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Friday, December 30, 2011

Mossad Chief: Nuclear Iran Not an Existential Threat

Source: Arutz Sheva
By Gavriel Queenann

Mossad chief Tamir Pardo doesn't believe a nuclear armed Iran would mean the destruction on Israel.

Pardo reportedly told a forum of Israeli diplomats that while Israel continues in its efforts to thwart Iran's nuclear program he does not believe an Iranian atomic bomb poses an existential threat to the Jewish state.

"Does Iran pose a threat to Israel? Absolutely. But if one said a nuclear bomb in Iranian hands was an existential threat that would mean that we would have to close up shop and go home. That is not the situation. The term existential is used too freely," Pardo reportedly said.

According to the diplomats Padro declined to discuss a potential Israeli military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, which continues to be hotly debated in Israel's halls of power.

Pardo's predecessor, Meir Dagan, told reporters that military action should only be taken by Israel "when a knife is at its throat and begins to cut into the flesh."

Dagan has also publicly criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who he says are pushing for military action against Iran.

A broad swatch of defense and economic experts disagree with Dagan and Pardo's assessments, noting that Israel's population and economy are heavily concentrated on the coastal plain, especially around Tel Aviv.

A single nuclear weapon detonating in Tel Aviv, they say, could have a catastrophic impact on Israel's economy and infrastructure, overload its emergency services, and leave it vulnerable to attack from hostile neighbors while its military tried to cope with the chaos that ensured.

Pardo's comments come as officials in Washington and Jerusalem are reportedly discussing "triggers" for a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities amid rising tensions between Tehran, the West, and Gulf Arab states allied with the US.

The nationhood storm in a teacup

Source: Jerusalem Post
By Maurice Ostroff

Validity of Palestinian claims to statehood are not affected one iota by external definitions.

The international brouhaha following Newt Gingrich’s inconsequential remarks about the Palestinians being an invented people illustrates how much of the political debate occupying intelligent opinion makers worldwide is about trivial matters that divert our attention from the fundamental issues. In fact, Gingrich’s definition of Palestinian nationhood is of such minor import that no-one would have raised an eyebrow had it not been eagerly pounced on by eminent opinion makers.

After all, the validity of Palestinian claims to statehood are not affected one iota by defining Palestinians either as an ancient established nation, a newly created nation, an invented nation or part of the great Arab nation.

Looking at the matter in more depth laymen may well ask what the nuanced differences are between a nation, a nation-state, a country, a even a tribe and a clan as well as the concepts of citizenship and nationality. In attempting to deal with these questions, I express a layman’s view which may, of course, differ from that of of political scientists.

We generally attach the same meaning to the words nation, nation-state and country but there are differences. Strictly speaking, the members of the League of Nations were not individual nations but states and it would have been more appropriate to call that organization a “League of States.”

Similarly, the members of the United Nations are states, not nations.

The subject can be confusing. Are the Zulus a nation or a tribe or both? 

There are obviously many more nations than the 196 recognized independent countries in the world, of whom all but three are members of the UN. The outsiders are the independent papal state (the Vatican), Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, and Taiwan, which was replaced as a member in 1971 by mainland China on the grounds that it claims Taiwan as a Chinese province.

To confound the confusion there are territories and colonies that are sometimes erroneously considered as countries. For example, Northern Ireland is not an independent country even though it has a devolved legislature in the form of an Assembly responsible for making laws.

Nor is England a country. Northern Ireland and England together with Wales and Scotland are constituent parts of the United Kingdom (UK).

Associated with the UK, but not constitutionally part of it, are three independently administered Crown Dependencies: Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. The UK also has fourteen overseas territories which include Bermuda, Gibraltar and the Falklands.

As laymen, we tend to think that each government represents a nation-state comprising a single people sharing a common ethnic, cultural, and linguistic background.

But this is an unrealistic view since many states are multinational. South Africa for example, refers to itself as the Rainbow Nation, encapsulating the multi-culturalism and unity of many different nations and tribes in contrast to the former strict division of whites and blacks.

The Palestinians are far from being the only stateless people. A report compiled by the UNHCR reveals that there were some 6.6 million stateless persons in 2008. Stateless peoples include Tibet, Chechnya, the Basques and 20 million Kurds who have inhabited a region of Asia for over 4,000 years.

The Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations: Ethnic and National Groups Around the World provides up-to-date information on over 300 national groups including some virtually unknown groups that are currently making news together with those it claims will produce future headlines, controversies, and conflicts.

Conversely there are states without a nation, like Kuwait and Malta.

The important concepts of nationality and citizenship can also be confusing.

The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) states that “everyone has the right to a nationality” and that “no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality.” The governments of states determine the criteria for determining who are eligible to be their nationals and/or citizens and their rights and duties.

Having considered some of the implications of the definition of nationhood, let’s for a moment examine how they apply to what Gingrich actually said, namely: “Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. We have invented the Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs and are historically part of the Arab people.”

Unlike the reaction to Gingrich’s statement, almost identical factual statements by prominent Arabs have been accepted as unremarkable. I refer for example to statements by Zuheir Mohsen, leader of the as-Sa’iqa faction of the PLO and Azmi Bishara, who said on Israel’s Channel 2 TV, “There is no Palestinian nation. It’s a colonial invention.”

Gingrich’s statement is supported by the Encyclopedia Britannica, which states that Palestine became a distinct political entity for the first time in centuries only in 1922 when the League of Nations approved the British mandate incorporating the Balfour Declaration that stressed the Jewish historical connection with Palestine. The essence of the matter is that Jews, Christians and Arabs who lived in the British mandated territory were all regarded as Palestinians, not by virtue of nationhood, but by virtue of living in what was then designated as British-mandated Palestine.

Knee-jerk reactions merely to score debating points are unhelpful, to say the least, when commenting on the Palestinian bid for statehood. This critical matter must be evaluated on its merits based on facts rather than on ill-considered opinions. To quote the late Bertrand Russell during an extensive interview on the BBC, “When you are studying any matter or considering any philosophy ask yourself only what are the facts and what is the truth that the facts bear out. Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe or by what you think will have beneficial social effects if it were believed. Look only and solely at what are the facts."

Thursday, December 29, 2011

PA Terrorists Launch Failed Rocket Attack on Southern Israel - Israel threatens another Gaza invasion

Source: Arutz Sheva
By Chana Ya'ar

Palestinian Authority terrorists launched a failed rocket attack on southern Israel Wednesday morning following a retaliatory IAF air strike on the region.

Although the short-range Qassam rocket was aimed at Israel's Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council district -- a fact made clear by the activation of the Color Red air raid siren -- the missile landed in an open area and did not explode. No one was physically injured and no damage was caused. 

Earlier, there were reports that it might not have even made it over the border into Israel at all. However, the constant activation of the Color Red rocket alert system has been a traumatizing factor for many in Israel's southern communities, especially among the children whose parents are often forced to awaken them from sleep at odd hours to rush them to safety.

The Israeli Air Force meanwhile struck two terrorist targets in Gaza late Tuesday night in an operation carried out in cooperation with the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).

The strikes came in retaliation for the daily rocket and mortar attacks emanating from the region, aimed at southern Israeli civilian communities, the latest of which were fired Sunday and Monday, as well as several days last week, including over the Sabbath.

At least three terrorists were eliminated overnight. According to local sources, another 11 were injured. PA sources identified one of the dead terrorists as Abdullah Telbani, a member of the Global Jihad movement's Al-Quds group. In his early 20s, Telbani was killed while riding in a tuk-tuk, a motorized rickshaw-type of vehicle, according to local sources. Two others who were with him at the time were wounded in the strike.

IAF fighter pilots also targeted a terrorist cell planning to infiltrate into Israel to carry out an attack. Among the group was Rami Douad Jaber Kafarna, a 27-year-old member of Hamas. The Jabaliya resident had in the past participated in firing high-trajectory weapons at Israeli citizens across the border, according to the IDF.

Also among the second terrorist group targeted overnight was 26-year-old Islamic Jihad terrorist Hazam Mohammed Sa'adi al-Shakar, a resident of Beit Hanoun who had worked together with Hamas and been engaged in hiding munitions in Gaza.

A direct hit was confirmed, but it is not clear whether any of the members of the above terrorist cell were killed.

Following the operation, the IDF issued its standard statement vowing not to tolerate any attacks on southern Israeli communities or any Israeli citizens.

"The IDF will not tolerate attempts to harm Israeli citizens or IDF soldiers and will continue to operate strongly and decisively against anyone who uses terrorism against Israel," the statement read. "The IDF holds Hamas responsible" for all terrorist activities emanating from Gaza, the statement continued.

By Mark Weiss in Jerusalem

ISRAELI OFFICIALS are stepping up their rhetoric, warning that another invasion of Gaza is just a matter of time.

Speaking as Israel launched two air strikes on militant targets in the strip, Israel’s top general, chief of staff Lieut Gen Benny Gantz, warned that cracks had emerged in Israel’s deterrence of militant groups and a second round of fighting was no longer a matter of choice for Israel.

“Such a round must be initiated by Israel and must be swift and painful. I do not advise Hamas to test our mettle.”

Militants launched at least four rockets at Israel yesterday after an Islamic Jihad gunman was killed and 10 other people injured in two Israeli air attacks on Tuesday night.

Gen Gantz made his comments on the third anniversary of the Gaza war which he described as “an excellent operation that achieved deterrence for Israel vis-a-vis Hamas”.

The three-week conflict, with the declared aim of stopping militant rocket fire targeting southern Israel, left 1,417 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead.

Rocket fire from Gaza has lessened since the Gaza war but the militant groups now possess longer-range projectiles that can hit huge areas of southern Israel, bringing more than a million Israelis into rocket range.

Col Tal Hermoni, commander of the army’s Gaza division’s south brigade, said the armed forces are ready for another war.

“The decision really is in the other side’s hands. If they don’t stop the rocket fire and prevent terror cells from leaving to Egypt in order to cross into Israel, we’ll launch a Gaza operation – and it will be a painful one.”

Shaul Mofaz, the chairman of the Knesset parliament’s foreign affairs and defence committee, said that the army needed to act vigorously to destroy militant cells and deter future attacks.

“Israel needed to respond differently to the violence coming from the Strip – not to occupy Gaza but to act in a way that would cause terrorist organisations to think twice before firing long-range missiles.”

Mr Mofaz, who served as defence minister after heading the army, said Israel had no choice but to carry out a military operation in order to defend itself and stressed that there needs to be more comprehensive operations carried out against militant leaders.

In a separate development, the Jerusalem municipality has approved the construction of another 130 homes in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Gilo, built over the Green Line, on land captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War.

Nabil Abu Rdainah, spokesman of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, condemned the Jerusalem municipality decision.

“The international Quartet must accept responsibility for the fast pace of construction in the settlements, given the fact that they are neither legal nor legitimate,” he said.

He added that peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel will not be renewed before the construction in the settlements is halted.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ismail Haniyeh: Our Objective is to Eliminate All of Israel - IAF Hits Islamic Jihad in Gaza

Source: Arutz Sheva
By Elad Benari

As the Hamas terror group recently marked the 24th anniversary of its founding, its leader in Gaza used the opportunity to remind everyone of his group’s real goals.

At the ceremony, Hamas’ Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said that Hamas may work for the “interim objective of liberation of Gaza, the West Bank, or Jerusalem,” but added that Hamas' long-term “strategic” goal is to eliminate all of Israel.

Haniyeh’s speech was broadcast on Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV and it was translated and presented by the Palestinian Media Watch research institute.

In the speech Haniyeh said, “The armed resistance and the armed struggle are the path and the strategic choice for liberating the Palestinian land, from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river, and for the expulsion of the invaders and usurpers [Israel]... We won’t relinquish one inch of the land of Palestine.”

He also promised that Hamas will “lead Intifada after Intifada until we liberate Palestine - all of Palestine, Allah willing. Allah Akbar and praise Allah.”

Palestinian Media Watch noted that two days later, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas contradicted Haniyeh’s statements and said that Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal had agreed that “there will be no military resistance” and that “the permanent solution is on the ‘67 borders [1949 armistice lines –ed.].” 

Mashaal himself made similar comments last week, saying that for the time being the organization intends to focus on popular protests in the spirit of the Arab Spring, rather than armed resistance against Israel. Hamas’ co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar later confirmed this.

The comments were made after reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas had taken place in Cairo. The talks resulted in an announcement that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other terror factions would be joining the PLO.

Meanwhile, Haniyeh called on Arab leaders to stop the 'Judaization' of Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Haniyeh's call for Arab leaders to pressure Israel into not asserting its sovereignty in its eternal and indivisible capital came from Cairo, where he kicked off his whirlwind tour of  Egypt, Sudan, Qatar, Bahrain, Tunisia, and Turkey.

Islamic Jihad teaches young Arabs to become bloodthirsty murderers. 
Source: Arutz Sheva
By Gavriel Queenann

A pinpoint IAF airstrike in Gaza on Tuesday evening killed one Islamic Jihad terrorist and injured three others.

Islamic Jihad told CNN the strike hit a small vehicle in northern Gaza.

The operation targeted "a squad affiliated with recent terror activity," the IDF released in a statement. The IDF made no reference to deaths or injuries.

"The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers, and will operate against anyone who uses terror against the state of Israel," the statement added.

Israel's airstrikes-for-rockets strategy has so far failed to stop rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli towns by Gaza terrorists.

The strike comes on the same day IDF chief of staff said Israel could not "escape" the need for a major ground incursion in Hamas-run Gaza.

"I believe that the state of Israel cannot continue to live under the active threat of Hamas in the Gaza Strip," Gantz said earlier Tuesday. "Sooner or later, there will be no escape from conducting a significant operation."

Some 1 million Israelis live under threat of routine rocket and mortar fire from Hamas and its terror confederates in the coastal enclave.

Channah Koppel is The American Hat Lady Behind the Israeli Soldiers.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gaza Terrorists Fire Rockets at Southern Israel

Source: Arutz Sheva
By Chana Ya'ar

Palestinian Authority Arab terrorists launched a Qassam rocket attack Monday night at southern Israel.

The attack, launched from northern Gaza, was aimed at Israel's Gaza Belt region, located only a few kilometers from the Hamas terrorist-run region.

Qassam rockets, although modified in the past several years, still are limited to a range of approximately 10 to 15 kilometers. One rocket reached southern Israel, landing in an open area in the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council district.

No one was injured and no damage was reported.

The attack was the third in four days; Gaza terrorists fired two Qassam rockets at the Western Negev on Saturday evening. The two rockets landed in the Ashkelon Coastal Regional district and the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council district.

On Friday, the Eshkol Regional Council district was shelled as well. There were no physical injuries and no damage reported in any of the attacks.

'PLO might revoke recognition of Israel' - Netanyahu: Israel to refuse talks if Hamas joins PA

Source: ynet news
By Elior Levy

As Fatah and Hamas promote their reconciliation efforts and as signs indicating that the Islamic Jihad may be warming up to the idea of joining the Palestine Liberation Organization become more evident, the Palestinian Authority seems to be taking a harsher stand vis-à-vis Israel.

PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said Monday that the PLO may choose to revoke its recognition of Israel "should all other (political) avenues fail."

In an interview with the Voice of Palestine radio station, Ashrawi stressed that while the possibility has yet to be discussed by the PLO, it was nonetheless considered as a viable option by the Palestinian leadership.

Commenting on contested Israeli policies, she said that first option the Palestinians must exhaust was to file grievances against Israel with international bodies over issues such as settlement expansion.

Ashrawi added that the PA must "devise a plan that would bolster the resilience of the residents of east Jerusalem," in view of what she called "Israel's Judaization plans"; and that the PA should pursue legal recourse against Israel on an international level, over its "prolonged violations of international law."

She also voices her support for continued peaceful resistance, the likes of the weekly protest rallies in the West Bank against the construction of the security fence.

Ashrawi's statement echoed a similar sentiment expressed by Fatah Executive Committee Member Muhammad Ashtiyeh, who last week said: "If Netanyahu insists on treating Tel Aviv and Har Homa the same way, we will treat Ramallah and Jaffa the same."

Ashtiyeh protested what he called the "unbalanced" agreement between the PLO and Israel, reiterating the Palestinian demand that Israel recognize the 1967 borders as Palestinian territory.

'Quartet failing'
The escalation in the Palestinian may stem from the end of the three-month period given to Israel and the Palestinian Authority by the Quartet to submit it with reports detailing their stance on security and borders.

The Palestinians have submitted their demands, but Israel has yet to do so. The final deadline in January 26.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said that the Mideast Quartet is close to failing in bringing Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. He added that other nations should join the mediation efforts, the likes of Brazil, Turkey, China, India and other Western countries.

Al-Malki noted that the Palestinian Authority is considering applying to the UN General Assembly as a nonmember state, thus making it easier for the PA to join other international bodies, including the International Court of Justice.

Meanwhile. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met Monday with members of the Palestinian "Reform and Change" movement, which is affiliated with Hamas.

The parties discussed the recent reconciliation meeting between the Palestinian factions. Abbas
expressed his satisfaction from the progress made between the factions, saying it will lead to Palestinian elections.

Source: ynet news
By Attila SomfalviPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Sunday that if Hamas joins the Palestinian government, Israel will not enter into negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
"I will not allow a Palestinian state to turn into...Gaza and Lebanon," he said, referring to Hamas and Hezbollah's missile arsenals.

"The Palestinians will have to recognize the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people. This precondition is non-negotiable," said Netanyahu during a conference for Israeli ambassadors at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

"We are willing to meet with the Palestinians anytime and anywhere," added Netanyahu, but clarified that the peace process could only advance if security arrangements are kept.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal in Cairo last week for a preliminary discussion ahead of their official meeting.

The two discussed the conclusions drawn during the meetings held over the past few days between Fatah, Hamas and other Palestinian factions over the implementation of their reconciliation pact.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh left the Gaza Strip on Sunday for a visit in Egypt and Sudan, his office said. This is the first time Haniyeh has left Gaza since Hamas rose power there in June 2007.

Hamas sources said that Haniyeh crossed the Egyptian border via the Rafah crossing in the early morning hours, and that he is also expected to visit Turkey, Qatar, Tunisia and Bahrain. 

Elior Levy and AFP contributed to the report.

Israel: The UnJews Are Being Left in The Dust - 'US shifted from resolving to managing conflict'

Moshe Ya'alon and Benjamin Netanyahu
Received as an email from 
Dan Friedman NYC

[Vice Premier and former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe “Boogie” Ya’alon” is said to be PM Netanyahu’s ideological doppelgänger. He’s often sent out to the “hustings” to channel Bibi on Israel’s strategic path. On Sunday, Ya’alon met with a group of Likud anglos, English-speaking citizens of Israel (mostly Americans) who are members of the Likud. Ted Belman of the indispensable Israpundit was there and brought back this report. If you want to know why Obama, J Street, Soros, Joe Klein, Tom Friedman and the NYT are in a frenzy, I suggest you take a minute to read it. df]

The GOI is being smart about it. Bibi hasn’t given an inch. Meanwhile he keeps building albeit at a slow pace. As for the peace process it keeps demanding things that the Palestinians won’t concede. Thus they are laid bare.

It is keeping its eye on two balls.

First it is slowing showing the fruitlessness of the process and the two state solution. It expects that in time the west will be more amenable to a paradigm shift. In other words he is tilling the soil before planting. Secondly, it is staying close to the center in Israeli politics while the country keeps moving to the right. This will pay off in the next election.

Be patient.

Steady as she goes
By Ted Belman

I just returned from a meeting of Likud-Anglo at which Boogie Yaalon spoke. Here are some key points.

- Hezbollah, Hamas and Egypt can’t afford to fight us so they are relatively quiet.

- Forget about democracy in the Arab world.

- Israel isn’t interested in signed pieces of paper. Instead it is focussing on shared interests to forge alliances. He said that Israel has such relationships but wouldn’t mention with whom because he didn’t want to embarrass them.

- Time is on our side and we are using it wisely.

- While many countries in the region have F-16s, Israel has the F-16i. The i standing for added Israeli technology. As a result our planes are vastly superior. He also said so are our pilots. We are superior because we have the brains to invent and improve and the heart to believe in our cause.

- The west is suffering from solutionism i.e., every problem has a solution and nowism i.e., Every solution must be now.

- If the west doesn’t move soon enough to prevent Iran from getting the bomb, Israel will do it alone and the sooner the better. Israel has the capabilities to do it.

- The peace process is like a super tanker in that it has a lot of momentum and must be turned very slowly. The current government is going about the slow turning by constantly taking position which show that the Arabs will never agree. In time the west will lose confidence in the two state solution. Similarly the Israel people are also being weaned off the two state solution. Much of the reason it has such a huge momentum is due to the policies of the former government.

Steady as she goes.

By Gil Hoffman

Ya'alon tells Likud Anglos that gov't persuaded Obama that Israeli-Palestinian conflict can't be immediately resolved.

Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon, who maintains close relations with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, suggested Sunday night that Israel had persuaded US President Barack Obama to change his strategy from trying to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to merely managing it.

Speaking in English to a gathering of the Likud Anglos organization in Jerusalem, Ya’alon recalled many mistakes made by Obama and other Western leaders. He credited his own government with persuading the US to right its wrongs.

“We convinced the American administration that there is no way to solve the conflict in one or two years,” Ya’alon told a packed audience at the Orthodox Union’s Israel Center. “The US is trying to manage the conflict now, rather than solve it.”

This was the first time a high-ranking Netanyahu administration official has indicated that the US had shifted from conflict resolution to management. But there has been no public indication that the Americans have given up their hope of solving the conflict, and the US helped draft the Quartet position that aims to solve the conflict by the end of 2012.

Ya’alon mocked the international community for what he called its “solutionism” and “nowism” in its attempt to solve a conflict that cannot currently be solved. He said the nation that has gotten used to getting food in an instant was impatiently insisting on instant peace.

“They say we reached the moon, so why can’t we solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?” Ya’alon said. “Do we have a solution for everything? In medicine we don’t, not even in mathematics. God has solutions. We as human beings should be more modest.”

Ya’alon complained about American representatives blaming Israel for the persistence of the conflict at the beginning of the Obama administration, out of what he called “Western self-guilt.”

He said the US and other Western countries were making mistakes due to naivete, patronization, appeasement, self-guilt and political correctness.

He singled out Obama’s speech to the State Department about the Middle East on May 19, in which the president called for resolving the conflict over territory before resolving the refugee issue.

“[The conflict] is not about territory,” Ya’alon said. “That was the reason for the dispute with President Obama. When Obama said borders would be decided first, we rejected it strongly. We said clearly, we’re not going to fall again into the Oslo trap and let the Palestinians get without giving.”

On the Iranian issue, Ya’alon was also critical of Obama, saying that “France and Great Britain are leading the West now in calling for crippling sanctions on the Iranian central bank and preventing Iran from exporting oil, while the US is unfortunately leading from behind.”

Ya’alon’s sole criticism of political opponents in Israel was that opposition leader Tzipi Livni held Israel responsible for the conflict, even as former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice blamed the Palestinians and not Israel in her new book.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The "Palestinians": The Silence Deafens Me

Source: JewishIndy
By Paul Eidelberg

Are you wondering why Jewish Members of the Knesset have been silent regarding the Newt Gingrich revelation about the “invented people” called the “Palestinians”?

Have you wondered why the best and the brightest remain silent about the leaders of Israel who have negotiated with the leaders of that fictitious people for more than 18 years?

Would a Jewish MK jeopardize his political career if he uttered a word about the bloody significance of Gingrich’s exposé?

What might happen if a critic of the Oslo peace process were to ask an Israeli prime minister:  “Why did you yield Jewish land to the leaders of an invented people—a consortium of terrorists?”

What might happen if he were asked: “Why have you been silent all these years about this fictitious people? Why did you perpetuate a hoax and its fraudulent peace process which has resulted in 10,000 Jewish casualties since 1993?”

What might happen if the prime minister were asked: “Didn't you know what Mr. Gingrich knows, that the Palestinians are a people invented to replace the Jewish people in the Land of Israel? And if you knew this, why did you say not a word to stop the slaughter of Jewish men, women, and children?

But now I must ask: Why aren't tens of thousands of Israelis—especially those whose loved ones were murdered by these fictitious people— why aren't Israelis shattering this silence? Why aren't they screaming for a commission of national inquiry to investigate this horrendous state of affairs?

How many cases of criminal negligence (to say nothing of treason) are being hushed up by this silence —even by right-wing pundits?  The silence deafens me. Is there no one to speak for the dead?

Prof. Paul Eidelberg is a political scientist, author and lecturer; Founder and President, Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, a Jerusalem-based think tank for improving Israel's system of governance. He is a valued contributor to JewishIndy. 

His books are available at Lightcatcher Books. His most recent book is: Toward a Renaissance of Israel and America. His recent books are: A Jewish Philosophy of History and The Myth of Israeli Democracy: Toward a Truly Jewish Israel. His previous book, Jewish Statesmanship:  Lest Israel Fall, provides the philosophical and institutional foundations for reconstructing the State of Israel.  It has been translated into Hebrew and Russian. He is the author of Toward a Renaissance of Israel and America (Lightcatcher Books, 2009).

The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy 
POB 23702, Jerusalem 91236
Tel. 02-586-9208; Cell phone 0544-407581
Visit his Web site:

Prof. Paul Eidelberg
Prof. Paul Eidelberg (Ph.D. University of Chicago), former officer U.S. Air Force, is the founder and president of the Israel-America Renaissance Institute (I-ARI),, with offices in Jerusalem and Philadelphia. He has written several books on American and on Jewish Statesmanship. His magnum opus The Judeo-Scientific Foundations of American Exceptionalism: Today’s Choice for the “Almost Chosen People" is in process of publication. Prof. Eidelberg lives in Jerusalem.

Archaeology: Second Temple Era Seal Unveiled

Source: Arutz Sheva
By Gavriel Queenann

The Israel Antiquities Authority held a special press conference in Jerusalem's City of David on Sunday to unveil a rare coin from the Second Temple era.

The cartouche – or seal – never seen by the public before, is the size of the modern New Israeli Shekel coin and bears the Aramaic inscriptions “it is pure” and a two-letter abbreviation for the name of God.

It was discovered near the Robinson’s Arch at the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount. Archeologists say the soil layer above the Herodian road where the seal was found was dated to the first century BCE.

Archaeologist Eli Shukron of the Antiquities Authority, and Professor Ronny Reich of Haifa University, who oversaw the excavation, explained to reporters the significance of the coin.

"This is the first time an object of this kind has been found. It is direct archaeological evidence of Jewish activity on the Temple Mount during the Second Temple era," they said.

"Products being brought to the temple had to be stamped pure – which is what this seal was used for," they added.

Such seals are mentioned in the Mishna and discussed in the Talmud – but the cartouche unveiled today does not match any of the four inscriptions included in extant texts.

"What we know is brought down from the surviving literature," the archeologists said. "Here archeology has brought us something new."

Minister of Culture Limor Livnat and Minister of Education Gideon Saar joined dozens of students for the unveiling.

Saar said, "The seal shows the deep connection of Israel to the City of David. It is important excavations like these that demonstrate our bond to Jerusalem. Everything uncovered here strengthens us."

In addition to the seal other artifacts were discovered dating to Second Temple period, and some to the days of the Hasmoneans – such as oil lamps, cooking pots made of clay, a jug containing oils and perfumes, as well as coins of the Hasmonean kings such as Alexander Jannaeus and John Hyrcanus.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Terrorists Fire Two Qassam Rockets at Southern Israel - IDF Enters Azzun Looking for Shotgun Terrorist - Hamas, Fatah Plan Mass Terrorist Release

Source: Arutz Sheva
By Elad Benari

Terrorists fired two Qassam rockets from Gaza at the western Negev on Saturday evening.

One rocket exploded in an open area in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council and the other, which was fired from northern Gaza, exploded in an open area in the Sha’ar Negev Regional Council.

In both cases there were no physical injuries and no reports of damages.

On Friday, two mortar shells were fired at the Eshkol Regional Council. Both exploded in open areas and it is believed one landed within Gaza itself. There were no physical injuries or damages. The mortars were likely aimed at IDF soldiers who were patrolling the area.

The rocket and mortar attacks came after a relatively quiet week in southern Israel. The previous attacks occurred at the end of last week, when three mortar shells were fired at the Eshkol Regional Council district last Thursday.

All three exploded in open fields. No one was physically injured, and no property damage was reported. The mortar shells were apparently fired from the northern section of Gaza.

A fourth mortar shell was fired at the region on Friday night. It, too, exploded in an open area. No physical injuries or damages were reported.

Also on Saturday, an Israeli vehicle was fired upon when leaving the community of Maale Shomron in Samaria (Shomron), a mixed secular and religious community, which allows driving in the town on Shabbat except for the area of thes ynagogue. 

No physical injuries were reported, but the car sustained bullet damage.

Source: Arutz Sheva
By Gavriel Queenann

Israeli forces closed all the entrances to the Arab village of Azzun near Keddumim in Samaria (Shomron)  while pursuing a terrorist on Saturday.

According to the PA-affiliated and Bethlehem-based Maan News Agency, locals reported that a large IDF force stormed the village in the late morning.

The soldiers were pursuing a shotgun wielding terrorist who opened fired on an Israeli vehicle at the gates of the town of Maale Shomron earlier in the day.

No physical injuries were reported in the attack, but the vehicle was damaged and witnesses reported the assailant had fled for Azzun in his own vehicle.

Police and security forces, including Ephraim Brigade deputy commander Tzur Harpaz, responded to the scene of the attack.

Soldiers entering the village reportedly shut down the northern and the western entrances before they ascended to the roof of a local resident’s home and started going from house to house in search of the terrorist.

According to Maan, onlookers said the soldiers reported coming under fire during the operation.

It is currently unknown whether IDF forces found the terrorist during the search.

Maale Shomron is a mixed secular and religious community, known for mutual consideration and respect betwen the residents. Cars are allowed to enter the town and driving is allowed on the Sabbath except for a marked off area around the synagogue, but all events in the town do not desecrate the Sabbath as not to offend the religious residents and allow for their participation.

Source: Arutz Sheva

By Gavriel Queenann

 Hamas and Fatah are preparing to release the lion's share of their respective 'political prisoners' by the end of the year.

“By the end of the year, all political detainees will be released except those who wish to remain in custody for special reasons related to their security both in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip,” the PA-affiliated Ma'an News Agency quoted PA negotiator Munib al-Masri on Saturday.

The move comes on the heels of reconciliation talks between the rival factions in Cairo on Thursday that resulted in an announcement that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other terror factions would be joining the PLO.

According to al-Masri, security concerns pertaining to detainees remaining in custody included both targeted killing by Israel and attacks by competing factions before the reconciliation agreement goes into effect.

Israeli security observers note the fear of potential targeted killings by Israel indicates that many of the prisoners are not political detainees, but terrorists with Israeli blood on their hands.

Following Hamas' seizure of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in its bloody 2007 putsch, during which Hamas terrorists threw Fatah patients out of hospital windows, both factions began arresting the other's members – especially those affiliated with the PA and Hamas 'security services.'

Security officers from both factions have been tied to terror attacks on Israeli civilians in Judea, Samaria, and southern Israel on numerous occasions. Just three weeks ago Israel reportedly snatched a Hamas security officer from Sinai who was planning to kidnap Israelis.

Palestinian Legislative Council speaker Salim Zanoun said the prisoner exchange was one of a series of goodwill gestures between the factions as talks for "reconstructing" the PLO and inducting Hamas and its terror allies into the organization.

The move for unity comes as PLO officials say they will downgrade ties with Israel and rededicate themselves to 'popular resistance' as they pursue a unilateral track at the United Nations.

In recent weeks Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal has tried to rebrand the terror faction as more pragmatic as Islamic parties reap the rewards of the Arab Spring and has said Hamas would be joining the PLO in its campaign of 'popular resistance' - but he maintains armed conflict remains an option. Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar has openly said any peace agreement made with Israel will only serve as a "prelude to war."

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev dismissed Mashaal’s statements, however, saying Hamas has repeatedly said it seeks Israel’s destruction.

“Hamas is very open and public about its position — it believes the Jewish state should be obliterated, it fundamentally opposes peace and reconciliation, and it sees every Israeli civilian as a legitimate target,” Regev tol AP.

“One cannot build policy upon wishful thinking,” he added.

The factions’ positions are nearly identical. The PLO charter still maintains, despite Oslo Accord promises, that "armed resistance" is the only path to statehood and that 'Palestine' – which incorporates all of present day Israel – is indivisible.