WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 26 THROUGH OCTOBER 2
Arab League Wants UN Security Council Session on Settlement Freeze
(At its meeting on Wednesday in Cairo, the Arab League will consider a proposal to initiate an emergency UN Security Council meeting on the expiration of Israel's freeze on West Bank settlement construction)
Oct. 1….(Ha Aretz) Arab League representatives, set to meet in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss the future of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in the wake of the expiration of Israel's freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank, will also consider a proposal to request that an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council be held on the issue, sources at the UN told Haaretz. The idea to call for a Security Council session on the settlement freeze issue has reportedly been considered before but was put on hold due to the doubts of some Arab representatives at the UN of the benefits of holding such a session. After Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, however, in which Lieberman questioned the wisdom of direct talks and called a peace deal "unrealistic", support grew among Arab representatives to call for an emergency session on the settlement freeze issue. According to sources in New York, Arab and Muslim representatives at the UN believe that Lieberman could not have presented his views on a population and territory exchange without advance coordination with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Because of the Arab League's involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian talks, Arab representatives at the UN decided to pass to the Arab League the decision on whether to call for an emergency Security Council session on the expiration of the settlement freeze. Although the Arab representatives can call for an emergency Security Council session, any Security Council action would be mainly declarative. The United States is also expected to exert its influence on moderate Arab states to forestall a Security Council debate on the matter. The US position is that an Security Council session on the settlement freeze issue would only harden the positions of the Israelis and the Palestinians as the US tries to prevent a collapse of the peace talks.
Iran Puts off Bushehr Nuclear Plant Launch to early 2011
(Iranian officials deny Stuxnet virus has affected major systems at nuclear plant, but analysts believe Iran may be suffering wider sabotage)
Oct. 1….(Ha Aretz) Iran's first nuclear power plant will begin supplying energy in early 2011, a senior official said, signaling a delay of several months after the spread of a global computer virus believed to have affected mainly Iran. Iranian officials said on Sunday the Stuxnet virus had hit staff computers at the Bushehr plant, a symbol of Iran's growing geopolitical sway and rejection of international efforts to curb its nuclear activity, but not affected major systems there. When Iran began loading fuel into Bushehr in August, officials said it would take two to three months for the plant to start producing electricity and that it would generate 1,000 megawatts, about 2.5 percent of the country's power usage. "We hope that the fuel will be transferred to the core of the Bushehr nuclear power plant next week and before the second half of the Iranian month of Mehr (Oct. 7)," Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, was quoted on Wednesday as saying by the semi-official news agency ISNA. "The ground is being prepared in this regard and, God willing, the fuel will be loaded to the core of the reactor completely by early November and the heart of Bushehr power plant will start beating by then." Salehi added: "Two to three months after that electricity will be added to the networks." This would mean Bushehr generating electricity from January or February. Security experts say the Stuxnet computer worm may have been a state-sponsored attack on Iran's nuclear program and have originated in the United States or Israel, the Islamic Republic's arch-adversaries. Iran's program includes uranium enrichment, separate from Bushehr, that Western leaders suspect is geared towards developing atomic bombs. Iran says it is refining uranium only for a future network of nuclear power plants. Diplomats and security sources say Western governments and Israel view sabotage as one way of slowing Iran's nuclear work. Little information is available on how much damage, if any, Iran's nuclear and wider infrastructure has suffered from Stuxnet and Tehran will probably never disclose full details. Some analysts believe Iran may be suffering wider sabotage aimed at slowing its nuclear advances, pointing to a series of unexplained technical glitches that have cut the number of working centrifuge machines at the Natanz enrichment plant. Bushehr was begun by Germany's Siemens in the 1970s, before Iran's Islamic Revolution, but has been dogged by delays. Russia designed and built the plant and will supply the fuel. To ease nuclear proliferation concerns, it will take back spent fuel rods that could otherwise be used to make weapons-grade plutonium. Bushehr is also being monitored by inspectors of the UN nuclear watchdog. Washington has criticized Moscow for pushing ahead with Bushehr despite Iranian defiance over its nuclear program.
Economist: China Literally Owns America
Oct. 1….(CNBC) The US supremacy as the top world economy will end sooner than many people believe, so gold is a better investment than the dollar despite it hitting a new record, Tom Winnifrith, CEO at financial services firm Rivington Street Holdings, told CNBC.com Monday. Gold [XAU=X 1308.2 -0.60 (-0.05%)] hit a new record high Monday and silver [XAG=X 21.8 -0.07 (-0.32%)] rose to another 30-year peak as investors were worried about the dollar weakening further after the Federal Reserve hinted at more quantitative easing last week. The US trade deficit and debt continue to grow and the authorities are reluctant to address the problem, preferring to print money, Winnifrith said. “America is practically owned by China,” he said. He reminded of the fact that in 1900, sterling was the world’s reserve currency but by 1948, that was no longer the case as the British Empire collapsed. “America is doing what Britain did,” Winnifrith said. “America spends much more than it can afford and it’s not addressing the issue.” In 1832, China and India were the world’s two largest economies and by 2032, they will regain that status, he predicted. “The 200 years when Britain and the US were the top two economies were an aberration and that will change,” Winnifrith said. “The decline of empires has happened much faster than folks think. I believe that gold will be a far better bet in 20 years than the dollar,” he added.
Petrodollars to Flood China's Economy
(Middle East Arab nations see US influence waning)
Oct. 1….(WND) Petrodollars, up to $500 billion annually by the year 2020, are expected to flood China's economy as Gulf Arab states begin looking to the day when their wealth no longer will be governed by oil exports, according to a report from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin. The increase in trade is projected based on closer strategic ties already developing between the Gulf Arab states and China, including pressure now being applied to Beijing to influence trading partner Iran to halt its nuclear enrichment program. The investment is coming from the Gulf Cooperating Council nations of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The Sunni Muslim states now have US military facilities in them and view Saudi Arabia as their leader in efforts to curb what they perceive as expansionist plans by Tehran to spread its Shiite influence on the Arabian Peninsula. The Arab nations also are concerned about Iran's nuclear ambitions, which Western nations believe include nuclear weapons. The fear has prompted GCC members seriously to consider beginning their own nuclear development program. Saudi Arabia already has announced such plans if Iran continues down the path of developing its nuclear program. Security is paramount. All of the GCC countries have a strategic alliance with the US ensuring the US military will guarantee their sovereignty and security.
Infecting Iran’s Nuke Program
Oct. 1….(Frontpage) Shortly before Russia inserted the fuel rods into Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor on August 21, some experts warned it would be the last opportunity for Israel to destroy the facility and prevent Iran from going nuclear. Israel did not, and now we may know why: A “cyber super-weapon” had infiltrated the site’s computer networks and it is likely the reason why the reactor’s operation has been delayed. This is just the latest attack in a covert war that has thus far prevented Iran from possessing nuclear weapons. Iran has admitted that 30,000 of its industrial computers, including those at its Bushehr reactor, have been infected by Stuxnet, a virus described as “a precision, military-grade cyber missile” unrivaled in its sophistication. Top cyber security experts have marveled at Stuxnet, studying it for months because it is “too large, too encrypted, too complex to be immediately understood, it employed amazing new tricks…” It is estimated that it took at least ten experts over six months and $3 million to develop it. “This is not about espionage, as some have said. This is a 100 percent sabotage attack,” said one expert. And the target of that sabotage is undoubtedly Iran’s nuclear program. Nearly 60 percent of the Stuxnet infections have occurred in Iran. It is specifically designed to infiltrate systems run by Siemens technology, which is what Iran uses for its nuclear reactor and to shut down the Internet communications of the regime’s opposition. Stuxnet is spread initially by inserting a memory stick into the USB port of one of the sensitive computers, and then it moves through the various systems until it finds its predetermined target. At that point, it is activated as a weapon, silently taking control of the targeted system, disabling it and sending its information abroad. A news website’s photo from inside the Bushehr reactor in February 2009 is probably what tipped the attackers’ off about the opportunity at hand. The photo showed that one of the reactor’s computer systems was running on Siemens software and the screen had an alert cautioning that a vulnerability existed. This oversight by the Iranians may have been the reactors’ undoing. The reactor is still not operating, despite its much anticipating beginning of operations in September. An Iranian official offered a dubious explanation that hot weather had caused the delay. It is unclear which government is behind the attack, but Israeli officials have talked of their ability to use cyber warfare against Iran’s nuclear program before and Israel and her allies have a long history of successful covert operations meant to stall the regime’s drive to acquire nuclear weapons capacity. One former cabinet member flatly stated in July 2009 that “We came to the conclusion that, for our purposes, a key Iranian vulnerability is in its on-line information. We have acted accordingly.” Iran’s Natanz centrifuge plant was originally speculated by some experts to be the target of Stuxnet. This appears false, as Iran has confirmed the presence of Stuxnet at Bushehr and it is believed to be wired to damage one specific target. However, Natanz appears to have suffered severe problems from other acts of sabotage. Last year, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization was fired after a major accident at Natanz. In another “accident” in April 2006, equipment imported from Europe caused an explosion that destroyed 50 centrifuges at the site. Iran’s nuclear chief admitted that it was caused by “manipulated” technology. One study found that Iran’s centrifuges are only operating at 20 percent efficiency. Only about half of the centrifuges at Natanz are working, and they are breaking faster than they are being replaced. In November 2009, only 3,900 were operating, down about 1,000 from May. The ones that did operate only produced about half of the uranium they should have. Part of the problem the Iranians face is that impurities supposed to be cleansed from the uranium before entering the centrifuges still remained, damaging the devices. This is extremely hurtful to the program, as Iran is running short on uranium and is being forced to find foreign suppliers and is working feverishly to increase production its mine near Bandar Abbas. Operations to wreck the centrifuges have long been in motion. As far back as 1998, undercover CIA and Mossad operatives worked to sell Iran faulty chemical substances that would later disable them. Top nuclear expert David Albright says that US labs tampered with vacuum pumps needed for the centrifuges that were then sold to Iran. They were rigged “to bug them or to make them break down under operational conditions. If you can break the vacuum in a centrifuge cascade, you can destroy hundreds of centrifuges or thousands if you are really lucky.” In 2006, Iran arrested one of its citizens for allegedly causing “irreversible damage” by providing booby-trapped nuclear equipment on behalf of the Mossad. He was hanged in 2008. The Israelis are suspected of being involved in the assassination and disappearance of Iranian nuclear scientists as well. In January 2007, Dr. Ardeshir Hassanpour, a key scientist at the Isfahan uranium conversion site, “suffocated by fumes from a faulty gas fire while he slept,” claimed the Iranian regime. Other sources are confident his death was caused by the Israelis. The Mossad is suspected in the deaths of at least two other scientists. The CIA and other intelligence agencies have also been hard at work in getting important officials to defect, and there have been other suspicious accidents damaging nuclear labs and Revolutionary Guards aircraft carrying sensitive materials. The Stuxnet attack and other covert operations are causing incalculable damage to the Iranians’ nuclear efforts, and the sophisticated nature of the virus means there may still be undetected damage. It is often asked if and when Iran’s nuclear sites will be attacked. Now we know the answer: They already have been.
US Pressing Israel to Halt West Bank Construction
Sept. 30….(MSNBC) Washington's special Mideast envoy on Wednesday was trying to wring an agreement out of Israel to bar new West Bank settlement construction and put foundering peace talks back on track. President Barack Obama dispatched George Mitchell on an emergency mission to the Middle East to broker a compromise that would keep Palestinians from making good on their threat to abandon the talks if Israel resumes settlement building now that a 10-month moratorium has expired. Mitchell met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday and was scheduled to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas a day later to try to broker a compromise. At the start of his meeting with Mitchell, Netanyahu said he and Abbas "have an historic mission to continue those good talks" and reaffirmed his commitment to a deal that would assure Israel's security. A string of possible compromises apparently is on the table, including restricting new construction to major West Bank settlement blocs and bureaucratic machinations by Israel's defense minister that would keep a de facto moratorium in place without Israel's declaring an extension. Netanyahu says his pro-settlement coalition could fracture if the construction curbs, which ended Sunday, are extended. But the Palestinians say negotiations, which resumed just four weeks ago, are pointless if growing settlements keep chipping away at lands they want for their future state. Abbas has given the US mediation until at least Monday, when he meets with Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, to try to craft an accord that would allow him to remain at the negotiating table. Palestinian media reported Wednesday that Abbas told journalists he was ready to make a "historic" decision. Senior Palestinian officials would not confirm these reports, and it wasn't clear whether Abbas meant he was ready to quit the talks or whether he was simply trying to create some last-minute leverage. On Saturday, Abbas will consult top officials from his Fatah Party and the Palestine Liberation Organization's decision-making body before sitting down with the Arab officials. Hanna Amireh, a member of the PLO body, said there was widespread opposition to resuming talks without a settlement curb. "The consensus is that since the entire world is in favor of a Palestinian state and against settlements, then let us throw this problem in the face of the world and see what they can do about it," Amireh said. However, in the end Abbas will likely have to decide alone. In the past, Fatah and the PLO have routinely backed his decisions and are unlikely to rebel against him now. The Arab League is also expected to back Abbas' recommendations. Should he stay in the talks without a moratorium, Abbas would lose even more credibility among Palestinian constituents already skeptical of his ability to deliver a peace deal. The Islamic militant Hamas group, which seized control of the Gaza Strip from him in 2007 and opposes peacemaking, would benefit. Yet the Western-backed Abbas is reluctant to walk away from talks because his international standing and future as a leader are tied to the quest for a peace deal. Netanyahu's own foreign minister highlighted the stiff opposition the Israeli leader faces within his governing coalition to making concessions to the Palestinians. At the United Nations on Tuesday, Avigdor Lieberman spoke of a drawn-out interim agreement with the Palestinians instead of the near-term statehood they demand. Israelis and Palestinians need time to erase their mutual distrust, Lieberman told the annual ministerial meeting of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. "Under these conditions, we should focus on coming up with a long-term intermediate agreement, something that could take a few decades," Lieberman said. In a rare move, Netanyahu distanced himself from his foreign minister's remarks. The prime minister, himself a hard-liner in dealings with the Palestinians, has committed to try to frame a final peace deal within a year. Netanyahu, who only recently endorsed the notion of a Palestinian state under heavy US pressure, has never publicly outlined a timetable for implementing any deal. An extension of the moratorium would not end all building in the West Bank. Under the terms of the curbs, projects that were already under way were allowed to continue. Even after the freeze went into effect in late November, more than 2,500 apartments were still in various stages of construction in the first quarter of this year.
PLO: Talks Won't Continue Unless Freeze Decision Reversed
Sept. 30….(Jerusalem Post) The PLO said on Wednesday that they cannot be expected to continue peace talks unless Israel reverses the decision to lift restrictions on settlement construction. Hanna Amireh, a member of the PLO body, said there was widespread opposition to resuming talks without a settlement curb. The consensus is that since the entire world is in favor of a Palestinian state and against settlements, then let us throw this problem in the face of the world and see what they can do about it," Amireh said. Also on Wednesday EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton said that the recently expired settlement construction moratorium must be extended if the peace talks are to have any hope of succeeding. Ashton made the comments after a Washington meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Starting Thursday, the EU foreign policy chief will meet with Netanyahu, Abbas and Mitchell over two days to try to prevent the collapse of negotiations. She reiterated in a statement that the European Union regrets Israel's decision not to extend a 10-month-old moratorium on West Bank housing starts that expired this week.
Iran Seeks Help to stop Rampaging Stuxnet Malworm
Sept. 30….(DEBKA) Tehran this week secretly appealed to a number of computer security experts in West and East Europe with offers of handsome fees for consultations on ways to exorcize the Stuxnet worm spreading havoc through the computer networks and administrative software of its most important industrial complexes and military command centers. Debkafile's intelligence and Iranian sources report Iran turned for outside help after local computer experts failed to remove the destructive virus. None of the foreign experts has so far come forward because Tehran refuses to provide precise information on the sensitive centers and systems under attack and give the visiting specialists the locations where they would need to work. They were not told whether they would be called on to work outside Tehran or given access to affected sites to study how they function and how the malworm managed to disable them. Iran also refuses to give out data on the changes its engineers have made to imported SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems, mostly from Germany. The impression is talking to European computer experts approached for aid was that the Iranians are getting desperate. Not only have their own attempts to defeat the invading worm failed, but they made matters worse: The malworm became more aggressive and returned to the attack on parts of the systems damaged in the initial attack. One expert said: "The Iranians have been forced to realize that they would be better off not 'irritating' the invader because it hits back with a bigger punch." Looking beyond Iran's predicament, he wondered whether the people responsible for planting Stuxnet in Iran, and apparently continuing to offload information from its sensitive systems, have the technology for stopping its rampage. "My impression," he said, "is that somebody outside Iran has partial control at least on its spread. Can this body stop malworm in its tracks or kill it? We don't have that information at present, he said. As it is, the Iranian officials who turned outside for help were described by another of the experts they approached as alarmed and frustrated. It has dawned on them that the trouble cannot be waved away overnight but is around for the long haul. Finding a credible specialist with the magic code for ridding them of the cyber enemy could take several months. After their own attempts to defeat Stuxnet backfired, all the Iranians can do now is to sit back and hope for the best, helpless to predict the worm's next target and which other of their strategic industries will go down or be robbed of its secrets next. While Tehran has given out several conflicting figures on the systems and networks struck by the malworm, 30,000 to 45,000 industrial units, Sources cite security experts as putting the figure much higher, in the region of millions. If this is true, then this cyber weapon attack on Iran would be the greatest ever.
Millions Praying For Peace of Jerusalem
Sept. 30….(Israel Muse) "Roughly 100 million people worldwide are expected to pray Sunday for the peace of Jerusalem. Organizers say 300,000 churches in 175 nations, including underground congregations in China and the Middle East, will participate in the Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, which is considered the world's largest Israel-focused prayer event. Eagles' Wings founder Robert Stearns, who is hosting the prayer day with Foursquare Church leader Jack Hayford, will lead a prayer event from the Tayelet Haas Promenade in Jerusalem. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Christian Broadcasting Network President Michael Little and Rabbi Shlomo Riskin of Efrat are scheduled to participate in the gathering, which will be broadcast on God TV. 'We are living in challenging days, when Jerusalem is under tremendous pressure on all sides,' Stearns said. 'The prayers of faithful people on her behalf will make a difference, especially as Christians and Jews from the nations, along with Arab Christians and Jews from Israel, stand together in Jerusalem on Oct. 3.' The eight-year-old effort is rooted in Psalm 122:6, which calls on believers to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. But Stearns said Jerusalem is growing increasing central in world events, which should further motivate Christians to intercede. 'The centrality of Jerusalem to global affairs has never been more obvious and more at the forefront,' he said. 'The city of Jerusalem is having and will have in the future massive global geopolitical ramifications. So Christians must become educated on the complex issues surrounding the city of Jerusalem.' Stearns said Christians will intercede for all Israel's inhabitants, both Arabs and Jews, and the prayer day won't center on politics. 'We do not pray from nor towards a specific political agenda,' he added. 'But we pray from a scriptural basis, which we believe transcends momentary political understanding and ultimately works toward God's intended blessing for all people.' The prayer day began in 2002 and now has support from hundreds of Christian leaders, including Christians United for Israel founder John Hagee, Bible teacher Kay Arthur, author Joel Rosenberg, Gospel for Asia President KP Yohanan and Aglow International President Jane Hansen Hoyt. 'Never has it been as critical as it is now that we stand in the gap for the nation of Israel and its people,' Hoyt said in a statement. 'The biblical mandate to ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem' must take on greater priority in our lives as we watch the intensity of warfare increase, both in the natural and spiritual realms, over God's end-time purposes for His people-Israel and the body of Christ.'
New Jewish Houses Have The Whole World Fuming
Sept. 29….(Israel Today) True to his word, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has allowed the self-imposed Jewish building freeze in Judea and Samaria (the so-called “West Bank”) to lapse and for approved construction projects there to resume. Work began on Monday on at least 2,000 new housing units and a number of new schools in Jewish communities throughout the territories the Palestinians claim for their future state. Netanyahu had been under heavy pressure to extend the freeze, and has been doing his best to keep a low profile both for himself and for Israel since the freeze expired on Sunday. But that hasn’t stopped the world from moaning. According to government sources cited by The Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu was on the phone non-stop on Monday to listen to the complaints and expressions of disappointment from world leaders. “The United States is disappointed, but we remain focused on our long-term objective and will be talking to the parties about the implications of the Israeli decision,” said US State Department Spokesman PJ Crowley. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement insisting that “settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory [sic], including East Jerusalem, is illegal under international law, and urges Israel to fulfill its…obligation to freeze settlement activity.” [Ed. Note: It is a common misconception fueled by inaccurate reporting and outright misinformation by world leaders that Israel has ever agreed to totally halt Jewish growth in Judea and Samaria. While Israel has agreed not to build new Jewish towns in those areas, every prime minister has carefully stipulated that natural growth in existing towns must be allowed.] British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was “very concerned that talks could falter on this issue and I call on Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government to show leadership to resolve this so the parties can focus on the real challenges ahead.” European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton reiterated that the body she represents views Jewish homes on those ancient Jewish lands as “illegal under international law, constituting an obstacle to peace and threatening to make a two-state solution impossible.” Israeli officials tried in vain to get the international community to see things in context. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was adamant that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ threat to quit the negotiations over the resumption of Jewish construction is a ruse, an excuse to avoid a peace deal he never intended to sign or honor. The Palestinians “refused to accept the gesture of the [Jewish building] moratorium for nine months,” Lieberman told reporters in New York, referring to the fact that Israel imposed the freeze in November 2009 as a means of enticing the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. Abbas rejected the gesture up until the end of last month, and then demanded it be extended indefinitely. For Lieberman, that is evidence that the Palestinians did not enter the negotiations in good faith. Vice Premier Silvan Shalom added that “no demand like this was ever presented to any prime minister in the past, and it did not disrupt negotiations. If the Palestinians leave the talks, it will be clear that it is just an excuse.” The US Congress appeared to be taking Israel’s side. The journal Foreign Policy reported that a letter signed by 87 out of 100 US senators was sent to US President Barack Obama this week urging him to press Abbas hard to remain at the negotiating table, and praising Netanyahu for having done so even when Israeli civilians were murdered in brutal acts of Palestinian terrorism on the very day the negotiations resumed in Washington. “Neither side should make threats to leave just as the talks are getting started,” the senators wrote. Meanwhile, Abbas has backed down from his threat to immediately suspend negotiations, and has said he will give Israel another week to reinstate the Jewish building freeze, which in the Palestinians’ eyes must also include Jerusalem.
Abbas: Israel to Blame if Talks Fail Over Settlements
(Palestinian leader says will deliver 'very important speech' during Arab League meeting)
Sept. 29….(YNET) "Whoever decides to continue to build settlements and provide aid and protection to them decides to halt the negotiations," Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told AFP on a flight to Jordan from Paris, where he met with French leaders. "But we are still determined to see the success of genuine and serious negotiations," he added. On Sunday Israel allowed a 10-month ban on new construction in the West Bank's settlements to expire despite Abbas' repeated threats to immediately pull out of the peace negotiations if construction resumed. Abbas has said he will not officially respond to the move until he has met with the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank this week and Arab foreign ministers in Cairo on October 4. On that day, he said, he would deliver a "very important speech" before the Arab League Follow-up Committee for the peace process in which he would announce "historic decisions." Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Netanyahu reportedly told the two he hopes the Israeli-Palestinian talks would continue and that he believes whole-heartedly that it is possible to reach an agreement within a year and "change the history of the Middle East."
Arafat Ordered Hamas Attacks Against Israel in 2000
Sept. 29….(JPOST) The late Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat had instructed Hamas to launch terror attacks against Israel when he realized that peace talks with Israel weren’t going anywhere, Mahmoud Zahar, one of the Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip, revealed on Tuesday. “President Arafat instructed Hamas to carry out a number of military operations in the heart of the Jewish State after he felt that his negotiations with the Israeli government had failed,” Zahar told students and lecturers at the Islamic University in Gaza City. The late Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat had instructed Hamas to launch terror attacks against Israel when he realized that peace talks with Israel weren’t going anywhere, Mahmoud Zahar, one of the Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip, revealed on Tuesday. “President Arafat instructed Hamas to carry out a number of military operations in the heart of the Jewish State after he felt that his negotiations with the Israeli government then had failed,” Zahar told students and lecturers at the Islamic University in Gaza City. Zahar did not specify when and how Arafat instructed Hamas to launch the “military operations,” most of which were suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians. However, it is believed the reference is to Arafat’s response to the failure of the Camp David summit in 2000. This was the first time that a senior Hamas official disclosed that some of the Hamas suicide bombings during the second intifada, which erupted 10 years ago, were ordered by Arafat. Until now it was widely believed that Arafat had only ordered his Fatah militiamen to carry out terror attacks on Israel. According to various testimonies, Arafat ordered the armed wing of Fatah, Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, to launch terror attacks against Israel after he realized that the government of then-prime minister Ehud Barak was not going to meet all of his demands. Zahar claimed that Arafat’s decision to negotiate with Israel was one of the factors leading to his “assassination.” He said the decision was a grave mistake and a tactical error on Arafat’s part. Zahar urged PA President Mahmoud Abbas to pull out immediately from the talks with Israel. He claimed that the PA’s security coordination with Israel has resulted in the elimination of a number of Hamas men in the West Bank at the hands of the IDF. He added that Hamas now was better able to smuggle weapons and other military equipment into the Gaza Strip in preparation for the next confrontation with Israel. Zahar said that a growing number of Palestinians were now convinced that the armed struggle was the only way to deal with the Jewish State.
Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People
Sept. 28….(Joshua Teitelbaum) According to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the real root of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians had been their ongoing refusal to recognize "the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own in their historic homeland" and he has singled out this issue as a key "prerequisite for ending the conflict." Netanyahu's proposal puts back on the global agenda a fundamental Jewish national right that was once axiomatic but today is rarely mentioned. Ninety years ago at the San Remo Conference following World War I (April 1920), the Supreme Council of the Principal Allied Powers determined the allocation of the Middle Eastern territories of the defeated Ottoman Empire and decided to incorporate the 1917 Balfour Declaration supporting a Jewish national home in Palestine into the British Mandate for the territory, a move which confirmed international recognition of the right of Jewish self-determination. The language adopted at San Remo was a triumph for Zionism, which saw a national solution to the problem of the Jews. It recognized the existence of the Jews as more than individuals who subscribed to a certain religion, Judaism, but rather as a corporate group deserving of national expression, in this case in the form of a national home. And this home was to be in Palestine, the ancient homeland of the Jews. The language agreed upon at San Remo was, as British Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon put it, "the Magna Carta of the Zionists." It was clear at the time that the term "national home" really meant a state. Jewish self-determination was part of a process that ended up decolonizing the Middle East in an effort that led to Arab as well as Jewish independence. Repeated recent associations of Israel with colonialism, an ahistorical canard that erases the millennia-long association of Jews with the Land of Israel as an indigenous people, ignores the benefit that Zionism actually brought to the Arabs through the process of decolonization. The British Peel Commission Report of 1937 was quite clear on this. Indeed, it was the return of the Jews to the Land of Israel that gave critical mass to a distinct and unique Palestinian identity as well. The Jews have been brought back into history through the establishment of the State of Israel. This was accomplished with the aid of international institutions which recognized the justice and importance of Jewish national self-determination. These institutions accepted the validity of Zionism, the national liberation movement of the Jews. Today, those who deny the Jewish right to national self-determination, more than 60 years after the founding of Israel, engage in a new kind of anti-Semitism.
US, UN Join Condemnation of Renewed Building
Sept. 28….(Jerusalem Post) The United States and the UN joined a growing global condemnation of Israel's decision not to extend the building moratorium on Monday. Earlier, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherin Aston all issued condemnations of Israel for allowing the freeze to expire. US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley on Monday told reporters that the US was "disappointed, but we remain focused on our long-term objective and will be talking to the parties about the implications of the Israeli decision." He said the US position in support of extending the freeze on settlements remained unchanged and praised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for not immediately walking out of the talks. Crowley also announced that the Obama administration's special Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell will return to the region on Tuesday to continue urgent efforts to break a deadlock in negotiations over Israeli settlements. Mitchell will hold meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials later in the week. Referencing the Quartet’s statement last week as “the united call of the international community urging Israel to extend the settlement restraint policy,” UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon said on Monday he is “disappointed that no such decision has yet been taken and concerned at provocative actions taking place on the ground.” In a statement, Ban said he “reiterates that settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, is illegal under international law, and urges Israel to fulfill its road map obligation to freeze settlement activity.” London also expressed its “disappointment” at Israel’s refusal to extend the moratorium. Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement: “I am very disappointed to hear that the moratorium has not been renewed. “I remain very concerned that talks could falter on this issue and I call on Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government to show leadership to resolve this so the parties can focus on the real challenges ahead.” EU Foreign Policy Chief Ashton's expressed that "strongly regrets" the Israeli move and that "the position of the EU is very clear: settlements are illegal under international law, constitute and obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible.
Direct Negotiations Suspended
(Israeli-Palestinian peace talks come to de facto halt after Israel lets settlement moratorium expire)
Sept. 28….(YNET) Are the peace talks on the verge of breakdown? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed, but the biweekly meetings the two leaders agreed upon seem to have gotten off to a bumpy start.
The expiration of the moratorium placed on West Bank settlement construction and ensuing tensions seem to have put the entire peace process on hold. US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell is expected to arrive in Israel, in an effort to somehow circumvent a deadlock in the talks, but the Palestinians said it is unlikely that negotiations will resume prior to the next Arab League conference, set for October 4. Although the Americans are applying pressure in an effort to reach an agreement over the settlements before the Arab League convenes, direct negotiations seem to have been halted for the moment. Sources in Jerusalem estimate that Palestinians are interested to resume talks, and will certainly not declare them over officially prior to the US midterm elections in November, so not to harm US President Barack Obama. However, if a solution is not found before the Arab League convenes, Mitchell will once again become the key mediator between the two sides, as direct talks will be called off. Government officials told Ynet that Netanyahu will not agree to a complete construction freeze, and that he will not be able to garner the majority needed to pass such a decision. The sources noted that the prime minister will most likely agree to limit construction to permits granted before the moratorium began. Sources in the Likud blamed the United Stated for the current situation. A Likud official noted that "Americans wanted the freeze, and Netanyahu asked for guarantees in exchange, but did not receive any. "The Americans thwarted the whole deal. They could have told the Palestinians that the 10-month construction freeze was over, but instead Obama complicated matters and demanded an extension."
Amid US Scramble to Save talks, Abbas Secretly Engages Hamas Terror Chiefs in Damascus
Sept. 27….(DEBKA) Deep in the gloom behind frantic US efforts to rescue the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks from collapsing when Israel's 10-month construction freeze runs out Sunday, Sept. 26, debkafile's counter-terror sources report a new stumbling block has appeared on the diplomatic track. In New York, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed Abbas Friday, Sept. 24, not to walk out of the talks with Israel after only two sessions. Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and negotiator Yitzhak Molcho met with US and Palestinian officials to join the effort. They all appeared to be struggling for a compromise on the settlement construction issue that would keep Abbas talking, without compromising the government's position at home. In fact, they found themselves grappling with a new impediment: This week, Abbas sent a high-ranking delegation of his own Fatah party to Damascus for secret talks with top Hamas leaders, thereby swinging the critical focus of the Israel-Palestinian peace talks to a new internal Palestinian track led by the radical Hamas and Syria, the foremost opponents of the US-sponsored peace talks with Israel. Abbas was apparently supported in this shift by Egypt. The Fatah delegation consisted of Azzam al Ahmad, Gen. Nasser Yusuf and Sahar Basiso, head of Fatah General Intelligence, sat down with Hamas' leader Khaled Meshaal, head of its politburo Mussa Abu Marzouk and Izzat Rishak, intelligence chief. The delegation's composition was an added complication and hindrance to diplomatic progress. Rishak personally orchestrated the first attacks on the West Bank on Aug. 30 and Sept. 1, in which four Israelis were murdered and two injured. debkafile's counter-terror sources report that these were the opening shots of a major Hamas terror campaign, designed to peak with the most devastating terrorist strike yet, which Rishak is in charge of planning. He is using the same perpetrators. They are still at large because Hamas imported unknown terrorist talent from Syria whose faces are unknown to the Shin Bet. However, a furious hunt is on to catch them in time. Israeli defense sources reacted angrily to the news of the Fatah-Hamas get-together. While slapping down an ultimatum for partnering Israel in peace talks, Mahmoud Abbas, they said, was furtively engaged in give-and-take in the Syrian capital with Hamas terrorists who he knows to be the warpath. Clinton's diplomatic skills have suddenly been doubly taxed: She must contrive an acceptable formula for the settlement construction imbroglio and so keep the direct Palestinian-Israeli talks running, while at the same time squashing the new Palestinian-Hamas-Syrian track surreptitiously initiated by Mahmoud Abbas. A possible alternative might be one which the Obama administration has begun exploring of late, according to debkafile's Washington sources, and that is to cut Syrian and Hamas negotiators into the direct Israel-Palestinian track. This means that the direct Israel-Palestinian direct talks, which Barack Obama called the crux of his Middle East policy during his speech to the UN last Thursday, have been virtually hijacked. Washington is struggling to maintain a grip on a process which Abbas has handed over to Damascus and Hamas.
Tehran Confirms its Industrial Computers Under Stuxnet Virus Attack
Sept. 27….(DEBKA) Mahmoud Alyaee, secretary-general of Iran's industrial computer servers, including its nuclear facilities control systems, confirmed Saturday, Sept. 25, that30,000 computers belonging to classified industrial units had been infected and disabled bythemalicious Stuxnet virus. This followed Debkafile's exclusive report Thursday, Sept. 23, from its Washington and defense sources that a clandestine cyber war is being fought against Iran by the United States with elite cyber war units established by Israel. Stuxnet is believed to be the most destructive virus ever devised for attacking major industrial complexes, reactors and infrastructure. The experts say it is beyond the capabilities of private or individual hackers and could have been produced by a high-tech state like America or Israel, or its military cyber specialists. The Iranian official said Stuxnet had been designed to strike the industrial control systems in Iran manufactured by the German Siemens and transfer classified data abroad. The head of the Pentagon's cyber war department, Vice Adm. Bernard McCullough said Thursday, Sept. 22, that Stuxnet had capabilities never seen before. In a briefing to the Armed Forces Committee of US Congress, he testified that it was regarded as the most advanced and sophisticated piece of Malware to date. According to Alyaee, the virus began attacking Iranian industrial systems two months ago. He had no doubt that Iran was the victim of a cyber attack which its anti-terror computer experts had so far failed to fight. Stuxnet is powerful enough to change an entire environment, he said without elaborating. Not only has it taken control of automatic industrial systems, but has raided them for classified information and transferred the date abroad. This was the first time an Iranian official has explained how the United States and Israel intelligence agencies have been able to keep pace step by step of progress made in Iran's nuclear program. Until now, Tehran attributed the leaks to Western spies using Iranian double agents. Last Thursday, Debkafile first reported from its Washington sources that US president Barack Obama had resolved to deal with the nuclear impasse with Iran by going after the Islamic republic on two tracks: UN and unilateral sanctions for biting deep into the financial resources Iran has earmarked for its nuclear program, and a secret cyber war with Israel to cripple its nuclear facilities. In New York, the US offer to go back to the negotiating table was made against this background. Leaks by American security sources to US media referred to the recruitment by Israel military and security agencies of cyber raiders with the technical know-how and mental toughness for operating in difficult and hazardous circumstances, such as assignments for stealing or destroying enemy technology, according to one report. Debkafile's sources disclose that Israel has had special elite units carrying out such assignments for some time. Three years ago, for instance, cyber raiders played a role in the destruction of the plutonium reactor North Korea was building at A-Zur in northern Syria. Some computer security specialists reported speculated that the virus was devised specifically to target part of the Iranian nuclear infrastructure, either the Bushehr nuclear plant activated last month, which has not been confirmed, or the centrifuge facility in Natanz. Debkafile's sources add: Since August, American and UN nuclear watchdog sources have been reporting a slowdown in Iran's enrichment processing due to technical problems which have knocked out a large number of centrifuges and which its nuclear technicians have been unable to repair. It is estimated that at Natanz alone, 3,000 centrifuges have been idled.
US Desperate to Salvage Peace Talks
Sept. 27….(Jerusalem Post) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday that no peace deal is possible unless Israel stops settlement construction, but he did not threaten to walk away from the negotiating table if the settlement construction moratorium expires as scheduled on Sunday at midnight. “Israel must choose between peace and the continuation of settlements,” Abbas said in his address to the UN General Assembly’s annual meeting. In Jerusalem, meanwhile, government sources said that Israel was “open to compromises” on the issue, and there were a number of ideas that Jerusalem could live with. The sources said that intensive talks on the matter were continuing in the US, in an effort to keep the issue from derailing the direct talks that were restarted at the beginning of the month. One of the ideas that have been raised is to extend the freeze for another three months, and set that as a deadline by which Israel and the PA must reach an agreement on borders, so that Israel would then know exactly where it was free to build. Another idea, a variation of the same theme, is to extend the moratorium by another three months, but exclude from this moratorium some 2,000 units for which all the necessary permits have been granted and on which building could start immediately. Among other ideas that have been raised are the following:
• Agree to the number of units that can be constructed each year, based on natural growth;
• Allow building in the large settlement blocks in areas adjacent to the existing construction line, but allow only the construction of public buildings needed for natural growth in all other settlements;
• Agree to gradual construction now, and to extend the moratorium at the beginning of the year, when the talks move into a more advanced stage;
• Allow housing construction in the largest settlements – Ma’aleh Adumim, Betar Ilit, Modi’in Ilit and Ariel, but construction for public building only in the rest of the settlements.
As of Saturday night, no special governmental meeting has been scheduled for Sunday to discuss these or any other options that may be on the table. In recent days, Israel has come under intense pressure from the US, the EU, the Quartet and the UN to extend the moratorium to prevent Abbas from bolting from the negotiating table, as he has threatened to do. Abbas is also coming under pressure not to carry out his threat, and to give the direct talks more time. Defense Minister Ehud Barak is spearheading Israel’s efforts to find a compromise solution, and has extended his stay in New York, where, along with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s chief negotiator Yitzhak Molcho, they have held a series of conversations on the matter over the last few days on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting with both US and Palestinian officials. Netanyahu, meanwhile, hosted Quartet envoy Tony Blair in his succa Friday, where this issued was discussed. Netanyahu has said that the government decision taken 10 months ago to freeze settlement construction would not be renewed. As a result, and barring a new decision by the security cabinet, it will expire at midnight on Sunday. Meanwhile, in his speech to the UN, Abbas reaffirmed the Palestinian commitment to try to reach a peace deal. “We have decided to enter into final status negotiations. We will continue to exert every effort to reach an agreement for Palestinian-Israeli peace within one year in accordance with resolutions of international legitimacy... and the vision of the two-state solution,” he said. “Our demands for the cessation of settlement activities, the lifting of the siege of Gaza and an end to all other illegal Israel policies and practices do not constitute arbitrary preconditions in the peace process.” These are past obligations that Israel is required to implement, he said, and Israel’s implementation “will lead to the creation of the necessary environment for the success of the negotiations.” Abbas said the Palestinians and the wider Middle East are continuously pushed into “the corner of violence and conflict” as a result of Israel’s “mentality of expansion and domination.” He also demanded an end to what he said was Israel’s destruction of the historical identity of Jerusalem, its flouting of UN resolutions, and the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Israel, Abbas told the General Assembly, should be compelled “particularly to cease all settlement activities in the occupied annexation apartheid wall and end the policy of blockade and closures and the removal of the checkpoints that restrict the lives and movement of our people and deprive them of their basic human rights.” Abbas thanked US President Barack Obama in his speech, “who affirmed in his statement before the Assembly two days ago the two-state solution and the necessity for a freeze of settlement activities, as well as his deep hope for the establishment of the independent state of Palestine and its full membership in the United Nations. “On this occasion, we affirm our complete readiness to cooperate with the American efforts for the success of the political process to reach a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region,” Abbas said. State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said US special Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell would meet Abbas on Saturday. “We are doing everything we can to keep the parties in direct talks.”
Arab League to Decide if Israel-Palestinian Talks Continue
Sept. 27….(Ha Aretz) The Arab League's monitoring committee will meet on October 4 to discuss whether direct Israel-Palestinian peace talks should continue after Israel's temporary construction freeze in the West Bank comes to an end. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whom Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly urged to remain in the negotiations, appeared to indicate the talks would not be suspended immediately after the moratorium expired at midnight on Sunday. The Palestinian leader has in the last few weeks declared that he would refuse to continue the talks unless Israel expired its construction freeze. Asked in an interview published Sunday with the pan-Arab newspaper al-Hayat, whether he would declare an end to the negotiations if the freeze did not continue, Abbas said: "No, we will go back to the Palestinian institutions, to the Arab follow-up committee." He was referring in the interview, conducted on Friday and published on Sunday, to the Arab League forum that gave him the go-ahead to pursue direct peace talks with Israel. Abbas also told the newspaper that even if the recently re-launched direct peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians were to break down, his people would not resort to violence. "We tried the intifada (uprising), and it caused us a lot of damage," Abbas said in the interview with the London-based Arabic language daily. The Palestinian leader also addressed the Palestinians' refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, saying that "this definition is being used by the Israelis to get rid of all the Arabs in their vicinity." In regard to the Israeli settlement freeze, Abbas said that "we have yet to receive word on what the Israeli move will be. We will make a decision in response to developments on the ground." Abbas has said repeatedly that he would abandon peace talks if Israel were to resume the construction in the West Bank settlements. Attempts to find a compromise between the sides have failed so far. Abbas told the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday that Israel must choose between peace and the continuation of settlements.
WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 19 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 25
US Walks Out on Ahmadinejad's UN Speech
Sept. 24….(Yahoo) The US delegation walked out of the UN speech of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday after he said some in the world have speculated that Americans were behind the Sept. 11 terror attacks, staged in an attempt to assure Israel's survival. He did not explain the logic of that statement that was made as he attacked the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ahmadinejad has called for the destruction of Israel and is deeply at odds with the United States and European allies over its nuclear program and suspicions that it is designed to produce an atomic bomb. Iran says it is only working on technology for electricity generation. The US delegation left the hall after Ahmadinejad said there were three theories about the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks: That "powerful and complex terrorist group" penetrated US intelligence and defenses. "That some segments within the US government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order also to save the Zionist regime. The majority of the American people as well as other nations and politicians agree with this view." The Americans stood and walked out without listening to the third theory, that the attack was the work of "a terrorist group but the American government supported and took advantage of the situation." Mark Kornblau, spokesman of the US Mission to the world body, issued a statement within moments of Ahmadinejad's attack. "Rather than representing the aspirations and goodwill of the Iranian people," he said, "Mr. Ahmadinejad has yet again chosen to spout vile conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic slurs that are as abhorrent and delusional as they are predictable." Ahmadinejad, who has in the past cast doubt over the US version of the Sept. 11 attacks, called for establishment of an independent fact-finding UN body to probe the attacks and stop it from turning into another sacred issue where "expressing opinion about it won't be banned". He said the US used the attacks as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq that led to the killing of hundreds of thousands of people, saying the US should have "designed a logical plan" to punish the perpetrators while not sheding so much blood.
UN Gives Loud Applause for Ahmadinejad
Sept. 24….(Fox News) He was greeted by applause when he walked into the United Nations General Assembly, and applauded again, even after questioning 9/11 and claiming that the American government may have been behind the attack. That’s right, applauded after questioning the motivation for the terrorist attacks, who was responsible for them, and essentially suggesting they were a US plot. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made a variety of claims over the years during his appearances here, but he never has gone this far when talking about 9/11. During his General Assembly address, the Iranian President called for a “UN fact finding group” to investigate 9/11. He also said that ”the majority of the American people as well as most nations and politicians around the world” believe that “some segments within the US government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining of the American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order to save the Zionist regime.” Before his speech, the Obama administration must have had high hopes that Ahmadinejad would have listened to the offers of diplomacy as presented by the administration and its allies on the Security Council. Members of the US delegation remained in their seats. In years past, only what is called a “low-level note taker” has often been posted behind the little plastic “United States” sign, when Ahmadinejad took the stage. On Tuesday, when Ahmadinejad spoke during the global summit on poverty, the American delegation remained even as he predicted the defeat of capitalism. But true to form, he quickly went over the line with his 9/11 remarks and that prompted the US diplomats, and others, to get up and walk out. “ It’s outrageous,” said State Department spokesman PJ Crowley. “a short distance from here, nine years ago, three-thousand people were killed in an attack perpetrated by nineteen people, and an attack that was orchestrated by Al Qaeda. We know exactly who did it, they’ve admitted it, the facts are not in dispute, so for the President of Iran to come here and make the suggestion that somehow this was an American plot, is simply outrageous.” But as Ahmadinejad walked from the podium, he did so rewarded by applause.
Obama Calls on Israel to Extend Freeze in UN Speech
("Those of us who are friends of Israel must understand that true security for the Jewish state requires an independent Palestine.")
Sept. 24….(Jerusalem Post) US President Barack Obama called on Israel to extend the freeze on West Bank construction in a speech to the annual session of the UN General Assembly on Thursday in New York. Obama exhorted the world to unite around the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, challenging the United Nations to support an agreement that would create an independent Palestine and a secure Israel in a year's time. The US president called on world leaders to cast aside decades of division over the conflict, overcome cynicism and prove their support for a settlement to be reached by the two sides that his administration is now pushing against long odds. Without a deal, he said, "more blood will be shed" and "this Holy Land will remain a symbol of our differences, instead of our common humanity." "If an agreement is not reached, Palestinians will never know the pride and dignity that comes with their own state," he said. "Israelis will never know the certainty and security that comes with sovereign and stable neighbors who are committed to coexistence." "Those of us who are friends of Israel must understand that true security for the Jewish state requires an independent Palestine," he said. "And those of us who are friends of the Palestinians must understand that the rights of the Palestinian people will be won only through peaceful means, including genuine reconciliation with a secure Israel." "Many in this hall count themselves as friends of the Palestinians," he said. "But these pledges must now be supported by deeds."
Obama urged the UN in its 60th year to look beyond past Middle East peace failures and get on with the task at hand. "We can come back here, next year, as we have for the last 60, and make long speeches about it," he stated. "We can read familiar lists of grievances. We can table the same resolutions. We can further empower the forces of rejectionism and hate." "We can do that," he said. "Or, we can say that this time will be different, that this time we will not let terror or turbulence or posturing or petty politics stand in the way. "This time, we should draw upon the teachings of tolerance that lie at the heart of three great religions that see Jerusalem's soil as sacred. This time we should reach for what's best within ourselves. If we do, when we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations, an independent state of Palestine, living in peace with Israel." Following Obama's address, Israel Radio quoted government sources as saying that the speech was fair and balanced. The sources reportedly said that although Obama called on Israel to extend the moratorium on building in West Bank settlements, the US president did not state that a failure to do so should qualify as a reason for Palestinians to abandon the negotiations. Obama also called for Iran to demonstrate a "clear and credible commitment" to a peaceful nuclear program while addressing the United Nations General Assembly. At the same time, the US president told fellow world leaders that the "door remains open to diplomacy should Iran choose to walk through it." But Obama also noted that he made the same overture, in the same forum, a year ago, and tensions continue.
Next Israel-Hezbollah War will be Worse, says US Analyst
(Research published by Washington Institute for Near East Policy says future Israel-Hezbollah war would likely draw in Iran and cover much of Lebanon, Israel and probably Syria.)
Sept. 24….(Ha Aretz) In its next war against Hezbollah, the IDF's Northern Command would use the "Lebanon Corps" and five divisions, the 162nd, 36th, 98th, 366th and 319th, according to US intelligence veteran Jeffrey White in research published last week by the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy. According to White, if another Israel-Hezbollah war breaks out it will not resemble the war of the summer of 2006, but will cover much of Lebanon and Israel, and probably also Syria, and is likely to also draw in Iran, involve major military operations, cause significant casualties among combatants and civilians, and destroy infrastructure. Notwithstanding diplomatic efforts, success in the war will be decided on the battlefield, and White believes Israel is much better prepared for the next round than it was in 2006. White says that the main aim of Israel in a war would be to impose a fundamental change in the military equilibrium and defeat Hezbollah, although not a "final victory." At the center of the Israeli military strategy will be combined arms operations, land-air-sea, with the aim of quickly destroying Hezbollah's rocket and missile arsenals and the group's land forces in southern Lebanon, and seriously disrupting its command and control centers by hitting its infrastructure throughout Lebanon. Israel will seek to prevent the war from expanding to involve Syria, with threats, mobilizing reserves, moving forces and "flexing muscles," but will not hesitate to attack Syrian forces, infrastructure and Iranian elements that will come to Hezbollah's assistance. White says that Israel will seek to deter Iran from directly attacking its territory through warnings and preparing strategic attack elements - airborne, missiles and naval units. Hezbollah's plan will be to fire volleys of missiles and rockets against Israel's home-front in an effort to strike at the IDF forces moving toward Lebanon, in the hope of causing massive casualties. The Syrian air force will try to prevent Israeli fighters and reconnaissance aircraft from crossing through Syrian airspace, and possibly try to intercept them over Lebanon, in view of the proximity of the Syrian capital to the area of the fighting. If Syria finds itself involved directly in the fighting, its main efforts will be to preserve the Assad regime in Damascus, with less emphasis on helping Hezbollah in Lebanon and its ability to strike at Israel, or restoring Syria's military presence in Lebanon and defeating Israel in order to restore the Golan Heights to its control. Iran's reaction will begin with the flow of arms to Hezbollah and Syria, and Iran will step up the presence of advisers, technicians and light combat forces, aimed at carrying out attacks against Israeli targets, increasing tension in the region (with hostile actions in the Strait of Hormuz ), and possibly launching missiles against Israel. There is no certainty that Hamas will join the fighting, especially because Israel may use the opportunity to bring about the collapse of its hold in the Gaza Strip, he added. White says that in his assessment, the IDF will occupy parts, possibly significant portions, of Lebanon within weeks, and possibly all the Gaza Strip. He says that it will be the most serious war Israel has been involved in since 1973, and Israel must emerge victorious. If Israel is determined in its actions, and willing to pay the price in casualties and damage incurred, it will succeed militarily, break the military power of Hezbollah and weaken it politically, White says. The Syrian regime will be weakened, and Iran's activity in the region will be contained because of the downfall of its allies. If Iran does not assist its allies, it will also lose much of its influence. Hamas, if it becomes involved directly in the war, will lose its military power in the Gaza strip and at least some of its political power. The former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst says the US should not rush to contain Israel, but give the IDF the time and space necessary to complete its operations against Hezbollah and Syria. White says that the US role will be to deter Iran from becoming involved in support of Lebanon-Syria or in the Persian Gulf.
Temple Mount Flareup As Peace Talks Drag
(At least 10 Israelis wounded in riots near Temple Mount, Western Wall)
Sept. 23….(Ha Aretz) Calm appeared to be prevailing on the streets of Jerusalem on Wednesday evening, after hours of bloody clashes apparently sparked by the shooting of a Palestinian by an Israeli security guard in the early hours of the morning. Police also redeployed from the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, situated on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. Israeli riot police had entered the mosque compound on Wednesday afternoon, to push back Palestinians who had thrown rocks at the Western Wall below, a police spokesman said. The Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, had been filled with worshipers praying ahead of the Sukkot festival which began at sundown. The police forces left soon after, saying that calm appeared to have returned to the area . The Palestinian protesters had withdrawn into the mosque, Islam's third-holiest shrine, when the police officers arrived, the spokesman said. The action came after more than 10 Israelis were wounded when hundreds of Palestinian protesters began hurling stones at security officials, following the funeral for Sami Sirhan, a Palestinian resident of the East Jerusalem area of Silwan, an area that sees frequent tensions over its settler enclave, who was shot dead by an Israeli security guard protesting settlers' homes earlier in the day. An Israeli man, 35, was stabbed by a rioter near Mount Scopus and hospitalized with moderate wounds, while three more Israelis were slightly wounded in the same area as Palestinian rioters overturned their car. The guard shot the 32-year-old man in a pre-dawn incident, a police spokesman said, saying that the guard told police investigators he had opened fire after his car was blocked and stoned by dozens of Palestinians. The security guard told police that he was driving through the town alone and stopped at a gas station, despite the guidelines which forbade him from stopping in the local stations. The guard added that he feared that he would be abducted after several Palestinians blocked his car. Silwan, located immediately below the southern section of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, is a focus of tension between around 300 Israeli settlers, who moved into the neighborhood, and approximately 55,000 Palestinian residents.
President Ahmedinejad Threatens US With War 'Without Boundaries'
Sept. 23….(ABC News) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad warned the Obama administration today that if Iran's nuclear facilities are attacked, the US will face a war that "would know no boundaries." The Iranian president, who is in New York for the annual meetings of the United Nations General Assembly, spoke at a breakfast meeting with reporters and editors at Manhattan's Warwick Hotel. He said that Iran is on the brink of becoming a nuclear power, and warned Israel and the US against attacking its nuclear facilities. Asked about the possibility of a US-supported Israeli air strike against Iran, the fiery Iranian leader said an attack would be considered an act of war, and suggested the US is unprepared for the consequences. Such a war "would know no boundaries," Ahmedinejad said. "War is not just bombs." Ahmedinejad acknowledged the possibility that Palestinian leaders may ultimately make peace with Israel, he questioned the legitimacy of Palestinian negotiators and raised questions about the Holocaust that have marked his tenure as president. The Holocaust, Ahmedinejad said, was "a historical event used to create a pretext for war." Asking questions about the Holocaust, he said, should not to be equated with anti-Semitism. "We need to ask, where did this event occur, and why should the Palestinian people continue to suffer for it? I am not an anti-Semite. I am anti-Zionism," he said.
Interfaith Movement Promotes Global Religious System
Sept. 23….(Examiner) During the last days prior to the return of Jesus Christ, one of the many signs heralding His return will be a global apostasy (II Thessalonians 2:3) coinciding with a global cry for peace.(1 Thessalonians 5:3) Globalized communications of our day facilitate the rise and speed of this falling away from the faith, and have also been prophesied since the Bible foretells the world will see certain events come to pass. (Revelation 11:9-10; 17:8) With nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons technology, terrorist threats, combined with several nations increasingly more hungry for power and domination than for true peace, the capability of mankind destroying all life on earth today, is real. Over 2000 years ago, Jesus predicted this capability for world destruction at a time when only spears and swords were the weapons used. (Matthew 24:21-22) All these factors and more, play into the role of fulfilling the prophecy found in Revelation chapter 13, the time coming when the Antichrist, or 'false messiah' forms his one world religion (Revelation 13:12) To get to the point of global worship of the Antichrist who will rule the world temporarily during the tribulation prior to the return of Jesus Christ, the true Messiah, there must logically be a global 'conditioning' or preparation, and this begins with apostasy, or the 'falling away' from the true faith in Jesus Christ in much of the Christian world. This is happening right now and increasingly so, with the global cry for peace. Jesus Christ is denied as being the 'only way, truth, and life' (John 14:6) and in many churches, this truth is excluded (subtly in many cases with a weak gospel) in the name of 'peace and tolerance.' How can this happen? What is the motive or inspiration? This is an examination of only a few factors working together to bring about this change. In an August 30, 2010 article entitled, 'Religions should unite against radicalism,' Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, who is leading the project to build a mosque and Muslim/interfaith center near the site of the September 11, 2001 attacks, provides a clue: "we are all in this together, there is a common threat: Radicalism, which exists in all religions." He further states, "the real battlefront is not between Muslims and non-Muslims, the real battlefront is between moderates and extremists." In a Daily Times article entitled, "Interfaith harmony for world peace," the author Mohammed Jamil concludes that the 'fundamental reason for the turmoil and tension in the world is the absence of a just economic order.' In his reasoning, interfaith harmony is a means to solve this problem. In 2008, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia called for interfaith dialogue between Islam, Christianity and Judaism and said at that time, "If God wills it, we will then meet with our brothers from other religions, including those of the Torah and the Gospel to come up with ways to safeguard humanity." The king, who is the guardian of the holy sites of Mecca and Medina reasoned that the major faiths "shared a desire to combat the disintegration of the family and the rise of atheism in the world." The unifying theme in all interfaith dialogue is 'tolerance.' While this sounds virtuous and good, it is deceptive for that very reason. There is no question that peace-making is a noble effort. However, in the name of 'tolerance' and for the cause of eradicating 'radicalism,' it is highly likely that the Christian faith, specifically those who teach and maintain that Jesus Christ is the only way to God as truth, will be viewed as intolerant and bigoted, and even extreme. The increase in religious tensions all over the world in all forms; terrorist attacks, burning of books, arguments against the banning of books from schools, public offices, etc., will likely lead to global restrictive religious laws, in attempt to reduce these tensions, and promote 'tolerance' as a means to bring about global peace. The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations program is one such body set up for this. An article entitled, "Saudi UN Interfaith Movement would “Crush Religious Freedom” provides more insight on this topic. The blending of faiths, and unifying of world religions in the name of peace, but to the exclusion of truth, is leading the world and those who follow this path into a deceptive trap.
Ahmadinejad: Iran Will Never Recognize 'Zionist Regime'
Sept. 22….(Jerusalem Post) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke to a group of Muslim figures in New York on Monday night, saying that "The Iranian nation will never recognize the Zionist regime," Fars News Agency reported on Tuesday. Ahmadinejad went on to reiterate Iranian support for the Palestinians, as well as the Lebanese. "Palestinians can cut the hands of the aggressor and put an end to the Zionist regime's presence in the region," he reportedly said. The Iranian leader also criticized Western media for having a double standard in reporting on the case of an American woman facing the death penalty. Ahmadinejad accused the West of launching a "heavy propaganda" campaign against the case of an Iranian woman who had been sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery but failing to react with outrage over the imminent execution of Teresa Lewis in Virginia, according to state-run IRNA. Ahmadinejad noted that "millions of Internet pages" have been devoted to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, whose stoning sentence was suspended in July and her case put under review. "Meanwhile, nobody objects to the case of an American woman who is going to be executed," he was quoted as saying. "Today Western media are propaganda agents who continuously speak about democracy and human rights though their slogans are sheer lies," he added. Iran says it has put the stoning on hold for now also has indicated Ashtiani could be hanged for her conviction of playing a role in her husband's 2005 murder. The Iranian president's remarks were reportedly met with the applause of his audience. Ahamadinejad is visiting New York to attend the UN's General Assembly meetings, taking place this week. In a speech on the second day of a UN anti-poverty summit on Tuesday, Ahmadinejad said capitalism is facing defeat and is calling for an overhaul of the "undemocratic and unjust" global decision-making bodies. The Iranian leader called on world leaders, thinkers and global reformers "to spare no effort" to make practical plans for a new world order. To spotlight this effort, Ahmadinejad proposed Tuesday that the United Nations name the current decade the Decade for Joint Global Governance.
Israel Rejects Offer to Join UN Atomic Agency
(In response to Arab initiative, Israel's Atomic Energy Commission chief says Jewish state only country to be singled out, asked to take decision against its national interests)
Sept. 22….(YNET) It is against Israel's interests to join a global anti-nuclear arms treaty and the UN atomic watchdog is overstepping its mandate in demanding it to do so, the Jewish state's nuclear chief said on Tuesday. Arab states have tabled a resolution at the International Atomic Energy Agency annual conference in Vienna for Israel fore swear nuclear weapons and sign up to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). "Israel is not the only member state ... that has exercised its sovereign right not to accede to the NPT due to its national security considerations," Israel's Atomic Energy Commission chief Shaul Horev said. "Yet Israel is the only state that has been singled out, and is called upon to take a decision which is against its best national interests," he told the conference. "Indeed, the advancement of states' accessions to international treaties does not fall within the mandate of the (IAEA)," he said. The Jewish state is the only Middle East power believed to possess nuclear weapons. Horev said the resolution tabled by the Arab states was part of a "political campaign to defame the state of Israel". It was "incompatible with basic principles and norms of international law and does not fall within the mandate of the agency as defined in its statute," he said. "Moreover, this resolution, ignores the adverse reality in the Middle East region," Horev said. He said that Middle East states such as Iran, Syria, Libya and Iraq under Saddam Hussein, all signatories to the NPT, had "grossly violated their treaty obligations". "These four cases make it absolutely clear that the NPT is unable to adequately address the security challenges in the Middle East region where the treaty has been most abused," Horev said. "The serious threat to the NPT and the non-proliferation regime is posed from within by those states that pursue nuclear weapons under the cover of their NPT membership." The Arab states' resolution, which has been tabled every year for the past few years, is expected to be debated on Thursday.
Palestinians Storm out of New York Meeting with Ayalon
(Ayalon to 'Post': "What I say is that if the Palestinians are not willing to talk about two states for two peoples, let alone a Jewish state for Israel, then there's nothing to talk about.")
Sept. 22….(Jerusalem Post) Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad angrily left a UN Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee meeting and canceled a scheduled subsequent press conference with Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon in New York on Tuesday, after Ayalon refused to approve a summary of the meeting which said "two states" but did not include the words "two states for two peoples." "What I say is that if the Palestinians are not willing to talk about two states for two peoples, let alone a Jewish state for Israel, then there's nothing to talk about," Ayalon told the Post in a telephone interview. "And also, I said if the Palestinians mean, at the end of the process, to have one Palestinian state and one bi-national state, this will not happen." When asked if he was surprised by Fayyad's abrupt exit, Ayalon responded, "Yes, very." "I was very surprised that there was apparently no acceptance of the idea of two states for two peoples," Ayalon told the Post. "I also said that I don't need the Palestinians to say Israel is a Jewish state in Hebrew. I need them to say it in Arabic to their own people." "If the Palestinians think that they can create one Palestinian state and one dual-nationality state, this will not happen," Ayalon added. "What will happen next is we'll see what are the results of the negotiations that are taking place now," Ayalon told the Post. "But Israel will not accept an all or nothing approach, or any ultimatums or any preconditions." The Post spoke to Ayalon following a Clinton Global Initiative program in which Israeli President Shimon Peres and Fayyad participated on a panel, headed by former US President Bill Clinton, discussing the regional economy's potential in the event peace were to be achieved.
Peres: Ahmadinejad is ‘a Living Declaration Against UN
Sept. 21….(Jerusalem Post) Addressing the UN General Assembly on Monday, President Shimon Peres denounced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying, “There is enough room for friendship in the Middle East,” and later calling him “a living declaration against the charter of the UN.” “The formal leader of Iran has said that there is no future for Israel in the Middle East,” Peres told the General Assembly. “I believe that the Middle East has room for every person, every nation, every religion. I believe that every person was created in the image of the Lord, and that there is just one Lord, who calls not to hate, not to threaten, not to seek superiority, and not to kill. Israel will continue to exist, and aspire to peace with its neighbors,” he said. Peres told the General Assembly, gathered for its annual meeting, that there are two “burning challenges of our time: to harness science and technology to increase food production for every child and every family, and to stand together against terror. “A hungry world will never be peaceful,” he said. “A terrorized world will never be governable.” Despite his belief in friendship, Peres did acknowledge at the commencement of his short speech that “history was written in blood.” Speaking “on behalf of a small people and a tiny land,” he underscored that Israel exists despite the murder of one-third of the world’s Jewish population in the Holocaust, and seven attacks on Israel in the state’s 62-year history. Citing the current negotiations with the Palestinians, Peres said, “There is no other peaceful alternative” to the conflict than a two-state solution, “and I believe that we shall succeed, in spite of the difficulties. “We are ready to enter into direct negotiations with Syria, right away,” he added. “We are committed to the UN’s Millenium Development Goals,” Peres said. “We share the burden of saving the world from war and hunger. Without peace, poverty will remain. Without food, peace will not prevail.” Science, creativity and knowledge have “replaced land as the most important source of wealth,” he said. “The new millenium must liberate the world from bloodshed, from discrimination, from hunger, from ignorance, from maladies.” Peres referenced Israeli innovations in agriculture based on science, and said the nation has “the highest rate of scientists per square mile in the world. He added that Israel is willing to share its experience with many countries, including those with whom it does not have diplomatic relations. Speaking to reporters after his speech, Peres called Ahmadinejad “a living declaration against the charter of the UN,” referencing the provision of the UN charter that states that a member state cannot threaten another with destruction. “He calls for our destruction, and also supplies arms to every terrorist organization in the Middle East,” Peres told reporters. When asked about the current state of the talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, Peres said there is a “serious problem” with regard to the moratorium on settlement construction. He noted that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had declared the 10-month moratorium of his own initiative, and that the time was “not used” by the Palestinians. Characterizing himself as an “old hand” in negotiations, Peres said he was “not surprised.” “The United States, as well as Israel, are in a serious search for how to bridge over difficulties,” he said. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday that he will not participate “for a single day” in US brokered peace negotiations if Israel does not extended the settlement construction moratorium, AFP reported. “The negotiations will continue as long as the settlement construction remains frozen, but I am not prepared to negotiate an agreement for a single day more,” Abbas said.
Peres: Israel Ready to Negotiate With Syria
(Iranian, Lebanese presidents seen leaving UN General Assembly as Peres takes podium)
Sept. 21….(YNET) President Shimon Peres told the UN General Assembly Sunday that the two-state solution is the only one that will bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and that Israel was ready to enter into negotiations with Syria. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Lebanese President Michel Suleiman were seen leaving the hall when Peres took the stand. "History was written in blood. Most wars were waged over territory. Today, science, creativity and knowledge replaced land as the source of wealth. Land can be conquered. Not science," Peres told the crowd. "Science is global, borderless. Armies can't conquer it. Yet, still, Lawless terrorists spread violence caused by ideological differences, social gaps and sheer fanaticism. The new millennium must liberate the world from bloodshed, from discrimination, from hunger, from ignorance, from maladies." The president spoke of the way in which Israel has developed. "I speak on behalf of a small people, and a tiny land. We knew rebirth despite the murder of one third of our people, the Shoah. We were alone. Our land was attacked seven times in 62 years, again, we were alone," he said. "In spite of wars, we made peace with Egypt and Jordan. The territorial dispute with Lebanon has ended and acknowledged so by the UN. We left Gaza on our own initiative, completely. We are now negotiating with the Palestinians in order to realize the two-state-solution: A Jewish state, Israel, and an Arab state, Palestine. There is no other peaceful alternative, and I believe that we shall succeed."
Peres also announced Israel's intention to make peace with Syria. "We are ready to enter in direct negotiations with Syria right away," he said. "We are committed to the Millennium development goals. We share the burden of saving the world from war and hunger. Without peace, poverty will remain. Without food, peace will not prevail. Statesmen have to mobilize political power to achieve peace."
On Tuesday the Iranian president is scheduled to speak before the assembly. Of Ahmadinejad, Peres said, "The other day, the formal leader of Iran called to annihilate Israel and wipe it off the map of the Middle East. I believe that the Middle East has room for every person, every nation, and every religion. "We believe that every person was created in the image of the lord, and there's just one lord who calls not to hate, not to threaten, not to seek superiority, and not to kill. Israel will continue to exist and aspire to peace with its neighbors. There is enough room for friendship in the Middle East."
Palestinians Admit Peace Talks are a Sham
Sept. 21….(Israel Today) While Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas puts on a show of playing nice with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the sake of the Obama Administration, the Palestinian ambassador to Lebanon this month assured the Arab world that the current negotiations are just part of a larger plan to delegitimize Israel. The Palestinian daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported that on September 9, Ambassador Abdullah Abdullah insisted that “the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations…are not a goal, but rather another stage in the Palestinian struggle… to isolate Israel, to tighten the noose on it, to threaten its legitimacy, and to present it as a rebellious, racist state.” So much for genuine talks leading to lasting peaceful coexistence. Like Abbas, Abdullah is sticking to Yasser Arafat’s conclusion decades ago that Israel cannot be defeated in one knock-out blow, but must be slowly whittled away at. Of course, Abdullah’s remarks were not reported by the mainstream media, because they were spoken and reported on in Arabic. It seems Arabic is the language that simply doesn’t matter. You can say anything, reveal any nefarious plot, and everyone will simply brush it off because you said so in Arabic. But, can anyone imagine an Israeli ambassador, speaking in either English or Hebrew, saying that Israel was only in the current negotiations to reveal the Palestinian Authority as liars with the ultimate goal of delegitimizing the “Palestinian cause” into oblivion?
Abbas: Israel Can Call itself Jewish-Zionist Empire
(After Netanyahu calls on Palestinian president to 'just say it – say yes to a Jewish state', Abbas answers that 'if Israel wants negotiations in which Palestinians recognize it, then it must also recognize Palestinian state')
Sept. 21….(YNET) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas answered a demand by Israel to recognize it as a Jewish state somewhat sardonically, saying that as far as he was concerned, "Israel can call itself… the Jewish-Zionist Empire". Abbas spoke just before meeting President Shimon Peres in New York. Abbas said the state's character was "not interesting", adding that "if Israel wants negotiations in which the Palestinians recognize it, then it must also recognize a Palestinian state". Abbas spoke shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations that the recognition would be a central part of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. "Just say it," Netanyahu called on Abbas. "Say yes to a Jewish state". The prime minister explained that he was insisting on this because "this is a move the Palestinians have refused to make for 62 years. Its significance is Palestinian recognition of the right of the Jewish people to self-definition in their historic homeland. I recognized the Palestinians' right to self-definition, so they must do the same for the Jewish people." Palestinian officials have said repeatedly that they would not recognize Israel as Jewish because it would irredeemably revoke the Palestinian refugees' right of return. "Just as Israel has given every Jew in the world the right to immigrate to Israel, so should the new state allow Palestinians throughout the world to immigrate to its territory. Palestinian refugees have no place in a Jewish state," Netanyahu said. Regarding the Israeli Arabs he said, "A Jewish state means no one has the right to approve a law damaging Israel's character. There are more than a million non-Jews in Israel who enjoy equal rights, but this does not mean they have national rights. They are free to voted and be chosen, and to be full and equal partners in Israeli democracy, but they do not have the right to create their own state." Abbas must make a decision, Netanyahu declared. "He cannot evade the issue nor can use vague words and terms. He must recognize the state as Jewish and say it in a clear manner to his people in their language," he concluded.
Ahmadinejad in Syria: Mideast Axis Will Foil US Mideast Plan
Sept. 20….(Ha Aretz) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday that Middle Eastern countries will disrupt American and Israeli efforts to change the political geography of the region, appearing to brush aside US efforts to forge a regional peace deal between Israel and its neighbors. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made the comments during a brief stop in Syria where he held talks with his Syrian counterpart, Bashar Assad. The meeting comes two days after Assad sat down with the Obama administration's special Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, in Damascus, to discuss starting separate Syria-Israel peace talks. The back-to-back trips underscored the battle for influence in Syria between Washington and Tehran. Seeking to isolate Iran, US President Barack Obama has tried, unsuccessfully, so far, to pry Damascus away from its alliance with Tehran. Speaking in Damascus, Ahmadinejad appeared to dismiss US efforts to forge a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and a wider deal with its neighbors. "Those who want to change the political geography of the region must know that they will have no place in the future of the region," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by Iran's state-run news agency IRNA. "The waves of free nations to join this resistance is spreading every day," he added. Ahmadinejad said before his visit to Syria that he and Assad would discuss key areas of conflict and tension in the Middle East, including Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. He also told Iranian state TV Friday that he and Assad would discuss the West's moves in the region, an apparent reference to the United States. "We have to be ready and in harmony," he said in the state TV interview, without elaborating. Washington is at odds with Iran over its nuclear program, which many Western nations fear is aimed at making weapons. Iran says its nuclear activity has only peaceful energy production aims. The US began reaching out to Syria soon after US President Barack Obama took office, and has made repeated overtures to Damascus this year, including nominating the first US ambassador to Syria since 2005 and sending top diplomats to meet with Assad. Mitchell said during his visit Thursday that the US was determined to reach a comprehensive peace in the Middle East and that the administration's efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict did not contradict peace between Israel and Syria. Syria and Iran are both under US pressure because of their support for anti-Israel militant groups. The US also accuses Syria of secret nuclear activities, which Damascus denies. The two leaders stressed the need for Iraqi politicians to overcome arguments that have delayed formation of a new government there after national elections in March, according to Syria's state news agency, SANA. Ahmadinejad also called the new Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, revived this month with Washington's mediation, a failure, according to Iran's state-run Press TV. He said Israel had no place in the future of the region.
Israel Calls Russia 'Irresponsible' for Selling Arms to Syria
(The Israeli defense establishment is greatly concerned about Russia's plans to go ahead with a sale of advanced arms to Syria. "Israel views the arms sale with great concern," the senior defense official said. "The weapons will eventually be turned against Israel.")
Sept. 20….(Breitbart) Israel denounced as irresponsible the reported sale by Russia of P-800 Yakhont cruise missiles to Syria, saying it could threaten the strategic balance in the region. News of the sale emerged on Friday when Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov told reporters in Washington that Moscow would fulfil a 2007 contract to supply Yakhont cruise missiles to Damascus, Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency reported. The sale, worth at least 300 million dollars, will see Syria receiving around 72 cruise missiles, the Interfax news agency said on Sunday, citing defense industry sources. "This decision translates into a very poor demonstration of responsibility by a country which sees itself as influential and which claims to act in favor of regional stability," a senior Israeli government official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. "These weapons could affect the strategic balance in a fragile region which has only just begun peace negotiations," he said, referring to direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians which began on September 2. Syria and Israel remain technically in a state of war, and Russia's arms sales and possible nuclear cooperation with Damascus, which has close ties to Iran, is unnerving for both Washington and the Jewish state. Israel is also concerned that such weapons could be transferred to Lebanon's Hezbollah militia. But Russia's defense minister said such fears were unjustified. "The US and Israel ask us not to supply Syria with Yakhont," he was quoted as saying on Friday. "But we do not see the concerns expressed by them, that these arms will fall into the hands of terrorists." Russian weapons sales to Damascus provoked Israeli ire in May after Moscow said it was supplying Syria with MiG-29 fighter jets, Pantsir short-range air defense systems and armored vehicles.
Hizballah Mobilizies for a Coup in Beirut, Backed by Iran and Syria
Sept. 20….(DEBKA) President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's brief stopover in Damascus Saturday, Sept. 18, on his way to New York, was long enough for him and Syrian President Bashar Assad to finalize their plans to back Hizballah's threatened coup against the Hariri government in Beirut, debkafile's military and Mid East sources report. Hizballah called a general mobilization that same day and by Sunday had 5,000 armed men deployed in Beirut, ready to make good on its threat to seize power rather than let its leaders be indicted by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) for the Hariri murder. Hizballah went into action after learning that the indictments were on the way. Ahmadinejad and Assad were of one mind that they must not be delivered, even it meant helping their Lebanese Shiite surrogate to overthrow the Lebanese government. They discussed possible Israeli intervention to save Beirut from Hizballah domination and decided that the Jewish state Israel would not take this risk, any more than the Lebanese army would fight to defend the government. Our Lebanese sources disclose that France's UN ambassador Gerard Araud passed word to his Lebanese contacts that Daniel Bellemare, the STL's chief prosecutor's decision to file charges against Hizballah was final. Sunday night, Lebanon's ruling March 14 party held an emergency meeting to discuss what to do about "the persistent coup against the state and its institutions, especially by Hizballah's security and military." Special attention was drawn to Hizballah's takeover at the points of their guns of Beirut's international airport to guarantee the safety of the Lebanese Maj. Gen. Jamil Sayyed, against arrest on his arrival. A warrant was issued after he demanded that members of Lebanon's general prosecution be put to death. He accused them of joining in a conspiracy of the international tribunal and prime minister to implicate him in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in order to lay the blame for the crime at Hizballah's door. Sayyed was one of the four Lebanese generals detained for four years for alleged complicity in the crime and recently freed. He claimed consistently that neither Syria nor Hizballlah had been involved. Hizballah gunmen were posted to shield him from being arrested. As one Hizballah source put it: "The party will cut off the unjust hands that would attack Maj. Gen. Sayyed," a crude threat to Lebanon's forces of law and order as a step on the way to a coup to overthrow the government and seize power.
Pastors Taken to Task for Political Apathy
('What we have in America is a preacher problem')
Sept. 20….(WND) America has gone "from one nation under God to a nation at war with God," said Rick Scarborough, president of Vision America, at WND's "Taking America Back Conference." And who's to blame? According to a pair of speakers at the Miami confab, one of most significant answers is also one the most uncomfortable for Christians. "As the church goes, so goes the nation; as the pastor goes, so goes the church." Scarborough said, "What we have in America is a preacher problem." Scarborough, himself a former Southern Baptist minister, told the audience his story of recognizing the need for pastors to snap out of political complacency and get involved in the cultural war for the soul of the nation. He had attended a sexual education presentation at his daughter's high school in the 1990s, only to discover a message of sexual license and perversity that shocked him. When he brought a transcript of the presentation to his church, the building was filled with people equally stunned. Shortly thereafter, Scarborough explained at "Taking America Back," he began to free his congregation from excessive church responsibilities to take up civic duties. Members of his church were elected to the school board and city council and began to reassert Christian values in the public arena. "We just got the people in the churches to stand up and do what they ought to be doing," Scarborough said. The story is at the heart of his founding of Vision America, but he warns that the people will not rise up and get involved unless the pastors lose their fear and apathy toward political involvement. Doug Giles, radio host and father of the undercover video journalist Hannah Giles, brought the same challenge, but with a much sharper tone. "Somebody who waffles, quiet as a church mouse," Giles said, "that cat is about as useless as a pitch pipe to Yoko Ono."
Giles further charged, referring to the heated politics surrounding the tea party movement and the 2010 election, "If a pastor is not part of this crucial societal throw-down, this pastor is Dr. Evil and part of the problem." Giles listed 10 reasons pastors don't get involved in politics and refuted every one. He warned pastors against thinking of their duties as primarily pious and spiritual: "Your religious liberties are disappearing like a pack of smokes at an AA clinic." He warned pastors not to fear losing their 501(c)3 tax-exempt status: "You're going to compromise the gospel because you don't want to pay taxes on hot dogs? Wow." Pulling no punches, Giles also slammed big-church pastors who are afraid of speaking out on issues of liberty and morality for fear of losing their lucrative positions: "Christendom has its shares of money-loving hookers, bowing to cash instead of convictions." "Saul Alinsky loves those pastors who don't get involved politically," Giles concluded, "and so does the guy written about in the dedication to his book "Rules for Radicals". Who was that again? Oh yeah, Lucifer." Scarborough argued that the culture wars won't be won unless both pastors and pew-sitters are willing to roll their sleeves up and get their hands dirty in the fight: "The problem with us Christians today is that we're so afraid of offending our little ears that we've dug holes and buried our heads in them," he said. "The holes that the 'gays' came out of, the church went in, and it's not going to change until the church comes out." He wrapped up his speech with a challenge: "If the church doesn't awaken now, if the tea party and everybody involved doesn't understand that God is at the heart of it all, then we lose," he said. The crowd then erupted in standing ovation with his final words, "It's now or never. It's time for the church to stand."
The Naïveté of Nuclear Disarmament
Sept. 20….(Thomas Sowell) Note to Obama: Nuclear weapons have helped stabilize the world. One of the many words that sound so attractive, to people who do not think beyond the word, is “disarmament.” Wouldn’t it be better to live in a world where countries were not armed to the teeth, especially when they are armed with nuclear weapons? Of course it would. But the only country we can disarm is our own. The only countries we might be able to persuade to disarm are countries that intend no harm in the first place. Those countries that do intend to harm others, and we know all too well that they exist, would be delighted to have all their victims disarmed. What if we can just get nuclear disarmament? Again, we need to think beyond the word to the realities of the world, so that we do not simply accept words as what Thomas Hobbes called the money of fools. Had there been no nuclear weapons created during World War II, that would have given an overwhelming military advantage in the postwar world to countries with large and well-equipped armies. Especially after the US Army withdrew most of its troops from Europe, following the end of World War II, there was nothing to stop Stalin’s army from marching right across the continent to the Atlantic Ocean. The American troops that remained in Western Europe were not enough to stop the Soviet army. But their slaughter by the Russians would have risked nuclear war with the United States. Western Europe has had one of its longest periods of peace under the protection of the American nuclear umbrella. Japan, one of the biggest and most cruel conquerors of the 20th century, has become a peaceful nation after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the real world, the question of whether nuclear disarmament is desirable or undesirable is utterly irrelevant because it is simply not possible, except in words, and we would truly be fools to accept such words at the risk of our lives. Even if every nuclear weapon on the planet were destroyed, and how could we be sure that that had happened? this would still not destroy the knowledge of how to make nuclear weapons. Those countries with aggressive intentions towards other countries need only choose the time when they would put their knowledge of nuclear weapons to use, and have the world at their mercy. Once they had nuclear weapons, they could threaten annihilation to any other nation that started to produce offsetting nuclear weapons. Why then is Pres. Barack Obama pursuing an international nuclear-disarmament agreement? It cannot be because he thinks it will work. Even if he were foolish enough to believe that, virtually anybody in the Pentagon could tell him why it won’t. His political advisers, however, can tell him how great that can be for him personally, if he doesn’t already know that. It would be “historic” and an “achievement,” just like Obamacare. His political base, the young, the Left, and the thoughtless, would be thrilled and energized. That can translate into money donated to his campaign coffers and people willing to walk the precincts to get out the vote for him in the 2012 elections. It is by no means an irrational thing to do, from Obama’s self-centered perspective. But what does it say about those who take his words literally, who accept those words as the “money of fools”? First of all, there may be more of such people today than in the past, as a result of the dumbing down of education and the politicizing of education at all levels with anti-nuclear propaganda, along with other propaganda of the Left. International disarmament has long been a favorite crusade of the Left, before as well as after the age of nuclear weapons. The period between the two World Wars was full of popular disarmament agreements and renunciations of war. In fact, such pious agreements contributed to the outbreak of war. Because some nations adhered to these agreements and others did not, the military advantage swung to the latter, who started the war, in which tens of millions of human beings died. What a price to pay for accepting words as the money of fools
WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 12 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 18
Mitchell: US Committed to Israel-Syria Peace Effort
(US special envoy meets Syrian President Assad in Damascus, says 'effort to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in no way conflicts with our goal of comprehensive peace.' In Amman, Clinton expresses optimism on peace talks)
Sept. 17….(YNET) US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Thursday and stressed the United States' commitment to achieveing a peace agreemen between Israel and Syria. "Our effort to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in no way contradicts or conflicts with our goal of comprehensive peace including peace between Israel and Syria," he told reporters after meeting with Assad. "We believe strongly that a foundation of good faith negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis can and should support the entire structure of comprehensive peace," he added. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Amman for a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah after meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. Speaking in Amman, she said she is convinced that Netanyahu and Abbas are trying to seek common ground. "They are committed and they have begun to grapple with the hard but necessary questions," she said, shortly before leaving for the US. "I am convinced that this is the time and these are the leaders to achieve the result we all seek." A statement issued by the palace noted that the King has stressed to Clinton the importance of the US administration's support in efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian solution and achieve a two-state solution. He also noted that the only way to secure stability in the region is by creating an independent Palestinian state to peacefully co-exist alongside Israel. The European Union joined the US and the Palestinians on Thursday in urging Israel to extend the construction moratorium in the West Bank, diplomatic sources said as European foreign ministers met in Brussels.
'Peace Talks with Lebanon, Syria?'
Earlier on Thursday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited the Israel Defense Forces post on the border with Lebanon and expressed his hope that the explosive region would turn into a border of peace. Alongside the IDF's alertness, we plan to make peace," Barak stressed. "We are in the midst of talks with the Palestinians and hope to overcome the obstacles. I believe peace with Lebanon and Syria is possible as well, and we must not lose hope for one minute." Also Thurday, the London-based Arabic-language al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported that Hillary Clinton has suggested a compromised according to which Israel will prolong the settlement freeze by three months and the time period will be used by both parties to reach an agreement on the border issues.
US Giving Up on Israeli-Palestinian Talks?
Sept. 17….(Israel Today) Local and international media outlets on Thursday were full of stories of the purportedly positive meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Jerusalem a day earlier. But those stories also contained a tidbit of information that suggested the Obama Administration sees the renewed negotiations going nowhere, and is already set to move on to its next peace effort: restarting Israeli-Syrian peace talks. Netanyahu and Abbas met together with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and American peace envoy George Mitchell for several hours at the official prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem. Official sources that attended the meeting told Yediot Ahronot that while the atmosphere was warm, there were moments of tension, such as when Netanyahu told Abbas that Israel will resume construction in Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria later this month. Abbas responded by again threatening to quit the negotiations if the Jewish building freeze is not extended indefinitely. Clinton and Mitchell reportedly suggested that Israel break the freeze only in “major settlement blocs.” Palestinian spokesman Saeb Erekat later insisted to reporters that Abbas was not making preconditions, but rather demanding that Israel finally fulfill what Erekat termed its “obligation” to stop building homes for Jews in areas claimed by the Palestinians. While Israel has agreed in previous rounds of talks to not build any new settlements, the “Oslo Accords,” the Wye River Memorandum, the Road Map peace plan, and the Annapolis understandings all provide for continued natural growth inside the boundaries of existing Jewish settlements. The problem is even more acute when it comes to Jerusalem. Israel has never agreed to any kind of restrictions on Jewish building in Jerusalem, which Israel officially annexed in 1982. But Abbas, Erekat and the rest of the Palestinian leadership say that not only must the Jewish building freeze continue in Judea and Samaria, but it must also now include the eastern half of Jerusalem. All this, or the Palestinians walk. Despite the seemingly impassible roadblock the talks have hit, or rather will hit when the Jewish building freeze officially expires on September 26, Mitchell tried to paint a positive picture. “Within a matter of literally days since this process began, the leaders have engaged directly, vigorously with what are among the most difficult and sensitive issues that they will confront,” said Mitchell after Wednesday’s meeting. “The US believes this is a strong indictor of their sincerity and seriousness of purpose.” Mitchell tried to compare the situation to Northern Ireland, where he brokered the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. He noted that in those negotiations, it took nearly two years before the sides had a serious meeting about important issues. However, Mitchell then indicated that Washington believes this round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations will end like its predecessors when he announced that the US had started working on restarting Israeli-Syrian peace talks. Mitchell was expected to fly to Damascus as part of that effort on Thursday. Israel cannot conduct serious peace negotiations with both the Palestinians and another Arab entity at the same time, as conflicting (or nefariously coordinated) demands would make it impossible for Israel to move forward. The US government knows this, and in the past whenever Washington started pushing the Israeli-Syrian track it was because there was an understanding that talks with the Palestinians were going nowhere.
Mitchell Gives Assad Netanyahu's Proposed Golan Withdrawal Map
(Israel told Mitchell that it is willing to make a deal with Syria only if Damascus cuts off relations with Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Iran.)
Sept. 17….(DEBKA) Following the two-day Israeli-Palestinian face-to-face supervised by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, US Middle East envoy George Mitchell prepared for a major US diplomatic breakthrough during his visit to Damascus Thursday: The possible revival of Syrian-Israeli peace talks. He carries with him for Syrian president Bashar Assad a detailed map drawn up by Binyamin Netanyahu to represent Israel's proposed withdrawal from much of the Golan. The Israeli prime minister refused to go into borders between Israel and the future Palestinian state at the talks he held with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at Sharm el-Sheikh Tuesday, Sept 14. First he wanted to dispose of other issues such as security. His tactics for Syria are quite different. Three months ago, Netanyahu showed President Barack Obama detailed maps of the Golan showing how far he was willing to pull Israel forces back, provided Assad followed in the footsteps of the late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat who visited Jerusalem in November 1977 and was rewarded with a full peace accord with Israel and the recovery of the entire Sinai Peninsula and its demilitarization.
Two conditions for Syria
A second Israeli condition for negotiating a peace-plus-withdrawal pact is the severance of the Assad regime's strategic and military ties with Iran and termination of its backing for Hizballah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and a host of Palestinian terrorist organizations enjoying Syrian sanctuary and hospitality. When he last visited the White House on July 6, Netanyahu presented this plan to Obama as his ultimate objective. However, debkafile's sources in Washington report that the US President, Hillary Clinton and George Mitchell have adopted it as giving them enough leeway to tempt Assad into peace diplomacy with an active American hands-on. Our sources report that France has been brought aboard the initiative. When French President Nicolas Sarkozy saw the Netanyahu map, he appointed the eminent diplomat Jean-Claude Cousseran as special envoy for promoting an Israeli-Syrian peace accord. Cousseran was in Damascus on Monday, September 13, and spoke privately with Assad. Right after that conversation, the Elysee told the White House and Hillary Clinton that the door was open for Mitchell to present Netanyahu's proposals and map. This week the Obama administration has embarked on two major Middle East diplomatic projects in the hope that by striking gold on at least one, its mediators can stimulate a second. Debkafile's Jerusalem sources note that while the US and French presidents have been made privy to Netanyahu's peace initiatives and maps, the prime minister has never shown them to his own government, his security cabinet or his inner Forum of Seven, excepting only for Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Debkafile's Exclusive Map represents Netanyahu's proposed lines of withdrawal. In territorial terms, Israel and the IDF would pull back to what is known as the Ridge Line, thereby ceding to Syria the entire Golan plateau together with most of the communities living there. In military terms, Israel would be left with the comfortable option of quickly regaining control of the territory if the peace accords break down. Geographically, Golan plateau is 1,800 square kilometers in area. Syria commands a third and Israel roughly 1,200 square kilometers. Netanyahu's proposed withdrawal line is located 2.5 kilometers from the Jordan River. It is the last high-altitude area before the land on the western face of Golan drops steeply down to the Jordan River, the Hula Valley and Sea of Galilee. Even after the bulk of the territory is restored to Syria, the Ridge Line offers Israel two major advantages compared with a total withdrawal up to the Jordan River. 1. Israel would retain control of the western and eastern banks of the Jordan River, a major source of its water supply. A troop presence on the two banks would make it easier to transfer military forces back to Golan in the event of war. 2. The Ridge Line is a natural barrier to passage in and out of the Golan. It would give the population centers of the Hula and Sea of Galilee valleys below with an Israeli military firewall against the Syrian shooting attacks plaguing them before the 1967 war and place an obstacle in the path of Syrian tanks trying to break from Golan to the lowlands of northeastern Israel. According to our sources, Netanyahu has been trying for three months to convince Obama to place the Syrian peace track ahead of the fairly hopeless Palestinian process. He has shown the president how far Israel is prepared to go in ceding territory for drawing Assad to the negotiating table. The prime minister also argued that, barring minor differences, his plan was very similar to one put forward by Frederic Hoff, the Syrian expert on Mitchell's team, which proposes a two-stage Israeli withdrawal to the Ridge Line.
Stage One: After pulling back to central Golan, Israel would still retain its early warning stations and surveillance posts on Mt. Hermon and so command the vista from Golan to Damascus 40 kilometers away. Israel would also control both eastern and western banks of the River Jordan, making it easier to redeploy troops on the Golan in the event of a war.
Stage Two: Israel would also continue to hold the rim of the sheer rocky southern slopes dropping down to the Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers which are impassable to armored units. This would act as a firewall against the Syrian shooting attacks which plagued Israel from 1948 until the Golan was seized in 1967 and a barrier against Syrian tanks breaking through to Israel's northeastern lowlands.
Israel would not have to withdraw west of the Jordan for a number of years - until Syria's commitment to peace is proven. According to our sources, Netanyahu is ready to buy into the Hof plan with the necessary adjustments. Hof, our sources note, is the high-ranking American diplomat dispatched recently to Assad with a warning of serious consequences if he gave Hizballah and Palestinian terrorist organizations like Hamas for major free rein for terrorist attacks against Israeli targets with the aim of torpedoing the direct Israeli-Palestinian talks. This same diplomat was also sent to Beirut last month with Washington's warning that a repetition of the firefight provoked by Lebanese troops with an Israeli border unit on Aug. 3 would result in the IDF wiping out the Lebanese army in the space of four hours.
Hamas Militants From Gaza Fired Bombs at Israel
(IAF strike kills Palestinian working in Gaza tunnel, after militants launched nine mortar shells and two Qassam rockets at Israel over course of day)
Sept. 16….(YNET) Two of the nine mortar shells fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel on Tuesday were actually phosphorous bombs, the Israel Defense Forces confirmed. Militants in the coastal territory also fired two Qassam rockets into Israel, yielding an Israel Air Force strike in response that led to the death of one Palestinian working in a smuggling tunnel on the border with Egypt. One of the rockets fired from Gaza exploded in an open area in the industrial zone just south of Ashkelon. There were no injuries or property damage. The nine mortar shells struck an open area in the Eshkol region near the Gaza Strip. Hours later, eyewitnesses in the southern Gaza town of Rafah said the Israeli air strike killed a tunnel worker and wounded two other people. The Israeli army confirmed the attack. There was also a fear of renewed violence across the border in Jordan, with the US embassy in the country warning of a high chance of terror attacks in the Red Sea city of Aqaba over the coming 48 hours. The increased attacks from Gaza were apparently made in attempt to scupper Middle East peace talks. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was hosting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at his official residence in Jerusalem on Wednesday, a day after meeting in Egypt to continue the direct peace talks that began earlier this month. Hamas, which control the Gaza strip, have condemned the talks and early this month timed a pair of West Bank shooting attacks to coincide with the opening of negotiations in Washington, killing four Israelis and wounding two.
Netanyahu to Abbas: We'll Continue Building in Settlements
Sept. 16….(YNET) During talks in Jerusalem, Netanyahu tells Palestinian president his stance on West Bank construction has not changed. PA official says Abbas threatened to quit the talks. During their meeting in Jerusalem Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that Israel plans to resume construction in the West Bank settlements once the moratorium expires on September 26. A senior Palestinian official reported that following the meeting Abbas threatened to quit the direct peace talks if building is resumed in the settlements. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and special Mideast envoy George Mitchell also took part in the two-hour meeting at the PM's official residence, where Israeli, Palestinian, and American flags were displayed. "The prime minister is hosting Abu Mazen (Abbas) in his home in friendship and benevolence, but during the talks themselves, he will insist adamantly on Israel's security needs. There are no compromises on this matter," a senior official in the Prime Minister's Office said. A Palestinian source told Ynet after the meeting that no breakthrough has been made that would allow the negotiations to continue without the "threat of renewed settlement construction." The Palestinians told Netanyahu and Clinton that the resumption of settlement construction would make it difficult for them to continue negotiating with Israel. However, one official said the Palestinians were under heavy pressure not to quit the talks and that the Americans have suggested that construction be resumed only in the major settlement blocs. Mitchell said Wednesday night that Israel and the Palestinians are addressing the core disputes. "They are tackling up front, the issues that are at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," Mitchell told reporters after Netanyahu and Abbas met. "I will say that the two leaders are not leaving the tough issues to the end of their discussions. We take this as a strong indicator of their belief that peace is possible." Mitchell added that the US was working to renew the negotiations between Israel and Syria. The US envoy is expected to travel to Damascus on Thursday and then head to Lebanon. At the opening of the meeting, a smiling Netanyahu said he was happy to host Abbas, adding that "we have much work to do." Abbas, also smiling, humorously responded by saying the two leaders "haven't met in a while."
Shariah a Danger to US, Security Experts Say
(Security experts urge Obama policy change)
Sept. 16….(Washington Times) A panel of national security experts who worked under Republican and Democratic presidents is urging the Obama administration to abandon its stance that Islam is not linked to terrorism, arguing that radical Muslims are using Islamic law to subvert the United States. In a report set for release today, the panel states that "it is vital to the national security of the United States, and to Western civilization at large, that we do what we can to empower Islam's authentic moderates and reformers." The study group, sponsored by the conservative-oriented Center for Security Policy, says in its report that proponents of advancing Islamic law mark the "crucial fault line" in Islam's internal divisions separating truly moderate Muslims, like the late Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid, from the large portion of the world's 1 billion Muslims who advocate imposing what they call Shariah law throughout the world. Mr. Wahid, who died in December, is a widely respected Muslim visionary who promoted pluralism in Indonesia, which has the world's largest population of Muslims. According to the report, proponents of Shariah are "Muslim supremacists" waging "civilization jihad" along with the Islamist terrorists engaged in violent jihad, like al Qaeda. The 19-member study group was led by retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence in the George W. Bush administration, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Harry E. Soyster, Defense Intelligence Agency director from 1988 to 1991. Included in the team of former defense, law enforcement and intelligence officials were Clinton administration CIA Director R. James Woolsey and Andrew C. McCarthy, former assistant US attorney in New York, a career counter-terrorism prosecutor during the Clinton administration. Frank Gaffney, director of the Center for Security Policy, said the Obama administration's policy is based on an incorrect assumption. The Team B report seeks to expose flaws in anti-terror programs, including the policy of not referring to al Qaeda and similar groups as "Islamist" to avoid offending Muslims, he said. "What if it turns out that some of the people the Obama administration has been embracing are actually promoting the same totalitarian ideology and seditious agenda as Al Qaeda, only they're doing it from White House Iftar dinners?" said Mr. Gaffney, referring to the daily meal eaten by Muslims to break their fast during Ramadan. The group of experts was modeled after the official CIA Team B, whose 1976 contrary analysis said US intelligence assessments had underestimated Soviet nuclear forces. That Team B report led to the military buildup under the Reagan administration.
The administration's policy of not using the word Islam and its derivatives to describe today's fundamentalist terrorists is aimed at "not according these individuals any religious legitimacy," he said. A White House spokesman could not be reached for comment on the report or the administration's policy on political Islam. Mr. Gaffney said the report concludes that US government programs aimed at reaching out to Muslim groups that promote Shariah law "is not political correctness, it's submission." The administration's failure to understand the Islamist nature of the terrorist threat is "inviting more violent jihad against this country," Mr. Gaffney said. The report calls for a campaign against radical Islamists following the model used against communist ideology and activities during the Cold War, including infiltrating foreign-supported jihad groups by the FBI and other aggressive security measures. "Today, the United States faces what is, if anything, an even more insidious ideological threat: the totalitarian socio-political doctrine that Islam calls Shariah," the report says. "Though it certainly has spiritual elements, it would be a mistake to think of Shariah as a 'religious' code in the Western sense because it seeks to regulate all manner of behavior in the secular sphere, economic, social, military, legal and political." The Team B report calls for developing a counterstrategy to Islamist ideology, but notes that understanding the nature of the enemy is a critical first step. "That cannot be done by following the failed strategy of fictionalizing the state of Islam in the vain hope that reality will, at some point, catch up to the benign fable," the report says. "Empowering the condign elements of Islam requires a candid assessment, which acknowledges the strength of Shariah, just as defeat of 20th century totalitarian ideologies required an acknowledgment of, and respect for, their malevolent capabilities." The Shariah system is "totalitarian" and incompatible with the US Constitution's guarantees of democratic lawmaking, freedom of conscience, individual liberty and freedom of expression, including the right to analyze and criticize Shariah law, the report states.
The report cites the 1991 document from the Muslim Brotherhood in North America describing a covert process of Islamic "settlement" in the United States. The plan is to carry out a "grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated," the document stated. The Egyptian-origin Muslim Brotherhood is the most important entity promoting Islamic supremacism, the report says. Republican and Democratic administrations have failed to understand the ideological nature of the terrorist enemy, the report says, including its ultimate goal of reinstating a totalitarian Islamic caliphate with Shariah imposed globally.
100,000 Palestinian Kids Attend Radical Hamas Summer Camps
(Participants undergo anti-Israel indoctrination; UNRWA run simultaneous camps for a further 250,000 children)
Sept. 16….(Jerusalem Post) Hamas continued to gain strength this past summer as about 100,000 youngsters underwent radical anti-Israel indoctrination at dozens of summer camps run by the terrorist group, which also attacked United Nations camps, its main competition, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center According to the report, more than 100,000 children and teenagers participated in the Hamas camps, which included paramilitary training and military parades. The Islamic Jihad terrorist organization also opened 51 different summer camps for over 10,000 children. In contrast to the Hamas camps, the United Nations has been running summer camps throughout the Gaza Strip for 250,000 children. These camps, run by UNRWA, are being held at over 150 locations in Gaza. The participants engage in arts and crafts, sports and other cultural activities, and are mostly between the ages of six and 15. On several occasions during the summer, however, groups of masked men believed to be affiliated with Hamas ransacked a number of UNRWA camps and in one case burned down the facility and all of its contents. According to the report, Hamas feels threatened by UNRWA, which it perceives as its main competition in educating Palestinian youth in the Gaza Strip. Last year, for example, Hamas launched a campaign against UNRWA, and accused the organization of distributing drugs to Palestinian youth and of mixed malefemale dancing. The accusations were rejected by the UN body. At the Hamas camps, based on pictures obtained by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, the children learned about the Turkish flotilla, which was stopped by Israel as it tried to break the sea blockade over the Gaza Strip in late May. In one photo, children are seen training in hand-to-hand combat in front of a Turkish and Palestinian flag. Another picture shows children holding a poster which they drew as a sign of solidarity with Turkey and the flotilla.
Clinton: Israel Will be to Blame if Talks Collapse
Sept. 15….(JNEWSWIRE) It suited the twisted political purposes of Israel’s extreme leftist newspaper, Ha’aretz, to headline its top story Tuesday morning with the warning voiced by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the night before. Boarding her flight to the Middle East to chair the much-anticipated renewal of negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the American pointed her perfectly manicured index finger at the camera and stated, according to the paper: “Israel must extend the settlement freeze for the peace talks to succeed.” Her blatancy should not have shocked Israelis. She had upped the stakes two days earlier with the scaremongering assertion that “there may not ever be another chance” for the two sides to make peace. Clinton is on the very same page as her boss in the White House who, while insisting on the impartiality of his brokerage – Friday clarified (for the few who were still unsure) which sides’ position he supported more. “It makes sense,” he told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for you “to extend the moratorium.” Whether it made sense for the Palestinian Arabs to agree to Netanyahu’s demand that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state, however, he did not say. These two issues loomed as major stumbling blocks long before the parties booked their flights for the Washington photo opportunity that was held 10 days ago. For those who may have forgotten, Netanyahu was pressured into agreeing to a moratorium on construction in Judea and Samaria 10 months ago as a “goodwill gesture” to help create an atmosphere conducive to restarting the long stalled negotiations. No quid pro quo was forthcoming from the “Palestinian” side; not so much as a “we’ll consider it” when informed of Israel’s insistence that the Arab side recognize it specifically as a Jewish state. Netanyahu reiterated this expectation at the weekly cabinet meeting on September 12, but, again, has received no backing from Washington. Instead we have Clinton’s unwavering focus on the Arabs’ demand, that Netanyahu continue to not build homes and businesses for Israelis in Samaria and Judea. The end game is clear, and the Israeli leader must have known this, even as he sat down with Clinton and Abbas in Sharm e-Sheikh. True to Obama’s word, when the US saw an obstacle in the way it singled out one party for extra pressure, and set it up for blame. Clinton will naturally not accuse the Palestinian Arabs, who have taken not one single step backwards, who have taken not one risk for peace, in all the years since Madrid and Oslo. She’ll not come down on Mahmoud Abbas’ head for saying through his spokesman Sa’eb Erekat last week that the “Palestinians” will “never recognize Israel as a Jewish state.” As Sky News’ Middle East correspondent Dominic Waghorn told his viewers Tuesday: Unless Netanyahu takes the “bold” step and agrees to extend the freeze, he will “risk incurring the wrath of the Americans.” It has to be said, even at the risk of digressing from the main players for a moment, that like virtually every single foreign correspondent in Israel, Waghorn is proudly prejudiced in favor of the “Palestinians.” His reports caringly explain why the PLO cannot comply with Israel’s demands on the Jewish state question, while justifying the Arab demands on the settlement freeze because, of course, they “can’t be seen to be talking to people who are building on lands they want for their state.” Which leads me to the opening of my follow-on article, in which I will explain why, after following the peace process from my home in Jerusalem for more than 20 years, including the recently unfolding efforts to renew this process, I have come to the place where I can no longer ignore this unpalatable truth: That Israel IS to blame for the failure of the land-for-peace process.
Iran Crosses Critical Line for Nuclear-Arming Missiles
Sept. 14….(DEBKA) Iran has crossed the critical nuclear threshold taking it nearer to being able to arm ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads, weapons inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency reported last week. When this finding failed to elicit any response from the US or Israel, Debkafile’s military sources report, NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen hurried over to Washington Sunday, Sept. 12 with a call to action for President Barack Obama: “Based on their (Iranian) public statements we know that Iran already has missiles with a range sufficient to hit targets in Europe, and they don't hide the fact that they want to further develop their capability.” He came away with a pledge of 200 million euros as American in creating a missile shield for Europe against the Iranian threat. While even Europe has roused itself to the menace from Iran, the fast encroaching threat to Israel remains unaddressed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and defense minister Ehud Barak. They appear unmoved even in the face of the coming visit to Lebanon on Oct. 13-14 by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He is coming specifically to clinch Iran’s grip on Lebanon and its buildup as Iran’s forward front for retaliation should Israel venture to strike its nuclear facilities. This buildup crossed every possible red line some time ago without an Israeli response. The Iranian president will exploit this vacuum by paying a visit to the South Lebanese-Israeli border village of Edeissa, from which on Aug. 3, Lebanese army snipers soldiers were put up by Hizballah to ambush Israeli troops and shoot dead Col. Dov Harari. (Israel’s only response was to knock out two Lebanese APCs klling three Lebanese troops, and issuing warnings relayed by US intermediaries that the IDF would meet further incidents by wiping out the entire Lebanese military system in the space of four hours.) Lebanese President Gen. Michel Suleiman phoned Ahmadinejad Sept. 11 to say that the Lebanese people was “eagerly awaiting” his coming and stress that henceforth the Lebanese national army would fight Israel shoulder to shoulder with its comrades in Hizballah. Will the Lebanese president accompany Ahmadinejad’s on his symbolic visit to Edeissa? Or Lebanese army chief Gen. Jean Kahwaji? Or will Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah venture to leave his bunker-hideout to honor the guest? This decision matters greatly. The Israeli government’s silence with regard to the provocative nature of the event matters even more. Tehranwill be using it to uphold the Lebanese army’s “heroic act” in attacking Israel. It will be welcomed as an honored member of the Iranian-Syrian-Palestinian “resistance front” against Israel alongside Hizballah. Iranhas thus gained a new strategic acquisition operating at its behest for tying Israel’s hands not only against striking Tehran but defending itself against aggressive acts by its Lebanese neighbor. Ahmadiinejad is planning to use his visit to celebrate an Iranian-Lebanese defense pact coupled with a large-scale transaction to supply the Lebanese armed forces with the weapons needed to take on the IDF. These deals will kick off the merger and standardization of Lebanese and Hizballah weapons systems.
The next time Lebanese troops attack Israel they are likely to be using Iranian arms.
China Diverting US Military Technology to Iran
Front companies acquiring sensitive goods for missile, nuclear programs
Sept. 14….(WND) As Obama administration policymakers press to liberalize US export controls to placate the US defense industry and make higher levels of technology more accessible to China, US intelligence has determined that China in fact is acquiring US "militarily critical" technology for Iran's military and nuclear programs, according to a report from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin. In addition, China is acquiring these technologies through various front companies set up in the United States. Once China sets up a corporation in the US, it has the same legal standing as US firms run by Americans, thereby making them indistinguishable. This then becomes a problem as other US companies receive bids, see they come from a US corporation without realizing they are Chinese-run, and make an offer. "The People's Republic of China operates a robust North American procurement program obtaining military technology and equipment that not only supports the People's Liberation Army but is provided to prohibited countries around the world," according to John Morton director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement within the US Department of Homeland Security. Morton said the Chinese are transferring US technology to Iran and North Korea, especially for missile and nuclear development.
Imam Rauf (NYC Mosque Imam) Supports Israel’s Destruction
Sept. 14….(Frontpage) Newly discovered statements by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the Ground Zero mosque project, show he supports the destruction of Israel. His supporters may hold him up as a moderate, but he has spoken out in favor of a “one-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and he sees peace agreements with Israel as a means to that end. “My own personal analysis tells me that a one-state solution is a more coherent one than a two-state solution,” Imam Rauf told an audience in July 2005. The phrase “one-state solution” is often used by Islamic extremists to advocate the destruction of Israel, especially by those parading as moderates. It is said with the knowledge that any “one-state solution” would result in the Jews being outnumbered in their own land, replacing Israel with a Muslim state called Palestine. A letter to the editor written by Imam Rauf on November 27, 1977 puts to rest any doubt that Rauf could have been misinterpreted. In it, he wrote that he supports Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel, but only because it would ultimately bring victory over Israel. He reminds Muslims that Muhammad received similar resistance to his own peace treaty with their enemies but “peace turned out to be a most effective weapon against the unbeliever.” “Muhammad used that period to consolidate his ranks and re-arm, eventually leading to his conquest of Mecca. Imam Rauf seems to be saying that Muslims should understand Sadat’s olive branch in the same way, as a short-term respite to ultimate conquest,” explained the Wall Street Journal in its breaking of the story. Imam Rauf stated that there will not be peace until Israel ceases to exist. He says that Israel is destined to collapse and “In a true peace, Israel will, in our lifetimes, become one more Arab country, with a Jewish minority.” To this day, Rauf has not said that Israel has a right to exist and has chosen to work with those dedicated to the country’s elimination. He has refused to condemn Hamas as a terrorist group, saying “I am a peace builder. I will not allow anybody to put me in a position where I am seen by any party in the world as an adversary or as an enemy.” He has also involved himself with the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas that is dedicated to destroying Israel and bringing the world under Shariah Law.
Netanyahu Demands Full End to Conflict
Sept. 13….(Israel Today) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that when he attends the next round of direct peace negotiations with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Tuesday, he will demand that the agreement they are working toward mark a full end to the conflict. Abbas "needs to recognize the principle that if we reach a settlement on borders then Israel will demand that it end the conflict, and the Palestinians recognize the Jewish state," an Israeli official told the Ynet news portal. "The prime minister will not agree to a principle that allows the Palestinians to establish a state and then continue the argument over which territory belongs to whom." In that vein, Netanyahu on Sunday reiterated his demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as "the Jewish state," and that after the signing of a peace deal. "We both live on the same small piece of land but as soon as we suggest a two state solution for two nations, a Jewish one and a Palestinian one, unfortunately I do not hear from the other side the sentence 'two states for two nations.' I hear two states, but I don't hear two nations," Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting.
Netanyahu Demands Palestinians Recognize Israel as Jewish State
Sept. 13….(Jerusalem Post) Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday said that a peace agreement is based, first of all, on the recognition of Israel as the national state of the Jewish People. "The conflict between us and the Palestinians, as opposed to other conflicts that were resolved by peace agreements, is over the same piece of ground," Netanyahu continued. The prime minister stated that "we say that the solution is two states for two peoples, meaning two national states, a Jewish national state and a Palestinian national state. To my regret, I have yet to hear from the Palestinians the phrase 'two states for two peoples'. I hear them saying 'two states' but I do not hear them recognizing two states for two peoples." Netanyahu referred to the scheduled meeting in Sharm a-Sheikh on Tuesday and said "I believe that if the Palestinian leadership adheres to continuous negotiations, despite the obstacles that are coming up on every side, and if it is serious and determined in its intention to advance towards peace, just as we are serious, then it will be possible to,within a year, reach a framework that will be the basis for a peace settlement. The prime minister did not refer to an end of the settlement freeze at the beginning of the cabinet meeting. Contrary to Netanyahu's silence on the issue, a number of ministers gave their opinion on the issue of the West Bank building moratorium, which is set to expire at the end of September. Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog referred to the settlement freeze and said that the talks scheduled for Sharm e-Sheikh "are an important step. Brave steps need to be taken during the negotiations, even if it means that a continuation of the settlement freeze." In contrast, Interior Minister Eli Yishai claimed that "we need to face the truth and not hide our head in the sand. I am very skeptical. I do not believe that the Palestinians want political negotiations."
Clinton in Mideast to Push Israelis, Palestinians
Sept. 13….(Fox News) Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is shepherding Mideast talks this week that she says may be the last chance for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Clinton and former Sen. George Mitchell, President Barack Obama's special envoy to the region, planned to be in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, for talks Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. They are scheduled to shift to Jerusalem for a second day of talks Wednesday, and it's likely that Obama will resume negotiations with Abbas and Netanyahu in New York the following week on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. The most immediate obstacle for negotiators is a Palestinian demand that Israel extend a curb on new housing construction in the West Bank, a constraint that Israel says will expire Sept. 26. The Palestinians have insisted that without an extension, the peace talks will go nowhere. aising the pressure, Obama said Friday that he has urged Netanyahu to extend the partial moratorium as long as talks are making progress. However, Netanyahu said Sunday that the current restrictions will not remain in place, though there will still be some limits on construction. Netanyahu told Mideast envoy Tony Blair the Palestinians want a total freeze in construction. "That will not happen," he said. Israel will not build "tens of thousands of housing units that are in the pipeline, but we will not freeze the lives of the residents," Netanyahu said. Obama also said he's told Abbas that if he shows he's serious about negotiating, it will give political maneuver room for Netanyahu on the settlement issue. Abbas knows "the window for creating a Palestinian state is closing," Obama said. Clinton's task, Obama said, is to get the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to "start thinking about how can they help the other succeed, as opposed to how do they figure out a way for the other to fail." Previewing the upcoming talks, Clinton said "there is a certain momentum" after an initial round in Washington on Sept. 2., which marked the first direct Israeli-Palestinian talks in nearly two years. In an appearance this past week at the Council on Foreign Relations, Clinton was asked why those who see little chance of reaching a settlement in the one-year deadline Obama has set are wrong. "I think they're wrong because I think that both sides and both leaders recognize that there may not ever be another chance," she replied. The "last chance" notion is based in part on the knowledge that Abbas is living on borrowed time, in a political sense. His electoral mandate expired in 2009 and he fears a Hamas takeover of the West Bank, which is supposed to make up the bulk of an independent Palestinian state. Time is a motivating factor for the Israelis, too. Some Israelis believe the longer that Israel occupies the West Bank and its growing Arab population, the more Israel's future as a Jewish state is imperiled. Creating a sovereign Palestine would get Israel out of the occupation business.
More broadly, the status quo is a drag on US interests. The wars and grievances that flowed from Israel's 1948 founding as a Jewish state have divided the Middle East, and US officials have argued that the conflict begets hatred and suspicion of the US as Israel's principal ally. Obama wants a deal within a year; Israelis are deeply skeptical after decades of failed efforts. Netanyahu acknowledges the widespread doubts. "There are many obstacles, many skeptics, and many reasons for skepticism," he said in a Jewish new year address last Tuesday. He called the resumed negotiations "an important step in an attempt" to make peace, but added that it "is an attempt because there is no certainty of success." One concern of all the parties to the talks is Hamas, the militant Islamist movement that refuses to negotiate and opposes Israel's very existence. Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, which is supposed to be part of a negotiated Palestinian state along with most of the West Bank. Michele Dunne, a Mideast expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said it appears the talks will go nowhere until the two sides, with Clinton's help, can find a compromise solution to the settlements issue. "That's probably going to have to be the first item on the agenda," she said in a telephone interview. "The first priority is to make sure that the talks don't collapse at the end of September." She gives the current format for negotiations about six months before the US will have to either give up or put forth its own peace plan and try to rally support for it from moderate Arab states.
WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 5 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 11
Sept. 11….(FOJ) The pictures of the 9-11 attack by Muslim extremists terrorists on the United States are still striking. Today, as we reflect on the attacks of nine years ago, it seems surreal that we as a nation find ourselves debating the building of anything Islamic near where these pictures were taken. It is tantamount to building a statue of Emperor Hirohito near the sunken Arizona at Pearl Harbor where many American sailors found a watery grave. But, alas we have become tolerant and politically correct. I suppose that means we were politically incorrect by declaring war on Japan in 1941. As has been aptly stated, war is hell, and no rational person desires to wage it. But, whereas this world is the present dominion of Satan, good peace-loving people find that they must always be prepared to fight against the forces of evil. Yet, Satan is very clever at muddying the focus about what is evil and what is righteous. Such has been the situation in our nation ever since 9-11. Isaiah has a bit of serious advice for a nation that cannot any longer determine good from evil. (Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!) Sadly, this is precisely the cultural, political, and religious condition our nation is in today. We have not experienced a national Christian renewal since 9-11. America has not returned to its god. Therefore, today we are engaged in intense national debates about appeasing the gods of our enemies! While our enemies chant “death to America,” and make political use of our domestic Christian heritage of freedoms, we bow down to their constant threats. If anything should be gleamed from the events on 9-11 back in 2001, it should be that Jehovah God has withdrawn his “hedges of protection” from our once proud Christian nation, and abandoned us to the foolishness of chatting with forces of evil, so we do not to incite them unnecessarily. That is just what happens to nations that forget God. Ancient Israel is a prime example. Unfortunately, instead of returning to God and repenting of national sins, we have turned aside to whore after other gods, whom our forefathers did not know!
Your Turn, Mr. Abbas
(Until Palestine is ready to offer concessions, peace talks will accomplish nothing)
Sept. 11….(Charles Krauthammer) The prospects are dim but the process is right. The Obama administration is to be commended for structuring the latest rounds of Middle East talks correctly. Finally, we’re leaving behind interim agreements, of which the most lamentable were the Oslo accords of 1993. The logic then was that issues so complicated could be addressed only step by step in the expectation that things get easier over time. In fact, they got harder. Israel made concrete concessions, bringing in Yasser Arafat to run the West Bank and Gaza, in return for which Israel received growing threats, continuous incitement, and finally a full-scale terror war that killed more than a thousand innocent Israelis. Among the victims was the Israeli peace movement and its illusions about Palestinian acceptance of Israel. The Israeli Left, mugged by reality, is now moribund. And the Israeli Right is chastened. No serious player believes it can hang on forever to the West Bank. This has created a unique phenomenon in Israel, a broad-based national consensus for giving nearly all the West Bank in return for peace. The moment is doubly unique because the only man who can deliver such a deal is Likud prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and he is prepared to do it. Hence the wisdom of how the Obama administration has shaped the coming talks: No interim deals, no partial agreements. There are no mutual concessions that can be made separately within the great issues, territory, security, Jerusalem, the so-called right of return, to reach agreement. The concessions must be among these issues, thus if Israel gives up its dream of a united Jerusalem, for example, the Palestinians in return give up their dream of the right of return. Most important is the directive issued by US peace negotiator George Mitchell: What’s under discussion is a final settlement of the conflict. Meaning, no further claims. Conflict over. What’s standing in the way? Israeli settlements? Foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, one of Israel’s most nationalist politicians, lives in a settlement and has said openly that to achieve peace he and his family would abandon their home. What about the religious settlers? Might they not resist? Some tried that during the Gaza withdrawal, clinging to synagogue rooftops. What happened? Jewish soldiers pulled them down and took them away. If Israel is offered real peace, the soldiers will do that again. The obstacle today, as always, is Palestinian refusal to accept a Jewish state. That has been the core issue of the conflict from 1947 through Camp David 2000 when Arafat rejected Israel’s extraordinarily generous peace offer, made no counteroffer, and started a terror war (the Second Intifada) two months later. A final peace was there to be had. It remains on the table today. Unfortunately, there’s no more sign today of a Palestinian desire for final peace than there was at Camp David. Even if Mahmoud Abbas wants such an agreement he simply doesn’t have the authority. To accept a Jewish state, Abbas needs some kind of national consensus behind him. He doesn’t have even a partial consensus. Hamas, which exists to destroy Israel, controls part of Palestine (Gaza), and is a powerful rival to Abbas’s Fatah even in his home territory of the West Bank. Indeed, this week Abbas flatly told al-Quds, the leading Palestinian newspaper, “We won’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state.” Nice way to get things off on the right foot. What will Abbas do? Unable and/or unwilling to make peace, he will exploit President Obama’s tactical blunder, the settlement freeze imposed on Israel despite the fact that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations had gone on without such a precondition for 16 years prior. Abbas will walk out if the freeze is not renewed on September 26. You don’t need to be prescient to see that coming. Abbas has already announced that that is what he’ll do. That would solve all of Abbas’s problems. It would obviate signing on to a final settlement, fend off Hamas, and make Israel the fall guy. The trifecta. Why not walk out? The world, which already condemns Israel even for self-defense, will be only too eager to blame Israel for the negotiation breakdown. And there is growing pressure to create a Palestinian state even if the talks fail, i.e., even if the Palestinians make no concessions at all. So why make any? The talks are well-designed. Unfortunately, Abbas knows perfectly well how to undermine them.
Holy Book Burnings Spark Hypocrisy
Sept. 10….(Culture) A pro-family organization says it's hypocritical for high-ranking officials in the Pentagon to condemn a Florida church's plans to burn Qurans when US military personnel burned Bibles last year in Afghanistan. Pastor Terry Jones told reporters outside his church in Gainesville Wednesday afternoon that he remains unconvinced that "backing down is the right thing" to do regarding the planned burning of Qurans on Saturday. That protest has drawn objection from Gen. David Petraeus, the top US and NATO commander, who says images of burning Qurans will be used by extremists to inflame public opinion and incite worldwide violence. Earlier today on ABC's Good Morning America, President Barack Obama criticized the event, calling it a "stunt" and warning it could become "a recruitment bonanza for al-Qaeda." Other notable Obama administration officials, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have also condemned the planned Quran burning. But Bryan Fischer, director of issues analysis at the American Family Association (AFA), thinks it is the height of hypocrisy for the US government to condemn the church, considering the fact that the US military incinerated Bibles that were sent to Afghanistan in May 2009. "There's really a staggering level of hypocrisy and double standard here for the military to burn the Holy Bible and then complain when a pastor's going to do the same thing to the Quran," Fischer contends. "You know, if the military was going to be fair here and even-handed, they would count up the number of Holy Bibles that they incinerated in Afghanistan, and then they would allow Reverend Jones to burn the same number of Qurans." The AFA issues analysis director believes the whole incident illustrates the difference between Christianity and Islam. "When these Bibles were burned in May 2009, the Christian community did not riot in the streets; we did not threaten violence against anyone," he points out. "But when even the threat of Qurans being burned takes place, it's like we're dealing with Armageddon or with World War III." In a OneNewsNow poll conducted in May 2009, more than 60 percent of respondents said, in reaction to the decision by the US military to destroy the Bibles, that "if it had been the Quran, this never would have happened."
Obama Implores Florida Minister to call off Koran Burning
President Barack Obama is sending best wishes to Muslims worldwide as they celebrate Eid-al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of fasting and prayer known as Ramadan. Obama also appealed for donations for victims of devastating floods in Pakistan. This year's holiday falls on Saturday's 9/11 anniversary during a time of rising anti-Muslim sentiment in the US over plans for a mosque and Islamic cultural center near ground zero. A Florida pastor also is threatening to burn copies of the Muslim holy book on Saturday. Obama said the Muslim holy day is a time to reflect on the importance of religious tolerance and to honor the positive role all religions, including Islam have played in American life.
Sept. 10….(Jerusalem Post) US President Barack Obama is exhorting a Florida minister to "listen to those better angels" and call off his plan to engage in a Koran-burning protest this weekend. Obama told ABC's "Good Morning America" in an interview aired Thursday that he hopes the Rev. Terry Jones of Florida listens to the pleas of people who have asked him to call off the plan. The president called it a "stunt." "If he's listening, I hope he understands that what he's proposing to do is completely contrary to our values as Americans," Obama said. "That this country has been built on the notion of freedom and religious tolerance." "And as a very practical matter, I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women who are in uniform," the president added. Obama continued, "Look, this is a recruitment bonanza for Al Qaida. You could have serious violence in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan." The president also said Jones' plan, if carried out, could serve as an incentive for terrorist-minded individuals "to blow themselves up" to kill others. "I hope he listens to those better angels and understands that this is a destructive act that he's engaging in," the president about Jones. Earlier, several members of his adminstration, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had denounced the Koran-burning plan. Also, Army Gen. David Petraeus, the ground commander in Afghanistan, has said the act of burning the Koran could endanger troops fighting there. On Wedneday, the State Department has ordered US embassies around the world to assess their security ahead of the planned weekend demonstration in Florida. Officials said US diplomatic posts have been instructed to convene "emergency action committees" to determine the potential for protests over the congregation's plans to burn the Koran to commemorate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The posts are to warn American citizens in countries where protests may occur.
Palestinians Unwilling to Compromise for Peace
Sept. 8….(Israel Today) Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas clarified for his people on Monday that he intends to make not even one concession or compromise in direct peace negotiations with Israel, and that for a final status peace to be achieved, Israel will have to fully meet all Arab demands and abandon its own conditions. First and foremost, Abbas told Palestinian newspapers that if the Jewish building freeze in Judea and Samaria (the so-called "West Bank") is not extended indefinitely, the negotiations will come to an immediate halt. But Abbas also said he would walk out of the talks if he is pressured at all to alter the Palestinians' more hardline positions. "If they demand concessions on the rights of the refugees or the 1967 borders, I will quit. I can’t allow myself to make even one concession," Abbas told the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam. Abbas was referring to the Palestinian demand that Israel solve the purported "Palestinian refugee" issue by opening its border to millions of new Arab citizens. Abbas has long championed that demand, despite the fact that it would mean the demographic destruction of the Jewish state. Even Israel's most liberal politicians reject the so-called "right of return." The Palestinian leader's position on the issue was two-faced, as he then turned around and insisted that an independent Palestinian state created by the current peace process must not have a single Jew living in it. "We clarified that [the Palestinian Authority] would not agree to continued Israeli presence, military or civil, within a future Palestinian state," Abbas said. In speaking of the 1967 borders, Abbas made it clear that he will not allow Israel to maintain control over a united Jerusalem as part of any peace deal. Up until 1967, the eastern half of Jerusalem was illegally occupied by Jordan. The Palestinians now claim it as their rightful capital. Abbas reiterated his position in an interview with Jerusalem-based Arabic newspaper Al-Quds when he rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's talk of a historic compromise between the two sides in order to reach a durable peace agreement. Abbas also addressed Netanyahu's demand that the Palestinians must recognize Israel as "the Jewish state." "We're not talking about a Jewish state and we won't talk about one," Abbas said. "For us, there is the state of Israel and we won't recognize Israel as a Jewish state."
Jordan and Syria call for Israeli Withdrawal from all Arab Lands
(Leaders of both states say that Israel
must return to pre-1967 borders
Sept. 8….(Ha Aretz) Jordanian King Abdullah II and Syrian President Bashar Assad on Monday stressed the need for Israel to pull out from all Arab territories it occupied in the 1967 war, if peace with the Palestinians is to be achieved. Abdullah made a whirlwind visit to Damascus to brief the Syrian leader on the outcome of his talks in Washington last week with United States President Barack Obama, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a royal court statement said. The monarch had attended the six-way meeting on the eve of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians being relaunched Thursday. Abdullah and Assad "emphasized that resolving the Palestinian- Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state vision requires the regaining of all Arab rights in accordance with ... the Arab peace initiative," the statement said. The Arab peace initiative offered Israel recognition by all Arab states if it pulled out from all Arab territories it occupied in the 1967 Six-Day Warr, including East Jerusalem. Turkish-brokered peace talks between Syria and Israel had faltered in 2008, reportedly after Damascus insisted on the restoration of the entire Golan Heights, one of the Arab territories the Jewish state captured in the 1967 war. Abdullah and al-Assad also agreed to continue "coordination and consultation" on all bilateral and regional issues and discussed means of boosting pan-Arab action "to cope with common challenges".
Hizballah Strikes US Troops in Iraq, Establishing Anti-Israel Eastern Front
Sept. 7….(DEBKA) Debkafile's military sources report increased Hizballah involvement in actions to terrorize, subvert and destabilize Iraq. A US intelligence source told debkafile's Iraq and counter-terror sources Monday Sept. 6: "Hizballah is striking US targets in Iraq as sub-contractor for Iran and Syria." According to the Sunday Times of Sept. 5, Iranian "firms" in Kabul are shelling out $1,000 to Taliban for every American soldier they kill in Afghanistan. These developments make nonsense of the dire predictions heard from some American military experts that an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities would unleash a wave of anti-US terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is happening anyway without Israel lifting a finger against Iran or its aggressive allies. debkafile's counter-terror sources can exclusively reveal the nature and makeup of Hizballah's operation in Iraq: The Lebanese terrorists are working directly and through two Iraqi Shiite affiliates.
1. Asaib al-Haq (League of the Believers): Under a variety of names, such as the Qais Khazalis for its commander, this group spent the last four years under the tutelage of Hizballah officers at Revolutionary Guards bases in Iran.A few weeks ago, the Lebanese officersleft Iran and crossed into Iraq disguised as Shiite pilgrims to spread out in Baghdad and the southern Iraqi towns of Karbala, Najef, Nassiriyeh and Basra from which to attack attack US targets.
2. Kata'ib Hizballah (Hizballah Brigades): This organization is commanded by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis who visited Damascus on Aug. 21 with the Revolutionary Guards chief Gen. Ali Jafaari. They got together there with Syrian and Hizballah officers to synchronize their campaigns of violence in Iraq, Israel and the West Bank.
operation was clearly uppermost on the mind of Hizballah secretary general
Hassan Nasrallah, judging from the number of words he poured out on Iraq in his
speech in Beirut on Palestine Solidarity Day of Sept. 3 and the way he bracketed
the two "resistance struggles."
US Warns Assad About Anti-Peace Terror Campaign
Sept. 6….(DEBKA) The Obama administration has sent Syrian president Bashar Assad a stern warning that he will be held personally accountable and face consequences if Israel and the Palestinian Authority are subjected to a terror campaign, whether by Hizballah or the Palestinian extremist groups based in Damascus, debkafile reports from Washington. The warning went out Thursday, Sept. 2, as Israelis and Palestinians sat down to talk in Washington in the shadow of threats from extremists sheltering under Syria's wing and after two attacks on the West Bank. The caution was put in Assad's hands in Damascus by Fredric Hof, adviser to US envoy George Mitchell as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas met for the first time under the aegis of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and support of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah. Debkafile's sources do not know exactly what was said at the interview but Saturday, Sept. 4, they confirmed the severity of the US message to the Syrian ruler. Our military sources report that last week, Syria and Hizballah took joint steps against a possible Israeli strike against the sophisticated rockets which Hizballah is storing for safekeeping at Syrian bases close to the border and holding ready for immediate use. Hizballah militiamen have been visiting those bases to learn how to use the advanced hardware. Assad is deepening his military partnership with Hizballah and advancing joint preparations for war under Iranian sponsorship. Last Sunday, Aug. 29, he urged Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to stand solidly behind Hizballah when they met in Damascus. The Syrian ruler stressed to Hariri "…the importance of supporting the resistance [a euphemism for terrorism used by radical Arab elements] as the only way to preserve Lebanon's strength and security against regional threats." Our sources report that the hands of Assad and the Iran-backed Hizballah are detected in fomenting terror in another part of the Middle East - Iraq, especially in Baghdad.
The Peace Delusion
Sept. 6….(Frontpage) It’s been nearly two years since Palestinian representatives and Israelis sat across a table from each other to talk about peace. As the latest round of talks got under way yesterday, it’s hard to imagine that the results this time will be much different than any other time. Has anything changed that might lead to a different outcome? Gaza is still being run by Hamas. The “moderates” sitting across the table from Israel, Fatah, Egypt and Jordan, refuse to do to take any action that would delegitimize the group of terrorists who rule Gaza. The much vaunted “two state solution” can hardly work when half of the proposed Palestinian state refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist, sneers at peace talks involving their enemy and, just to emphasize their contempt, carries out terror attacks two days before those talks commence. Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordanian King Abdullah II won’t talk about Hamas. Ignoring the terrorist organization and its goals is the accepted strategy among those hoping to create a new Palestinian state. But Hamas and what Hamas represents cannot be ignored, if only because the genocidal organization refuses to be ignored. If it were possible to placate aggrieved Palestinians, step one would have to be isolating and marginalizing Hamas. As long as the terrorist entity remains in place, it serves as a lightning rod for disgruntled and angry Muslims throughout the Middle East. How better to demonstrate that they truly represent a moderate alternative than for Abbas, Mubarak and Abdullah to condemn Hamas and call for all Palestinians to reject the terrorist organization and its agenda? But, rather than taking that step, the trio, along with President Obama, instead fall back on condemning violence in general. Not only do such tired platitudes serve to deflect attention from the real problem, they also serve to reinforce the conception that there is a kind of equivalency between unprovoked attacks on Israel and Israel’s response to such attacks. It’s self-apparent that committing random acts of violence in order to terrorize a nation is far different than employing targeted acts of violence to deter such attacks.