Focus On Jerusalem





Two-Front Terror War on Israel Looming

Dec. 30….(Debka) A special Iranian plane flew Palestinian Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal to Revolutionary Guards HQ at Bandar Abbas Monday, Dec. 12, after he spent 10 days in Tehran as favored guest of Iran’s clerical rulers. There, he conferred with RG commanders on operational collaboration between the two Palestinian groups, Hamas and Jihad Islamic in Gaza and the West Bank, and their hook-up with Iranian networks and Hizballah in Lebanon. Their shared goal: the opening of a second rocket and shelling front against northern Israel to complement the Gaza front in the south. This decision was implemented ten days later, Tuesday night Dec, 27, with a bombardment from southern Lebanon of Israel’s western Galilee and the northern towns of Kiryat Shemona and Shlomi. Israel has gained no strategic advantages from its unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. If anyone has gained from the withdrawal it is Hamas and the newly emerging terror axis between Tehran, Beirut, Gaza and Ramallah. They drove this point home Tuesday night. That Palestine projectiles flew across two fronts in a single night was no coincidence.



Abbas Says Kassam Rocket Attacks are Israel's Problem

Dec. 29….(JNEWSWIRE) Palestinian Authority “president” Mahmoud Abbas has called ongoing rocket fire from the Gaza Strip against nearby Jewish communities “Israel's problem,” and said he has no intention of interfering, according to a report in Ha'aretz. “Let the Israelis deal with it,” Yasser Arafat's long-time right-hand man was quoted as saying. However, the PA is quick to cry foul and seek international condemnation of the Jewish state whenever Israel does attempt to deal with it. At the same time, the PA's failure to meet its own peace obligations in terms of combating terror, and Abbas' repeated acknowledgment that that violation is intentional, is eliciting little more than words from the nations involved in the process to bring “peace” to the Middle East. Senior Israeli defense officials have made note of the Abbas regime's apparent inability to implement decisions on the rare occasions when it does try to control the streets and effect security reform. “Abbas is barely on speaking terms with some security officials, and when he succeeds in issuing an order it is not implemented,” Ha'aretz quoted some officials as saying. Meanwhile, the general “Palestinian” public is giving Abbas no incentive to get tougher.

Despite assertions by Europe and the Bush Administration that the average Palestinian Arab simply wants to live in peace with Israel, a new public opinion poll shows that 69 percent of that population views ongoing efforts to mass murder Israeli Jews as completely legitimate. Half of all “Palestinians” believe “suicide” bomb attacks should continue in order to extract more concessions from Israel.



Palestinian Elections: The Democracy of the Rifles

Dec. 29….(American Congress For Truth) Yasser Arafat was the cement that held all the Palestinian factions together including, unofficially, the Muslim factions. This cement has now disappeared. All the divisions that we see in Palestinian society today, that have been there all along, have reemerged. He was able to control both the Fatah outsiders who came from Tunis, and those who were in the territories during the first intifada. Around 200,000 people came in from outside after Oslo, including a great many PLO activists. The main power of this group derived from the fact that they were close to the old man. But the old man is gone and all the outsiders are in a much more problematic position today. Palestinians today are primarily concerned with the loss of control in their society, in dimensions and to depths never seen before. Civilians have their own weapons, and the weapons of the security forces are barely under the control of any central authority. When Arafat was operating from Lebanon, he would speak about the democracy of the rifles. Today, the Palestinians are indeed living with the democracy of the rifles. Who is stronger: Hamas or Fatah? Some Israeli intelligence officials say the ratio of armed forces is 22,000 for the PA and 6,000 for Hamas, a four-to-one ratio, which is enough for the PA to overcome Hamas. But every Hamas and Jihad member is worth four or five or six Fatah members because he’s much more committed and fanatical and has more self-discipline.



Hizbullah Uses Russian Rockets

Dec. 29….(YNET) Hizbullah has been using Russian-made RPG rockets purchased by Syria to target Israel, outgoing IDF Intelligence Chief Aharon Zeevi-Farkash charged in a special interview with Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. In his farewell interview, Farkash chose to blast the Russians for their contribution to the war waged by Hizbullah terrorists against Israel. "The Russians' and Syrians' true face has been exposed, (they) buy and sell weapons with a commitment not to pass it on, yet those weapons are used against us in a blatant manner," he said. (FOJ Note: Russian President Putin pledged to keep rockets out of the hands of terrorists in his visit to Israel last spring) Farkash noted that Hizbullah terrorists involved in the attempt to abduct soldiers on the Lebanese border about a month ago fired RPG-29 rockets. "Those are Russian-made rockets purchased by the Syrians in recent years and handed over to Hizbullah," he said. "We are talking about a high-impact weapon because it has deep penetration capabilities," Farkash said. "The usage of rockets against us explains why Israel strongly opposed the sale of SA-18 missiles to Syria." Turning his attention to the rockets fired on the northern town of Kiryat Shmona two days ago, Farkash said they too were Russian-made but came from older shipments. "We know that in April 2005, ahead of the departure of Syrian forces from Lebanon, (President) Bashar Assad made sure to transfer military equipment and combat means to Palestinian groups and to Hizbullah," Farkash charged. "And there it is…weapons Syria purchased from Russia are being handed over to elements that are acting against us," he said.



China-India Crticize Sanctions On Iran Arms Sales

Dec. 29….(Bill Gertz) China's government yesterday demanded that the Bush administration lift sanctions imposed on six companies on charges of illicit sales to Iran, saying the action undermined Beijing's cooperation with the United States. New details of the arms-related transfers were disclosed yesterday, including two chemical shipments from India to Iran, and Tehran's purchase of 800 high-powered sniper rifles from an Austrian gun maker.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters in Beijing that the sanctions were unjustified and should be lifted. A State Department spokesman said yesterday the Chinese objections would not change the US decision. The Bush administration announced this week it had imposed sanctions on six Chinese state-run companies, two Indian chemical manufacturers, and the Austrian arms maker for selling missile-related and weapons of mass destruction goods to Iran. The sanctions were imposed under the 2000 Iran Nonproliferation Act.
"These entities are being sanctioned based on credible information that they transferred equipment and technology listed on the Multilateral Export Control Lists to Iran," State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said Tuesday. Mr. Ereli said the sanctions, while limited, are "an important and effective tool in constraining Iran's efforts to develop missile and WMD capabilities." "It does have an impact, I think, particularly in alerting governments to activity taking place in their countries," he said in a briefing. A second administration official said the transfers took place late last year and earlier this year and contributed to Iran's missile and chemical-weapons programs. Mr. Qin said the United States should "change this wrongful action." He said the sanctions are not beneficial to US-China cooperation in curbing the spread of weapons and missiles. Three of the Chinese firms that were sanctioned in the past include the China National Aerotechnology Import Export Corp., known as CATIC; the missile exporter China North Industries Corp., known as NORINCO; and Zibo Chemet Equipment Co., which makes glass-lined containers that can be used for chemical arms. Two Indian companies also hit with sanctions are Sabero Organics Chemical and Sandhya Organics Chemical. The Austrian firm Steyr-Mannlicher, which makes high-quality assault weapons, also is being sanctioned.

FOJ Note: Russia and the Kings of the East continue to prepare their allies for the fateful Ezekiel 38 showdown.



Mossad: Iran Will Have Nuclear Bomb in 3-6 Months

Dec. 29….(Debka) Israeli Mossad director Meir Dagan joined the list of Israeli officials sounding the alarm on the imminence of Iran’s nuclear threat. In his briefing to the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee, Dagan stressed Tehran will not be satisfied with a single nuclear weapon but plans a stockpile. This is Israel’s working assumption. This week too, pro-Israeli Washington lobbying group AIPAC warned that Bush administration’s Iran policies are dangerous, disturbing and actually helping Tehran acquire nuclear weapons. In its first open criticism of the Bush White House, AIPAC rapped its recent decision to delay the referral of Iran’s nuclear case to the UN Security Council and instead endorse Moscow’s offer to enrich uranium in Russia. This disturbing shift in administration policy, said AIPAC, “poses a danger to the US and our allies.”



Terrorists in Lebanon Bombard Northern Israel

Dec. 28….(Arutz) Arab terrorists located in Southern Lebanon fired katyusha rockets at northern Israeli towns and scored direct hits on two civilian homes. The shelling began just after 11pm Tuesday night. One rocket landed in the stairwell of a 3-story building in Kiryat Shmonah, causing heavy damage. A second Katyusha landed in the den of a civilian home, completely destroying the room; the parents were in the bedroom and went into shock. Their child was unharmed. Electricty in the region was knocked out as a result of the shelling. Four other rockets landed in Shlomi and the western Galilee area. Israel retaliated with artillery fire at a terrorist training base in Lebanon. The Israeli air strike targeted a training base operated by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, a small, Syrian-backed group that has been waging a decades long fight against Israel.  An emergency situation of preparedness was declared in northern Israel in wake of the rocket attacks, and the IDF instructed area residents to descend to bomb shelters. The residents were allowed to move to safety rooms for the duration of the night, and life returned to normal this morning.

   Meanwhile, Israeli’s in Southern Israel are also enduring constant rocket attacks by terrorists. In the first stage of its plans to create a northern Gaza buffer zone to keep Palestinians from firing Qassam rockets against Israel, IAF aircraft Wednesday dropped leaflets urging Gazans to clear the area by 6 PM. The leaflets called on residents to leave the area where the former settlements of Nissanit, Elei Sinai and Dugit today lie in ruins. Gunners of the Islamic Jihad and other groups have used the sites to launch rockets against southern Israel. The buffer zone is one of a series of measures adopted by the government to prevent Qassam fire to the area south of the city of Ashkelon. Palestinian militants, mainly from the Jihad, have fired dozens of salvos of Qassams since Israel withdrew its last soldiers from the Gaza Strip.



Prayer in School Affects all of Society

Dec. 28….(Bruce Malone) Since prayer was eliminated from public schools, the quality of education has shown a steady statistical decline. Is there a link between the two? Humanism assumes that the supernatural does not exist and that reality must be discovered purely from man's reasoning. Our public school system has been operating on this foundation since prayer was removed in 1962. Returning prayer to school would be an affront to this philosophy because prayer acknowledges the existence of someone greater than man. Allowing prayer in school sets an important standard. It tells students that they are more than just a collection of chemicals and energy that happen to be occupying space and time. Prayer is an action which proclaims that life is more than saving the environment or accumulating wealth. The fervency with which school prayer is opposed is not because the ACLU (an anti-Christian legal group) is trying to protect atheist from being indoctrination by religion. It is opposed because it represents the antithesis to the beliefs of those who set policy for much of our public school system. Prayer is a frontal attack on the notion that mankind is in autonomous control of his own destiny and an insult to those who believe that friends, possessions, or power can bring meaning or joy. A primary purpose of public education is to shape good citizens. This involves more than just the memorization of facts. Most Americans are in favor of prayer in public school because they realize that there is something to be gained from the open acknowledgement of God's existence. Morals can only be built on the basis that a moral source-God-exists. Once acknowledgement of God's existence is removed, there is no absolute basis for morals, and a free society drifts toward anarchy. Since prayer was removed from public school classrooms in 1962, we have had a six-fold increase in violent crime, our divorce rate has tripled, births to single mothers have increased five-fold, the teenage suicide rate has tripled, and SAT scores (standardized college entrance test) have dropped 80 points (approximately 10%). The removal of prayer may not be the only cause of social ills, but the negative trends are certainly a symptom of the spiritual decline which is at their root. What a hypocritical message we send to our children when we allow laws to be passed which limit the free expression of speech in public by banning public prayer in classrooms. Federal and Supreme Court judges should be impeached who undermine the freedom upon which this country was founded. The situation has become so absurd that congressional prayers cannot be voluntarily read in a school building. Our nation was founded on the freedom to publicly acknowledge God's existence. Allowing prayer in schools will improve, not detract from a student's understanding of the universe. Our experiment with replacing affirmation of God's existence with atheistic humanism has been a dismal failure. Whenever the opportunity arises to support the public acknowledgement of God by prayer (or any other means), it benefits all of society to take a vocal stand. As Edmund Burke, correctly noted in 1795, "The only thing of evil is for good men to do nothing." As with all truths, this is still applicable today.



Without Absolutes No Society Can Last

Dec. 28….(Bruce Malone) The signers of the American Constitution and the Bill of Rights understood that absolute truth exists and drafted these documents with specific meanings for a specific purpose. If words can be interpreted to mean anything to anybody, then communication breaks down and culture moves toward anarchy. Once words no longer have an absolute meaning, courts are free to make decisions based on whatever criteria they desire. Without absolutes, there is no way of judging right from wrong and no way to have just laws. Law becomes arbitrary, based on opinions and social norms. In some societies cannibalism is considered normal. In many ancient societies slave prostitution and human sacrifice were normal. Modern man has convinced himself that whatever is "legal" is also "right" because he has abandoned belief in absolutes. The evidence of increasing anarchy in any culture is increasing violence and crime. Since people cannot live with anarchy, they will sacrifice personal freedoms in order to allow the state to reestablish order. However, in doing so, the major checks on the absolute power of the state, such as the amendments to our Constitution, are sacrificed and ignored. One of many examples of this dismantling of our Constitution by the removal of our guaranteed personal freedoms (which were meant to be a check on the power of government) is the increasing limitations being placed on the second amendment. The second amendment to our Constitution gave all citizens the right to bear arms. The framers of the constitution had experienced the oppressive governments of Europe and understood that mankind has a propensity toward greed and cruelty. This amendment was drafted so the hunters could be assured fresh meat but as a check on the power of government. As gun control increases, this check on the power of government is increasingly removed. In the 1930's, Hitler preceded the confiscation of all guns with the registration of gun owners. At the time, it seemed like an innocent and logical surrender of individual freedom in order for the state to maintain order we would be wise to remember the final result. How safe should we feel when we allow the State to increasingly assume control over every aspect of our lives? The fundamental question is whether the framers of our Constitution were correct when they sought to maximize personal freedom and minimize government power. They did this by developing a system which put checks and balances on the separate branches of government and maintained as much power as possible at the local levels. This concept found its roots in Biblical teaching concerning the sinful nature of man. A shift in the understanding of absolute truth has allowed our courts to ignore the clear intent of our Constitution. A 1991 Gallop poll revealed that 70% of the people in our country no longer believe that absolute truth exists. Absolute values depend upon the existence of absolute truth. Without it, the difference between right and wrong becomes blurred. This shift in our understanding of reality did not occur overnight but has taken place almost imperceptibly over many decades. We allow it to continue at the peril of our freedom.



2/3 of Palestinians Hope al-Qaida Hits West

PA TV regularly runs sermons urging killing of US-led 'infidels'

Dec. 27….(WorldNetDaily) A new poll finds 65 percent of Palestinians "support al-Qaida actions in the USA and Europe." According to Palestinian Media Watch, the survey was published by the Palestinian Authority this week. PMW believes there is such a high percentage of Palestinians that support al-Qaida terrorism partly because of the prevalence of PA broadcasts that call for the killing of "infidels," or non-Muslims. Stated the deliverer of a televised sermon last month: ""Destroy the infidels and the polytheists! Your [i.e. Allah's] enemies are the enemies of the religion. Count them and kill them to the last one, and don't leave even one." Noted Palestinian Media Watch: "This prayer, clear incitement to the genocide of 'infidels,' a term that includes the Christian West, is common from PA religious leaders. Prayers to annihilate all infidels have been included in Friday prayers on PA TV at least six times in recent months." Two of the sermons were delivered by Yusuf Jum'a Salamah, PA minister of the Waqf and religion, the most important religious office in the PA, the media watchdog group reported. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was present on at least one of the sermons. Palestinian leaders calling for the destruction of "infidels" have clearly stated that group includes the United States and the United Kingdom. "The infidel countries, first and foremost, the USA, have succeeded greatly in tearing our Islamic world apart," stated Yusuf Abu Sneina on "Voice of Palestine," Sept. 2. While Palestinian Authority political leadership does not include incitements to violence in media statements, "Arabic sermons to the Palestinian population, PA religious leaders have been praying for years for the destruction of Western countries," Palestinian Media Watch noted.



Steinitz: Egypt is Preparing for Possible War with Israel

Dec. 27….(Arutz) MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) says that Egypt’s arms build up over the past few years has focused on the possibility of future war with Israel. In a radio interview to be broadcast on Arutz 7’s Hebrew internet site at 10:00 P.M. tonight, Steinitz, a former professor of political science at Haifa University who chairs the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, says that Egypt has already become a major supporter of terrorism against Israel. Steinitz said that Egypt has been allowing terrorist groups operating out of the Gaza district to smuggle missiles into Gaza. Those groups intend to use the missiles against Israeli targets. In his estimation, 90% of the explosives used by the terrorist groups are brought in from Egypt. Steinitz explains that it is a mistake for Israel to view Syria as its principle enemy, while neglecting the Egyptian threat, primarily because Israel maintains diplomatic relations with Egypt. Steinitz said that weapons smuggled from Egypt has become so important to the Hamas, “if you would ask them what they would be willing to give up, assistance from Egypt or Syria, they would prefer to give up Syrian, but not Egyptian aid.” The Egyptians, Steinitz asserts, have kept to the peace agreements signed in 1978 as far as not engaging Israel in outright conflict. But on other levels, such as economic relations or stopping anti-Israel incitement, Egyptian compliance has been lacking.



Papal Official Wants to Divide Jerusalem

Dec. 26….(Arutz) The Arab League and a Vatican official separately, but simultaneously, are campaigning for Israel to divide Jerusalem. The PA recently asked to the Pope to help make the capital part of a new state. The Arab League has joined Palestinian Authority (PA) officials in exploiting Israel's policy of not allowing Arabs in Jerusalem, who are Israeli citizens, to vote in the PA legislative elections scheduled for January 25. It told the French news agency AFP that the ban would solidify Israel's claim that the entire capital is part of the country. AFP termed the predominantly Arab neighborhoods of the city "occupied east Jerusalem." The papal representative in Israel, Nazareth native Michael Sabbah, told reporters, "This partition (security) wall must not exist. One day it will not exist. The Palestinian people should regain their liberty and land with a state and a capital and the Israeli people should have security." His statements are in opposition to previous Vatican statements, which have suggested that Jerusalem be established as an international city. During a recent visit to the Vatican by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Pope Benedict accepted a document granting him unlimited access to Bethlehem, as well as a passport to the city making him "the first citizen of Bethlehem," according to the PA radio network. Abbas told the Pope, "If we can't hold democratic elections in Jerusalem it will be difficult to do it in the other zones." The Arab League and the PA have seized the issue to put the blame on Israel if the elections are canceled. If Israel backs down and allows Arab Israelis to vote, it would help support the PA demand that the city become the capital of a new Arab state.



Russia Deploys New Strategic Nuclear Missiles

Dec. 26….(Drudge) The chief of Russia's strategic forces on Saturday attended the deployment of a new set of state-of-the art intercontinental ballistic missiles, boasting of their capability to penetrate any prospective missile defense, news reports said. Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov, chief of the Strategic Missile Forces, took part in a ceremony that marked the commissioning of the latest set of Topol-M missiles at a missile base in Tatishchevo in the Volga River's Saratov region. Solovtsov said Saturday that the new missile "is capable of penetrating any missile defense system," the RIA Novosti and Interfax news agencies reported. Russian officials have called prospective US missile defenses destabilizing and boasted repeatedly that Russia's new missiles could pierce any nation's missile shield. The Topol-M missiles, capable of hitting targets more than 10,000 kilometers (6,000 miles) away, have so far been deployed in silos. The mobile version, mounted on a heavy off-road vehicle, is to enter combat service next year, Solovtsov said. The deployed Topol-Ms have been fitted with single nuclear warheads, but officials have considered plans to equip each missile with three individually targeted warheads.


Yasser Abbas

Dec. 26….(Jewish World Review) On the very day that five Israelis were murdered and over 60 injured outside a shopping mall in the coastal city of Netanya earlier this month, the official Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas had approved fresh financial assistance to the families of suicide bombers. The family of each "martyr" will now receive a monthly stipend of at least $250, a not inconsiderable amount for most Palestinians, from the Palestinian Authority. Altogether, the families of these so-called martyrs and of those wounded in terrorist attempts or held in Israeli jails might receive $100 million, according to Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. Around 30 percent of the Palestinian Authority budget comes from international donations, including a hefty amount from the European Union, ultimately, from EU taxpayers. If an Arab government funded stipends to the families of the London or Madrid bombers, it would probably be pretty big news. But this is the Palestinian Authority, and no matter how little it does to discourage terrorism, or to educate its people to coexist with Israel, it can rely on excuses being made on its behalf by an army of sympathizers throughout the West, in the press, on college campuses and, most disturbingly, in foreign ministries. For over a year now, since Mr. Abbas succeeded Yasser Arafat, his boss of 40 years, many in the West have done their utmost to "explain" or ignore Mr. Abbas's failings. But if Americans and Europeans are genuinely interested in promoting Palestinian-Israeli peace, it is time for them to take a realistic look at his record. Some Western commentators were quick to emphasize his condemnation of the Netanya attack. But did they really listen to what he actually said? True, Abbas condemned the Netanya suicide bomb, but only in the Palestinian Authority's usual inadequate and half-hearted terms. He said that it "caused great damage to our commitment to the peace process" and that it "harmed Palestinian interests." But he could not bring himself to say that murdering people is simply wrong. His outright refusal to confront and disarm terrorists, in violation of the Road Map, hardly registers anymore in the Western media and where it does, it is usually excused and attributed to his relative political weakness. However, the media also give very little idea of the extent to which the Palestinian Authority continues to glorify terrorists. A typical instance is the elevation of Al-Moayed Bihokmillah Al-Agha, who murdered five Israelis in a suicide bombing in December 2004. When the Rafah crossing, the scene of his terror attack, was re-opened at the start of this month, the Palestinian Authority renamed it "in honor of Shahid (martyr) Al-Agha." Then there is the soccer tournament named in honor of the terrorist who murdered 30 people at a Passover celebration in Netanya, or the girls' high school named by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education after a female terrorist who murdered 36 Israeli civilians and an American nature photographer. Examples could easily be multiplied. A poetry collection published by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Culture, for instance, is named in honor of a suicide terrorist (dubbed "the Rose of Palestine" in one of the poems) who killed 21 at a restaurant in Haifa. Reliable nongovernmental organizations like Palestinian Media Watch meticulously translate such hateful material, but Western journalists almost invariably refuse to report it. They prefer to cling to the illusion that the present-day Palestinian leadership is genuinely striving to achieve peace and coexistence. This lack of proper coverage leads many people, including even many who are broadly sympathetic to Israel, to hold a false view of Mr. Abbas and to persuade themselves that the Palestinian Authority has undergone a fundamental change for the better since Arafat's death. No amount of wishful thinking, though, can obscure the fact that the true "root cause" of Palestinian terrorism is the leadership of the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority sometimes goes so far as to stamp out even the most symbolic gestures of coexistence with Israel. Consider last month's soccer match, organized by the Shimon Peres Center for Peace, in which Israeli and Palestinian soccer stars played together in a joint "Peace Team" against Barcelona. They played well, losing only 2-1 at Barcelona's famous Nou Camp stadium in front of 31,820 spectators, including many dignitaries. Yet on the Palestinian Authority's orders, the Palestinian Football Association announced that it would punish the Palestinian players for daring to participate in such a match. Meanwhile Palestinian militias have begun firing enhanced Kassam missiles, with a larger diameter and longer range than previous Kassams, recently hitting for the first time the city of Ashkelon and Israeli villages which until now had been out of range of Palestinian rockets. Equally ominous, the Palestinian Authority is allowing terrorists and weapons to pass freely through the newly opened Gaza-Egypt border. So where does this all leave us? It remains conventional wisdom, especially in the media, that the Israeli government or people are somehow the main obstacles to peace. The fact is, however, Israelis are desperate for peace. Almost no one in Israel now rejects the idea of a Palestinian state. But how many Palestinians really accept the idea of a Jewish state? All the evidence, sad to say, points to the fact that most do not. In the recent Fatah primaries, it was those candidates who were most opposed to peace with Israel who swept to victory. Other Palestinians go beyond Fatah and support the even more extreme position of Hamas, which polled very strongly in last week's local elections in the West Bank. The hope must still be that in the long run Palestinian attitudes will change. When that happens, frontiers can be settled by mutual agreement. But it would be dangerous folly to suppose that the necessary change has already taken place, and until it does, the Israelis have no choice but to put considerations of security first and reserve the right to determine their own borders.






The Essence of Christmas

Dec. 24….(Dr. Albert Mohler) The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. Those who live in the dark land, the light will shine on them.” Those words from the prophet Isaiah told of the coming Prince of Peace, and of the light and life He would bring. Christmas arrives again with all the promise of remembrance and celebration. Christians celebrate Christmas because the light did dawn. The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem was not only the fulfillment of prophecy, but the dawn of a new age. As the angels declared to the shepherds, this infant is “a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” This is the very essence of Christmas: The birth of the Savior, knowing that the ultimate peace He would bring would be established by His death and resurrection. When Isaiah told of the coming Prince of Peace, he spoke of light dispelling darkness. Christmas celebrates that light, and shares it with others.



Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Leader Calls Holocaust a Myth

Dec. 22….(Reuters) The head of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the main opposition force in parliament, echoed Iran's president on Thursday in describing the Holocaust as a myth. "Western democracy has attacked everyone who does not share the vision of the sons of Zion as far as the myth of the Holocaust is concerned," Mohamed Mahdi Akef said in a statement. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sparked an international uproar when he said in a Dec. 14 speech that the Holocaust was a myth. In Israel, the director of the Israeli branch of the Nazi watchdog group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, warned that, ""There's no question that a very ugly wave of Holocaust denial is sweeping the Arab world." "The problem is that so far in the Arab world very few leaders are willing to tell their own people that they have to understand that the Holocaust did take place," Efraim Zuroff said. Akef, whose group won 88 of the Egyptian parliament's 454 seats in elections in November and December, made his comment in an attack on the United States' assertion that it is promoting democracy in the Middle East. He said the US campaign was a cover for promoting its own interests and those of the Zionist movement in the region. American democracy, steers the world into the American orbit delineated by the sons of Zion, so that everyone must wear the Stars and Stripes hat and keep away from the Zionist foster child," he wrote in his weekly statement. He accused the US House of Representatives of hypocrisy when it threatened to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority if the Islamist movement Hamas takes part in January elections. He also criticized European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana for saying that Europeans might think twice about aid to the Palestinians if Hamas members were in parliament. Hamas says it is an extension of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which was founded in 1928 and which renounced political violence inside Egypt decades ago. Hamas believes in armed struggle to replace Israel with an Islamic state. Last week the deputy leader of the Brotherhood, Mohamed Habib, asked about Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust, said reports of Nazi attempts to wipe out European Jews might have been exaggerated. "We don't have confirmed things to enable us to prove this matter or refute it. It needs documentation but what one can be sure of is that there were attacks on the Jews but not by means of gas chambers or perhaps not in these numbers or on this scale," Habib told Reuters in an interview. But Habib said the debate was irrelevant to the situation of the Palestinians. "What the Jews propagate about there being a Holocaust has nothing to do with the way they treat the Palestinians on the land of Palestine," he said.



Japan calls China 'Considerable Threat'

Dec. 22….(WND) China's increased military spending and nuclear weapons make the communist nation a "considerable threat," said Japan's foreign minister in remarks that stirred fresh tensions between the Asian neighbors. Foreign Minister Taro Aso told reporters China is "a neighboring country with 1 billion people and nuclear bombs whose military spending has been growing by two digits every year for 17 consecutive years." Aso continued: "And the content of that is extremely unclear. If I say what this means, I recognize that China is becoming a big considerable threat." The foreign minister's remarks came in reply to a question about a statement by Seiji Maehara, the conservative head of the main opposition Democratic Party, that China is a "realistic threat," according to Agence-France Presse. "As Mr Maehara put it, it is true that China is stirring up a threat and worries," he said. China's foreign ministry spokesman reacted with anger, calling it irresponsible to "incite such groundless rhetoric about a China threat." "China's development has made commonly acknowledged contributions towards the world's peace and stability, bringing East Asian countries, including Japan, great development opportunities," he said. In October, a report revealed China has developed next generation submarines that further Beijing's naval power in Asia and pose a greater challenge to US and Western fleets, according to analysts. In August, the largest ever war games exercises between Russian and Chinese military forces included launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles, while officials continued to maintain the maneuvers were efforts to deal with international terrorism.

FOJ Note: The Kings of the East, like Russia is arming its allies (Iran) and preparing for a march into the Middle East.



Homosexual Icon Elton John Ties Gay Knot

imageDec. 21….(FOJ) Today, long time cultural and pop music icon Elton John formally married his homosexual partner in Great Britain. Elton John, who reached superstar status in the 1970’s and has maintained a cultural following ever since has been an unabashed recognized icon of homosexual rights and AIDS causes for decades. John said forming a civil partnership with his longtime lover David Furnish in England this week will be "the happiest day of my life. The pop star also added that he will feel sorry for the many gay couples who live in countries that prohibit such unions. "It has been a long struggle for equal rights to gay people in Britain, but now, in the 21st century, we have real civil rights, tolerance, and acceptance,” Elton said.

Personally, and from a purely Biblical standpoint regarding such debauchery, I can’t think of anything more disgusting and degrading. I am appalled when I think of how this man has influenced the lives of a whole generation of popular culture. How one can view this wedding picture and not be sad and sickened is beyond my comprehension. Oh, yes, it is indeed wrong to hate or express hateful words toward these men, but sin is sin, and the Lord God has taught me to hate sin. The picture says it all, doesn’t it…it is a picture showing how demonically twisted, and un-natural, ungodly men can become. (Romans 1:26-28 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;) Tolerance of sin is not a virtue for a culture, it is a ticket to societal depravity!



1st Amendment 'Doesn't Create Church-State Wall of Separation'
Court whacks civil-liberties group, OKs Ten Commandments display in Kentucky!

Dec. 21….((World Net Daily) A US appeals court today upheld the decision of a lower court in allowing the inclusion of the Ten Commandments in a courthouse display, hammering the American Civil Liberties Union and declaring, "The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state." Attorneys from the American Center for Law and Justice successfully argued the case on behalf of Mercer County, Ky., and a display of historical documents placed in the county courthouse. The panel voted 3-0 to reject the ACLU's contention the display violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. The county display the ACLU sued over included the Ten Commandments, the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the Magna Carta, the Star Spangled Banner, the national motto, the preamble to the Kentucky Constitution, the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution and a picture of Lady Justice. Writing for the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Richard Suhrheinrich said the ACLU's "repeated reference 'to the separation of church and state,' has grown tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state." Suhrheinrich wrote: "The ACLU, an organization whose mission is 'to ensure that the government is kept out of the religion business,' does not embody the reasonable person." The court said a reasonable observer of Mercer County's display appreciates "the role religion has played in our governmental institutions, and finds it historically appropriate and traditionally acceptable for a state to include religious influences, even in the form of sacred texts, in honoring American traditions." Francis J. Manion, counsel for the ACLJ, argued the case before both the 6th Circuit and the US District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. "This is a big victory for the people of Mercer County and Kentucky generally," Manion said. "For too long they have been lectured like children by those in the ACLU and elsewhere who claim to know what the people's Constitution really means. What the 6th Circuit has said is that the people have a better grasp on the real meaning of the Constitution; the court recognizes that the Constitution does not require that we strip the public square of all vestiges of our religious heritage and traditions."



Iran's Interference in Iraq

Dec. 21….(excerpt from Frontpage) The Islamic Republic of Iran has desired to dominate its neighbor ever since the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq War in September 1980. Indeed the late Ayatollah Ruhoallah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic, declared his desire to conquer Qods, that is Jerusalem, by way of Kerbala, the Shiite holy city in south central Iraq. Although the Iran-Iraq War ended in 1988 in a stalemate after eight long, hard years, Khomeini's dream was not forgotten by his followers. It has taken Iran some seventeen years to achieve its goal, but with the unintentional help of America and our allies, Saddam Hussein having been removed from power, the Iranian regime and her proxies have succeeded in filling the power vacuum. Iran has become the de facto ruler of much of Iraq. How has Teheran done this? When Saddam Hussein went after the Shiite marsh Arabs in 1991, following the First Gulf War, Iran opened its borders and allowed their fellow Shiite Iraqis to find safe haven. Iran also began to support these Iraqis and through providing social services indoctrinated them in its fundamentalist approach to Islam. The roots of a Khomeini type of Islamic outlook were planted in the Shia Iraqis living in Iran at that point. Leaders were cultivated and organizations like the Supreme Islamic Council for the Revolution in Iraq (SICRI), led by Ayatollah Bakir Al Hakim, were encouraged and supported. As long as Saddam remained in power, the Iranians bided their time, content to cause Saddam an occasional headache. But once their old nemesis was neutralized, the ayatollahs saw that they had a perfect opportunity to fill the vacuum. Iran also has given support and encouragement to Muqtada al Sadr, leader of the 'al-Mahdi Army", another Shiite resistance group in Iraq.  SICRI organized the Badr Corps as its militia, with the direct help of the Pasdaran, Iran's 'Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps", Khomeini's and Khámenei's theological army. The Iranian regime wants to have a slate elected in Iraq that is close to it and will accept an Islamic state similar to the Iranian model. Iran is backing SICRI in order to produce an Islamic clone of its self. All the while Teheran keeps on claiming that it is not interfering in Iraqi affairs. In the final analysis, the Problems in Iraq are not going to be solved in a day or two; and in America we need to realize that we are in this for quite some time to come. At the same time, we need to be more sophisticated in our comprehension of with whom and with what we are dealing. It's time for our government to realize that regime change in Iran is essential to democracy winning the day in Iraq.



Iran: We Can Win Nuke War With Israel

Dec. 21….(JNEWSWIRE) Two-times former Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani said earlier this month that the Muslim world would win a nuclear exchange with Israel, aggravating fears Tehran's quest for atomic weapons indeed has one purpose: the annihilation of what it calls the Zionist “cancer.” “The application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel, but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world,” Hashemi-Rafsanjani was quoted as saying by the government-controlled Iran Press Service. The spiritual leader, who wields ultimate power in Iran, made the comments during a prayer service in Tehran.  It was the first time an Islamic leader of such prominence openly suggested a nuclear attack against the Jewish state, media analysts told the IPS. Iran has been pursuing atomic weapons in defiance of international demands. Concerns over Iran's nuclear efforts grew exponentially last month when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a conference in Tehran that Israel should be “wiped off the map.” In an interview with Ynet Thursday, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said he has no doubt Iran will act to completely destroy the Jewish state if its nuclear program is not halted. Iran's leaders are “saying very clearly what the Iranians will do if they have a nuclear bomb, they would like to destroy the State of Israel,” Shalom said. Speaking to Fox News a day earlier, US President George W. Bush said his administration also views Iran as a true existential threat to the Jewish state. “I'm concerned about a theocracy that has got little transparency, a country whose president has declared the destruction of Israel as part of their foreign policy, and a country that will not listen to the demands of the free world to get rid of its ambitions to have a nuclear weapon,” Bush told his interviewer. “I called it part of the 'axis of evil' for a reason,” the president added. But neither Israel nor the US are keen to utilize military force in order to thwart Iran's destructive intentions, and have therefore turned to Europe, which enjoys amicable ties with Tehran, to diplomatically resolve the issue. European officials vowed to deal with Iran's worrying behavior at a European Union summit that opened in Brussels Thursday, warning that the continent's patience with Tehran is wearing thin. However, the most serious punitive diplomatic measure being discussed is Iran's exclusion from the 2006 World Cup soccer tournament scheduled to take place in Germany next summer. Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Yuval Steinitz insists the solution lies in the threat of “brute force.” Steinitz told CNS News Thursday he recently conveyed to officials in Washington that Iran can be prevented from obtaining nuclear weapons without the use of force, but only if the West is prepared to make it clear to Tehran that it is in fact prepared to use overwhelming military force. “It's the only chance to make them back down,” Steinitz said, warning that “if Iran becomes a nuclear power, it will become a global nuclear superpower.” But Tehran has been hearing and defying Western threats for years.  How the US and Europe could now convince Iran of their seriousness without actually initiating armed hostilities remains unclear. Meanwhile, a report published by the US Army War College this week said neither military nor diplomatic efforts were going to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program. Entitled “Getting Ready for a Nuclear-Ready Iran”, the report pointed out that “given Iran's extensive nuclear know-how and capabilities, it is unlikely that the United States or its allies can deny Iran the technical ability to covertly make nuclear weapons.” The authors instead suggested that Israel try to set an example by first dismantling its nuclear capabilities. They admitted, however, that Iran would likely not follow suit, leaving Israel without a deterrent in the crosshairs of a regime with both the desire and the means to annihilate the Jewish state. The suggestion smacked of the traditional Western position that Israel risk the lives of millions of its Jewish citizens for the sake of “world peace” efforts with little or no chance of success.



Military Chaplains Told Not to Pray In Jesus Name

Dec. 21….(Washington Times) To pray -- or not to pray -- in Jesus' name is the question plaguing an increasing number of U.S. military chaplains, one of whom began a multiday hunger strike outside the White House yesterday. "I am a Navy chaplain being fired because I pray in Jesus' name," said Navy Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt, who will be holding 6 p.m. prayer vigils daily in Lafayette Park. The hunger strike is intended to persuade President Bush to issue an executive order allowing military chaplains to pray according to their individual faith traditions. The American Center for Law and Justice has gathered 173,000 signatures on a petition seeking an executive order. Seventy-three members of Congress have joined the request, saying in an Oct. 25 letter to the president, "In all branches of the military, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Christian chaplains to use the name of Jesus when praying." About 80 percent of US troops are Christian, the legislators wrote, adding that military "censorship" of chaplains' prayers disenfranchises "hundreds of thousands of Christian soldiers in the military who look to their chaplains for comfort, inspiration and support." Official military policy allows any sort of prayer, but Lt. Klingenschmitt says that in reality, evangelical Protestant prayers are censored. He cites his training at the Navy Chaplains School in Newport, RI, where "they have clipboards and evaluators who evaluate your prayers, and they praise you if you pray just to God," he said. "But if you pray in Jesus' name, they counsel you." Muslim, Jewish and Roman Catholic chaplains are likewise told not to pray in the name of Allah, in Hebrew or in the name of the Trinity, he added. But the Rev. Billy Baugham, executive director of the Greenville, SC-based International Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers, says restrictions on other religious expressions have "yet to be tested." "No Islamic chaplain has been refused to pray in the name of Allah, as far as we know. Neither has a rabbi been rebuked for making references to Hanukkah, and no Catholic priest has been rebuked for referring to the Blessed Virgin Mary." The Navy allows chaplains to pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Allah or any other deity during chapel services, spokeswoman Lt. Erin Bailey said. At other public events, "Navy chaplains are encouraged to be sensitive to the needs of all those present," she said, "and may decline an invitation to pray if not able to do so for conscience reasons." Lt. Klingenschmitt has not been formally punished, she added, and there are no plans to take him off active duty.



Humility at Christmas

Dec. 21….(FOJ) Humility is defined as the state of being humble, or the non-prevalence of an overriding pride. Humility is often a trait that is renounced in today’s modern secular world of the self absorbed. More often than not, today’s culture teaches us to emulate the characteristics of self-esteem and self confidence. While a certain amount of confidence and esteem can be useful, the exercise of true wisdom demands that we avoid he appearance of arrogance and egotism. One of the most detestable character traits that a person can have is arrogance and egotism. Most people are annoyed by the display of arrogance. Yet, our popular culture would have us believe that haughtiness is just mere evidence of success, and extraordinary genius. But, as a matter of fact the Bible teaches us that the over abundance of self pride caused the fall of Satan, and we all know where that led the whole world. The Proverbs says that pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (Prov. 16:18) Another matter of concern about arrogance and haughtiness is that it tends to lead a person to become at enmity with his maker. The Psalmist declares; The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. The book of Proverbs further informs us that the God of all creation hates six specific things, and the very first item on the Almightys list is a proud look. (Prov 6:16-17 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look,….) The greatest example of humility the world has ever witnessed is when God left the glorious golden throne of the Heavenlies and took up residence on a far flung speck of dust in the cosmos called the earth. Imagine yourself leaving the comfort of your modern convenience filled home and taking up residence in a card board box on the streets of an inner city to live with the homeless. Such an action would not be considered an act of pride or arrogance, or success oriented lifetsyle. In fact it might be considered to be akin to being sheer insanity. But that is exactly what God did, and he did it out of the most humble condition know to mankind. It is called unconditional love. It is said that the fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility. Oh that I could acquire more humility, for I know deep down that I am nothing without my maker. And when I stop to consider the daunting words of Jesus Christ, who said; (Luke 18:15-17) “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” Christ referred to becoming like a child because children are probably the most humble beings on the planet. Humility is one of the characteristics required as one of the personality prerequisites to attaining the kingdom of God. So then, may we all partake of some Humble Pie! Merry Christmas! Thanks be to God for his unspeakbable gift!



Syria Agrees to Hide Iran Nukes

Dec. 21….(World Tribune) Syria has signed a pledge to store Iranian nuclear weapons and missiles. The London-based Jane's Defense Weekly reported that Iran and Syria signed a strategic accord meant to protect either country from international pressure regarding their weapons programs. The magazine, citing diplomatic sources, said Syria agreed to store Iranian materials and weapons should Teheran come under United Nations sanctions. Iran also pledged to grant haven to any Syrian intelligence officer indicted by the UN or Lebanon. Five Syrian officers have been questioned by the UN regarding the Hariri assassination, Middle East Newsline reported. "The sensitive chapter in the accord includes Syria's commitment to allow Iran to safely store weapons, sensitive equipment or even hazardous materials on Syrian soil should Iran need such help in a time of crisis," Jane's said. The accord also obligated Syria to continue to supply the Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah with weapons, ammunition and communications. Iran has been the leading weapons supplier to Hizbullah, with about 15,000 missiles and rockets along the Israeli-Lebanese border. The accord, negotiations of which began in 2004, was signed on Nov. 14 and meant to prepare for economic sanctions imposed on either Iran or Syria. Under the accord, Jane's said, Iran would relay financial aid to Syria in an effort to ease Western sanctions in wake of the UN determination that Damascus was responsible for the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Iran also pledged to supply a range of military aid to Syria. Jane's cited technology for weapons of mass destruction as well as conventional arms, ammunition and training of Syrian military. Teheran would seek to upgrade Syrian ballistic missiles and chemical weapons systems. Under the accord, Iran would also be prepared to operate "advanced weapon systems in Syria during a military confrontation." Jane's said. "The new strategic accord is based on the existing military MoUs, with the addition of the sensitive chapter dealing with cooperation in times of international sanctions or military conflict," Jane's reported.

FOJ Note: It has long been a matter of great debate among eschatology scholars as to how the Burden of Damascus prophecy will eventually come about. FOJ believes that Iran will escape the Damascus event, and will join Russia in a later invasion against Israel. This news development shows how that geo-political scenario in the Middle East could play itself out



Intelligent Design Course Banned in Pennsylvania

Dec. 20….In one of the biggest courtroom clashes between faith and evolution since the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, a federal judge barred a Pennsylvania public school district Tuesday from teaching "intelligent design" in biology class, saying the concept is creationism in disguise. U.S. District Judge John E. Jones delivered a stinging attack on the Dover Area School Board, saying its first-in-the-nation decision in October 2004 to insert intelligent design into the science curriculum violates the constitutional separation of church and state. The ruling was a major setback to the intelligent design movement, which is also waging battles in Georgia and Kansas. Intelligent design holds that living organisms are so complex that they must have been created by some kind of higher force.

Jones decried the "breathtaking inanity" of the Dover policy and accused several board members of lying to conceal their true motive, which he said was to promote religion. A six-week trial over the issue yielded "overwhelming evidence" establishing that intelligent design "is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory," said Jones, a Republican and a churchgoer appointed to the federal bench three years ago. The school system said it will probably not appeal the ruling, because the members who backed intelligent design were ousted in November's elections and replaced with a new slate opposed to the policy. During the trial, the board argued that it was trying improve science education by exposing students to alternatives to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection. The policy required students to hear a statement about intelligent design before ninth-grade lessons on evolution. The statement said Darwin's theory is "not a fact" and has inexplicable "gaps." It referred students to an intelligent-design textbook, "Of Pandas and People." But the judge said: "We find that the secular purposes claimed by the board amount to a pretext for the board's real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom." In 1987, the US Supreme Court ruled that states cannot require public schools to balance evolution lessons by teaching creationism. It was the latest chapter in a debate over the teaching of evolution dating back to the Scopes trial, in which Tennessee biology teacher John T. Scopes was fined $100 for violating a state law against teaching evolution.

FOJ Note: In the America of 2005, it is more important to stamp out any inference of the omnipotence of a Creator God, than to teach kids the truth! Ignorance is bliss they say, until God says “enough.”



Bush Admits Iraq Intell Failures Hinder Iran Strategy

Dec. 20….(Ha Aretz) President George W. Bush acknowledged on Monday that mistaken intelligence on Saddam Hussein's weapons program makes it more difficult to persuade the public that Iran's nuclear program poses a threat. Speaking at a White House news conference, Bush said that when the United States tries to make its case on Iran, people will say "Well, the intelligence failed in Iraq; therefore, how can we can trust the intelligence in Iran?" The United States is supporting efforts by Britain, Germany and France, known as the EU-3, to ensure that Iran doesn't develop nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is intended only to generate electricity. Bush said that if diplomatic efforts fail, Iran could be referred to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions. But he added "it's no question that the credibility of intelligence is necessary for good diplomacy." Asked if he intended to make the case against Iran publicly, Bush said "the best place to make the case now is still in the counsels of government; in convincing the EU-3, for example, to continue working the diplomatic angle. Of course we want this to be solved diplomatically, and we want the Iranians to hear a unified voice."



Iran, Arming for Armageddon

Dec. 20….(By Charles Krauthammer) Lest you get carried away with today's good news from Iraq, consider what's happening next door in Iran. The wild pronouncements of the new Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have gotten sporadic press ever since he called for Israel to be wiped off the map. He subsequently amended himself to say that Israel should simply be extirpated from the Middle East map and moved to some German or Austrian province. Perhaps near the site of an old extermination camp? Except that there were no such camps, indeed no Holocaust at all, says Ahmadinejad. Nothing but "myth," a "legend" that was fabricated under the name, 'Massacre of the Jews.' "This brought the usual reaction from European and American officials, who, with Churchillian rage and power, called these statements unacceptable. That something serious might accrue to Iran for this, say, expulsion from the United Nations for violating its most basic principle by advocating the outright eradication of a member state, is, of course, out of the question. To be sure, Holocaust denial and calls for Israel's destruction are commonplace in the Middle East. They can be seen every day on Hezbollah TV, in Syrian media, in Egyptian editorials appearing in semiofficial newspapers. But none of these aspiring mass murderers are on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons that could do in one afternoon what it took Hitler six years to do: destroy an entire Jewish civilization and extinguish 6 million souls. Everyone knows where Iran's nuclear weapons will be aimed. Everyone knows they will be put on Shahab rockets, which have been modified so that they can reach Israel. And everyone knows that if the button is ever pushed, it will be the end of Israel. But it gets worse. The president of a country about to go nuclear is a confirmed believer in the coming apocalypse. Like Judaism and Christianity, Shiite Islam has its own version of the messianic return, the reappearance of the Twelfth Imam. The more devout believers in Iran pray at the Jamkaran mosque, which houses a well from which, some believe, he will emerge. When Ahmadinejad unexpectedly won the presidential elections, he immediately gave $17 million of government funds to the shrine. Last month Ahmadinejad said publicly that the main mission of the Islamic Revolution is to pave the way for the reappearance of the Twelfth Imam. And as in some versions of fundamentalist Christianity, the second coming will be accompanied by the usual trials and tribulations, death and destruction. Iranian journalist Hossein Bastani reported Ahmadinejad saying in official meetings that the hidden imam will reappear in two years. So a Holocaust-denying, virulently anti-Semitic, aspiring genocidist, on the verge of acquiring weapons of the apocalypse, believes that the end is not only near but nearer than the next American presidential election. (Pity the Democrats. They cannot catch a break.) This kind of man would have, to put it gently, less inhibition about starting Armageddon than a normal person. Indeed, with millennial bliss pending, he would have positive incentive to, as they say in Jewish eschatology, hasten the end. To be sure, there are such madmen among the other monotheisms. The Temple Mount Faithful in Israel would like the al-Aqsa mosque on Jerusalem's Temple Mount destroyed to make way for the third Jewish Temple and the messianic era. The difference with Iran, however, is that there are all of about 50 of these nuts in Israel, and none of them is president. The closest we've come to a messianically inclined leader in America was a secretary of the interior who 24 years ago, when asked about his stewardship of the environment, told Congress: "I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns; whatever it is we have to manage with a skill to leave the resources needed for future generations." But James Watt's domain was the forest, and his weapon of choice was the chainsaw. He was not in charge of nuclear weapons to be placed on missiles that are paraded through the streets with, literally, Israel's name on them. (They are adorned with banners reading "Israel must be wiped off the map.") It gets worse. After his UN speech in September, Ahmadinejad was caught on videotape telling a cleric that during the speech an aura, a halo, appeared around his head right on the podium of the General Assembly. "I felt the atmosphere suddenly change. And for those 27 or 28 minutes, the leaders of the world did not blink. It seemed as if a hand was holding them there, and it opened their eyes to receive the message from the Islamic Republic." Negotiations to deny this certifiable lunatic genocidal weapons have been going nowhere. Everyone knows they will go nowhere. And no one will do anything about it. So, apparently the world is willing to risk Armageddon!



Palestinian Christians Facing Increased Persecution

Dec. 19….(World Watch) Two thousand years after the birth of Christ, Christians are leaving the Holy Land in record numbers, and a new report suggests persecution against Palestinian believers is getting worse. International Human Rights Attorney Justus Weiner has researched the plight of Palestinian Christians for more than eight years. His findings were recently published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Weiner said Palestinian Christians are now living in fear because persecution against them is increasing. "I think the situation has been on a steep downhill for at least 12 years,” said Weiner, “since Israel withdrew from the Palestinian populated areas of the West Bank and Gaza, they fear for their own lives, they fear for their own family, they fear for the future of their community." It is a community that many Christians believe will be marginalized as the Palestinians move toward statehood. One Palestinian woman suggested that the marginalization of Christians has already begun. We will call her Hannan. We have hidden her identity to protect her from retribution. Hannan said Christians are now being treated as second-class citizens in the Holy Land because Islamists dominate the Palestinian Authority. "Now, all the leadership and the people in authority are Muslims, and they force their laws, their teaching, their Koran, everything in the courts, in the schools, everywhere, they threaten people; people are afraid to say no," she said. Western leaders say that elections scheduled for January prove that the Palestinians are committed to establishing a democratic society. But the draft Palestinian constitution shows a government consigned to institutionalizing Islam over secularism. While the draft constitution pledges to guarantee freedom of worship, Islam is stated as the official religion of Palestine. Shariah law is stated as the primary source of legislation. Under Shariah law, any Muslim who leaves Islam and converts to another faith must be killed. The city of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, was once a Christian city. Several decades ago, it was perhaps more than 80 percent Christian. Today, the Christian population has declined to less than 15 percent. While their numbers may be fewer and persecution against them is increasing, thousands of Christians have chosen to remain in the Holy Land, and some are quietly leading Muslims to Christ. West Bank evangelist Nadeem remarked, "When the person's faith is true, and they realize that their suffering doesn't go unnoticed by God, they see that they're doing something for the cause of Christ and furthering his kingdom…then they grow with more courage, and still the work goes on." In his second letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul said those who live a godly life in Christ will be persecuted. Nearly 2,000 later, those words are ringing true for Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land, where persecution is now a way of life.



Hamas Leader Lauds Iranian President

Dec. 19….(YNET) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks regarding the Holocaust and the State of Israel are true statements that represent the believers, the Mujahidin and the freedom warriors, Hamas' political department head Khaled Mashal said Monday. Mashal, who is currently residing in Tehran, referred to the Iranian president's statement in which he expressed doubt that the Holocaust occurred and demanded that Austria and Germany give some of their provinces to the Jews to establish a state in Europe "instead of the one established in Palestine."  "These are excellent statements," Mashal said. "Today Iran has a brave leader, whose words may not be approved by the world's governments, but are supported by the people of the globe," he added. Mashal also said the Palestinians are proud of the Iranian stance, and that "everybody should have the courage to voice this truth." The Hamas leader added that many of the world's countries understand that Israel is an aggressive country, and that opinion polls conducted in the European Union prove that approximately 60 percent of Europeans believe Israel constitutes the biggest threat to world peace. "People realize the truth but are afraid. The West is afraid of the world Zionists' reaction since the Israelis and the Zionists are exhausting western society with the issues of anti-Semitism and doubt in the Holocaust," Mashal said. Mashal also expressed his hope that "time is in favor of us the Muslims, while Israel is in a course of retreat. It is losing the image it has been trying to create for many years." "We, the resistance people, will eventually win God willing," he concluded.



MI Chief: Existential Threat Growing

Dec. 19….(JNEWSWIRE) Israel’s Military Intelligence chief warned the cabinet Sunday that 2006 could see a quantum leap in the ability of the Islamic forces around Israel, and now being established in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, to bring about the destruction of the Jewish state. Major-General Aharon Ze’evi Farkash said it appeared that Gaza on the one hand and Judea-Samaria on the other were respectively about to turn into two separate “Palestinian” entities: “Hamastan” and “Fatahstan.” As this was happening, Farkash said, “in Arab countries weapons are being produced at a quantity and quality that threaten the heart of the State of Israel. Iran, Syria, Hizb’allah, and Hamas are accumulating missiles from Kassams to Shihab 3 missiles.” Iran is “determined to reach nuclear capabilities and obtain ground to ground missiles. It is turning into a regional power. I don't see a real possibility for diplomacy preventing Iran from becoming armed with nuclear weapons. In the coming months, we will witness the end of the abilities of our diplomatic maneuvers, and that of the world, against Iran.” But Farkash’s dark omen, as with the numerous similar and intensifying alarm bells that have been sounded down the last decade-and-a-half, is expected to go unheeded. Like its predecessors since 1991, this Israeli government appears unable or unwilling to withstand the enormous pressure that has consistently been brought to bear by the Gentile nations. The world universally insists that Israel move ahead and create the conditions for the birthing of a Palestinian state. This demand has remained unwavering and has intensified, despite the terrible number of Jewish lives that have been lost, and the thousands of Israelis who have been mutilated and bereaved since the signing of the Oslo Accords, hailed in 1993 as heralding the arrival of peace. The Palestinian state-in-the-making would be set up in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria, the former area the soft underbelly of Israel, the latter two comprising the cradle of Israel’s nationhood and the mountainous high ground that would tower over what would be left of Israel. And while the forces from without squeeze down on the Israeli people, secular forces within the country, apparently blind to the suicide they expect their state to commit, are forging ahead towards next year’s elections. Oozing with self-confidence in his ability and qualifications to secure Israel against the Islamic threat, Sharon and his new Kadima Party is gaining massive momentum and drawing like-minded Israelis to him like moths to a candle flame. Unless the flame is extinguished, things look increasingly bleak for the country that was supposed to be a haven for the Jewish people, but which has become de facto the most dangerous place for Jews to live on earth today.



Ariel Sharon Suffers Mild Stroke

Dec. 19….(Ha Aretz) Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a mild stroke Sunday, but his condition quickly improved and his doctor said he was expected to be released from the hospital after a few days. Sharon aides said he was lucid and in control of the government. The prime minister never lost consciousness and was talking and joking with his family hours after arriving at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital, doctors said. He was treated with blood thinners and suffered no damage from the stroke, said his personal physician, Boleslaw Goldman. "He's lucid, he's fully functional," Sharon aide Raanan Gissin said. Sharon, 77 and very overweight, has been a fixture of Israeli politics for more than three decades. His illness came a little more than three months before he was to lead his new Kadima Party into national elections, and his illness could hamper his efforts to finish building the nascent centrist faction, which has a commanding lead in the polls. The stroke was almost certain to make Sharon's health a major campaign issue, but it would have little immediate effect on Israeli policy or peace efforts since no major decisions were expected during the campaign. The Web site of the Haaretz daily newspaper reported that one of its reporters spoke to Sharon late Sunday night. "I'm fine," Haaretz quoted him as saying. "Apparently I should have taken a few days off for vacation. But we're continuing to move forward," he said, making a play on the name of his party, Kadima, which means "forward" in Hebrew. Sharon received get-well messages from Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and US envoy Elliot Abrams, who was speaking on behalf of the US government, Gissin said. However, in Gaza, dozens of armed men from the Popular Resistance Committees, a small Palestinian militant group, fired guns in the air, screamed "Sharon is dead!" and handed out pastries to motorists in celebration of the news that Sharon was ill. Palestinian militants view Sharon, who led Israel's fight against the five-year Palestinian uprising, as a hated enemy despite his pullout from the Gaza Strip earlier this year. "Their celebration is a bit premature and exaggerated, the prime minister is very well," Gissin said. Sharon grew weak and confused Sunday evening soon after a meeting with former Prime Minister Shimon Peres. The premier was immediately rushed to the hospital in his official vehicle and taken to the emergency room, media reports said. Sharon's sons, Omri and Gilad, rushed to the hospital. "Initial checks showed he had a mild stroke, and during checks his condition improved. Goldman said the prime minister did not lose consciousness and was having no problems with his motor skills. He was certain the prime minister would recover fully. "Unequivocally, there is no damage," Goldman, said. "He had anticoagulant treatment. He will need to be in the hospital for a few days." If Sharon is incapacitated, Vice Premier Ehud Olmert, a close ally, would take over the day-to-day running of the government. Sharon, a former army general, was elected prime minister in 2001, months after the beginning of nearly five years of Israel-Palestinian violence. Sharon led the Israeli crackdown on the Palestinian uprising and was vilified by many Palestinians. Sharon's health and age have always lurked in the background of his term as prime minister. Mini-strokes are rarely of major consequence by themselves, but they signal a high risk that a person will suffer a full-blown stroke in the coming months: one in seven within a year, according to the American Heart Association. Mini-strokes, medically known as transcient ischemic attacks, or TIAs, are caused by a blood clot that forms anywhere in the body and lodges in a vessel in the head, depriving a region of the brain of blood and oxygen.



Iraq’s Zarqawi Sets up Gaza Branch

Dec. 19….(Debka) Since early December, a branch of Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s al Qaeda in Iraq has been running a forward base in Gaza City preparatory to in-depth attacks in Israel, according to DEBKAfile’s exclusive counter-terror sources. It joins the Al Qaeda-Palestine cell established some weeks ago in the Gaza Strip. A high-ranking Israeli army officer confided to us: “For years, we fought al Qaeda in unpublicized encounters in remote places far from our borders. Now we have to admit they are here, on our very threshold.” The officer went on to warn: “The conjunction of al Qaeda and Palestinian terrorist structures confronts Israel with a grave strategic threat.” According to our sources, Israeli intelligence briefed prime minister Ariel Sharon and defense minister Shaul Mofaz in the first week of December on the Zarqawi group’s infiltration of the Gaza Strip from Sinai and its arrival in Gaza City. Part of the incoming terror group transited the Rafah terminal (where US officials say the security video cameras have broken down), past European monitors, by showing forged Palestinian documents; part were smuggled in through the Philadelphi border enclave which is guarded by Egyptian police. Intelligence chiefs informed the prime minister that the new cell linked up with the local branch of the Palestinian terror umbrella, the Popular Resistance Committees, which is headed by Shekh Khalil Kuka. The PRC welcomed the newcomer by making its publicity outlets available. It is the first time that a Palestinian combat-terrorist organization has aligned itself directly and openly with al Qaeda’s commander in Iraq. DEBKAfile’s sources report that Israeli counter-terror agencies are quietly working on the premise that the Popular Resistance Committees of Gaza and the Fatah-al Aqsa Brigades of the West Bank plan to make their operational structures available to Zarqawi’s cell for in-depth attacks in Israel.






US Threatens PA Sanctions

Dec. 17….(YNET) The Palestinian Authority risks losing US financial aid and other support if it allows Hamas to participate in parliamentary elections next month, the House of representatives says. In a resolution passed Friday on a 397-17 vote, the House also urged Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to declare before the vote that he intends to dismantle terrorist organizations. It said any Hamas participation in the government of the Palestinian Authority "will potentially undermine the ability of the United States to have a constructive relationship with or provide further assistance to the Palestinian Authority.” In response, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said it was one of the most important decisions. "Abu Mazen (Abbas) must understand that he needs to make an immediate decision now, either is he giving into Hamas or going with the international community's objection to terror," he said. "Hamas participation in elections will bring about the establishment of 'Hamastan' in the territories, which could bring us back 50 years. Now is the time to make a strategic decision, to declare and dismantle terror infrastructures and to go to elections with the intention of advancing to negotiations with Israel for peace," he added. Rep. Tom Lantos, the top Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, said Hamas is projected to hold more than a quarter of the 132 seats on the Palestinian council. The State Department lists Hamas as a terror organization. Hamas' prospects to win more seats may have improved after young activists in the ruling Fatah party broke away Wednesday to form their own faction, a blow to Abbas going into the Jan. 25 vote. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Thursday a fundamental contradiction is involved when a terrorist group wants to keep open an option to use violence to kill innocent civilians at the same time it wants to participate in the political process. “That's a fundamental contradiction that the Palestinian people need to resolve," he said. He said US Policy on Hamas was unchanged. "It's a terrorist organization; we don't deal with it.” Lantos said, "when terrorist militias participate in elections, voters are intimidated. The concepts of the will of the majority and the rights of the minority are rendered meaningless.” He said Hamas should be disqualified on two grounds, as a terrorist group and as a group that denies Israel's right to exist. “There is a third reason as well," he said. "Hamas is a fundamentalist, jihadist organization that has nothing but contempt for democracy, though it is more than happy to exploit democracy for its own nefarious ends.” President George W. Bush has said Hamas "terrorists are preparing a future of oppression and misery.” The House resolution, which has more than 150 sponsors says the participation of Hamas in the Palestinian Authority government "will inevitably raise serious questions for the United States about the commitment of the Palestinian Authority and its leadership to making peace with Israel.” Ros-Lehtinen said a mistake already was made this summer when Lebanon allowed Hezbollah, another Islamic group, to participate in elections despite its refusal to disarm and dismantle its infrastructure in violation of a UN Security Council resolution. The United States continues to deal with the Lebanese government even though Hezbollah has a seat in its Cabinet.



Palestinians Vote Overwhelmingly For Hamas Terror Group

(FOJ) Apparently, President Bush, in pushing his proposal for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict failed to foresee the prospect of the US literally helping bring to birth a terrorist state. The Bush Doctrine, promoting Middle East democracy has backfired in the West Bank, and now its chief ally in the war on terror, Israel faces the prospect of a “recognized sovereign” terrorist state being legitimately sanctioned in its own heartland.

Dec. 16….(YNET) With the general PA elections a month away, Hamas victories in major PA-controlled cities foreshadow the election of the terrorist group as the representatives of the Arabs of the PA. Palestinian Authority officials are stunned in the wake of the impressive Hamas win in local elections held on Thursday, particularly as the ruling Fatah movement failed to score a victory in even one of the large cities where ballots were cast. PA and Fatah officials refused to officially address the results, saying they are waiting for official results expected to be published Sunday. However, off the record, senior Fatah figures are blaming PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas for the poor election performance. The Hamas terrorist organization is responsible for many of the world's most gruesome attacks on civilians, yet it is proving itself to be the Palestinian people’s democratically elected choice. Hamas won an estimated 75% of the votes in the municipal elections in Shechem (Nablus), 72% of the votes in El-Bireh and took the leadership of the terror-capital of Jenin as well. In Ramallah, long the seat of power of Yassir Arafat and the ruling Fatah group, the PFLP terror group took the elections. In a previous round of voting, Hamas and the PFLP won elections in Bethlehem and Beit Jala, both just south of Jerusalem. Fatah only chalked up a victory in the Bethlehem suburb of Beit Sahur. Local elections in Gaza and Hevron were delayed by the PA election committee. PA sources say the delay was due to concern of a wider-scale victory for Hamas, which appreciates massive support in both locales. Crowds of Hamas supporters in Shechem celebrated in the streets Thursday night. The Hamas leadership, meanwhile, is promising future victories. "The big party will be when we win the parliamentary elections" Hamas spokesman Yasser Mansour said. Hamas is listed as a terror organization in the United States and Europe. It is unclear whether the world's nations, including Israel, will continue to assist the Palestinian Authority if a party advocating the destruction of Israel sits at its helm. In a recent election video, Hamas declared that it will not give up its armed struggle until Israel is destroyed. In the aftermath of previous gains by Hamas and other terror groups, some commentators have suggested that support for Hamas indicates a rejection of Fatah corruption and not support for the group's terror attacks and public adulation of suicide-bombers.  



Shalom: Iran Would Destroy Israel

Dec. 16….(YNET) Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom says, ‘the latest statements made by the Iranian president regarding the relocation of Israel to Europe, Canada, US or Alaska prove how extreme the Iranian Mullah theocratic regime is. They are stating very clearly what Iran will do with a nuclear bomb. Speaking in response to recent statements made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who once again denied the Holocaust and said Israel should be moved to ‘Europe, Canada, the United States, or Alaska,’ Shalom said, “This president is saying very clearly what the Iranians will do if they have a nuclear bomb, they would like to destroy the State of Israel.” “Israel can’t live with the idea that they (Iran) will hold a nuclear bomb,” the foreign minister added. When asked about his solution to the Iranian threat, Shalom said the matter must be referred to the UN Security Council and dealt with on the international level. “The time has come for the Europeans to put an end to the Iranians’ efforts to develop a nuclear bomb,” he said. “If the Iranians have a nuclear bomb, it will be a nightmare for everyone, not only for Israel.



Iranian-Backed Hezbollah Moves into Gaza

Dec. 15….(MENL) The Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah has established a command center in the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials said Hizbullah, based in Beirut, set up the center in the Gaza Strip in wake of the Israeli withdrawal in September 2005. The headquarters has been used to transfer money and orders to operatives in the West Bank. "Hizbullah has set up a forward HQ in the Gaza Strip to provide a direct link with terrorists in Judea and Samaria [West Bank] to transfer funds and instructions," an Israeli government statement said on Monday. "Hizbullah conditions the receipt of such funds on the perpetration of terrorist acts against Israeli targets, regardless of the particular ideology of the cells and terrorists involved." This was the first time the Israeli government reported the operation of a Hizbullah center in the Gaza Strip. In early 2005, military sources said Hizbullah agents infiltrated Palestinian areas of the Gaza Strip and were recruiting operatives.



Bush: 'Axis of Evil' Member Iran is 'Real Threat'

Dec. 15….(Fox News) US President George W. Bush called Iran "a real threat," repeating his charge from 2002 that it is part of an "axis of evil," and urged Tehran to prove it does not seek nuclear weapons. Washington accuses the Islamic republic of using a civilian nuclear program to hide a quest for atomic weapons, and has charged that Iran is a destabilizing force in Iraq. Tehran has denied that it seeks nuclear arms. "I called it (Iran) part of the 'axis of evil' for a reason," Bush said in an interview with Fox News. "It's a real threat." The US president first lumped Iran with North Korea and Saddam Hussein's Iraq in an "axis of evil" during his 2002 State of the Union speech to the US Congress. His comments Wednesday came amid an escalating war of words with Tehran, whose hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stoked outrage in the West by calling Israel a "tumor" in the Middle East and saying that the Holocaust is a myth. Asked how he would deal with Iran, Bush replied: "We continue to work the diplomatic front." "I'm concerned about theocracy that has got little transparency, a country whose president has declared the destruction of Israel as part of their foreign policy, and a country that will not listen to the demands of the free world to get rid of its ambitions to have a nuclear weapon," said Bush. Asked whether he had a message for authorities in Tehran, Bush said: "I would hope they'd be wise enough to begin to listen to the people and allow the people to participate in their government."



51 Terror Suspects Nabbed Trying to Enter US Illegally

Dec. 15….(WND) At least 51 people who crossed the border illegally have been arrested on suspicion of terrorism since such tracking began 14 months ago, according to figures released to Rep. Tom Tancredo, Rep. of Colorado, by the Department of Homeland Security. Tancredo, a leading congressional advocate of immigration reform, says the figures document the national security risk the nation's porous borders pose on the eve of Congress' first attempt in nearly a decade to rewrite immigration law. Since October 2004, the Joint Terrorism Task Forces have kept track of arrested terrorist suspects who are in the US illegally. The JTTF document released to Tancredo shows 51 people were arrested who had "entered without inspection" into the US from countries such as Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Pakistan. "If this isn't a wake-up call to our lax border security, I don't know what is," said Tancredo. "What scares me is not this list from federal law enforcement, after all, we've already caught those terrorists. What scares me is the potentially hundreds of terrorists who make their way through our porous borders each year and go undetected." The suspected illegal alien terrorists were arrested on a wide variety of charges, from smuggling weapons to illegally wiring large sums of money into the country, the document says. Tancredo noted that this week, the House of Representatives is scheduled to complete a bill to strengthen border security and help enforce immigration laws. "Judging by these terrorism figures, Congress is not acting a moment too soon," said Tancredo. We've relied on our good fortune for too long, we must protect Americans by stopping terrorists before they get here." Last month, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, head of the Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship, said he’s been shown “anecdotal evidence” suggesting an Arabic presence along the US-Mexico border. He noted the Bush administration has not publicly released the information because it is "a matter of intelligence." Also in November, WND reported US Rep. John Culberson, Texas, said there had been an increase in apprehensions of so-called "special interest aliens," or SIAs, along the border, many from countries where al-Qaida is known to operate. In testimony Nov. 10 before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims, Culberson, a member of the congressional Immigration Reform Caucus headed by Tancredo, told the panel, "I am particularly concerned that aliens from countries such as Iraq, Iran, Syria, Indonesia and the Sudan are entering our country illegally."



Hamas Threatens to Step up Attacks if Israel Strikes Iran

Dec. 15….(Ha Aretz) Hamas will step up its attacks on Israeli targets if Israel attacks Iran, the militant group's chief-in-exile Khaled Meshal said on Thursday. "If Israel attacks Iran, then Hamas will widen and increase its confrontation of Israelis inside Palestine," Meshal told reporters in Tehran, where he has held three days of talks with top political and security officials. On Wednesday, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said Iran will be capable of enriching uranium within the next three months, but will have to overcome many technological obstacles before reaching the nuclear "point of no return." "Iran is determined to obtain the technological capability that will allow it to produce a nuclear bomb, but numerous obstacles remain in its path," Halutz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. "Even if the Iranians pass the uranium-enrichment stage, they are still a number of years away from building the bomb." "An Iran with nuclear capability is a global problem," said Halutz. "It will be difficult to impose sanctions on it, and the problem could arise of the transfering of `dirty bombs' to terror organizations." The International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors is slated to convene on March 6 to discuss imposing sanctions on Iran, Halutz noted. Former finance minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week that Israel should take "bold and daring" action to thwart Iran's plans for nuclear armament, citing Israel's 1981 air strike on a Iraqi nuclear facility. "The Iranian threat is an existential one, as it is a country that declared its plans to destroy Israel and is developing the tools to carry out this destruction. In this regard, I will continue the legacy of Menachem Begin, who thwarted Iran's neighbor, Iraq, from acquiring nuclear weapons by adopting bold and daring measures. "I believe that is what Israel needs to do," Netanyahu told Israel Radio. In 1981, Begin ordered an air strike on Iraq's nuclear facility in Osirak, near Baghdad. As a result of the attack, Iraq's nuclear armament plan was thwarted. On Tuesday, Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, encouraged Palestinians to continue their struggle against Israel. Iranian television reported that Khamenei told Meshal that "the experience of the last 50 years teaches that negotiation with the Zionist occupation doesn't improve the situation. We will achieve victory through the struggle only."



Iranian Leader Now Insists Holocaust is a 'Myth'

imageDec. 15….(AP) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad escalated his anti-Israeli rhetoric Wednesday, calling the Holocaust a "myth" used by Europeans to create a Jewish state in the heart of the Islamic world. His remarks drew swift condemnation from the White House, Israel, Germany, France and the European Commission. Ahmadinejad last week questioned whether the Nazi destruction of 6 million European Jews during World War II occurred and said Israel should be moved to Europe. He also provoked an international outcry in October when he called for Israel to be "wiped off the map." But Wednesday was the first time he publicly denied the Holocaust. Touring southeast Iran, Ahmadinejad said that if Europeans insist the Holocaust happened, then they are responsible and should pay the price. "Today, they have created a myth in the name of Holocaust and consider it to be above God, religion and the prophets," Ahmadinejad told thousands of people in the southeastern city of Zahedan. "If you committed this big crime, then why should the oppressed Palestinian nation pay the price?" Ahmadinejad asked rhetorically. "This is our proposal: if you committed the crime, then give a part of your own land in Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to them so that the Jews can establish their country," he said, developing a theme he raised in Saudi Arabia last week. The White House denounced the comments and said they show why Iran must not develop an atomic bomb. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said: "The repeated outrageous remarks of the Iranian president show clearly the mind-set of the ruling clique in Tehran and indicate clearly the extremist policy goals of the regime.  "The combination of fanatical ideology, a warped sense of reality and nuclear weapons is a combination that no one in the international community can accept," Regev added, referring to allegations that Iran is developing nuclear bombs. Avner Shalev, the director of Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the Holocaust in Jerusalem, said Ahmadinejad's comments required a "stronger response from world leaders." "Every genocidal statement has to be taken seriously because the Holocaust occurred, and the world knows it. Therefore, we don't just condemn these comments, we believe that the international community and the United Nations should deal with them more seriously," Shalev said. Ahmadinejad said the West had harmed Muslims, invaded their countries and plundered their wealth. "If your civilization consists of aggression, making oppressed people homeless, suffocating the voices of justice and bringing poverty to a majority of the world's people, we say loudly that we hate your hollow civilization," he said. Ahmadinejad has been unapologetic about taking Iran on a more openly defiant course, insisting on Iran's right to develop its nuclear program, which it insists is peaceful, and often using rhetoric reminiscent of the 1980s heyday of the Islamic Revolution. Moderate Iranians have called on the ruling Islamic establishment to rein in the president. But Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the ultimate say, has backed Ahmadinejad's calls for Israel's elimination. The United States is pushing to have Iran referred to the UN Security Council, where it could face sanctions for violating a nuclear arms control treaty. Ahmadinejad said that if Iran gave in on the nuclear dispute, there was no guarantee the West might not refuse to sell nuclear fuel in the future. "I assure you that we won't step back one inch from our nuclear rights," the president told the crowd, drawing chants of "Death to America!"


Palestinian Plans for Israel

imageDec. 15….(FOJ) Hamas terrorists and their political supporters held a giant parade in Gaza City yesterday in preparation for the planned upcoming Palestinian elections. Hamas presented its list of candidates to run against the PLO-Fatah factions vying for control of the so-called “Palestinian Democracy.” The Hamas terrorist organization concluded its landmark participation in the electoral process by staging a mock burning of an Israeli settlement, and the burning of the Israeli flag. These sort of activities are standard events in Gaza, but the event clearly demonstrates that Hamas is intent on the total annihilation of Israel, as is its sponsor-supporters in Syria and Iran.



US Ambassador to UN John Bolton: Israel Treated Unfairly at UN

Dec. 15….(ZOA) A record 1000 people came to the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National Dinner on Sunday night at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in New York City. The US Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, was ZOA's Keynote Speaker. Bolton received the ZOA's Defender of Israel Award and delivered a powerful speech in which he laid out many of the problems at the United Nations, stating, "Let's be clear - for it to be said that Israel is being treated as a normal nation at the UN is fantasy." Bolton's address was repeatedly interrupted by applause and he received a standing ovation. Bolton, whose appointment as UN Ambassador was strongly supported by the ZOA, has worked in recent weeks in the UN Security Council to have Syria and Palestinian Islamic Jihad named in connection with the terrorist attack against Israelis in Netanya which killed five and wounded more than 30 and also succeeded in having the Islamist terrorist group Hezbollah condemned for its attack upon Israel. This was the first occasion the UN has ever condemned Hezbollah. Bolton said at the dinner that the US would not back down and that naming terrorists "is something we plan to do in the future." He also spoke of Iran's public threat to wipe Israel off the map as being "no mere flight of rhetoric when it comes from a state that has been pursuing weapons of mass destruction." Ambassador Bolton promised to pursue the issue of UN-sponsored anti-Israeli campaigns. Referring to last week's "Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People", at which a "Map of Palestine" was displayed from which Israel was expunged, Bolton said that there was reason to believe the map had been produced and paid for by the UN and referred also to the case of a UN funded agency that had produced mugs and t-shirts saying, 'Today Gaza, Tomorrow Jerusalem,' saying that the US would pursue these matters: " If that is true, then you, the American taxpayer, paid for 22% of that map (percentage of UN budget paid for by US). You probably paid 22% of that entire event. We're going to find out if that is true. I want to make it clear that we are not finished with the issue. We are setting a new standard for honesty at the UN, when it comes to the Middle East, Bolton said.

FOJ Note: Last week the UN leadership actually convened and paid tribute to the Palestinian suicide bombers that have mutilated hundreds of Israeli citizens! A video clip of the UN honoring suicide bombers with a “minute of silence” can be viewed at the following website address. ( This clip captures the opening moments of UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This footage was omitted from the UN webcast which only begins at the conclusion of this episode. What you will see: Paul Badji ( Senegal), Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, addressing himself to others on the podium such as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, President of the UN Security Council Andrey Denisov, President of the UN General Assembly Jan Eliasson, and a host of representatives from UN member states, makes a statement which includes: "I invite everyone present to rise and observe a minute of silence in memory of all those who have sacrificed their lives on behalf of the Palestinian people.



Iranian Cleric: Muslims Could Nuke Israel

Dec. 15….(Newsmax) Ruling Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani declared Friday that the Muslim world could survive a nuclear exchange with Israel, while accomplishing the goal of obliterating the Jewish State. The application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel, but the same thing would just produce minimal damages in the Muslim world," Hashemi-Rafsanjani said, in quotes picked up by the Iran Press Service. "If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate," he posited. Analysts told IPS that Mr. Hashemi-Rafsanjani’s speech, delivered at a Tehran prayer service, was the first time that a prominent Islamic leader openly suggested a nuclear attack against the Israel. Six weeks ago, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a "World Without Zionism" conference that Israel should be "wiped off the map." Last week, United Nations nuclear watchdog Mohammed El Baradei said Iran would be able to produce nuclear weapons in a matter of months.



Dividing The Garment of Christ and The World's Plan for Israel, A Parallel?

Dec. 15….(Bill Wilson) Like the Roman soldiers beneath the cross of Christ dividing his belongings, the world is casting lots for the covenant land of Israel. It is obvious on the world stage that the United States, Russia, Great Britain, France and Germany are pushing hard for Israel to relinquish the land it gained in the 1967 and 1973 conflicts. And Russia, in a thirst for oil and Middle East influence, is applying a different, but lethal pressure through arming Iran with nuclear technology and missile delivery capacity. The European Union continues to flirt with the destructors of Israel by having discussions with terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah, something the Israeli government says is illegal. Crying foul, the Israeli Foreign Ministry believes that the EU has violated international law by talking to Hezbollah and by planning to make contact with Hamas. "Several countries have adopted a policy that includes entering into official talks with representatives of Hamas and Hezbollah, or refraining from taking harsh measures against their involvement in terrorism," states an internal Ministry document obtained by Haaretz. "From a legal standpoint, such political considerations cannot justify activity that is contrary to international law."



Palestinian Authority Claims Western Wall is Moslem Property

Dec. 14….(Arutz) The Palestinian Authority’s Office for Religious Affairs claims that the Western (Wailing) Wall, revered by Jews for generations as the last structural remnant of the Second Holy Temple, is Moslem property. The Palestinian Authority’s official website, echoing the claims of its Religious Affairs office, also attempts to negate Jewish ownership of the Western Wall. The PA office claims Moslem ownership of the Western Wall by referring to the wall on its website as the Al-Boraq Wall. According to Moselm legend, the wall is the place where Mohammed tied his horse, named Boraq, before ascending to heaven. Moslem tradition holds that Mohammed rose to heaven from the Temple Mount, though that idea is not mentioned anywhere in the Koran, the central text of the Moslem faith. Rabbi Chaim Richman, Director of the International Department of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem, said that the PA’s claims of Moslem ownership of the Western Wall has “far reaching implications” for Israel. Richman said that the PA’s denial of the Jewish Temple's existence “is part of a campaign to totally eradicate, erase, and destroy all Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, Jerusalem, and the land of Israel.” The PA contends that Israeli archeological digs near the site of the Western Wall, also commonly known as the Wailing Wall, “totally failed to find any proof that support their false claims” to the Wall. Richman said that “Islam has for many years been waging a campaign to destroy any evidence of a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount.” By destroying the remnants of the Jewish temples, Richman said that the PA believes that it is strengthening its hand in the final status negotiations with Israel over the status of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. “If we have no connection to the Temple Mount, then we have no connection to Jerusalem, and no right to anywhere in the land of Israel,” he added. In an attempt to revise recent history, the PA claims that during the time of the British mandate over the Land of Israel (1917-1948), the Jews began exceeding earlier arrangements “and claimed ownership” of the Wall. Moreover, the PA website states that after the Arab conquest of Jerusalem, “the Moslems had mercy on the Jews and let them cry at a place near that wall. The number of Jews at that time was very small, and the plaza they stood on was only four meters wide.” The PA attributes the infamous Arab riots of 1929 to Jewish efforts to claim ownership of the Western Wall. Hundreds of Jewish civilians were killed in those riots, which were initiated by the Mufti of Jerusalem, and are in many ways similar to the Arab intifadas of 1987 and 2000. The current intifada which began in 2000 is called the Al-Aksa Intifada. Al-Aksa is the name of the large mosque on the southern section of the Temple Mount. Many in the PA claim that the intifada was sparked by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount. However, it is widely known that plans for the current intifada, also known by many as the Oslo War, were well in place prior to Sharon's Temple Mount visit. Richman explained, that despite the efforts of the PA and the Moslem Wakf, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount can never have the same significance for Moslems as for Jews. He pointed out that Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in the Bible, “and not once in the whole Koran,” the Moslem holy book. Today, Jews are allowed to visit the Temple Mount only at very specific hours and in small numbers, and must be accompanied by Israeli Police as well as a representative of the Wakf, the Moslem body currently responsible for activity on the Temple Mount. In addition, Jewish visitors are not allowed to bow or pray anywhere on the Mount itself, and may not even bring books with Hebrew writing.



Sharon Advisor Says Sharon Will Partition Jerusalem

Dec. 14….(Arutz) Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's senior campaign pollster Kalman Gayer has let the cat out of the bag, Sharon plans to divide Israel's capital, Jerusalem, should he win the elections. Gayer made the statements speaking with Newsweek about the extent of the withdrawals Sharon is willing to make in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. Gayer said that the widespread withdrawals were the reason Sharon left the Likud Party. Prime Minister Sharon appeared on state-run television almost immediately, denying the accuracy of the claims. "The remarks attributed to Kalman Gayer absolutely contradict my positions and my views," Sharon said. "If those remarks were indeed made, they were made by Kalman Gayer alone and they are complete nonsense. United Jerusalem will remain Israel’s capital forever." Sharon then reiterated his commitment to the Road Map plan. The Road Map Plan uses the term "East Jerusalem" as a separate entity from Jerusalem and calls for the opening of Palestinian Authority institutions in the area. There are currently hundreds of thousands of Jews living in areas of the capital considered East Jerusalem by the Road Map. Prior to Sharon's announcement of the Disengagement Plan, the Gaza withdrawal plan was floated in the media by now-Finance Minister Ehud Olmert, and immediately denied by Sharon. Political commentators say such trial-balloons are a favorite method of Sharon's advisors, in order to gauge and diffuse public opposition to withdrawals. MK Uzi Landau, who recently bowed out of the Likud leadership race and endorsed Binyamin Netanyahu, said, "We know from past experience that whenever the prime minister rushed to deny something, it is certainly true." Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) said, "It is painful to realize that he who always accused others of planning to divide Jerusalem has been revealed in all his shame as intending to do so himself. "Kalman Gayer says out loud what Sharon says in private," Orlev said. "It is now clear that in Sharon's mind, the 'fate of Jerusalem is like the fate of Netzarim." Benjamin Netanyahu, the likely candidate of Likud come election time accused Sharon of plotting with the Quartet to divide Jerusalem.



Jerusalem Again Takes Center Stage

Dec. 14….(Ryan Jones/JNEWSWIRE) As Israelis prepare to choose a new leader and the international community circles, waiting for the day after when it will unleash renewed pressure for the birth of a Palestinian Arab state, the future status of the divinely-chosen city of Jerusalem has again taken center stage. All leading candidates for the Israeli premiership vow they will never allow the city to be divided between Jewish and Arab states, holding fast to the traditional position that a united Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel. But cracks are beginning to show in that stand, at least as far as two candidates are concerned. A storm erupted in Israel Tuesday evening after the US magazine Newsweek quoted Kalman Gayer, a senior adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, as saying that if the incumbent wins a third term, he will cede parts of eastern Jerusalem for the sake of a final status peace deal. Sharon's office issued a statement Tuesday denying the claim. However Finance Minister Ehud Olmert, the prime minister's top deputy and a man known for releasing “trial balloons” regarding future policy, has on more than one occasion stated Israel would eventually have to relinquish the dream of an eternally united Jerusalem under Jewish sovereignty. In refuting the accusations, Sharon also insisted he remains committed to the internationally-backed Road Map peace plan, which he inferred guarantees a united Jerusalem under Israel's control. The Road Map in fact does no such thing, and instead defers the issue to final status negotiations. Senior Likud MK Uzi Landau pointed out that “from past experience we know that when the prime minister rushes to deny, things are certainly true.” Sharon's Labor Party rival Amir Peretz has also gone on record as backing Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem, but made clear last week his primary goal, if elected leader of the nation, will be to conclude a final peace agreement with the “Palestinians” within one year. With both men's determination to be seen as Israel's ultimate peacemaker out in the open, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia reminded them Monday they would fail without serious concessions in the holy city. There can be no “Palestinian” statehood and therefore no Middle East peace unless the eastern half of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, comes under Arab rule, Qureia told a gathering of European representatives. The European Union recently clarified its position on Jerusalem in a still-unpublished report slamming Israeli activity and the imposition of Israeli law in the eastern half of the city, where several hundred thousand Jews live in the neighborhoods of Gilo, French Hill, Ramat Eshkol and others. EU officials said they will refrain from releasing the report at this time in the run up to Israeli elections, though its contents are already known. For its part, Israel's top ally the United States has never come out in support of Israel's biblical and historical claim to all of Jerusalem, and instead refers to the city as “disputed.” (FOJ Note: thus the reason that the US Presidency does not relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, citing security concerns) The American consulate in Jerusalem does not print a country on official documents issued in the city, such as passports or birth certificates. Many in Israel fear that as the “peace” process progresses, a combination of “Palestinian” intransigence, Western disregard for Israel's ancient rights, and a headlong rush by leftist leaders such as Peretz and Sharon to conclude a final peace deal at almost any cost means the division of Jerusalem may not be far off.



Why Israel is Suspicious of the United Nations?

Dec. 13….(FOJ) Prior to 1990, UN Security Council had passed 175 resolutions in its history, 97 of them directed against Israel (55% of all resolutions). Before 1990, the UN General Assembly voted on 690 resolutions, 429 were directed against Israel (62% of all resolutions). The UN has been silent while Israel was terrorized by indiscriminate suicide bombing campaigns unleashed by the PA/PLO leadership during Intifada I and Intifada II. Israel is the only member of the UN that is not permitted membership on the Security Council. Israel is the only country in the world that is permanently excluded from the UN's regional grouping system. Since Israel does not belong to any group, it is the only country of 190 member states that is not eligible to serve on the numerous UN commissions. (Libya can, Sudan can, and Syria can) In recent years, the UN Commission on Human Rights has annually passed five resolutions condemning Israel, and this year they passed seven. By contrast, each of the following countries/regions has been the subject of only one resolution: Afghanistan, Burundi, Congo, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Russia/Chechnya, Sierra Leone, Southeast Europe and Sudan. November 29 is the United Nations Day of International Solidarity with the Arab People. No other group or nation has a UN Day of Solidarity. Israel is the only state to which a special investigator with "an open-ended mandate to inspect its human rights record" is assigned by the UN. Israel is the only state targeted by two special committees and special units of the UN Secretariat ostensibly devoted to the Arabs but in reality dedicated to Israel-bashing worldwide, costing millions of dollars a year, most of which is donated by nations in the West. The UN is divided into ten regional groupings. They include (1) Asia Group (2) African Union (3) Western European Union (4) Eastern European Group (5) Organization of Islamic States (6) League of Arab States (7) Non-Aligned nations (8) G77 and China (3rd world states) (9) GRULACH (Latin America and Caribbean) (10) Juscanz (USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Mexico) Israel is the only UN member state which is not a full member of any regional group. Israel has been partially admitted to WEU’s other groups on a temporary basis beginning in May 2002 and only in connection with elections to UN bodies held in New York, and can only acquire full membership when it concludes occupation and border disputes with its Arab neighbors. (umm!)



Ahmadinejad Can Continue to Smile While Bashing Israel

imageDec. 13….(Ha Aretz) The following statistics will help explain the difficulty in imposing economic sanctions on a nuke-developing Iran: In the beginning of 2006 the total trade between it and China will reach some $8 billion, and by the end of 2006 it will rise to $10 billion; the gas pipeline between Iran and India will cost some $10 billion, and is meant to provide a significant portion of India's gas needs; and Russia is set to sign an agreement to sell Iran $1 billion in weapons. Iran, which is becoming transformed by world oil prices into an ever wealthier state and one that can pay for its deals primarily in cash, is economically prosperous. It appears that its leadership thinks it’s in such a good position that it can reject a Russian compromise proposal on the nuclear issue, and that it can depend on China to veto any sanction the United Nations may decide to impose. On the domestic front, too, the regime can enjoy freedom of action for the time being. The presidential elections only completed the process under way for three years, in which conservatives won a majority in the local authorities and in parliament, for which the reformists are partly to blame. And so Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can curse and swear at Israel and the United States, deny the Holocaust and suggest that the Jews return to Europe, without such a statement constituting a change in Iran's standing. However within the government, the Iranian president can reach only the line marked by spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who continues to control the important nuclear portfolio, but that's still a lot of leeway. This standing of Iran, and particularly the dependence of Russia and China on Iran (along with other countries like Japan, India and Pakistan, which have no veto power in the UN Security Council), create the impression that the West does not have a real option in light of the threat of Iran's being armed with a nuclear weapon. This impression is very close to reality, as long as international organizations like the International Atomic Energy Agency and the UN Security Council are bound by two fundamental understandings that accompany its treatment of Iranian nuclear power. The first is that at the moment there is no military option, certainly not while the war in Iraq teaches a daily lesson to those who support this option; and the second is that in light of Iran's strong economic standing and its special ties with China and Russia, it will be unrealistic to threaten it with military options, or even economic sanctions. It is not superfluous to add to these fundamental understandings the American attempt to get Iran involved in quieting Iraq so that it can finally begin to think about a time to withdraw. In the last two weeks, the US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, has been trying to find an Iranian interlocutor on the issue, so far unsuccessfully. These attempts further strengthen the feeling of Iranian power. Moreover, an Iranian nuclear weapon is seen in Europe, Russia and China solely as breaching the world balance of power, but not as a direct threat to them. This is in utter opposition to the position of Israel, which is not particularly impressed by breaches of the world balance of power, as it doesn't protest the development of Indian or Pakistani nuclear power (and is itself not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty). Israel sees Iranian nuclear power as a direct threat to it, and only to it. That's where another reason for the international shoulder-shrugging comes in: Iranian nuclear power is considered almost exclusively an Israeli problem, and this fact makes it even more difficult to get the world to act jointly against Iran.



So Much For Democracy in Palestine

Dec. 13….(FOJ) While President Bush boasts that Iraq is moving in the direction of democracy, as hopefully evidenced by the current Iraqi election, the push for democracy that he demanded of the Palestinian Authority in exchange for his support for Palestinian Statehood is revealing itself as an outright charade. The Palestinian central election commission shut its doors Tuesday in protest after masked gunmen burst into its West Bank and Gaza offices, firing in the air and hauling off election computers, perhaps jeopardizing next month's parliamentary election. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas ordered his security forces to protect election workers, but officials privately conceded that the violence could endanger the January 25 vote, seen as a key to establishing a credible government that could conduct peace talks with Israel. Contributing to the murky atmosphere, a poll released Tuesday showed that nearly a third of the Palestinian people have no faith in any of the possible leaders. imageIn Tuesday's violence, masked gunmen stormed election offices in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, firing in the air, destroying computers and ordering workers out. Palestinian Election commission head Hanna Nasser met with Abbas to discuss the crisis. Abbas pledged to protect election workers and "take required measures against the aggressors," said Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a spokesman for Abbas. However, the PA’s own Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is known to be involved in the violence. The violence stems from disputes within Abbas' ruling Fatah party, which is divided between its corrupt old guard and younger members. The young generation fears Fatah old-timers will select the list of party candidates, instead of relying on results from recent primaries. The Fatah young guard swept to victory in most of the primaries, but Abbas holds the final say over who will run in the January vote. He is to announce his list of candidates Wednesday. Meanwhile, Hamas is planning its own list of candidates. Apparently Hamas and Fatah are each resorting to intimidation and threats to affect their own idea of a favorable election outcome. But alas, Mr. Bush, this is democracy, Palestinian Style!



Former Iran leader: Zionists’ Days Numbered

imageDec. 13….(YNET) Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani met with senior Hamas member Khaled Mashal in Tehran, and encouraged the ‘high spirit and resistance of Palestinians for the restoration of their violated rights and Jihad against Israel. The Zionist entity's days are numbered, former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in the meeting with senior Hamas member Khaled Mashal, according to an Islamic Republic News Agency report. The agency said that in a report released by the Iranian Expediency Council, headed by Rafsanjani, the former leader pointed to the political standstill facing the ‘Zionist’ regime and its withdrawal from some of the territories as reasons for its backward movement. (a reference to the Gaza withdrawal)  "The high spirit, resistance and hopefulness of the Palestinian people for restoration of their violated rights are among the factors leading to the current situation encountered by the Zionists," he said. Rafsanjani said Iran would continue with its fundamental policy of supporting the ‘oppressed’ Palestinian people, adding that resistance is the only option left for the Palestinians in order to restore their rights. He said the Palestinians bear the basic burden of countering the aggressive goals of the ‘Zionist’ regime upon their shoulders.  "One of the reasons for the pressures currently being exerted on some of the regional states, including Iran, Syria and Lebanon is to prevent their support for the oppressed Palestinian people,” Rafsanjani claimed. For his part, Mashal said that the ‘Zionist’ regime has lost its power for imposing the ‘occupation’ on the Palestinians. He noted that political, social and other campaigns launched by ‘resistance’ movements such as Hamas aim to restore the Palestinians rights, but added that, "Politics cannot replace resistance, but can only complement it."



Halutz: Nuclear Iran in 3 Months

imageDec. 13….(YNET) IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz says, 'Within three months Iran will reach a point of no return in terms of its capability to manufacture nuclear bomb; adds that threat to Israel not immediate. Within three months Iran will reach a point of no return in terms of its technological capacity to manufacture a nuclear bomb, IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz told the Knesset's Security and Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday. "This fact does not represent a threat to Israel just yet, because Iran will have to overcome a few obstacles before it can put the weapons to use," he added. Western intelligence agencies have been trying to figure out how close Iran is to the bomb for a number of years. In Washington, a change of position has occurred of late, and a "critical decade" is the latest estimate, but views there are also divided. Last week, Israel's stance was strengthened by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Elbaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who said that the minute Iran completes work on its Natanz core, three months would separate the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear weapons.



Senior PA Chief Says: ‘No Jerusalem, No Peace’

Dec. 13….(Arutz) No Jerusalem, no peace,” declared Ahmed Quriea at a special cabinet meeting of the Palestinian Authority’s government on Monday. Quriea, also known by the name he used as a PLO terrorist, Abu Ala, serves as the PA’s prime minister. Quriea promised that the Palestinian Authority would never give up its demand for sovereignty over Jerusalem and goal of making it the capital of a Palestinian state. That goal, he said, has become the PA’s primary consideration for peace with Israel. Quriea announced at the meeting that the PA will be taking positive steps to exert its influence over Jerusalem. He said the PA planned to transfer income support payments to Arab families living in the city. He said the PA was trying to enlist donations for that purpose from countries that contribute money to finance the operations of the PA government. The United States, Europe, and various Arab countries regularly donate money to the Palestinian Authority. Quriea thanked the government of Saudi Arabia for its contributions towards realizing the PA’s goals in Jerusalem. Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish State, is under Israeli sovereignty. The city was liberated in two stages, the western part in the 1948 Independence War, and the eastern part in the 1967 Six Day War. The eastern part of the city, which contains the Old City, Western Wall, and Temple Mount, also includes numerous Arab neighborhoods. The Israeli government formally annexed the eastern part of the city shortly after the Six Day War. The Palestinian Authority, set up by the Oslo accords in 1994, is based in Ramallah, north of Jerusalem. PA operations in Jerusalem are forbidden, according to those agreements. They are also illegal under Israeli law.



Israel Preparing to Strike Iran?

Dec. 12….(YNET) Israeli Prime Minsiter Sharon orders IDF to prepare for attack on Iran's nuclear facilities by end of March 2006, British newspaper Sunday Times reports; intelligence officials say Iranian uranium enrichment facilities already active. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has instructed the IDF to prepare for the possibility of a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities by the end of March 2006, the Sunday Times reported. According to the British newspaper said that the order was relayed to the army after intelligence officials warned the government that Iran has already activated uranium enrichment facilities hidden at civilian locations. Notably, a strike on Iran at the end of March would coincide with the general elections scheduled for March 28. Israel has already attacked a foreign nuclear reactor shortly before elections time, when the Air Force struck in Iraq in 1981. Sunday Times reporters Uzi Mahanaimi and Sarah Baxter say IDF sources confirmed the planned operation has already entered the highest state of readiness last week. According to the report, defense officials told the British newspaper that should the army's plan of attack be approved, Israel would make use of both air and ground forces in order to strike at several nuclear targets in a bid to hamper Iran's nuke program by several years. Defense officials reportedly said that a "massive" intelligence gathering effort has been undertaken ever since Iran was designated as "top priority for 2005." According to the report, Israel has engaged in cross-border operations and has gathered intelligence through an Israeli base established in northern Iraq. The said operations reportedly netted information that allowed Israel to identify Iranian uranium enrichment facilities unknown to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Sunday Times estimated that elite IDF forces and F-15 fighter jets, which can reach Iran and return to Israel without refueling, will take part in a future strike. "If we opt for the military strike,” the newspaper quoted one source as saying, “it must be not less than 100 percent successful. It will resemble the destruction of the Egyptian air force in three hours in June 1967.” Israel has reportedly also set March as the target date for an attack for fear Iran would be able to improve its intelligence gathering capabilities. In October, Iran launched its first satellite, a reality that has prompted an Israeli defense source to tell the Sunday Times Israel was concerned about the prospect of such satellite providing Teheran with early warning regarding an Israeli strike. “If and when we launch an attack on several Iranian targets, the last thing we need is Iranian early warning received by satellite," the newspaper quoted the source as saying.

Israel Denies Plans to Attack Iran

In response to the Sunday Times article, Israeli Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry's foreign policy department, said in an interview to Israel Radio that while a military operation against Iran's nuclear facilities could not be ruled out, Israel was a partner in international diplomatic efforts to address the threat from Teheran. Gilad denied the Times allegations that Israel planned to attack Iran in March 2006.



China Heavily Arming Sudan

Dec. 12….(MENL) China has become a leading weapons supplier in Sudan as part of Beijing's efforts to maintain oil interests in Africa. The Washington-based Jamestown Foundation said in a report that China has become the fifth largest arms supplier to the African continent. The report, entitled, “Beijing's Arms and Oil Interests in Africa," asserted that China has sold fighter-jets and helicopters to Khartoum. "China has pursued a policy that is entirely based on narrow economic interests and has been keen to supply the Sudanese government with fighter aircraft and an assortment of weaponry," the report, authored by Ian Taylor, said. "Apart from the profits accrued from these arms sales, the policy helps consolidate and protect Chinese investment in Sudan's oil reserves." The study cited reports that Sudan obtained 34 new fighter-jets from China. Taylor said the Sudanese Air Force also procured $100 million worth of Shenyang fighter planes, including a dozen supersonic F-7 jets.



Putin Says Russia is Defender of Islamic World!

Dec. 12…. ( Moscow News) Russia is the most reliable partner of the Islamic world and most faithful defender of its interests, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in Chechnya’s capital Grozny. Putin unexpectedly visited the war-ravaged republic to speak in the local parliament that opened for its first sitting on Monday. “Russia has always been the most faithful, reliable and consistent defender of the interests of the Islamic world. Russia has always been the best and most reliable partner and ally. By destroying Russia, these people (terrorists) destroy one of the main pillars of the Islamic world in the struggle for rights (of Islamic states) in the international arena, the struggle for their legitimate rights,” Putin was quoted by Itar, Tass as saying, drawing applause from Chechen parliamentarians. “Those who are trying to defend these false (extremist) ideals, those who are used as cannon fodder, who plant a mine for ten dollars or shoot with automatic weapons either do not know or have forgotten this,” the president said. “Those who organize such activity certainly do this deliberately, understanding what goals they want to achieve,” Putin went on to say. The leaders of the main Islamic states understand this, he added. “For this reason their representatives were present at the general voting in the referendum on the Constitution of the Chechen Republic, they were at the presidential elections; both the Organization of Islamic Conference and the League of Arab States, our colleagues and friends were present at the elections to the parliament.” Putin said that “member countries of the Organization of Islamic Conference have unanimously passed a decision that Russia will begin working as an observer on a permanent basis”. “And we shall continue our activity within the framework of this organization. Quite recently a delegation of Russia’s Muslims has been to Mecca to discuss the problems of Muslim world development with their brothers. I repeat: Russia will pursue this policy,” the president added. President Vladimir Putin paid a surprise morale-boosting visit to Chechnya Monday, flown into the war-wracked province by helicopter under tight security. Putin declared the turbulent region was on the road to peace. Russia, a country with a total population of approximately 144 million, has 23 million Muslim residents representing 38 peoples, according to the Council of Muftis of Russia.






Iran's Supreme Ruler Backs President Over anti-Israel Comments

Dec. 10….(Ha Aretz) Iran's supreme ruler came out in support of his maligned president on Saturday, who created an international storm by demanding Israel be moved to Europe and casting doubt on whether the Holocaust happened. "The unusual sensitivity of Zionists and their American supporters toward Iran's stance over the Zionist state reveals their increased weakness and fear about the level of attention given by Islamic nations to the Palestinian issue," state-run Iranian radio quoted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying. "Despite the Zionist's campaign, the struggle against the occupiers has become an old and thick tree in the Islamic world such that the arrogant powers could not sever its roots," he added.  But the United States, Israel, Europe, United Nations and even Iranian ally Russia condemned Ahmadinejad for casting doubt on whether the Nazi Holocaust took place and suggesting Europe give land for a Jewish state if it felt guilty about it. Khamenei has ultimate say on all issues in Iran and backed similar controversial remarks made in October by Ahmadinejad, who said Israel should be "wiped off the map." Ahmadinejad emerged from the hard-line establishment as a surprise victor in June elections on a platform of helping Iran's poor and a return to the values of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Since taking office, he has pushed hard-core rhetoric recalling the revolution's leader Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Iran plans to hold an international conference on "Support Palestine's Islamic Revolution" in April 2006. Nobel peace laureate and UN nuclear watchdog agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei appeared to warn Israel not to bomb Iranian atomic facilities in a newspaper interview published Saturday. "You cannot use force to prevent a country from obtaining nuclear weapons. By bombing them half to death, you can only delay the plans," ElBaradei was quoted as saying by the Oslo newspaper Aftenposten. "But they will come back, and they will demand revenge." ElBaradei was in the Norwegian capital to accept the Nobel Peace Prize awarded jointly to him and the International Atomic Energy Agency. The report said ElBaradei did not mention Israel but it was clear he was referring to Israel's increasingly open discussion over whether to protect itself by bombing Iranian facilities it suspects are being used in a possible secret nuclear weapons program.



ElBaradei: World Must Abandon Nukes

(Watchdog chief accepts Nobel peace prize, says world must choose between nukes, survival)
imageDec. 10….(YNET) Nuclear watchdog agency Chief Mohamed ElBaradei warned Saturday in accepting the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize that humanity faces a choice between nuclear weapons and survival. ElBaradei shared the coveted award with his International Atomic Energy Agency - cited for their drive to control the spread of nuclear weapons, especially to terrorists. If we hope to escape self-destruction, then I believe nuclear weapons should have no place in our collective conscience, and no role in our security," ElBaradei said in his acceptance speech. "The hard part is: How do we create an environment in which all of us would look at nuclear weapons the way we look at slavery or genocide, as a taboo and a historical anomaly?" he said in thanking the Nobel committee for the honor. The 63-year-old Egyptian and the IAEA's Board of Governors Chairman Yukiya Amano, from Japan, accepted the peace prize 60 years after the 1945 atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Six decades later and 15 years after the end of the Cold War, the threat of nuclear nightmare remains strong, ElBaradei said. The world community is deeply concerned about possible atomic weapons programs in Iran and North Korea, and terrorists' increasingly sophisticated efforts to obtain nuclear weapons. "Our security strategies have not yet caught up with the security threats we are facing," ElBaradei said. "The globalization that has swept away the barriers to the movement of goods, ideas and people but is has also removed barriers that confined and localized security threats."

Plans for Nuclear Fuel Bank

Smiling broadly, ElBaradei and Amano, representing the agency, accepted their Nobel gold medals and diplomas from awards committee chairman Ole Danbolt Mjoes at a gala ceremony in the Oslo City Hall, which was decorated with 6,000 carnations and 3,000 orchids. ElBaradei also said his idea is to set up a nuclear fuel bank under the IAEA so countries could have access to fissionable material for peaceful uses, such as power plants, without building their own atomic fuel processing centers that could also be used for weapons. ElBaradei also underscored the peaceful side of the IAEA's nuclear watchdog role: ensuring the safest possible use of atomic materials for power plants, cancer treatments, research and science.




Muslim Leaders Vow to Fight Extremist Ideology

imageDec. 9….(AP) Leaders from more than 50 Muslim countries promised Thursday to fight extremist ideology, saying they would reform textbooks, restrict religious edicts and crack down on terror financing. Kings, heads of states and ministers closed a two-day summit in Islam's holiest city, Mecca, that had been convened to address terrorism, seeking to counter criticism that the Islamic world has done little to confront extremism. "The Islamic nation is in a crisis. This crisis does not reflect on the present alone, but also on its future and the future of humanity at large," said the final statement of the gathering. "We need decisive action to fight deviant ideas because they are the justification of terrorism." In the declaration, the countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference promised to "change national laws to criminalize financing and incitement" as well as purge extremist ideas from school curriculums. It also underlined that "fatwas," or Islamic religious edicts, must only be issued by "those who are authorized," an effort to rein in edicts by clerics who denounce other Muslims and allow their killing. "It is now up to every Muslim government to implement the measures, God willing," Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said at a news conference. Leaders of about 40 countries were participating in the meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, with the remaining OIC members represented by ministers. Saudi Arabia has cracked down on al-Qaida militants there since a wave of attacks in early 2003, and King Abdullah has taken gradual steps to clamp down on militant preachers in his country, the homeland of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 19 suicide hijackers in the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States. Jordan's King Abdullah II also played a leading role at the summit, pressing for strong language against terrorism and extremist ideology after his country was hit by its worst ever terror attack last month, a triple suicide bombing at Amman hotels that killed 60 people. Among noted absentees was Syrian President Bashar Assad.



Mofaz: Israel Must Face Iran with Solutions 'other than Diplomatic'

Dec. 9….(Ha Aretz) Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz on Friday spoke harshly against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad saying Israel must prepare solutions "other than diplomatic" in the face of Tehran's persistent advancement of its nuclear program. Speaking on a visit to the market at Hatikva neighborhood in Tel Aviv, Mofaz said, "the right move would be to let a diplomatic approach guide us, but we must also prepare other solutions." The defense minister referred to Ahmadenijad as an "Israel hater" adding that "the combination of extreme hatred and nuclear capabilities certainly threatens the State of Israel and Western countries." Mofaz commented on a speech Ahmadenijad made on Thursday in which he questioned the extent of the Holocaust and suggested Israel be moved to Europe. World leaders, including UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, condemned these remarks. "Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces and they insist on it to the extent that if anyone proves something contrary to that they condemn that person and throw them in jail," the IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying. "We don't accept this claim," he said. "If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe, like in Germany, Austria or other countries, to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe," he said at a conference in Saudi Arabia on Thursday. "You offer part of Europe and we will support it." Annan expressed shock at the comments and pointed to a UN General Assembly resolution last month that rejected "any denial of the Holocaust as an historical event, either in full or in part." In October, Annan and many other leaders criticized Ahmadinejad for saying Israel should be wiped off the map. Thursday's comments also elicited quick condemnation. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called them "totally unacceptable." At a press conference with French President Jacques Chirac near Berlin, Merkel also said: "With our historical responsibility in mind, I can only say that we reject the comments in the harshest possible terms. We will do everything to make it clear that Israel's right to existence is in no way endangered." Chirac said he agreed completely. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he condemns the comments "unreservedly," adding, "They have no place in civilized political debate." White House spokesman Scott McClellan said, "It just further underscores our concerns about the regime in Iran and it's all the more reason why it's so important that the regime not have the ability to develop nuclear weapons."

FOJ Note: Russian President Putin has also condemned Iranian President Ahmadenijab’s comments about Israel and the Holocaust, yet he eagerly continues to equip Iran with the capacity for developing nuclear weapons.



Palestinian Teens Continue Smuggling Bombs into Israel

imageDec. 9….(FOJ) Israel Defense Forces troops arrested a 15-year-old boy attempting to smuggle two pipe bombs through the Hawara checkpoint near the West Bank city of Nablus on Friday. The young lad is just one of many that IDF soldiers have caught smuggling bombs into Israel. In this case, the soldiers' suspicion was aroused by the jacket the young boy was wearing. They searched him and found the bombs, which were ready for use. The teen said he was trying to bring the bombs to Palestinians waiting on the other side of the checkpoint. Whether or not the boy’s explanation is true or whether he was meant to be the actual suicide bomber is a matter of conjecture.



Iran's Ahmadinejad Says Israel Should be Moved to Europe

imageDec. 8….(YNET) Iran's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that if Germany and Austria feel responsible for massacring Jews during World War II, a state of Israel should be established on their soil. Ahmadinejad, who sparked an international outcry in October when he said Israel "must be wiped off the map", also repeated his view Thursday that the Jewish state was a "tumor".

"Now that you believe the Jews were oppressed, why should the Palestinian Muslims have to pay the price?" the hardline president asked in an interview with Iran's Arabic-language satellite channel, Al-Alam. "Why did you come to give a piece of Islamic land and the territory of the Palestinian people to them? "You oppressed them, so give a part of Europe to the Zionist regime so they can establish any government they want. We would support it," he said, according to a transcript of his original Farsi-language comments given to AFP. "So, Germany and Austria, come and give one, two or any number of your provinces to the Zionist regime so they can create a country there which all of Europe will support and the problem will be solved at its root," he said. "Why do they insist on imposing themselves on other powers and creating a tumour so there is always tension and conflict?" Al-Alam said Ahmadinejad was speaking in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia where he was attending a two-day meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference that opened Wednesday. "Is it not true that European countries insist that they committed a Jewish genocide? They say that Hitler burned millions of Jews in furnaces, and exiled them," Ahmadinejad told Al-Alam. "Then because the Jews have been oppressed during the Second World War, therefore they (the Europeans) have to support the occupying regime of Qods (Jerusalem). We do not accept this," he said. He also noted that European countries "believe in this so much and are so determined that any researcher who denies it (the Holocaust) with historical evidence is dealt with in a most harsh way and sent to prison." The Holocaust was Nazi Germany's systematic slaughter of an estimated six million Jews between 1933 and 1945, mainly in the latter years of World War II. Official Iranian media frequently carry sympathetic interviews with Holocaust revisionist historians, who attempt to establish that the number of Jews killed by the Nazis was wildly exaggerated. Iran refuses to recognize Israel. Ahmadinejad said his second proposal was for "a referendum in Palestine for all the original Palestinians" to decide on the future of what is now Israel, the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

But the president said that "the best solution is resistance so that the enemies of the Palestinians accept the reality and the right of the Palestinian people to have land."



UN Ceremony Includes Map of ´Palestine´ With No Israel

Map of "Palestine" from the Jordan River to the sea,
with no mention of the Jewish State anywhere. The map shows it has been “wiped out.”

Is this not an encouragement to lunatics like the President of Iran?

Dec. 8….(Worthy News) The United Nations held a "Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People" last week. A large map of “Palestine,” with Israel literally wiped off the map, featured prominently in the festivities. The ceremony was held at UN headquarters in New York and was attended by Secretary General Kofi Annan and the Presidents of the UN Security Council and the General Assembly. During the festivities a map labeled a "map of Palestine” was displayed prominently between UN and PLO flags. The map, with “Palestine” written in Arabic atop it, does not include Israel, a member of the UN for 56 years. The map does not even demarcate the partition lines of November 29, 1947, marking a Jewish state alongside an Arab state, a line dictated by the UN General Assembly itself.



Hezbollah Could Open Multiple Fronts

Dec. 8….(MENL) Israel has estimated that Hizbullah has accumulated up to 15,000 rockets and missiles, obtained from Syria and Iran. Hizbullah could open a military front in any Arab or Iranian war against Israel in the future, and may be what they are planning. A leading US analyst told the House Middle East and Central Asia subcommittee that Hizbullah has become a significant military threat to Israel. Ilan Berman, author of a new book on Iran and vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, told the subcommittee that Hizbullah was even more powerful than Al Qaida. "Over the past two years, large-scale missile deliveries from Iran, in collusion with Syria, have substantially expanded the threat posed by Hizbullah to northern Israel, and created the possibility for Teheran to open a northern front against the Israeli government in the event of a diplomatic or military crisis," Berman told the subcommittee on Oct. 18. Berman was referring to Iranian shipments of a range of Iranian and Syrian rockets and missiles to southern Lebanon



US Denounces Syria as Being "on the Wrong Side" of Terrorism

Dec. 8….(Yahoo) The US State Department drew links Tuesday between Syria and the Palestinian group that claims responsibility for five terror attacks on Israel and charged Syria was on the side of terrorists. Palestinian Islamic Jihad has offices in Damascus and there are "regular interactions" between Syria and the group, spokesman Adam Ereli said. "That should be of sufficient concern to anybody who wants to see peace and fight terror." In the past, the State Department has called on Syria to close the Damascus offices of terrorist groups. The latest statement, issued as Israeli officials said the Israeli army would target Islamic Jihad operatives on the West Bank, ramped up the US rhetoric. "The issue is Syrian leadership making the decision on the right side or the wrong side of an issue," Ereli said. "Right now, they are on the wrong side. They are on the side of terrorists who kill innocent people and undermine the hopes and aspirations of the Palestinian people." Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility for five attacks on Israel since Israel and the Palestinian Authority agreed on a ceasefire in February. The latest was outside a shopping mall in Netanya that killed five people. The group, labeled a terrorist organization by the State Department, said it had acted in response to Israeli violations of the ceasefire.



Iraq Bomber Strikes Baghdad Bus; Up to 30 Dead

imageDec. 8….(AP) A suicide bomber who jumped on a bus after security checks had been completed detonated an explosives belt among passengers heading to a Shiite city Thursday, killing up to 30 people and wounding nearly 40, officials said. Most of those killed were on the bus, which was gutted by flames, but several people gathered around a nearby food stall were also killed, police said. A hospital official said at least 37 people were injured. Police said the attacker waited until the bus was slowly pulling away from the station, then jumped on board to avoid security checks. Police said the death toll was especially high because the blast triggered secondary explosions in gas cylinders stored at the food stall. The blast occurred a week before national elections, and officials had warned of a surge in violence ahead of the balloting. Witnesses told police that the suicide bomber left a car, boarded the packed bus and blew himself up as it was leaving for Nasiriyah, 200 miles southeast of Baghdad, police Lt. Ali Mitaab said. Fire swept through the bus, trapping passengers who had been headed to the southern city for the weekend, which starts here on Thursday evening. Charred corpses were left in the seats, their faces starring out through the shattered windows. Police climbed over the top of the vehicle inspecting what remained of luggage. "As the bus was going outside the station, a man carrying a bag tried to get into the bus, but the conductor was suspicious about him," police Lt. Wisam Hakim said. "He tried to stop him but the man insisted. He sat in the middle of the bus and then the explosion took place."



Pearl Harbor and 9-11

imageDec. 7….(FOJ) Four years out from the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor by the empire of Japan on December 7th, 1941, America was a united and victorious nation. It was a nation that urgently besought God, and looked to him for their security and welfare. There was actually a mini-nationwide revival as the nation faced the evil of WWII. The country endured one of the darkest nightmares that a nation can face. Aside from its own civil war in the early 1860’s, the World War II era was probably the most serious threat the American Republic has ever faced. The 7 December 1941 Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor was one of the great defining moments in our history.Another defining moment in history occurred on September 11, 2001, when America was suddenly attacked by a shadowy enemy known only by the name of terrorism. Unlike the 1940’s however, America has not come together shoulder-to-shoulder to take the fight to this enemy, but has become more divided than ever, and quickly returned itself to fighting its four decades old cultural-political civil war, and moving still further away from the God who oversaw the birth of our Republic in 1776. In the four years since 9-11, America has dabbled with civil unions, gay pastors, and defamed the Ten Commandments. That is hardly the societal spiritual atmosphere that dominated the American heartland during what has become known as America’s Greatest Generation.

Americans were still a God-fearing people in the WWII era, and had not adjudicated that God’s laws were irrelevant, and on that ominous day in 1941, most Americans turned towards god for sustenance and courage to face a growing evil world. In the aftermath of 9-11 however, many Americans have continued to shake one fist at God, while sticking out the other hand to accommodate the god of our enemies. September 9, 2001 was a wake up call for America, and like Dec. 7th, 1941, it is a day to remember that the God of Heaven oversees all the affairs of the nations, and sets them up and takes them down as he sees fit, according to his purpose. (Isaiah 40:15-18 Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?) America had better learn how to remember how to be on the Lord’s side, or the Lord just might allow our enemies to teach us to learn that valuable lesson!


image image



The Walls Tell A Story

imageDec. 7….(FOJ) Israel has received a lot of international condemnation for constructing its security wall/fence. The ICC has condemned it as an apartheid wall, and the UN and the EU agree with the Palestinian Authority that the wall amounts to a land-grab by Israel.  In reality, Israel has done everything a nation can do to thwart the threat posed by maniacal terrorists. The security wall is a last resort effort to keep the Palestinian terror-cannon fodder out of Israeli malls, café’s, and other public venues. Ironically, the Palestinian Authority enables walls of pictured martyrs to be erected throughout Gaza and the West Bank.


These walls, with hundreds of pictures of Shahids plastered upon them, are intended to promote the phenomenon of suicide bombers. The two walls seem to tell a simple story about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Israel just wants to keep the human bombers out, while the PA wants to lionize the acts of the terrorists, and hopefully create an aura about them that inspires more kids to become Shahids. 



The PA's New Terror Law

Dec. 7…..(Frontpage) The very same day that an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber killed at least five Israelis and wounded more than 40 innocent people in a Netanya shopping mall, the Palestinian daily, al Hayat al Jadida, reported that Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, signed a new law to support the families of suicide bombers. A day earlier (Dec 4, 2005), the news was celebrated in a special gathering in Gaza, organized by Yasser Ararir, Chairman of the Gazan Association of Martyr Families, who led the public campaign for the approval of this law for over a year. He praised Abbas' decision. Enacting a special law to financially support terrorists will ensure that this kind of activity continues. Each shahid’s family will receive a monthly stipend of at least $250. The family of a married shahid will receive an additional $50. Parents will receive an additional $25, and each additional child and/or brother or sister will get another $15. This new budget to support the families of suicide bombers comes on the heels of the recent approval of another new law providing more than 50 million dollars per year to support Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons and Palestinian terrorists wounded while attacking Israel. According to the latest figures from the Palestinian Authority, 3,746 Palestinians were killed to date during the second Intifada (September 2000 - December 2005). Many of them were killed while engaging in terrorist attacks against Israel. The budget for this group alone is more than $11 million per year. Add the financial support now enacted by law to the families, spouses, children and siblings and the budget will increase by at least $20 million annually. This new law is not limited only to the suicide bombers of the second Intifada, but includes all the Palestinian suicide bombers since this practice began, thereby, adding many more millions of dollars to the budget for more terrorists. For example, covering the basic monthly grant for the 1,533 Palestinian terrorists who participated in the first Intifada (1987 - 1993), will total more than $4.5 million per year. This law provides legitimacy to the “armed struggle” and elevates terrorists to the status of “national heroes.” According to official Palestinian sources, the PA is transferring $4 million every month to Palestinian terrorists held in Israeli prisons. In total, support for the “martyr families,” prisoners and the wounded could reach more than 10 percent ($100 million) of the PA’s national $1 billion budget. The financial benefit for the families of the shahids, prisoners and wounded terrorists do not end with the Palestinian Authority. In addition to the PA’s handsome rewards, they also receive grants from the so-called” charitable” organizations of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, to the tune of tens of millions annually. The source of most of this money is charity trusts out of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Persian Gulf states with some donations being channeled through Islamic charities in Europe and the United States. Israel had outlawed all charitable organizations belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad because they are part of the economic infrastructure that supports terrorist activities. This new law that funds terrorism is the most egregious evidence of the Palestinians’ intentions to wage permanent war on Israel. In what has become the staple subterfuge of PA, Abbas issued a condemnation of the latest attack in Netanya: "These operations against civilians cause the greatest damage to our commitment to the peace process, and the Palestinian National Authority will not show indulgence towards anyone who is found responsible for this operation." Yet, hours earlier, Abbas had signed into law financial incentives for future suicide bombers.



Orders for Suicide Attack Came From Syria

Dec. 6….(YNET) The US State Department once again has called on Bashar Assad to close down Islamic Jihad’s Damascus headquarters as Israel joined the United States in pointing the accusation finger at Syria as being responsible for the deadly suicide bombing  in Netanya Monday, with both countries quoting intelligence reports linking the regime of President Bashar Assad to the activities of the Islamic Jihad terror group. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for Monday's attack at Netanya’s Sharon Mall, where a suicide bomber blew himself up killing 5 Israelis and injuring as many as 50 bystanders. The US State Department acknowledged claims by the Palestinian Authority that the orders to carry out the attack emanated from Damascus, a haven for Islamic Jihad's leadership. The State Department condemned the attack calling on Syria to immediately close down the headquarters of the terror group in the Syrian capital. Israel’s adoption of the United State’s accusations against Syria was voiced during a meeting of the security cabinet in Jerusalem Tuesday. “We accept the Palestinian Authority’s claims that the orders to carry out the attack came out of Damascus,” aides to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told reporters at the conclusion of the meeting. The cabinet reiterated past Israeli claims that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas is a weak leader incapable of being a partner in the fight against terror. The IDF has been instructed to intensify its operations against terror cells in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the wake of the attack, with Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz seeking legal permission to dust off the targeted assassination policy against “ticking bombs” and terrorists with blood on their hands. Jerusalem accused the Islamic Jihad leadership in Damascus of operating terror cells in the northern West Bank. The Foreign Ministry has been instructed to ask Western countries to renew demands that Abbas crack down on Palestinian terror organizations and intensify pressure on Damascus to ban terror groups from operation on its territory. Aides in Abbas’ office in Ramallah’s Muqata received stern messages from Israeli and western diplomats with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior advisor Dov Weisglass telling his Palestinian counterpart that demands for Israeli assistance in all issues would fall on deaf ears. “Don’t ask anything from us in the near future, from issues related to the border crossings in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and in general. You have to bare responsibility for your actions,” an Israeli diplomat reportedly told Abbas’ office. US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana and Egyptian diplomats urged Abbas to launch a campaign to disarm terror groups before the January 25 general elections for the PA leadership. Israel’s belief that Abbas is incapable of controlling terror groups prompted the campaign to intensify pressure on Damascus with both Israel and the US thinking that Syrian action against Islamic Jihad is likely to weaken the group’s operational activities in the West Bank and Gaza, an Israeli official told Ynet. “There is no doubt that additional American pressure on Syria, which is being investigated by the United Nations for the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri can narrow the activities of Islamic Jihad,” the source said. “The orders and the funds come from there. Damascus is doing nothing to stop that. It’s possible that it has an interest in heating up the ground to stop pressure applied on it," the source said. "In fact, if the Americans and the Europeans pressure Bashar Assad on this issue, the tap will be sealed for terrorists who dispatch Palestinian suicide bombers,” he added.



PA Continues to Venerate Suicide Bombers

Dec. 6….(Arutz) The Palestinian Authority continues to praise terrorists on its state-run media, despite English-language condemnations sent to journalists following terror attacks on Israeli civilians. Following Monday's bombing outside a Netanya shopping mall, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack, giving the reason for his condemnation as: "It causes great damage to our commitment to the peace process." "On the surface, that Abbas condemned the terrorist attack might be welcomed by Western observers," an evaluation of the coverage by Palestinian Media Watch warned. "But it must be noted that PA political leaders have always been careful to specify that they're not condemning terrorism because it's wrong, but rather because it hurts Palestinian interests. In this case, Abbas's denunciation of the attack refers to the damage it caused the PA, not to the terror victims and their families." The PMW report, authored by Director Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, cites several cases of institutionalized glorification of suicide bombers put forth by the PA. One example is a huge billboard that was erected by the PA next to the Rafiach crossing between Gaza and Egypt last week. The billboard venerated Fatah terrorist Al-Moayed Bihokmillah Al-Agha, who carried out an attack at that very crossing, killing five Israelis in December 2004.


The huge billboard was even shown on CNN's coverage of the crossing's opening last month. As commentators gushed over what the crossing, which is free of any Israeli supervision and means for the future of Palestinian statehood, the camera showed footage of the giant sign erected over the site, declaring the crossing's name to be in honor of the Shahid (martyr) Al-Agha, and referring to his attack with the dramatic name, "Volcanoes of Rage." "That the PA allowed such a sign to be erected at the site is a powerful message to Palestinians, emphasizing once again that terrorists are heroes," Marcus said. Other examples of the PA's continued glorification of suicide bombers include the naming of summer camps for suicide terrorists, a soccer tournament named for the suicide bomber who murdered 31 at the Passover massacre in Netanya's Park Hotel, a girl’s school near Hevron named by the PA Ministry of Education for a woman terrorist who murdered 37 and a poetry collection produced by the PA Ministry of Culture named in honor of the suicide bomber who killed 21 at a restaurant in Haifa. "As long as the PA features exciting, terror-promoting videos on its websites, and names streets, schools, summer camps and tournaments after terrorists, its isolated condemnations of terror attacks, worded to placate Western leaders, will be long forgotten by Palestinians, while the infrastructures of hate and terror will last and reverberate," Marcus and Crook conclude. "This leaves lasting impressions on PA youth and creates a new generation of PA terrorists waiting for another target."



UN Nuclear Watchdog: Israel Has Reason for Concern

Dec. 6….(AP) Four days before he is to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is showing greater understanding toward the concern of Israel and the West about Iran's nuclear program. ElBaradei said yesterday that he understands the West's fears of Iran's nuclear program. "I know it [Iran] is trying to acquire the full fuel cycle. I know that acquiring the full fuel cycle means a country is months away from nuclear weapons, and that applies to Iran and everyone else," he said. He was referring to Iran's intention to enrich uranium on its land and on its strong refusal to any compromise that would prevent it from doing so. Israeli intelligence believes if Iran is not stopped from enriching uranium, within a few months it would cross the "point of no return" and be on the verge of developing nuclear arms. However, the CIA's evaluation as stated in a report a few months ago is that Iran is four to five years away from achieving the technology to build a nuclear bomb even if it had the know-how and materials. In any case, ElBaradei's statement to the British Independent newspaper perhaps indicates a certain disillusionment on his part or maybe even a desire to move closer to the American administration's positions regarding the Iranian nuclear program. In the interview ElBaradei called on Iran and all the relevant parties, especially the West, not to embark on a collision course and not to aggravate the crisis. ElBaradei said he could see no victors in an escalation. "Everybody would be hurt," he said, referring to all parties in the dispute. "You would open a Pandora's box," he said. "There would be efforts to isolate Iran, Iran would retaliate and at the end of the day you have to go back to the negotiating table to find the solution." For the past three years ElBaradei has urged Iran to cooperate with the international community. He encouraged it to display transparency and enable UN inspectors to examine its nuclear facilities. He also asked Iran for documents showing that the program is indeed intended for peaceful purposes. During these three years ElBaradei wrote reports exposing Iran's violations of its commitments to the international Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its safeguard agreements with the IAEA. But he described them as "technical" and always recommended continuing talks with Iran. In September this year the IAEA finally passed a resolution against Iran, but without setting a date as to when the issue would be referred to the Security Council. The decision to declare Iran a noncompliant state was made after the negotiations between the EU and Iran for about a year quagmired. The EU pushed for Iran to cease the enrichment of uranium voluntarily in exchange for economic incentives, negotiations for joining the World Trade Organization and advanced know-how and technology. The West's dilemma is twofold. On the one hand, Iran may enrich uranium as long as it does so in keeping with its commitments and under supervision. On the other hand, it's clear it has plans to produce nuclear arms. The dilemma is enhanced because it is difficult to impose sanctions on it both because of Russia's and China's objection but also because it could lead to a world oil shortage, damaging Western economies even more. Above all this hovers the question of whether the West, especially the United States, has the military capability to strike at Iran's nuclear facilities, which are scattered throughout the state and are well fortified deep underground in bomb-proof bunkers.



US Presses Russia on Iran Missile Deal

imageDec. 6….(Worthy News) The United States on Monday said Russia’s plans to sell tactical missiles and other arms to Iran would not serve the US or regional interests. “I think it’s important to remember and underscore that Iran is a state sponsor of terror, they have engaged in actions that we think are hostile and unhelpful, and that we view this proposed sale in that context,” State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli was quoted by Reuters as saying. Moscow announced the sale of tactical surface-to-air missiles and other hardware on Friday, after Washington urged the world to use its economic and diplomatic leverage to persuade Iran to abandon sensitive nuclear activities. Earlier on Monday, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov confirmed these reports saying Russia had struck a deal to sell short-range, surface-to-air missiles to Iran. “A contract for the delivery of air defense Tor missiles to Iran has indeed been signed,” Ivanov said. He added, however, that this “did not change the balance of forces in the region.” According to the Russian media, Moscow agreed in November to sell $1 billion worth of weapons to Iran, including up to 30 Tor-M1 missile systems over the next two years. Tor M1 missiles are short-range, surface-to-air missiles already used by several other armed forces, including China.

FOJ Note: Russia and China are each preparing for a future military incursion into the Middle East. This is the sole reason that Russia is equipping Iran and Syria with sophisticated weaponry. Russia’s sale of surface to air missiles is obviously a plan to protect Iranian nuclear facilities from either Israeli or US airstrikes. (Ezekiel 38:2-7 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armor, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, (Iran) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.) Russia is busy preparing her allies, and preparing herself for a future assault on Israel.



Al Quds Terrorists Send Suicide Bomber to Netanya  

imageDec. 5….(YNET)  Another PLO Suicide bomber blows himself up at 11:30 a.m. outside Sharon Mall in the Mediterranean Sea coast city of Netanya; about 58 people injured, including several in serious condition; according to eyewitness account, woman identified bomber seconds before he detonated explosives. At least five people were killed and more than 50 others were injured in a terror attack at Netanya's Sharon Mall Monday. Magen David Adom emergency services evacuated the injured, including four in serious condition, to Netanya's Laniado Hospital, Kfar Saba's Meir Hospital and Hillel Yaffe Hospital in Hadera. Islamic Jihad's military wing, the al-Quds Brigades, claimed responsibility for the terror attack and identified the suicide bomber as Lutfi Amin abu-Salem of the West Bank village of Rai, near Jenin. Sources in the group said the attack was carried out because of "Israel's ongoing crimes, despite the calm."


The terrorist detonated a bomb which he was carrying in his bag, as he approached the entrance to the mall near the Herzl Street bridge. According to an eyewitness account, a woman identified the bomber and started shouting seconds before he exploded.  Osnat, a local shop owner and eyewitness, told Ynet she heard a large blast near the bridge. "The entire mall trembled," she said. "There was panic; everybody fled the scene, only the store owners stayed inside the mall."  Zion Vatori, owner of a car yard opposite the mall, said this was the third time he had witnessed a terror attack.  "There was a strong blast, stronger than the last explosion at the entrance to the mall. We saw a huge cloud of smoke rise above the area. I can still hear the explosion in my ears," he said.

Netanya has experienced many terror attacks in the recent years. The last bombing in town took place in July this year, after a long period of calm when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a main junction downtown, killing five people and injuring dozens.  

imageThe Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for this attack as well. The defense establishment has received dozens of alerts indicating that terror organizations may try to carry out attacks during the tense period ahead of elections in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority. Many terror attack plans were thwarted during the last months. During a government meeting Sunday, the Shin Bet reported that there have been nine terror alerts for attacks within Israel, and another 40 intelligence reports pertaining to terror activities. Sources in the defense establishment said there was no concrete alert about an attack in Netanya. As a result of the attack, police increased its deployment across the country, and erected roadblocks on highways and in cities. Four people were killed and 66 were wounded, three seriously, in an explosion that rocked the entrance to the Hasharon shopping mall on Herzl Street in Netanya at 11:25 a.m. Monday morning. Another person died on the operating table at Laniado Hospital in Netanya. imagePolice Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi told reporters that the bomber was "identified 15 meters in front of the mall by policemen and a security guard. Police managed to keep him away from the gate, and he blew himself up when police approached him to conduct a search of his bags." According to Karadi, "Members of the security services were hurt in the event," but "the actions of the guards and the police prevented a much more deadly bombing." Nine wounded were taken to Laniado, including one who died after arrival. Hillel Yaffe received 22 wounded and 28 were evacuated to Meir Hospital. The Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the attack in a phone call to Palestinian journalists, identifying the bomber as Lutfi Amin Abu Salem, a resident of the northern West Bank village of Kafr Rai, located between the towns of Jenin and Tulkarm. Imad Abu Diab, a leader of the Islamic Jihad in Tulkarm, told The Jerusalem Post that "the tahdiya (or "calm") no longer exists and that operations against Israel will continue as long as there is occupation." The Islamic Jihad is the only terror organization that is not a signatory to the Palestinian factions' tahdiya. Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas condemned the bombing and ordered the arrest of those involved, his office said in a statement. "This operation, against civilians causes the most serious harm to our commitment to the peace process and the Palestinian Authority will not go easy on whoever is found to be responsible for this operation," the statement quoted him as saying. In the wake of the bombing, police raised the level of alert across the country. Security was increased in entertainment venues and malls, a crackdown was begun on Palestinians illegally residing in Israel and patrols along the seam line with the West Bank were bolstered. Police forces were also reportedly in pursuit of a vehicle that fled the scene immediately after the explosion. "It's obvious that the Palestinian Authority is showing no intention to take real steps to dismantle or disarm the terrorist organizations," Ra'anan Gissin, spokesman for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said in response to the bombing. The bombing was "a direct consequence of not taking these steps." He further accused Syria, Iran and Hizbullah of encouraging terrorism in Israel "for the purpose of scuttling the process that seemed to be gaining momentum," but added that this did not absolve the PA of responsibility. Gissin told reporters that the security cabinet would meet Monday evening to decide what measures Israel would take in response to the bombing. Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom called the attack "additional proof of the inaction of the Palestinian Authority under Abu Mazen. Israel can't stand a continuation of the spilling of blood in the cities and the Kassam attacks." He added, "The leadership of the Palestinian Authority is refusing to act against the terror organizations and to dismantle them."



El Baradei: Iran Only Months Away From a Bomb

Dec. 5….(Independent) UN IAEA chairman Muhammad ElBaradei on Monday confirmed Israel's assessment that Iran is only a few months away from creating an atomic bomb. If Teheran indeed resumed its uranium enrichment in other plants, as threatened, it will take it only "a few months" to produce a nuclear bomb, El-Baradei told The Independent. On the other hand, he warned, any attempt to resolve the crisis by non-diplomatic means would "open a Pandora's box. There would be efforts to isolate Iran; Iran would retaliate; and at the end of the day you have to go back to the negotiating table to find the solution."



Saddam's Comments Highlight Unruly Session

imageDec. 5….(AP) Saddam Hussein railed at the judge Monday, and the former president's lawyers briefly walked out of court before the first witness testified that Saddam's agents carried out random arrests, torture and killings in an Iraqi village. Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who is helping represent Saddam, told the judge he needed only two minutes to present his argument. But Chief Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin at first said only Saddam's chief lawyer, Khalil al-Dulaimi, could speak. Amin said the defense should submit its motion in writing and warned that if the defense walked out then the court would appoint replacement lawyers. After the defense lawyers left, Saddam, shaking his right hand, told the judge: "You are imposing lawyers on us. They are imposed lawyers. The court is imposed by itself. We reject that." Saddam and his half brother Barazan Ibrahim then chanted "Long live Iraq, long live the Arab state."

Ibrahim stood up and shouted: "Why don't you just execute us and get rid of all of this!" When the judge explained that he was ruling in accordance with the law, Saddam replied: "This is a law made by America and does not reflect Iraqi sovereignty." It was the third court session in the trial of Saddam and seven co-defendants, accused in the 1982 killing of more than 140 Shiites after an assassination attempt against the president in Dujail, where Saddam at times appeared to be in control of the court as much as the presiding judge. After the lawyers spoke, the first witness to take the stand, Ahmed Hassan Mohammed, began his emotional but often rambling testimony. He said that after an assassination attempt on Saddam, security agencies took people of all ages from age 14 to over age 70. They were tortured for 70 days at the intelligence headquarters in Baghdad before being moved to Abu Ghraib prison where the abuse continued, he said. "There were mass arrests. After the walkout and a 90-minute recess to resolve the issue, the court reconvened and Amin allowed Clark and ex-Qatari Justice Minister Najib al-Nueimi to speak on the questions of the legitimacy of the tribunal and safety of the lawyers. "Reconciliation is essential," Clark told the court. "This trial can divide or heal. Unless it is seen as absolutely fair, and fair in fact, it will divide rather than reconcile Iraq." At that point, the judge reminded Clark that he was to speak only about the security guarantees for the defense lawyers, two of whom have been assassinated since the trial began Oct. 19. Clark then said all parties were entitled to protection, and the measures offered to protect the defense and their families were "absurd." Clark said that without such protection, the judicial system would collapse. Al-Nueimi then spoke about the legitimacy issue, arguing that the court is not independent and was in fact set up under the US-led occupation rather than by a legal Iraqi government. He said the language of the statute was unchanged from that promulgated by the former top US administrator in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, and was therefore "illegitimate." At the start of Monday's session, Saddam walked into the court with a smile, carrying a copy of the Quran, Islam's holy book, and greeted everyone there. Most of the defendants and several of the defense lawyers, including Clark, al-Dulaimi and al-Nueimi, stood up out of respect when Saddam walked in.



Lebanon Courageously Stands Up to Former Syrian Masters

Dec. 5….(Yahoo) On a small hill overlooking this border town, once a stark symbol of Syrian power in Lebanon, white-gloved forensic experts comb the earth for grisly reminders of this country's brutal past. Authorities have known about the mass grave for years but they have only now begun to exhume it, digging up 28 bodies over the weekend in a new challenge to Syria. The site is near the former headquarters of Syrian military intelligence in Lebanon. Syria vacated the headquarters, notorious for the torture of prisoners, when it withdrew its soldiers from Lebanon in April, ending its 29-year domination of its small neighbor. "I have known about this mass grave since 1999, but who dared say anything back in those days?" said Shaaban al-Ajami, the mayor of Anjar, in eastern Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. "I was repeatedly advised to keep my mouth shut." The dead have not yet been identified, but one security official said some may be Lebanese soldiers killed in a Syrian offensive at the end of Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war. At least one of the bodies was wearing a Lebanese soldier's uniform. About 17,000 Lebanese who disappeared during the war are still missing. Syria entered the war in 1976, ostensibly as a stabilizing force. Syria's withdrawal followed the Feb. 14 assassination of former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri, which provoked anti-Syrian protests and intensified international pressure on Damascus to remove its army. Subsequently elections yielded the first Lebanese parliament in years without a pro-Syrian majority. A UN investigation has implicated several Syrian officials in Hariri's killing and accused Syria of obstructing the inquiry. Syria denies any role in the killing and says the UN probe is politically motivated, but the international attention has emboldened Lebanon. A prominent Lebanese human rights activist who visited the mass grave said it shows the "criminal nature" of the Syrian regime and called for an international investigation. "We want to know why they died, how they died and why they were thrown here," said Ghazi Aad, director of a group trying to learn the fate of missing Lebanese. Syria denies any involvement in the mass grave, calling the accusations a pretext to damage Damascus. In November, Syrian President Bashar Assad lashed out at the wave of anti-Syrian sentiment, describing Lebanon as a "factory" of conspiracies against Damascus and Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora as a "slave" to the West. Since Syria's withdrawal, Saniora has sought diplomatic relations with Damascus, which would amount to recognizing Lebanon as an independent nation. "Lebanese have to realize that they must make their own decisions by themselves, and the Syrian brothers have to get used to Lebanon being an independent country," Saniora said during a visit to Qatar late last month. Syria has always insisted both countries are too close to each other for such ties, strengthening fears that Damascus harbors designs to swallow Lebanon. So few Lebanese were convinced last week when Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa embraced Saniora at a meeting in Spain and declared "a new page" in bilateral relations. "Are we to believe that we have reached the end of an era of domineering relations?" the Lebanese newspaper Daily Star asked in an editorial. Tensions are expected to increase as the UN investigation continues with five Syrian officials to be questioned in Vienna this week. Both sides accuse each other of fabricating lies to mislead the probe.  "There can be no settlement whatsoever with this Syrian regime before the truth behind the assassination of martyr Rafik Hariri is revealed," said prominent Lebanese politician and Druse leader Walid Jumblatt. During the summer, Syria clamped a virtual land siege on Lebanon, leaving hundreds of trucks stranded at border crossings. Lebanon, meanwhile, complained of weapons' smuggling from Syria and accused Syrian-backed Palestinian militants of seeking to destabilize this country. Many Lebanese blamed Syria for a string of bombings targeting politicians and journalists.



Israel Scorns Iran Nuclear Talks

imageDec. 5….(Ha Aretz) Lt-Gen Dan Halutz said Iran had managed to fend off international pressure "time after time". Gen Halutz said there were military options available to block Iran's nuclear project, but that these were not being considered yet. Some Western countries suspect Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, but Tehran says its program is peaceful. It says it has the right to enrich uranium and use it to generate energy. However, enriched uranium can also be used in nuclear bombs. The EU, with the backing of the US, has been leading efforts to persuade Iran to give up its enrichment attempts. However, they have not yet roused enough international support to take the matter to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions. "The fact that the Iranians are successful time after time in getting away from international pressure... encourages them to continue their nuclear project," Gen Halutz said. "I believe that the political means that are being used by the Europeans and the Americans to convince the Iranians to stop will not end in stopping them." "The Iranians are determined to get a nuclear capability. From Israel's viewpoint such a situation is unacceptable." There are military options to deal with Iran, he said, but those "alternatives are not being considered yet". Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon repeated that Israel would not allow Iran to become nuclear-armed.

"I hope that Iran will be brought soon before the Security Council and sanctions will be imposed against her so that the nuclear process will stop," he said. He said Israel was a "partner" in attempts to block Iran's programme, but was not leading them. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said on Sunday he believed a resumption of talks with the EU, suspended when Iran restarted uranium conversion in August, could yield "important results". But he rejected the notion of direct talks with the US.



Arafat’s Legacy of Expending Palestinian Youth Continues

imageDec. 5….(FOJ) A handout picture showing Palestinian suicide bomber Lotfi Abu Saada when he was 10 years old, in a photo released by his family shows how much the legacy of Yasser Arafat remains a blight on the Palestinian people. Lotfi was a mere 10 year old lad when Yasser Arafat returned to Gaza and established his terrorist infrastructure in the West Bank. The phenomenon of suicide bombings developed under Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon in the 1980’s, and the 1991 incorporation of Yasser Arafat and the PLO into the Palestinian landscape accomplished nothing but the obliteration of Palestinian society by terrorist thugs, and the brainwashing of a generation of Palestinian young people. The maniacal Islamic theologians brainwash the young people into believing that self-suicide while killing others is a venue to paradise, while the multi-networking superstructure of hooded terror machines recruit and coerce susceptible young minds into the most devious actions know to humanity. These so-called martyrs buy into the most diabolical lie Satan has ever conceived. After using their bodies as human bombs, these poor, misguided young people do not enter some distorted view of paradise, but rather they wind up in the Devil’s hellpit! What a legacy Mr. Arafat left to the kids of Palestine. As Christians, we must pray and work for the breaking down of the Islamic Iron Curtain that enslaves these poor pitiful young people. God loves the Palestinian kids (and Jewish kids) just as much as he loved his own beloved Son, (who was a Jew) but, somehow, the Christian world needs to penetrate the demonic hold the Islamic haters of Israel have on the people, or there will never be an end to this kind of destruction and waste of life. Thankfully, Jesus Christ is aware of the ongoing nightmare, and will soon come and destroy the Evil One that inspires this Hellish Conflict.



Suicide Attack in Israel Seen as Diversion

(Israeli Security official: Iran, Syria seek conflict with Jewish state)

Dec. 5….(WND) The suicide bombing attack on a crowded Israeli mall earlier today is being viewed by Jewish security personnel as a tactic aimed at offsetting the mounting international pressure on Iran and Syria in the diplomatic front. A senior Israeli security official told WND that Iran, under increased international pressure to curb what the West believes is a growing nuclear weapons program, and Syria, under heavy US scrutiny for its alleged role in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February, are seeking conflict with Israel as a distraction from those issues. Security sources said the cell of Islamic Jihad, the terrorist group that took responsibility for the attack on Sharon Mall in Netanya, which killed five Israelis and wounded another 50, frequently coordinates with Hezbollah. Iran and Syria are known to be supporters of Hezbollah. In addition, and despite an earlier public denial of involvement, senior security sources said Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the military wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Party, also was involved in the attack. Sources said the same Islamic Jihad cell that coordinates with Hezbollah also coordinates with Al Aqsa. Israel has blamed the Palestinian Authority for the bombing, saying Abbas has not done anything to reign in groups like Islamic Jihad.



Russia Justifies $1 Billion Worth Weapon Deal with Iran

Dec. 5….(Moscow News) Russia’s weapons sales to Iran are purely for defensive purposes, a government spokesman said Saturday, in response to reports that Russia was selling $1 billion worth of weapons to Iran, AP reported Saturday. The news reports said Russian was selling Iran advanced missiles and other systems, but the Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mikhail Kamynin, did not comment on specifics, saying in a statement only that they were “exclusively defensive weapons.” Kamynin said the sales fully complied with nonproliferation commitments and Russian law. The statement appeared timed to head off the heated reaction expected from the United States after Russian media reported Friday that officials had signed contracts in November that would send up to 30 Tor-M1 missile systems to Iran over the next two years. The Interfax news agency said the Tor-M1 system could identify up to 48 targets and fire at two targets simultaneously at a height of up to 20,000 feet. A high-ranking Iranian official downplayed the deal, telling the official Islamic Republic News Agency on Saturday that Iran buys arms from many countries and would not stop. “Iran’s and Russia’s military cooperation is not a complicated issue,” said Ali Larijani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. “It existed before, and there was no ban on it.” Moscow is already at odds with the West over its nuclear ties with Tehran but has sought to use its warm relations with Iran to be recognized as a key mediator between the West and the Islamic Republic, Reuters added.



The Withdrawal From Iraq is Coming

Dec. 5….(Ha Aretz) Israel must prepare itself for the American withdrawal from Iraq. An American withdrawal, especially if it takes place without the United States achieving its main goals in Iraq, will certainly influence the strategic situation throughout the region. The American military deployment in the Middle East in the wake of the Iraq war is of unprecedented scope. Its forces are deployed on the flanks of Iran and Syria, opposite Lebanon and near Jordan and Saudi Arabia. As a result, Iran and Syria are behaving much more cautiously. However, the American public is badly influenced by the events in Iraq and the losses suffered there, without any sign of a tangible solution approaching. That feeling has penetrated Congress, and members of the president's own party are starting to talk about the need to develop an "exit strategy" from Iraq. President Bush's popularity is at an unprecedented low. But Bush keeps reiterating that he will not order an exit from Iraq until the goals of the war are met. Well-informed American sources say that senior Republican Party officials are already dealing with the question of whom to send to the White House when Bush's term is over. They fear that the current situation will cause a Republican downfall in the next presidential elections, so they want to change the timetable for the withdrawal from Iraq. That will require them to change Washington's strategic goals in Iraq gradually. It's something the US has done before, in Vietnam, as Henry Kissinger did. American experts are already talking about it, saying that after the Iraqi elections a new government will be formed there with a different composition and more ministers from the Sunni community. With the Iraqi government's agreement, the process of "Iraqization" of the war against "the rebels" will begin in 2006. Something similar happened during the war in Vietnam, known as Vietnamization. In Iraq, there is talk that the process will enable the US to pull its forces out of the cities in 2006. The US military involvement in Iraq will mostly be aerial support, deployment on the Iraq-Syria border and logistical help. That will reduce the number of American troops there, and as a result, the numbers of American casualties. America's enemies will certainly exploit those changes to claim that Washington failed to achieve its minimal goals in the Iraq war. When defeated in wars in the past, the Arabs often managed to convince their people that they won. In any case, an unsuccessful American withdrawal from Iraq will certainly cause Iran to step up its involvement there, strengthen Hezbollah and further encourage terror against Israel. Al-Qaida will also feel more confident in its attacks on moderate and pro-Western regimes like Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Palestinian extremists will draw encouragement from such a development. What doesn't get done before the American withdrawal with regard to Israeli-Palestinian road map arrangements will be much harder to accomplish afterward. The results of various elections in the Middle East could also make things more difficult for the moderates. In any case, Israel must assume that an American withdrawal from Iraq will take place in three years at the latest, when a new president enters office. It doesn't matter if it is a Democrat or Republican. The new president will surely do everything possible to find a convenient formula for a withdrawal from Iraq. Therefore, Israel must prepare strategically for an American withdrawal and carefully examine what can be achieved in the realm of arrangements with the Palestinians.



Iran  Vows Counter-Strike


Dec. 5….(YNET) Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman says recent Israeli statements on Iran's nuclear project show Israeli government is frustrated from failure to bring international community to pressure Iran: 'Zionist authorities are well aware that if they make a foolish mistake against Iran, Iran's harsh response will be destructive and determined. An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Hamid Riza Asaffi, speaking with journalists in Teheran, said that recent Israeli statements on Iran's nuclear project showed that the Israeli government is frustrated from a failure to bring pressure from the international community to on Iran. He claimed that a "serious crisis" within the "Zionist authorities" was the main factor behind what he described as Israeli threats. His comments were reported by the Islamic Republic News Agency. "The Zionist authorities are well aware that if they make a foolish mistake against Iran, Iran's harsh response will be destructive and determined," said the spokesman. "Their approach comes from their anger over the fact that they can't realize their plans," he added. Earlier, Benjamin Netanyahu told the Voice of Israel national radio network that "Israel must take every necessary step to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Iran must be prevented from developing this threat to the State of Israel. If, by the elections, the current government works to achieve this, I will give it my full support – and if it does not, I intend on establishing the next government, and then we'll act." Meretz-Yahad faction head Yossi Beilin said that narrow considerations based on elections will drag Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Netanyahu to harsh comments that will be perceived as support for military action against Iran. Beilin said Israel must work for diplomatic activity to be led by the United States without endangering Israel in a confrontation with Iran with potentially disastrous consequences. Also on Sunday the head of Tehran's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi was quoted saying by Tehran's official news agency IRNA that Iran's Atomic Energy Organization has been given license to set up another 20 nuclear plants, two of them by March 2006. Iran's first nuclear plant is being built by Russia for USD 1 billion and is scheduled to begin operating by March 2006.

'Diplomatic pressure won't work'

According to Boroujerdi, the new power plants will be able to generate 20,000 megawatts of electricity. However, international and Israeli intelligence sources claim the program may be a front to build an atomic bomb, an allegation Iran's vigorously denies. Last week Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said “Israel and other countries cannot accept a situation where Iran has nuclear arms. “The issue is clear to us and we are making all the necessary preparations to handle a situation of this kind,” Sharon told journalists in Tel Aviv. Israel needs not lead the campaign, yet we are in close contact with countries that are dealing with the issue,” the Prime Minister said. Sharon said he agrees with US President George W. Bush that dealing with Iran’s push for nuclear armament is a top priority, adding that he hoped the “large danger will be dealt with” by referring Iran to the United Nations Security Council. “Israel is not hopeless and is taking all the necessary measures,” Sharon said. IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz told foreign reporters Sunday he is skeptical that diplomatic pressure will put a halt to Iran's nuclear ambitions. "The fact that the Iranians are successful time after time in getting away from international pressure, encourages them to continue their nuclear project," he said. "I believe that the political means used by the Europeans and the US to convince the Iranians to stop the project will not succeed," Halutz added.



November 2005 October 2005 September 2005
August 2005 July 2005 June 2005
May 2005 April 2005 March 2005
February 2005 January 2005 December 2004
November 2004 October 2004 September 2004
August 2004 July 2004 June 2004
May 2004 April 2004 March 2004
February 2004 January 2004 December 2003
November 2003 October 2003 September 2003
August 2003 July 2003 June 2003
May 2003 April 2003 March 2003
February 2003 January 2003 December 2002
November, 2002 October 2002 September 2002
August 2002 July 2002 June 2002
May 2002 April 2002 March 2002
February 2002 January 2002 December 2001

Home Email Library

Links Study Grace Room

Map Room Introduction Articles

Subscribe Webmaster Book Room

About this Ministry



Site Meter