Monday, April 30, 2007

Chicago Tribune's warning

Nuclear Fever in the Mideast - Editorial

Almost every Arab regime in the Mideast has been gripped with nuclear fever. Suddenly, despite the immense oil and gas reserves beneath many of them, they must have nuclear power plants. Why the sudden surge of interest in nuclear power?

Spreading nuclear know-how across the region invites a nuclear holocaust. There is no such thing as a proliferation-proof nuclear reactor. The U.S. can't - shouldn't - simply stand by while one country after another in the Middle East goes nuclear.

The best way to persuade these Arab states to shelve their plans is to stop Iran from enriching uranium on an industrial scale.
(Chicago Tribune)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Unusual theological challenge

Hate the sinner, too -Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
There are those who believe that the problem with our world is that there isn't love. But precisely the opposite is true. Evil continues to stalk our world because there isn't any hate.

We excuse Palestinian suicide bombers, and blame Israel. We seek to understand the minds of mass murderers even as we fail to hate their monstrous, evil core.

[I]n a case where the sinner's actions involve brutal inhumanity or mass murderer, we must learn to hate the sinner...
[Jerusalem Post]

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Child abuse

Taliban Video of Boy Executioner Causes Anger
A Taliban video of a 12-year-old boy beheading a man accused of spying has angered many Afghans. "It's very wrong for the Taliban to use a small boy to behead a man," religious teacher Mullah Attullah said Thursday.

The video released this week shows the boy using a knife to behead a blindfolded man accused of being a spy for foreign forces as men cry "Allahu Akbar."
(Reuters/Washington Post)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Half century of misguided policy

Saudi Royals Mask a Jihad Agenda - Youssef Ibrahim

For half a century, the West has preferred to believe that its choice in Saudi Arabia is [between] the moderate, friendly Saudi royal family or the wild-eyed, sandal-clad zombies of jihad, disregarding the seamless relationship between the two.
(New York Sun)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Assessing Al-Qaeda

Al-Qaeda Strikes Back - Bruce Riedel, Saban Center for Middle East Policy

Al-Qaeda is a more dangerous enemy today than it has ever been before.

Al-Qaeda's relocation to Pakistan has provided new opportunities for the group to expand its reach in the West, especially the UK. In November 2006, Eliza Manningham-Buller, the director general of the British Security Service said that some 200 networks of Muslims of South Asian descent were being monitored in the UK. At "the extreme end of this spectrum," she said, "are resilient networks directed from al-Qaeda in Pakistan."

Gaza is another prime candidate: it is already divided between Hamas and Fatah, and there is evidence that a small al-Qaeda apparatus is forming there. Al-Qaeda is still too weak to overthrow established governments equipped with effective security services; it needs failed states to thrive.
(Foreign Affairs)


U.S. Seeks Closing of Visa Loophole for Britons of Pakistani Origin - Jane Perlez
Omar Khyam, the ringleader of the thwarted London bomb plot who was sentenced to life imprisonment on Monday, could have entered the U.S. without a visa, like many of an estimated 800,000 Britons of Pakistani origin.
(New York Times)

MI5 Watching 2,000 Terror Suspects - Frank Gardner
The [British] Secret Service and police are monitoring about 2,000 individuals who they say are actively involved in supporting al-Qaeda.
(BBC News)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Cracks in Arab unity

Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman

Egypt has threatened to cut off its relations with Hamas unless the movement halts its rocket attacks on Israel...

Egyptian Intelligence Chief Gen. Omar Suleiman sent a "tough" message to Hamas leaders, warning them against the continued rocket attacks. The message was delivered to PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas...

Suleiman also warned that Egypt would not side with the Palestinians if Israel launched a military operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
[Jerusalem Post]

Israel Independence Day: 59 amazing years

Grand firework display above the Knesset [Israel's parliament] during Independence Day celebrations in Jerusalem

Hamas makes its move

Hamas Fires Rocket Barrage into Israel, Declares End to 5-Month Truce
- Ken Ellingwood
Hamas fired a barrage of rockets and mortars into Israel on Tuesday, declaring an end to a five-month cease-fire.
(Los Angeles Times)

Hamas Rocket Barrage a Diversion for Kidnapping Attempt
- Hanan Greenberg
IDF officials have affirmed that Hamas had planned to kidnap an[other] Israeli soldier during a barrage of Kassam rockets and mortar shells launched from Gaza toward southern Israel on Tuesday.

Hamas claimed its gunmen fired 28 Kassam rockets and 61 mortar shells at Israel on Tuesday.
(Ynet News)


Stopping Hamas - Editorial
On Wednesday, the Israeli cabinet decided against launching a major ground operation in Gaza. This is wise because there are steps that should be taken before launching such an operation.

If Israelis must run for their lives to bomb shelters, why should Palestinians enjoy an uninterrupted supply of Israeli electricity?

(Jerusalem Post)

Israel's top Arab: a traitor?

[Former Israeli MK] Azmi Bishara is suspected of having aided Israel's enemies during the Second Lebanon War.

Bishara is suspected of transferring information to Hizbullah during the war, of maintaining contacts with a foreign agent, and of money laundering.

Bishara was last known to be in Egypt...
[Jerusalem Post]

Monday, April 23, 2007

Israel Memorial Day

Everything stops [including traffic] as a siren sounds
throughout Israel for "The Day of Rememberence"

IDF Chief: We Shall Not Back Down If War Is Forced on Us - Lilach Shoval

Israelis across the country stood for a minute of silence Sunday [night], when the siren marking the opening of Memorial Day was sounded. [Another siren sounded for two minutes Monday morning]. Flags throughout Israel were lowered to half-mast.
(Ynet News)

Friday, April 20, 2007

High stakes chess

Implications of a Shi'ite Victory in Iraq - Ze'ev Schiff

It is hard to escape the conclusion that if Arabs and Muslims can be so cruel to one another, imagine what they are capable of doing to others.

[I]f an American pullout from Iraq is interpreted by the Arabs as a sign of American defeat, we can look forward to a radical Arab shift that will strengthen all the extremists around us.

Jerusalem: terror easily slips thru

Malfunction Prevented Bus Bombing - Hanan Greenberg

Two months ago, security forces arrested Omar Ahmed Abu al-Rob, 25, an Islamic Jihad terrorist south of Tel Aviv, after he ditched his explosive device in a dumpster.

[T]he would-be bomber attempted to activate the device on a bus from Jaffa, but it failed to explode because he had apparently inserted the batteries incorrectly.

[I]t was sheer luck which prevented the death and injury of dozens of Israelis. The terrorist had made his way from Jenin in the West Bank to Tel Aviv via Jerusalem, taking advantage of breaches in the separation fence.
(Ynet News)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The value of Shalit

Hamas in No Rush for Prisoner Swap - Alex Fishman

In Hamas' view, as long as they hold on to captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, Israel would carefully weigh any military move in the Gaza Strip.

[A]s long as they hold Shalit, they are the center of attention by VIPs from the international community.
(Ynet News)

Wisdom of the young

Palestinians Disavow "Right of Return" - Yaakov Lappin

A large and growing number of young Palestinians born abroad have no interest in coming to the Palestinian Authority or Israel.

They expressed anger at Palestinian leaders for continuing to trumpet a "right of return," a call which is neither desirable nor realistic...
(Ynet News)

Brit journalists hit bottom

Israel Should Honor British Journalists' Boycott - Zev Chafets

It's not every day that a community of Western journalists takes such a clear stand. The National Union of British Journalists accompanied its boycott decision with the sort of anti-Zionist rhetoric usually heard only in Tehran. A more image-conscious group would have postponed its endorsement of the Palestinian jihad until the release of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston from his captivity in Gaza.

Israel, I believe, should not only respect the British boycott, but join it. The government of Israel should ask all British correspondents stationed in Israel to leave. And it should withhold visas and accreditation from members of the NUBJ until the journalists of Britain decide to resume at least the fiction of impartiality.
(New York Post)

Women moving Pakistan backwards

Female Madrassa Students in Pakistan Battle Musharraf - Massoud Ansari

They look like ninjas dressed in black from top to toe and wielding menacing bamboo sticks. The young women students of Islamabad's Jamia Hafsa religious school make a fearsome enemy - as the government of Pakistan is finding out.

The students have given the government one month to enforce strict Sharia [Islamic] law throughout Pakistan and threaten to launch suicide attacks if their demands are not met.
(Sunday Telegraph)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Victimizing Christians...again

Christian Bookshop Bombed in Gaza - Nidal al-Mughrabi

An explosion before dawn Sunday at the Protestant Holy Bible Society in Gaza City blew out windows and ignited a fire that burned shelves of books. Some 3,000 Christians live among 1.5 million Muslims in Gaza.

Elsewhere in Gaza City, a bomb destroyed an Internet cafe.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Arafat lives

Hamas Arming Islamic Jihad with Rockets -Ze'ev Schiff & Avi Issacharoff

Israeli security sources said Hamas is providing the rockets for Islamic Jihad's rocket attacks against Israel, while maintaining a front of abiding by a cease-fire. The sources said Hamas has adopted a strategy of duality, in which it continues its violent activities against Israel notwithstanding a cease-fire. A similar strategy was used by Arafat...

How Sanctions Help Strengthen Hamas in Gaza - Cam Simpson
The Hamas government has benefited, paradoxically, from outside humanitarian aid designed to bypass its offices.

The aid system allowed Hamas to profit politically from relief while avoiding much of the blame for the crushing conditions among Palestinians.
(Wall Street Journal, 13Apr07)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Shame on the UN

Women's Rights at the UN: Israel as the Only Violator - Anne Bayefsky

The UN's lead agency responsible for the promotion and protection of women's rights the world over, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), ended its 51st session by criticizing only one state - Israel.

Apparently, the CSW missed the arrests in Tehran of 33 Muslim women calling for an end to polygamy or the teenage [girl] in Riyadh sentenced to 90 lashes for meeting a young man who was not a family member, after [really] being kidnapped at knifepoint and gang-raped. It also failed to notice the millions of vulnerable women and girls raped, displaced, dead or dying in Sudan, the millions of women forcibly aborted in China, and the thousands murdered or forced to commit suicide for the crime of "dishonoring" their fathers and brothers across the Arab and Muslim world.

Instead, it adopted by a vote of 40 to 2 a resolution on the injustices "the occupation of Palestine imposes on Palestinian women." Only the U.S. and Canada confronted the move for what it was: the hijacking of yet another UN body to spin world opinion against Israel and toward the PA.
(National Review)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Iran spits at UN

Iranian students stand on US and British flags which they later burned,
at a gathering supporting their country's nuke program.
Could their intentions be clearer?

Ahmadinejad: Iran has joined club of nuclear nations -Associated Press

Iran on Monday announced that it has begun enriching uranium with 3,000 centrifuges, dramatically expanding a program that the United Nations has demanded it halt.

The expansion of enrichment was a strong show of defiance toward the United Nations, which has vowed to ratchet up sanctions as long as Iran refuses to suspend the process.

Tensions are also high between Iran and the West following the 13-day detention of 15 British sailors by Iran.
[Jerusalem Post]

Jerusalem dismisses Iran's 'nuke boasting' -Herb Keinon
[I]n Jerusalem, senior officials accused Ahmadinejad of engaging in "nuclear boasting."

"He is a dangerous man," one official said, "but what he is trying to do is convince the Europeans that there is nothing they can do to stop him because he has already passed the nuclear threshold. He is not there."

The official said Israel knows that Ahmadinejad "does not have what he is boasting about."

Israel's assessment is that Iran has still not passed the "preliminary threshold, and that Ahmadinejad can still be stopped. Sanctions are effective, and need to be continued," the official said.
US experts were also skeptical of Iran's claims...
[Jerusalem Post]

Friday, April 06, 2007

Gaza gone bananas

Gaza Seen as Palestinian Shame, Banana Republic -Bernd Debusmann

Factional fighting, political bickering and a failure to establish law and order have turned Gaza into a symbol of Palestinian shame and are pushing the Palestinian national movement toward collapse, according to prominent Palestinian intellectuals.

Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza, said, "officials with the mind-set of a banana republic are causing tremendous damage to the Palestinian cause."

Long overdue notion: 'Welcome the Jews'

Nonie Darwish: Muslims Must Welcome the Jews in Our Midst

Egyptian-American writer Nonie Darwish, interviewed on Al-Arabiya TV said: "We should begin to view the Palestinian Arab cause in a different manner. For 58 years we have been fighting Israel....Enough, we must resolve this problem, because it hinders the progress of the Arab peoples."

"We must be just and grant the Jews security. There are five million of them, and we are 1.2 [billion] Muslims. What are we afraid of - five million Jews?"

"We must welcome them, so they can live in our midst."

Once Lebanon had a Christian majority

A Christian village in Lebanon

Rise in Radical Islam Last Straw for Lebanon's Christians - Michael Hirst

Christians are fleeing Lebanon to escape political and economic crises and signs that radical Islam is on the rise in the country. According to a poll, nearly half of all Maronites, the largest Christian denomination in the country, said they were considering emigrating.
(Sunday Telegraph-UK)

Nice to hear

Israeli Arabs Big Consumers of Matza - Yoav Stern

During the Passover season, the Israeli Arab public regularly consumes large quantities of matza. A journalist associated with the Islamic Movement in Israel said he also bought matza. "The kids can't get enough of it. They eat it like crackers."

Trouble in Yemen

Yemeni Jews Face Growing Sectarian Troubles - Ginny Hill
In January, Yahya Yousef Mousa, one of the several hundred Jews still living in Yemen, was confronted by masked gunmen from a Shiite sect who told him and his neighbors to leave their homes in the northern province of Saada or lose their lives. Now, Mousa and eight Jewish families from the village of Salem are living in a secure residential compound in the capital, Sanaa.

Their expenses are being paid by the Yemeni government, currently battling an armed rebellion by the same Shiite group that threatened the Jews.
(Christian Science Monitor)

Ill advised accomodation

Teachers drop the Holocaust to avoid offending Muslims -Laura Clark

Schools [in the United Kingdom] are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, a Government backed study has revealed.

It found some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial.

There is also resistance to tackling the Crusades - where Christians fought Muslim armies for control of Jerusalem - because lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques.
[Daily Mail-UK]

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Iran's roar

The appearance of British Seaman Faye Turney on Iranian television [above] with a Muslim head covering sparked controversy

Iran gains in standoff with Britain Sally Buzbee

Iran emerged with a measure of strength from its standoff with Britain over the captured sailors — deflecting attention from its disputed nuclear program and proving it can cause trouble in the Middle East when it chooses.

Yet the country's hardline leaders also shied away from all-out confrontation with the West — backing down once they had flexed their power, apparently worried they might go too far...

[Demonstrating] clever brinkmanship, Iran clearly gained some respect from the dispute...

Iran Sets Free 15 Seized Britons -Sarah Lyall

Iran on Thursday released the 15 British sailors and marines it seized at sea nearly two weeks ago, in what Iran's president called a "gift" to the British people.
(New York Times)