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Yasser Arafat has proclaimed an "Olympic Truce" and a "Torch of Peace" in the spirit of international harmony and peace during the summer games, which will be held August 13th through August 29th. In any case, the Israeli athletes will be under the protective eye of Israel's security team.
In yet another international publicity ploy and stunt, Yasser Arafat, out of the goodness and kindness of his heart has offered an "Olympic" truce in the spirit of peace between the nations. Palestinian Authority/Palestine Liberation Organization (PA/PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat boldly and deceitfully told foreign diplomats he was committed to an "Olympic truce" during the international games set to take place in Athens, Greece.
Surely we can believe the word of Arafat, based upon his past record of peaceful propositions - and his record of terrorism against the Jewish State of Israel.
Arafat's comments came amid Egyptian efforts to mediate a total ceasefire between Israel and Arab "Palestinians" that would allow for a smooth withdrawal of Israel Defense Forces troops and the evacuation of settlements in the Gaza Strip.
"On the occasion of lighting the Palestinian Olympic torch, I declare our respect and commitment for an Olympic truce," Arafat said. He expressed the hope that the declaration would "help to revive the old Greek ritual of creating a generation that enjoys peace."
But a senior Israeli official dismissed Arafat's remarks. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, accused Arafat of being behind the killings of 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics. "Arafat's Olympic torch is a torch of death. There is a big difference between what Arafat says and what he does," the official said.
In May, Arafat ordered all factions under his control to prevent any "isolated" attacks on this summer's Olympic Games. Let's hope and pray he'll honor his word this time - perhaps the only time.
One can only recall the 1972 Olympic Munich Massacre in which eleven athletes of the Israeli team were murdered in cold blood by Arafat's PLO "Black September" faction.
It was 4:30 in the morning on September 5, 1972, when five Arab terrorists wearing tracksuits climbed the six-foot six-inch fence surrounding the Olympic Village. Although they were seen by several people, no one thought anything was unusual since athletes routinely hopped the fence; moreover, the terrorists' weapons were hidden in athletic bags. These five were met by three more men who are presumed to have obtained credentials to enter the village.
Just before 5:00 am, the Arabs knocked on the door of Israeli wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg. When Weinberg opened the door, he realized something was wrong and shouted a warning to his comrades. He and weightlifter Joseph Romano attempted to block the door while other Israelis escaped, but they were killed by the terrorists. The Arabs then succeeded in rounding up nine Israelis to hold as hostages.
At 9:30, the terrorists announced that they were "Palestinians" and demanded that Israel release 200 Arab prisoners and that the terrorists be given safe passage out of Germany.
After hours of tense negotiations, the Palestinians, who it was later learned belonged to a PLO faction called "Black September", agreed to a plan whereby they were to be taken by helicopter to the NATO air base at Firstenfeldbruck, where they would be given an airplane to fly them and their hostages to Cairo. The Israelis were then taken by bus to the helicopters and flown to the airfield. In the course of the transfer, the Germans discovered that there were eight terrorists instead of the five they expected and realized that they had not assigned enough marksmen to carry out the plan to kill the terrorists at the airport.
After the helicopters landed at the air base around 10:30 pm, the German sharpshooters attempted to kill the terrorists and a bloody firefight ensued. At 11, the media was mistakenly informed that the hostages had been saved and the news was announced to a relieved Israeli public. Almost an hour later, however, new fighting broke out and one of the helicopters holding the Israelis was blown up by a terrorist grenade. The remaining hostages in the second helicopter were shot to death by one of the surviving terrorists.
At 3:00 am, a drawn and teary-eyed Jim McKay, who had been reporting the drama throughout the day as part of ABC's Olympic coverage, announced: "They're all gone."
Five of the terrorists were killed, along with one policeman, and three were captured. A little over a month later, on October 29, a Lufthansa jet was hijacked by terrorists demanding that the Munich killers be released.
The Germans capitulated and the terrorists were let go, but an Israeli assassination squad was assigned to track them down along with those responsible for planning the massacre. According to George Jonas in Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team, eight of the 11 men targeted for death were killed. Of the remaining three, one died of natural causes and the other two were assassinated, but it is not known for sure if they were killed by Israeli agents.
Meanwhile, the mastermind of the massacre remains at large. In fact, in 1999, Abu Daoud admitted his role in his autobiography, Memoirs of a Palestinian Terrorist. He claims his commandos never intended to harm the athletes and blamed their deaths on the German police and the stubbornness of then-Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir (JTA, May 4, 1999).
The massacre of 11 Israeli athletes was not considered sufficiently serious to merit canceling or postponing the Olympics. "Incredibly, they're going on with it," Jim Murray of the Los Angeles Times wrote at the time, "It's almost like having a dance at Dachau."
Arafat's "Black September" and the Munich Olympics shall never ever be forgotten. Eleven Israeli athletes were boldly and coldly murdered in an act of aggression and terrorism.
Arafat makes a mockery of the meaning of the word peace and is dedicated not to the negotiations of peace, but to the annihilation of the Jewish State of Israel in order to replace it with an Arab/Islamist State of Terrorism, or a second Arab "Palestine", as the first one exists already - it is Jordan, formerly known as Trans-Jordan.
Arafat's "torch of peace" is the torch of death.
One of the most controversial and ill-fated decisions taken by Israel in the wake of the Oslo process was to arm the Palestinian Authority's security forces.
The rationale behind this move was explained in its time as a prerequisite for the establishment of a viable security force. If left unarmed, went the explanation, this security force would not be respected by the populace. And if it were to be armed, then better have Israel itself arm it, so that the Palestinian leadership's respect for, and sense of indebtedness to, Israel would be enhanced.
As then-foreign minister Shimon Peres explained in December 1993, leaving the PA's policemen unarmed would have meant abandoning the Palestinian landscape to the devices of those who already were armed, namely Hamas. What, asked Peres rhetorically, will PA police do while Hamas effectively bears arms: throw stones?
At the time, those who backed the Oslo Accords accepted this attitude, albeit with varying degrees of skepticism, since they believed their leaders' insistence that they had found viable partners for a genuine Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. That was also why the public generally accepted the joint patrols of PA police and IDF troops that were conducted during the 1990s.
Eleven years and more than 1,000 Israeli fatalities later, it is clear that even if this gamble seemed reasonable in its time itself a debatable proposition in hindsight it proved catastrophic.
Sadly, the past decade's experience has demonstrated that PA police cannot be trusted to keep their gun barrels away from Israelis, and that those who command them cannot be trusted to harmonize with the Jewish state.
Back in fall 2000 Palestinian policemen turned their Israeli-handed rifles on Israeli soldiers, thus touching off the violence that eventually made the Israeli mainstream despair of the Oslo Accords. Then, as if to mock the original Peres rationale that the PA would side with Israel in its supposed war with Hamas, PA policemen effectively became Hamas followers, as they repeatedly waged suicide attacks within pre-'67 Israel. One such "cop," Ali Jaara, committed his crime a mere six months ago, just outside Ariel Sharon's residence, when he killed 11 people and wounded 50 as he bombed Bus No. 19.
Meanwhile, fatal attacks sponsored jointly by Hamas and Fatah like the double suicide bombings that killed 10 and wounded 16 last March at the Ashdod Seaport became commonplace.
All this, of course, is well known to Ariel Sharon and his government, but their thoughts are apparently focused on the anarchy into which the Palestinian areas have deteriorated.
According to Minister Gideon Ezra, at stake is not the actual handing out of weapons by Israel, only the relocation of hardware that is anyhow on the Palestinian side so that it ends up in the hands of the people who may restore "order" to the places that Yasser Arafat was originally expected to rule. Moreover, we are being reassured, the weapon-possession approvals that Israel is prepared to make will only follow the disclosure of an orderly Palestinian list of recipients that will be scrutinized by the Shin Bet, to verify the intended arms-bearers' lack of a terrorist record.
We buy none of this, and urge the prime minister to stick to his unilateral-disengagement philosophy, the core idea of which is complete disillusionment with the Palestinian Authority as a reliable government. That goes even for Sharon's latest reported quip, namely that the newly armed PA cops would be handed pistols instead of rifles. Back in '93 such an idea might have made sense policemen do usually carry handguns, not assault rifles but today we can no longer trust anyone in the West Bank or Gaza to handle responsibly any gun, of whatever size or shape.
Beyond this, Israeli interference in the Palestinian anarchy is likely to backfire literally and politically. The chaos in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is for its victims and perpetrators to resolve alone. And anyway, what interest does Israel have in again rescuing Arafat from the chaos he sowed? We have already gambled with this kind of exercise in the past; it was one time too many.
Events from the past week indicate the US has lost its way in the war on terrorism.On August 8, warrants for the arrest of Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi and his nephew, Salem Chalabi, who is overseeing the preparation of a war crimes tribunal against Saddam Hussein, were issued by a US-appointed Iraqi magistrate. Ahmed Chalabi, who headed the Iraqi Governing Council's finance committee, is charged with holding forged dinars. Yet Sinan Shabibi, the governor of Iraq's Central Bank, has denied he ever launched any charges against Chalabi and attests that the 3000 forged dinars found in Chalabi's office, valued at $2, were clearly stamped "Forgery" and that Chalabi held them by virtue of his official position.
Salem Chalabi is charged with the murder of the late director-general of the IGC's Finance Ministry. The only basis for the charge is that the two men argued some weeks before the murder. According to an editorial in The Wall Street Journal, "...even Ahmed's enemies say they find the [charges against Salem] incredible." The judge who filed the arrest warrants against the Chalabis, as well as against the spokesman and the head of security for the INC, is one Zuhair al-Maliky, a former translator for the Coalition Provisional Authority who was appointed to head the Iraqi Criminal Court by the then-US regent in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer.
Maliky received his appointment in spite of the fact that he had no prior experience as a jurist. It was also Maliky who signed the order to raid Chalabi's offices last May. That raid led to allegations that Chalabi was spying for Iran. Those charges have never been substantiated. Yet the raid served to discredit both Chalabi and Pentagon officials who for years have championed Chalabi and the INC against CIA and State Department attempts to destroy the organization.
The timing of the arrest warrants was doubtless not coincidental. This week, Ahmed Chalabi was set to participate in meetings ahead of the convention of the Iraqi national assembly, the provisional parliament that is supposed to constitute a check on the power of the UN-appointed government led by the former Baathist and CIA informant Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. According to former CPA employee Michael Rubin, who reported the background of this story in National Review Online this week, Allawi is uninterested in the convention of a national assembly that could check his as-of-now seemingly limitless authority.
This week, Chalabi was also scheduled to meet with visiting members of the US House of Representatives, who are in Iraq on a fact-finding mission regarding the UN oil-for-food scandal in which UN officials and foreign governments allegedly earned millions of dollars in scurrilous oil giveaways by Saddam Hussein. Chalabi had been conducting the IGC's investigation of the scandal. His investigation was coming to a fore last spring as the Bush administration was seeking to mollify the UN in order to receive its imprimatur on the handover of governing authority to the Iraqi provisional government.
As a result, last May, Robert Blackwill, the National Security Council's point man for Iraq, had his aides put together an options memo on how to marginalize Chalabi. Shortly thereafter, Maliky ordered the raid on Chalabi's offices.
Chalabi's colleagues view him as the most effective coalition-builder in Iraq and one of the main forces capable of transforming Iraq into a pluralistic, law-abiding, secular, pro-American democracy. Yet, in return for its decision to abandon Chalabi and derail his investigation of the oil-for-food scandal, the US received the short-term payoff of UN Security Council approval of the handover of sovereignty this past June.
But what have been the other consequences of US abandonment of the most stalwart voice for Iraqi democracy? Allawi, who according to eyewitnesses shot dead six bound and blindfolded Iraqi prisoners three weeks after he was named interim Iraqi prime minister, is pushing Iraq down the path of reversion to an authoritarian dictatorship run by former Baathists. The Shi'ites are concerned. The Kurds, the US's most stalwart allies in Iraq, are contemplating a future need to win independence to preserve their hard-earned democracy by force of arms. For his part, Chalabi has taken a recent liking to the US's Shi'ite enemy Moqtada al-Sadr, whom Chalabi recently defended for his struggle against US occupation.
And the US's decision to placate the UN has not made the UN more willing to send peacekeepers to Iraq. Nor has the UN Security Council's recognition of Allawi's government signaled a change in the overall UN hostility toward the US's stated aim of democratizing Iraq. The French recently blocked a US bid to have NATO forces train Iraqi security forces. By squashing the independent Iraqi oil-for-food investigation, the US lost an opportunity of watching Iraqis themselves discredit the governments that most vociferously opposed the US decision to liberate them from Saddam.
The US actions in Iraq should be disturbing to Israel. Not only has Chalabi, the US's staunchest Shi'ite ally, been discarded in favor of forces that oppose the Bush administration's aim to bring democracy to Iraq. In the administration's haste to win UN approval of the Allawi government, it agreed that the UN resolution on the transfer of governing authority would make no mention of the temporary constitution (negotiated by Chalabi) that gave the Kurds veto power to ensure their freedom.
The Kurds viewed this as a betrayal of their friendship by Washington. As one Kurdish fighter explained last month in The Los Angeles Times, "After the incident with the UN resolution, the [Kurds] became impatient because their concerns were not answered Kurds took part effectively in the liberation war, but what we got back was not as much as we put in." We see here that in order to appease institutions like the UN as well as the French, and the now overtly hostile Turks, the US has sidelined and indeed harmed its best friends.
What this bodes for Israel was alluded to by a story published in the Sunday New York Times about US disenchantment with diplomatic attempts to stem the Iranian nuclear weapons program. The Times reported that given the failure of Western diplomacy aimed at thwarting Iran's nuclear weapons program, the US is now pushing for the issue to be transferred to the UN Security Council for management.
According to the Times, the Bush administration's increased urgency on the matter is driven in part "by increasingly strong private statements by Israeli officials that they will not tolerate the development of an Iranian nuclear weapon, and may be forced to consider military action if Tehran is judged to be on the verge of deploying a weapon." So, at least in part, what is driving the US to action in Iran is the fear that Israel, the US's inconvenient yet staunchest and most loyal ally in the war on terror, may actually deal with the largest threat looming from the global terror nexus: its physical destruction by a terrorist regime in possession of nuclear weapons.
One would think that if the US is truly reconciled to the evil of the Axis of Evil's most active member, the US would embrace an Israeli military plan to take out Teheran's nuclear facilities, and indeed cooperate with Israel from its bases in Iraq and Afghanistan to ensure the success of this crucial mission.
Yet what we see is that Israel is liable to be treated like a Chalabi. While the US is pushing Britain, France and Germany – whose attempts to negotiate with Teheran have utterly failed – to move the issue from the International Atomic Energy Agency to the UN Security Council, it is far from clear that any of these countries support such a move. And it is even less clear whether, in the event that the US succeeds in moving the issue to the UN Security Council, these countries would sign on to any US resolution calling for effective (i.e., military) steps to destroy the Iranian nuclear program. Still less clear is whether the other two member of the UN Security Council – Russia, which built Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor, and China, which has supplied it with nuclear technology – could be swayed by the US.
More likely is a scenario in which Israel becomes a scapegoat in a US attempt to forge a coalition of states that share none of the US's interests vis-a-vis Iran. Iran this week demanded a guarantee of protection from Britain, France and Germany against an Israeli nuclear strike. IAEA chief ElBaradei's recent visit to Israel, where he pushed Israel to open its nuclear installations to international monitoring, could easily pave the way for a draft UN Security Council resolution calling for sanctions against Israel in the event that the government refuses to allow IAEA inspections of our nuclear installations. The US could well find itself in a position of being alone in demanding action against Iran and being either blackballed or forced to accept an equation of Israel with Iran in order to avert yet another head-on collision with its purported allies on the Security Council. And in the meantime, unless Israel acts on its own, months will have passed with no effective action against the Iranian nuclear program.
The situation is all the more distressing when we take into consideration the fact that Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is even worse than the terribly confused Bush administration. Following the issuance of the spurious arrest warrants, Kerry called for an investigation into how the US ever had a relationship with Ahmed Chalabi to begin with. Last week, James Rubin, one of Kerry's senior foreign policy advisers, told Newsweek that a Kerry administration would seek to engage Iran and "call its bluff" by offering the fanatical theocracy nuclear fuel in exchange for a pledge not to develop nuclear weapons.
This means we are stuck with hoping for a Bush victory even as the administration itself has forgotten the fundamentals of statecraft and morality: In war and in peace, be good to your friends and bad to your enemies. We can only hope that it regains its bearings soon.
Iran's defense ministry said on Wednesday it had carried out a field test of the latest version of its Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missile, which defense experts say can reach Israel or U.S. bases in the Gulf.
The information comes following an admission by Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani last week that Iran was working on improvements to the range and accuracy of the Shahab-3 in response to Israel's moves to boost its anti-missile capability.
Based on the North Korean Nodong-1 and modified with Russian technology, the Shahab-3 is thought to have a range of 810 miles which would allow it to strike anywhere in Israel. Shahab means "meteor" in Persian – an interesting choice of words:
Tehran is sounding increasingly like Baghdad did before the U.S.-led coalition invaded and removed Saddam Hussein. The Iranians are painfully aware that Israel will not allow them to develop a nuclear weapon. They are equally aware that the last Arab enemy to come close was Saddam Hussein – before Israeli warplanes reduced Iraq's Osiraq reactor to rubble.
Revolutionary Guards Cmdr. Yahya Rahim Safavi gave his best impression of Baghdad Bob, telling Iran's Student News Agency: "If Israel behaves like a lunatic and attacks the Iranian nation's interests, we will come down on their heads like a mallet and break their bones."
Iran deployed the Shahab-3 missiles to its Revolutionary Guards last July after preliminary field tests were successfully completed.
Six of the sand-colored missiles, bearing slogans which said "We will stamp on America" and "We will wipe Israel from the face of the earth," were displayed at an annual military parade last September.
Defense Minister Shamkhani also said:
I completely rule out that Israel would dare direct any military strike at any Iranian facilities. But if Israel one day commits such military folly against Iran, I can promise you that Ariel Sharon, assuming he stays alive, will appear on television screens and announce that he regrets this folly ... He will suffer and scream out in pain.
This sounds like Shamkhani is warning about either biological or even atomic weapons. Iran, or Persia, has been in the center of an unseen warfare from ancient times.
In the 10th chapter of the book of the prophet Daniel, a most extraordinary revelation is made concerning the real rulers behind nations. God pulls back the curtain and briefly exposes the wars that continue in Heaven that affect events on the Earth.
Daniel prayed for Divine insight into the meaning of some prophecies God gave him about the future of his people Israel. An angel appeared to him 21 days later and explained the delay to God's answer:
He said to me, "O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you." And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. Then he said to me, "Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words.
I mention this here for two reasons. First, it reveals that there are mighty fallen angels called demons that influence earthly leaders. And under God's permission, they even control them. The true "Prince of Persia" was able to hinder the archangel Gabriel.
Only with the help of the archangel Michael was he able to subdue his hindrances. Second, the archangel Michael is said to be the special guardian angel of Daniel and the Israeli people. As it is written, "Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise." (Daniel 12:1, NAS)
I realize for some of you this may sound a little spooky. But this is the Word of God and it is true. My point is this: Even though God has allowed Israel to be disciplined, their final fate always remains in His hands.
God has promised that the nation of Israel will never be destroyed once they return from the worldwide dispersion that began with the Roman holocaust in A.D. 70. And all the powers of darkness cannot change God's promise.
Israel was officially reborn May 15, 1948. So even though the modern Persians think they will destroy Israel, God has another surprise in mind for them.
Hal Lindsey is the best-selling author of 20 books, including "Late Great Planet Earth." Be sure to visit his website where he provides up-to-the-minute analysis of today's world events in the light of ancient prophecies.
Teleseker Poll: Israelis prefers Bush over Kerry 48%:29%Teleseker - for Maariv
Adult Israelis (including Israeli Arabs) week of 6 August 2004:
If you could vote in the American presidential elections, who would you vote for?
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