane and the deranged, I was recently asked a question that I was temporarily unable to answer. "If what you claim is true," the honest citizen at this meeting politely asked me, "how come the White House hasn't told us?"

I do in fact know the answer to this question. So deep and bitter is the split within official Washington, most especially between the Defense Department and the CIA, that any claim made by the former has been undermined by leaks from the latter. (The latter being those who maintained, with a combination of dogmatism and cowardice not seen since Lincoln had to fire General McClellan, that Saddam Hussein was both a "secular" actor and--this is the really rich bit--a rational and calculating one.)

There's no cure for that illusion, but the resulting bureaucratic chaos and unease has cornered the president into his current fallback upon platitude and hollowness. It has also induced him to give hostages to fortune. The claim that if we fight fundamentalism "over there" we won't have to confront it "over here" is not just a standing invitation for disproof by the next suicide-maniac in London or Chicago, but a coded appeal to provincial and isolationist opinion in the United States. Surely the elementary lesson of the grim anniversary that will shortly be upon us is that American civilians are as near to the front line as American soldiers.

It is exactly this point that makes nonsense of the sob-sister tripe pumped out by the Cindy Sheehan circus and its surrogates. But in reply, why bother to call a struggle "global" if you then try to localize it? Just say plainly that we shall fight them everywhere they show themselves, and fight them on principle as well as in practice, and get ready to warn people that Nigeria is very probably the next target of the jihadists. The peaceniks love to ask: When and where will it all end? The answer is easy: It will end with the surrender or defeat of one of the contending parties. Should I add that I am certain which party that ought to be? Defeat is just about imaginable, though the mathematics and the algebra tell heavily against the holy warriors. Surrender to such a foe, after only four years of combat, is not even worthy of consideration.

Antaeus was able to draw strength from the earth every time an antagonist wrestled him to the ground. A reverse mythology has been permitted to take hold in the present case, where bad news is deemed to be bad news only for regime-change. Anyone with the smallest knowledge of Iraq knows that its society and infrastructure and institutions have been appallingly maimed and beggared by three decades of war and fascism (and the "divide-and-rule" tactics by which Saddam maintained his own tribal minority of the Sunni minority in power). In logic and morality, one must therefore compare the current state of the country with the likely or probable state of it had Saddam and his sons been allowed to go on ruling.

At once, one sees that all the alternatives would have been infinitely worse, and would most likely have led to an implosion--as well as opportunistic invasions from Iran and Turkey and Saudi Arabia, on behalf of their respective interests or confessional clienteles. This would in turn have necessitated a more costly and bloody intervention by some kind of coalition, much too late and on even worse terms and conditions. This is the lesson of Bosnia and Rwanda yesterday, and of Darfur today. When I have made this point in public, I have never had anyone offer an answer to it. A broken Iraq was in our future no matter what, and was a responsibility (somewhat conditioned by our past blunders) that no decent person could shirk. The only unthinkable policy was one of abstention.

Two pieces of good fortune still attend those of us who go out on the road for this urgent and worthy cause. The first is contingent: There are an astounding number of plain frauds and charlatans (to phrase it at its highest) in charge of the propaganda of the other side. Just to tell off the names is to frighten children more than Saki ever could: Michael Moore, George Galloway, Jacques Chirac, Tim Robbins, Richard Clarke, Joseph Wilson . . . a roster of gargoyles that would send Ripley himself into early retirement. Some of these characters are flippant, and make heavy jokes about Halliburton, and some disdain to conceal their sympathy for the opposite side. So that's easy enough.

The second bit of luck is a certain fiber displayed by a huge number of anonymous Americans. Faced with a constant drizzle of bad news and purposely demoralizing commentary, millions of people stick out their jaws and hang tight. I am no fan of populism, but I surmise that these citizens are clear on the main point: It is out of the question--plainly and absolutely out of the question--that we should surrender the keystone state of the Middle East to a rotten, murderous alliance between Baathists and bin Ladenists. When they hear the fatuous insinuation that this alliance has only been created by the resistance to it, voters know in their intestines that those who say so are soft on crime and soft on fascism. The more temperate anti-warriors, such as Mark Danner and Harold Meyerson, like to employ the term "a war of choice." One should have no problem in accepting this concept. As they cannot and do not deny, there was going to be another round with Saddam Hussein no matter what. To whom, then, should the "choice" of time and place have fallen? The clear implication of the antichoice faction--if I may so dub them--is that this decision should have been left up to Saddam Hussein. As so often before . . .

DOES THE PRESIDENT deserve the benefit of the reserve of fortitude that I just mentioned? Only just, if at all. We need not argue about the failures and the mistakes and even the crimes, because these in some ways argue themselves. But a positive accounting could be offered without braggartry, and would include:

(1) The overthrow of Talibanism and Baathism, and the exposure of many highly suggestive links between the two elements of this Hitler-Stalin pact. Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who moved from Afghanistan to Iraq before the coalition intervention, has even gone to the trouble of naming his organization al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

(2) The subsequent capitulation of Qaddafi's Libya in point of weapons of mass destruction--a capitulation that was offered not to Kofi Annan or the E.U. but to Blair and Bush.

(3) The consequent unmasking of the A.Q. Khan network for the illicit transfer of nuclear technology to Libya, Iran, and North Korea.

(4) The agreement by the United Nations that its own reform is necessary and overdue, and the unmasking of a quasi-criminal network within its elite.

(5) The craven admission by President Chirac and Chancellor Schröder, when confronted with irrefutable evidence of cheating and concealment, respecting solemn treaties, on the part of Iran, that not even this will alter their commitment to neutralism. (One had already suspected as much in the Iraqi case.)

(6) The ability to certify Iraq as actually disarmed, rather than accept the word of a psychopathic autocrat.

(7) The immense gains made by the largest stateless minority in the region--the Kurds--and the spread of this example to other states.

(8) The related encouragement of democratic and civil society movements in Egypt, Syria, and most notably Lebanon, which has regained a version of its autonomy.

(9) The violent and ignominious death of thousands of bin Ladenist infiltrators into Iraq and Afghanistan, and the real prospect of greatly enlarging this number.

(10) The training and hardening of many thousands of American servicemen and women in a battle against the forces of nihilism and absolutism, which training and hardening will surely be of great use in future combat.

It would be admirable if the president could manage to make such a presentation. It would also be welcome if he and his deputies adopted a clear attitude toward the war within the war: in other words, stated plainly, that the secular and pluralist forces within Afghan and Iraqi society, while they are not our clients, can in no circumstance be allowed to wonder which outcome we favor.

The great point about Blair's 1999 speech was that it asserted the obvious. Coexistence with aggressive regimes or expansionist, theocratic, and totalitarian ideologies is not in fact possible. One should welcome this conclusion for the additional reason that such coexistence is not desirable, either. If the great effort to remake Iraq as a demilitarized federal and secular democracy should fail or be defeated, I shall lose sleep for the rest of my life in reproaching myself for doing too little. But at least I shall have the comfort of not having offered, so far as I can recall, any word or deed that contributed to a defeat.

Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair. His most recent book is Thomas Jefferson: Author of America. A recent essay of his appears in the collection A Matter of Principle: Humanitarian Arguments for War in Iraq, newly published by the University of California Press.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

On this day

On Aug. 25, 1944, Paris was liberated by Allied forces after four years of Nazi occupation.

From the Hamas charter

World Zionism, together with imperialistic powers, try through a studied plan and an intelligent strategy to remove one Arab state after another from the circle of struggle against Zionism, in order to have it finally face the Palestinian people only. Egypt was, to a great extent, removed from the circle of the struggle, through the treacherous Camp David Agreement. They are trying to draw other Arab countries into similar agreements and to bring them outside the circle of struggle.

Through the bombast, this is broadly what we(world Zionisistic imperialists) are trying to do.

whadda ya know! they got something right,

The pot calling the kettle black

This is an excerpt from te Hamas charter:

'Now and then the call goes out for the convening of an international conference to look for ways of solving the (Palestinian) question. Some accept, others reject the idea, for this or other reason, with one stipulation or more for consent to convening the conference and participating in it. Knowing the parties constituting the conference, their past and present attitudes towards Moslem problems, the Islamic Resistance Movement does not consider these conferences capable of realising the demands, restoring the rights or doing justice to the oppressed. These conferences are only ways of setting the infidels in the land of the Moslems as arbitraters. When did the infidels do justice to the believers?'

I'm reminded of Grant's Memoirs when he's in St. Louis just after colonel Blair took camp Jackson: He got on a streetcar going to meet the troops as they got back, while he was riding, he saw a crowd of Unionists taking down a confederate flag when a man climbed aboard and, expecting a sympathetic ear, said: "Things have come to a pretty pass when a free people can't choose their own flag. Where I come from if a man dares to say a word in favor of the Union we hang him to a limb of the first tree we come to."
Grant looked at him and replied: "We are not so intolerant in St. Louis as we might be; I have not seen a single rebel hung yet, or heard of one; there are pleny of them who ought to be however."

Did you know...

There are a lot of people in the US who have the atitude that the Palestinian terror groups are Israel's problem. maybe some of you are reading this, but did you know...

...that Hamas and Islamic Jihad have close ties with Al Qaeda?

...that the Hamas charter calls for the destruction of 'secret brotherhoods' and specifically mentions the lion's club and the Freemasons?

...that on september 11th 2001 palestinians were dancing in the streets in Gaza?

...that pro-Palestinian groups on the US refuse to condemn terrorist attacks in Israel or elsewhere?

...that a few of the men who flew the airliners into the world trade center were palestinian and possibly were recruited from Hamas?

...that Hamas has chapter houses in forty of the fifty states?

Just something to think about

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Something of a rant

I've never thought that Racial Profiling is really 'Racist'. it's very simple: nearly all terrorists in the world are arab muslims between the ages of seventeen and forty. That's the sort of people we should be looking for, any other policy will threaten the security of the nation and the lives of it's citizens.

Here in Israel, Profiling is used with great success to stop thousands of attacks every year, Druze and Bedouin guards are being specially hired to single out Arab muslims(Druze and Bedouins are arabs, but not muslim: so they have an easier time differianting between themselves than outsiders, much like non-americans can't tell the difference between a Yank, a Texan, or a Canadian) and so reduce the inconvenience to other people: The simple fact is that Profiling WORKS. It's also a fact that our enemy is more Racist than we could ever be:

Racist rapes: Finally the truth comes out
By Miranda Devine
July 14 2002 The Sun-Herald
"So now we know the facts, straight from the Supreme Court, that a group of Lebanese Muslim gang rapists from south-western Sydney hunted their victims on the basis of their ethnicity and subjected them to hours of degrading, dehumanising torture. The young women, and girls as young as 14, were "sluts" and "Aussie pigs", the rapists said. So now that some of the perpetrators are in jail, will those people who cried racism and media "sensationalism" hang their heads in shame? Hardly."

They intend to kill us, Rape our women, enslave our children, destroy our works, live in our houses, subvert for themselves everything we hold dear(and if I seem to be talking strange, that's how I get when I'm on high Rant). Profiling is a weapon to use to defend ourselves against our enemies; it would be Idiotic not to use it, because it is extremely effective both as a weapon and as a shield; all those who argue against it are as guilty as those who kill our children.

I use the Pronoun 'They' to mean our enemy, not because they are one unit, they are not organized enough for that, but because they are so similiar in Actions, Methods, Weapons and Goals that they are effectively one Enemy who is Ill-organized But hell-Bent on our destruction.

That's my rant, if you didn't like it, you may go jump in a lake.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A shift in color

have you seen pictures of Israel and compared them to pictures of Arab states right next to Israel? If you haven't, the difference is simple: where Jews live, it's green. Where Arabs live, it's brown.

Now i'm not trying to impugn any good people; there are many Arabs who are trying to irrigate land, plant trees and otherwise reclaim land(nearly all of them in Jordan), but the fact remains that many of the borders can be discerned by the color change: on the green side; Israel, on the Brown side; Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, or PA-controlled areas(I suppose I should call them Palestine now that the expulsion is complete).

I've heard some people say that it is because the Arabs don't try to reclaim their land. There is a great deal of truth in this, but I believe there is something more to it: During the Turkish rule of Palestine, there were many Arabs farming the land, and they could barely live on subsistance farming. Even after the British took over and set people to working the land, it wasn't until Jews began arriving in great numbers that Palestine became more than desert. A case in point is the Gaza strip: when the first Zionists(properly pronounced 'tsionists') arrived, it was literally a swamp; they bought the land, paid good money for it to the Turksh government and set about reclaiming the swamp: Today, it is one of the most beautiful places in the middle east. Though how long that will last now that the PA(read: Palestinian Terrorists) has control of it, I don't want to know.

The more to it that I've become slightly diverted from is this: The Jews were coming HOME. They were coming to the land that had been promised them not only by god, but also by the British government: They had reached their home, they were working not only survive, but to make it beautiful.

So anyway, that's my schpiel, I hope you found it informative and entertainng.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Gush Katif Letters

by Moti Sender
Aug 21, '05 / 16 Av 5765

The following is the letter my dear wife, Hanna Sender, my beloved partner to life and to the dream named Ganei Tal, wrote to the IDF soldiers sent to expel us. It was posted on our door the afternoon that we left the house.

The next morning, the letter was given to the soldiers by my son and daughter-in-law, who had stayed in the house until the very last moment according to our agreement with the army. The letter was read by the expelling soldiers and passed around to many others who heard of it. My son received a number of heart-rending letters from soldiers who participated in the expulsion at Ganei Tal.

This is the letter:

Wednesday, August 17, 2005, the day we were expelled from Gush Katif

Dear soldier,

No, this is not weakness.

Nor is it surrender.

Although we are not here anymore.

I do not have the physical or emotional strength to wait for you here in my home.

I left out of concern for our health and welfare instead of meeting you face-to-face. I just do not have the strength for that. I know with all my heart that I have done everything in my power, by democratic means and through prayer, to ward off this terrible thing.

Twenty-seven years ago, we arrived here, a young couple with two children. Here, another four were born. Three of our grandchildren also live here in Gush Katif, in the town of N'vei Dekalim. We built a nursery for houseplants and not many years ago founded the katif.net web site.

We were raised, and we raised our children, too, to believe in God, and to love our land, including Gush Katif.

Gush Katif is our whole life. We know no other.

But if this was fated to happen, it must be God's will. Even if we do not understand His reasons, we believe that everything that happens in this world is due to His will.

So, I am getting up and leaving my home.

I am leaving in great sadness. It is terribly difficult for me. My hands and legs are weak. Whoever does not experience this can never understand, even if they say they do. But I pray to God that there will never be other people who will have to understand the way we did.

But I also know that we won!

We won because we are still here today.

We won because we overcame so many difficulties over the years - economic difficulties, security problems, a geographical location that was not always convenient.

We won because in our struggle we kept our faith in God and our belief in His love for His people.

We won because we did all we could for our land and our people.

We won because today we leave with a broken heart, but with our heads held high.

We won because we have left behind a twenty-seven year history of building and productivity in Ganei Tal.

We won because our life in Gush Katif was entwined in the life of the entire people of Israel.

We won because our struggle will never be forgotten.

We won because Gush Katif will never be forgotten. Gush Katif will become part of Jewish and Zionist history; it will become not just another chapter, but a symbol, a model to be imitated.

We won because we believe that our task is not finished.

We won because we know that we must go on.

We won because we love you, dear soldier!

Dear soldier:

I have no doubt that the task you were given is terribly hard for you, no matter what your political philosophy and opinions are.

I am putting my house at your disposal. Use it as long as you need, and show respect toward it when you leave.

You will probably meet two of my children who decided to wait for you here. Please treat them with consideration and respect and make sure they come back to us healthy and well.

Let us be strong, for the sake of our people and for the sake of God's cities. And may God do as He sees fit.

Moti and Hanna Sender, Ganei Tal

The following amazing letter was written by a soldier who had come with the unit that had been ordered to expel the people of Ganei Tal. The letter is a reply to the above letter, which was read to the group of soldiers who had come to our modest abode.

This is the third time I've tried to write this note, in which I want to say what I cannot express in speech. Even in writing, I cannot describe how heartfelt these words are.

In these times, I find myself thinking mainly about the future: how will I be able to live a moral, Jewish life, and work toward the attainment of the ideals in which I believe?

I think about these things because I know that this community succeeded in building a life like that. My greatest fear was that the truly ethical entity that grew in these dunes would disintegrate. I did not know what I would have to face when I arrived today.

Now that the moment has arrived, I understand that I am standing face to face with exactly the kind of life I'd like to live.

I thank you for having opened your hearts and told your story. The moment I just experienced with you gives me hope for the future of this people that I love so much.

Thank you,

A. S. (the soldier's full name is in Katif.net files)

Friday, August 19, 2005

On this Day

On Aug. 19, 1934, a plebiscite in Germany approved the vesting of sole executive power in Adolf Hitler as Fuhrer.

Sorry I haven't posted the last couple days, I been nusy. I hope this fits your fancy:

A Katyusha rocket struck Eilat, on Israel's southernmost tip, Friday morning. Simultaneously, explosions ripped through a US military base in Aqaba, Jordan, across the border from Eilat.

The rocket attack on Eilat, situated on the Red Sea, occurred at 9:30am, with the impact zone located dangerously close to a runway in Eilat airport, near a number of resort hotels. There were no injuries in the attack, although property damage was reported. IDF officials confirm the attack was a Katyusha rocket, but indications are that there was only a partial detonation.

In the Jordanian city of Aqaba, according to the Al-Jazeera news agency, there were a number of injuries and an unspecified number of people were transported to hospital as a result of an explosion in a closed US military area. Jordanian government officials confirmed reports of the explosion.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that three projectiles may have been fired from Jordan, with two mortars landing in the Hashemite kingdom and one Katyusha landing in Eilat.

No organization has as yet claimed responsibility for the two attacks. Katyusha rockets have been an important part of the Hizbullah terrorist organization arsenal in Lebanon.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Uneducated opinion on Kelo

By Jeff Harrell
Friday, June 24, 2005

So I’ve read the 58-page Kelo v. New London opinion. Supreme Court opinions are really very readable if you just skip over all the citations. They’re just … thorough.

This case boils down to precedent versus common sense, and it was a very close decision. Speaking for Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Souter and Ginsberg, Justice Stevens cited precedent after precedent in his opinion for the majority. Justice O’Connor’s dissenting opinion, to which Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices Scalia and Thomas added their names, is a scathing indictment of what she calls the Court’s abandonment of a “long-held, basic limitation on government power.”

After reading the opinion, I have to say that I reluctantly side with the majority. I agree with Justice O’Connor in principle, but I think it’s proper for the Court to rule on this case, not issue a preemptive ruling on the next case.

Summarized to the point of absurdity, the case goes like this: The city of New London fell on hard times, and the government authorized a series of developments intended to stimulate the local economy. To carry out the plan, it was necessary for the city to buy some privately owned property. If the owners were unwilling to sell, the city was prepared to invoke the doctrine of eminent domain.

Put simply, the doctrine of eminent domain says that the government can force you to sell your land for a fair price. Typically the doctrine is used to take land from people in order to build something like a road; in this case, it was used to take land for commercial development — offices and retail and such.

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution says, in part, that no private property can be taken for public use without just compensation. This establishes two criteria for seizure of private property: The property seized has to be intended for public use, and the owners of the seized property have to be justly compensated. This has come to be known as the “takings clause.” In this case, some property owners who didn’t want to sell their land — including one little old lady who’d lived in the same house since 1918 — sued the city on the grounds that commercial development is not public use; the issue of compensation didn’t come into it, presumably because the city was prepared to give the owners a fair price for their land.

The question the Supreme Court had to answer was whether taking private property for the purpose of economic revitalization qualifies as a public use. It’s pretty easy to get everybody to agree that turning land into a state park would qualify as public use; so would building a school. But in this case, the city of New London wanted to take private property and turn it into, among other things, retail stores and office space.

In the opinion for the (slim) majority, Justice John Paul Stevens (who whatever his faults has the coolest name of all the justices on the bench) cites a bunch of cases that I’ve never heard of as evidence that the Supreme Court long ago abandoned the narrow interpretation of the phrase “public use.” Being neither educated in the law nor sufficiently patient to look up all those citations, I shall take the Justice’s word for it. Justice Stevens argues in his opinion that because the city’s development plan “unquestionably serves a public purpose,” the takings are permitted under the Fifth Amendment.

Justice O’Connor, in her impassioned dissent, starts from first principles and argues that anything other than a narrow interpretation of “public use” is just plain wrong. “We begin with the unremarkable presumption,” she writes wryly, “that every word in the [Constitution] has independent meaning.” She goes on to say that while the Court gives the various legislatures a lot of room to decide for themselves what constitutes the public good, “were the political branches the sole arbiters of the public-private distinction, the Public Use Clause would amount to little more than hortatory fluff.” I had to look up “horatory.” Turns out it means “tending or aiming to strongly encourage or urge.” File that one under the Scrabble nuclear option.

Justice O’Connor makes the argument that with Kelo the Court significantly broadened the meaning of public use, opening the door for cities to seize private property for purely economic motives. For instance, “any single-family home that might be razed to make way for an apartment building, or any church that might be replaced with a retail store, or any small business that might be more lucrative if it were instead part of a national franchise” could be seized by the government under the takings clause. Justice Stevens responds to this point in his majority opinion, saying that this particular case is not an example of such a seizure, and that the Court can deal with such cases “if and when they arise.”

This is one of those crappy instances in which both sides are correct. Justice Stevens for the majority is correct when he points out that the Court has rejected the narrow interpretation of the public use requirement. But Justice O’Connor is correct when she argues that a broad interpretation of public use basically makes the requirement itself moot and opens the door to future abuses.

I hate to say it, but I have to come down on the side of the majority on this one. In this particular case, it seems clear to me that the city of New London is in desperate need of economic help, and that the purpose of the proposed development is to revitalize the local economy and get the city back on track. The city’s intentions are sound, and that the abuses which Justice O’Connor fears are not a part of this case.

There may well be a case at some point in the future where a municipality wants to condemn a strip club and turn it into a Barnes & Noble, or some other clear abuse of the takings clause. In that case, I hope the Court will choose to part with precedent and enjoin cities from seizing private property just because they feel like it. If they don’t, then we’ll have something to get outraged about.

Of course, the ultima ratio regum here is the legislative option. We could always persuade some Congressman (Rob Simmons of the Connecticut 2nd, for example) to introduce a Constitutional amendment clarifying the takings clause. That would settle the issue once and for all.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Who Needs 1,500 Lawyers?

(I got this from www.electricvenom.com there's some good stuff there)
Tuesday August 09th 2005, 12:50 pm
Spewed in: War Bites, Law Bites
4 Hisses

With a month left until the first trial to truly earn the title “The Trial of the Century,” Saddam Hussein’s family has fired his defense team. All 1,500 of them.

“There are too many people in the world who are claiming they are defending the president without the family’s knowledge and we don’t know who authorised them,” said Abdel Haq Alani, the legal consultant of Raghd, Saddam’s eldest daughter who is authorised to act on behalf of the ousted leader’s family.

He said Saddam’s family had revoked any right of attorney previously issued to any lawyers to represent Saddam, and had chosen Iraqi lawyer Khalil Dulaimi who attends Saddam’s court hearings as the “only authorised lawyer at this moment”.

Alani said the move was prompted by family concerns that Saddam’s defence could be scuppered by conflicting legal opinions and bickering among the hundreds of international lawyers claiming to represent him. (Source: Herald Sun.)

No doubt it’s a wise move. After Saddam’s convicted and sentenced to a slow death, the fewer attorneys the Hussein family has to kill, the better.

Book of Lamentations

by Naomi Ragen
Aug 14, '05 / 9 Av 5765

The Ninth of Av, anniversary of the destruction of the First and Second Temples, is traditionally a day of fasting, prayer and lamentation. But never before have I felt it so deeply, or has its shadow fallen so heavily over my heart as I mourn not only events long past, but those overtaking us even as I type these words.

Even before the Sabbath was out, we gathered in the synagogue to recite the Book of Lamentations, which we do every year. What frightening and heartbreaking relevance were in the words: "Remember O Lord what is come upon us. Behold, see our reproach. Our inheritance is turned unto strangers, our houses unto aliens.... Men said among the nations: 'They shall no more sojourn here.'"

I can't help thinking of those sitting in their synagogues in Gush Katif for the very last time, knowing their houses of worship will be bulldozed by their own soldiers.

When I return home, I turn on the television, and the news broadcasts the open meeting of Hamas, all its leaders gathered together, all those who once trembled underground for fear of Israeli reprisals, now openly celebrating, declaring that the "retreat from Gaza" is to their credit, because of their acts; proof that their ways of terror are the right way. And that they must continue.

Later, we hear Abu Mazen say the same. It's a victory. Next they will "liberate Jerusalem." In Gaza, the Palestinian celebrations have already begun. Large inflated balloons in the shape of Kassam rockets grace their celebrations, to commemorate the 6,000 rockets that have fallen on Gush Katif, implying that the residents are fleeing.

"All thine enemies have opened up their mouths wide against thee. They hiss and gnash their teeth. They say: 'We have swallowed her up; Certainly this is the day that we looked for; We have found it, we have seen it.'" (from the Book of Lamentations)

President George Bush grants an exclusive interview to an Israeli reporter, broadcast on Israeli television. I listen to the smiling president talk about how the disengagement will now set the stage for the Palestinians to prove they can rule and defeat the terrorist groups in their midst. And I think: 'Was this little strip of land, then, all that stood between the Palestinian Authority keeping its part of the Road Map, gathering up the arms of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade, and a dozen more Jihadi death squads? Can any sane person really believe that?'

This morning, I turn to the news page of Ynet and learn that the residents of Gush Katif are not planning to wait for the army to politely walk in and hand them eviction notices, telling them that after August 15, it will be against the law for any Jew to remain in Gush Katif. There is talk of the government turning off gas and water supplies to the Gush. Already, army checkpoints have stopped supplies of food, medicine and diapers from coming through. There is a shortage and supermarket shelves are close to empty. Our synagogue appeals to us to gather supplies and send them, for apparently, that is still possible.

The residents aren't planning to make it easy to for the army. They plan to lock the gates of their communities, and sit in the roads to block the bulldozers and tanks. I know for a fact that many people have already packed and left, but some of them couldn't convince their older children to leave, their seventeen- and twenty-year-olds, who insist on staying behind to face those entrusted with carrying out the government's orders to destroy the entire community and hand it over to the Palestinians.

I think of our young sons, our soldiers, sent in to face the determined settlers of Gush Katif, people who have withstood with unmatched bravery thousands of brutal terror attacks, people who will be sitting tired and hungry and thirsty on the dusty roads in the brutally sweltering heat of Gaza, in a desperate attempt to ward off the destruction of their homes and communities.

I love them both. I fear for them both. I do not want to choose between them.

I think of the terrorist who opened fired in Kfar Darom last night and how, during the military operation (which killed him), an errant tank shell critically injured a young officer and wounded four of his men. I think of my people facing each other on this terrible day, while in the background, our enemies rejoice.

How, how has it come to this?

"She weeps into the night and her tears are on her cheeks. Among all those who loved her, she has no comforter; All her friends have betrayed her and become her enemies." (Lamentations1,2)

I wipe away my own tears, which fall for everyone in this, my beloved little country, caught up in this strange madness.

God help us through this and give us back our sanity.

copyright 2005 Naomi Ragen

An appeal to the Israeli left

Visiting Yad VaShem Before Disengagement
by Nachum Kligman
Aug 14, '05 / 9 Av 5765

I went to Yad VaShem to prepare myself for Tisha B'Av, but I couldn't stop thinking about the deportation of the Jews from Gaza.

Visiting the new Yad VaShem with my wife and parents was supposed to help prepare us for the upcoming day of mourning, during which we reflect on all the tragedies that have befallen us throughout history. The problem was that everything I saw kept reminding me about the Jews of Gush Katif.

I know that Ariel Sharon is not preparing to murder the Jews that are being deported from their homes, but before the Jews of Nazi Germany were slaughtered, they too were forcibly ripped from their homes. They too had to choose between their possessions -- what they could take and what had to be left to be looted by our enemies. They too were being forced to move and live in very cramped quarters. And this is exactly what will happen to the Jews of Gaza, if, G-d forbid, the expulsion takes place as planned.

The first sign you see on the wall when entering the first section of the new museum relates the following quote: "A country is not just what it does, it is also what it tolerates." -- Kurt Tucholsky, German Jewish essayist.

I couldn't help but think what kind of country Israel has become when it can tolerate the expulsion of its own people from their own homes. When the same man who is prime minister today, Ariel Sharon, was the one who told them to move there in the first place. The State of Israel is playing with these families as if they were pawns. Whenever it suits them, they will move them around as needed. After all, they are not really Israelis, they are just "settlers".

A little further in the four-hour tour, my mother pointed out another sign on the wall and said, "All you have to do is change the name and the date."

This sign said: "I herewith order that the resettlement of the entire population of the Generalgouve be carried out and completed by December 31st, 1942." -- Heinrich Himmler, Head of the SS, July 19th, 1942.

So, I failed. I failed in my attempt to feel pain for the insurmountable loss we had sixty-five years ago. I failed trying to focus on the destruction of the two Temples and all the other tragedies that befell us on Tisha B'Av, the 9th day of the 11th month, or simply, 9/11. I couldn't focus. Instead of seeing red, I could only see orange.

And even if you want to argue that it has to be done, and that this is what is best for the State of Israel, how can you stomach it? How can you tolerate it? How can you accept it? And I'm not talking about the right-wing. I'm talking about the Left and the Centrists. In fact, I'm talking about all Jews in Israel. How can Jewish police officers tear the face apart of another Jew who was handcuffed and subdued? In the name of Disengagement. How can they smile while throwing a 56-year-old woman on the ground and kicking her? In the name of Disengagement. How can Sharon live comfortably on his ranch when he is preparing to throw thousands of Jews out of their homes. In the name of Disengagement. If he was a real leader, then he would remove himself from his own home and also live in a caravan while crying about what "has to be done."

How can the Left look so smug? How can they sit in the cafes and drink their lattes while their fellow Jews are about to be uprooted and thrown out of their homes, forced to live in caravans smaller than one room of their current homes? A family of eight in a caravan of 60 meters? I bet Shimon Peres has bathrooms bigger then that.

I hate to point something out to the Left. When I saw all the pictures and videos in Yad VaShem, it wasn't six million settlers who were murdered. It wasn't six million right-wingers, Kachniks, Orthodox, Hareidim, Har-dal, or what ever you want to call them who were murdered. It was six million Jews who were murdered. All types of Jews. Religious and non-religious, rightists and leftists -- it made no difference to the Nazi killing machine. And whether Sharon, Peres, Ehud Olmert, or any of those who are pro-Disengagement in Israel will admit to it or not, in Hitlerian eyes, they are also Jews. They too would have been murdered by the Nazis.

Why are these things happening to the Jews of Gaza? For one reason - because they are Jews. Just as in 1492, and in 1942, and now in 2005.

So, please, can you do me a favor? When the Jews of Gaza are, G-d forbid, being deported from their homes, when little Jewish children are crying for their mommies and daddies, when Jews yet once again will be beaten, thrown into cages and have their possessions lost forever - can you please shed a tear? Can you maybe not go to the cafes and the malls, and pretend that D-Day is just like any other day? Can you? Can you try and feel the pain? Can you try and share the pain? If you need some help, maybe you can stop by Yad VaShem. Maybe, just maybe, that would help you.

Trial by Lynching in Israel

by Jared Israel
Aug 12, '05 / 7 Av 5765

Last night, I concluded a second interview [*] with Yitzchak Natan-Zada, father of Eden Natan-Zada. Eden is the 19-year-old AWOL soldier accused of murdering four Arabs on August 4th on a bus in Shfaram, Israel.

Mr. Natan-Zada and his wife are quoted in the media worldwide, saying their son was dangerously unstable and that they tried to warn the army to take his gun away before he or his extremist friends killed Arabs, but to no avail. But Mr. Natan-Zada insists that he and his wife told the media the exact opposite.

Based on my discussion with Mr. Natan-Zada, and a study of media accounts of the Shfaram bus events, as archived in the media search engine, Lexis-Nexis, two things seem clear. First, except for one solid fact, we do not know what happened on that bus. Second, the one solid fact is that for an hour, while Eden Natan-Zada was in police custody, with his hands tied, he was beaten to death by a raging mob. And that lynching - condemned neither by the media nor the Israeli government - lasted about an hour.

Mr. Natan-Zada Sets The Record Straight

I read Mr. Natan-Zada the headline and part of an article from the August 6th London Times. The headline was: "Israeli killer was recruited to terror over the internet." [1]

And the article claimed:

"The parents and neighbours of the gunman told how, within two years, Eden Natan-Zada turned from a bright and studious schoolboy into an ultra-religious zealot implacably opposed to Ariel Sharon's plan to evacuate Jews from Gaza."

Just for the record, opposing the Gaza "disengagement" doesn't make one a "religious zealot" or an ultra-right extremist. I am a secular Jew, on the Left. I am opposed to making Gaza judenfrei and giving Egypt military control of that area. Moreover, being a religious Jew is not an indicator for violence. It is an indicator for study. ("Ultra"-religious Jews study, constantly.)

Commenting that a Times reporter had indeed interviewed him, Mr. Natan-Zada said:

"The Times twisted what I said. Eden was a non-violent fellow. He was educated not to hate Arabs, not to hate anybody else, and he was educated to modesty. The headline is incorrect.... There were some friends from the neighborhood, and it was they who invited him to [the settlement in Samaria or the West Bank, known as] Tapuah. There was no recruitment. He was not in Tapuah because of fanaticism, but for religious reasons and because of the wide open spaces. He wanted to establish a home there, and he asked for money from us so he could buy a herd of goats. He wanted to be religious. Everyone has the right to live their life as they see fit, and this has nothing to do with extremism or zealotry."

I asked Mr. Natan-Zada about the claim, broadcast by the media, that, as Associated Press wrote:

"Natan-Zada's father told the Associated Press he had asked the army to find his son, saying he was concerned his son's weapons would fall into the hands of fanatics in Tapuah." [2]

Or as Agence France Press reported:

"'We told everyone he's AWOL, that he could do something with his gun. We begged them to take away his gun,' Debbie Zada told the Haaretz daily." [3]

Mr. Natan-Zada replied:

"Do you see how the media twists everything around? We were concerned because we didn't hear from him for a month and a half. After all, he was AWOL. We were concerned that he was out there in Judea-Samaria [the 'West Bank' - J.I.]. We were concerned that the gun might fall into enemy hands or something might happen to him, from Arabs that wanted to take the gun from a soldier. That's what we told the army and the media."

Now of course, no single person's word can be accepted as proof without an investigation. But whether or not one accepts Mr. Natan-Zada's opinion of his son, this is what he said. To me, to the Times, to Associated Press. And yet in the 40 accounts that I read, Natan-Zada and his wife are quoted saying exactly the opposite. This is propaganda, not news. We don't know what really happened on that bus. We do know that the media lied in order to convict Eden Natan-Zada. And of course, he was lynched, so he could not speak in his own defense.

Much of the media claimed that Eden planned the alleged murders for political reasons:

"A right-wing extremist who deserted the army with his gun killed four Israeli Arabs in an apparent attempt to provoke riots that would scuttle the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and from four settlements in the northern West Bank." [4]

Here's Mr. Natan-Zada's answer, unreported by the media:

"We don't know what happened. It could be that he was provoked.... Eden was not like the Arab terrorists that are pumped up to go do something like this and educated to it. The day of the event, he left Tapuah. We are 100% sure that that [i.e., shooting people] was not what he intended to do. There are many possible explanations of why he ended up in an Arab city. He could have fallen asleep on the bus and ended up in the wrong place.... He told the family that he was staying with in Tapuah that he was going to central Israel to return the [IDF-issued] weapon. Then he was going to southern Israel to a demonstration about Gush Katif. He had a girlfriend whom he wanted to marry. And he invited his family to come to Tapuah for Shabbat [the next day]. So there was no way that he planned to do such a thing."

How to Cover Up a Lynching

Much of the media reported that Eden Natan-Zada was killed in an immediate response to his alleged shooting - or even to stop his shooting. Here's the Boston Globe:

"An angry mob beat the shooter to death when he stopped to change clips in his gun." [5]

This supports the claim made by Arab leaders that the mob lynched Eden in self-defense.

As far as I have found, only the newspaper Haaretz reported that footage broadcast by Israeli Channel 10 showed that Eden Natan-Zada was murdered by the mob while in police custody. (I have watched a streaming video of this footage, and it appears that the lynching took about an hour.)

"Video footage aired by Channel 10 news on Sunday night showed that police officers disarmed and cuffed Jewish terrorist Eden Natan-Zada before he was lynched to death by an angry mob." [6]

How The Murderous Rampage Was Stopped

The media backed their categorical assertions of guilt with eyewitness accounts. It is perhaps worth mentioning that these are mutually contradictory.

I will limit myself to four examples. According to one Associated Press dispatch:

"'There was a woman sitting nearby who began screaming and begged him not to do anything to her, and at that moment I jumped on him and grabbed his gun,' Janhwi[, a passenger on the bus,] said. 'He shot about three bullets, and I pulled him back. We rolled back to the back of the bus and I held him down. Then I called on people through the window to help me.'" [7]

So, Eden kept shooting after this passenger grabbed his gun. Wouldn't the gun burn this fellow's hands? Nevertheless, the brave passenger pinned Eden down. No mention of Eden running out of bullets.

According to another Associated Press dispatch, it was a woman (The one mentioned above? Another?) who disarmed Eden. She did burn her hand, though Eden was no longer firing:

"Trembling, Shaaban came face-to-face with the barrel of Eden Natan-Zada's army-issued gun. He fired at her head, she said Sunday, but the ammunition clip was empty. Shaaban grabbed the barrel of his weapon, wrestled it out of his hands - burning her own in the process - and ran off the bus to safety." [8]

Haaretz tells us that yet a third person - an unnamed member of the "security forces" riding behind the bus - stopped Eden:

"A member of the security forces who was driving behind the bus in his car, said: 'I cocked my rifle and started running. I reached the back door, entered the bus with two others, and saw the terrorist aim his rifle at the head of a young woman, while he was trying to change magazines. We jumped on him. I held my rifle to his head, and told him to drop the gun.'" [9]

So, the security force guy was able to park, grab his rifle, cock it, run to the bus, get the back door open, jump on, and reach Eden in the (one would think) seconds it takes to empty an automatic rifle.

According to the Channel 10 report, which I watched, a security official (the same one?) stopped Eden by pointing a pistol at him from outside the bus.

So, four contradictory stories. Was Eden quadruply guilty?

How The Shooting Started

Space prevents me from listing all the ways the shooting started. Here are two:

Haaretz says Eden started firing without warning:

"Another passenger, Khail Janahawi, recalled that at 5:35 P.M., the driver asked the soldier to come to the front of the bus, but he ignored the request. 'When we reached Shfaram's Druze neighborhood, the soldier rose and walked to the front door, as though he wanted to get off. The door opened, and then he turned around and started shooting,' Salame said." [9]

Agence France Presse says Eden started firing after an argument about disengagement (AFP calls it a "row"):

"The 19-year-old religiously observant Jew, dressed in army fatigues, unleashed a volley of fire inside a bus in the northern Galilee town of Shfaram in an argument over the pullout, police said." [10]


NBC news reported that "Eden Natan Zada, was a 19-year-old extreme right-wing settler." [11]

In fact, Eden grew up in his parents' home in Rishon Letzion, a regular Israeli city. (Not a settlement in the territories.)

The Washington Post combined the settler lie with a categorical assertion of guilt, all in one politically useful headline, which read: "Jewish Settler Kills Four Israeli Arabs In Attack on Bus."

Even those media outlets that did not claim Eden was a "settler" reported he had been staying at Tapuah because it was a den of extremism. But according to Haaretz:

"Most of the residents of Kfar Tapuah are unconnected with Kahane supporters [i.e., Kach], who number about 10 percent of its population. The residents are mainly people of Yemenite descent, a group of converted Peruvians and a few Habad Hasidim." [12]

A London Guardian article began with this sentence: "The soldier responsible for murdering four Israeli Arabs on a bus in Shfaram had close links to the banned extremist organisation Kach, which has long been linked to attacks on Arabs."

The rest of the article discusses Kach. I'm no expert on Kach, but I can read, and the Guardian provides zero evidence that a) Eden was connected to Kach, or b) that he was a killer. So, guilt and motive, both by assertion. (I asked Eden's dad whether he had any connection with Kach, and Mr. Natan-Zada said, "No, no way whatsoever.")

Take the media's deliberate misreporting of what Eden Natan-Zada's family said. Add the false accounts of how he died, plus the false descriptions of who he was, plus the bizarrely contradictory eye witness accounts, all "proving" his guilt. Keep in mind that neither the media, nor Mr. Ariel Sharon, ever condemned the horrific lynching. (Sharon's official statement didn't even mention it.) Put it all in context of the political situation: that the Israeli government, apparently under orders from the US State Department, is doing everything to smear and suppress the big Israeli movement opposed to "disengagement" from Gaza. Consider that Mr. Sharon called Eden a "bloodthirsty Jewish terrorist", thus crowning himself criminal judge and jury. (And again, Mr. Sharon did not see fit to even mention the only "bloodthirsty terror" that definitely occurred - the hour-long murder of Eden, which left his body mangled and bloody.) Put this all together and what do we get?

We get a worldwide effort to use the bus tragedy to create a public impression that those opposed to disengagement are racist terrorists, at least as bad as Arab "militants". That lynch law is reasonable in the face of "bloodthirsty" Jews. We get the recreation of the blood libel that fouled Europe for a thousand years, and the Middle East as well. According to the blood libel, Jews have a belief-driven thirst for blood. These stories were spread by propaganda campaigns that lacked the technical prowess of today's media. They were used to justify the lynching of Jews, and the destruction of Jewish communities.

I pray we do not forget history, lest we suffer because of it.


[*] This audio recording of the interview includes the interpreter's translations of Mr. Natan-Zada's responses, which were offered in Hebrew.

[1] "Israeli killer was recruited to terror over the internet", The Times (London), August 6, 2005, Saturday, Overseas news; 40, 575 words, Stephen Farrell in Rishon Le Zion.

[2] "Israeli Arab town mourns victims of extremist shooting, Sharon tries to soothe tensions", The Associated Press, August 5, 2005, Friday, BC cycle, International News, 769 words, By KRISTEN STEVENS, Associated Press Writer, SHFARAM, Israel

[3] "Israel braces for Arab backlash after soldier's deadly rampage", Agence France Presse -- English, August 5, 2005 Friday, 8:10 AM GMT, 709 words, SHFARAM, Israel Aug 5

[4] "'Terrorist provocation' fails, so far," UPI, August 5, 2005 Friday, 4:47 PM EST, 1044 words, JOSHUA BRILLIANT, TEL AVIV, Israel, Aug. 5

[5] "4 VICTIMS OF JEWISH EXTREMIST ATTACK BURIED ISRAEL SAYS PULLOUT TO GO FORWARD DESPITE SHOOTINGS BY DESERTER", the Boston Globe, August 6, 2005, Saturday, THIRD EDITION, Pg. A6, 893 words, By Dan Ephron Globe Correspondent

[6] http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/609587.html

[7] "Police brace for possible riots by Israeli Arabs after four killed by Jewish extremist", The Associated Press, August 5, 2005, Friday, BC cycle, International News, 1063 words, By KRISTEN STEVENS, Associated Press Writer, SHFARAM, Israel

[8] "Arab shooting victim recalls moments of terror during Jewish gunman's bus rampage", Associated Press Worldstream, August 7, 2005 Sunday, INTERNATIONAL NEWS, 509 words, RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI; Associated Press Writer, JERUSALEM

[9] http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/609594.html

[10] "Israel soldier lynched after killing four in Gaza pullout row", Agence France Presse -- English, August 4, 2005 Thursday, 7:15 PM GMT, 741 words, SHFARAM, Israel Aug 4

[11] "Israeli army deserter opens fire on bus, killing four Arabs", NBC News Transcripts, SHOW: NBC Nightly News 6:30 AM EST NBC, August 4, 2005 Thursday, 288 words

[12] http://tinyurl.com/8xvet

Saturday, August 13, 2005

---- Forwarded message ----

In a hurry, can't chat, just gat to share this:

Please pause a moment, reflect back, and take the following multiple choice
test. These are actual events from history. They happened!

Do you remember?

1. 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by
a. Superman
b. Jay Leno
c . Harry Potter
d. a Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40

2. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by
a. Olga Corbett
b. Sitting Bull
c. Arnold Schwarzenegger
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

3. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by:
a. Lost Norwegians
b. Elvis
c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

4. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
a. John Dillinger
b. The King of Sweden
c. The Boy Scouts
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

5. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
a. A pizza delivery boy
b. Pee Wee Herman
c. Geraldo Rivera
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

6. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old
American passenger was murdered and
thrown overboard in his wheelchair by:
a. The Smurfs
b. Davy Jones
c. The Little Mermaid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

7. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying
to rescue passengers was murdered by:
a. Captain Kidd
b. Charles Lindberg
c. Mother Teresa
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

8. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
a. Scooby Doo
b. The Tooth Fairy
c. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

9. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
a. Richard Simmons
b. Grandma Moses
c. Michael Jordan
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

10. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
a. Mr. Rogers
b. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Bill's women problems
c. The World Wrestling Federation
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

11. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to
take out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into
the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers.
Thousands of people were killed by:
a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
b. The Supreme Court of Florida
c. Mr. Bean
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

12. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
a. Enron
b. The Lutheran Church
c. The NFL
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

13. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
a. Bonnie and Clyde
b. Captain Kangaroo
c. Billy Graham
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

Nope, ..I really don't see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you? So,
to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on
killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile
certain people. They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women,
little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret
agents who are members of the President's security detail, 85-year old
Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winning and former Governor
Joe Foss, but leave Muslim Males between the ages 17 and 40 alone lest they
be guilty of profiling.

Let's send this to as many people as we can so that the Gloria Aldreds and
other dunder-headed attorneys along with Federal Justices that want to
thwart common sense, feel doubly ashamed of themselves -- if they have any
such sense. As the writer of the award winning story "Forrest Gump" so aptly
put it, "Stupid is as stupid does."

Come on people wake up!!! Keep this going. Pass it on to everyone in your
address book. Our Country and our troops need our support.

P.S.... And guess who just bombed London?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A call to Unity

Call to Unity by Sarah Feld
Aug 11, '05 / 6 Av 5765

We are less than one week away from an all encompassing national tragedy. The ruling traitors of Israel will send the police and army troops first to Gush Katif. They intend to expel good, loyal Jews from their legal homes. They intend to award terrorism by delivering well-kept houses, magnificent synagogues, large schools and thriving hothouses into the hands of the terrorists who murdered their family members and friends. These murderers will fly 60,000 flags of victory (including 20,000 with pictures of Arafat, may his name be obliterated) from every rooftop.

Our own flesh and blood will then go to four strategically located communities in northern Samaria to expel the good families there. From these four communities, established on towering mountains, it is easy to see Netanya, Herzliya and Kfar Saba. They will be only a stone's throw - or a missile launch - away.

After the Israeli troops return to divide Jerusalem, the terrorists, supported by the world, will take over no less than all of Judea and Samaria.

If you live elsewhere, do not be too quick to heave a sigh of relief. From these new terrorist enclaves, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Bnei Brak will be in easy range. Our army will be depleted and weary, both physically and emotionally. Guilt-ridden, many police and soldiers will soon enough see how they have been used as pawns in a deadly, treasonous maneuver by the few against the true.

We are talking about a great national tragedy less than one week away.

According to top military strategists, terrorism in every area of Israel will spiral upwards. It will not affect only the national-religious, or only those in a specific geographical location. Just as neither the non-religious, Hareidi nor foreign visitor or worker is exempted from a suicide bomber's explosion, so too will we find ourselves united as victims - first, of a traitorous government and its military puppets, and second to the terrorists they have equipped and encouraged.

Let us unite, not as victims, but in order to survive, to resist while we can. This will require exceptional motivation - perhaps the kind that comes from fighting a common enemy for the common good.

The courageous residents of Gush Katif, together with concerned citizens all over Israel have been breaking down many invisible boundaries through the Panim El Panim (Face to Face) campaign. They attempt to, and often succeed, in clarifying distorted conceptions in relationships with the non-religious, with large city-dwellers, with farmers from moshavim, and with families of the police who are being persuaded, perhaps even brain-washed, into thinking 'settlers' are violent, backward fanatics.

Many Chassidic Rebbes, together with their Chasidim, pray day and night, fasting and saying Psalms, and send representatives with words of strength and brotherhood to Gush Katif. Groups such as the 'Orange Cell' (Ta Katom) bring the religious and non-religious college students together in intellectual dialogue and in-depth comprehension of the religious and geopolitical situation. And the list goes on.

Now is the time for the big guns. We must be ready to bring the most powerful forces together. It is time for the Hareidi and national-religious sectors to come face to face. Now, during the period of the Three Weeks [days of increased mourning culminating in Tisha B'Av - ed.], what could be more appropriate? "Love your neighbor as you love yourself," Rabbi Akiva said. This is the time, this is the place and these are our neighbors.

At the risk of sounding naive or of trampling on anyone's sensitivities, let the national-religious community admit its mistakes. As one rabbi commented, "Just look how many religious Zionists are accomplices to this tragedy - in the IDF, in the police force and in government offices." By assimilating in order to lead, too many were lead to assimilate. And when the Hareidim were fighting for the honor of the Sabbath, for the preservation of graves, for financial assistance to yeshiva students and so on, the national-religious should have stood with them, together, for the sake of Kiddush HaShem (G-d's sanctification). Let the Hareidi rabbis hear these humble confessions. Let the yeshiva students hear it. Let the national-religious rabbis speak face to face with Rabbi Elyashiv.

Let us make the commitment to fight for HaShem's honor - with unity. Yes, there are many deep divisions and there is mistrust. No, we will not resolve long-standing divisions overnight. But let us come face to face with that which separates us and create a Kiddush HaShem that may yet be worthy of miracles and salvation.

There is precious little time. May G-d help us all.

Phred Phelps.

I know next to nothing about the Reverend Fred Phelps, but I saw this and just had to post it(it's a letter from a concerned citizen to the Honorable Reverend).

Dear Mr Fred Phelps:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's law. I have learned a great deal from you and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them:

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not to Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states that he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that, even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there "degrees" of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them (Lev. 24:10-16)? Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws (Lev. 20:14)?

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

An appeal to IDF soldiers

On the Obligation to Refuse Illegal Orders
by Yehezkel Bin-Nun
Aug 09, '05 / 4 Av 5765

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Soldier, don't be a partner to the crime. The obligation to refuse illegal orders is fivefold.

First off, it is forbidden to implement an anti-democratic policy that has not won the support of the people. By carrying out an order that violates the will of the people, the soldier is destroying the foundations on which the both the nation and army are built. The goal of the army is to carry out the will of the people. When the army is used for personal political objectives, it loses its mandate to act.

A prime minister who was elected on a platform opposing the expulsion plan certainly does not have the right to violate his mandate and demand it be implemented. If the plan is ever brought one day before the people and they are given the chance to vote on it, then, one day, there may be a chance to claim it has a mandate from the people.

However, even had the expulsion won a mandate from the people that would still not have made it legal. Ethnic cleansing is explicitly forbidden by international law. If the majority of Whites in America voted to enslave Blacks, that would not make it legal. Basic human rights can not be violated based on majority votes. A racist policy remains illegal even if it wins popular support.

Forbidding a person to live somewhere just because he is Jewish is prohibited in most countries. Racism is simply not tolerated. It would be a good idea if the Jewish state would adopt the same policy forbidding anti-Semitic discrimination here in the Land of Israel. There is certainly no justification for the current policy forbidding discrimination only against Arabs and allowing discrimination against Jews. At all accounts, it is forbidden for a soldier to carry out a racist order.

It is also forbidden for a soldier to carry out an order which violates the ethical code of the IDF. As is well known, the IDF's ethical code explicitly forbids IDF soldiers using force against civilians. Any force a soldier uses to expel Jews from their homes puts him in direct contradiction of the rules of the IDF. Should a soldier violate IDF law in order to save Ariel Sharon's political career? The IDF was, of course, created to protect Jews and fight their enemies. Should an Israeli soldier be really be used to carry out orders that harm Jews and aid Israel's enemies?

Of course, you could always say you were just following orders. That you were just doing what they told you to do. As if you have no will of your own. Yes, it's certainly sad that Jews would use the same excuse as the Nazis did to justify exterminating the Jewish people. Back then, Jews rightly countered that every human being has free will and one can not absolve himself of responsibility by claiming he is just a cog in a machine. But hey, who wants to go to jail? Better to abandon your values than be punished, right?

Then again, once you start surrendering your values, when do you stop? When will you finally stand up for your rights? When they come to expel your mother and father from their home? When they come to expel your wife and kids? Or even then do you remain silent? Rationalizing the situation is easy. Being brave takes guts.

The IDF itself teaches that a soldier is required to refuse illegal orders. When I was a soldier in the Golani Brigade the example given us was one where illegal orders where given against Arabs, but it seems to me that Jews are also human beings whose basic rights deserve protection. The example given was that of Kfar Kassem. In the 1950s, during a period of fighting, a curfew was put on the Arab village of Kfar Kassem. The local commander ordered the soldiers to shoot anyone who violated the curfew. Several Arabs where killed before the order was cancelled. We Golani soldiers were taught that this was an example where a soldier is required to refuse to carry out orders.

The State's Attorney General himself, Menny Mazuz, last year expressed understanding for refusing army orders. He said a soldier whose conscious does not allow him to carry out certain acts should be sympathized with and not prosecuted by the law. Mazuz was, of course, referring to leftist soldiers who objected to serving in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. But there is no reason why pro-Zionist Israelis should not employ Mazuz' bias in favor of left-wing radicals to support their own convictions.

Last and certainly least, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon himself has said in the past that it is forbidden to carry out orders to destroy Jewish towns. He also said a Jew who is told to carry out an order that goes against his conscious should appear before his commander and tell him he is incapable of carrying it out.

Soldiers must not be scared to refuse illegal orders even if they are threatened with violence or jail. Might does not make right. We must stand up for justice regardless of the cost. Fear of losing positions of honor or salaries does not make perpetrating a crime excusable. There are things in life more important than honor and money. It is to be hoped that Sharon's tyrannical regime will soon fall and those that were brave enough to stand up for what's right will return to their former positions.

They say refusing orders will destroy the army. Yes, the same people who supported or were silent when the radical leftists refused to serve in Judea and Samaria now say it's a terrible crime to refuse orders. Yes, the very same post-Zionists who say we don't need a Jewish state at all and don't even serve in the IDF themselves are suddenly very worried about the condition of army. But isn't it really the opposite? Isn't using the army for political ends against the will of the people what will destroy the army? Won't following illegal, immoral and racist orders destroy the fabric of the IDF?

But above all else, it is forbidden for a Jew to violate the Torah and rebel against God. The Rambam says explicitly that if a king decrees that a Jew must violate the Torah, we don't listen to him. But what does the Rambam know. We are much smarter than him. Besides its better to violate the Torah than go to jail, right?

The Bible is, of course, full of stories of Jews who refused to carry out immoral orders. King David refused to appear before King Saul when ordered to do so because he feared Saul would harm him. Shifra and Puah refused to murder Jewish babies when commanded by Pharoah. Mordechai refused to bow before Haman. The Maccabees refused to bow before idols. Asher and Amsa, the top generals in the Jewish army, refused King Saul's orders to attack the cohanim. The Jerusalem Talmud describes this as a classic proof that it is forbidden to carry out illegal orders that violate the Torah.

In the final analysis it is, of course, easier to be a mouse than a man. Yet, even so, isn't it preferable to be a man? As the Torah itself enjoins us, "In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man."

American Anti-Expulsion Protesters Reach Gaza Despite Blockade

16:10 Aug 10, '05 / 5 Av 5765
By Ezra HaLevi

A group of Americans who arrived in Israel Monday to oppose the Disengagement Plan has now succeeded in entering Gush Katif, despite the blockade on Gaza.

The group, made up of mostly middle-aged professionals, went directly to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem upon landing in Israel. From there, they traveled to the communities of northern Samaria slated for destruction in the coming weeks.

The members of the group set aside jobs and family commitments to come to Israel for an undefined amount of time to oppose the expulsion. They were not sure what to expect, and whether they would succeed in gaining entry to Gaza and northern Samaria, which have been declared closed military zones.

They have thus far met with success beyond their highest hopes.

“We entered northern Samaria without any problems,” said organizer Leib Schaeffer. “We saw the hills and trails leading to the threatened communities and heard about the plans of those living there to make sure the Disengagement does not happen. We entered Sa-Nur, as well, with no problem.”

“People came out of their tents to welcome us. We just talked to people, trying to strengthen and encourage them by letting them know that there are millions in the United States who are looking to them to fight the battle against surrender to terrorism, and rooting for them.”

The group then headed toward the Kisufim Crossing, the highly guarded entrance to Gush Katif. “We wanted to be in the place where the first domino would fall,” Schaeffer explained.

Though an estimated 5,000 anti-expulsion activists have succeeded in entering Gush Katif in recent months, security forces have significantly tightened the seal around the Kisufim Crossing in the past weeks.

The group was told at each of the series of western Negev checkpoints leading toward Gush Katif that the area was closed to visitors. “Each time, we explained that we are a group from America and that Gush Katif is on our itinerary of holy sites we plan on visiting,” Schaeffer said. “If they refused, we asked to speak to their superior officer. Each time, we were eventually let through.”

Kisufim Crossing was a different story, though. They were blocked entry repeatedly as they attempted for hours to convince the soldiers there to allow them through.

“Two of our people just got off the bus and walked through,” Schaeffer said, “nobody stopped them. We decided to be patient, though, and refrain from making a scene – to continue to request entry.”

One of the officers at the crossing told Schaeffer, “Come back tomorrow, sign your names on the list of visitors, and I will take responsibility for your entry. “We left,” said Schaeffer, “sure that they were just trying to give us the runaround, stayed at a nearby Kibbutz and came back Wednesday morning.

The officer stood by his word. “He looked me in the eye, shook my hand, and said, ‘Whoever you go in with – you come out with - all together.’ What he did not say, however, was how long we could stay.”

As the jubilant Americans prepared to enter the region that is supposed to be emptied of Jews in six days from now, one of the soldiers at the crossing pulled Schaeffer aside, telling him: “You should know that the army is with you. We don’t want to do this, and we want you to relay a message to the residents of Gush Katif to stay strong,” he said. “We of the IDF are the last people who want this Disengagement to happen,” he added.

The group, sporting yellow T-shirts reading “Americans oppose Jewish expulsion” in Hebrew and English, is now settling in at N’vei Dekalim, the largest town in Gush Katif.

One of the group members, 32-year-old Julie Dicks of Kansas City, is in Israel for the first time in her life. “My husband and I both love Israel and I had been reading about the situation on Arutz-7,” Dicks said. “I talked to my husband about coming here and at first he didn’t really get it. I prayed about it, we talked some more and he started getting a heart for it too. Now we’re here.”

She attributed the fact that the group made it past the blockade so easily to open miracles - something she is confident will continue to be performed on behalf of the Jews threatened with expulsion. “If you don’t believe in miracles you should have been with us yesterday,” she said. “It would make a believer out of you. It is unprecedented that we got in – it’s just not happening and did not look at all like it was going to happen for us.”

Dicks, a non-Jew, is 100 percent confident that the Jews of Gush Katif will not be made to leave their homes. “I don’t think G-d would work all these miracles for them and then just let it all go. I have more faith than that,” she said. “I don’t want to be like the Israelites that believed the other spies [who delivered a demoralizing report to the Jewish people regarding their ability to conquer the Land of Israel following the exodus from Egypt]. I want to believe in the word of HaShem (G-d).”

Dr. Paul Fein, 58, from Brooklyn, New York, is not sure what will happen, but is certain that it is his responsibility as a Jew to be in Gush Katif during this period. Dr. Fein, a nephrologist, is also the father of seven, but put everything aside to make the trip. “It was difficult to come, but I was able to make arrangements,” he said. “I didn’t think they would actually let us into Gush Katif, but I figured we had to at least make an attempt. Now I just want to do everything I can to offer my support to the people here.”

From Bill: If you want to see this article (and others like it) in it's original format(with pictures), go to: http://www.arutzsheva.com/news.php3?id=87486