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1. RETALIATIONby Debbie Lynn - IsraelNationalNews.com - May 21, 2004
There is a word that is bandied about with extreme regularity in reports from the Middle East. This word makes it seem as though Israel and her Arab neighbors are engaging in a little game of "tit-for-tat" like a couple of seven-year-olds. The word is "retaliation".
There are a few problems with this conception, however. First of all, it just isn't true. Second of all, it makes it seem as though if we just do what the Arabs want, then they will stop "retaliating" against our citizens.
Nick Berg was not killed in retaliation for anything. Terrorists in the Middle East need no excuse to kill Americans, especially American Jews. Any American Jew unlucky enough to cross their path (and I sincerely hope that I'm never that unlucky, please G-d!) will find him/herself on the wrong end of a long knife, gun or other weapon. After they kill, excuse enough will present itself, from their perspective.
For example, there were atrocities committed by US soldiers. We all accept that. But what do they want us to do about it? We're doing what we can to prosecute the guilty parties and prevent it from ever happening again. By the way, in the midst of all these abuses, nobody was horribly butchered the way Nick Berg was.
Just about everything any of the terrorist groups do they say is retaliation for something. So tell me, please, what is the cold-blooded murder of a pregnant mother and her four little girls in retaliation for? Is it retaliation for her existence? Is it retaliation for trying to live a good life and raise a family in an area of the world where this is not all that easy? Is it retaliation for being a Jew? Is it retaliation for being a woman?
And please, tell me, what was the bomber on the bus (pick a blown up bus, any blown up bus), or the bomber in the disco, or the bomber at the hotel on Passover, or the bomber at the pizza place, or every other homicide bomber, retaliating for? What about the entire second intifada? What about the first intifada? What about the Yom Kippur War? What about the Six-Day War? What about the Sinai War? What about the 1948 War that Israel had to fight to gain the independence that the UN voted for her? What about the 1939 pogrom in Hevron? (Do I need to continue? Do you all get the point yet?)
Then, the same pundits who report about these terrorist "retaliations" (after all, the terrorists know how to play the game – call it "retaliation" and the bend-over-backwards Westerners, with their "Zionism is racism" and "Sharon is a war criminal" mantras, will yell with them about "injustices" perpetrated against them) call Israel's surgical strikes "retaliation", as well. They will use that terminology even after Israeli sources insist that these strikes are not retaliation, but part of protecting Israeli citizenry and "guests" by eliminating the blood-thirsty leaders who plan the murders of little babies and grandmothers.
Be aware of this word "retaliation" now. Be aware of the Orwellian double-speak perpetrated with this word's use. Don't fall for it.
2. THE NEW PLANBy Caroline Glick - Jerusalem Post - May 21, 2004
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is now tentatively set to bring his "new plan" for withdrawing IDF troops from the Gaza Strip and uprooting Israeli settlements there and in Samaria to the cabinet for its approval next Sunday. The new plan, we are told, is simply an incremental variation on Sharon's previous plan which was overwhelmingly rejected by Likud party members at the beginning of the month.
The new plan calls for IDF withdrawal from Gaza and uprooting of Israeli communities in three stages with each distinct stage coming before the cabinet for approval before implementation. Aside from this, the plan also contains two additional novelties. The first is a call for amending the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt to enable the Egyptian military, as opposed to Egyptian border guards to deploy along the Egyptian side of the border with Gaza. The second new component of the plan that the prime minister's office is currently floating is the deployment of an international force into Gaza.
From a domestic standpoint, what stands out about the new plan is its author. Whereas authorship of the plan to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza belonged to former Labor party leader Amram Mitzna, the new plan comes straight from Yossi Beilin's drawing board. In crafting the Oslo plan, Beilin came up with the idea of establishing a PLO state in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Jerusalem on an incremental basis. So it was that Israel first removed its troops from Gaza and Jericho and only later from the other major cities and villages in Judea and Samaria. As well, over the past two years, Beilin has been pushing the idea of bringing foreign forces, including Arab armies, into the territories together with his American supporter, former US ambassador Martin Indyk.
The idea of amending the peace treaty with Egypt is bizarre on the face of it. The current IDF operation in Rafah was necessitated by Egypt's abject refusal or failure to prevent weapons smuggling into Gaza through subterranean tunnels burrowed across the Egypt-Gaza border. If Egypt were upholding its commitments to Israel in the peace treaty, it would have been actively and continuously working to prevent weapons flow from its territory to Gaza. It has not.
It is argued that an amendment of the 1979 treaty to allow regular Egyptian military units to deploy along the border will empower Egypt to take action against the weapons smugglers. This is ridiculous. As it stands the treaty enables Egyptian border guards to deploy along the border and places no restrictions on the size of such a force. These border guards can be armed with assault rifles for the dispatch of their duties and there is no reason why such armaments would be insufficient for stemming the arms trafficking.
More importantly, given the virulence of hatred of Israel in Egypt – hatred that is encouraged by the Egyptian government – the long term implications of an Israeli move to allow Egypt to deploy regular army forces along the border could be disastrous. Indeed, rather than look to Egypt for a solution to a problem it is largely responsible for creating, Israel should be leading a diplomatic campaign against Egypt to force it to act responsibly.
Up until this week when the idea of bringing foreign troops into Gaza in the framework of an Israeli withdrawal was first introduced by the prime minister's office, it had been the policy of all Israeli governments to reject out of hand any thought of bringing in foreign troops aside perhaps from US forces. This has been Israel's consistent policy because the our successive governments have understood that the hostility towards Israel in the international community – from the Arab world to the EU to the UN to the international human rights organizations – is so inbred that any foreign troop presence in the area would automatically harm Israel's national interest of ensuring the security of its citizens and the inviolability of its territory.
The understanding was that foreign troops in Judea, Samaria and Gaza would not work to bring order and quell terrorism but would rather protect terrorists operating in these areas from Israeli military operations. This view was based not only on the knee-jerk anti-Israel positions taken by these governments and international organizations but also on Israel's experience with UN forces in southern Lebanon. There UN peacekeepers allowed themselves to be exploited, repeatedly and consistently by Hizbullah and other terrorist organizations that used UN cover to commit terrorist attacks against Israel.
It should not be forgotten that almost a year after IDF soldiers Benny Avraham, Omar Sawayid and Adi Avitan were kidnapped by Hizbullah in October 2000, Israel discovered that the UN had been hiding information about their abduction. Arguably in contravention of international law, the UN had hidden from the IDF videotapes it had of the soldiers' abduction as well as operational and personal effects of the soldiers. The Hizbullah terrorists who carried out the kidnapping traveled in a vehicle with UN plates and a UN flag. UN forces in Lebanon who found the vehicle while its engine was still running, removed the equipment from it, including several articles that were stained with blood.
After the information was revealed, the UN still insisted that Israel could not analyze the blood samples but rather that the analysis would have to be done by the World Health Organization. Until Israel discovered this information the government and the IDF were operating under the assumption that the soldiers were still alive. Early access to the information could have given the IDF the opportunity to discover that in fact the soldiers were murdered by their kidnappers.
The rationale for the current plan of bringing foreign troops into Gaza is that the prime minister and his advisors are attempting to find a way to negotiate the Gaza withdrawal with someone. In the absence of a responsible Palestinian interlocutor, the thinking goes, Israel must invent a partner with which it can implement the withdrawal plan from Gaza. Indeed, although the full-blown campaign launched by the Israeli media to delegitimize the results of the Likud vote has resulted in a majority of public support now for a withdrawal from Gaza, the public is still evenly split as to whether Israel can leave Gaza without handing over its responsibility for security to a responsible party.
The hope no doubt is that if the international community has an active role to play in Sharon's retreat plan, it will have a stake in the plan's success. Yet the international community's reaction to this week's IDF operation in Rafah has shown unequivocally that this hope is based on absolutely nothing.
Even before Israel had committed its troops to Rafah, Amnesty International had already accused Israel of committing war crimes in destroying houses in Rafah along the border. Never mind that the claim has no basis whatsoever in international law as states have a right to view as military targets any structure that is used to conduct military operations against it and these houses were used specifically for that purpose. Amnesty's condemnation came without the organization even bothering to check the facts. Just as was the case of the battle in Jenin refugee camp in April 2002, Amnesty reached its conclusion without launching an inquiry.
Amnesty's libelous attack on Israel was immediately picked up by media organizations worldwide as well as by the UN and the EU. These then repeated the condemnation of Israel verbatim. On Tuesday, no greater moral authority than the Church of Sweden called for its members to wage an economic boycott against Israel.
And it isn't that the UN and the EU, the media and the human rights organizations do not know the truth. They do. They have all received documented proof, not only from Israel but from their own people that have shown them conclusively that the Palestinian Authority is a terrorist organization and that its method of fighting Israel while hiding behind civilians is by its very nature a war crime. They know everything, but they do not care. They believe that their national and institutional interests are best served by condemning Israel and embracing Palestinian war crimes as justified.
In an attempt to get the foreign media to report what is actually happening on the ground in Gaza, the IDF's spokesman's unit pleaded with foreign news agencies to join IDF forces in their operations and see for themselves. By mid-week, the IDF had to admit that the attempt was an abject failure. Almost no one took them up on the offer. The foreign media is not interested in showing the truth. They simply want to criminalize Israel.
The most abject and obnoxious instance of this is the reaction to the IDF's apparent inadvertent killing of five Palestinian gunmen and two teenagers during a PA organized march towards IDF forces stationed in Rafah on Wednesday. Without bothering to check the facts, just as was the case in Jenin, the international media gushingly reported that IDF troops had "massacred" Palestinian civilians in a peaceful march in Gaza. The Palestinian press releases on the matter were indulgently quoted as fact as news organization after new organization dismissed the IDF's explanations as lies. In a matter of hours, the UN Security Council passed a resolution condemning Israel and the US, due no doubt to its current self-destructive wooing of the UN and France in Iraq declined to veto the decision.
The sad and terrible thing about Sharon's newest plan is that he actually thinks he needs a plan in the first place. If our experience over the past 11 years has taught us anything, it is that no matter what Israel proposes to do in the interest of peace and Palestinian independence, it is always blamed when the Palestinians continue to make war against us – regardless of the barbarism of their actions.
The simple truth of the matter was made clear this week by COS Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon. Speaking of the military necessity of the operation in Gaza to the Knesset, Ya'alon said, "Only the IDF can secure Gaza." No plan, no matter how new can change this basic truth.
Three modern "prophecies" have been spoken in the last generation, yet few have listened. The first, was in a song by Naomi Shemer just weeks before the June 1967 Six Day War. The second, spoken in his Yeshiva - Rabbinical Seminary - three weeks before the war, by Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah Kook. The third was said, in the middle of the war, just after the heat of battle ended in victory, by Mordechai "Motta" Gur. Prophecies of liberation, prophecies of consolation, to the nation of Israel, that had suffered occupation, destruction, exile, torture and murder, too long.
Weeks before the outbreak of the Six Day War, "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav - Jerusalem of Gold" written by Naomi Shemer was released. It spoke of the eternal connection between the Jewish People and Holy City of Jerusalem. But not just the modern half of "Western Jerusalem" that had spilled out of the Old City Walls, that had sprung up during the last 100 years of fervent growth, seen in the return of Jews to Zion. No, "Jerusalem of Gold" cried out about the heart-wrenching situation that had prevailed since the 1948 Israeli War of Independence.
For 19 years, the Jordanians had occupied the Old City of Jerusalem and its eastern side. For 19 years, in violation of the 1949 Armistice agreement with the newly established State of Israel, Jordan - the late King Hussein - denied Jews access to the Western Wall, the outskirts of their most holy site, the western retaining wall of the Temple Mount. It is one of the last vestiges of the Jewish People's Holy Temple - the "House of G-D" - destroyed by the occupying Roman Army 1,900 years earlier.
"The shofar is heard again on the Temple Mount, in the Old City," the song declared. "Jerusalem of Gold" spoke to the sufferings of the Jewish People and the hope that the situation would end. The war broke out and it became a massive hit, the unofficial anthem of the war.
Three weeks before the war began, during Yom HaAtzmaut celebrations - Israeli Independence Day - at his Yeshiva, Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah Kook, son of the venerated former Chief Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, gave a rousing lecture on the joyous significance of the day. But then he took his students by surprise, switched gears and began lamenting the situation, in a tearful cry he asked, "Where is our Jerusalem (the Old City and Temple Mount)? Where is our Hebron? Where is our Jericho?" Teaching his students that the holiday joy was not yet complete without them. After the victory, his words rung with "prophetic" intent, as if he demanded from above the return of the Jewish People's inheritance, and was granted it.
The Six Day War was fought on all fronts. The Egyptians were fought in the south, in Sinai. The Syrians tried their hand, in the north, on the Golan Heights. But Jordan held the prize. Initially, the Israeli government called on King Hussein to stay out of the war, but he would have none of that. Over-inflated from Egyptian President Nasser's ranting to drive the Jews into the sea, King Hussein took the fateful plunge instead - that had already been "foreseen" - he opened another front in Jerusalem and the center of the country. Jordanian soldiers shot at Israelis - civilians and soldiers - from the Old City Walls into new, western Jerusalem, and the fighting was fierce.
But the Israeli government decided not to repeat the mistake of Ben-Gurion's government in the 1948 war. Rather than lose the Old City of Jerusalem a second time, they decided to liberate it. Soon the nation would hear those words that still send ripples of joy to Jews. Motta Gur, commander of the front, announced over his army radio the third prophecy - "Har HaBayit B'Yadenu - the Temple Mount is in our hands." They had liberated the Old City of Jerusalem. Almost 1,900 years after the Romans destroyed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, after 19 years of separation from the most holy place on earth, the Jews had returned home. Who still can't hear those words of prophecy without being moved? The full weight of 19 centuries was lifted off the backs of the Jewish People.
"The Temple Mount is in our hands!"Jews took the initiative then and with help from above, they reunited with their holy site, the Temple Mount. Great joy encompassed the nation, 200,000 Jews came out that Shavuot - the Feast of Weeks - just days after the war's end, to celebrate at the Western Wall. Joy seemed complete again...
Yet in contrast to all those "miracles," all those hopes and dreams finally fulfilled, several "peace initiatives" envision a reversal of history, a slap-in-the-face to "The G-D of Israel." A plan being promoted by former Israeli Justice Minister Yossi Beilin and former Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo called, "The Geneva Initiative - a model for a permanent Israeli-Palestinian agreement," calls for the Temple Mount to be given to the "Palestinians" permanently, with the help of the rest of the world. The Ayalon-Nusseibeh petition drive also seeks to give the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to the "Palestinians". Even the "Roadmap" plan that the U.S., EU, UN, and Russia have devised - and the Sharon government has accepted - puts Jerusalem and the Temple Mount on the chopping block, "up for negotiations."
How is it that this generation is contemplating the unthinkable?
Generations of Jews prayed for the eventual return to the Holy City of Jerusalem, the prayers and dreams of generations and millennia materialized in 1967. And today, there are those who want to reverse history, to give away the Jewish People's patrimony?
Ironically, rather than by force of arms - something the Arab occupiers tried and fail to do - some Jews contemplate doing voluntarily, through peace agreements. How could they spurn the "Blessings of G-D"? How could they try to reverse Jewish history? How could they ignore the "prophecies"?
Now is the time for every Jew - and gentile - to take a stand. "Not by force, nor by might, but by MY spirit," says the Holy One of Israel.
Now is the time of truth for the Temple Mount.
Global Jihad (Arab holy war) is intensifying.
In Nigeria last week, Muslim mobs brandishing machetes butchered some thirty Christians in the streets of the city of Kano. They butchered them and then set them aflame.
American contractors are murdered in Iraq, their abused corpses triumphantly dragged through the streets and displayed hanging from a bridge. An American, Nick Berg, is beheaded on camera.
Six Israeli soldiers are blown up by a roadside bomb and masked terrorists parade their body parts, including a head, for the press. The Arabs, shockingly, are allowed to use UN and UNRWA ambulances to bring body parts to PA controlled territory, to be used for extortion purposes in dealing with Israel.
The hooded men who displayed the head of an Israeli soldier and those who decapitated Nick Berg are part of the same global Jihad. One wants an Islamic dictatorship in Iraq, the other wants the same thing in place of Israel.
We must finally come to grips with the fact that our enemies are engaged in a world war against the entire non-Muslim world. We must understand the depth of their hatred. We, Israelis, Americans, Jews and Christians worldwide, constitute the front line in the war, wherever we are.
It was not the US military deployment in Saudi Arabia that precipitated the September 11 attacks (15 of the 19 suicide bombers were Saudis) any more than it was the Israeli presence in Gaza or Judea and Samaria or Jerusalem that precipitated the Palestinian-led Jihad against Israel. It is our free, democratic way of life, our very existence, that provokes our enemy.
Our enemies, the forces of global Jihad, be they Palestinian or Jordanian, Saudi, Egyptian, Syrian, Lebanese, Iranian or Iraqi, use all the means at their disposal to wage their war against us. They do not wage this war because of anything we have done, they do so because they are ruthless barbarians.
Nonetheless, the rest of the world, including, unfortunately, the United States, are behaving as though the Palestinian branch of the global Jihad is engaging in a war over a few kilometers in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, rather than playing a central role in the global Jihad against non-Muslims.
Proof positive that the Palestinian Jihad against Israel is not about territory: In 1964, the year the PLO was founded, article 24 of its Charter stated, "This organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Gaza Strip..." The 1964 version of the PLO charter.
Most people are only aware of the 1968 version, which was changed following the Six Day War to reflect the Palestinians' sudden eternal attachment to these areas.
The "Road Map" is essentially a Saudi Arabian plan to drive the Jews out of Israel. Before 1967, when Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria and Egypt occupied Gaza, the PLO was not interested in sovereignty over these areas. Their present passionate attachment to this land is so that the infidel Jews should not live thereon. This attitude, of course, is encouraged and financed by all the Arab states as part of the general Jihad against the Judeo-Christian world.
Why is the United States so anxious to carry out the "Road Map", slicing away from Israel the Biblical heartland of Judea, Samaria and also Gaza?
Yes, dear friends, not only Judea and Samaria, but Gaza, as well, is a Biblical inheritance of the Jewish People!
Gaza has been part of the Land of Israel since Biblical times. The borders of Israel specified in Genesis 15 clearly include Gaza, and it is described in Joshua 15:47 and Judges 1:18 as part of the inheritance of the tribe of Judah. In Kings, it is included in the areas ruled by King Solomon.
Israel, unfortunately, has powerful enemies in the US government. Chief amongst them is the US State Department and its current head, Secretary of State Colin Powell.
As an example, State Department spokesman, Richard Boucher said at his daily press briefing on September 27, 2001: "Essentially, there are, on some planes, two different things. One is that there are violent people trying to destroy societies - ours, many others in the world. The world recognizes that and we're going to stop those people. On the other hand, there are issues and violence and political issues that need to be resolved in the Middle East - Israeli and Palestinians."
It seems that State Department spokesman Richard Boucher feels that the Arabs are murdering us daily, merely to resolve political issues.
And the U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell seems to agree. He said in the fall of 2001 that Palestinian terrorists might just be "freedom fighters." Although Bin Laden's Al-Qaida is clearly a terrorist group, said Powell before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Palestinian groups allegedly lie in "gray areas", areas "that might need to be treated politically." Speaking of Palestinian organizations that regularly target and murder Israeli schoolchildren, Powell instructed the Committee that this is a domain where "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."
Is Colin Powell an enemy of the Jewish State? He certainly is not a friend.
Last Saturday, Powell met with the Palestinian leadership in Jordan. He told reporters that he was pleased to have a "constructive talk" with Palestinian premier Ahmed Queri, along with "my colleague Nabil Shaath and so many other of my good friends from the Palestinian Authority."
This is the same Palestinian Authority that has been waging a terrorist war against Israel since September 2000, and which is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent men, women and children. It is the same entity that Powell's own State Department, in its recently released report on patterns of global terrorism, has linked to acts of terror against the Jewish State.
And these are whom Powell considers to be his "good friends"?
Not only that, but in his remarks to the press, with a smiling Qurei standing at his side, Powell did not even bother to mention the horrific events of the preceding week. He did not see fit to condemn the Palestinians' vile desecration of Israel's dead, nor did he denounce their ongoing efforts to carry out attacks against the Jewish State. However, he did slam Israel for demolishing Palestinian structures in Gaza, structures that have been used to stage attacks on Israeli soldiers.
Interesting. Fifteen years ago, in December of 1989, then-General Colin Powell, oversaw the U.S. invasion of Panama. U.S. forces bombarded the El Chorillo neighborhood of Panama City, where the headquarters of the Panamanian Defense Forces were located, alongside the homes of thousands of innocent civilians. By the UN's estimate, the homes of at least 2,723 Panamanian families, totaling approximately 13,500 people, were affected.
If that is not the height of hypocrisy and double standard, I cannot imagine what is.
I do hope and pray that Colin Powell's opinions and those of his State Department, are not those of President George W. Bush. I believe that it is of utmost importance, in this closely fought election year, for President Bush to disassociate himself from those of Colin Powell's pronouncements at variance with his own viewpoints. In addition, President Bush would be wise to pay attention to his large constituency of Bible-believing Jews and Christians, who firmly hold the opinion that a Palestinian state carved out of covenant land is directly against the Word of G-d.
The butchers in Gaza who kicked the remains of Israeli soldiers like footballs, like the butchers in Baghdad, Karachi, Riyadh and beyond, who kill with barbaric ecstasy and hatred, do not do so because of anything we have done. They do so because they are fanatic subhuman barbarians. And if we do not wish to be destroyed, we must do everything to destroy them and not give them hope that their terrorism will be rewarded.
I haven’t told this to anyone but in the midst of this operation, we assisted a baby being born and evacuated an elderly woman who was injured and summoned a local ambulance for her. Terrorists ran and fired from behind the ambulance. Therefore, I do not want to make any comparison between our scale of values and theirs.- Colonel Eyal Eisenberg, commander of the Givati Brigade.
"Why is it that there's more indignation over a photo of a prisoner with underwear on his head than over the video of a young American with no head at all?"- US Senator Zell Miller
"Terrorism is not an enemy. It is a method. It is the most sinister, brutal, inhumane method of our age. But it is nonetheless just that: a method. You cannot, and you do not, make war on a method. War is made on an identified - and identifiable - enemy." How simple. The "War on Terror" is a phrase that we use to hide the truth from ourselves . The western world is fighting an enemy that it does not even have the courage - or maybe the common sense - to name.....The battle is against militant Islam, not “Terror”"— Andrew C. McCarthy, a former chief assistant U.S. attorney who led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others
"[Arafat] made sure his subordinates understood very well when he was interested in a ceasefire and when he was interested in terror attacks against Israel."- Tel Aviv District Court in its guilty verdict against PLO murderer Marwan Barghouti
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