WEEK OF JUNE 24 THROUGH JUNE 30
Islamic States Support Arafat
June 28….Jerusalem Post) The Pan Arabic Organization of the Islamic States are meeting in conference in Khartoum this week. The Islamic conference has presented a tacit rebuff of Presidents Bush's call for Yasser Arafat to go, issuing a separate declaration that said Muslims stood by the "Palestinian people under the leadership of the gallant President Yasser Arafat." Representatives of the 57 Muslim nations pledged continued support for Palestinians in a resolution that also backed Arafat as their leader.
Israel Criticizes UNRWA in West Bank
June 28….(Ha Aretz) Israel has begun a campaign in the United States and the United Nations to urge a reconsideration of the way the UN Relief and Works Agency, which runs the Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza are operated. Israel charges that UNRWA workers simply ignored the fact that Palestinian organizations were turning the camps into terrorist bases, and it is demanding the agency start reporting all military or terrorist actions within the camps to the UN. According to the UN's own resolutions, arms cannot be stored in the refugee camps and the camps cannot be used for any military activity. Yet despite this, they have become bases for terrorist organizations. Israel has also urged the UN to stop "unhelpful statements" by UNRWA officials, such as Commissioner-General Peter Hansen's statement, which later proved false, that Operation Defensive Shield had left "hundreds of dead in Jenin." The U.S. currently contributes some 30 percent of UNRWA's $400 million a year budget. The U.S. House International Relations Committee is currently trying to organize hearings on UNRWA's activities in the territories and the question of American funding for them. This committee is responsible for approving America's foreign aid bill, which includes the UNRWA funding.
Muhammed Dahlan Favored by Washington?
June 28….(Middle East News) Disenchanted with Yasser Arafat and the PA leadership, the Bush administration is being questioned on its apparent campaign to groom a former Palestinian security chief as the successor to Yasser Arafat. Congressional staffers said the administration's focus on Palestinian Authority security chief Mohammed Dahlan has raised concern among Middle East analysts. They said Dahlan has been directly involved in Palestinian bombings of civilians, including children. "We are talking about a man who has crossed all the lines of terrorism," a senior congressional staffer said. "I think the White House is being hoodwinked." Dahlan, chief of the Preventive Security Apparatus, has held talks in Washington with White House aides, including National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. Officials acknowledge that Ms. Rice has been impressed by Dahlan and believes that he can implement reform in the PA. They said Washington has offered tens of millions of dollars to Dahlan to create and head a Palestinian super-agency. Col. Muhammad Dahlan, who is widely believed to be supported by both the United States and Israel, was head of Palestinian Preventive Security Service in the Gaza Strip until his resignation earlier this month. Dahlan quit his Gaza security post after the Israeli military incursion into the West Bank on March 28. He subsequently refused to taken up an offer to be Arafat's security adviser, leading to speculation the two men have fallen out. He has worked on joint committees with Israeli security forces and is understood to have close relations with the CIA. Dahlan joined the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization in Tunis, Tunisia. He returned to the Palestinian territories after the Oslo peace accord was signed in 1993.
A Pledge to the “Almighty”
June 28….(FOJ) In April 1953, the Korean War prompted suggestions to put Abraham Lincoln's words, "under God" from the Gettysburg Address into the Pledge of Allegiance, which Congress had codified in 1942. President Eisenhower signed it into law on Flag Day, June 14, saying in a statement, "From this day forward, the millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty." The Pledge of Allegiance first appeared in 1892 in the popular children's magazine, Youth's Companion, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus arriving in the Americas. It was in wide use by 1917, when the United States entered World War I.
Pledge of Allegiance Declared Unconstitutional
June 27….(Washington Post) A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that America's Pledge of Allegiance is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion and cannot be recited in schools. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a 1954 act of Congress inserting the phrase "under God" after the words "one nation" in the pledge. The court said the phrase violates the so-called Establishment Clause in the Constitution that requires a separation of church and state. "A profession that we are a nation 'under God' is identical, for Establishment Clause purposes, to a profession that we are a nation 'under Jesus,' a nation 'under Vishnu,' a nation 'under Zeus,' or a nation 'under no god,' because none of these professions can be neutral with respect to religion," Judge Alfred T. Goodwin wrote for the three-judge panel. The 9th Circuit covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state. Those are the only states directly affected by the ruling at this time. The case was brought by one man, Michael A. Newdow, a Sacramento atheist who objected because his 2nd-grade daughter was required to recite the pledge at the Elk Grove school district. The appeals court said that when President Eisenhower signed the legislation inserting "under God" after the words "one nation," he wrote that "millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty."
Bush: I Meant What I Said (no Arafat)
June 27….(Reuters) President Bush said the United States will not accept Yasser Arafat as Palestinian leader even if he wins the January elections, for which he announced his candidacy, yes, "I meant what I said, that there needs to be change. If people are interested in peace, something else has got to happen," Mr. Bush said yesterday after a meeting at the summit of the Group of Eight in Canada. "The status quo is simply unacceptable, and it should be unacceptable to them." After his call Monday for Palestinians to oust Mr. Arafat — a leader he indirectly said is "compromised by terror." Mr. Bush said "the free world" will decide whether Palestinians are implementing reforms the United States deems necessary before talk can begin about establishing an independent Palestinian state. Mr. Bush threatened that his administration would cut off millions in U.S. aid if Palestinians do not adopt the sweeping political and security reforms he has demanded. "Listen, I can assure you we won't be putting money into a society which is not transparent and [is] corrupt. The United States gives about $100 million to non-governmental organizations that oversee infrastructure needs for Palestinians. Several leaders of the eight nations gathered here have been cool to Mr. Bush's call for the ouster of Mr. Arafat. Most, including Tony Blair, have straddled the fence. Mr. Bush, however, held firm to his stance that the Palestinians must pick leaders without ties to terrorism. "If there's leadership compromised by terror, we won't be along the path to peace. I've got confidence in the Palestinians when they understand fully what we're saying, that they'll make right decisions as to how we get down the road for peace," he said. "They've been pawns in the game of peace. They have no hope. Their economy is in shambles. They live in squalor. Their leadership has let them down." Meanwhile, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat, at a press conference in the West Bank town of Jericho, appealed directly to the G-8 leaders to pressure Mr. Bush to back down from his demand to oust Mr. Arafat.
Palestinian Election Polls
June 27….(Ha Aretz) A poll by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center, a Palestinian research group headed by Ghassan Khatib, who was named labor minister this month asked 1,179 Palestinians whether they expected Arafat would be elected. The random sample found 47.5 percent said they expected Arafat to be re-elected, 37.8 percent said they did not and 14.7 percent gave no answer. Still, when asked which Palestinian they trusted most, Arafat was identified by 25.1 percent of respondents edging out the 24.5 percent who answered "I don't trust anyone." The most-trusted individual after Arafat was Sheik Ahmed Yassin, spiritual leader of the Hamas terrorist organization, with 8.8 percent.
NATO Ready to Act Against WMD
June 27….(Middle East News) NATO has agreed to launch a campaign to protect against weapons of mass destruction attacks by groups deemed as terrorists as well as their state sponsors, including Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria. NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels agreed on a strategy that defined several Middle East countries as WMD threats. These include Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Other states listed by the ministers were Cuba and North Korea. "We need to assess what the threats are for the safety and security of the people who live in the countries that are members of the alliance and act appropriately in the circumstances," NATO secretary-general George Robertson said. Currently, NATO has limited defenses against WMD and virtually none against nuclear or biological weapons. The ministers were warned that alliance members face an imminent attack by Al Qaida and its allies meant to overshadow the event of the Sept. 11 strikes on New York and Washington.
Red Skelton's “One Nation Under God”
I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word?
I -- me, an individual, a committee of one.
Pledge -- dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.
Allegiance -- my love and my devotion.
To the Flag -- our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there's respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody's job.
United -- that means that we have all come together.
States [of America] -- individual communities that have united into 48 great states. 48 individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose, all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that's love for country.
and to the Republic For Which It Stands -- Republic ... a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.
One Nation -- One Nation ... meaning, so blessed by God.
Indivisible -- incapable of being divided.
With Liberty -- which is freedom, the right of power to live one's own life, without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.
And Justice -- the principle or qualities of dealing fairly with others.
For All -- For all ... which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine.
And now boys and girls let me hear you recite, the Pledge of Allegiance.
Later: Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance, "under God." Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said, "That is a prayer," and that would be eliminated from schools, too?"
Note: Poor Red, it has now come to pass!
Terror Web Attack On America's Power Grid?
June 27….(Washington Post) The FBI is eyeing unidentified experts who are tracing American computer systems from sites overseas, with the possible intention of mounting terrorist attacks against the American infrastructure. The most interesting part of all these web intrusions is that many of the computer traces which seem to be seeking information on American power and telephone grids, and other infrastructures are routed through Saudi Arabia Experts said the surveillance does not necessarily suggest a cyber-attack, but that it could mean that far-away assailants are simply trying to get information via computer in order to be able to stage a conventional attack. The information has “led some government experts to conclude that terrorists are at the threshold of using the Internet as a direct instrument of bloodshed.”
"Under God" Pledge Out; Prayer to Allah In?
June 27….(Worthy News) In the same week that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional, a federal lawsuit was filed in San Francisco Monday after Christian students across California were forced to pretend they were Muslims for three weeks, praying in the name of Allah the Compassionate the Merciful, chanting Praise to Allah, picking a Muslim name from a list to replace their own name and to stage their own Jihad via a dice game. While the use of the words 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance in no way establishes a national religion, the Byron, California Union school district is using taxpayer dollars to teach students how to worship as a Muslim. Byron's seventh grade "World History" class using the textbook "Across the Centuries" published by Houghton Mifflin and supplemented by Islam simulation materials instructs students, "you and your classmates will become Muslims." To receive points toward their overall grade, students were encouraged to dress as Muslims and to use such phrases in their speech as "Allah Akbar," which is Arabic for "God is great". Students were required to memorize Muslim prayers, fulfill the Five Pillars of Faith and fast during lunch period to simulate fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. "While public schools prohibit Christian students from reading the Bible, praying, displaying the Ten Commandments, and even mentioning the word "God", students in California are being indoctrinated into the religion of Islam. Public schools would never tolerate teaching Christianity in this way. Just imagine the ACLU's outcry if students were told that they had to pray the Lords Prayer, memorize the Ten Commandments.
Russia Will Dismantle WMD
June 27….(AP) The United States and its wealthy Group of Eight allies agreed Thursday to spend $20 billion helping Russia dismantle stockpiled dangerous mass destruction weapons. President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin sealed the 10-year pact on Russia, the newest G-8 member, in their one-on-one talks as an economic summit of the world's industrial powers drew to a close. World leaders meeting at the remote Canadian Rockies resort had feared that Russia's old nuclear, biological and chemical weapons stockpiles could fall into terrorist hands. According to a senior U.S. official, Putin told Bush that Russia would abide by a series of conditions under which the United States and leaders from Europe, Japan and Canada would put up the money. Russia agreed to provide its new G-8 partners access to disposal sites, such as facilities where nuclear submarines are dismantled, the official said. Moscow also has ensured adequate auditing and oversight authority to its partners. The agreement, long sought by the United States, is part of a broader campaign to increase cooperation between the United States and Russia on international issues such as nuclear proliferation. Bush and Putin recently agreed to reduce their nuclear stockpiles. Bush and Putin committed their countries to a united fight against terror. "Unfortunately, terrorism is of a global nature," said Putin. "Joint efforts are essential if we want to be successful in this fight." The economic elite G-8 is made up of the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and now Russia.
Bush Mentions Foreign Aid Cutoff if Arafat Re-elected
June 26….(Reuters) President Bush, attending the G-8 meetings in Kananaskis, Canada threatened on Wednesday to cut off money to the Palestinians if they failed to embrace reform, stepping up pressure for the removal of longtime Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. "I can assure you, we won't be putting money into a society which is not transparent and corrupt, and I suspect other countries won't either." Like Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he was frustrated with Arafat, who has called elections for January and announced plans to run again. "We've got to have leadership we can negotiate with that is serious about peace and resists and totally rejects terrorism," Blair said. But he added: "It's for the Palestinians to elect the people that they choose to elect. So this is not a question of us going in and saying to the Palestinians, 'Look, we're going to run your election."' In addition to seeking new leadership, Bush has called for sweeping democratic reforms, a constitution and a new security arrangement that Israel can trust. Asked who would judge whether the Palestinians have fulfilled U.S. demands, Bush said: "The free world. The people who are going to be asked to put up money." Bush said he would use "diplomatic pressure" to get the Palestinians to reject terrorism, but added: "I'm never ruling out military. All options are available." "Sometimes we'll use military force, and sometimes we won't," Bush said. "And in the case of the Middle East, the road map I've laid out is one that calls upon all our friends and allies to join and bind together against terror." Arafat has been pressed by his own people for reforms. In response, he is calling for new elections by the winter, the first since 1996. Then, he won nearly 90% of the vote. If a poll of 1,317 Palestinian adults last month by the Palestine Center for Policy and Survey Research is an accurate gauge, Arafat would win the next election also.
Palestinian Elections Set for 2003
June 26….(AP) Palestinian presidential and parliamentary elections will be held in mid-January, senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat announced Wednesday as he unveiled plans to overhaul Palestinian financial and security institutions. "President Arafat officially declares today that the election of the president of the Palestinian Authority and the election of the Palestinian legislative council will be held in January 2003," Erekat said, suggesting Jan. 10 or Jan. 20 as possible dates.
Bush: Arafat Financed Terrorist Group
June 26….(New York Times) President Bush decided to call for Yasir Arafat's removal after receiving intelligence information last week showing that the Palestinian leader had authorized a $20,000 payment to a group that claimed responsibility for the most recent suicide attacks in Jerusalem.
EU, Russia, UN line up behind Arafat
June 26….(Jerusalem Post) Secretary-General Kofi Annan opposed President George W. Bush's call for Yasser Arafat's ouster, declaring Tuesday that the Palestinian people must choose their own leaders.
Bush said elections should be held by the end of the year for a legislature, but Annan said conditions for elections are not "optimal." He also echoed a warning from former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, who headed a commission that developed the peacemaking plan the Bush administration has been following, that replacement of Arafat could backfire. "You could find yourself in a situation that the radicals are the ones that get elected, and it would be the result of a democratic process and we have to accept that," he said. On NBC's "Today" show, Mitchell said, "There's a risk that someone from Hamas or Islamic Jihad could succeed Arafat, which would make it much, much worse than the current situation."
Russian President Vladimir Putin told a news conference ahead of Bush's speech on Monday that it would be "dangerous and mistaken to remove Arafat from the political arena," as such a move risked a "radicalization of the Palestinian people." Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign and security policy chief, told reporters that he welcomed Bush's speech as a sign of "renewed engagement" by Washington, but that the EU continues to place its trust in Arafat as the Palestinian Authority's elected leader.
Gaza's Preschool of Hate
June 26….(World Net) An Islamist school in the Palestinian Authority territory of Gaza teaches children as young as 5 the techniques of urban guerrilla warfare, jihad against Jewish settlers and martyrdom missions to kill Zionists. The school called Islamic University, or Mosque is so proud of its programs for some 4,000 students that it boasts about them on a its public, Arabic-language website, jislamia.org - a site well-illustrated with photos of small children in full-dress battle uniforms. On the website's "news" page , an article, translated from Arabic, describes a graduation ceremony for elementary-level schoolchildren who learn, beginning at the age of 5, to covet the city of Jerusalem, learn about suicide bombers as "martyrs" and to hate "Zionist criminals." At the ceremony, posters showing the images of Palestinian "martyrs" are posted on the walls especially the martyr Mohammed Al Dar. The students are required to recite Islamic slogans during the graduation and shout for the death of the Jews.
Arafat Has Stormy History W/Arab Leaders
June 26….(Weekend) Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat has a history of stormy relations with his fellow Arab leaders. The Lebanese accuse him of helping to cause their civil war, the Gulf sheiks are angry that he sided with Iraq against Kuwait. Now that very stormy history could be coming back to haunt him, possibly tempting Arab leaders to go along with President Bush's plans to shunt him aside. "I am almost certain that the change of leadership is the unannounced demand of many Arab leaders," Fouad al-Hashem, a Kuwaiti political analyst, said Tuesday, a day after Bush laid out his plans for moving toward an Israeli-Palestinian settlement. Publicly, however, no Arab leader welcomed Bush's demand in his speech that the Palestinians choose a new leadership that is "not compromised by terror." Even while Bush did not mention Arafat by name, reaction from ordinary Arabs and many Arab political observers was outrage that the U.S. president attacked the Palestinian leader. But interestingly, Arab leaders were quiet when it came to the actual defense of Arafat. The Cabinet in Jordan, a moderate Arab State that has backed Arafat in recent years, didn't even mention the Palestinian leader in its official statement Tuesday welcoming Bush's speech. And another Arafat ally, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, also praised the speech and brushed aside the possibility that Bush was targeting the Palestinian leader. Most other Arab governments had no immediate official reaction to Bush's speech. Egypt and Jordan have hinted in the past at impatience with what many see as Arafat's unwillingness to take decisive action against militant Palestinians or make needed compromises to achieve peace with Israel. Mubarak has even speculated that the Palestinian leader might be relegated to a "ceremonial role" in a year. Jordan's King Abdullah II can't afford to anger his country's predominantly Palestinian population and so publicly embraces Arafat as the Palestinians' elected leader. But Abdullah said that he told Arafat that the challenge presented to the Islamic world by the Sept. 11 attacks was becoming of greater concern than the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Abdullah said he told Arafat: "Understand that most of the Arabs are beginning to look at it that way. So, get your act together because the patience of dealing with the situation is running out in much of the Arab leadership." In Jordan, Arafat is remembered from the days in the early 1970s when the PLO unsuccessfully tried to topple Abdullah's father, King Hussein. And during the Lebanese civil war, Arafat ran a state-within-a-state in Beirut, and his guerrillas staged cross-border raids into Israel that invited an incursion into Lebanon in 1978 and a full-scale invasion in 1982.
Saudi Arabia's Has Palyed a Role
June 26….(Washington Times) In Monday's speech on the Middle East, President Bush emphasized that "every leader actually committed to peace" must "stop the flow of money, equipment and recruits to terrorist groups seeking the destruction of Israel. Although he did not mention Saudi Arabia by name, Mr. Bush's comments on this score were directed most certainly at that regime. The Saudis have played a key role in financing the infrastructure of terror responsible for the past 20 months of suicide bombings and other attacks against Israel. Perhaps the most perverse aspect has been the regime's fund-raising campaign to aid the families of Palestinian terrorists who blow themselves up aboard Israeli buses and in pizzerias, cafes, discotheques and shopping malls. Israeli military intelligence officials recently released documents captured during raids on terrorist hideouts and Palestinian Authority (PA) offices in the West Bank detailing Saudi Arabia's role in financing Palestinian terror. They include Saudi government and accounting schedules showing the amount of money paid to individual Palestinians and their families, with the names of suicide bombers and others who carried out armed attacks against Israelis highlighted. "They include correspondence between Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority and the Saudi government that discusses the payments. They also include a damning letter from the Saudis complaining that the Palestinians had exposed the secret financial ties by allowing the publication of a Feb. 19 report in the PA publication al-Hayat al-Jedida thanking Saudi Arabia for assisting the families of terrorists killed in attacks on Israelis." Nor have the Saudis been helpful on other fronts. This month, for example, the Saudis stepped up their efforts to ensure that no Israeli-made products are brought into the royal kingdom. Last week the Saudi Royal family banned all goods bearing the Star of David.
Bush Concerned About Israel's Survival
June 26….(FOJ) White House spokesman Ari Fleischer stated last night that President Bush is very
concerned over Israel's future, and that he feels that Israel will not be able to survive unless
a democratic Palestinian state is established alongside it. This sentiment, of course flies in the face of Bible Prophecy. As the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy reports, "An Islamic Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria would actually doom Israel. Consider the enormous quantity and types of weapons the Palestinian Authority accumulated! There will be no way of limiting the number and type of
weapons acquired and developed by a sovereign Arab Palestinian state on Israel's doorstep. Such a state could confound Israel from defending itself against a concerted Arab attack on multiple fronts, such as Arafat has already plotted in coordination with Hezbollah.
Teaching Hatred in Kindergarten
June 26….(Arutz) Palestinian kindergartners in Gaza celebrate the acts of Shahibs (suicide bombers). Thier photo, on the Islamic Society website, show a stage and props with cute children wearing military uniforms, marching, waving rifles, burning an Israeli flag, and even holding up red-stained hands in imitation of the "heroes" who brutally lynched two Israeli reservists 20 months ago in Ramallah.
What is the Ultimate Palestinian Strategy?
June 26….(excerpt from Stratfor) Certainly, the Palestinians do not expect to be able to defeat Israel militarily by conducting suicide attacks. Nor do they expect to succeed at driving a wedge between Israel and the United States. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's “public goal” is to create an independent Palestinian state on the West Bank and in Gaza. However two other possible goals loom: (a) to reclaim all of the lost territories and create a Palestinian state throughout the former Palestine, or (b) to create a hybrid of a smaller Palestinian state as a springboard for broader operations aimed at ultimately destroying Israel. The Palestinians have accepted a long-term strategy of unremitting warfare using whatever means is available, for now, suicide bombers as the primary alternative. Arafat will accept reoccupation by Israel and use that reoccupation not merely to drain Israeli resources but also to create an atmosphere of war designed to energize the Islamic world for a broader based war on Israel. Palestinian strategy, intentionally or unintentionally, intersects with that of al-Qaida, which also is committed to a radical transformation of the Islamic world. Its confrontation with the United States is designed to set the stage for this transformation, enabling the Islamic world to engage and defeat the enemies of Islam. For al-Qaida one of the pillars of this confrontation is the Palestinian question, which it defines as the recovery of Islamic land usurped by Israel, a tool of the United States and Great Britain. For al-Qaida, the Palestinian question represents the systematic repression and brutalization of the Islamic world at the hands of Christianity and the secular West. Israel is merely the most extreme and visible dimension of Western injustice. Palestine is at the same time, a primary means of energizing the Islamic world. In the same way that Arafat's generation aligned itself with Egypt's Gamel Abdel Nasser, Arab socialism and the Soviet Union in an attempt to find a geopolitical lever to destroy Israel, so today's generation has to look for geopolitical salvation among Islam's religious fundamentalists. Al-Qaida is the only group operating effectively at the moment and therefore, by default if not by intention, al-Qaida is serving the Palestinians' interest and vice versa. For al-Qaida, a Palestinian settlement would be politically and morally unacceptable: Morally, it would represent a betrayal of Islam; politically, it would defuse a critical, energizing issue. Any agreement that would accept the permanent loss of territory to Israel would increase the power of compromise in the Islamic world. Terrorists needs an ongoing confrontation between Palestinians and Israelis to serve its ends. The American dilemma is whether or not the U.S.-Israeli relationship can survive when what Israel must do to suppress the Palestinians flies in the face of American coalition-building in the Islamic world?
Israel Moving Against Hamas
June 25….(FOJ) Israeli forces have retaken seven West Bank Palestinian towns, following a cabinet level decision to move into Palestinian areas in retaliation for suicide bomb attacks perpetrated by Hamas last week in Jerusalem. Israeli tanks also encircled Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's headquarters compound in Ramallah. Israel has taken the offensive against known Hamas encampments within the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israel has stated that it will maintain a presence in the areas until the terrorism ceases.
Arafat has Allied with Axis of Evil
June 25….(FOJ) Even before President Bush gave his Middle East Peace speech Monday, Yasser Arafat had quietly overhauled and recharged his terror command structure in readiness for the President's call for new Palestinian leadership. The leadership changes were made to pack the reformed government with terror operatives whose personal loyalty to Arafat is above question; and Secondly, to make sure the different arms of his terror machine are smoothly synchronized.
In picture right to left: trusted aides; Saher Habash, Abu Mazen, with Yasser Arafat
Salim Zaanun, 70: The Palestinian National Council chairman. His new task: Management of Arafat's connections with the Hamas and Jihad Islami commands in Damascus and Lebanon.
Maher Ghanem, 60: Chef de bureau of Palestinian foreign minister Farouk Kadoumi. His new task: Zaanun's operational liaison in Damascus with the radical Hamas, Jjhad Islami, and Ahmad Jibril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Tayeb Abd a-Rahim, 56 : Palestinian Authority Secretary; His new task: Coordinator between the Gaza Strip and West Bank terror operations of the Hamas, Jihad Islami and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Saher Habash, 75: Head of the multi-group Intifada Committees. His new task: Supreme coordinator between Salim Zaanun, Maher Ghanem and Tayeb Abd a-Rahim, and the only one reporting directly to Arafat.Also in charge of Arafat's most secret terrorist connections, those he maintains with the Lebanese Hizballah.,
Muhamed Damra, 48: Commander of Ramallah contingent of Force 17, Arafat's personal guard, and the defenses at the Palestinian leaders' headquarters. Damra is senior officer of the Ramallah government center's security detail. His new task: To maintain direct lines of communication between Arafat and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards posted in Lebanon and the Hizballah secretary Hassan Nasrallah.
Damra is also controller of the Hizballah cells operating under cover in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. His direct commander is Saher Habash; he has no access to Arafat.
Col. Tawfiq Tirawi, 49: Arafat's most trusted terror operative. Head of general security on the West Bank, Tirawi retains his clandestine duties as chief of the terrorist arm of Arafat's Fatah organization, the al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, and is the senior connecting link between his boss and Iraqi military intelligence headquarters in Baghdad as well as its agents in Amman, Ramallah and other parts of the West Bank.
Rashid Abu Shbak, 42: Officially, Dahlan's second in command in the Gaza Strip security service.
His new task: Director of the Gaza Strip joint terror operational command shared by Fatah, Force 17, elements of the various Palestinian “security” services, Hamas, the PFLP and the Jihad Islami.
Bush's move against Arafat and his regime has an unspoken significance: He has virtually lumped them in with his original “axis of evil”, alongside Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Syrian President Bashar Assad is but a step away from joining this black list. When the US president orders military action in the Middle East to go forward, every regional member of this axis will be targeted by American might.
Note: FOJ has long been documenting Yasser Arafat's network of terror connections to Damascus and Baghdad. As President Bush confronts Middle East terrorism and those states that sponsor terrorism, all roads lead to Damascus; as evidenced by Arafat's official liaison connections to Hezbollah in Damascus.
Arafat Won't go Quietly
June 25….(FOJ) The most likely contender to replace Yasser Arafat in the Palestinian hierarchy died suddenly and mysteriously early last week in the emirate of Qatar in the Persian Gulf. Hundreds of condolence notices to Abu Mazen filled the Palestinian newspapers last week. The chief consoler was Yasser Arafat himself, whose photograph, taken at the funeral, was widely reprinted. Abu Ala, chairman of the Palestine National Council, another potential candidate has suddenly developed heart trouble. In the Palestinian street, people were quipping that all of the candidates to succeed Arafat were in poorer health than he is, and that he would be going to their funerals. Arafat has already buried most of his comrades from the founding days of Fatah. Just over a year ago, Arafat eulogized Faisal Husseini, who was 10 years younger than him, and shortly before that, Suleiman al-Najab, head of the Palestinian People's Party (formerly the Communist Party) and also colleague Bashir Barghouthi, a minister in the first Palestinian cabinet. Perhaps the most popular figure in the Palestinian street is Marwan Barghouti. He would have been the most serious candidate to oust Yasser Arafat were it not for the fact that the Israeli military arrested him recently after receiving a tip of his whereabouts. His arrest continues to be a popular subject of conversation in the territories, and Jibril Rajoub already announced last week that Barghouti knows exactly who betrayed him and informed the Israelis of his hiding place. (Yasser Arafat) The only individual who can count on being elected for certain is, of course, chairman Arafat, who will continue to attend the funerals of those who would succeed him.
Reactions in Israel and PA on Bush Speech
June 25….(Ha Aretz) Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat on Tuesday brushed off U.S. President George W. Bush's call for a new Palestinian leadership, saying it was up to Palestinians to decide the matter in elections. The Palestinian leader was speaking after Bush made clear in a speech on Monday he had written off Arafat as part of any peace settlement, saying Palestinians must pick leaders "not compromised by terror" to achieve a state alongside Israel. Asked for a response to Bush's call for a new leadership, Arafat told reporters: "This is what my people will decide. They are the only ones who can determine this." In Israel, officials expressed satisfaction with a speech Monday by U.S. President George W. Bush, in which he essentially urged the Palestinians to oust Yasser Arafat, adding that the creation of a Palestinian state required a "new and different leadership," not one "compromised by terror." Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's spokesman, Raanan Gissin, welcomed Bush's call for a new Palestinian leadership "not compromised by terror." Gissin said, "When they chose Arafat, they chose a strategy of terror, and they chose to continue sending suicide and homicide bombers to Israel." Minister Dan Naveh, speaking on Israel Radio, said that, "the American president apparently understands what we know well: A Palestinian state in the current conditions will be quickly defined as a terror state and the United States itself will be forced to include it on its list of states that support terrorism." MK Ahmed Tibi, a former adviser to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, told Israel Radio that, "Bush's speech not only doesn't lower the level of violence, I assess that it will raise the level of violence because the Palestinian response will be to increase support for Yasser Arafat... George Bush today, also after this speech, and after months of dealing with the Middle East, is the most hated person among Palestinians. He is competing with Ariel Sharon for this title." Ahmed Abdel Rahman, Palestinian Cabinet Secretary was more positive, saying that, "[this] is the first time that an American administration recognized that the only solution for this conflict is to end the occupation and to have a state to live in peace beside Israel - this is a historic change in the American stand."
Bush Looking to Arab World for Support
June 25….(AP) President Bush is looking for support from Arab leaders in his unprecedented campaign to remove Yasser Arafat and overhaul the Palestinian Authority. The incentive, Bush made clear in a historic speech Monday, is propelling the Palestinian people to "a life of hope for your children" in a state committed to democracy and the rule of law. That state, Bush said hopefully, could stand alongside Israel in three years' time, with an open society and a thriving economy. Bush is depending on soundings American diplomats have taken in the Arab world. Determined to see a Palestinian state and Israel driven off the West Bank and out of Gaza, Arab leaders are said to be quietly backing reform. The Europeans have called for Israel to give up all the land it captured in the 1967 Mideast war, but they pointedly also have stopped their public backing of Arafat. The democracy Bush hopes to bring to the Palestinians is largely unknown in the Arab world, where only a handful of governments permit the kind of elections, constitution and legislature Bush is backing as preconditions of Palestinian statehood.
Bush is the first U.S. president to publicly call for a Palestinian state.
Iran says Bush Plan Will Lead Nowhere
June 25….(Jerusalem Post) Iran said Tuesday that the policies of the administration of US President George W. Bush have exacerbated tensions in the Middle East and that his outline for Mid-east peace will end nowhere, the state-run media reported. Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Bush's Mid-east policy speech Monday was "repeating the overall hard-line and one-sided" position of the White House toward the "defenseless Palestinian people. "World public opinion and especially that of Muslims does not approve the position of the United States concerning the Middle East. One of the reasons for the exacerbation of the crises in Palestine is the adoption of such shallow and illogical stances. "Iran's support for the Palestinian and Lebanese people is merely moral support against the illegal Israeli Occupation. The Islamic world does not approve of America's opinion on terrorism," State radio Iran said.
Iran considers Israel its most bitter foe and has called for the destruction of the Jewish State. In 2000, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described Israel as a "cancerous tumor" that must be removed.
Iran is also critical of Washington's support for Israel.
Bush Calls for End to the Arafat Era
June 25….(Ha Aretz) U.S. President George Bush yesterday urged the Palestinians to replace Yasser Arafat with a leader "not compromised by terror." In his long-awaited policy statement on the Middle East conflict, Bush said peace needed a "new and different Palestinian leadership" that could lead the Palestinians to their own independent state within three years. He did not mention Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat by name but Bush was clearly calling for his removal. "When the Palestinians have new leaders, institutions and security arrangements, the U.S. will support the creation of a Palestinian state," Bush said. "If Palestinians embrace democracy, confront corruption, and firmly reject terror, they can count on America's support for creation of a provisional state of Palestine." American support for provisional statehood would only come after the Palestinians elected new leaders and built new institutions and security forces to halt terrorist attacks, he said. At the same time, he called on Israel to withdraw to the military positions it held before the outbreak of the intifada, freeze on settlements, and as a democratic Palestinian emerges, "an end to the occupation" and negotiate borders on the basis of UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.
For too long, the citizens of the Middle East have lived in the midst of death and fear. The hatred of a few holds the hopes of many hostage. The forces of extremism and terror are attempting to kill progress and peace by killing the innocent. And this casts a dark shadow over an entire region. For the sake of all humanity, things must change in the Middle East. It is untenable for Israeli citizens to live in terror. It is untenable for Palestinians to live in squalor and occupation. And the current situation offers no prospect that life will improve. Israeli citizens will continue to be victimized by terrorists, and so Israel will continue to defend herself, and the situation of the Palestinian people will grow more and more miserable. My vision is two states, living side by side, in peace and security. There is simply no way to achieve that peace until all parties fight terror. Yet at this critical moment, if all parties will break with the past and set out on a new path, we can overcome the darkness with the light of hope. Peace requires a new and different Palestinian leadership, so that a Palestinian state can be born. I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror. I call upon them to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty. If the Palestinian people actively pursue these goals, America and the world will actively support their efforts. If the Palestinian people meet these goals, they will be able to reach agreement with Israel and Egypt and Jordan on security and other arrangements for independence. And when the Palestinian people have new leaders, new institutions and new security arrangements with their neighbors, the United States of America will support the creation of a Palestinian state, whose borders and certain aspects of its sovereignty will be provisional until resolved as part of a final settlement in the Middle East. In the work ahead, we all have responsibilities. The Palestinian people are gifted and capable and I'm confident they can achieve a new birth for their nation. A Palestinian state will never be created by terror. It will be built through reform. And reform must be more than cosmetic change or a veiled attempt to preserve the status quo. True reform will require entirely new political and economic institutions based on democracy, market economics and action against terrorism.
Today the elected Palestinian legislature has no authority and power is concentrated in the hands of an unaccountable few. A Palestinian state can only serve its citizens with a new constitution which separates the powers of government. The Palestinian parliament should have the full authority of a legislative body. Local officials and government ministers need authority of their own and the independence to govern effectively. The United States, along with the European Union and Arab states, will work with Palestinian leaders to create a new constitutional framework and a working democracy for the Palestinian people. And the United States, along with others in the international community, will help the Palestinians organize and monitor fair, multiparty local elections by the end of the year with national elections to follow. Today, the Palestinian people live in economic stagnation, made worse by official corruption. A Palestinian state will require a vibrant economy, where honest enterprise is encouraged by honest government. The United States, the international donor community and the World Bank stand ready to work with Palestinians on a major project of economic reform and development. The United States, the EU, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are willing to oversee reforms in Palestinian finances, encouraging transparency and independent auditing. And the United States, along with our partners in the developed world, will increase our humanitarian assistance to relieve Palestinian suffering. Today, the Palestinian people lack effective courts of law and have no means to defend and vindicate their rights. A Palestinian state will require a system of reliable justice to punish those who prey on the innocent. The United States and members of the international community stand ready to work with Palestinian leaders to establish, finance and monitor a truly independent judiciary.
Palestinians Reject Arafat Ouster to Gain State
June 25….(Reuters) Palestinian officials rejected any removal of President Yasser Arafat as a condition for statehood, as proposed on Monday by U.S. President George Bush in a speech scripting a path to Middle East peace. "Palestinian leaders don't come from parachutes from Washington or from anywhere else. Palestinian leaders are elected directly by the Palestinian people. President Yasser Arafat was directly elected in a free and fair election," cabinet minister and chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told CNN. "The world and President Bush must respect the democratic choice of the Palestinian people."
Annan Welcomes Bush Reaffirmation of Goal to Establish Palestine
and Provide Security for Israel
June 25….(UN NEWS) Reacting to a speech today by United States President George Bush, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed the US leader's reaffirmation that the outcome of the Middle East peace process should be the establishment of a viable and credible State of Palestine – based on Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 – and security for Israel. Through a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Annan urged Israelis and Palestinians to "muster the courage and political will to make it possible within three years to replace the Israeli occupation of 1967 by a negotiated settlement with two states living side-by-side in peace and security." Repeating Mr. Annan's long-standing position that "there is no military solution to the conflict," the statement warned that with the situation on the ground eroding by the day, the international community must to work swiftly with the parties to restart a political process that will lead to the realization of such an outcome. "The Secretary-General looks forward to continuing consultations with the UN's partners in the Quartet (European Union, Russian Federation and United States) and with the parties and key regional actors to determine the next steps towards achieving this," the spokesman said.
Al Qaida Shifting Focus To Palestine
June 25….(Middle East News Line) Al Qaida appears to have shifted its strategy away from the United States and against Israel, a report said. The report by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said Al Qaida, in the aftermath of its destruction in Afghanistan, appears to have moved toward support of the Palestinians in their war against Israel. The shift marks a break in policy that stressed that the United States is the key to any change in the Middle East and for a victory by the Palestinians.
In the report, author Reuven Paz said Al Qaida has pledged to increase support for the Palestinians. The group, in statements on various Islamic web sites termed Qaedat Al Jihad, said the suicide bombing of the USS Cole would be the first of many against U.S. and Israeli targets in the Middle East. The group also claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on a Tunisian synagogue in which 19 people were killed. "There are operations we took responsibility for, and others we shall do so in the proper time," Al Qaida said in an announcement.
Palestinians Reject Dismisal of Arafat
June 25….(Reuters) Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat welcomed President Bush's Mideast policy speech Monday as a "serious effort to push the peace process forward" in an official statement that ignored his calls for new Palestinian leadership. Palestinian officials insisted that was a decision only the Palestinian people can make. Saeb Erekat, an aide to Arafat, said the president's call to replace the Palestinian leader — whom Bush did not identify by name in his speech, was not acceptable. "President Arafat was elected by the Palestinian people in a direct election ... and President Bush must respect the choice of the Palestinian people," he said. Throughout the Mid-east, Arabs heard in Bush's speech an unacceptable call to topple Arafat and accused the U.S. president of retreating from his promise of even a provisional Palestinian state. The speech was broadcast live on an Arab satellite station to a region that had for weeks been awaiting Bush's vision on how to jolt Palestinians and Israelis out of their violent impasse. Without strong U.S. intervention, many believe, neither side will ever agree to compromise. "The Arab world will not sleep tonight," said Mohamed el-Sayed Said, Washington bureau chief for the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram, after watching Bush's 20-minute address from the White House Rose Garden. "He practically demanded the removal of Arafat, the symbol of Palestinian unity," he said. "The Palestinians have elected Arafat and they will elect him again. If the Palestinians re-elect Arafat, are they going to be punished?"
Last week's suicide bombings in Israel crystallized President Bush's determination seek the replacement of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian leadership, White House officials said. But Bush's call on Monday for a new Palestinian leadership follows a long period of frustration and mistrust. "When you're disappointed time and time again with the Palestinian leadership, and when time and time again you have evidence that they are not doing what they can to fight terror, you have to come to the conclusion that you're going to have to have new leadership if you're going to make progress," a U.S. official said.
EU Leaders Call for Early Mideast Peace Conference
June 24….(Ha Aretz) European Union leaders, ending a two-day summit, called Saturday for the early convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East, warning the region had reached a "dramatic turning point." In a statement issued after a particularly deadly week in Israel and the Palestinian territories, the European leaders declared they stand "ready to contribute fully to peace-building" and the reconstruction of the Palestinian economy. It said an international peace conference - jointly hosted by the EU, the United States, the United Nations and Russia, was needed to discuss security, political and economic issues. It must also "re-affirm the parameters of a political solution and establish a realistic and well-defined time-scale."
EU Leaders Call for Palestinian State Based on 1967 Borders
June 24….European Union leaders, deeply concerned by the escalation of unrest in the Middle East, want a quick return to talks and the establishment of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, diplomatic sources said. Leaders of the 15-nation bloc, meeting for a two-day summit in this southern city, will issue a call for a Palestinian state when they end talks Saturday on the grounds that it would ensure security for both sides within recognized borders. The sources said that during discussions on the Middle East on Saturday, the leaders had reiterated the EU's support for proposals to quickly call an international conference involving the parties, the United States, the United Nations, the EU and Russia -- the so-called Quartet -- and other Arab and involved states. The EU would also offer economic aid to peace-building, including the reconstruction of the Palestinian economy, and help in monitoring peace. EU leaders, who opposed terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians as well Israeli military operations in the occupied territories, welcomed pledges by the Palestinian Authorities to reform their security apparatus. Earlier Friday, the EU's foreign policy chief had said the summit would call for a new political initiative in the Middle East to quell escalating violence. "The message from the Europeans will be that we need a new political push, which might be an international conference or something else," Javier Solana, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, said on arriving at the summit in this southern Spanish city. "What form this takes is not that important," he said. "The important thing is that there be a political push, a perspective for getting out of the terrible situation in which we are now."
Russia Plans To Penalize WMD Proliferators
June 24….(WND) Russia has pledged to enforce a new law meant to crack down on proliferators of missiles and weapons of mass destruction. The pledge came in response to complaints by the Bush administration that Russia has not made any arrests imposed any fines on companies and individuals believed transporting missiles and WMD components to Iran. The issue was discussed last month between President George Bush and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. Russia is attempting to alleviate concerns over WMD as a prelude to cooperation within NATO.
Americans Divided Over Palestinian State
June 24….(Jerusalem Post) Americans appear to be split on whether a Palestinian state should be created (40% in favor, 35% against) and whether such a state would make peace in the region more difficult (40% yes, 44% no), according a poll conducted last week by Time magazine and CNN. The poll, which also found that a majority (57%) of Americans think a terrorist attack on July 4 (Independence Day) is very or somewhat likely, showed US support for Israel at 44%. Less than half, or 45%, said the US provides Israel with the "right amount" of support, while 35% said that US support for Israel is too high.
Syria Denies Israeli Charges That it is Part of International Terror Axis
June 24 (Ha Aretz) Syria strongly denies Israel's charge that it is part of an international terror axis that supports Palestinian terrorist acts. Shara strongly attacked Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for linking Syria, Iraq and Iran to Palestinian terrorism. Addressing an annual gathering of diaspora Jews in Jerusalem on Thursday, Sharon said terror attacks aren't new to Israel. But he said "the difference is that this time, behind the acts of sabotage and murder, is a terrorist Palestinian Authority with the support of the international terror axis - Tehran, Damascus, Baghdad and (alleged terror mastermind Osama) bin Laden." The Syrian minister said Sharon was "trying to spread his feeling of hostility, animosity, hatred, racism" because his policy has failed." "He wants to accuse countries who are just watching the killing in the occupied Palestinian territories," Shara said. "He should first review the wisdom of his killing policy in the Palestinian occupied territory" and if he is serious about peace, he should accept the Arab peace plan. That plan calls for a return to 1967 borders in exchange for peace and normal relations with all Arab nations. Syria is on the U.S. list of countries that sponsor terrorism and, while Shara was presiding over the U.N. Security Council on Thursday, U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte accused Damascus of supporting terrorist groups.
Saddam's Heir Escapes Assassination
June 24….(Middle East News) The heir to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is reported to have escaped an assassination attempt. Iraqi opposition sources said Qusay Hussein, the younger son of Saddam, survived a car bombing. The sources said Qusay was targeted on June 9 in Baghdad when his car was booby-trapped. The Supreme Revolutionary Council, a Shi'ite opposition group backed by Iran, said Qusay was coming out of the presidential palace and heading for the headquarters of Iraqi General Intelligence when he came under attack. Qusay was to have entered a waiting car that was rigged with a large bomb that came from a Soviet-origin rocket launcher, identified as an RPG-7. But the council said Qusay was directed to another of eight vehicles at his service. Seconds later, the booby-trapped vehicle exploded and killed Qusay's driver and three bodyguards.
Putin Calls for Russian Acceptance Into WTO
June 24….(AP) President Vladimir Putin called Monday for swift Russian acceptance into the World Trade Organization, saying it would be "dangerous and stupid" to continue excluding Moscow. "Russia is the only one of the great world economies that's not a member of the WTO," Putin said at a Kremlin press conference. He said Russian entry into the WTO, which sets global trade rules, would "create a legal framework for all our internal economic procedures" and help crack down on financial crime. Putin has made WTO membership a top priority, and his efforts got a recent boost when the United States and European Union announced they would recognize Russia as a "market economy."
WEEK OF JUNE 17 THROUGH JUNE 24
Palestinian Casualties have been Combatants
June 21….(Jerusalem Post) The majority of the 1,450 Palestinians killed in the current conflict have been combatants, compared to only 1 in 5 among the 525 Israelis killed. So, the majority of Israelis are civilians, according to a study released yesterday by the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism. More than twice as many Israeli women and girls (152) have been killed as Palestinian women and girls (61), including the Palestinian female suicide bombers. Fewer than 5 percent of Palestinian fatalities have been females. Casualties among children have been comparable, according to the study, primarily because the PLO so often sends children into harms way, or uses homes as shields.
Bush Plan: Palestinian State Backed by Israel, Saudi Arabia
June 21….(World Tribune) The United States has obtained an agreement from Israel and Saudi Arabia for an interim Palestinian state whose borders would be finalized by 2007. Concessions were granted to both Israel and Saudi Arabia, according to diplomatic sources who provided details of the plan. The White House announcement of the plan, scheduled for yesterday, was delayed by the series of Palestinian suicide attacks in Israel. The announcement is now expected as early as Friday. Diplomatic sources said President George Bush has discussed his plan to allow for the establishment of a Palestinian state in 2003. The state would consist of 42 percent of the West Bank and would have limited sovereignty, Middle East Newsline reported. The proposal would include negotiations with such a state after its formation. Bush, who consulted with his advisors on Wednesday, is said to expect that such an entity would be declared at the end of next year and be immediately accepted as a full member of the United Nations. At that point, the sources said, Israel and the Palestinians would begin negotiations on the final borders of the state. The Bush proposal envisions that the negotiations would be concluded within three years, or about 2007.
Anan Calls for Peace Conference
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said the Middle East region continued to be “dangerously unstable” and warned that in the absence of a sustained political process, events would continue to be driven by those opposed to peace. According to the text of his remarks made public after the briefing, the Secretary-General said that a lasting solution to the conflict rests on the Council's own resolutions, including Resolution 242, which embodies the principle of land for peace, and Resolution 1397, which envisages two States – Israel and Palestine – living in peace side-by-side. It is clear, the Secretary-General said, that there will be no settlement in the absence of real security guarantees for Israel and, to that end, the Palestinian Authority must live up to its obligations.
Arafat Will now Accept “Clinton Plan”
June 21….(Ha Aretz) Palestinian President Yasser Arafat was quoted by an Israeli interviewer on Friday as saying he now accepts a peace plan put forward 18 months ago by then-U.S. President Bill Clinton. Acceptance of the proposal -- made by Clinton a month before leaving office -- would represent a fundamental change in Arafat's position as the plan does not include a right of return of Palestinian refugees to their old homes in Israel. Asked if he accepted the plan Clinton charted in December 2000 after peace talks between Arafat and then-Israeli leader Ehud Barak at Camp David, Maryland, collapsed in July, Arafat told Akiva Eldar of the Ha'aretz newspaper: "Yes, I do." In the Ha'aretz interview, Arafat was quoted as saying he supported border corrections and territorial exchanges and that he proposed Israeli sovereignty over, and access to Judaism's holy Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter in Arab East Jerusalem. That position would be a retreat from the Palestinians' official demand for a complete Israeli withdrawal from all land captured in the 1967 Middle East war, including East Jerusalem, in return for peace. President Bush is now scripting a Middle East peace proposal of his own, but its announcement has been delayed by Palestinian suicide bombings that have rocked Israel in the past week.
Powell Explains Delay in US Statement
June 21…(Jerusalem Post) US Secretary of State Colin Powell telephoned the foreign ministers of Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia to urge them to improve prospects for Bush's pending declaration on Palestinian statehood by doing what they could to deter terrorist attacks on Israel. Powell told them that President George W. Bush could not announce his proposals right now because of the two suicide bombings that killed 26 Israelis over the past three days. He asked the ministers to do what they could to help reduce the violence between Israelis and Palestinians and restore the climate Bush needs to announce his ideas. Powell urged the leaders to do what you can to denounce the violence, do what you can to put pressure on Arafat to do the right thing, do what you can vis-a-vis the groups to get the violence to stop.
Powell also called European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana to give the same message. US President George W. Bush assured Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in a telephone call yesterday that he is trying to find a way to bolster Israel's security even while providing hope for the Palestinian people.
Note: The emerging Bush-Powell Doctrine stipulates that a democratic Palestinian State will live peaceably beside Israel, and therefore enable Israel to have security. However, the Bush-Powell plan is not in accordance with Divine Providence.
Smoke and Mirrors
( FOJ recommends this great article by: Hal Lindsay )
Once again, Yasser Arafat has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. A suicide bomber packing an enormous explosive boarded a Jerusalem bus filled with schoolchildren and commuters before detonating his payload. The resulting explosion literally ripped the bus to shreds, together with as many as 20 passengers. Another 40 or so were lucky enough to survive, although many of them will be permanently disfigured or disabled as a consequence of the attack. Credit for the attack was claimed by Hamas. But anybody who looks past the Arab rhetoric to see the facts on the ground blames Yasser Arafat. The Palestinians claim Arafat can do nothing about it. The Israelis agree. The problem is, the Palestinians blame Israel for weakening Arafat. Israel counters that the attacks were just as intense when he was strong. Besides, argues Israel, if Arafat can't stop the bombings, then send somebody who can. And if there is nobody who can stop the bombing, then there can be no negotiated settlement. So what is to negotiate? The Bush administration is considering rewarding 21 months of terror against Israeli women and children with the gift of Palestinian statehood. The administration invented a new term for it, calling it an "interim" – or a temporary , Palestinian state. What in the world is a "temporary" state? If we don't like it, can we take it back? What would be temporary about it, and what is the appeal of such an absurd plan? Clearly the borders would be temporary but what will that accomplish? Once temporary borders are set for the Palestinians, there is no way Israel would ever be allowed to push them back.
Israel knows this, so agreeing to temporary borders means agreeing to a starting point for Palestinian expansion into Israel. From the Israeli side, the temporary nature of the proposal means Israel can temporarily possess land it now holds. Until it is either taken by negotiation following the next intifada, or by military force when the next intifada fails and spawns a general Middle East war. So why the whole facade about temporary borders? It isn't to mollify Israel. Neither is it likely to go over big with the Palestinians. The terror attack that opened this column took place after Bush promised to announce his Middle East temporary Palestinian statehood vision thing. In reality, the interim statehood thing is smoke and mirrors to cover up something else. It's designed to hide the fact the administration is succumbing to the pressure of the terror campaign. The administration can't move forward with its own anti-terrorism efforts while being distracted by Palestinian terror. To shut them up, the administration is trying to appease the Palestinians without anybody realizing it is an appeasement effort. What has Arafat – or anybody else in the Palestinian Authority – done to suggest the new Palestinian state will be any less a hotbed of terrorism than it is today as a Palestinian Authority? What indications are there – of any kind – to suggest that, given their own state, they will stop attacking Israel? One of the major bones of contention has been the closure of the Jewish state to Palestinian workers. If they have their own state, will Israel still have to grant them access? Or will it be a border like any other? Like America's. Mexicans can't come here to work unless the government lets them. Will Israel be allowed that much sovereignty over her borders? Or will disillusioned Palestinian youth, trapped in the quagmire of poverty visited on them by Yasser Arafat's Palestinian state, sit around planning how to steal the wealth next door?
Despite efforts to blame Israel for Palestinian poverty, the truth is that Arafat systematically looted the Palestinian treasury, ensuring a life of poverty – and the inevitable anger – that follows. Having created the situation, it is simply a matter of redirecting that anger and hatred at Israel. The administration knows this, but it can see no other option that holds out any hope of freeing it from the Middle East quagmire. But it doesn't want to be seen rewarding terror – what kind of message would that send? So, instead, the smoke and mirrors "interim" state idea. But that doesn't change the facts. By proposing an interim Palestinian state, the United States is serving as the midwife to the birth of a terrorist state while simultaneously conducting a war against state-sponsored terror. The smoke and mirrors is to keep anybody else from noticing. Except the Israelis. But nobody is listening to them.
Four Israeli Settlers Killed
June 20….(AP) A Palestinian militant entered a Jewish settlers house Thursday night in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Itamar and killed four members of a family and wounded several others. The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a broadcast from Lebanon by Al-Manar television. The settlement, where some of the most vocal Israeli settlers in the West Bank live, is not fenced in. Settlers there insist that the whole West Bank belongs to the Jews.
Note: Hizbullah leader Nasrallah announced a war on settlers earlier this week.
Sharon Blames the Axis of Evil
June 20….(Ha Aretz) Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Thursday morning that the Palestinian Authority was responsible for the recent wave of terror attacks and that Iraq, Iran and Syria were actively supporting the terror. "The eradication of terror and a complete end to violence and incitement are the pre-conditions to any possibility for peace," Sharon said in a speech to the 34th World Zionist Congress.
Hamas Declares “War on Buses”
June 20….(Jerusalem Post) Hamas has declared war on Israeli bus lines. Hamas has targeted nine buses, killing 70 passengers during the last 20 months. Buses are the cheapest form of transportation for many Israelis. Many of Israel's newest immigrants routinely ride buses. Bus driver Rahamim Tzidkiyahu, 51, died instantly Tuesday when the suicide bomber blew himself up just after climbing aboard. Since the attack, many drivers have been hesitant to come to work. In Israel's early days, nearly everyone relied on buses to get around, and they became a potent symbol of the country's pioneering spirit even though the most frequent riders these days are students, immigrants and the elderly. Buses have played prominent roles in the many wars Israel has fought during its 54-year history. They were mobilized along with reserve soldiers, who found themselves riding to battle by bus. Looking over the lists of victims of bus attacks, "usually they are new immigrants, older women, sometimes children among the weakest sectors of society. The percentage of elderly people is usually quite high." Though riding the bus may not be part of every Israeli's day, an attack on a bus "affects the national mood. It's a very effective target for terror attacks.
Israel to Deport PA Leadership
June 20….(Middle East News Line) Israel plans to expel Palestinian leaders in what officials describe as the government's intensified campaign against suicide attacks. Israeli officials said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has obtained Cabinet support to deport senior PA officials believed linked to the spate of suicide bombings in Israeli cities. They said the expulsions would not include PA Chairman Yasser Arafat. Sharon has called for such a move, but has been opposed by his security chiefs and Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer.
Arafat Uses EU Welfare for Terror
June 20….(Debka)Yasser Arafat's inner circle of terrorist handlers have hit on a crafty way of slipping their suicide bombers, whether Hamas, Jihad or the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades of Yasser Arafat's Fatah past Israeli security and military forces guarding Israeli cities and encircling Palestinian towns. European-funded welfare organizations operating in the Palestinian Authority are logistical jumping-off bases for Palestinian suicide transports. European governments fork out millions of tax pounds and euros a year to Palestinian welfare and medical organizations to help beleaguered Palestinians. All the donations go directly to Yasser Arafat. It was his decision to pack the staffs of certain welfare and medical organizations with personnel under orders to press their ID and vehicles into the service of bringing suicide killers to their targets unchecked.
Provisional Statehood Doesn't Appeal to Arafat
June 20….(FOJ) The last thing Arafat wants is a Palestinian state conferred by Washington. He therefore continues to orchestrate systematic sabotage for every peace initiative originating within the Bush White House. The diplomatic pressure applied by Washington to halt his campaign of terror and the cycle of Israel's military reprisals suit the Palestinian leader very well. If President Bush decides to send Powell back to the Middle East, the Palestinian leader can be counted on to turn up the terror heat in honor of the visitor as per usual, proving he does not function at America's behest. The scent of a diplomatic resolution of the conflict drives him to further extremes of violence. Nothing will stop Arafat until he accomplishes the mission he set himself thirty years ago of destroying Israel. In this, the Palestinian leader can count on powerful support from the Lebanese Hizballah.
Saudis Airlifted Al Qaida from Iran
June 20….(World Tribune) Saudi Arabia has airlifted hundreds of Al Qaida militants home from Iran this year. Gulf and Saudi opposition sources said the airlift began in January. They said Iran granted Riyad permission to send Saudi government jets to evacuate hundreds of Al Qaida and Taliban members detained by Iran. The Saudi nationals were fleeing approaching U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Saudi nationals were said to have comprised a significant portion of the estimated 10,000 Al Qaida agents who had been based in Afghanistan, Middle East Newsline reported. Fifteen of the 19 suicide attackers on New York and Washington on Sept. 11 were Saudis. The sources said many of the Saudis escaped Afghanistan by fleeing over the Iranian border where some of them were detained. They said those airlifted from Iran were regarded as Al Qaida members linked to the royal family.
Note: FOJ reported this in December 2001.
Muslim Highlights Terminology of Peace
June 20….(UPI) A leader of the small worldwide Muslim reform movement warned the West Tuesday against wishful thinking as the U.S. government promotes an intensive dialogue with Islam. "The dialogue is not proceeding well because of the two-facedness of most Muslim interlocutors on the one hand and the gullibility of well-meaning Western idealists on the other," said Bassam Tibi, "First, both sides should acknowledge candidly that although they might use identical terms these mean different things to each of them. The word 'peace,' for example, implies to a Muslim the extension of the Dar al-Islam -- or 'House of Islam' -- to the entire world," explained Tibi. "This is completely different from the Enlightenment concept of eternal peace that dominates Western thought. Similarly, when Muslims and the Western heirs of the Enlightenment speak of tolerance they have different things in mind. In Islamic terminology, this term implies abiding non-Islamic monotheists, such as Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians, as second-class believers. They are 'dhimmi,' a protected but politically immature minority."
According to Tibi, the quest of converting the entire world to Islam is an immutable fixture of the Muslim worldview. Only if this task is accomplished -- if the world has become a "Dar al-Islam" -- will it also be a "Dar a-Salam," or a house of peace.
Arafat Calls for “Complete” End to Bombings
June 20….(FOJ) About 4 hours after his Fatah terror organization took responsibility for the
French Hill suicide bombing, Arafat issued a written announcement calling for a “complete end” to all "attacks against innocent Israelis." One has to wonder why he used the term “complete end” on this occasion. Does that mean that previously some bombings were okay while others were not? Does it mean that certain organizations may bomb and others must lay low? And in Arafat's perspective, does he believe there are guilty Israeli's distinguishable from innocent ones?
Terrorism Won't Affect Bush's Mideast Speech
June 19….(Washington Post) U.S. President George W. Bush condemned the suicide bus bombing that took place in Jerusalem on Tuesday, but a spokesman said that the attack would not affect the timing or substance of the President's anticipated speech, in which he is scheduled to outline the U.S. new plan for a framework on how to create an independent Palestinian state with a constitution and a unified security force. Bush plans to propose establishment of a Palestinian state by as soon as September, The Washington Post reports today. The plan is expected to be part of Bush's Middle East policy speech, expected to be delivered in the coming days. He will reportedly propose adopting this outline at an international conference that could be held in September. Two conditions for Palestinian Statehood are expected to be attached to the proposal: That the Palestinians revamp their security operations and reduced terrorism against Israel. The “interim” Palestinian State would have provisional borders with negotiations over permanent boundaries to be completed within three years. Many in the administration remain doubtful that enough improvement can be made in the security situation within the next three months to secure the agreement of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to the president's plan and at least a partial pullback of Israeli military forces that provisional borders would require. But Secretary of State Colin L. Powell has argued that, while the United States has an obligation to safeguard Israel's security, nothing less than a time-specific "political horizon" would satisfy Arab leaders or give the Palestinian people enough hope to end their support of violence. Bush's speech, which had been scheduled for delivery today, was postponed in the wake of the latest Palestinian suicide bombing, a bus explosion that killed 19 Israelis yesterday in Jerusalem. Sources said that a new date has not been set but that plans are to deliver the speech between Thursday and Monday. Bush is scheduled to depart Tuesday for a two-day summit of the Group of Eight industrialized nations in Canada. The international conference, to be conducted at the ministerial level under the auspices of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia, was originally envisioned for the end of July, at the latest. It is to be headed by Powell and attended by most, if not all, governments in the region. There is still some dispute over whether countries such as Syria, which Israel holds directly responsible for much of the terrorism, would attend.
Israel Will Retake PA Areas
June 19….(Reuters) Israel plans to re-take parts of the West Bank and hold the territory as long as Palestinian "terror" attacks continue, an Israeli government statement said Wednesday. These territories will be held by Israel as long as terror continues," the statement said. Additional terrorist attacks will bring about additional captures of territory. Israel said late Tuesday that Israeli military operations would be "bigger and wider" than those of the past few weeks. It said the army would remain for an unspecified period in areas where Palestinians obtained self-rule under interim peace deals during the 1990s.
The Long List of Terror Bombings
June 19….(AP) There have been 70 Palestinian suicide bombing attacks against Israelis since the current violence erupted in September 2000, resulting in the deaths of 243 unsuspecting Israelis:
Oct. 26, 2000: Israeli outpost in Gaza — no Israelis killed
Dec. 22, 2000: Restaurant in Jordan River Valley — no Israelis killed
Jan. 1, 2001: Netanya — no Israelis killed, 60 injured.
March 1, 2001: One Israeli killed in taxi near Mei Ami
March 4, 2001: Three Israelis killed in Netanya
March 27, 2001: Jerusalem's French Hill neighborhood — no Israelis killed
March 28, 2001: Gas station near Sdeh Hemed — 2 Israelis killed
April 22, 2001: Kfar Saba — 1 Israeli killed
April 29, 2001: Car near Israeli bus outside Nablus_ no Israelis killed.
May 18, 2001: Netanya shopping mall — 5 Israelis killed.
May 25, 2001: Truck at Carni Junction in Gaza Strip — no Israelis killed.
June 1, 2001: Dolphinarium nightclub in Tel Aviv — 21 Israelis killed.
June 22, 2001: Jeep at Dugit in Gaza Strip — 2 Israeli killed.
July 9, 2001: Car near Kissufim Junction — no Israelis killed.
July 16, 2001: Binyamina train station — 2 Israelis killed.
Aug. 8, 2001: Military checkpoint in Jordan Valley — no Israelis killed.
Aug. 9, 2001: Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem — 15 Israelis killed.
Aug. 12, 2001: Kiryat Motzkin — no Israelis killed, 21 injured.
Sept. 4, 2001: Haneviim Street in Jerusalem — no Israelis killed.
Sept. 9, 2001: Nahariya train station — 3 Israelis killed.
Sept. 9, 2001: Car at Beit Lid Junction — no Israelis killed.
Oct. 7, 2001: Near Kibbutz Shluhot — 1 Israeli killed.
Oct. 17, 2001: Nahal Oz — no Israelis killed.
Nov. 8, 2001: Baka al-Sharkiyeh, West Bank — no Israelis killed.
Nov. 26, 2001: Erez crossing, Gaza Strip — no Israelis killed.
Nov. 29, 2001: Gan Shmuel bus — 3 Israelis killed.
Dec. 1, 2001: Double suicide bombing on Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall in Jerusalem — 11 Israelis killed.
Dec, 2, 2001: Bus in Haifa — 15 Israelis killed.
Dec. 5, 2001: King David Street in Jerusalem — no Israelis killed.
Dec. 9, 2001: Haifa — no Israelis killed.
Dec. 12, 2001: Gaza Strip — no Israelis killed.
Jan. 25, 2002: Tel Aviv — no Israelis killed.
Jan. 27, 2002: Female bomber in Jaffa Street in Jerusalem — 1 Israeli killed. .
Jan. 30, 2002: Taibe — no Israelis killed.
Feb. 8, 2002: Mei Ami — no Israelis killed.
Feb. 16, 2002: Karnei Shomron, West Bank — 2 Israelis killed.
Feb. 18, 2002: Maale Adumim — 1 Israeli killed.
Feb. 19, 2002: Mehola — no Israelis killed.
Feb. 22, 2002: Efrat supermarket in West Bank_ no Israelis killed.
Feb.27, 2002: Female bomber near Maccabim checkpoint — no Israelis killed.
March 2, 2002: Mea Shearim, Jerusalem — 10 Israelis killed.
March 5, 2002: Bus in Afula — 1 Israeli killed.
March 7, 2002: Ariel — no Israelis killed
March 8, 2002: Beit Hanina — no Israelis killed.
March 9, 2002: Moment Cafe in Jerusalem — 11 Israelis killed.
March 14, 2002: Car on a road east of Jerusalem — no Israelis killed.
March 17, 2002: Bus in French Hill in Jerusalem — no Israelis killed.
March 20, 2002: Bus in Kfar Musmus — 7 Israelis killed.
March 21, 2002: King George Street in Jerusalem — 3 Israelis killed.
March 22, 2002: Roadblock near Jenin — no Israelis killed.
March 26, 2002: Near Malha Mall in Jerusalem — no Israelis killed.
March 27, 2002: Hotel in Netanya — 29 Israelis killed.
March 29, 2002: Kiryat Yovel supermarket in Jerusalem — 2 Israelis killed.
March 30, 2002: Coffee shop in Tel Aviv — 1 Israeli woman killed.
March 31, 2002: Restaurant in Haifa — 15 Israelis killed.
March 31, 2002: Ambulance station in Efrat, West Bank — no Israelis killed.
April 1, 2002: Car in Jerusalem — 1 Israeli killed.
April 10, 2002: Bus in Haifa — 8 Israelis killed.
April 12, 2002: Female bomber at the market in Jerusalem — 6 Israelis killed.
April 19, 2002: Kissufim in Gaza Strip — no Israelis killed. .
April 20, 2002: Checkpoint near Qalqiliya in West Bank — no Israelis killed.
May 7, 2002: Pool hall in Rishon Letzion — 15 Israelis killed.
May 19, 2002: Market in Netanya — 3 Israelis killed.
May 20, 2002: Taanakhim Junction — no Israelis killed.
May 22, 2002: Park in Rishon Letzion — 2 Israelis killed.
May 27, 2002: Ice-cream parlor in Petach Tikvah — 2 Israelis killed.
June 5, 2002: Bus near Megiddo Junction — 17 Israelis killed.
June 11, 2002: Restaurant in Herzliya — 1 Israeli killed.
June 17, 2002: Marja — no Israelis killed. .
June 18, 2002: Patt Junction in Jerusalem — 19 Israelis killed.
U.S. Interrupted Major Israeli attack on Syria
June 19….(Middle East News Line) The United States blocked a major military offensive by Israel against Syria last month, but shares Israeli concerns that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad is openly arming Hizbullah and Palestinian militants. Israeli officials said the attack was to have taken place last month in response to a spate of Hizbullah strikes along the Lebanese border with the Jewish state. The officials said Israel's military had mobilized its reserves for what they termed was to have been a heavy blow on Syrian military positions in Lebanon and Syria!
Christian America Stands by Israel
June 19….(Washington Times) Hostility is growing in Europe toward Israel for its tactics against Palestinians, but support for Zionism remains constant in one arena: America's millions of evangelical Christians. The major segment of that support emanates from "premillennialists" and "dispensationalists" Christian bases giving their unflinching support for Israel based upon a literal interpretation of the Bible. For some, that includes prophecies about the nation's future end-times role. "Why do Americans so overwhelmingly favor Israel, while Europeans regard the Jews there as wretched interlopers? "We see why Christians are so sympathetic to the Jewish side in this painful conflict: It is because they revere the Bible. Pro-Israel beliefs are fueled less by evangelical graduate-level theology schools, except for Dallas Theological Seminary, than by Bible colleges and popular media, especially best-selling books and broadcasting preachers. Pro-Israel rallies are held each year during the Gospel broadcasters' convention. One exponent, the Rev. Richard Land, a social-issues spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, said in the Los Angeles Times that God gave the "unconditional" promise to Israel that "he would give that land to the Jews forever." In calling God's promise permanent, literalists often cite a complex New Testament passage on the covenant with Abraham (Hebrews 6:13-20) that says God showed "the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose," and "it is impossible that God should prove false." Literalists such as Mr. Land also believe the welfare of the United States depends on friendship with Israel because of God's biblical covenant with Abraham's descendants: "I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse" (Genesis 12:3). For some, the boundaries of God's land grant were forever fixed in Genesis 15:18: "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates" (present-day Iraq). Like some Israelis, these Protestants think those troublesome Jewish settlements among West Bank Palestinians are part of the divine plan.
By contrast, the bulk of official Christian theology — Roman Catholic, Orthodox, classical Protestant — avoids such readings of the Bible and literalism on apocalyptic, prophetic and poetic passages. The influential St. Augustine (A.D. 354 to 430) formulated that view. Details vary on God's covenant with ancient Israel, but such interpreters often say the promises are conditioned on Israel's faithfulness, or that the coming of Jesus Christ ends national distinctions. A favorite text is Galatians 3:28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek for you are all one in Christ Jesus." The harder-edged "replacement theology" says the Christian church has absorbed the ancient promises made to Israel. For instance, a recent article in the Protestant weekly World says Israel has no "claims to national divine right" because "Israel as a whole today rejects her Messiah." Some biblical liberals, Christian and Jewish, said they doubted God made such promises in the first place and figured Israelites turned their national aspirations into divine revelation.
Another Suicide Bombing Today
June 19….(AP) At least six people are reported to have been killed in the second suicide bomb attack to hit Jerusalem in two days. The bomber emerged from a red Audi car, dashed to a concrete bus shelter and set off the blast, according to a police source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The car sped away, disappearing into Palestinian neighborhoods in east Jerusalem. The Fatah's "Raed Karmi Branch" of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades took responsibility for the attack. The head of the bomber, first thought to be have been a woman, was found layng on a hill above the scene of the blast.
Hezbullah Leader Threatens Settlers Next
June 18….(Jerusalem Post) The leader of the militant Hezbollah group said Tuesday the security wall Israel is building around the West Bank will make Israeli settlers and soldiers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip targets of the next wave of attacks. Speaking at a three-day conference in support of the Palestinian cause, Nasrallah said the fence proved Israeli policies to break the Palestinian intifada had failed. He also called Tuesday's suicide bombing in Jerusalem that killed at least 16 people "additional proof" of the failure. "These blocks and fences may obstruct some operations partly, but it will surely force the Palestinian combatants and strugglers to focus their efforts on the Jewish settlers living in the 1967 territories," Nasrallah said. "This cement fence will be their 'wall of hell'.
World Zionist Congress Meets
June 18….(Jerusalem Post) World Jewry must make immigration a top priority in spite of the violence in Israel and the ongoing fight against terrorism, President Moshe Katsav said last night. "No Jew in the world is absolved from this historical responsibility," he told the 1,500 international delegates to the 34th Zionist Congress. He spoke of Israel's war against terrorism as being part of a global battle. The rest of the world has failed to recognize this. "Every nation has a right to defend its citizens," Katsav said. Unfortunately Israel's attempts to do so has made it the target of international scrutiny by people who cannot tell the difference between those engaging in terror and those acting to prevent it. I continue to believe that we will find a sensible and responsible leader to represent the interests of the Palestinian people to bring peace with Israel." Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert said, “For those of you who came from all parts of the world to be here, I say to you, go back and tell your children that their place is here. We want them here, we need them here. To live here and to immigrate here, this is true Zionism." We will not bow to terrorism. "Together we will continue the process of bringing immigrants to Israel. Together we will settle the land and strengthen Israel's presence in the Negev and in the Galilee... Together we will defend Israel's beautiful and democratic nature. Together we will fight anti-Semitism, hate, and anti-Zionism. Together we will find a way to give our youth a Jewish-Zionist education to insure the future of the Jewish people."
Israel Considers Retaliatory Options
June 18….(Arutz) In light of the horrific bus bombing in Jerusalem this morning and Ariel Sharon's visit to the site, the Israeli government is weighing its options against the terrorist in the PA. P rime Minister Ariel Sharon arrived at scene of the attack shortly after the blast, viewed the line-up of body bags holding the young victims, and had this to say:
"The horrific pictures from this murderous act carried out by Palestinians, the horrific images that we see here, are more powerful then any words. It is interesting what type of Palestinian state they have in
mind, what type of Palestinian state they are talking about. This terrible thing that we see is a continuation of Palestinian terror, and it is against this terror that we must fight and struggle, and this is what we
One of the options expected to be discussed at the meeting scheduled for 7:30 p.m. local time, is the expulsion of Palestinian Authority head Yasser Arafat from the territories. In the past this idea has been backed by many politicians but opposed by security chiefs, who fear it would cause more harm than good. One concern is whether to take military action before US President George W. Bush makes a Middle East policy speech, which is expected to happen this week.
Iraq and Saudi Arabia Ready for Business
June 18….(Middle East Newsline) Iraq and Saudi Arabia will resume operations of a joint pipeline in what Western diplomats term a sign of improved relations between the two Arab neighbors. The pipeline has been repaired and upgraded by Saudi Arabia and can resume transport of Iraqi oil, industry sources said. The facility was shut down in 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait. The Bush Administration had lobbied the House of Saud against resuming oil business with Saddam Hussein, and helping the U.S. eliminate Hussein from power.
Hezbullah: The Spark that is Hotter than Al Qaeda
June 18….(FOJ) The United States has again called on Iran, Syria and Lebanon to stop attacks by Hezbollah guerrillas across Israel's northern border area, which experts fear could ignite a wider Middle East war. "We're asking all the parties to use their influence on Hezbollah to get Hezbollah to stop attacking Israel," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told a news briefing on Monday, referring to the Syrian- and Iranian-backed guerrillas. The United States has also sought to use its flourishing relationship with Russia to get Moscow to apply pressure on Iran to reel in the Hezbullah terrorist organization. The Bible vividly points to a horrendous war on Israel's northern border that will engulf the city of Damascus. FOJ has been warning its readers of this scenario for years now. It may well be an accurate prophetic assumption that the war involving Syria and Hezbullah against Israel could catapult the world into the “peace-with-security apparatus” designed and crafted by the Antichrist. For Rapture watchers, this war and its results should have high attention priority.
PA Persecutes Christians
June 18….(FOJ) Many reports have surfaced that the Palestinian Authority is directly involved in persecuting Palestinians who choose Jesus and forsake Islam. Thousands of Palestinians are suffering from the turmoil and conflict on the West Bank, and life can be dangerous for nearly everyone who lives there. But perhaps no one faces more danger and persecution on a daily basis than Muslims who have accepted Jesus as their savior. The general society incites against the Jewish people, against the Christian people, says new Christian Abed. "And they ask God to destroy the Jewish people or, you know, 'the enemy.' But the Bible says, or God says, 'Love your enemies.' That is the difference which encouraged me to look for God, to belong to Jesus and to receive Him and to consider him as savior." Both Abed and a fellow believer, Khalid, were told that local Muslim clerics have issued a "fatwa" or judgment against them. If they do not renounce their Christian faith, the sentence is death. It distresses Khalid that so many Christians support the Palestinian Authority when it routinely tortures and tries to kill other Christians. For any Palestinian living in the West Bank or Gaza, the deadliest charge is to be labeled as a collaborator with Israel. Already this year, the world has witnessed some gruesome examples of vigilante justice against accused collaborators. And deadlier still is to have added to that accusation is the crime of converting to Jesus Christ.
Bush Speech is Defining Point
June 18….(FOJ) As President Bush compiles his Middle East foreign policy plans and prepares to deliver a speech this week outlining his vision of the course that America will take over the next few years in its plans to fight terrorism and formulate a plan to establish a peace between Israel and the Palestinians. FOJ will carry a detailed review of the President's policy speech later this week. FOJ views this speech as a “defining point” in regards to the prophetic-fate of the United States.
Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem 19 Dead 50 Wounded
June 18….(Jerusalem Post) At least 19 people were killed and 50 injured Tuesday morning when a suicide bomber blew himself up on a bus full of passengers, most of them high school students, in southern Jerusalem. Six people were in serious condition, 3 sustained moderate wounds and 32 were lightly injured. The explosion took place around 8 A.M. near the Pat Junction on Egged bus line 32A from the neighborhood of Gilo. The blast ripped through bus, leaving it a charred, mangled hulk at the side of the road. All of the wounded were evacuated to hospitals for treatment. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Israel blamed Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority for the attack. The Izzadin Kassam military wing of Hamas claimed responsibility and identified the assailant as Mohammed al Ghoul, 22, from the Fara refugee camp near the West Bank city of Nablus. Ghoul was a student at the city's A Najah University. Ghoul traveled to Bethlehem yesterday, which is only several kilometers from the scene of the attack. According to officials, Ghoul boarded the bus on Route 32-A from Gilo, at about 8:00 a.m., at a stop near the Arab village of Beit Safafa, near the busy Patt Intersection in southern Jerusalem. He detonated a large suitcase, just after the bus pulled away from the stop. Many of the wounded are aged 10-to-12, Army Radio said. He said several next-of-kin waiting outside the emergency room, torn with grief, attacked camera crews filming the area, as they were informed of the deaths.
"I've got to walk away, I can't bear to watch this," Vered said, describing the tumultous scene outside.
U.S. Again Defers Moving Embassy to Jerusalem
June 18….(Reuters) President Bush on Monday again deferred for six months the moving of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem but said he was still committed to making the transfer sometime in the future. The U.S. Congress passed a bill in 1995 aimed at moving the American embassy to Jerusalem. The move would undoubtedly anger Palestinians and other Arabs who would view it as recognition of Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem. The 95 billit left an escape clause allowing the President to postpone the move for national security reasons. Former President Bill Clinton and Bush have both repeatedly postponed the move at six-month intervals, well aware that it could undermine efforts to ease violence between the Israelis and the Palestinians and to move the two sides toward peace. In a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell released by the White House, Bush cited national security in announcing his decision but added, "my administration remains committed to beginning the process of moving our embassy to Jerusalem."
Note: The failure of America to move its embassy to Israel's capitol is capitulation to the terrorism. America's national security is at risk over this issue, as both Presidents Bush and Clinton recognized.
Ted Turner - Accuses Israel of Terror
June 18….(Guardian) Ted Turner, the billionaire founder of CNN, accused Israel today of engaging in "terrorism" against the Palestinians. His comments threaten to lead to a further decline in the news network's already poor relations with the Jewish state. "The Palestinians are fighting with human suicide bombers, that's all they have. The Israelis have one of the most powerful military machines in the world. The Palestinians have nothing. So who are the terrorists? I would make a case that both sides are involved in terrorism." His remarks were condemned by Ariel Sharon's government, which called them "stupid".
Note: Stupid is the correct word. Israel is no more involved in terrorism than is America.
EU Seeks Closer Ties With Iran
June 18….(BBC) European Union foreign ministers have agreed to open trade and political talks with Iran, a country still branded by the US as part of a global "axis of evil". EU Commissioner for External Affairs Chris Patten will meet Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Brussels on Tuesday to start the process that the EU hopes will bolster the reformist President Mohammad Khatami.
The European foreign ministers who met in Luxembourg said closer trade and economic links would have to be matched by Iranian efforts to stop terrorism and the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. But Israel expressed dismay at the agreement and the US has also lobbied against European rapprochement with Tehran, skeptical of Iran's trustworthiness to deliver on its promises.
Clinton to Bush: Tackle Mideast Peace Before Iraq
June 18….(Reuters) Even as George W. Bush mulls toppling Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the U.S. president's predecessor Bill Clinton on Monday urged him to change priorities by focusing first on building a "legitimate" peace between Israelis and Palestinians. "Looking down the road, the most important thing is to get our priorities right," Clinton said in response to questions after a speech on globalization at the Yale Club in New York.
Note: Globalization requires peace for Israel and the elimination of Terror States like Iraq.
Iran and Russia Disagree on Nuclear Controls
June 18….(Middle East Newsline) Iran and Russia are said to disagree over a proposal to impose tighter international controls on the Bushehr nuclear reactor. Western diplomatic sources said Iran has opposed a Russian proposal for a more intrusive inspection regime by the International Agency for Atomic Energy. The Russian effort has been prompted by the United States, which charges that Teheran is using the nuclear power reactor to help assemble nuclear weapons. Iran and Russia have discussed the IAEA inspections regime. The talks took place in Moscow between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad-Javad Zarif. The meeting last month was said to have been the first time Iran and Russia discussed non-proliferation and strategic issues. The diplomatic sources said Russia is pressing to revise its agreement with Iran on the Bushehr reactor to ensure that the facility cannot produce nuclear weapons.
Bush to Deliver Major Speech
June 17….(INS) Israel and the entire Middle East region awaits President Bush's Speech on Middle East. President George Bush is expected to deliver his long-awaited policy speech on the Middle East today or tomorrow. Many officials in the Bush Administration, such as Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Under Defense Secretary Wolfowitz, and others basically agree with Israeli Prime Minister Sharon that Palestinian statehood is premature, while Secretary of State Powell feels that Arafat should be given another chance. National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice said yesterday that the current Palestinian Authority structure cannot serve as a basis for an independent PLO state, and that the rampant corruption in the PA is not conducive for the establishment of a democratic Palestinian entity. (see below)
Rice Says PA Not Basis For Palestinian State
June 17….(Ha Aretz) President George Bush will outline his vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians next week, but the administration does not see Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority as the basis for a future Palestinian state, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice told the Mercury News. "Frankly, the Palestinian Authority, which is corrupt and cavorts with terror...is not the basis for a Palestinian state moving forward. Yasser Arafat blasted U.S. national security adviser Condoleezza Rice for comments condemning his Palestinian Authority, saying she has no right to dictate to Palestinians how their future state should look.
Israel Presents UN With Missile Stance
June 17….(Ha Aretz) Israel has submitted its official position on missiles to the United Nations. Israel proposed starting regional discussions about missiles, with the aim of developing confidence-building measures and decreasing tensions related to missile threats. The Israeli position opens with expressions of concern about the expanding exports of ballistic missiles to states in the region. This proliferation of missiles has "created a major threat to our national security. The document states, the export of know-how and equipment to states in the Middle East has in recent years increased the number of missiles that could carry non-conventional warheads, posing threats to Israel and to regional stability. Israel has rejected demands aired in various international forums calling on it to introduce full "transparency and accountability" in its reports on missile tests. Israel wants the international community to step up efforts to monitor and supervise the export of missile equipment and know-how. Efforts so far to limit missile proliferation in the region have been ineffective.
Iran Warns Qatar
June 17….(Middle East News Line) Iran is concerned that the United States is grooming a new powerhouse in the Persian Gulf. Iranian officials are watching with concern the transfer of U.S. military assets to Qatar. The officials have expressed worry that Qatar could be turned into the next Saudi Arabia, a major base for U.S. soldiers and weapons.
Israel Begins Erecting Fence
June 17….(Jerusalem Post) Israel began erecting a security fence on its border with the West Bank as a method to hinder violent attacks by Palestinian militants in Israel. The electronically monitored fence is to initially measure 130 kilometers, and the cost of each kilometer is estimated at $1 million. The fence will run from the Salem checkpoint in the north to Kfar Kassem in the south. Another stretch of fence is planned for the Jerusalem area.
Arafat Stole $5.1 Million Foreign Aid
June 17….(World Net) Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat personally pocketed over $5 million in foreign aid money intended for needy Palestinians, depositing it into his personal bank account, according to the Arab daily Al-Watan. Even worse, the newspaper claims Arafat also diverted aid money from Arab states earmarked for those who had lost homes in the recent Israeli incursion into the West Bank and invested it to increase his stock holdings.
Hezbollah Buildup in Lebanon's Border with Israel
June 17….(Weekend) The Iranian- and Syrian-backed group Hezbollah has built up forces along Lebanon's southern border with Israel, while humanitarian conditions inside Palestinian territories have deteriorated rapidly. Sources said signs of a variety of new weaponry, including missiles capable of reaching major northern Israeli population centers and of shooting down planes, have been detected along the border in recent weeks, together with the increased presence and activity of Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. There is concern an attack into Israeli territory could be launched within the next several days. There is also concern of a massive Israeli retaliation, including movement into Lebanese and possibly Syrian territory. A U.S. State Department spokesman said a round of U.S. warnings had been delivered "in recent days" to the governments of Syria, Iran and Lebanon in response to intelligence reports provided by Israel, including some during Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's White House meeting last Monday with President Bush. The opening of a "second front" in the Middle East is viewed by most governments involved in the region as likely to spell the end of U.S.-led efforts to organize a political dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians.
EU Reinstates PA Funding
June 15….Europe added the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an arm of Arafat's Fatah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestinian, whose leader is held in a Jericho prison for ordering the assassination of an Israeli cabinet minister, and the Palestine Liberation Front to its list of terror organizations. The E.U. also announced the resumption of its $15 million subsidy to the Palestinian Authority with more to come after Israel failed to convince their representatives of Arafat's direct implication in Palestinian terrorism. The flow of funds was interrupted when Washington protested Europe's overt funding of the Palestinian suicide campaign against Israeli civilians. Once again, the European taxpayer will be financing Arafat's suicide brigades.
India vs. Pakistan has Israeli Repurcussions
June 17….(Debka) On Saturday, June 15, the Washington Post reported Israel had armed three diesel submarines with newly-designed cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Debka Files also reports that India's nuclear collaboration plan hinges upon three Israeli 1,925-ton 800-class German-made Dolphin-class submarines, which are armed with Israel-designed 1,500-km range Popeye Turbo cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. This flotilla is sought as a second strike capability for the Indian air force and naval units present in the Arabian Sea opposite Pakistan. Israel maintains one or sometimes two of those submarines permanently in Persian Gulf waters as a sea-launched deterrent force, its second-tier potential first strike capability against Iran and Iraq. Israeli Dolphin-class submarines, like other naval and air units are permanently using the big air and naval base on Eritrea's Red Sea Dahlak Archipelago, near the confluence of the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Bucking the President on the Middle East
June 17….( Reports emanating from the US State Department indicate that US Secretary of State Colin Powell is becoming so frustrated at being undermined by the White House that he may stand down after the mid-term elections. Powell's authority has been sapped by tensions between him and senior figures such as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and exacerbated by the White House contradicting the State Department on key foreign-policy issues. Officials at the Pentagon privately accuse Mr. Powell of a tendency to 'freelance' and to consider himself the most important figure in the administration. The trouble began last Monday when Mr. Bush gave unequivocal backing to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and appeared to rubbish Mr. Powell's proposed ministerial conference on the Middle East. 'It totally undercut what we were trying to do and was very damaging,' said a State Department source. Then on Wednesday, the Secretary told the Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat that the President would back the rapid establishment of a provisional Palestinian state. Mr Bush had said almost as much himself and White House officials confirmed that a declaration on this was expected within a week. But when asked to respond, a dismissive White House spokesman Ari Fleischer went out of his way to belittle Mr. Powell's observation, pointing out dryly that the Secretary of State had the 'prerogative' to say what he liked. It was the latest of a string of discordant notes from the White House and the State Department on the Middle East which have sapped Mr. Powell's authority. European diplomats who regard Powell as a bastion of US multi-lateralism view dislike President Bush and look to Colin Powell as the preferred architect of diplomacy.
Israel and the Security Fence
June 17….(Reuters) Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has condemned as "racist" Israel's construction of a security fence along its border with the West Bank. "It is a sinful assault on our land, an act of racism and apartheid. The security fence is the latest effort by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to halt suicide attacks by Palestinian militants inside Israel. The head of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, also criticized the security fence. It reminds us of practices that the world never accepted before and that Israel aims to consecrate the occupation and separate communities," Mr Moussa said. Reports say the fence will be electrified and will have devices to detect any movement on it. Such fences are already used in the Gaza Strip to protect settlements near to Palestinian population centers. Opinion polls show at least 80% of Israelis are in favor of the fence.
Note: Israel is looking for security in all the wrong places. Someday soon, Israel will look to the Antichrist for security. Security for Israel, and has always rested with total trust and faith in God, and accepting the true Messiah.
WEEK OF JUNE 10 THROUGH JUNE 16
U.S. Spy Plane Crash in Iran?
June 14….(Stratfor-World Net) A U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle crashed near Qorveh in the Iranian northwestern province of Kordestan in late May, Iranian media sources said yesterday. The report is unconfirmed. If true, the downing raises a number of issues and problems for Washington, which is loath to see its prized technology end up in foreign hands, according to Stratfor, the global intelligence company. The unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, may have been shot down while conducting surveillance on Iranian facilities being used to develop weapons of mass destruction.
Tehran is concerned over possible US and Israeli military action against Iran's military industrial facilities manufacturing weapons of mass destruction and its soon-to-be-completed nuclear reactor at Bushehr on the Gulf. The northwestern area where the US drone was shot down is home to a vast number of these military installations, such as the Mu'allem Kalaych, where gas centrifuge equipment used to enrich uranium is reportedly stored and weapons-grade nuclear materiel manufactured. The Iranians are well aware that the United States cannot afford to demolish Iraq's weapons of mass destruction without simultaneously striking theirs. Washington understands that action against Iraq alone would leave Iran the strongest power in the Gulf, an unacceptable consequence. Also of importance is the fact that Iranian leaders agreed to open a passageway through this sensitive area for Kurdish veterans of al Qaeda action in Afghanistan or Kashmir to transit on their way to the Kurdish provinces of northern Iraq. A separate group of Kurdish Afghan is on the move for the last four years from Iraq through Iran and heading west, via Syria, into Lebanon, to join the Hizballah guerrillas intermittently attacking Israel. Avid interest in Iranian Kurdistan was therefore to be expected, together with surveillance pilot-less craft and space satellites, on the part not only of America, but also Israel and whomsoever owns an interest in the goings-on in this remote and pivotal corner, such as Turkey.
Terrorist Bomb in Karachi, Pakistan
June 14….(Reuters) A car bomb outside the U.S. consulate in the port city of Karachi killed at least eight Pakistanis on Friday, less than a day after Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld left the country.
Police said the blast looked like a suicide bombing. Friday's blast is the fourth attack this year apparently aimed at foreigners in Pakistan, after the kidnapping of U.S. reporter Daniel Pearl in January and a grenade attack on a church in Islamabad in March. Although no one admitted responsibility for the attack, suspicion immediately fell on Islamic radicals opposed to Pakistan's support for the U.S. war on terror.
Syrian-U.S. Meeting Canceled
June 14….(Arutz) The scheduled meeting between US President George Bush and Syrian
Foreign Minister Farouk a-Shara has been canceled. Officials in Washington
reportedly told the Syrian Minister that he would not be received warmly,
whereupon he said he would not show up. Tensions between the US and Syria
are escalating because of the recent suicide bombing at the Megiddo Junction in Israel,
in which 17 Israelis were killed, for which the Syrian Islamic Jihad
claimed responsibility. The Bush Administration is adamantly upset with Syria and its continued support for terrorism.
Arab Leader Warns U.S. on Terror War
June 14….(AP) The United States and its allies should not pursue "hidden agendas" in their widening war on terror because the campaign is not the world's overriding concern, the head of the Arab League said Friday. Rather, the Arab world's major worry is "the Israeli military occupation of Arab territories and the infringement of the rights of Palestinians," Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said. Moussa warned Washington and its allies against using their worldwide hunt for terrorists for "settling accounts and imposing a different world order," an apparent reference to Arab fears of a planned U.S. attack on Iraq.
Musharraf Expresses concern over cooperation between India, Israel
June 14….(Arabic News) President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan has expressed his concern over the Israeli- Indian cooperation especially in the area of exchanging technology. He explained that the recent Indian pilot-less plane which was downed over Pakistan is an Israeli- made plane and that cooperation between India and Israel does not only relate to Pakistan but also the Middle East region, as a whole. In a press conference he held in Jeddah on Tuesday, President Musharraf said replying to a question on the Saudis detained in Pakistan as a result of the war in Afghanistan that there is a complete cooperation between the Saudi intelligence and Pakistan, noting that the Pakistani authorities detained 300 members of al-Qaida organization. Musharraf gave no mention to the nationality of the detainees.
Syria Presides Over Security Council Mideast Meeting
June 13….(Ha Aretz) The UN Security Council scheduled an open debate Thursday on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the United States giving advance notice it will oppose any resolution or statement. The debate will be presided over by Syria, which holds the rotating council presidency for the month of June. The Arab group and the Palestinians asked for an open meeting, allowing reporters to listen in, following the latest IDF incursions in the West Bank, including surrounding the headquarters of Palestinian leader. Syria presently holds the Security Council Presidency on world terrorism also.
Note: Ironic is it not, Damascus is the capitol of international terrorism.
U.S. Bishops Meet to Discuss Priest Scandal
June 13….(CNN) Roman Catholic bishops meet today to discuss their policy on sexually abusive priests, amid controversy over how the church has handled the problem. "We have really lost a lot of credibility, but I think the best approach is to meet and get a new strong, clear direction," said Cardinal Roger Mahony, the archibishop of Los Angeles. A new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll underscored that credibility problem, finding that only one in five Catholics has a great deal of confidence in the bishops to deal appropriately with the problem. The public at large reported a lower level of confidence.
Note: Homosexuality is a sin. The Bible calls it an abomination. Rome is reaping the consequences of accommodating popular sin, and restricting its priesthood to celibate submission to the Bishop of Rome!
Approximately two-thirds of the top U.S. Catholic leaders have allowed priests accused of sexual abuse to relocate and keep practicing sexual perversion under the banner of the Catholic Church.
Iran Blames U.S. for Terrorism
June 13….(Weekend) Mohammad Khatami said America has been confronted by the "ugly face" of terrorism because of its backing for Israel, which has launched incursions into Palestinian areas in response to Palestinian suicide attacks. "Today, the scale of transgression, bestiality and trespass is soaring to the heights of fury in Palestine. America's intimidation, terrorism and conflict are the illegitimate offshoot of hatred?" Khatami wrote in a four-page letter to William Vendley, secretary-general of the U.S.-based World Conference on Religion and Peace. Khatami and other Iranian leaders have consistently denounced Israel and its allies, led by America. But the letter moves a step further and predicts American voters will ultimately punish the Bush administration. "I can assure you that eventually the public opinion in the United States will tilt against warmongers and those who support the policy of violence and intimidation," "Our contemporary world is on the precipice of great danger," he said. Iran fears a long-term U.S. military presence in the region, particularly in neighboring Afghanistan.
Jordan's Abdullah Seeking European Mid-East Peace Leader
June 13…..(FOJ) Jordan's King Abdullah II called for Europe to play a leadership role Wednesday in pushing Israel and Palestinians to end their fighting, which he warned could lead to greater extremism if not stopped. In an address to the European Union's 626-member Parliament, the king said the 20-month conflict "dangerously elevates the frustration of people tired of war, occupation and economic deprivation. "This ugly wound holds back progress in the Middle East and inflames extremism," King Abdullah said. He called on Israel to accept a land-for-peace proposal put forward by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah early this year. "Israel's government cannot ignore this proposal," the king said. "We must not allow the process to become hostage to the whims of those who choose to obstruct peace." Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said that his country could not run the risk of relinquishing all of the West Bank, a part of the Saudi peace proposal, which it took in the 1967 Six-Day War. The EU is the largest donor of economic aid to the region, especially to the Palestinians, but has never been able to seize a leading political role in the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Israel and the United States have always kept the EU away from peace talks, wary of what they see as a pro-Arab tilt in some European governments. King Abdullah called on the 15-nation EU to work with the United States toward a secure and lasting peace in the region, saying success requires international action. "We urgently need Europe to take a leadership role," he said.
Note: The geopolitical trend for peace and security in the Middle East is beginning to look for leadership in the European sphere. This is Bible Prophecy at its height. The emerging NATO-Russia-US alliance and the developing EU political structure coincide with prophetic implications involving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over Jerusalem.
G8 Leaders Meet in Canada
June 13….(FOJ) Foreign policy leaders from the 8 leading economic powers are meeting in Kananasksis, Canada this week to discuss international policies. But the first and most intense discussion is expected to be the topic of the crisis in the Middle East. Many of the G8 nations appear disturbed by the Bush administration's policy towards the region, and overt support for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The group is very upset that President Bush stated in his press conference briefing with Ariel Sharon that an international peace conference was not an urgent agenda since there is no concrete developments within the Palestinian governmental reform initiative. The G8 meeting ends Thursday with a session on non-proliferation, arms control and weapons of mass destruction.
Bush Swiftly Rejects Powell Comment
June 13….(World Watch) Secretary of State Colin L. Powell yesterday floated the possibility of a short-term or interim Palestinian state, an idea that was swiftly rejected by President Bush. The President stated that Secretary Powell's comments were a repetition of ideas being discussed among international leaders, but that an interim Palestinian state was not supported by the Bush Administration.
Baptist Leader Assails Islam
June 13….(AP) The new head of the Southern Baptist Convention has defended and endorsed comments highly critical of Islam by one of the convention's past presidents. The Rev. Jack Graham, elected the convention's president on Tuesday, said the Rev. Jerry Vines' comments about Islam were "accurate." "Islam was founded by Muhammad, a demon-possessed pedophile who had 12 wives — and his last one was a 9-year-old girl. And I will tell you, Allah is not Jehovah either. Jehovah's not going to turn you into a terrorist that'll try to bomb people and take the lives of thousands and thousands of people," Mr. Vines, pastor of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Fla., said at a pastors' conference here on Monday. Mr. Graham, of Plano, Texas, said that Mr. Vines' statement "is an accurate statement," and that he would not condemn his colleague. "I will not respond to Dr. Vines' statement, other than to say that anyone who follows any path, who wants to go to heaven, should look carefully at who they're following and what they believe," he said. Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the comments were outrageous. "It's really unfortunate that a top leader in a mainstream Christian church would use such hate-filled and bigoted language in describing the faith of one-fifth of the world's population," Mr. Hooper said. "This is the level of bigotry that requires a clear statement from the top leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention." Mr. Vines, a former convention president, said on Monday that many of this country's problems can be blamed on the moral relativism championed by proponents of religious pluralism. Pluralists "would have us to believe that Islam is just as good as Christianity, but I'm here to tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that Islam is not the same as Christianity," he said.
Bush and Saudi Foreign Minister Caucus
June 13….(World Watch) President Bush had a "warm visit" with the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia on Thursday but was not ready to make a declaration on how to establish a Palestinian state, the White House said. In his White House meetings, al-Faisal aimed to reinforce the request of several Arab leaders that Bush act quickly to create a state and to compel Israel to give up all of the West Bank, Gaza and part of Jerusalem. Last week, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt asked Bush to set a deadline. Bush turned him down, but Powell said Wednesday the Presidents rebuttal did not rule it out entirely, even suggesting the possibility of an interim Palestinian state with the possibility that Yasser Arafat would head it. Key administration officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, have questioned whether the administration should keep dealing with Arafat as a peace partner.
Thus far President Bush has been reluctant to support interim Palestinian Statehood, or establish a target date for such a statehood declaration.
Israel Seizes Suicide Bombs in Arafat’s Compound
June 12….(FOJ) Israeli security forces seized 10 bombs being prepared for attacks in Israeli cities as security agencies braced for a new wave of Palestinian suicide attacks. The bombs were found in the West Bank city of Ramallah, inside the headquarters of the Force 17 praetorian guard headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.
Note: And Arafat can’t control the bombings because his security apparatus has been damaged. How hard can it be to control your own compound?
Powell and Bush at Odds on Mideast
June12….(FOJ) Secretary of State Colin Powell is calling for an "interim, provisional or transitional Palestinian administration" in short order. That marks a very different direction from President Bush's comments Monday when he stated in his press conference that there simply wasn’t an emerging Palestinian entity that held his confidence. Powell stated that if a temporary Palestinian state is created first, "what we have to do is work to put institutions in place which will allow for a government to develop which will bring confidence not only to the Israelis but the Palestinians." Powell told reporters that if a Palestinian state were created, "it would have to have some structure, some institutions, but what kind? That's why we're focusing so hard on transformation and reform. You have to have responsible institutions to be the basis of such a state. It doesn't have to be finalized." The differences between Bush and Powell's rhetoric are stark. While Bush wants "security steps, transparency when it comes to economic matters, anti-corruption devices, rule of law enforced by a court system" before proceeding with a peace plan, Powell said the process of reform should not interrupt establishment of a state on land seized by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. Also, while Bush said he does not care who he works with on the Palestinian side since "Arafat is not the issue," Powell chided Sharon for his dismissal of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as untrustworthy and unworthy of negotiating status.
Sharon and Bush Discuss Syria
June 12….(Debka) President George W. Bush’s conversation with Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon on Monday, June 10, rounded off a series of White House consultations with Middle East leaders, starting with Saudi crown prince Abdullah and including Jordanian king Abdullah and Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. A scarcely noticed omission was Syrian foreign minister Farouk Shara, who called off his planned trip to Washington - for very good reason. Syria was the key issue on the Bush-Sharon agenda. political sources in Washington report that Sharon gave the US president a detailed rundown of the Assad regime’s active backing of terror and its involvement in plans for mega-terror attacks in Israel. He said that Damascus, seat of the most extreme Palestinian organizations and transit station for al Qaeda operatives moving around the Middle East, was building a powder keg under Israel and regional stability by its massive arming and support of the Lebanese Hizballah; not just thousands of 220mm Katyusha rockets, missiles, artillery and ammunition, but also chemical warheads for the group’s short-range missiles. Syria, said the Israeli prime minister, is topping up Iranian airlifted supplies for the Hizballah of weapons systems and heavy weapons via Damascus. He added that President Bashar Assad is not acting on his own. He is the recipient of quiet political and financial support from the Saudi crown prince Abdullah. To all intents and purposes, the Saudi rulers are keeping their hands clean of abetting Islamic terrorists; instead, they pay the Syrian leader to act on their behalf. Assad pushes his Saudi patron’s real agenda in the Middle East while the crown prince is free to promote his Middle East peace plan in Washington behind a blameless façade. On May 21 or 22, the presidential palace in Damascus gave Hizballah leaders the green ligh, plus logistical and military suppor to liaise with the Palestinians for concurrent terror operations inside Israel, by means of the seven or eight Hizballah cells planted across the border. In the Gaza Strip, they operate in conjunction with “popular resistance committees”, Islamic groups and Muhamed Dahlan’s security apparatus; in the West Bank and among Israeli Arabs, they are partnered by the Jihad Islami and the Israeli Islamic Movement under the overall command of West Bank general intelligence and al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades chief Col. Tawfiq Tirawi. Last month, Syrian military intelligence instructed Syria’s protege, Ahmed Jibril, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, to send Gaza Strip Palestinians a supply of motorized parachutes and gliders made in Spain, Italy and Germany to facilitate incursions across into Israel for mega-terror operations. In view of the explosive terror build-up orchestrated from Damascus, and coordinated at the strategic level also with Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein. Sharon advised President Bush that a Middle East peace conference, like the one urged by the US State Department, would simply be the cue for a major flare-up on Israel’s northern frontier and/or a mega-terror attack to sabotage any peace efforts. The same applied to any serious consideration of the Saudi crown prince’s peace proposal. Bush also conferred with Sharon on America’s military preparations for its campaign against Iraq, in particular, areas of overlapping interests, such as defending Jordan against Iraqi invasion or attack and US-Israel defenses against Iraqi chemical or biological attack on Israel or US military targets in the Middle East.
Bush, Mubarak Fall Out Over Mideast
June 12….(Middle East Newsline) The American-Egyptian summit was reported to have ended in serious disagreement between President George Bush and President Hosni Mubarak. Arab and Western diplomatic sources who followed the summit said Bush and Mubarak failed to agree on how to end the Israeli-Palestinian war. The sources said the two presidents also disputed the role of Israel in the Middle East as well as the need for Palestinian reform. "There was a surreal atmosphere to the summit," a diplomatic source who obtained a report on the Bush-Mubarak meeting said. "They were talking at each other rather than toward each other." The sources said Mubarak also turned down Bush's appeal for Egypt's cooperation in a military campaign to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. They said the U.S. president urged his Egyptian counterpart to end diplomatic and trade cooperation with Baghdad.
Iran Hikes Funding for Suicide Bombers
June 12….(World Net) Iran will increase financial support for suicide bombings to groups opposed to a peace settlement with Israel. According to an analysis by the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI, the Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper - quoting a source close to Iran's Revolutionary Guards brigades - said Ramadhan Shalah, leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, traveled to Iran with a "large delegation" last week that included the group's leadership, representatives from the terror group Hamas and Ahmad Jibril, leader of the PFLP General Command to take part in a "symposium" designed to support the Palestinian intifida. Also at the meeting was Palestinian Authority Communication Minister Imad Al-Falluji, the paper said. The symposium was headed by 'Ali Akbar Muhtashemi, Iran's former ambassador to Syria and the nation's interior minister. Muhtashemi has been labeled the "midwife" of the terror group Hezbollah due to his role in the group's separation from a Syrian-backed main organization operating in Lebanon. The paper said Shalah met twice with Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, who reportedly promised that Islamic Jihad's budget "would be separated from the Hezbollah budget" and increased by 70 percent, "to cover the expense of recruiting young Palestinians for suicide operations."
Sweden to Criminalize Opposition to Homosexuality
June 12….(Harpazo) The Swedish Parliament has moved to within one step of changing the nation’s constitution to ban speech or materials opposing homosexuality and any other alternate lifestyles. If the amendment becomes reality, violators could be subject to prison sentences. That means people coming from (the homosexual) lobby group could sit in our churches having on the tape recorder and listen to somebody and say, 'What you're saying now is against our constitution.'" She said anyone convicted of violating the constitutional amendment could spend six months to four years in jail. Bob Knight, who heads the Culture and Family Institute at Concerned Women for America, predicted the United States will soon have similar laws. "The Swedish example should be a wake-up call to the rest of the world that the real intent is to criminalize Christianity,
Powell Says Temporary Palestinian State Will Come Soon
June 12….(New York Times) Secretary of State Colin Powell today began to sketch out the Bush administration's plans for a Palestinian state, saying in an interview with an Arabic newspaper that the process may begin with a transitional or temporary state. President Bush will soon give a more specific vision for creation of a Palestinian state, Secretary of State Colin Powell has said. "In the very near future, he will make known to the American people and to the world and to, especially, the people in the region his vision of how to move forward," Mr. Powell said. "I think you will see that coming from the administration, from the president in the not-too-distant future." Asked whether the president had abandoned the idea of a Middle Eastern peace conference for this summer, Mr. Powell replied cautiously. "I think we still see utility in planning for such a conference in the course of the summer," he said, adding that "we haven't backed away from the idea yet." Mr. Powell's signal that the president will soon give a more detailed vision for a Palestinian state may have been significant for its timing. Mr. Bush met on Monday with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel and will meet at the end of the week with Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Prince Saud, who is expected to push again for prompt action by Mr. Bush.
Note: Apparently President Bush and Secretary Powell have different views on this whole issue.
Palestinians See Israel's Elimination as Goal
June 11….(Reuters) A majority of Palestinians believe the aim of their 20-month-old uprising should be to eliminate Israel and not just end Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The poll by the Palestinian Jerusalem Media and Communication Center (JMCC) showed that Fifty-one percent of the people surveyed said the end result of the uprising should be the "liberation all of historic Palestine," referring to British-mandate of Palestine, while forty-three percent of respondents said the aim of the uprising was to end Israeli occupation and establish a state only in the area of the West Bank and Gaza. Seventy-nine percent of Palestinians surveyed said they back the revolt and 68 percent said they approved of suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. Some 41 percent of people surveyed gave Arafat favorable marks, compared with 29 percent who said he was a bad leader. Most of the people polled said Israeli raids had reduced their support for the Palestinian Authority and its security forces, and also dented their support for holding peace talks with Israel. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said the Israeli raids had boosted their approval of the militant Islamic group Hamas, which opposes Israel's existence, and 66 percent said the army operations increased their backing for suicide bombings. A large majority -- 58 percent -- said they supported domestic reform within the Palestinian Authority, and 42 percent said the best way to accomplish reform was through free democratic elections. Arafat was expected to win elections by 48 percent of those surveyed. Overall, 25 percent of Palestinians said they trusted Arafat more than any other politician, followed by 24 percent who said they trust no one and nine percent who put their faith in Hamas' spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
PA Terror Continues Unabated
June 11….(FOJ) A suicide bomber who asked for a glass of water set off a blast Tuesday evening in a restaurant in the Israeli coastal city of Herzliya, wounding as many as nine people, Israeli police said. The terror attack happened at the popular Jamil restaurant near the center of the city around 7:40 p.m. local time. Earlier in the day, a bomb exploded under an Israeli school bus near Kiryat Arba, southwest of Hebron on the West Bank, wounding three students. Also IDF troops encircled Arafats Ramallah compound and arrested 20-30 known terrorist agents, some of whom were caught planning the next campaign of terror assaults.
Palestinian Suicide Bombers in Israeli Hospitals
June 11….(AP) Zeidan Zeidan failed in his suicide bombing mission and now has second thoughts. Rethinking his fate in an Israeli hospital bed, he has decided he wouldn't want to die. Next time he would open fire at Israelis with a rifle. Zeidan was wounded when the bomb he was carrying in a backpack partially detonated at a busy highway junction in central Israel on May 8. Now he is being treated at Afula Hospital, on the same floor as patients who were injured in a tragically successful suicide attack nearly a month later. Seventeen people were killed in the attack on June 5, when a Palestinian bomber drove an explosive-laden car up alongside a moving passenger bus in northern Israel. Mixing bravado with immaturity, Zeidan, a skinny 20-year-old with a wispy mustache, said of his bungled bombing, "I wouldn't do it again." But the sentiment was not expressed with remorse: Zeidan says he'd rather survive so he could talk about the attack. Next time, "I would become a fighter, and if I saw any Jews I wouldn't hesitate to shoot them, but I wouldn't want to hurt myself," Zeidan said, shackled and handcuffed to his hospital bed. That such a man is sharing a hospital and world-class treatment with victims of another terror attack does not sit well with many Israelis. Across the hall in the intensive care unit, Tamara Elishkov's daughters keep vigil over their mother, who crawled away from the burning bus on June 5 with a broken leg. The eldest, Ruthie Noam, 27, is struggling with her emotions about Zeidan's presence. "It's very hard. On the one hand he's a person and must be treated, but on the other hand he wanted to do what the latest guy did. "They are killing us and we are rescuing them. There is no logic," she said. The irony does not escape Zeidan, either. "The doctors and the nurses here are OK, but I know inside they hate me," he said. Though seriously injured and facing a lengthy jail term, Zeidan says his only regret is that his attempt to carry out an attack on Israelis failed. "I am sorry it didn't work because now I will not have a better life in paradise," he said.
Al Qaeda: We will Kill 4 Million Americans
June 11….(FOX) An ominous new threat against the U.S. appears on a Web site and claims to be from an Al Qaeda spokesman. It says the U.S. has killed thousands of people in Iraq, the Palestinian territories, Afghanistan, and other places. And so, it reads: "We have the right to kill four million Americans, including one million children," and it says, "we have the right to fight them by chemical and biological weapons so they catch the fatal and unusual diseases Muslims have caught due to U.S. chemical and biological weapons."
Palestinians Dissatisfied With Arafat Reforms
June 11….(Ha Aretz) Palestinian critics are charging that the changes to the Palestinian Authority cabinet are cosmetic and do not signal the reforms widely demanded by Palestinians and the international community. Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, finally coalesced to the idea of reform following Israel's major incursion into PA areas in April. He has reduced the number of his ministers from 31 to 21 and named a new finance minister, but has basically retained key people from his original cabinet.
Bush and Sharon Meet at White House
June 11….(Reuters) President Bush restated Israel's right to defend itself against terrorist attacks Monday while Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat "we don't see a partner" in peace talks. The two leaders met in the Oval Office as Israeli tanks and troops surrounded Arafat's compound in Ramallah. The president renewed his call for dramatic reforms of the Palestinian Authority, saying the changes are needed before any progress can be made toward peace. President Bush also suggested that a summer peace conference might be delayed because no one has any confidence in the emerging Arafat-led Palestinian government. Bush said successful reforms would allow new leaders to emerge among the Palestinians that would benefit them and pave the way for an independent state "at peace with its neighbor." The US opposes expelling Arafat but senior Israeli officials stressed yesterday that the Palestinian leader is "not immune" to Israeli action. Israel has so far refrained from striking at him directly. Still undecided is whether Bush or someone else in his administration will make a speech on the US vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians before a conference is held. Sharon rejects the idea of a US-dictated timetable for peace talks.
Sharon, in his remarks in the Oval Office, reiterated his view that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat is not a partner for peace. "At the present time we don't see yet a partner. We hope it will be a partner there who will be able to move forward, first to achieve durable peace in the area. And second of course to provide security to the citizens of our countries. And of course one of the most important things is how really to take the steps to make the lives of the Palestinians and other nations in the region better than they are now," Sharon said. Asked about discussions in Israel that Arafat should be expelled, Bush said that Arafat was not the issue. "I think the issue is the Palestinian people."
WZO Working to
June 11….(Israel Insider) The World Zionist Organization (WZO) has launched an initiative geared to encourage entire Jewish communities from around the world to immigrate to Israel with their local rabbi and settle in the West Bank. Targeted communities include the Jews of France, who have witnessed increased anti-Semitic activities. Some 70 Orthodox families from New York are considering moving to a settlement near Ramallah. the WZO, operating under the auspices of the Jewish Agency, has been working for over a year promoting a program called "Aliyah of rabbi and community," designed to assist Jewish communities from North America and Europe in relocating to Israel. In principle, we are trying to encourage Jews to settle in Judea and Samaria and Gaza. This is part of our ideology."
The Dwindling Jewish Majority
June 11….(Ha Aretz) Jews will be a minority in the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea by 2020, the chairman of the National Security Council, Major General Uzi Dayan told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday. Dayan said that if current demographic trends did not change, this area, in 2020, would have 15 million inhabitants, out of which Jews would constitute 45 percent and Arabs 55 percent. Currently, the ratio is reversed: There are some 5 million Jews and 4 million Arabs in the region. Dayan said these demographic trends required Israel to make immediate strategic decisions as did the worldwide proliferation of nuclear weapons. "In the coming years, we are liable to find ourselves with 20 to 25 countries that possess nuclear weapons," he said, adding that these might include radical states such as Syria, Libya, Iran and Iraq. All of these states were actively trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction, primarily in the area of ground-to-ground missiles, he noted.
For Israel, it was crucial to prevent enemy countries from acquiring nuclear weapons, he said. To this end, he continued, Israel must try to persuade the West to continue the global war on terror, as many of the potential targets in this war were the states most dangerous to Israel. Regarding Israel's future relations with the Palestinians, Dayan said that three different approaches could currently be found among the public, cabinet members and Knesset members. One, he said, was to continue the war on terror until the Palestinians understood that terrorism did not pay, after which political negotiations could begin. The second calls for establishing a Palestinian state even if the terror continues; while the third says there is no room for two states between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.
Bush administration officials have met with Iraqi opposition leaders on how best to mobilize against President Saddam Hussein and prepare for a new Iraqi government after Hussein leaves power. Department spokesman Richard Boucher said discussions on an anti-Hussein strategy have been held in recent days with representatives of the INC, the Kurdish Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the Iraqi National Accord and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.
E.U. Delays Funds to Palestinian Authority
June 11….(Arutz) The European Parliament's budgetary committee has decided to delay its
scheduled transfer of 18.7 million euros to the PA until it receives a report on how the aid is to be distributed. Israel has charged that EU money is being used to fund terrorism. The EU, the PA's largest donor, provides some ten million euros a month to the PA, or about 1/10 of the annual PA budget. Since 1994, the EU has distributed a total of $1.5 billion to the PA to pay the salaries of municipal workers such as teachers, health officials, and police. Documents captured by Israel during Operation Defensive Shield prove that PA funds were used to finance terror against Israel personally approved by Arafat. Last week's decision to hold up funding to the PA comes in the wake of a 100-million shekel civil action suit filed against the EU by Israeli terror victim Steven Blumberg. Blumberg was severely wounded when Palestinian terrorists opened fire at his family car near the PLO-controlled city of Kalkilye. His wife Techiya was killed, their teenager daughter Tzippy was also severely hurt, and Blumberg himself remains paralyzed as a result of the attack. The suit accuses the EU of paying the salaries of the PA security forces, whose members have carried out the majority of attacks against Israelis under the auspices of such groups as Arafat's Fatah-Tanzim and the Al-Aqsa Brigades. Some EU funds were designated for the PA's Preventative Security Forces - "but the PA simply used the funds to recruit terrorist groups from
Tunis, Lebanon, and Syria, gave them guns, and called them a 'preventative security force.' These groups are now terrorist militias working for Arafat!
Iraq and Syria Conspire to Smuggle Military Hardware WEEK OF JUNE 3 THROUGH JUNE 10
June 10….(Harpazo) Saddam Hussein is using a railway network linked through Syria for a smuggling operation that is supplying Baghdad with a vast range of military equipment and parts for weapons of mass destruction, intelligence sources say. The link between Mosul, in northern Iraq, and Aleppo, the second-largest city in Syria, was opened in August 2000. Freight transported by rail from Syria to Iraq is covered by the oil-for-food programme authorised by the United Nations under which Baghdad is allowed to sell a limited amount of oil to raise money for food, medicine and other humanitarian purposes. However, intelligence reports disclose that Iraq is using the link to import a range of weaponry, including tanks sold by Bulgaria to Syria some years ago and allegedly diverted by Damascus to Baghdad, and air-defense equipment, Scud missile-guidance systems and surface-to-air missiles, originally bought by Syria from the Czech Republic. The reports also indicate that Baghdad may be receiving components for its nuclear, biological and chemical weapons program.
Orthodox Patriarch Moving Toward Unity with Rome
June 10….(Zenit) A step toward full unity between Catholics and Orthodox has been taken for the first time in a millennium, when a patriarch of Constantinople celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Byzantine basilica of Ravenna. John Paul II, at the Vatican, applauded today´s event, which he said helps "encourage us to continue on the road toward full unity between the Christian East and West."
Arafat Threatens 'Worldwide Explosion
June 10….(Jerusalem Post) In a speech broadcast today, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat threatened that if Israel does not retreat from PA-ruled areas that there will be a "disastrous explosion that will impact stability of the whole world." According to the Palestinian Authority's official news agency WAFA, in an address broadcast in Spain to an awards ceremony honoring EU Middle East envoy Miguel Moratinos, Arafat claimed that "the situation in Palestine is at the edge of explosion." Arafat warned that if Israel does not withdraw from Palestinian held territory immediately, "enabling our people to practice their legitimate rights of establishing the independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, the whole region will witness a disastrous explosion that will impact not only the region but the stability of the whole world
Israel on Brink of Expelling Arafat
June 10….(Jerusalem Post) Israel is poised to force Yasser Arafat into exile if Palestinian militants mount further attacks such as the suicide bombing of a commuter bus in which 16 people were burnt alive last week . When Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, meets President George W Bush in the White House tomorrow, he will tell him that Mr. Arafat is living on borrowed time. Officials close to Mr. Sharon say that he believes that the slaughter aboard bus No. 830 last Wednesday will persuade the Bush administration that the Palestinian leader can never be trusted, and to accept his exile, despite the resulting international uproar.
Arafat and his Governmental Reforms
June 10….(Deebka) Yasser Arafat unveiled his new government with loud fanfare Sunday, June 9, in advance of Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's talks with US president George W. Bush in the White House Monday. No one expected much more than cosmetic reforms as a sop to international pressure.
However, intelligence sources indicate that the new reforms are far from cosmetic. They are meant as a resounding slap in the eye for President Bush and to closely ally Arafat and his PA with Saddam Hussein and Iraq.
Bush Refuses Mubarak's Call for Timetable
June 10….(Reuters) President Bush indicated that the United States is "not ready to lay down a specific calendar" for political talks leading to a Palestinian state, and he repeated his belief that the most urgent Middle East issue is the reform of existing Palestinian security and governmental institutions. On Arafat, Mubarak said, "Look, we should give this man a chance to prove that he is going to deliver or not. If he's going to deliver, I think everybody will support him. If he's not going to deliver, his people will tell him that." Bush said, "My attitude about violence is this: People have responsibilities to do everything they can to stop violence. Chairman Arafat must do everything in his power to stop the terror attacks on Israel. I mean everything! "The one thing I'm certain of is that we've all got to focus a lot of energy and attention on stopping violence," Bush continued, beginning a segue into the overall war against terrorism, "not only in the Middle East, but all around the world."
Al Qaeda Dirty Bomb Scheme Exposed
June 10….(CNN) U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced today the capture of a suspected al Qaeda operative who allegedly planned to build and explode a radioactive "dirty bomb" in the United States. A "dirty bomb" is a conventional bomb equipped with radioactive material designed to spread over a wide area. Al Mujahir traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and was recruited by Al Qaeda to explode a dirty bomb in the U.S., Ashcroft saids. While in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Al Mujahir trained with the enemy, including studying how to wire explosive devices and researching radiological dispersion devices," Ashcroft said. "Al Qaeda officials knew that as a citizen of the United States, as a citizen of the United States holding a valid U.S. passport, Al Mujahir would be able to travel freely in the United States without drawing attention to himself."
Iran Manipulating Russian Intelligence/Technology
June 7….(World Net) A senior adviser to the Bush administration has sharply criticized intelligence-sharing policies employed by the Clinton administration. With the intention of stopping Russian aid for Iran's development of weapons of mass destruction, the Clinton Administration unknowingly conveyed knowledge to moles within the Russian intelligence community, which in turn shored up the Iranian connection to nuclear development. America has been concerned about Moscow's role in the construction of the Bushehr nuclear reactor for the regime of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and has been a constant problem in U.S.-Russian diplomacy. Richard Perle, senior adviser to the U.S. Defense Department, reports that the United States sent intelligence data to Russia to demonstrate the involvement of Russian companies and government bodies in the proliferation of missiles and weapons of mass destruction for Iran. The shared-intelligence practice led to a Russian campaign that virtually sealed up the intelligence collection on Iran's missile and WMD programs in 1998 and part of 1999. Those years were marked by an acceleration of Iran's strategic weapons programs.
Note: An Iranian recently boasted that one nuclear device would be enough to deal with Israel.
Syria and Arafat Isolated from New Peace Move
June 7….(Stratfor) While the United States wishes to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and move on to more pressing matters, (Iraq, Al Qaeda, etc ) Syria could throw a monkey wrench into its plans. Either President Bush or Secretary of State Colin Powell is expected to deliver a significant policy statement on the Middle East at the G-8 summit scheduled for the end of June. The G-8 announcement is expected to precede a Middle East peace conference next month, possibly in Turkey, which will include top officials from the United States, Europe, Russia and the Middle East. The one notable person that will not be invited to participate in the new peace process is Yasser Arafat. Both President Bush an Ariel Sharon view Arafat as an obstacle to progress to peace, but the biggest obstacle may be Syria. Damascus knows that any accommodation between the Israelis and Palestinians will allow Israel to take a tougher line whenever it is coerced into negotiating with Syria. Damascus has offered only a minimal appearance of cooperation with the United States in the war on terror. Damascus still supports the Lebanon-based Hezbollah militant group and smuggles weapons to Iraq. In fact Syria is looking to use the Hezbollah to inflame the conflict on Israel's border with Lebanon, and use its influence with Palestinian groups to spark violence in Israel.
Polls Show 1967 Borders Won't Work
June 7….(AP) New polls show both Israelis and Palestinians oppose a Saudi Arabian peace plan that calls for Israel to withdraw from the territories it captured in the 1967 war in exchange for peaceful relations with the Arab world. A Smith Institute poll found that when the West Bank territories to be relinquished were identified, 22 percent of Israelis favored the plan, while 73 percent were opposed. Also, a poll by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion showed that 62 percent of Palestinians were opposed to the Saudi peace plan and 24 percent were in favor.
Russia Warns Iran Can Produce WMD
June 7….(Ha Aretz) Despite Russian President Putin's assurances to President Bush that the Russian help to Iran on a nuclear facility in Busher will not enable Iran to produce nuclear bombs, a leading Russian nuclear expert is warning that Iran's Bushehr plant will indeed be used for the production of nuclear weapons regardless of international monitoring. The experts envisioned a scenario where Iran employs the Bushehr power plant for the production of weapons-grade plutonium required in nuclear warheads. They said the Russian reactor sold to Iran produces neutrons that can help produce the material needed for nuclear weapons. Maxim Shingarkin, a leading Russian nuclear expert, told a recent Moscow seminar that Iran has been sold a Russian nuclear reactor that can be used to produce weapons-grade plutonium.
Putin Praises Partnership
June 7….(Washington Times) After moving to build closer ties with the United States and NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin is turning to the East where Moscow's "strategic partner," China, has been jealously watching Russia's honeymoon with the West. Mr. Putin met with Chinese President Jiang Zemin in St. Petersburg yesterday on the eve of a Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in the former Russian imperial capital. The group, dominated by Russia and China, also includes four former Soviet republics in Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Mr. Putin hailed the group's role in global security, saying it could help make Russia, China, the United States and Europe parts of one "arc of stability." The Russian-Chinese "strategic partnership" was cemented by their joint opposition to what both countries perceived as the threat of U.S. global domination. "Russia's foreign policy throughout the 1990s was chaotically swaying between the United States and China," Russia was trying to determine which of the two great powers was more important." China became the No. 1 customer for the beleaguered Russian defense industry, which nearly had ground to a halt without orders from the cash-strapped Defense Ministry, purchasing billions of dollars worth of missiles, fighter jets, destroyers and submarines. Welcoming Mr. Jiang, Mr. Putin said the two nations have "big plans" for expanding military cooperation.
Syria to blame for Megiddo attack
June 7….(Jerusalem Post) Foreign Minister Shimon Peres yesterday lashed out at the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying it shares in the blame for Wednesday's Megiddo bus bombing, because Damascus is harboring terrorist organizations. Peres made the accusation during a series of media interviews, including one with Qatar-based al-Jazeera television, in which he noted that the orders for the deadly attack were given by Islamic Jihad leader Abdallah Ramadan Shalah from his base in Damascus. He said Syria plays host to no fewer than 10 terror organizations headquartered in Damascus, including Islamic Jihad. Peres said that Ramadan Shalah, who is the commander of the Jihad forces and who lives and operates in Syria, said that he had given the order. I place responsibility on Syria, which hosts 10 terrorist headquarters in Damascus". Israeli Ambassador to the UN Yehuda Lancry said that "the international community must demand that the government of Syria immediately halt its support for the terrorist groups to which it grants safe harbor in its territory and abide scrupulously by its international obligations and the resolutions of the Security Council." Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer also blamed Syria for ultimately being responsible for the attack.
Note: Syria presently holds the rotating Presidency of the UN Security Council war on terrorism. What a joke!
White House Questions Arafat Integrity
June 7….(AP) After another bombing in Israel, the White House questioned Yasser Arafat's trustworthiness Wednesday and pledged to increase contacts with a new generation of Palestinian leaders who may be more willing to curb terrorism. president's eyes, Yasser Arafat has never played a role of someone who could be trusted or who was effective." A top Bush adviser said Fleischer's remarks reflect an increased U.S. emphasis on identifying potential alternatives to Arafat's leadership while at the same time leaving the door ajar to what Bush considers a remote chance that Arafat himself might reform the Palestinian Authority. While some in the administration want the United States to sever ties with Arafat, there is a consensus inside the White House that Bush must keep in contact with the Palestinian leader to satisfy Arab leaders and to be ready in case he backs reforms. Meanwhile, the administration works on the assumption that Arafat won't adopt the necessary changes.
U.S. Missionary Hostage Killed
June 7….(Reuters) U.S. missionary Martin Burnham was killed and his wife Gracia wounded on Friday in heavy fighting between Philippine troops and Muslim guerrillas who have held them hostage for more than a year. The American couple, Martin and Gracia Burnham, from Wichita Kansas, were among three Americans abducted by the Abu Sayyaf guerrillas on May 27 last year from a tourist resort off Palawan island in the country's southwest. The Burnhams were snatched last May along with American Guillermo Sobero and 17 Filipinos. Yap was taken a month after the Burnhams. Sobero, a Californian native, was later found to have been beheaded after his remains were uncovered by Filipino troops near the Abu Sayyaf's jungle hideout on Basilan. The United States has linked the Abu Sayyaf to Saudi-born dissident Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network, the prime suspects in the September 11 attacks on the United States. In what is viewed as the second front of Washington's war against terror, about 1,000 600 U.S. soldiers are participating in a joint exercise in the southern Philippines to upgrade the skills of Filipino troops in fighting the Abu Sayyaf.
PA and PLO Reform Struggle
June 7….(Worthy) Legislative Council Member, Hatem 'Abd Al-Qader openly criticized Arafat in the London Arabic-language daily Al-Hayat. In an interview, he stated: "No single apparatus should execute political negotiations, security tasks, and provision of services simultaneously. It is inconceivable that a security official or minister would be a member of the negotiating team. . . This means that the brother, the symbol [that is, Arafat], must relinquish some of his executive authorities." 'Abd Al-Qader also demanded that there be a clear separation between the PLO and the Palestinian Authority (PA), saying, "With regard to the political echelon - there is a need to find [clear] borders between the PLO and the PA. There should be no mixed meetings between PLO members and PA ministers. . . The PLO is the broad base of the Palestinian people, while the PA is the product of Oslo.
Arafat Survives Another Close Call
June 6….(FOJ) While many Middle East watchers watched with curiosity as IDF forces conducted a six-hour raid into the Arafat's compound in retaliation for yesterday's terrorist slaughter in Megiddo, many wondered aloud if Israel would kill or arrest Arafat. In Washington the subject of Arafat's possible exile was widely anticipated. IDF tanks surrounded Arafat's Mukata headquarters, and blew up several buildings including the Mukata prison, the military intelligence building, and several smaller structures. The bridge connecting Arafat's residential quarters and his offices were also destroyed. Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem, however, say that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is not interested in a stronger reaction before his meeting with U.S. President George Bush in Washington next Monday. Sharon would rather concentrate on heading off a possible American diplomatic initiative involving a full Israeli withdrawal from all of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, in return for the removal of the "Right of Return" for Palestinian refugees from the negotiating table.
Israel Assaults Arafat's Compound-Withdraws
June 6….(Reuters) Israeli tanks shelled Yasser Arafat's offices and troops blew up buildings in his presidential compound on Thursday in a six-hour raid in reprisal for a Palestinian car bombing. IDF troops blew up three buildings in the sprawling compound and shelled the Palestinian leader's living area. A shell or rocket hit about five feet from Arafat's bed, punching a hole into the wall dividing his bedroom and an adjacent bathroom. Pointing to his dust-covered bed, broken bedroom mirror and shattered bathroom tiles, Arafat suggested Israel was trying to harm him. "I was supposed to sleep here last night but I had some work downstairs," he said. "Of course they (the Israelis) knew where I was. Everybody knows this is my bedroom." Arafat was not hurt and emerged defiant after the tanks pulled back. Flashing V-for-victory signs as he stepped out of his smashed headquarters, Arafat accused Israel of "fascism" and vowed to reporters: "I ask the world to come and see this racism and this fascism and this massive attack on the Palestinian leadership compound," Arafat told No one can defeat the Palestinian people." Washington has warned Israel against toppling Arafat but U.S. officials sharpened their criticism of him overnight, calling him ineffective and untrustworthy and saying they were reaching out to other Palestinian leaders.
Bus Suicide-Bomber Identified
June 6….(Jerusalem Post) Islamic Jihad identified the attacker as Hamza Samudi. Hamza was a young teenager from the West Bank town of Jenin. Relatives said Samudi was only 18, and that he had learned to drive only four days before the attack. Meanwhile Israeli intelligence sources said the bus attack, which claimed at least 18 lives, was the first of a series of Hizbullah-inspired attacks in northern Israel. The sources said Hizbullah, with Iran's backing, has recruited agents among Israeli Arabs in the area of Jenin.
US and President Bush to Present New Peace Plan
June 6….(Ha Aretz) The U.S. State Department's latest draft for a regional peace initiative includes the establishment of a Palestinian state along the June 4, 1967, lines, with some minor border corrections, and a three-year timetable for its implementation. The initiative will include a demand for structural reform in the Palestinian Authority and a declaration that the right of return of refugees will not be implemented inside the State of Israel. The United States will reiterate the position of the current administration, which calls for a two-state solution and regards Israel as the Jewish State. The American initiative is meant to produce a political horizon as the basis for convening the regional conference, which would be the first step toward renewing the political process. The initiative was formulated in the State Department, which favors deepening U.S. involvement in the region and presenting a detailed framework for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Other sections of the administration have reservations about the initiative, and President George W. Bush has yet to receive it, but has decided to present a peace initiative. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is slated to meet with Bush on Monday to review the new plans. Ariel Sharon is hoping that U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will be able to persuade Bush to reject the State Department's approach. Cheney and the Pentagon are opposed to any involvement in trying to find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Senior officials in the Pentagon believe that after an American action against Iraq, and the establishment of a new regime in Baghdad, conditions will be more convenient for renewing a Peace Process.
Megiddo: The Scene of Armageddon
June 6….The car bombing of an Israeli bus took place near the ancient town of Megiddo, in Northern Israel. Many people are not familiar with the location of the place the Bible designates as Armageddon. (Revelation 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon). The mere word Armageddon frightens people. Here God has prophesied through John the Revelator that the armies of the Antichrist will converge with the armies of the Kings of the East, Russia and her numerous allies of Ezekiel 38. Here will be the staging ground for the final cataclysmic war between the forces of the Satan and Jesus Christ, when Jesus returns to the world to establish his Kingdom in the city of Jerusalem. Many news commentators have recently stated that this event will take place at the “end of the world”, but they fail to realize that the world will continue under Christ reign for a thousand years!
Arafat Ties to the Axis of Evil Exposed!,
June 5….(Debka/FOJ) Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Salah (right in picture) converses with PFLP chief Ahmed Jibril at a weekend conference of terrorist leaders in Tehran, Iran. America conveyed to Yasser Arafat through George Tenet that it expects the Palestinian leader to drop the double game he has been playing for two years. Arafat is expected to turn away from violence and sack his terror-mongering security chiefs. By refusing reforms, Tenet hinted to Arafat that he risked being treated by the US government as a terrorist, with all the consequences entailed. Tenet expressed to Arafat in no uncertain terms that President Bush means to “take the battle to the enemy,” through pre-emptive strikes. But Arafat flatly turned down the CIA chief's demands to purge the Palestinian Authority of terrorist chiefs. Tenet went into his meeting with Arafat furious over another of Arafat's actions. An official Palestinian Authority delegation, headed by minister of posts Imad Falouji, was dispatched from Ramallah to the Palestinian terrorist summit convened over last weekend in Tehran under the auspices of Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Present were the leaders of all the radical Palestinian groups, including the Damascus-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmed Jibril's PFLP-General Command, Hamas and Jihad Islami, as well as the Lebanese Hizballah. The CIA chief took it for granted that Arafat had thus aligned his positions with the most extremist leaders of the Arab-Muslim world, namely Ayatollah Khamenei, Hizballah's Hassan Nasrallah, Syrian president Bashar Asad, and the Palestinian groups which reject any diplomatic transactions with Israel. In recent weeks, the Syrians have stepped forward again to mount a new threat. Not only are they waving Hizballah's arms supplies from Iran through Syrian military airfields, but they are providing the Shiite terrorists with chemical warheads and giving them other advanced items manufactured in Syria's weapons industry. The United States has cautioned President Assad that a mass-casualty terror attack launched against Israel and linked in any way to Syria or Lebanon would bring forth a crushing Israeli blow in the heart of Syria.
Note: Damascus is clearly the intended subject mentioned as being a target in the heart of Syria.
Terrorism and its Statistics in Israel
June 5….(Jerusalem Post) "Terror and Its Repercussions The Challenge and Response," the results of an in-depth study of Palestinian terror activities since 1948 has just been released. According to the research team headed by the center's director, Prof. Gabriel Ben-Dor, there have been 2,434 Palestinian terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens since the state was founded. Last year saw a 300 percent increase in terror incidents over the average number during the 1990s. Whereas between 1990 and 1999, Hamas and Islamic Jihad were responsible for half the terror incidents and Fatah 7 percent, the organization headed by Yasser Arafat has claimed responsibility for 40% of this year's attacks, compared with 28% by Hamas.
The modes of terror have also altered, and 2001 saw a 300% increase in suicide bombings compared with 1990-1999. Whereas during the decade of the '90s, 29% of terror incidents involved gunfire, 25% involved stabbings, and 13% by bombings. The trend for 2002 shows that 13% have been by suicide bombers, 36% involved gunfire, and 34% by bombs. Jerusalem has been the favorite place for terrorism over the years, with 32% of this 2002 attacks have taken place there. (21% in 2001)
Israeli Bus Blown Up by Suicide Bomber
June 5….(FOJ) A Palestinian car bomb exploded next to a passenger bus packed with civilians and soldiers in northern Israel on Wednesday, killing at least 18 people and wounding about 40 others. The blast coincided with the 35th anniversary of the start of the 1967 Middle East war in which Israel seized the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where Palestinians now want to establish a state. The militant Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad of the al-Quds Brigades claimed that it carried out the bombing near Megiddo, the Hebrew name for Armageddon. The bus had left the Tel Aviv central bus station early in the morning, bound for Tiberias, a town on Lake Kinneret. The trip ended in a scene of destruction in Megiddo, the Hebrew word for "Armageddon", the place where the New Testament book of The Revelation depicts the final battle between God and Satan at the End of the Last Days prior to Jesus Christ return. Bus driver Micky Harel's experienced his fourth brush with death in the last 20 months. He is a regular route bus driver and his buses have been the target of 4 suicide bombings. The suicide-bomb car blew up during the morning rush hour at the Megiddo road junction. A chunk of mangled metal was all that remained of the car-bomb and the bus. The explosion sprayed body parts and debris for hundreds of meters across the main highway. A rescue worker told the radio it was difficult to count the casualties because bodies were blown to pieces and burned.
IDF Tanks Return to Jenin
June 5….(Reuters) IDF tanks rolled into the West Bank town of Jenin today, hours after the suicide bombing in which 16 Israelis were killed. Jenin is just a few miles from the highway where a suicide car-bomber attacked a crowded bus earlier today. Jenin has long been a camp for suicide bomb terror operations. Israel assaulted the city in April in a desperate attempt to rout out these cells of terror operatives.
Arafat Rebuffs Reforms Suggested by Tenet
June 5….(FOJ) Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has rebuffed American reform demands
within the PA. Arafat reportedly railed to CIA Director George Tenet, "We are unable to talk about the peace process and about stability in the area as long as Israeli forces occupy our land and sit in our cities." His comments were broadcast only minutes before Palestinian
terrorists set off a huge car bomb while driving alongside an Israeli civilian bus south of the Israeli towns of Haifa and Afula, murdering at least 18 people and wounding more than 50. The
Voice of Palestine state radio noted that the "explosion" was claimed by the Islamic Jihad organization, which Arafat has invited to join his government.
Iran Using Lebanon Like Al Qaeda Used Afghanistan
June 5….(FOJ) Iran is a country whose leaders are urging the total annihilation of Israel, and Iranian military leaders are toying around with the notion that just one nuclear bomb will be enough to destroy Israel. But for Israel the more immediate Iranian threat lies in its proxy, Lebanon. Even as Iran is developing missiles and warheads, it has carried out a threatening strategic move against Israel by supplying long-range rockets to the Hezbollah terrorist organization in Lebanon. The long partnership between Iran and Syria is prophetically one of the more ominous danger zones on the horizon. From Israel's point of view, the result is that rocket and missile power is becoming a dangerous threat on its northern border. If Hezbullah is nudged by Iran to use the amassed weapons, about a million Israeli's in the north of the country will find themselves in a war zone gone full-blown. Hezbollah, at Iran's urging is actually provoking Israel, to set the stage for a potential Iranian assault, perhaps with nuclear weapons. Should Israel release its full might, a serious confrontation could ensue in the region, which would encompass Lebanon, Syria and Israel. Presently Iran is simply content to sit back and use Damascus to agitate the border with Israel, and manipulate the Palestinian Conflict to stir the fire for Jihad!
September 11th Mastermind Suspect
June 5….(Weekend) A top Lieutenant of Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, was the likely mastermind of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a senior U.S. counter-terrorism official said Today. “There's lots of links that tie him to 9/11," the official said. "He's the most significant operational player out there right now." U.S. investigators believe Mohammed planned many aspects of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on America.
Israel Potentially a Member of EU/NATO
Commentary by Darrell G. Young
June 5….(FOJ) The EU has been Israel's best trading partner since the EU was formulated. Israel is a high-tech country that is isolated from the Middle East trade-wise, and depends heavily on the EU for exchange. The strategic changes which have gradually taken place in the EU and in the Middle East call not only for economic, but also the political integration of Israel into the European Union. Politically, Israel's membership in the EU would improve its likelihood of security. Membership would help to diminish Israel's strategic and financial dependence on America, and broaden its world integration. Entry into the EU could be coupled with entry into the new EU/NATO/RUSSIA Global network of security cooperation. The only requirement for admission into EU/NATO for Israel is a peace framework with the Palestinians. And Israel is all too ready for a Palestinian State, granted Israel can be accorded security by some Global apparatus guaranteeing her Security. (Could the Antichrist be waiting to arrange this very scenario?)
Al Qaeda, India and Pakistan
June 4….(FOJ) As an ardent student of Bible Prophecy, it is often relatively easy to follow the many pieces of the puzzle involved with news concerning Israel, but often things take place in our world that seem unconnected to Last Days prophecy. The current India-Pakistan situation is a case in point. While there seems to be absolutely nothing in Bible Prophecy about these two countries, they presently seem to occupy a very serious stage on the world scene. It seems to me that there has to be a connection between their situation and the dramatic end-time developments around Israel. After all, we are in the last of the Last Days. It seems to me that the Indo-Pakistan conflict is directly relative to the entire Middle East and the World Order and War on Terror maze. As Al Qaeda views Pakistan, the government of President Pervez Musharraf has become a tool of the United States, supporting U.S. efforts to destroy Al Qaeda, and rout it from Pakistan. While Musharraf's support against the war-on-terror has been far from wholehearted, Al Qaeda is certainly aware that Musharraf cannot be relied upon to protect the terror network. A stable Pakistan with a strong central government poses a threat to Al Qaeda's sanctity. A strong Pakistan is not in Al Qaeda's interest. A weak Pakistan whose military has been smashed would however serve the terrorist situation in which al Qaeda can stake out and defend remote areas of Pakistan from encroachment. Having been denied Afghanistan, Al Qaeda would surely like to drive a wedge between America and Pakistan and advance the fundamentalist Islamic revolution against America and Israel. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is heading to the region with intentions of establishing the United States as a firm player in Pakistan. Washington is in accord with Indian concerns over Pakistani-based terrorists. Apparently Islamic terrorists have been attempting to prod India into a confrontation with Pakistan, in order to compound Musharraf's dependency on the United States. It may also be part of geopolitical strategy that “certain powers” would like to create a situation in which Musharraf's only defense against India is the United States. For Al Qaeda, it would love to destabilize nuclear-armed Pakistan and manipulate a situation that could explode. In any event, the India-Pakistan conflict over Kashmir portends that the world struggle against terrorism ultimately points directly towards
the Global peace/security agenda of the coming Antichrist. And that ultimately involves Israel.
Mubarak Will Visit President Bush
June 4….(AP) Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will be visiting President Bush this weekend and will urge the President to establish a timetable for establishing a Palestinian state and bring an end to Israel's possession of the West Bank and Gaza. Mr. Mubarak hopes to set a timetable for the declaration of Palestinian Statehood for early in 2003. Mubarak stated that to declare a state just theoretically and not define the borders of it nor resolve the issue about Jerusalem is a plan that will not work. President Bush is the first U.S. president to specifically endorse Palestinian statehood. But Nabil Osman, head of Egypt's state information service, said Monday that "a deadline for that eventuality has to be set. Bush and Powell have spoken of a vision for peace in the Middle East, centered on Israeli and Palestinian states existing side by side. But Mubarak will urge the president to be more specific, Osman told reporters. Mubarak also will propose that the administration devise "an agreement in principle" to direct the international Mideast peace conference the United States hopes to arrange this summer. Mubarak's stress on specifics represents a growing Arab impatience with the pace of U.S. engagement in the Arab-Israeli conflict that often favors Israel. Mubarak also iterated that the United States needed to address its "bad image" in the Arab world by demonstrating a tangible commitment to a Palestinian state. He went on to say that it was becoming increasingly difficult for Arab leaders to associate with America because of its uneven treatment in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mubarak concluded his pre-Washington visit press conference by stating that
a peace conference this summer including the United States, Arab and Israeli leaders and representatives of the United Nations, Russia and the European Union could set a schedule aimed at a peace treaty sometime after 2004.
Arafat Presents Security Reform Measures
June 4….Yasser Arafat, under pressure from the United States to do more to prevent terror attacks on Israel, presented his plan today for reforming his security services to CIA chief George Tenet. Mr.Tenet met with Arafat, and then held separate talks with three Palestinian security chiefs, Jibril Rajoub, Amin al-Hindi and Mohammed Dahlan. The reform plan presented to Tenet calls for cutting in half the number of Palestinian security services. (Arafat created an army of 30,000 illegal forces) After restructuring the PA would have police, border guards, internal security and external security, military intelligence and Arafat's personal guard unit. Arafat has announced that Abdel Yehiyeh's would be the new security chief, however Arafat himself would retain overall control over security matters. The choice of Yehiyeh was seen as a snub of Mohammad Dahlan, head of the Preventive Security Service in Gaza. Dahlan was the choice of U.S. officials to usher in the new reforms.
Discussions Over Syrian Peace Track
June 4….(FOJ) Diplomats from Europe, America, and the Arab world are scurrying to fabricate a second Madrid-style Middle East Peace Conference this summer, probably in July. In the run up to the groundwork for such a conference, the question of Syrian inclusion is under serious debate. Israeli Prime Minister Sharon, a hard-liner from the 1991 Madrid Conference, has set fantastic conditions for Syria's participation in the conference, including a full Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon. But President Bashar Assad has preempted a U.S. request not to attend the summit and announced that Damascus would not take part. The US and EU are struggling with how to deal with Syria. Walid Mualem, Syria's deputy foreign minister and the former long-time Syrian ambassador to the US, met quietly last week with senior US officials to lay the groundwork for Syria's Foreign Minister Shara's visit to Washington this week. Shara wants to assure the Bush administration of Damascus's cooperation in the war on terrorism, and to urge Peace Process officials not to prioritize the Palestinian track over the Syrian track as it plots on how to resume Middle East peace negotiations. He also wishes to convey opposition to sanctions on Syria as punishment for its continued support of terrorist groups and its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. US officials told Mualem that Syria's continued support of groups like Hizbullah and Hamas precludes an improvement in bilateral ties and that their continued harboring of terrorist groups is particularly damaging in the context of President George W. Bush's war on terrorism. Damascus is on everyone's mind, as Syria holds a lot of cards in the successful implementation of any peace process. ( FOJ has explicitly documented the part that Damascus will play in end-time events ) (Isaiah 17:1 and Jeremiah 49:24 )
President Bush Invites Sharon to Washington
June 4…..(FOJ) Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been unexpectedly invited to meet next Monday with President George W. Bush at the White House for a discussion of Middle East and bilateral issues. The urgent meeting will come on the heels of a visit by Egypt's Hosni Mubarak. The surprise meeting comes only one month after Sharon's last visit to Washington on May 7. Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Shara is also expected next week in Washington. Clearly the President and other world leaders are moving very quickly to coordinate a summer Middle East Peace Conference. The European Union has urged that President Bush deliver a new Middle East peace policy this month.
American Jews Joining Aliyah
June 4….(Jerusalem Post) For the first time in the history of the state of Israel, American Christians are to provide financial backing for their Jewish compatriots to make Aliya, according to Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, President of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Eckstein said that the American Jews are to come to Israel next month in a special chartered flight that had been made possible thanks to a $2 million grant from organization from fund that came mainly from Christian donors. In the past, he said, the mainly evangelical Christian supporters of the organization had helped Jews from elsewhere come on Aliya, but this is the first time the money would be used to aid American Jews to settle in Israel.
Mary Helping to Unite Muslims and Catholics
June 4….(FOJ) The apparition masquerading around the world today as Mary is working steadfastly to unite all religions. It is well known that Roman Catholics glorify Mary, but it may be less well known that Muslims honor Mary, his virgin Mother; and at times they even call on her with devotion." The Koran has 34 verses which mention Mary. This is more than there are in the New Testament. While she is not venerated in the same way as in Catholicism, where Mary perceived as Mother of God, "Theotokos," Islam honors her as the mother of the prophet Jesus. This gives her a special place among Muslims for the Koran teaches that the angel said to Mary, "God has chosen you and made you pure and he has chosen you above the women of the universe" ("The Imrans" III:42). As in Catholicism, Mary is held up in Islam as an example of faith in God. Almost all of the apparitions have stated that Mary is going to usher in a new era of peace and unity. The Muslims, like the Catholics, refer to her as “Our Lady.” She is also venerated as a pure and holy saint in the Islamic world. Muslims and the Roman Catholic Church believe that Allah and the God of the Bible are the same. Quoting from the Catholic Catechism we read: The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these who profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God.
EU-State Sponsors of Terror?
June 3….(Arutz) Despite Israel's strenuous objections, and numerous revelations of documents implicating Yasser Arafat and members of the PA governing and policing mechanism, the European Union has continued to irresponsibly transfer $10 million each month to Arafat's coffers, knowing full well that this money is going to be used to fund murderous attacks on Jews in Israel. One could well ask, “is this another state that sponsors terrorism?” It cannot be completely discounted that 6 million Jews were liquidated in Europe just a mere 57 years ago. Added to that growing suspicion is the fact that anti-Semitism is growing rapidly across Europe.
EU Pushing for Middle East Summit
June 3….(Ha Aretz) European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana has insisted that a date for the establishment of a Palestinian state should be set at a Mid-east peace conference. Solana, who spoke after meeting Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, said that there was general agreement in the international community that a Mid-east peace conference should be convened in the second half of July. Israel's Prime Minister Sharon has said repeatedly that the Palestinian violence must stop before peace negotiations can resume, and that talk of a Palestinian state is premature. Borders, dates and states must result from an agreement," Solana added about setting a date for establishing a Palestinian state. The United States, which supports the conference, is also pushing for reforms within Arafat's Palestinian government before a peace conference.
Iran Offers Support to Palestinians
June 3….(Financial Times) Iran opened an international conference over the weekend in support of the Palestinian uprising. The conference heard calls by leading Islamic figures for a continuation of the armed struggle and the rejection of negotiations with Israel. The conference in Tehran brought together Iranian and other Islamic politicians, as well as leaders of such militant groups as Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command and Lebanon's Hizbollah. The conference is also slated to discuss allegations by the US and some European governments that Iran is a leading state sponsor of terrorist groups and provides money, weapons and training to numerous terror groups. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, sent a message to participants in which he denounced what he called the "new strategy" of Israel and the US to bring Palestinians to the negotiating table. Iran says its support is purely political and moral, and that groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad are legitimate liberation movements. Ali Akbar Mohtashemi-Pur, organizer of the conference and instrumental in establishing Lebanon's Hizbollah in the early 1980s, called Israel a "cancerous tumour". He also hailed Palestinian suicide bombers, who he said had achieved more than all Arab wars and peace talks.
Arafat Offers Hamas Government Posts
June 3….(Jerusalem Post) Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat has offered cabinet posts to Hamas and other terror groups involved in suicide attacks against Israelis as part of a government reshuffle he plans to announce in coming days. It would mark the first time in his eight years as chairman of the Palestinian Authority that Arafat has formally brought Hamas into government the government, a move likely to be strongly opposed by Israel and the United States, each of which both regard Hamas as a terrorist group.
Note: The Bush Administration has been pushing hard for democratic reforms within the PA government structure, but somehow I don't think the inclusion of Hamas is what President Bush envisioned.
Al Qaeda Tells U.S./Israel “Get Ready”
June 3….(Reuters) The pan-Arab daily al-Hayat of Egypt published a statement from an al Qaeda spokesman warning the United States to get ready for another attack. "What is coming to the Americans will not, by the will of God, be less than what has already come," the newspaper quoted al Qaeda spokesman Sulaiman bu Ghaith as saying. "So beware, America. Get ready. Get prepared. Put on the safety belt." Abu Gaith said the United States was targeted because of "what it does in regions of the Islamic world," and for being "in partnership with Jews, the head of corruption and decay, the reason behind all the injustice and oppression that has befell on Muslims." He said all that Israel has done in Palestinian territories for more than 50 years was with "American blessings." He said U.S. policies in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia as well as in Sudan, the Philippines, Kashmir and Indonesia was against Muslims.
Pope Resignation Rumors Persist
June 3….(Catholic News) When Pope John Paul II was healthy, talk of papal resignation was taboo. Now, as the 82-year-old pontiff struggles with his physical frailty, even top aides like Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the doctrinal congregation, are discussing the possibility that the Pope may one day choose to step down. Some Vatican insiders think the Pope has in mind a one-way trip back to his homeland of Poland. Under this scenario, he would announce his resignation in his former diocese of Krakow and retire to a Polish monastery to pray. In August, the number of voting members of the College of Cardinals coincidentally falls to 120, the upper limit set by conclave rules.
Note: The prophetic implications surrounding the advent of the next Pope are very interesting. It bears close scrutiny, and FOJ will be following this issue very closely as these events evolve.
Persecution of Christians Stories
June 3….(FOJ) I have read many accounts of Christian suffering around the world that is going on today. Christians are being persecuted, tortured, and killed in Sudan, Indonesia, Somalia, Chad, and many, many other places. These stories break my heart, and make me angry. But they also humble me. One of the most humbling stories I have ever read is a story from “Foxe's Book of Martyrs”. It regards a young married couple that loved the Bible. Last week, I ran a story of two men in Saudi Arabia who were thrown in prison for owning a Bible. I find such “love for God's Holy Word” all too seldom these days. All Christians would do well to remember the price many people have had to pay down through the years be able to read or own God's Holy Bible.
(Foxe's Martyrs) Timothy, a deacon of Mauritania, and Maura his wife, had not been united together by the bands of wedlock above three weeks, when they were separated from each other by the persecution. Timothy, being apprehended, as a Christian, was carried before Arrianus, the governor of Thebais, who, knowing that he had the keeping of the Holy Scriptures, commanded him to deliver them up to be burnt; to which he answered, "Had I children, I would sooner deliver them up to be sacrificed, than part with the Word of God." The governor being much incensed at this reply, ordered his eyes to be put out, with red-hot irons, saying, "The books shall at least be useless to you, for you shall not see to read them." His patience under the operation was so great that the governor grew more exasperated; he, therefore, in order, if possible, to overcome his fortitude, ordered him to be hung up by the feet, with a weight tied about his neck, and a gag in his mouth. In this state, Maura his wife, tenderly urged him for her sake to recant; but, when the gag was taken out of his mouth, instead of consenting to his wife's entreaties, he greatly blamed her mistaken love, and declared his resolution of dying for the faith. The consequence was, that Maura resolved to imitate his courage and fidelity and either to accompany or follow him to glory. The governor, after trying in vain to alter her resolution, ordered her to be tortured, which was executed with great severity. After this, Timothy and Maura were crucified near each other, A.D. 304.
P.A. Will Release Assasin
June 3….(Arutz) A Palestinian Authority military tribunal has ordered the release of Ahmed
Saadat, head of the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine)
terrorist organization. Israel holds him responsible for planning the
assassination of Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi last October. Israel almost captured
him during the month-long siege on Arafat's compound in Ramallah in
April, but Saadat took refuge in Arafat's compound. Israel agreed to allow him, together with five other wanted terrorists, to be transferred to a Jericho prison, where their
incarceration was to be supervised by American and British
wardens. The PA court ordered Saadat's outright release today because, it claimed,
"no evidence" was found linking him with Ze'evi's murder. Yasser Arafat
must still confirm the decision before it is implemented. One PA official
said that Arafat would exact prices for the "reforms" he is being required
to make, and that silent international agreement to Saadat's release would
be one of the prices. Israeli Prime Minister Sharon said that
Israel would "employ all the necessary measures to prevent the release of
the Ze'evi's assassin.
Deterrence, Containment and Terror
June 3….(FOJ) President George W. Bush, in a speech at West Point has articulated a shift in his war on global terror. The familiar threats to “rout them out” or “find them wherever they are” were replaced for the first time by a warning to Americans “to be ready for “pre-emptive action to defend our liberty and to defend our lives”. Warning of the continuing danger, he said, “We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt its plans, and confront the worst threats before they emerge.” Much discussion has emanated around the world since September 11th to specifically define what a terrorist is. The OIS meeting in Qatar two months ago failed to distinguish a definition of terrorism within the Arab world. It is often said that one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter. In America's War on Terror, America has had the complex problem of defining the enemy. In reality, terrorists practice “random violence on as large a scale as possible against civilian populations to make their points and get their way. The complexity of fighting against terrorism in the past caused America to utilize strategies of containment and deterrence to keep terrorists at a distance. That all changed on September 11th. Now President Bush insists that the battle must be taken to forces of terror before they can strike. The big problem however is the states that sponsor terrorists! It is one thing to wage war on a group, or to contain terror groups in a box, or to use a big stick to deter terrorism, but it is altogether a different scenario when you take preemptive action in another country. The “Axis of Evil” speech was directed at states that sponsor and harbor terrorists. While America has learned that its foreign policy strategies of dual containment and military deterrence were dismal failures in the Middle East, the reality is that America is the lone top priority target for terrorists because of its support for Israel. America will have to walk a geopolitical minefield as it determines to “go-it-alone” against rogue Middle East terror-sponsoring states. It is a dark and cloudy tunnel to have to navigate, and the events along that pathway could catapult the world headlong into the “Peace of the Antichrist”!
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