WEEK OF MAY 29 THROUGH JUNE 4
US Eyes Possible Future Hizbullah Threat
June 3….(Jerusalem Post) If cornered by the West over its nuclear program, Iran could direct Hizbullah to enlist its widespread international support network to aid in terrorist attacks, intelligence officials say. In interviews with The Associated Press, several Western intelligence officials said they have seen signs that Hizbullah's fundraisers, recruiters and criminal elements could be adapted to provide logistical help to terrorist operatives. Such help could include obtaining forged travel documents or off-the-shelf technology, global positioning equipment and night goggles, for example, that could be used for military purposes. The senior officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive positions they occupy. Hizbullah was responsible for the 1983 bombings of the US Embassy and the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. The group's Saudi wing, in coordination with the larger Lebanese Hizbullah, is blamed for the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia in 1996 that killed hundreds of American servicemen. Tensions between Iran and the United States and its allies have grown over Iran's expanding nuclear program. John Negroponte, head of the US intelligence network, suggested in an interview aired Friday by the British Broadcasting Corp. that an Iranian bomb could be a fact in as little as four years, although he admitted, "We don't have clear-cut knowledge." The United States and five other world powers agreed Thursday on a plan designed to persuade Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions. Iran's president, without directly mentioning the proposal, pledged on Friday that the West would not deprive his country of nuclear technology. The Bush administration and US allies know that Iran could order attacks. Some officials believe that threat is a bargaining chip worth more to Iran if kept in reserve. Given the potential that diplomacy could fail to defuse the nuclear standoff, US intelligence agencies are studying Iran's options to retaliate: using oil as a weapon, attacking Americans in Iraq and elsewhere, unleashing Hizbullah, or other tactics. The State Department classified Hizbullah as a terror organization. Its terrorist wing, the Islamic Jihad organization, is a global threat, with cells in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, South America, Asia and North America. Before the attacks of September 11, 2001, Hizbullah was responsible for more American deaths than any other single terror organization. US analysts believe the potential is greater for Iran to use terrorism to retaliate, rather than to strike first. One senior official said that if Iran were backed into a corner and considered US-led military action as inevitable, the Iranians might calculate that terrorism could break international unity, increase pressure on the United States or shift Americans' public opinion. Hizbullah, which means Party of God, was founded in 1982 to respond to Israel's invasion of Lebanon in pursuit of Arafat’s PLO terror machine. The radical Shiite organization advocates for Israel's elimination and the establishment of an Islamic government in Lebanon modeled after the religious theocracy in Iran. A former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said before and right after the Sept. 11 attacks that Hizbullah was believed to have the largest embedded terrorist network inside the United States. "I have no reason to believe that there has been a dismantlement of that capability," said former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham. Leadership in Hizbullah is exercised by Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, a Shiite Muslim cleric who took over after an Israeli helicopter strike in 1992 killed Sheik Abbas Musawi. Hizbullah gets significant support from Iran, Shiite communities and particularly the Lebanese diaspora. The organization has been linked to all kinds of organized crime, including drug trafficking, drug counterfeiting and stolen baby formula. The substantial profits are thought to be funneled almost entirely back to the Middle East.
Russia to Establish Naval Base in Syrian Port of Tartus
June 3….(Moscow Times) Russia has begun works in the Syrian port of Tartus seeking to built a full-scale naval base for the ships of the Black Sea Fleet, currently based in Ukraine’s Sevastopol, the Kommersant newspaper reported on Friday, quoting unnamed sources in the Defense Ministry and the General Staff of the Russian Navy. The paper noted that this is the first time Russia is setting up a military base outside the CIS since the fall of the USSR and that the base will allow Moscow to pursue its own line in the Middle East. Russia has also started work in the port of Latakia in Syria, the newspaper said. The base in Tartus and the new mooring in Latakia will be able to serve the needs of the Black Sea Fleet and possibly the North Sea Fleet as well. The newspaper quoted its sources as saying that in the nearest future the Russian Navy will form a squadron headed by the Moskva missile cruiser which will permanently operate in the Mediterranean, taking part in joint exercises with NATO forces. The sources said that the new base would allow Russia to strengthen its positions in the Middle East and also enhance Syrian security.
Iran, al Qaeda and Islam- Precursors to Disaster
June 3….(Randy Taylor/ACFT) What you are witnessing today
is the forces of Good and Evil locked in a death struggle. Recognize it
for what it is. Sit down and teach your children what they will certainly face
because eventually you will not be here to guide them through what surely will
come. Iran, the masters of distraction are still dancing around the issue
of whether they should be allowed to possess nuclear materials. The United
States, for all intents and purposes appearing to want to keep from blasting
Iran off the planet are going through the motions, filling Iran’s dance card.
How long the dance will last, only a few people know. It is important to the
point of imperative that the people of the United States and all other
countries that are predominantly non-Muslim to realize and accept that Iran
cannot be allowed to continue in their current path. Iran is the seat of Islam,
the root of terrorism, the home of the Caliphate, (as you will) and the
headquarters of everything evil. We must understand and accept without
reservation that the sole intent of Islam is to destroy everything that is
not Islamic. This is not some religious whim that will eventually pass, this
is not some lonely nutcase that managed to accumulate some followers and live in
a compound and sit around and smoke dope and make up religious fantasies. This
is life and death, and this is what is foretold in the scriptures. This
is Evil and must be recognized for what it is. This is the clash between good
and evil in literal biblical proportions. There is no peace plan that is
workable in the Middle East. There is no negotiating with terrorist governments
and groups. We cannot make a deal with the devil, period. Letting Iran have
nuclear capability unchecked is like handing the arsonist matches and gasoline
or locking a six year old child in a room with a pedophile. (I wanted to put the
example in terms that followers of Mohammed would understand) Iran has spoken
openly that they fully intend to destroy Israel, the will eventually lash out
directly against the United States and they will orchestrate the terror that
will occur within this nations borders. They are al Qaeda. That’s right, al
Qaeda is Islam, Iran is Islam, Islam is Islam, and all three are synonyms for
evil. This isn’t about a few people that hijacked the religion of Islam. No one
hijacked the so called religion. The idiots here in the United States and Europe
that think that Islam can be tolerated, can co-exist peacefully, can be
negotiated with and think that Islam is a peaceful religion are blind to this
evil movement and will serve as the catalyst for the destruction of mankind as
we know it.
Iran's Next Election Will Show Power of Islamic Regime
June 2….(AP) Iranian voters already know what to expect the next time they cast ballots: a clerics-only list of candidates for a pillar of the regime known as the Assembly of Experts. The election, possibly in October, is likely to intensify debate on the future of the Islamic system because of the Assembly's lofty duties: monitoring the all-powerful supreme leader and picking a successor after his death. The election may also open a window into Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's tight-knit circle, which, despite the new prominence of Iran's hard-line president, still shapes all critical decisions in the country, including Iran's nuclear policies and possible talks with the United States. "Real power is still in the hands of the very few," said Nasser Hadian, a political science professor at Tehran University. "This is a political fact of life in Iran." Nothing illustrates it better than the nuclear impasse. Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, makes headlines with denunciations of the West and calls for Israel's destruction. Meanwhile, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, tends toward sensitive diplomacy along with fellow members of the Supreme National Security Council. Yet both make regular trips to Khamenei's residence for instructions and meetings with the forces he directly controls, including the intelligence services, the judiciary forces and the Revolutionary Guards that hold the key levers to Iran's economy and security. Key posts such as foreign minister, intelligence minister and defense ministers also must be cleared by Khamenei. "The elected government is effectively a puppet and the supreme leader is the puppet master," said Issa Saharkhiz, a Tehran-based political analyst. "That is Iran in a nutshell."
On paper at least, the 86-member Assembly of Experts is a mighty force. It has the task of overseeing Khamenei and, in theory, could reprimand or even dismiss him. In reality, however, it's doubtful any serious criticism is lodged. The clerics are vetted by the Islamic establishment before they can become candidates. Even mild critics of the system are weeded out. The Assembly's real clout only kicks in after the supreme leader is gone, a sort of Iranian version of the Vatican's College of Cardinals when they gather to pick a new pope. The Assembly has done that only once since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In 1989, it picked Khamenei to succeed his late mentor, the Islamic Revolution patriarch Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Khamenei will turn 67 in July. There are no official pronouncements on the state of his health. The Assembly's members, who serve eight-year terms, will someday face a choice far more complex than the late 1980s, when Iran still was focused on recovering from its 1980-88 war with Iraq and regarded most of the world with deep suspicion. Now, the Islamic leadership is on a fast learning curve about high-stakes international talks and realpolitik. "The mullahs are trying to drive Iran into the position of being a serious regional power," said Mary Habeck, an associate professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University. The candidate list for the Assembly is not yet published. But it's widely expected to be led by the same group of clerics as in the past, who are unlikely to challenge the system, including former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, former intelligence chief Ali Fallahian and arch-conservative Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, who was once quoted as saying "the people are ignorant sheep." In the last Assembly election in 1998, the Islamic leadership accepted fewer than half the nearly 400 applicants who wanted to run. Those rejected were told they didn't meet the level of Islamic scholarship. The Assembly holds its meetings in secret. Even notes are classified to prevent leaks. Some reformist clerics also have suggested the Assembly study whether to abolish the supreme leader post and replace it, after Khamenei's death, with a council of religious leaders. But any such radical overhaul is considered unlikely.
Russia, China Are Becoming A Disturbing Alliance
June 2….(FOJ) The recently developed Chinese-Russian alliance has made much progress in the last decade, and it is showing up in the discussions about the Iranian nuclear debate. Russia is concerned that the West is seeking to make inroads massive inroads into the former Soviet satellite states, and that it is merely using the “democratization” ideology as a method of bringing Central Asia into a Greater NATO or Greater EU. Thus, Russia and China have rapidly moved towards a "multi-polar world" in which China and Russia would be co-dominant players with the US and Europe. "New mechanisms of providing Chinese-Russian security have been introduced already. Bilateral strategic and military-security cooperation steadily develop[ed] on the solid base of Chinese-Russian joint military maneuvers in August 2005. Chinese-Russian cooperation in the frame of Shanghai Cooperation Organization [dominated by China and Russia and including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan] contributes greatly here." China and Russia are also moving toward improved trade relations: Chinese-Russian trade is growing rapidly, particularly in the energy area. In 2006, Russia intends to deliver to China by railway 15 million tons of crude oil. Several oil and gas pipelines will connect the two countries. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov emphasized at the end of 2005: 'Presently there are no serious political problems between China and Russia capable of influencing the two-side relations development. China is also eyeing the American influence on Japan. Since the US views Japan as a key ally in the Far East, and would relish its capable help in the event that a conflict erupted over Taiwan or Korean Unity. American Far East strategic strategy is aimed at containing China, and Japan is equally enthusiastic about that since China has voiced threats about gaining revenge for Japanese imperialism in WWII. Japan therefore is part of the American-led South China Sea hub that supports Taiwan defenses. As part of the geo-political intrigue between the West and the East, Russia and China are looking to each other for ways and means to counter the dominance of American prominence throughout Asia. They have held large bilateral joint military maneuvers with strategic emphasis on someday needing to send an assault coalition of forces into the Middle East, perhaps even to Israel. China's goal is to have direct control over most parts of the South China Sea, and to establish domination in the mainland part of Southeast Asia. Russia, generally, supports China in this area. Particularly, Moscow is interested in the weapon markets of Southeast Asia. Another of China’s goasl is to protect Pyongyang from any serious action from the American-Japanese alliance. China hopes to increase its influence in South Korea also, and Russia supports China in the Korean theatre. Remarkably, from 2001-2005 North Korea’s regime transformed itself into a full member of the Chinese-Russian alliance, and the two powers have stubbornly railroaded the American push to thwart North Korea from nuclear capabilities. The same seems to be the case with Iran, but with the slight change of roles, with Russia being the enabler for Iran, and China complying with Russian goals, since China is seeking energy resources from both. China and Russia actively support the Iranian regime economically, politically and militarily. Moscow and Beijing have particularly assisted in Tehran's military modernization and won't accept any Western sanctions against Iran, even if Tehran obtains nuclear weapons. Russia and China are also supporting Syrian and Palestinian strategies against Israel. Russia and China are really interested in the defeat of America and its allies in Iraq, and eventually clearing America out of the Middle East altogether by eliminating the state of Israel, something for which would be greatly rewarded by the oil-rich Arabs! Ironically, this is just the geo-political scenario that is spelled out in Bible Prophecy for the latter days, when Israel is being pressured to partition its Promised Land.
Blix Commission says Nuclear Disarmament in Disarray
June 2….(North Korea Times) The independent Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission has finalized two years of work with the presentation of its final report to the UN. The report entitled "Weapons of Terror" analyses the threat facing the world today from 27,000 nuclear weapons. It outlines measures which it believes should be taken, and focuses on current nuclear threats from Iran, North Korea, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan. The 14-member panel from all continents, chaired by the former UN Chief Weapons Inspector, Hans Blix, says disarmament is in disarray. After the 50 year Cold War there are new arms races evolving, emerging new nuclear weapons and missiles, and a quest to expand into Space. The Commission says it is high time to revitalize global cooperation on disarmament, and proposes sixty recommendations to advance this. It says all governments must accept the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty that was agreed 10 years ago which demanded countries in possession of nuclear weapons commence reducing their arsenals, and stop producing plutonium and uranium enrichment for more nuclear weapons. The commission report, unanimously approved by its 14-members which include former US Defense Secretary William Perry, long-standing British diplomat Alyson J. K. Bailes, and former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, says Iran and Israel should both end nuclear enrichment as part of a renewed drive to rid the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction. Arguing that nuclear, biological and chemical arms are "the most inhumane of all weapons" capable of vast, indiscriminate and long-lasting destruction, the report points out that so long as any country has these weapons others will want them. "So long as any such weapons remain in any State's arsenal, there is a high risk that they will one day be used by design or accident," the authors note, warning that, "any such use would be catastrophic." Stocks remain "extraordinarily and alarmingly high," including 27,000 nuclear weapons, of which around 12,000 are still actively deployed. While acknowledging that weapons of mass destruction "cannot be uninvented," the report stresses that they can be outlawed. "Compliance, verification and enforcement rules can, with the requisite will, be effectively applied. And with that will, even the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons is not beyond the world's reach." In the face of a mounting loss of momentum in disarmament and non-proliferation efforts, as evidenced by the failure of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference and the inability of the 2005 World Summit to agree on any WMD issue, the Commission says there is an urgent need to revive "meaningful" negotiations on reducing the danger of present arsenals, and preventing proliferation. The report calls for convening a world summit on disarmament, non-proliferation and terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction "to generate new momentum for concerted international action." In order to reduce the danger of present arsenals, the report calls for securing all weapons of mass destruction and all WMD-related material and equipment from theft or other acquisition by terrorists. Nuclear weapons must be taken off high-alert status to cut the risk of launching them by error, while there should be "deep reductions" in strategic nuclear weapons. All non-strategic nuclear weapons should be placed in centralized storage and withdrawn from foreign soil. Other recommendations call for a ban on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, a phase out of the production of highly enriched uranium, the adoption of 'no-first-use' pledges, assurances not to use atomic arms against non-nuclear-weapon States, and no development of nuclear weapons for new tasks. Ultimately, the report points to the need to outlaw all weapons of mass destruction "once and for all." In his preface to the report, Blix sounds a note of cautious optimism. "At the present time it seems to me that not only successes in the vital work to prevent proliferation and terrorism but also progress in two additional areas could transform the current gloom into hope," he writes, calling for bringing the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) into force and negotiating a global treaty to stop the production of fissile material for weapons. "In both these areas the United States has the decisive leverage," he says. "If it takes the lead the world is likely to follow. If it does not take the lead, there could be more nuclear tests and new nuclear arms races." Blix echoed this point during a press conference held in New York Thursday in conjunction with the report's launch. "If there were to be ratification by governments of the CTBT including in the US where it was turned down by the Senate a number of years ago then this would change the atmosphere completely," he said, adding that he didn't see "any sign" of this happening at present. "The US is opposed to a ratification but the reality is probably that if the US were to ratify then China would; if China did then India would; if India did Pakistan would; if Pakistan did then Iran would. So it would set in motion a domino effect," he said. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed the report after receiving it from Blix. Annan called it "an important contribution to the debate on disarmament and non-proliferation" and urged the international community "to study the report and consider its recommendations."
World’s Six Major Powers Agree on Iran Incentives
June 2….(YNET) The US and five other world powers have an offer they say Iran can't refuse, if it knows what's best for it. The six nations on Thursday came up with incentives they hope will persuade Tehran to stop suspect nuclear activities, but made it clear that Iran risks UN sanctions if it rejects the package. "There are two paths ahead," British Foreign Secretary Margaret Becket said in announcing the proposals put together by the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China. The package would be on the table for a proposed new round of bargaining with Tehran over what the West calls a rogue nuclear program that could produce a bomb. The US in a major policy shift, agreed this week to join those talks under certain conditions. It would be the first major public negotiations between the adversaries in more than a quarter century. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with the foreign ministers from the European nations that led talks with Iran that stalled last year. Also present were representatives of Russia and China, which have been Tehran's trading partners and might join in any future talks with Iran. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that the offer to Iran worked out in Vienna excludes the use of military force. "I can say unambiguously that all the agreements from yesterday's meetings rule out in any circumstances the use of military force," Lavrov was quoted by RIA news agency as saying on his return to Moscow from Vienna. Since Russia and China hold vetoes in the UN Security Council, the US needs their cooperation to seek sanctions or other harsh measures by that body. "We are very satisfied by the results of today's meetings here in Vienna," US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns told reporters. "We consider them a step forward in our quest to deny Iran nuclear weapons capability." A short statement issued by foreign ministers from the six powers and the European Union did not mention economic sanctions, the punishment or deterrent favored by the United States and that Iran has tried hard to avoid. The powers agreed privately, however, that Iran could face tough UN Security Council sanctions if it fails to give up the enrichment of uranium and other disputed nuclear activities, US officials said. Diplomats feared Iran would immediately reject any invitation to bargain if the threat of sanctions was explicit, officials involved in the discussions said on condition of anonymity because the seven-party negotiations were private. The foreign ministers' statement threatens unspecified "further steps" in the Security Council. The group's statement also contained no details of the incentives to be offered to Iran in the coming days. Diplomats previously have said the package includes help developing legitimate nuclear power plants and various economic benefits. "We are prepared to resume negotiations should Iran resume suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities," as previously required by the UN nuclear watchdog agency, Beckett said. If Iran returned to the talks stalled since last year, "we would also suspend action in the Security Council," Beckett said. The Security Council, which can levy mandatory global sanctions and back its mandates with military force, has been reviewing Iran's case for two months. Its permanent, veto-holding members have been at odds over the possibility of sanctions, with Russia and China opposed. Iran's foreign minister welcomed the idea of direct talks, but rebuffed the US condition that Tehran must put uranium enrichment on hold before talks can begin. Iran insists its nuclear work is peaceful and aimed at developing a new energy source. "Iran welcomes dialogue under just conditions but won't give up our rights," the state-run Iranian television quoted Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki as saying Thursday. At the White House, President Bush warned that the confrontation would end up at the UN Security Council if Iran continues to enrich uranium. "If they continue their obstinance, if they continue to say to the world, 'we really don't care what your opinion is,' then the world is going to act in concert," Bush said. Bush said he got a "positive response" in a telephone conversation Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding, "We expect Russia to participate in the United Nations Security Council. We'll see whether or not they agree to do that." Bush also spoke about Iran on Thursday with Chinese President Hu Jintao. He revealed little about that conversation, saying, "they understood our strategy." The shift in US tactics was meant to offer the Iranians a last chance to avoid punishing sanctions, and to let the United States assert that it was willing to exhaust every opportunity to resolve the Iranian impasse without force. The US offer for talks is conditioned on Iran suspending its enrichment of uranium and related activities and allowing inspections to prove it. Uranium enrichment can make fuel for nuclear power reactors or the fissile core of warheads. European nations and the Security Council have demanded the same thing, but Iran has refused to comply.
Bolton: 'Put Up or Shut Up' Time for Iran
June 2….(Fox News) Three possibilities loom regarding Iran’s nuclear program, US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton told Neil Cavuto on Fox News’ "Your World” program. "There is the possibility of diplomatic negotiations with Iran, if they show they’re serious. We have the Security Council, with potential economic sanctions, and we have the activity that we can engage in without Security Council approval, the president’s ‘proliferation Security Initiative’ to deny Iran sensitive materials and technology, the financial pressure that we can apply, and the support for the democracy movement in Iran.” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday that the US is willing to join in face-to-face talks with Iran over its nuclear program. Bolton made it clear that President Bush wants to find a diplomatic solution to the Iran situation, but that we are nearing the end game. "I think it’s important that Iran take a very careful look at what Secretary Rice laid out, because it really is their last chance, in many respects,” Bolton told Cavuto. Additionally, America’s new offer to talk directly with Iran if they stop enriching uranium is, in Bolton’s words, "a major effort on our part to avoid this being a discussion about what the United States is doing wrong, and get it back to the real point which is what Iran’s doing wrong.” Cavuto asked, "They’re claiming it’s propaganda, is it?” Bolton replied, "No. This is very serious! The Iranians have been making the point that if we don’t sit down and talk then this isn’t a serious effort,” so the new offer of talk after cessation of enrichment will "take that excuse away from them and focus on what really the problem is, which is their pursuit of nuclear weapons.” Ambassador Bolton also made it clear that the US is after a shutdown of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, not just an end to uranium enrichment. "Their program is much more extensive than enrichment, there’s no way they could have engaged in the breadth and scope of the program that they’ve undertaken unless they had a weapons purpose in mind,” he said. Cavuto then told Bolton that former Secretary of State Eagleburger told him in an interview, "and I’m paraphrasing, ‘While we’re whistling, they’re building, and the North Koreans played this game with us during the Clinton years, promised one thing and didn’t deliver.’ Are we going to repeat that?” "The Iranians don’t have an infinite time to respond to this offer,” Bolton assured Cavuto. "They need to take time to look at it seriously, but then we expect an answer, and we’re not going to be fooled into the pattern that they’ve followed the past couple of years where they’ve admitted, quite publicly, that they deceived the Europeans, and that they used the cover of negotiations to perfect their uranium enrichment process. We’re not going to permit that again.” Cavuto then asked, "What if none of this works, there is always what some would say is the ‘Israeli Option,’ where they dealt with Iraq with this technology 26 years ago. Is it going to be Israel that settles it?” Bolton: The president’s made it very clear he wants to resolve the Iranian nuclear weapons program though peaceful and diplomatic means, but he’s also said that Iran with nuclear weapons is unacceptable.
Cavuto: But unacceptable means that if it keeps going on you’re going to do something about it . . .
Bolton: No option is taken off the table.
Cavuto: Military as well?
Cavuto: Unilateral military action?
Bolton: Secretary Rice made that point . . . that’s why . . .
Cavuto: That we would act alone if we had to?
Bolton: That’s why he says no option is taken off the table. But it’s also why the president has reached out to Russian President Putin and other leaders in the past couple of days to say, "We’re making a significant step here,” that will be criticized by many of the president’s staunchest supporters here at home, but he’s taking this step to show strength and American leadership. He’s doing it to say "We gave Iran this last chance to show they are serious when they say ‘We don’t want nuclear weapons.’” This is "put up or shut up” time for Iran.
Rice Warns Iran it Doesn't Have Much Time
June 2 ….(AP) The United States warned Iran it will not have much time to respond once it is offered an international package of rewards to encourage it to suspend uranium enrichment, suggesting that the window could soon close and be replaced by penalties. "It really needs to be within weeks," US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told NBC's "Today" show, referring to the six-power package of perks or penalties aimed at halting Iran's enrichment activities. In separate comments on National Public Radio, Rice suggested she was ready to meet her Iranian counterpart, Manouchehr Mottaki, if Tehran agreed to suspend the activity that can be used to make nuclear arms and negotiate the details of the deal. The package agreed on Thursday carries the threat of UN sanctions if Tehran remains defiant over what the West calls a rogue nuclear program that could produce a bomb. The United States, in a major policy shift, conditionally agreed this week to join those talks. It would be the first major public negotiations between the two countries in more than 25 years. Rice met with the foreign ministers from the European nations that led talks with Iran, which stalled last year. European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Russia's foreign minister and a deputy Chinese foreign minister also attended. Russia and China might join in any future talks with Iran. Both hold vetoes in the UN Security Council, and the United States needs their cooperation to seek sanctions or other harsh measures. The formal offer of talks are expected to be made by France, Britain and Germany, the three nations that previously negotiatiated with Tehran. A senior US state department official said he expected Tehran would be invited to begin new negotiations "within a matter of days." A short statement issued by foreign ministers from the six powers and the European Union did not mention economic sanctions, which the US wants and Iran has tried hard to avoid. The powers agreed privately, however, that Iran could face tough Security Council sanctions if it failed to give up uranium enrichment and other disputed nuclear activities, US officials said. US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns called the meeting's outcome "a step forward in our quest to deny Iran nuclear weapons capability." The US intelligence director, meanwhile said Tehran could reach that status in as little as four years. "This is a matter of assessment, we don't have a clear-cut knowledge," National Intelligence Director John Negroponte told British Broadcasting Corp. "But the estimate we have made is that some time between beginning of the next decade and the middle of the next decade they might be in a position to have a nuclear weapon." Diplomats feared Iran would reject any offer of talks if the threat of sanctions was explicit, officials involved in the discussions said on condition of anonymity because the seven-party negotiations were private. The foreign ministers' statement threatens unspecified "further steps" in the Security Council. The group's statement contained no details of incentives Iran could be offered. Diplomats previously have said the package includes help to develop legitimate nuclear power plants and various economic benefits.
"We are prepared to resume negotiations should Iran resume suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities," as previously required by the UN nuclear watchdog agency, said British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett. If Iran returns to the talks, "we would also suspend action in the Security Council," Beckett said. The Security Council, which can levy mandatory global sanctions and support its mandates with military force, has been reviewing Iran's case for two months. Its permanent, veto-holding members have been at odds over the possibility of sanctions, with Russia and China opposed. "At this crucial stage, it is very important that none of the sides involved in the situation makes any sharp movements that would create a threat to the real prospect of using the chance to reach agreement," ITAR-Tass quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as saying before talks began in Vienna. Iran insists its nuclear work is peaceful and aimed at developing a new energy source. Mottaki, Iran's foreign minister, welcomed the idea of direct talks but rebuffed the US condition that Tehran must suspend uranium enrichment before talks can begin. At the White House, President George W. Bush warned that the confrontation would go to the Security Council should Iran continue to enrich uranium. "If they continue their obstinance, if they continue to say to the world, `We really don't care what your opinion is,' then the world is going to act in concert," Bush said. Bush said he got a "positive response" in a telephone conversation Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding, "We expect Russia to participate in the United Nations Security Council. We'll see whether or not they agree to do that." Bush also spoke about Iran on Thursday with Chinese President Hu Jintao. He revealed little about that conversation, saying, "They understood our strategy." The shift in US tactics was meant to offer the Iranians a last chance to avoid punishing sanctions and to let the United States assert that it was willing to exhaust every opportunity to resolve the Iranian impasse without force.
Senior Cleric: Tehran Won't be Intimidated by Western Threats
June 2….(Ha Aretz) In the first public response to a new diplomatic initiative to stop Iran from acquiring advanced nuclear technology, an influential Iranian cleric said on Friday Tehtran will not be intimidated into giving up its nuclear fuel work by growing Western pressure. "The Iranian nation is ready to pay any price to protect its right [to nuclear technology]," Ahmad Khatami told worshippers at Friday Prayers in Tehran. He was speaking a day after major world powers agreed in Vienna on a proposal combining incentives for Iran to halt work that could produce nuclear weapons with the threat of UN Security Council action if it refuses. Khatami said Iran had no fear of sanctions or military attack. "You threaten us with the consequences, if it is imposing economic sanctions, we have obtained our nuclear program under sanctions," he said. "We have been militarily attacked by major powers during the [1980-1988] Iran-Iraq war," added Khatami, who is a member of the Assembly of Experts, a clerical body that supervises Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. There has been no official reaction so far from Iran.
Russia and China back diplomacy-only action
As diplomatic activity by world powers edges towards presenting a united international front in dealing with Iran over its nuclear program, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that the offer excludes the use of military force. "I can say unambiguously that all the agreements from the six-nation meetings rule out in any circumstances the use of military force," Lavrov was quoted by RIA news agency as saying on his return to Moscow from Vienna. Earlier on Friday it was reported that Chinese President Hu Jintao told his US counterpart, George W. Bush that Beijing supports the United States in resolving the dispute through diplomatic means only.
Madeline Albright Says President Bush's Faith is Worrisome
June 1….(Bill Wilson, KIN) It’s amazing how different people view people of faith. President George W. Bush oft has been considered a president of great faith. But Former Secretary of State in the Clinton Administration, Madeline Albright, says President Bush’s faith is, well, worrisome. Albright, who was recently in London (bad-mouthing America) promoting her latest book about politics and religion, said that she worked for two presidents that she considered were men of faith, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. She said that neither of the two men made their religious views a part of American foreign policy. She said President Bush’s Christian faith has alienated Muslims and that "President Bush's certitude about what he believes in, and the division between good and evil, is, I think, different. The absolute truth is what makes Bush so worrying to some of us." Of course, for a religious man, President Carter certainly didn’t deal in absolutes when he supported the communist Ortega brothers in Nicaragua, ignored the slaughter of millions of Africans under the ruthless dictator Idi Amin, and helped set up the current radical Islamic regime in Iran by withdrawing support for the Shah in 1979. Indeed, President Clinton didn’t deal in absolute truth either as he lied about affairs with several women, especially the one in the Oval office of the White House. President Clinton’s not dealing in absolutes also cost American lives as Islamic terrorism was left unchecked even after attempts to destroy the USS Cole and the World Trade Center in New York, just to mention two of many.
Perspective: The president has gone out of his way to appease the Muslims, even going so far as to say that Christians, Jews and Muslims worship the same God. President Bush is the first president to ever support a Palestinian state at the peril of Israel. There are many areas of the Bush Administration that do not deal in absolute truth. It’s just that "far left leaning" Madeline Albright’s view of relativism is not as absolute as is President Bush’s. Politics seems to have a way of taking absolute truth and making it relative to situations. James 1:8 says, “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” The instability of world affairs is absolute proof that James stated the truth. We must continue to pray for President Bush.
Ex-CIA Head: Gaza Pullback was "Bad," Olmert´s Plan Even Worse
June 1….(Arutz) Writing for the Wall Street Journal on Monday, ex-CIA Director James Woolsey ripped apart Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's plan, which, he says, represents a determination to reinforce failure. Woolsey sums up Olmert's plan as follows: "The withdrawal of 50,000 to 100,000 Israeli settlers from 90% to 95% of the West Bank and major portions of Jerusalem," together with a redeployment of the IDF near the security fence currently under construction. He objects to the plan for the following reasons:
concessions indeed enhance Palestinian hope, Woolsey writes, "but not of a
reasonable two-state solution, rather a hope that they will actually be able to
destroy Israel... When they speak of "ending Israeli occupation" they mean of
America Hits Iran’s Pocket, Iran Strikes US in Iraq and on Israel’s Borders
June 1….(DEBKA) Condoleezza Rice spoke the language the European nations, Russia and China wanted to hear before she met their representatives in Vienna Thursday, June 1, to discuss their incentives package for cajoling Iran into abandoning its proscribed nuclear activities. The US secretary of state said the US was willing to join European allies in direct talks with Iran, provided Iran abandoned its uranium enrichment program. Tehran predictably dismissed the offer as propaganda and presenting no “new and rational solution” to Iran’s nuclear case. The enrichment program would go on, declared Iran’s foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki. Rice had her answers ready for that response. Anticipating an Iranian brush-off, the US has already begun implementing its own package of sanctions. As Rice put it, “We’re prepared to go either way.” She also made it clear that the United States would not “swear off ever using military action.” The two parties are therefore closer to a collision course, first financial and, further down the road, military, than to dialogue. Washington has also taken into account that its allies will not go along with stringent penalties for Iran’s refusal to give up activities that could lead to the production of a nuclear weapon. Russia and China are too heavily staked in business with Tehran to go along with this measure. And even if UN financial sanctions became feasible, it would take two to three years for them to bite. The Islamic republic has piled up $50 billion in reserve assets from rocketing oil prices, a solid cushion against real damage during the period it needs to complete its weapons programs. With this timeline in mind, the US Treasury has begun activating a go-it-alone program targeting the personal finances of Iranian officials in foreign banks and government transactions, with a view to cutting the regime’s access to foreign currency and global markets and its isolation in the regime in the international financial community. As DEBKA-Net-Weekly 254 reported on May 19
Three weeks ago, American emissaries began quietly visiting banks and financial institutions in West Europe and Asia. They showed the heads of these institutions lists of Iranian firms, industries and private tycoons associated in one way or another with Iran’s nuclear effort. They then indicated that American banking and corporate doors would slam shut against any financial bodies continuing to do business with the blacklisted Iranians. Our sources report that the Americans were pleasantly surprised by the success of this quiet campaign. Many of the banking and financial bodies lobbied in this way were quick to cut their ties with the named Iranians, with immediate impact: A loud outcry arose in Tehran’s central bazaar where most business with foreigners is contracted.
During this period, Iran has activated assets of its own, the surrogate terrorist groups the Islamic Republic maintains across the Middle East. DEBKAfile’s Washington sources report that President George W. Bush’s phone call to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Wednesday night was more than a courtesy briefing on the Rice announcement. They held a down-to-earth discussion on the efforts needed to repulse Iran’s already-unfolding campaign of violence. The dire situation of US troops in Iraq has taken a turn for the worse with the terrorist war leaking into the south. It is bolstered by a supply network Iranian agents have spread across the country to bring various types of rockets, bombs and funds to a broad spectrum of Sunni insurgents, Shiite militias and groups linked to al Qaeda. The 1,500 troops of an American reserve unit, the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Armored Division, interrupted their training course in Kuwait Wednesday, May 31, and moved over to Iraq’s terrorist-infested Anbar Province. Another asset Tehran proposes to field is the supply-and-operations network it has planted in Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian areas - mainly to target Israel. Israel’s security situation has deteriorated sharply in the last two weeks on two fronts, the Lebanese and the Gaza borders. Faced with US sanctions, the Iranian regime proposes to cash in on a third asset by buttressing the Hamas government’s backbone and its ability to stand up to international isolation as the head of Palestinian government. This tactic has not been lost on Hamas’s rival, Palestinian Authority chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas. Even though the Bush administration and Olmert government are wooing him intensely to block Hamas, Abbas tends to lean more towards Moscow than Washington. Consequently, while Fatah and Hamas continue their internal feud, there are indications that in the final resort the two Palestinian groups may hook up so as not to miss the opportunity developing over the last few hours of gaining Iran as a strategic partner against Israel.
The Prince of Persia Has A Dream
June 1….(FOJ) The demon entities (Ezekiel 38) that have gained the ascendancy over the governing reigns in the nation of Persia (Iran) have a vision. That vision was acutely voiced by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as stated in his own worlds, “to wipe Israel off the map of the world.” Last October, Iran hosted a conference called, “envision a world without Zionism.” While the whole world extends a listening ear to the negotiation overtures coming out of Iran, the world is missing the double-speak that is being inspired by the demonic prince of Persia. Iran claims its drive for nuclear power is for peaceful purposes, but they also keep screaming about putting Israel in a resting place, a place like a grave! (a picture is worth a thousand words)
Haniyeh: US is Enemy of Islam and Muslims
May 31….(YNET) Palestinian Prime minister Ismail Haniyeh called the United States an "enemy of Islam and Muslims" in an interview for Iranian news agency IRNA. Haniyeh said that "the United States is doing everything to bring about the downfall of the Hamas government." He also said that "Washington is influenced by the Zionists and the Jewish lobby." On Tuesday, Haniyeh gave an interview to IRNA and said that "the Palestinian nation is an enemy of the American people but Muslims can't accept the American humiliation." Haniyeh was asked about clashes between Hamas and Fatah, and said: "A civil war between Palestinians is a red line. There will never be a civil war because this term doesn't show up in our lexicon, the lexicon of jihad. The divisions will be solved with the help of logic, and not through guns." He added: "We are a nation that sacrifices all of itself for resistance to the occupation. Our people know that we only have an enemy and it is the Israeli occupiers. We must fight only the occupation, and the American-Israeli plan.” Haniyeh claimed that there were signs that there were elements who wanted to erode the security situation in the PA and cause the Palestinian government to collapse. "It seems these sources are working according to a plan coordinated with the US and Israel, with an aim to weaken the Palestinian government and cause it fall," he said. Responding to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' initiative to hold a national referendum on the prisoner's document, calling for a Palestinian state on the 1967 border, Haniyeh said: "We believe that dialogue is the best way to reach common goals at the moment, and a national referendum will increase pressure on the sides." "Our message to the Israelis regarding the end of the conflict is clear: Israel must withdraw from all of the territories occupied in 1967, to give Palestinians the right of return to refugees, and to prepare a long-term cease fire," he said.
Iran Sends New Rockets to Hezbollah
May 31….(MENL) Israel has reported the transfer of an advanced Iranian-origin rocket to Hizbullah. Israeli officials said the unnamed rocket was the most advanced in Hizbullah's arsenal and could strike major population centers. They deemed the rocket the first strategic weapon of Hizbullah. "Iran is providing Hizbullah with the best and latest of its weapons," an official said. "It's clear that Iran sees Hizbullah as its strategic arm in the Middle East." The unguided rocket was believed to be an advanced version of the Fajr-5, with a range of more than 100 kilometers. Officials said the latest weapon for Hizbullah has a range of 200 kilometers and is propelled by solid fuel.
Gillerman: World War III Already Begun
May 31….(Jerusalem Post) Syrian and Iranian diplomats traded barbs with Israel's UN ambassador on Tuesday, as a routine Security Council meeting on fighting terrorism degenerated into insults. At a meeting aimed at assessing the progress and work of the Security Council's three anti-terror committees, Israel's UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman said that World War III had already begun and urged the former Allied forces from World War to act against the axis of terror, consisting of Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hizbullah. He called the four entities the "greatest state sponsor of terrorism and the largest threat to international peace and security." Gillerman also lashed out at the oft-repeated argument by Iran and many Arab states that a distinction must be made between terrorism and armed resistance movements, namely the Palestinians' fight against the Jewish state. The ambassador said Israel has "an intimate awareness of the need to fight international terrorism," and stressed that there can be no justification for terrorism. Syria responded that Israel was the one precipitating a third world war, saying that "If we examine the matter, we will find that Israel was behind the eruption of both World War I and World II." Syrian diplomat Ahmed Alhariri countered that Damascus had taken a front-line role in the fight against terror and called on the Security Council to "avoid double standards in combating terrorism." Such a battle must be "based on strict legal criteria, and not flimsy political considerations," he said. "In this regard, I must stress that Israel is duty bound to cease this cheap blackmail against the United Nations," said Alhariri. "All are aware that the source of terrorism in the region is Israel's continuing occupation of Arab lands, and the ejection of Palestinians from their land, as well as continued aggression against Arabs and the denial of their fundamental rights." Israel and the United States have routinely accused Syria and Iran of supporting terror, either by hosting and funding terrorist organizations such as Hizbullah, or by doing little to halt the flow of weapons and foreign fighters into Iraq, a nation grappling daily with sectarian killings, suicide bombings and other violence. Gillerman also recalled that Iran's president has called for Israel's destruction "denies the Holocaust and is attempting to develop the nuclear capabilities to perpetrate the next one." But Alhariri took aim at Israel's own alleged nuclear program, saying Gillerman failed to mention it while lambasting Syria and Iran. He argued that the Israeli ambassador "wants to mix the legitimate rights of those under occupation, and those who commit terrorism." "Perhaps he should read the Charter of the United Nations, which was drafted to save generations from the scourge of war and from foreign occupation," said Alhariri. "Those who are ignorant of such facts perhaps cannot read, and perhaps if they cannot read they ought not to be here at the United Nations." Iran joined in, with diplomat Ahmad Sadeghi accusing Israel of being headed by war criminals and saying the country has suffered from a "lack of legitimacy" since its inception. Sadeghi called on the United Nations to step up pressure on Tel Aviv to open up its nuclear facilities for inspection, mirroring the same kind of pressure his nation had been placed under by the international community. Gillerman was quick to fire back, expressing his "appreciation, which I hope is shared by members of the Security Council, for the opportunity afforded to all of us to hear lectures about terrorism by two of the world's greatest experts on that subject." In the meeting, chairmen of the council's committees on combating terrorism and weapons of mass destruction said concerns had been raised by various nations about the inclusion and removal of certain entities and individuals from committee sanctions lists. They said more effort needed to be exerted to streamline the process.
Chinese President Meets Palestinian FM
May 31….(Jerusalem Post) President Hu Jintao of oil-hungry China met the Palestinian foreign minister and officials of other Arab governments on Wednesday at a conference on strengthening Sino-Arab ties. China wants to "further develop cooperation in all areas and earnestly promote the rapid development of our continuing friendly ties," Hu told a group of foreign ministers and other officials of Arab governments and the Arab League. China supports "the Arab countries' peace initiative for settling Palestinian-Israeli conflict," State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan told the delegates. Tang also said that trade between China and the Arab world could double to as much as US$100 billion in 2010 by facilitating the free flow of goods, capital, technology and service. The two-day Sino-Arab Cooperation Forum comes as China scrambles to secure energy for its sizzling economy, which expanded by 9.9 percent last year and is one of the world's top oil importers. Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing told the Arab delegates that China and their governments "share extensive common interests, which lays solid foundation for the development of China-Arab relations." The official Xinhua News Agency said Li and the Arab delegates "exchanged views on the Palestine-Israel situation, Iraq and the Iran nuclear issue," without elaborating. Israel has protested China's invitation to Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar, calling the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority that he represents a "terrorist government." A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman appealed to Hamas on Tuesday to abandon violence and recognize Israel, conditions set by Israel and the West for negotiating with Hamas.
Syria, Iran Directed Rocket Barrage Against Israel
May 30….(WND) The rocket attacks that targeted the Jewish state yesterday, prompting cross border clashes and Israeli Air Force retaliation, were carried out by "agents" working on behalf of Syria and Iran, Lebanon's Druze leader Walid Jumblatt said in an interview. "Agents working for the axis of Tehran and Damascus arranged the rocket volley against Israel to create instability in Lebanon and bring conflict to our borders," Jumblatt told WND. Jumblatt is the head of Lebanon's Progressive Socialist Party and is largely considered the most prominent anti-Syrian Lebanese politician. He accused Syria and Iran of attempting to draw Israel into military clashes with Lebanon to justify the continued arming of Hezbollah, which a United Nations resolution obliges Lebanon to disarm. "They are trying to prevent the Lebanese army from implementing authority in [areas controlled by Hezbollah.] Also Syria has an economic goal in that it wants to stop investments into Lebanon by making our country unstable," said Jumblatt. Yesterday, a barrage of large Katyusha rockets fired from Lebanon landed at an Israeli Defense Forces base in the north of the country near the Israel-Lebanese border, wounding a soldier and causing some damage. Israel then directed tens of thousands of its citizens in border towns into bomb shelters as it carried out retaliatory air strikes against two bases used by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Palestinian group with known ties to Hezbollah and the Syrian government. The IDF said one of the two bases it targeted was used as a storage facility for weaponry and ammunition. The strikes killed at least one PFLP member and wounded five others. Soon after, Hezbollah guerillas reportedly struck across the Israeli-Lebanese frontier, hitting local Jewish communities and army bases with mortar shells and small arms fire. Israeli jets and IDF artillery units replied by bombarding southern Lebanese areas, striking Hezbollah positions and reportedly killing one Hezbollah militant. Following several hours of clashes, UN peacekeepers last night brokered a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah in which both sides called an end to the fighting. The truce was reached after Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora held contacts with UN officials, Hezbollah and the US, French and Russian ambassadors to Lebanon. Siniora laid the blame on Israel for yesterdays hostilities, claiming an Israeli withdrawal from the Shaaba Farms, a sliver of territory on the Israel-Lebanese-Syrian border, was "the only way to stop the cycle of violence." In a cabinet meeting on Friday, Siniora blamed Israel for a car bombing the same day that killed Mahmoud Majzoub, a top Islamic Jihad terrorist. Israel denied it was involved in the blast. An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson yesterday told WND Israel would present a complaint against Lebanon to the UN Security Council, urging it to implement Resolution 1559, which calls for the disarmament of all armed Lebanese militias, including Palestinian groups and Hezbollah. Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Israel could not ignore Katyusha fire on its territory, and stated he holds the Lebanese government responsible for attacks that originate from its country. Peretz called on Lebanon to deploy its army in areas controlled by Hezbollah. But Jumblatt said the pressure needs to be applied to Syria and Iran. "These armed groups are out of control. They are taking orders from Syria and the Tehran government," said Jumblatt. The Lebanese government has recently proposed incorporating Hezbollah into its army. Some Lebanese politicians have demanded Hezbollah disarm entirely. But little progress has been made on enforcing an arms ban on the terror group.
Indonesia Earthquake Toll Reaches 5,000
May 30….(Reuters) Aid trickled in on Monday for survivors of an earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people on Indonesia's Java island, but tens of thousands of homeless still foraged on their own for food and shelter. Many survivors who were injured or whose homes were destroyed by the quake spent a rainy second night in the open on the grounds of hospitals and mosques or in makeshift shelters beside the rubble of their houses. The 6.3 magnitude quake's official death toll reached 5,136, according to the government's Social Affairs Department, though the governors of the two affected provinces, Central Java and Yogyakarta, put the figure at a lower 4,395. The tremor early on Saturday was centered just off the Indian Ocean coast near Yogyakarta, the former Javanese royal capital. Government figures put the number of injured at 2,155, but the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said there were 20,000 injured and more than 130,000 homeless, of which 40 percent are children.
Israel Tightens NATO Ties Amid Iran Nuke Concerns
May 30…..(Worthy News) Israel announced on Monday it would fully participate in a NATO naval exercise for the first time, bolstering defense ties with the Western military alliance in the face of arch-foe Iran's nuclear program. Israeli military officials said the exercise, dubbed Cooperation Mako, would take place next month in the Black Sea and involve simulated combat between missile boat fleets as well as search-and-rescue drills. "This marks the first time a unit of the Israel Navy will fully participate in an operational NATO exercise," said an Israeli military statement. Israel had previously held only observer status in such maneuvers. Alon Ben-David, Israel analyst for Jane's Defense Weekly, said Cooperation Mako aimed mainly to improve NATO security missions in the Mediterranean and that Israel was especially interested in combined air force exercises. "Given Israel's strategic reality, it is crucial to be part of a defensive coalition," Ben-David said. Israel, Algeria and Morocco agreed in April to join NATO counter-terrorist patrols along their shores. Ben-David noted Israel has stepped up its cooperation with foreign military forces as part of preparations for a possible showdown with Iran, whose nuclear program and calls for the Jewish state's elimination have raised concern in the West. Iran, the world's fourth-biggest oil exporter, says it seeks nuclear technology for energy needs only. Some Western officials have speculated that Israel would eventually apply to join NATO's 26 member-states. "If Iran feels that Israel is in the NATO pact, it will behave differently," former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar said in March. But full membership is seen as unlikely in Israel, given its tradition of going it alone on matters of top military priority. Believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, Israel sent warplanes to bomb Iraq's atomic reactor in 1981 and has not ruled out similar action against Iran. For now, though, it backs US-led efforts to defuse the dispute with diplomacy. "A defense pact has advantages and disadvantages," Israel's military chief, Lieutenant-General Dan Halutz, told the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper this month. "Under a NATO pact, every decision would require consensus of 26 nations." President Bush has pledged to defend Israel should it come under Iranian attack. Some analysts interpreted the statement as an admonition to Israel from its chief ally not to launch a preemptive strike on Iran unilaterally.
'Potential Terrorists Hiding in Canada'
May 30….(Jerusalem Post) A top Canadian spy official said Monday that many potential terrorists already reside in the country and have trained in al-Qaida training camps, reinforcing publicly what many security analysts have warned of for years. In testimony before a Senate committee studying Canada's role in Afghanistan, Jack Hooper, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's deputy director, said there are Arab people living in Canada who fought alongside Afghani mujahedeen, or holy fighters, during the Soviet occupation of that country in the 1980s. "I can tell you that all of the circumstances that led to the London transit bombings are resident here and now in Canada," said Hooper, CSIS's operations director. The Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defense held a full day of hearings on Canada's military mission in Afghanistan, and how it relates to security at home. The hearings come as Canadians and some lawmakers voice growing concern over the deaths of Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan as part of a NATO force charged with weeding out Taliban fighters. Parliament voted earlier this month to extend Canada's mission in Afghanistan until 2009.
In outlining the domestic threat, Hooper said that a Vancouver man trained the bombers in the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar e-Salaam, Tanzania. Hooper did not provide further details about the man. He pointed to several other examples of people who had lived in Canada, and later took part in terrorist attacks. A common thread was time spent at training camps in Afghanistan. "When we talk about the homegrown terrorist phenomenon, these are people in most instances who are Canadian citizens," he said. "A lot of them were born here. A lot of them who were not born here emigrated to Canada with their parents at a very young age." Hooper did not provide any specifics on numbers or their whereabouts.
Pope: How Could God 'Tolerate' Holocaust?
May 30….(My Way) Pope Benedict XVI visited the Auschwitz concentration camp as "a son of the German people" Sunday and asked God why he remained silent during the "unprecedented mass crimes" of the Holocaust. To speak in this place of horror, in this place where unprecedented mass crimes were committed against God and man, is almost impossible - and it is particularly difficult and troubling for a Christian, for a pope from Germany," he said later. "In a place like this, words fail; in the end, there can be only a dread silence, a silence which itself is a heartfelt cry to God: Why, Lord, did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this?" Benedict said that just as his predecessor, John Paul II visited the camp as a Pole in 10979, he came as "a son of the German people." "The rulers of the Third Reich wanted to crush the entire Jewish people, to cancel it from the register of the peoples of the Earth," he said, standing near the demolished crematoriums where the Nazis burned the bodies of their victims. "By destroying Israel with the Shoah, they ultimately wanted to tear up the taproot of the Christian faith and to replace it with a faith of their own invention." Shoah is the Hebrew term for the Holocaust, during which the Nazis killed 6 million Jews. As many as 1.5 million people, most of them Jews, died at Auschwitz and Birkenau, neighboring camps built by the German occupiers near the Polish town of Oswiecim - Auschwitz in German. Others who died there included Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, Roma, or Gypsies, and political opponents of the Nazis.
Pope Benedict did not refer to collective guilt of the German people but instead focused on the Nazi regime. He said he was "a son of that people over which a ring of criminals rose to power by false promises of future greatness." He also did not mention the controversy over the wartime role of Pope Pius XII, who some say did not do all in his power to prevent Jews from being deported to concentration camps. The Vatican rejects that accusation. Typically, Benedict did not mention his own personal experiences during the war. Raised by his anti-Nazi father, Benedict was enrolled in the Hitler Youth as a teenager against his will and then was drafted into the German army in the last months of the war.
FOJ Note: The Pope’s remarks on the Holocaust, and his questioning of why God allowed it is revealing. Perhaps the failure of the Pope Pius XII in the 1940’s is part of the reason. If the true Church and true Christians came out in force in support of God’s Chosen people, perhaps the evil forces of this world could not move against Israel with such ferocity. Even today, the world church is again allowing Israel to be an easy prey for its enemies. In fact, the Vatican was the last state in the world to recognize Israel.
WEEK OF MAY 21 THROUGH MAY 28
Abbas Calls Terrorists "Our Heroes"
May 27….(Arutz) Just two days after Israeli Prime Minister Olmert called him a "very decent human being" who is "opposed to terror," PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas call Palestinian terrorists "our heroes." While Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, takes on the position of "moderate" and attempts to convince Hamas to accept Judea and Samaria for now, his words to audiences at home present a different picture. Palestinian Media Watch, an organization that monitors and reports on anti-Israel hatred in the PA media, reveals that Abbas twice this week referred to Arab terrorists serving "tens of life sentences" in Israeli jails as "our heroes." PMW's Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook report that the terrorists referred to are "arch-terrorists who have personally killed dozens of Israelis and are sentenced to one life sentence for each murder." Speaking on PA TV on May 23 about the jailed terrorists' recent "conciliation plan" between Fatah and Hamas, Mahmoud Abbas expressed his satisfaction with the initiative of those he called "our brothers, our jailed heroes initiative proves that these heroes, who are sentenced to tens of life sentences, feel too that the homeland is in danger. Noting that the document calls for an Arab state on "all territories occupied in 1967," Abbas said, "We must stop dreaming and accept what we can take now. Let us not speak of dreams. Let us take the Palestinian state on the ’67 borders." "Clearly," PMW concludes, "Abbas rejects terror for tactical reasons only, and not because it is immoral. Abbas has always been careful, in Arabic, not to condemn terror because it is evil or immoral. He has criticized suicide terror only because it hurts the PA cause, as he did after the December 2005 suicide attack that killed five in Netanya." "Israeli and Western leaders are so eager to find a viable partner for peace," write Marcus and Crook, "that they often mistake Palestinian Authority leaders' 'lip service' in English as statements of truly peaceful intentions. But as PMW has reported for the past decade, the only way to understand these leaders' real opinions is to pay attention to what they are telling their own people in Arabic. These are the only messages that count." Olmert has said that he believes that Abu Mazen of Fatah has no control over events in the Palestinian Authority, due to the fact that the rival organization, Hamas, won the recent elections. Despite this, under pressure both abroad and at home, Olmert has agreed to meet with Abu Mazen in the near future.
Iran Attempting to Recruit an Asian Axis Alliance
May 26….(MENL) Iran aims to form an axis of powerful nations against the United States. Officials said Iran has sought to recruit a coalition that would oppose US interests in the Middle East and Central Asia. They said the alliance would include nuclear powers. "China, Russia, India and Iran are capable of establishing a pole of major powers in Asia, opposing the policies of America," Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi said. Addressing the heads of the Basij militia in Teheran on May 9, Safavi said Iran could forge an international alliance to foil US interests. The general envisioned a clash of such an Asian Axis with the United States and its allies.
Moussa: Israel Should Reconsider Arab League Peace Plan
May 26….(Jerusalem Post) According to Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, the Israelis got the Arab peace initiative of 2002 all wrong. In an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post, Moussa spelled out conditions for that initiative, conditions which he said would allow the Israeli government to engage in a substantive peace process. Notably, he spoke of the possibility for territorial adjustments along the Green Line. Moussa, in a rare interview with an Israeli publication, said he had a burning message for the Israeli people. The message, he said, was that Israel needed to reexamine the 2002 Arab plan. Their understanding of it, he said, was mistaken. In March 2002, the Arab League made an offer to Israel in a seven-point document, also known as the Beirut initiative. All 22 Arab countries agreed to full peace with Israel in exchange for a "full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967," the acceptance of a sovereign Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital and the achievement of "a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194." Israel ignored the offer, dismissing it as unfeasible. "We have two main problems with it," an Israeli Foreign Ministry official said this week. "One, it contradicts the road map by predetermining that the borders between Israel and the Palestinians will be based on '67. The road map says let's sit together and agree together upon the borders." Not so, said Moussa. Everything, including the '67 borders, he said, "is subject to the negotiations that will take place between the two parties." "What we are offering in the Arab initiative is two states," Moussa said. "An Israeli state with the Jewish people living there and a Palestinian state, dividing the land of Palestine along the lines of 4 June 1967. If there are changes in the borders, or around the borders, they have to be astride the borders. You take this, I take that. Everything must be negotiated, he said, "in order to reach a solution that if this piece of land is to be given to Israel, then the Palestinians should be compensated with another piece of land." Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's convergence plan could only work if it were clear that it was a step before a negotiated final settlement, said Moussa. "I still have to know the details about the offer Mr. Olmert has in mind. Is he going to leave 90 percent of the territories and leave the rest to further negotiations within an agreed short period of time?" Moussa asked. "Or just, here's our borders, good-bye and do whatever you want.' Such an offer would not work. Any resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict would be based on negotiations and mutual understanding in order to have a settlement that both partners can live with." The other reason Israel ignored the initiative was due to the inclusion of UN Resolution 194 regarding solving the problem of the Palestinian refugees. It states that refugees can return to their homes in Israel if they choose. This "opens the question and doesn't rule out the possibility that millions will come and settle in the State of Israel," said the Foreign Ministry official. "Which means the destruction of Israel because demographically it won't survive it." However Moussa said that the issues of refugees was also subject to negotiations. Moussa questioned Israel's desire for peace. "This requires a peace partner. Do we have a partner in the Israeli government that would accept that, withdrawal and a Palestinian state? A solution for Israel, an agreed solution for Jerusalem, the achievement of a solution for the refugees?" he said. Moussa said the initiative has the support of the Arab world. We want to solve the Palestinian problem. We cannot live for decades or generations with the same Arab-Israeli conflict." "We have accepted that Israel will exist in our midst, and so I tell Israel, read the Arab initiative again, we are ready to end that conflict," he added. For the Arabs, he said, the 1973 war was the last war. The 73 war was meant to recover our hurt pride from the defeat in the 1967 war, he claimed. "The 2002 initiative was not based on the fear of what happened in '67, but the confidence gained in '73," he said. "We don't want to have other wars or enter into any gimmick. No! The time has come for us to be sincere in our endeavor for the peace solution between the Israelis. Israel is there, but they must remove its settlers from the occupied territories, and help establish a viable Palestinian state, and allow the Arab citizens to be returned back. "This is the message we want the Israelis to know. We are not playing games."
Iranian Church Leaders Request Prayer
May 25….(ANS) While the United State and Iran play a game of brinkmanship over the latter's pursuit of nuclear technology, more than 120 Iranian church leaders have pledged to 40 days of prayer and fasting for the salvation of Iran. This campaign will begin on Ascension Day, May 25, 2006, the day in biblical history that Jesus asked His disciples to wait for God's visitation. According to Sam Yeghnazar, Executive Director of Elam Ministries, participants will fast for different lengths of time and at different periods during the 40 days. He says: "Iranian Christians have issued a call to the global Church to join in praying for the strategic country of Iran. Together they are working to see that millions of Christians around the world will join this campaign. Many church leaders and prayer groups around the world have already begun to put their weight behind this campaign." In answering the question, "Why pray and fast for Iran?" Yeghnazar replies: "Because critical times demand dramatic action." Yeghnazar says Iran has long played a leading role in the Islamic world. "These days it is at the center of a global crisis that could easily lead to war, deep political turmoil and economic chaos. We need to fall on our knees and pray that God, in His mercy, will intervene." He adds: "Also, the small but rapidly growing Iranian church is on the brink of unprecedented growth. Despite the prospect of persecution, men and women, young and old are putting their faith in Jesus Christ, many as a result of dreams and visions. We need to thank God for the open hearts and we want to cry out for a great revival. A strong church in Iran will impact the entire region." Christians around the world are being asked to pray for the persecuted Church in Iran; "The Church has experienced severe persecution and restrictions since the 1979 revolution," Yeghnazar said. "In the last year, this intimidation of Christians has intensified. We will pray for protection, wisdom and boldness for our brothers and sisters in Iran." Yeghnazar is also asking concerned Christians to pray for revival in Iran. "Most of Iran's 70 million people have never had the opportunity to hear the Gospel. We want to pray that every Iranian will hear and understand the Gospel and that millions will repent and be saved. He is also suggesting Christians pray for God to intervene in the political situation. "We will pray that God will give Iran righteous and humble leaders who will act justly and love mercy," he said.
Iran Deploying its Fanatical War Machine
May 25….(Asia Times ) Iran has recruited thousands of would be suicide bombers to use against Israel and US interests should either of the later act militarily to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities. It isn’t the first Iran has called upon Allah’s warriors.
For Hossein Shariatzadeh, a veteran of the eight-year Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, now navigating Tehran's traffic-choked streets as a taxi driver, the issue of whether the United States will strike Iraq is hardly a frightening prospect. "This is Iran," he roared. "It is fire. It is a nuclear bomb. Don't look at my sitting behind the wheel of this car. I would get up in a second and head off to the front to fight." Despite Shariatzadeh's lust to head to the front and defend his homeland, Iran's strategic planners are acutely aware that a military confrontation with the technologically more advanced US Army would be as rapid and multi-fronted as the Iran-Iraq War was static and slow-paced. Quite simply, there would not be a single front. Neither the US nor Israel has ruled out taking military action against nuclear-related targets in Iran if ongoing diplomatic efforts to freeze Tehran's nuclear program do not prove successful. Accordingly, Iran has been quietly restructuring its military, while carrying out a series of military exercises testing its new military dogma. In December, more than 15,000 members of the regular armed forces participated in war games in northwestern Iran's strategically sensitive East Azerbaijan and West Azerbaijan border provinces that focused on irregular warfare carried out by highly mobile and speedy army units. In another telling development, a second exercise was launched in the majority-Arab province of Khuzestan, reportedly aimed at quelling insurgencies in areas subject to ethnic unrest and prone to foreign influence. Involving 100,000 troops, the exercise provided a taste of how the Islamic Republic would respond to further disturbances in the strategic, oil-rich province. The exercise came on the heels of news that the irregular Basij forces that led Iran's offensives against Iraq were being bolstered by so-called Ashura battalions with riot-control training. It is all part of a fundamental transition that Iran's Revolutionary Guard (RG) is undergoing as it moves away from focusing on waging its defense of the country on the borders, unrealistic in view of the vast territory that requires securing and the gulf separating Iranian and US military capabilities, and toward drawing the enemy into the heartland and defeating it with asymmetrical tactics. At the same time, the RG is moving away from a joint command with the ordinary army and taking a more prominent role in controlling Iran's often porous borders, even as it makes each of Iran's border provinces autonomous in the event of war. Iranian military planners know that the first step taken by an invading force would be to occupy oil-rich Khuzestan province, secure the sensitive Strait of Hormuz and cut off the Iranian military's oil supply, forcing it to depend on its limited stocks. Foreign diplomats who monitor Iran's army make it clear that Iran's leadership has acknowledged it stands little chance of defeating the US Army with conventional military doctrine. The shift in focus to guerrilla warfare against an occupying army in the aftermath of a successful invasion mirrors developments in Iraq, where a triumphant US campaign has been followed by three years of slow hemorrhaging at the hands of insurgents. Tehran argues that it is at a high level of preparedness and points to a number of war games carried out in recent months along its coastal zones, from Bandar Abbas and the Strait of Hormuz in January to the Persian Gulf theater in April and the Khorramshahr naval base and the northwestern parts of the Persian Gulf as of Sunday. From several interviews with Iranian officials, researchers and foreign diplomats, it is clear that the Iranian army considers itself ready to repel a US land offensive and increasingly sees itself as the main regional power. In line with the new feeling of invulnerability sweeping through Iran's military elite, RG commander-in-chief Yehya Rahim Safavi warned last month that "the Americans should accept Iran as a great regional power, and they should know that sanctions and military threats are not going to benefit them but are going to be against their interests and against the interests of some European countries". Iran's new asymmetrical-warfare plan appears to be aimed at neutralizing possible US-led offensives across the Mandali-Ilam (central Iraq-central Iran) axis. The Iranian Zagros mountain range offers a natural first line of defense. It has been reported that the RG is constructing new bases at Khorramabad, Pessyan, Borujerd, Zagheh and Malayer in the province of Lorestan, which would assure the logistics of a quarter of a million troops and provide temporary shelter for half a million refugees from the border. These bases are supposedly complementing older ones further west at Sahneh and Kangavar. "We know for a fact that no two Western wars are similar," said Hossein, a member of the RG, "and we know there are at least three possible scenarios of attacking these nuclear sites, including using their submarines in the Persian Gulf, commandos from the sea, or Mujahideen-e-Khalq trained in Israel and Azerbaijan to destroy the Bushehr nuclear power plant from the inside." Even while Iran's military is choosing to go low-tech, the country's leadership is continuing to apply advanced technology to military uses. Tehran is continuing with development of its long-range missiles and is forging ahead on its indigenous satellite program that centers on Russian-supplied technology. In addition, Tehran's aging air-defense system will be boosted by Russian-supplied land-to-air rockets. Also, Iran has aging Chinese missiles that it upgraded and could deploy on coastal batteries, fast attack boats or even warplanes. Finally, were Iran to possess the fearsome Russian-made 3M-82 Moskit anti-ship missiles, it could turn the Persian Gulf into a death trap for the US fleet. With the confrontation between Washington and Tehran escalating, a new, US-inspired plan to establish an anti-Iranian security regime has further raised tension in the Persian Gulf region. Aside from running covert operations inside Iran's ethnically mixed border provinces, the US administration is marshaling an alliance of Iran's Arab neighbors in the intensifying face-off. The US media reported last weekend that the United States was trying to create a regional missile-defense system for the Gulf that would be integrated with real-time intelligence using sophisticated US Navy Aegis cruisers. "Any security regime for the Persian Gulf that doesn't include Iran will not succeed," said Muhammad Reza Saedabadi, an assistant professor at the Institute of North American and European Studies at the University of Tehran. "It's splitting the region. It's good for the arms race and for arms sales to Persian Gulf states, but not for regional security." Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice continued ratcheting up the tension by refusing to offer Iran a guarantee that the United States would not attack it. "Iran is a troublemaker in the international system, a central banker of terrorism. Security assurances are not on the table," she said. While seen as potentially threatening by several Gulf Arab governments, Iran commands significant popularity among indigenous Shi'ite Arab populations in Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. To a lesser extend, Sunni Arabs in the Gulf region and the wider Middle East applaud Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad for his strident anti-Western rhetoric, which emphasizes his country's independence and echoes the anti-imperialist liberation ideology of 1960s pan-Arabism. At a "consultative summit" in Riyadh on May 6, the GCC countries indicated that they did not want Iran to have a nuclear weapon, but were also opposed to the use of force against it. Their position with regard to Iran, so far, bears greater similarity with the stance taken by Russia and China than the one adopted by the US and its European allies. The GCC is a regional organization comprising the six Persian Gulf Arab states. Created on May 25, 1981, the council's members are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Iran Crisis 'The Test of Our Time'
May 25….(Edmonton Journal) Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert urged the international community on Wednesday to quickly confront Iran over its uranium enrichment program or risk "nuclear aggression" that could plunge the Jewish state and the entire Middle East into chaos. Speaking before a joint session of the US Congress, Olmert called Tehran's pursuit of nuclear technology "the test of our time" and likened the Iranian threat to past dangers posed by Nazi Germany the rise of the Soviet Union. "A nuclear-armed Iran is an intolerable threat to the peace and security of the world. It cannot be permitted to materialize," Olmert said. "The international community will be judged by its ability to convince nations and peoples to turn their backs on hatred and zealotry. If we don't take Iran's bellicose rhetoric seriously now, we will be forced to take its nuclear aggression seriously later." Israel has said repeatedly it would remain in the background as the US and the United Nations Security Council pursues a diplomatic solution to the crisis with Iran. Olmert told US interviewers this week that Israel is unlikely to take its own diplomatic or military action against Iran. But in his address to Congress, Olmert said he feared "indifference" would allow Iran enough time to develop weapons and carry out Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 's threat to "wipe Israel off the map." "A nuclear Iran means a terrorist state could achieve the primary mission for which terrorists live and die, the mass destruction of Israel," Olmert said. "For us, this is an existential threat, a threat to which we cannot consent. But it is not Israel's threat alone." Iran maintains it is enriching uranium strictly to produce electricity for civilian use. Hours after the Israeli leader appealed for swift action against the regime in Tehran, Ahmadinejad warned Iran would inflict a "historic slap" on any nation it considers an aggressor. "Nuclear energy is a right that people of Iran shout every day and will stand by it," he said. "Aggression to the right of Iranian people will be faced with a lasting and historic slap."
Abbas Upstages Hamas: Calls for 1967 Borders Referendum
May 25….(Ha Aretz) President Mahmoud Abbas laid down a stern challenge to Hamas on Thursday, calling on the militant group to back a Palestinian proposal that recognizes Israel and seeks a settlement with the Jewish state. Abbas, in a surprise move on the first day of a two-day 'national dialogue' designed to resolve differences between Hamas and his own Fatah movement, gave delegates 10 days to reach an agreement on the plan or face a popular vote. "If you do not reach an agreement (in 10 days), I would like to tell you frankly that I will put this document to a referendum," Abbas told the delegates. "This is not a threat." If agreement is not reached, the referendum would be held in 40 days, or some time in early August, Abbas said. The proposal, which has been drawn up by senior figures from Hamas, Fatah and the Islamic Jihad group who are in prison in Israel, calls for a negotiated settlement with Israel if it withdraws from West Bank land occupied since 1967. The proposal also calls for a unity government and an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, with its capital in Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Palestinian new Prime Minister Haniyeh told the PA parliament there is an “international network” conspiring to “suffocate and starve” the PA population. He told the session, held simultaneously by video conference in Gaza and Ramallah, that the US gave Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s unilateral withdrawal plan a green light during talks this week between the US and Israel. “Israel is trying to set up a country with a Jewish majority and preserve Jerusalem as its capital,” he told PA legislators. “This shows the Israeli government wants to keep the occupation. Unfortunately, the Americans are on Israel’s side.” The Hamas chairman reiterated his pledge not to make concessions in order to reach a peace agreement with Israel and blamed the US for the international freeze on funds to the terrorist-led PA government. Haniyeh praised the Fatah and Hamas terrorists who murdered and wounded Israelis in years past and who continue to do so.“These two movements have carried out qualitative attacks and operations against the Israelis, attacks that have been reason for glory for our people among all peoples of the Arab world and the Islamic world,” said Haniyeh in his speech to the PA parliament. “Scores of martyrs have become a kind of a Wedding Day for all of us, that they gather all of us around every grave of each martyr, united and working together until we liberate Jerusalem and the Islamic and Christian holy shrines in Jerusalem. Fatah Chairman Abbas, meanwhile, said bluntly that the time had come for the PA government to wake up and do what it can to achieve peace with Israel. In his speech, Abbas stunned PA lawmakers by telling them that the best option left at this point is to accept the “Prisoners’ Plan” written together by imprisoned Fatah and Hamas terrorists in their jail in Israel. “Are slogans enough to feed the hungry?” Abbas demanded of the PA parliament. “We must stop with the slogans and start dealing with reality. We must stop dreaming and accept what we can take now. Let us not speak of dreams. Let us take the Palestinian state on the ’67 borders,” he stated. Abbas insisted that the majority of PA Arabs are willing to accept the deal. “There is a national consensus on this,” he said, adding that the current infighting between Fatah and Hamas is simply wasting time. “We shouldn’t have dialogue for the sake of dialogue,” he told the lawmakers. “We should have dialogue to solve our problems.” The two factions met to discuss ways to end the violence that threatens to plunge PA Arabs into what they fear will become a civil war. “The Israelis are killing our people every day and now we are busy with internal divisions,” said Abbas, referring to the assassination of the chief of the Fatah-aligned Preventive Security Service in Arab-on-Arab violence this week. Shortly after Abbas laid down his ultimatum, Hamas and Fatah forces exchanged fire in Gaza, wounding three people. It was the latest in a week of fighting between the factions. Hamas has deployed its own 3,000-strong militia in Gaza and it has clashed with Palestinian security forces loyal to Fatah.
Olmert & Bush in Full Agreement on How to Confront Iran
May 24….(World Watch)
There is full agreement between Israel and the US on how to confront the Iranian
nuclear issue, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Israeli journalists early
Wednesday, hours after his White House meeting with US President George W. Bush.
"We extensively discussed the Iranian issue," Olmert said. "There is a full
understanding between the president and myself on how to deal with this matter."
Olmert said he was "very satisfied" with the discussion he held with Bush on
Iran. Olmert said he believes Iran will cross "the technological threshold" on
its path to nuclear capability in about a year. Speaking earlier at a joint
press conference with Bush following after an initial round of talks the two
held as part of his first visit to Washington as prime minister, Olmert
expressed concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions, insisting that it was not too
late to prevent the Islamic republic's atomic program. Ehud Olmert called Iran a
threat to the entire Middle East. "This is a moment of truth. It is still not
too late to prevent it from happening," he said. Addressing the Iran nuclear
issue, Bush told reporters that the aim to prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear
weapons was "a common international goal." "We are determined that the Iranian
regime must not obtain nuclear weapons," he said. The president declared that
the United States would "come to Israel's aid" in the event of an attack, an
indirect reference to Iran, which Tuesday tested another long-range
surface-to-surface "Shihab-3" missile. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
last year called for Israel to be "wiped off the map," and in April called the
country a "rotten, dried tree" that would be annihilated by "one storm." Bush
said that his administration was still pursuing a diplomatic solution to the
issue. "Obviously we'd like to solve this issue peacefully and diplomatically,
and the more the Iranians refuse to negotiate in good faith the more countries
are beginning to realize that we must continue to work together," Bush said.
"We're spending a lot of time working with our Russian friends in particular to
make it clear to them that Iran is showing no good faith," the president told
reporters. Russia and China, permanent members of the United Nations Security
Council, have been reluctant to impose stronger measures, such as sanctions, on
Iran. "We're on the cusp of going to the Security Council," Bush said. Tuesday's
Iranian missile test was viewed by Israeli and Western officials as an example
of Iranian defiance of international efforts to halt its nuclear program and
impose sanctions. The "Shihab-3" has a known range of 1,300 kilometers and could
reach any target in Israel. Iran is also in the process of developing
longer-range missiles, intended to reach a distance of 5,000 miles.
President Bush also praised Palestinian Authority Chairman
Mahmoud Abbas as a leader who "speaks out for peace and negotiations," but
criticized the Hamas-led Palestinian government, which he said does not seek
peace. "No country can be expected to make peace with those who deny its right
to exist, and who use terror to attack its population," he said.
May 24….(JNEWSWIRE) The message out of Washington Tuesday was that while the US and Israel would like to see the Palestinian Arabs become true partners for peace, the latter will be given the state they demand regardless of whether they fully recognize Israel and stop murdering Jews or not. Meeting for the first time with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in that elevated position, US President George W. Bush was said to have given his tacit approval to the so-called "convergence" or "realignment" plan should a viable "Palestinian" peace partner not emerge in the coming six-to-nine months. Said Bush at a joint press conference following the meeting: "Our preferred option, of course, is there to be a negotiated settlement. On the other hand, as the prime minister said, that if he is unable to find a partner in peace, if nothing can go forward, he is willing to think about ways to advance the process forward." In a manner reminiscent of Ariel Sharon playing up less-than-enthusiastic support for his "disengagement" plan, Olmert said Bush had responded to his initiative in a "very clear and remarkable way." Olmert and his government believe that by handing over Judea and Samaria to a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority not interested in peace with Israel, they can somehow bring the nation increased security and lessen friction with the Arabs and the international community over the so-called "occupation." Bush, on the other hand, sees Olmert's withdrawal plan, like Sharon's disengagement before it, as a means of jump-starting the all-but-dead Road Map peace plan. But rather than jump start the peace process, Sharon's disengagement from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria led to the electoral victory of Hamas, making true peace more distant than ever. Many Israelis expect similar results from Olmert's policies.
Former Soviet Republics Form New Trade Zone
May 24….(Worthy) The leaders of four pro-Western former Soviet republics, Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova, created a common trade zone on Tuesday to reduce their dependence on Russia and forge closer ties with the European Union. "Our four countries have common goals, including sustaining democracy and economic growth," President Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine said during a meeting in Kiev with his three counterparts. The countries, which gained independence in 1991 after the Soviet Union collapsed, have been trying to reduce Russian influence by joining international organizations, including the World Trade Organization, North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union. Still, most of their exports go to Russia, while Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova depend on Russia for almost all of their energy needs. President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, whose government strives to maintain close relations with both Russia and the United States, emphasized his willingness to help others overcome their dependence on Russian energy. Azerbaijan has oil and natural gas reserves in the Caspian Sea. "One of our priorities will be energy and transport cooperation," he said. "Our strategy is to create a link between the Caspian Sea and Europe."
Eyeing Iran, Israel Seeks Cruise Missiles
May 24….(Reuters) Israel has speeded up efforts to develop long-range cruise missiles of a type that could be used should the Jewish state try to strike at Iran's nuclear facilities, security sources said on Tuesday. Israel sent warplanes to destroy Iraq's main atomic reactor at Osiraq in 1981 and has not ruled out similar action to prevent its arch-foe from getting the bomb should US-led diplomatic pressure on Tehran fail. The greater ranges to Iran's nuclear facilities might make cruise missiles more practical than planes, but the United States has rebuffed past Israeli requests to buy them. Cruise missiles are programmed to seek out and hit distant targets, flying low to avoid radar. But only the United States and Russia are known to have mastered all aspects of production. "A top priority has been put on developing this technology, in light of the Iran situation, as well as improving the Arrow," an Israeli security source said, referring to the anti-missile defense system designed by state-run Israel Aircraft Industries. Jane's Defense Weekly said in 2004 that Israel Military Industries had fielded the country's first cruise missile, but its range was only around 300 km (190 miles). There have also been media reports that government arms manufacturer Rafael created at least a prototype cruise missile by attaching a jet booster to its medium-range Popeye missile. Israel asked Washington to sell it Tomahawk cruise missiles in 2000, during peace talks with Syria. Israel argued that it would need Tomahawks to make up for the loss of "strategic depth" were it to return the occupied Golan Heights to Syria. The request went unmet. Defense experts saw US reluctance to stir up jitters among Israel's rivals in the Middle East. "The United States would not want to export such a capable weapon at such sensitive times," said Jane's analyst Robert Hewson, noting that Tomahawks can carry nuclear warheads. Israel is believed to have the region's only atomic arsenal.
World Powers Meet in London About Iran
May 24….(AP) Six world powers searched for common ground Wednesday on rewarding Iran if it gives up uranium enrichment, and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged Tehran to "lift the cloud of uncertainty" about its nuclear program. Among the issues at a meeting in London grouping the five UN Security Council nations and Germany was a compromise proposal for possible sanctions against Iran should it refuse to halt uranium enrichment, diplomats said. The compromise, which would drop the automatic threat of military action if Iran remains defiant, is part of a proposed basket of incentives meant to entice Iran to give up the activity, a possible pathway to nuclear arms. It also spells out the penalties if it does not. It is meant to get support both from Russia and China, which fiercely oppose any suggestion of force in pressuring Iran. France, Britain and Germany discussed the final form of the package Tuesday ahead of submission for hoped-for approval Wednesday at a formal meeting of the five permanent Security Council members and Germany. A British Foreign Office official said that six-nation meeting had began. The venue was being kept secret, reflecting the delicate nature of the negotiations. If accepted, the compromise would resolve wrangling within the Security Council since it became actively involved in March, two months after Iran's file was referred to it by the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Russia and China have opposed calls by the United States, Britain and France for a resolution threatening sanctions and enforceable by military action. The compromise proposal is meant to break that deadlock, said the diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details were not released. On a visit to Vietnam, Annan urged Iran to clarify whether it is trying to develop nuclear weapons, and he appealed for a negotiated solution to the dispute. Annan said Iran should work with UN nuclear inspectors "to lift the cloud of uncertainty surrounding its nuclear project, whether it is seeking nuclear weapons or if it's only peaceful." "What is important is that both sides, the Europeans who have been negotiating with Iran, and Iran, have indicated that they are prepared to continue negotiations," Annan said. "In my contacts with the Iranians, I have appealed to them not to reject anything out of hand." If Iran remains defiant, the proposal calls for a Security Council resolution imposing sanctions under Chapter 7, Article 41 of the UN Charter. But it avoids any reference to Article 42, which is the trigger for possible military action to enforce any such resolution. And in an additional reassurance to Moscow and Beijing, it specifically calls for new consultations among the five permanent Security Council members on any further steps against Iran. That is meant to dispel past complaints by the Russians and Chinese that once the pressure on Iran is increased, it would automatically start a process leading to military involvement.
Iran Believes Israel to Strike Within A Year
May 24….(WND) Iran estimates Israel will strike Tehran's nuclear facilities within a year, and has been planning retaliatory attacks against Israeli, American and British interests, according to senior Lebanese political sources. The sources, speaking to WorldNetDaily on condition of anonymity, said Iran believes Israel has been practicing raids in Iraq. They said Tehran has held a series of meetings with leaders of the Hezbollah terror group, based along Lebanon's border with Israel, about attacking the Jewish state in the event of any Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear sites. The sources said while Iran is expecting lone Israeli military action, Iranian intelligence estimates the Jewish state is coordinating a planned attack with the US. "The Iranians currently are operating under the working assumption that Israel is going to strike in less than a year and that this strike is highly coordinated with America," said a senior Lebanese politician.
Lebanese political sources said Iran has been attempting to organize Shiite tribes in Iraq to stage repeated large-scale attacks against American and British forces stationed there during any Israeli strike. They said Iran believes attacks in Iraq, including hits against soft targets such as oil fields, will prompt a British or American retreat. The Lebanese sources said Iran claims it has intelligence information indicating Israel has been carrying out military exercises related to an attack against it from bases in Kurdish sections of Iraq. Israeli security officials said the claims are baseless. Iran has instructed Hezbollah to stage retaliatory raids and missile attacks against Israeli military and civilians targets during any Israeli strike against Tehran, the Lebanese political sources added. Hezbollah is stationed alongside Israel's northern border and boasts it has over 10,000 missiles pointed at the country's civilian population centers. Officially, Israel denies it is planning military action against Iran. Israeli leaders regularly call Iran a "world problem" and urge the international community to halt Iran's nuclear ambitions through diplomacy and the threat of economic sanctions. At a joint press conference yesterday in Washington, President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said they still had faith in diplomacy. They stated Iran's nuclear ambitions must be halted. "We have a variety options, one of which is of course the United Nations Security Council. Our primary objective is to solve this problem diplomatically. On all issues I'll try diplomacy first and exhaust diplomacy," said Bush. Olmert called Iran a "major threat.
Osama's Biographer Says Nukes in US
May 24….(WND) Al-Qaida has smuggled tactical nuclear weapons and uranium into the US across the Mexican border and is planning to launch a major terrorist attack using a combination of nukes and dirty nukes, according to an interview with Osama bin Laden's biographer, Hamid Mir, in WorldThreats.com. The information confirms reports previously published in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin and in a new book by Paul L. Williams, “Dunces of Doomsday.” "I came up with this conclusion after eight years of investigation and research in the remote mountain areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. I traveled to Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan and Russia and met dozens of people," Mir said. "I interviewed not only al-Qaida operatives but met scientists and top US officials also. I will have the details in my coming book. At least two al-Qaida operatives claimed that the organization smuggled suitcase nukes inside America. But I have no details on who did it. But I do have details about who smuggled uranium inside America and how." Mir claims his information is based not only on what al-Qaida operatives, including bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, told him, but also upon his own independent research as a journalist. Mir says his upcoming book, a biography of bin Laden, will disclose al-Qaida's nuclear attack plans. "As far as I know, they smuggled three suitcase nukes from Russia to Europe," Mir says about al-Qaida. "They smuggled many kilos of enriched uranium inside America for their dirty bomb projects. They said in 1999 that they must have material for more than six dirty bombs in America. They tested at least one dirty bomb in the Kunar province of Afghanistan in 2000. They have planned an attack bigger than 9-11, even before 9-11 happened. Osama bin Laden trained 42 fighters to destroy the American economy and military might. Nineteen were used on 9-11, 23 are still 'sleeping' inside America waiting for a wake-up call from bin Laden." Mir said al-Qaida operatives told him that tactical nuclear weapons were smuggled over the Mexican border before Sept. 11, 2001. Mir said again he believes al-Qaida may use its nuclear arsenal after the US attacks Iran in an effort to stop its nuclear weapons program. "This is my opinion," he says. "No al-Qaida leader has ever admitted that they are working with Iran. I also think that, maybe, the Iranians will organize some attacks inside America and you will accuse al-Qaida." Asked why al-Qaida hasn't used nuclear weapons it already possesses, Mir said: "They are waiting for the proper time. They want the US to be involved in a mass killing of Muslims, so that they will have some justification. That is what I was told by a top al-Qaida leader in the Kunar Mountains of Afghanistan."
Olmert in US to Visit With Bush White House
May 23….(MSNBC) Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is expected to walk away from his first visit to the United States without getting the Bush administration to put its heft behind Olmert's sweeping West Bank pullback plan. US and Israeli officials played down any expectation today that Ehud Olmert's meeting with President Bush would yield dramatic results. "I don't expect anything formal, but the two of them obviously are going to be talking about ways to keep moving forward" with the peace process, White House spokesman Tony Snow said. Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon said the emergence of a Hamas-led Palestinian government had complicated matters with its steadfast refusal to oppose terror. "We must all examine different options to break the stalemate," he said, shortly before Olmert met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley, Bush's national security adviser. Before Israel's March 28 elections, Olmert said he would separate Israel from the Palestinians by setting the country's final borders with the West Bank. If the Palestinians' new Hamas leaders should continue to refuse to renounce violence and their call for Israel's destruction, Israel would act unilaterally, as it did during the summer when it quit the Gaza Strip, he said. The United States, occupied with Iraq and trying to contain Iran's nuclear ambitions, has reacted tepidly to the olmert “divergence plan. European and Arab allies also oppose Olmert's plan to act unilaterally if Hamas does not change its ways, and Bush may be reluctant to take them on. Unilateral Israeli action is also anathema to moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. What the United States is expected to do is to press Olmert to at least go through the motions of trying to broker a peace deal, not with Hamas, which Washington regards as a terrorist organization, but with Abbas of the rival Fatah party. In a bow to the United States, Israel held its first high-level talks with Abbas since the Palestinian elections at an international conference in Egypt. At that meeting on Sunday, Abbas appealed to Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to restore regular contacts between the two sides. The official who spoke with the AP said Olmert would meet with the Palestinian president after meeting first with President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and King Abdullah II of Jordan, both of whom have cautioned against Israeli attempts to set final borders with the West Bank.
Pakistan’s Shiite’s Support Iran’s Annihilation of Israel
May 23….(FOJ) Activists of a Pakistani Shiite Muslims groups burn the mock coffins of US President George Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during a rally to show their support for Iran and Palestine. The Pakistani Islamic rally also called for support from the entire Muslim world for the Iranian President’s pledge to wipe Israel off the map!
Malvo: Muhammad Intended to ‘Terrorize the Nation”
May 23….(FOJ) In the summer of 2002, America was terrorized by indiscriminate killings on its highways and mall parking lots. Today, sniper Lee Boyd Malvo testified that his former partner and father figure, John Allen Muhammad, told him before the 2002 sniper attacks, “We’re going to terrorize this nation.” Malvo said Muhammad also outlined a plan for six sniper shootings a day for 30 days, to be followed by a bombing campaign that would target schools, school buses and children’s hospitals. Both Muhammad, 45, and Malvo now 21, were convicted in Virginia for a sniper murder there. Muhammad received a death sentence while Malvo was given a life term. Shortly after the pair were arrested on October 24, 2002, Malvo confessed to being the triggerman in all the shootings. But he later recanted and told mental health experts hired by his lawyers that Muhammad, 45, was the shooter in nearly all the deaths. The fact that John Allen Muhammad was an avid follower of a fundamentalist Islamic Imam was quickly covered up, and the government informed the public (for the sake of religious tolerance) that the pair were not in any way connected to the promoters of terror against our nation. But, one still must wonder, especially in light of Malvo’s confession today!
'Good News' In Northern Iraq
May 23….(WND) Retired Iraqi Gen. Georges Sada, a former fighter pilot-turned-Christian evangelist, says Kurds are converting to Christianity "by the hundreds" in northern Iraq. Gen. Sada earlier reported that he had been told that Iraqi pilots, flying private planes, took weapons of mass destruction to undisclosed locations in Syria in 2002. The "good news" from Iraq's turbulent religious scene, consisting mainly of Sunni and Shi'ite Muslim militias battling each other, is from the Kurds, he said. Kurds are creating a constitution that does away with Shariah, or Islamic law, a move counter to trends in other Muslim countries such as Afghanistan and Iran, where leaving Islam is a capital offense and Christian converts are often killed. "No Christians in the Kurdish territory are persecuted," he said yesterday in an interview. Gen. Sada, 66, who lives in Baghdad, cited growing numbers of evangelical Christians in the Kurdish city of Irbil and a recent church conference of 854 Christians at the city's Salahaddin University as demonstrations of the Kurds' willingness to protect religious freedom. He added that Kurdish leaders were extremely positive about evangelical Christians' efforts among Iraq's 4 million Kurds. "They have told me they'd rather see a Muslim become a Christian rather than a radical Muslim," the general said. He spoke last night at McLean Bible Church, Northern Virginia's largest congregation, about his new vocation as director of the Iraqi Institute for Peace and president of the National Presbyterian Church in Baghdad. "My foundation for peace is Christianity," said Gen. Sada, who was born an Assyrian Christian. "We must learn to love. Muslims will say they've got love and forgiveness, but I want to emphasize what Jesus Christ has said." Gen. Sada has his work cut out for him. Outside the Kurdish areas, "Christians are in a very tough situation," he said. "Their children are kidnapped, and their money is taken by terrorists." A fighter pilot like his father, Hormis Sada, Gen. Sada rose quickly in the Iraqi military in the 1960s and 1970s and was made a general in 1980. During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, he was responsible for interrogating US and allied pilots shot down over Iraq. The foreword to his recent book, "Saddam's Secrets," is written by retired Air Force Col. David Eberly, whose plane was shot down Jan. 19, 1991. Suddenly I found myself in the presence of a man who, despite the power he had over me, still seemed to respect my human dignity," Col. Eberly wrote of Gen. Sada. When Saddam Hussein's younger son, Qusay, demanded that the 24 pilots in Gen. Sada's custody be killed, the general refused. He was imprisoned for a week, released, then discharged from the military on Feb. 5, 1991. But he kept his extensive military contacts, who told him of Saddam using private planes to fly weapons of mass destruction to Syria in 2002. But it was not until April 2004, when Jordanian intelligence reported foiling an al Qaeda plot to unleash 17.5 tons of explosives, including sarin nerve gas, in downtown Amman, that he decided to go public with what he knew. "I thought, 'Wait a minute,'?" he recalls. "The weapons must have fallen into the hands of terrorists." General Sada testified to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that weapons of mass destruction under Saddam were trafficked into Syria.
World Council of Churches Slams Israel
May 23….(Worthy News) Israel bears the burden of responsibility for the present crisis in the Middle East, the World Council of Churches has announced, following a meeting of its Executive Committee in Geneva from May 16-19. The Christian Left's leading ecumenical organization stated Israel's actions towards the Palestinians "cannot be justified morally, legally or even politically." The failure "to comply with international law" had "pushed the situation on the ground to a point of no return," they concluded. The WCC condemned the killing of innocent civilians by "both sides" in the conflict and called for the Palestinians to "maintain the existing one-party cease-fire toward Israel" and asked Israel to base its security on "the equitable negotiation of final borders" with its neighbors. However, the present disparities between Israel and Palestine were "appalling," the WCC said. "One side is positioning itself to unilaterally establish final borders on territory that belongs to the other side; the other side is increasingly confined to the scattered enclaves that remain. On one side there is control of more and more land and water; on the other there are more and more families deprived of land and livelihoods. On one side as many people as possible are being housed on occupied land; on the other side the toll mounts of refugees without homes or land. One side controls Jerusalem, a city shared by two peoples and three world religions; the other-Muslim and Christian-watches its demographic, commercial and religious presence wither in Jerusalem," the WCC said. The WCC claimed a double standard was at work in the international community that favored Israel, saying, "The side set to keep its unlawful gains is garnering support from part of the international community. The side that, despairing at those unlawful gains, used legitimate elections to choose new leaders is being isolated and punished." "Democracy must be protected where it is taking root," the WCC said, calling for a relaxation of American, British and EU sanctions against Hamas. "Peace must come soon or it may not come to either people for a long time," they concluded. The WCC's Executive Committee called upon its 340 member churches in over 100 countries representing approximately 550 million Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant Christians to "share solidarity with people on both sides of the conflict," and to "use legitimate forms of pressure to promote a just peace and to end unlawful activities by Israelis or Palestinians." In March 2005, the WCC urged its member churches give "serious consideration" to pulling investments out of Israel and endorsed the 2004 decision by the Presbyterian Church of the United States to seek "phased selective divestment" from Israel. "This Presbyterian action is commendable in both method and manner, uses criteria rooted in faith and calls members to do the things that make for peace," the WCC said. The Presbyterian Church will revisit its 2004 divestment decision next month at its 217th General Assembly in Birmingham, Alabama, in response to criticism that the divestment call was one-sided and ill-informed.
FOJ Note: The WCC is so out of touch with the Bible. The WCC could more aptly be described as a religious terrorist organization!
Bush May Offer Bunker Buster Bombs to Israel and Saudi Arabia
May 23….(DEBKA) The intention is to arm US allies with a deterrent against Iran by sharing with them the means for striking the Islamic Republic’s underground nuclear installations. This Massive Ordnance Penetrator, MOP, known as Big-Blu, weighs in at 13,600 kilos and can destroy 25% of its targets in bunkers buried beneath 60 meters of reinforced concrete, a depth greater than any other bomb of its type. DEBKAfile’s military sources note that this bomb in Saudi hands will also serve the oil kingdom as a deterrent against Israel’s atomic weapons program. In this way, the Bush administration demonstrates it is not solely targeting the military weapons activities of Muslim nations. The bunker busters will no doubt come with strings attached with regard to their use. Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, who is due at the White House Tuesday, said he hoped Bush “will lead other nations in taking the necessary measures to stop Iran form becoming a nuclear power.” DEBKAfile’s Washington’s sources say the Bush administration has little faith in other nations, especially the Europeans, acting to stop Iran, and has embarked on preparations for action on its own initiative. In these circumstances, Israeli ambivalence would be the preferred public stance rather than explicit dependence on Washington.
Syria Threatens to Join Active 'Terror-Resistance' Against Israel
May 23….(CNS NEWS) A Syrian government minister has said that his country may have to resort to "resistance," a euphemism for terrorism, to regain control over the Golan Heights if the peace process with Israel is not revived soon. The Israeli-Syrian peace process has been in the deep freeze since early 2000, when a US-sponsored attempt to revive talks bottomed out after several months of negotiations. Although the Israeli-Syrian border along the Golan Heights has been one of Israel's quietest for more than 30 years, with almost no infiltration attempts or trouble, Israel says Syria continues its attempt to undermine the Jewish state by backing the Lebanese-based terrorist group Hizballah and hosting the headquarters of Palestinian terror groups in Damascus. In an interview that aired on Hizballah's Al-Manar television 12 days ago, Syrian Information Minister Muhsen Ballal said that if the peace process is not revived soon, Syrians would resort to "resistance" to liberate the Golan Heights. "The liberation of the Golan is a comprehensive Arab-Syrian demand, made by 20 million Syrians, and the leadership must take this demand into consideration. The Golan must be returned to the motherland, and there is no alternative but to liberate the Golan," Muhsen said, according to a translation provided on Monday by the Middle East Media Research Institute. Muhsen indicated that the time for peace talks was running out. In response, Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said the problem is with Damascus. "Obviously, Israel wants peace with Syria," Regev said. "The trouble today is that the Syrian government appears uninterested in peace." It lends active support to terror groups and allows extremist groups like Islamic Jihad to operate from its territory and has relations with Hizballah, "an extremely negative, anti-peace element," said Regev. "If the regime in Damascus wants to be seen as a partner for peace, they should start acting like one," he said. Unlike the Gaza Strip, which Israel turned over unilaterally to the Palestinians last summer, there is a broad Israeli consensus for holding on to the Golan Heights. Israel captured the strategic plateau in the 1967 Six-Day War and recaptured it in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The Heights holds strategic advantage over a large part of northern Israel, including the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee, from which Israel takes about 40 percent of its drinking water. There are more than 18,000 Israelis living on the Golan Heights and about 17,000 Syrian Druze residents, who have been extended the rights and privileges of Israeli citizens and live peacefully there.
Feds Hunting For Hezbollah Terrorists in New York
May 23….(New York Post) The Hezbollah terror group, one of the most dangerous in the world, may be planning to activate sleeper cells in New York and other big cities to stage an attack as the nuclear showdown with Iran heats up, sources told The Post. The FBI and Justice Department have launched urgent new probes in New York and other cities targeting members of the Lebanese terror group. Law-enforcement and intelligence officials told The Post that about a dozen hard-core supporters of Hezbollah have been identified in recent weeks as operating in the New York area. Sources said the activities of these New York-based operatives are being monitored by FBI counterterrorism agents as part of a nationwide effort to prevent a possible terror strike if the confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program spins out of control. Additional law-enforcement attention is being centered on the Iranian Mission to the United Nations, where there have already been three episodes in the last four years in which diplomats and security guards have been expelled for casing and photographing New York City subways and other potential targets. The nationwide effort to neutralize Hezbollah sleepers in the United States, being spearheaded by the FBI and Justice Department's counterterrorism divisions, was triggered in January in response to alarming reports that Iran's fanatical president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, met with leaders of Hezbollah and other terror groups during a visit to Syria. Among those attending the meetings, according to reliable reports, was Hezbollah's chief operational planner, Imad Mugniyah, considered one of the most dangerous terrorists in the world, who is responsible for the bombings of the 1983 US Marine barracks in Beirut and who, more recently, provided Iraqi guerrillas with sophisticated explosive devices. US officials stressed there is no intelligence information pointing to an imminent attack by Hezbollah. But officials said they have detected increased activity by Hezbollah operatives, including more heated rhetoric by its leaders and in Internet chat rooms as the US-Iran diplomatic showdown heats up. "Hezbollah is a group that the US has to be concerned about in the current climate. Hezbollah is already coming under heavy pressure by the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, and Ahmadinejad is under pressure on the nuclear issue," said Walid Phares, an outside terror expert who has briefed law-enforcement officials on Hezbollah in recent weeks. "They are well funded, very well organized, and we assume that their penetration of the US is deeper than al Qaeda's. It is only rational for the US to think in pre-emptive ways. An attack here is clearly in the realm of the possible," Phares added. A US counterterrorism official called the latest effort a "major undertaking," with separate probes also under way in Los Angeles, Boston and Detroit.
Religion, Rome and The Reich: The Vatican's Dirty Secret
May 23….(The Independent) Forget 'The Da Vinci Code', 'God's HQ on earth' has a real ghost in the cupboard, “collusion with the Nazis.” No wonder then, says Peter Stanford, that the church is hiding its papers on the dealings of 'Hitler's Pope', Pius XII. As The Da Vinci Code arrives in our cinemas with its lurid accusations of a church cover-up of Jesus's life as a family man, Roman Catholic leaders have been vocal in dismissing the film of Dan Brown's bestseller as unsuitable viewing for believers. Cardinal amongst its sins according to them is its suggestion that a church organisation, Opus Dei, would attempt to manipulate history to fit its beliefs. But that, it was charged last week, is precisely what the Vatican is doing in regard of a much more recent event, the Holocaust.
An unflattering spotlight fell on God's business address on Earth when the German Justice Minister, Brigitte Zypries, announced on Tuesday that her country is finally to open its huge archive of Nazi records on 17 million concentration camp inmates and slave labourers. Germany's belated move to answer the pleas for access to its archives by Holocaust survivors and their families now leaves only the Vatican standing all alone in denying them the chance to read what is in its wartime documents.
You might expect an organisation that - as the bishops have been busy pointing out last week to counter the picture of their church presented in The Da Vinci Code - is dedicated to truth, justice, forgiveness and reconciliation to have been among the first to offer access to its files. And its refusal to open its secret files has only increased suspicion that it has something it wants to cover up - principally evidence of the alleged pro-Nazi sympathies of wartime pope, Pius XII.
In the church's official annals, Pius, who died in 1958, is painted as a saintly shepherd who led his flock with great moral courage in difficult times. For many scholars, though, he is at worst the Devil incarnate, "Hitler's Pope", and at best a coward who refused to speak out against the extermination of Jews, gypsies and homosexuals in gas chambers, even when he had compelling evidence that it was happening, lest his words attract Nazi aggression.
Month by month, year by year, more evidence emerges from other sources about where the Vatican's sympathies lay in the Second World War. Earlier this year, for example, a 1946 instruction from Pope Pius to the French bishops was unearthed that ordered them not to hand over Jewish children they had been sheltering to Jewish charities now the conflict was over. According to the outspoken Harvard historian Professor Daniel Goldhagen, Pius was guilty in this instance of "having given the order to take [Jewish] children away from their parents and should be regarded as little better than a war criminal."
The Vatican's response to all such accusations is to issue a blanket denial, insisting that it was neutral throughout the conflict. Yet in the absence of any compelling documentary evidence to buttress its position, few are now willing to take its word as gospel on its war record.
And the pressure has only built since the election 13 months ago of Pope Benedict XVI. Where his predecessor John Paul II had worked during the Second World War with the Polish underground to defeat the Nazis and save Jews, the former Cardinal Ratzinger had been a member of the Hitler Youth, albeit a reluctant one. The Vatican's archives - known curiously as the Secret Archives, though their existence has been well known since 1610 - is under the personal control of the Pope. One word from Benedict and the doors could be thrown open.
While we wait for the church to catch up with the rest of the world, what is known for certain from other sources is that in 1933 as Vatican representative in Germany, the future Pius XII had agreed a treaty with Hitler, whose authoritarian tendencies he admired, to close down the Catholic -dominated Centre Party, one of National Socialism's staunchest opponents. This treaty was based on the Vatican's 1929 agreement with Mussolini, the Italian fascist leader. On being elected Pope in 1939, Pius's first act was to suppress a document denouncing Hitler, entitled Mit Brennender Sorge ("With deep anxiety ...") that his predecessor had been writing on his deathbed. And throughout the war, Pius XII made no public condemnation of the Holocaust, save for a single ambiguous sentence in a 26-page Christmas message of 1942.
Among the various disputed accusations made against him are that he did nothing to protect the Jews of Rome as the Nazis and Italian fascists carted them away to gas chambers from their ghetto in Trastevere under the very windows of the Vatican; that he forbade monasteries and convents to shelter Jews trying to escape the Nazis; that he allowed the church to profit from looted goods taken from the Nazis' victims; and that he turned a blind eye to assistance given by Catholic religious orders, notably in Croatia, to help Nazi war criminals escape to start new lives in Latin America.
The church vigorously denies all these charges, but without access to the Vatican's wartime archive, there can be no independent verification of their unblinking faith that Pius XII was free from the stain of sin. In 1964, the then Pope, Paul VI, did order that a selection of relevant documents be released. These were, however, to be chosen by Vatican historians and, unsurprisingly, tell a resoundingly positive tale of informal initiatives and deep concern about the Holocaust. As Lord Janner, formerly Greville Janner MP, and chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust, has remarked, the Vatican's edited highlights have been "carefully selected to stress only positive efforts by the Vatican to resist Nazism or to save victims".
In the late 1990s, searching for a way to disarm the ever greater numbers of historians who suspected it of a cover-up, the Vatican allowed the British writer, John Cornwell, limited access to its papers about Pius XII. A cradle Catholic, ex-seminarian and the author of a book which conclusively refuted allegations that Pope John Paul I had been murdered, Cornwell, the monsignori decided, could be trusted.
However, he describes how, having read only a part of the archive about Pius, he found himself "in a state I can only describe as moral shock. The material I had gathered, taking the more extensive view of [Pius XII's] life, amounted not to an exoneration but to a wider indictment."
When Cornwell's book, Hitler's Pope, was published in 1999, it alleged that Pius was seemingly prepared to put up with any Nazi atrocity because he saw Hitler as a good bulwark against the advance across Europe of godless communism from Russia. To paraphrase more recent politicians, the deaths of 6 million Jews was a price worth paying to protect the Catholic church.
The Vatican reacted with a front-page editorial in its official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, attacking Cornwell as "unqualified" to make such judgements. The controversy wouldn't go away, however. Finally, in October 1999, the church agreed to allow access to a joint panel of six Jewish and Catholic experts, appointed by the Vatican and the International Jewish Committee for Inter-religious Consultation. By July 2001 the Jewish members of the group resigned, quoting the "lack of a positive response" from the Vatican. In short, they had refused to let them see anything new.
Despite repeated efforts since, the records remain locked away in the Secret Archive to this day. The Vatican has offered a variety of justifications. A favourite has been to use the same line as the German authorities in defending, until Brigitte Zypries's change of heart, keeping archives closed, namely privacy considerations. Now that Germany has capitulated, however, that excuse has gone out of the window.
At other times "technical reasons" have been quoted, or lack of manpower to do the cataloguing. It has also been suggested darkly that allowing free access would break the seal of the confessional. Matters were not helped in January of this year when Archbishop Sergio Pagano, Prefect of the Secret Archives, gave an interview with the Italian church magazine, Avvenire, where he bemoaned the "strange phenomenon" of all these experts wanting to poke around in the Pope's private papers.
So the archives on this much disputed period remain firmly closed. Such an unflinching commitment to secrecy has soured Catholic-Jewish relationships - overshadowing, for instance, John Paul II's historic March 2000 apology to the Jews for centuries of Christian anti-Semitism.
And many Catholics in the pews are puzzled as to why, when to say the least the jury is out on Pius XII, the Vatican is apparently proceeding with all speed to canonise him. It gives the impression that their church leaders are responding to the outside world's legitimate concern to know the truth about this man with a gesture of defiance that brings the whole canon of saints into disrepute. It is precisely the sort of behaviour that leaves readers and cinemagoers prepared to give credence to Dan Brown's conspiracy theories.
Palestinians and Nakba Day (Day of Catasrophe)
May 22….(FOJ) Palestinian children paint a poster for Nakba Day during a rally in support of the Hamas terrorist leadership in the West Bank city of Hebron today. Palestinians marked what they term as Al Nakba Day last week, a day of mourning because of the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. One must ask the question, “How is it that Israel be expected to think that the land-for-peace process will bring them any semblance of peace, when the Palestinians openly loathe the day that Israel was merely born”?
Kentucky High School Responds to Federal Judge Blocking Graduation Prayer
May 22….(WLEX) The senior class at a southern Kentucky high school gave their response Friday night to a federal judge's order banning prayer at commencement. About 200 seniors stood during the principal's opening remarks and began reciting the Lord's Prayer, prompting a standing ovation from a standing-room only crowd at the Russell County High School gymnasium. The thunderous applause drowned out the last part of the prayer. The revival like atmosphere continued when senior Megan Chapman said in her opening remarks that God had guided her since childhood. Chapman was interrupted repeatedly by the cheering crowd as she urged her classmates to trust in God as they go through life. "So, when you get out in the world and things get hard and you don't feel like you're going to pass that final next week in college, or you're not going to be able to pay that next bill, God's going to help you through that with your faith in him," Chapman said in her speech. The prayer and Chapman's comments came early in what was otherwise a typical graduation ceremony filled with parents taking pictures and smiling students who walked across the stage to receive their diplomas. The graduation took place about 12 hours after a federal judge blocked the inclusion of prayer as part of Russell County High School's graduation ceremonies. US District Judge Joseph McKinley granted a temporary restraining order sought by a student who didn't want prayer to be part of the graduation exercises at the south-central Kentucky school, about 110 miles southeast of Louisville. The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky filed suit on behalf of the unidentified student on Tuesday. Russell County School Superintendent Scott Pierce called himself a "person of faith" and said he was pleased with the response to the ruling by the senior class. The response of the students showed an ability to be "critical thinkers," Pierce said. "They exhibited what we've tried to accomplish in 12 years of education, they have the ability to make these compelling decisions on their own," Pierce said. The challenge made the graduation even better because it unified the senior class, Chapman said. "It made the whole senior class come together as one and I think that's the best way to go out," said Chapman, who plans to attend the University of the Cumberlands with her twin sister Megan. A sign across the street from the high school at a garden center declared "We believe in prayer" in response to the judge's ruling. "In our little town, we've always had that prayer at commencement," said Brenda Hadley, owner of Anna's Garden. "Why not? That's part of our everyday life." Garden center employee Angela Dick put up the sign. Dick said student prayer has always been a way of life at commencements in the rural county that bumps up against Lake Cumberland, a popular recreation area. "I'm disappointed in a judge who won't hold up the Christian values that our country was founded on."
WEEK OF MAY 14 THROUGH MAY 21
Student, ACLU Fight Graduation Prayer in Kentucky
May 20….(WND) A federal judge in Louisville, Kentucky, granted a temporary restraining order prohibiting a prayer from being said during graduation ceremonies at an area high school after a Muslim student on the planning committee objected and garnered the help of the American Civil Liberties Union. Arshiya Saiyed, a senior at Russell County High School, said she was working on plans for the ceremony, scheduled for last night, with the senior panel when the issue came up, according to WHAS-TV in Louisville. "Terms like Jesus Christ, heavenly father, I talked about the fact I was Muslim and the prayers in the past were offensive to me," the 17-year-old said. Saiyed claimed that almost immediately after objecting to the prayer, she was harassed by a group of students. One student told her he wanted her out of the country, she related to WHAS. Principal Gary Kidwell, who noted a prayer of some sort has been offered at graduation for years, but said he will not tolerate further harassment. "I'm aware of one isolated incident there was inappropriate conduct I was aware of, and we dealt with those," he said. The ACLU won't comment specifically on the case, WHAS reported, but a spokeswoman said schools must be careful with graduation speeches. Saiyed said she would favor a moment of silence but not a religious prayer.
FOJ Note: Satan seems to be exerting an extra emphasis these days in his Global conspiracy against Christianity (and against Israel—first the Sunday people, then the Saturday people) by undercutting the Christian roots of the United States in a hellish offensive against all the people of God. If it isn’t an attack on the credibility of the Bible via another blasphemous Hollywood movie, then it is a flood of illegal (and hidden-terrorist) immigration to further undermine the security and sanctity of our country. The Muslim student in Kentucky should be grateful that America traditionally held Christian principles, and allows her to worship her false god in America freely, unlike the total intolerance shown to Christians in Islamic nations. A recent convert to Christianity in Afghanistan was nearly executed for believing in the name of Jesus! The demons of Hell are making rapid advances worldwide in an attempt to blacklist and isolate Christians and God's Holy Word. The ACLU has never come to the assistance of anybody that expressed Biblical precepts, but they are always as swift as a streaking comet to attack America’s at her Christian roots.
US May Offer Formal Treaty to Officially End Korean War
May 19….(Independent) The US is considering whether to negotiate a peace treaty with North Korea that would formally end the 1950-53 Korean War as part of an attempt to persuade the secretive Communist state to end its nuclear program. No decision has yet been taken by the White House, officials said. But the idea is being closely examined as a means of breaking the stalemate over Pyongyang's nuclear capability, thought by US intelligence agencies to include fissile material for half a dozen or more nuclear devices. Negotiations with the North have been at a standstill since last September, when six-nation talks in Beijing, involving the US, Russia, China, the two Koreas and Japan, yielded an outline deal for the North to give up its nuclear ambitions in return for security guarantees and economic assistance. US officials suggested yesterday that the treaty idea, reported in The New York Times, was nothing new. Washington could only offer normal relations to North Korea, they said, if the latter demonstrated it would end its nuclear program, and cease the pursuit of such weapons. "First they must come back to negotiations and show they have made a strategic decision," a State Department spokesman said. Nonetheless, a shift could be at hand in the US approach to what it believes is the paramount international problem of the age, the threat of nuclear proliferation, and the possibility that such a weapon is acquired by a terrorist group. Pyongyang has long wanted a formal peace treaty to replace the 1953 armistice, which remains the only agreement to end the war. The US now seems ready to talk on this, in parallel with the six-nation talks. The peace talks would be in a smaller forum, excluding Japan and Russia, and involving only the original belligerents, the US, China and North Korea, as well as South Korea, which did not sign the armistice. The search here for a new gambit towards Pyongyang may also be linked with the current deadlock over the nuclear ambitions of Iran, seemingly impervious both to offers of economic aid from Europe, and threats of sanctions, and possibly military action by the US. Though Tehran now claims to have started the uranium enrichment essential to produce a weapon, its program is plainly less advanced than that of North Korea. US analysts have long believed that after throwing out UN inspectors in 2002, Pyongyang has accumulated enough for six weapons, and is adding at least a weapon's worth every year. But administration officials believe that the Iranian leadership has drawn the lesson that intransigence pays, having noted how North Korea has made no concessions to the US. If Iran saw that even North Korea accepted it had no alternative but to negotiate seriously, then it too could decide to take a similar path, they argue. Meanwhile, calls are multiplying here for the government to join the EU effort and deal directly with Tehran.
China, Russia Pushing US-Israel Closer To Confrontation With Iran
May 19….(Bill Wilson) The refusal of China and Russia to take any kind of substantive United Nations Security Council action against Iran is actually pushing the United States and Israel ever closer to a military confrontation with Iran. Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad knows he does not have to bow to pressure from Europe and the United States because he has the undaunted support of China and Russia. China and Russia have consistently said they will not support any sanctions or military action against Iran. America’s Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, has said that every discussion with Russia is difficult and every negotiation won is only after painstaking and often contentious debate. Evidence of this is found after Wednesday’s UN Security Council vote encouraging Syria to establish borders and diplomatic relations with Lebanon. The vote was unanimous except for Russia and China who abstained because they said it was “unnecessary meddling.” Comparing it to offering “walnuts and chocolate for gold,” Ahmadinejad turned down a sleek European Union offer that even included a nuclear reactor as a bribe for the terrorist Iranian regime to halt its development of nuclear technology. Instead, Ahmadinejad made an offer of his own: That he would open up the 70 million person Iranian marketplace to Europe if they would embrace Iran’s march toward membership in the international nuclear club. Many diplomats believe that Iran’s refusal of even a nuclear reactor and a sweet economic package from Europe means that Ahmadinejad and his radical band of Islamofascists are totally serious about building nuclear weapons, how smart of them. Russia and China’s undying support for Iran will not have a good ending. By acting as if they are the peacemakers, the result of their action will be war. The only choice will be Israel and the West preempting Iran from having nuclear weapons. And this will endear even further Russia with Islam and bring the world ever closer to the fulfillment of the Ezekiel 38 prophecy of Russia, Iran and the other nations of the world coming against Israel. Dr. Josef Olmert, of Israel’s mission to the UN and the brother of Israel’s Prime Minister, Wednesday said Israel would take matters into its own hands if it needs to. He said, "We believe the Iranians when they say they want to wipe Israel off the map. We take them seriously.” Some Americans are weary of the war on terror. Many believe it is time to retreat from Iraq. Most Americans do not know that Iran is funding the war on terror, coordinating and participating in missions that kill our troops in Iraq, and they are using Russian and Chinese made weapons to do it. This is a war against Israel and a war against America. It is very serious business because Ahmadinejad has said he wants Israel wiped off the map and that Iran is prepared to rule the world. Standing in the way is America, and Russia knows it; China knows it; and Iran knows it. Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” The destruction of America will enable the advancement of these evildoers!
Too Little, Too Late
May 19….(Diane West/Washington Times) I wonder how many Americans, listening to President Bush bringing his too-little, too-late immigration address to a close, felt like he ran out of track when he concluded: "We honor the heritage of all who come here...because we trust in our country's genius for making us all Americans, one nation under God," end of speech. Every allegiance-pledging American, of course, on hearing the phrase, "one nation under God," automatically adds "indivisible," not to mention "with liberty and justice for all." The president did not. It's likely that Mr. Bush simply didn't wish to sign off with the final words of the Pledge of Allegiance, which would have been out of place. Still, he invoked the pledge, and ended up omitting "indivisible." Purposeful or not, the omission is apt. We, if I may say "we" to indicate the United States of America, are anything but "indivisible" at this sorry point in history, and, as a perilous result, we think and we act less and less like a "nation." A nation has borders and defends them. "We" do not. Otherwise, building a fence against an unprecedented invasion by Mexico wouldn't be considered a harsh and radical position in the political mainstream. A nation has laws and upholds them. "We" do not. Otherwise the Babbitts of the business world wouldn't illegally build American commerce on the backs of law-breaking (and ill-paid) aliens, and seek their mass legalization (along with their families). A nation defines itself as a nation. "We" certainly do not. We are, as we are endlessly told, a Nation of Immigrants, a concept that blows to smithereens the unique nature of the "nation" to which immigrants have traditionally assimilated: the European-derived, mainly Anglo-Saxon polity, born of the Enlightenment and extraordinarily blessed by Providence, which the current president is now rapidly phasing out.
FOJ Note: Just yesterday the US Congress voted to allow illegal aliens to be rewarded with American Social Security, and debated about whether or not the English language is the national language. I thought this was decided in 1776. The multiculturalism concept of the UN and the Social Globalists has rendered America as a multi-divided nation, and its timing is in congruence with the terrorist designs to destroy America. America’s hedges of protection are all about gone. FOJ has documented how the terrorists are using the porous borders with Mexico to infiltrate America to lie-in-wait for the next 9-11 call.
UN: No Such Thing as Illegal Immigration
May 18….(Fox News) The United Nations doesn't recognize the concept of illegal immigration, and refuses to use that term when referring to foreigners who flout US immigration laws by crossing the border without documentation. This is the finding of Eric Shawn, whose new book “The UN Exposed,” blows the lid off the corruption, double-dealing and anti-US resentment that permeates the world body. "In the UN world there's no such thing as an illegal alien or illegal immigrant," Shawn told Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly Wednesday night. "They call it an irregular migrant." Legal immigrants, on the other hand, are referred to as "regular migrants," Shawn said. "Basically they want them to have the same rights as the documented immigrants," the one-time Fox reporter explained. "They say that in their convention." "It protects the human rights, they say, of the migrants. It's been signed by Mexico, but not by the US." Shawn noted that the head of the UN's immigration agency is a Mexican official.
Former General, Knesset Member: Strike Iran Now
May 18….(WND) Israel and the international community should consider carrying out strategic strikes now against Iran's nuclear facilities to stall its suspected uranium enrichment activities, Israeli Knesset Member Effie Eitam told WorldNetDaily yesterday during an interview. Eitam, chairman of the National Union Party and a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, warned Israel would need to attack Iran by itself if the international community led by the Unites States fails to successfully halt Tehran's nuclear program within about a year. He blasted Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's administration for "failing to devise a coherent strategy toward Iran" and urged Israel to immediately make public a doctrine of deterrence that would assure "total destruction" of Iran should it contemplate a first strike against the Jewish state. "Iran is now at that kind of bottleneck junction where strategic sites that are known can be relatively easily and safely attacked with the goal of causing maximum delay. Strikes now can stall the entire nuclear process by many years," said Eitam. The Knesset member, a former Israeli Defense Forces general, said Israel may need to act alone against Iran. "With or without a world coalition, Israel will have to take action at some point when we are fully sure Iran's nuclear project is coming to a point of no return. I am worried all mechanisms of diplomacy used by the Iranians in response to the international movement against it are to buy time as they camouflage the real nature of their programs." Asked to offer a timeline for the point at which he feels Israel would have to strike Iran by itself, Eitam replied, "We are talking about the period when Iran would have enough uranium to build a bomb. The information indicates this is not long away. Six months to a year or not much more. "It is clear Iran is already starting to enrich uranium, and they are nearing the completion of technology necessary to assemble weapons. It is true they may leave quantities of uranium unpacked and not processed as weapons-grade for a time, but they can soon bring themselves to the point where they can make weapons within short periods of time," said Eitam. Iran is openly defying international calls to halt uranium enrichment activities. Eitam deemed Iran "an international problem,” by far not just an Israeli problem. The Iran leadership threatens the entire free world. It is a source of evil and not just a typical enemy. This evil will not compromise. It is best if it is destroyed physically. If the world doesn't act by a certain point, then Israel must." So far, Tehran has scorned most diplomatic initiatives. Yesterday, it rejected an EU proposal to cease uranium enrichment in exchange for economic incentives and the construction of a light-water energy reactor. Eitam said military action is the best assurance against Iran's nuclear program. "With diplomacy and agreements you can never be sure unless the diplomacy comes to a point where the Iranians agree to dismantle their nuclear projects under intense international supervision. This looks extremely unlikely after so many years of negligence by the US, Israel and Europe. There is no second to physical destruction of Iran's facilities," said Eitam. Security analysts contend any Israeli or international strike against Iran would result in retaliatory attacks by Palestinian terror groups and by the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, which is stationed alongside Israel's northern border and boasts it has over 10,000 missiles pointed at the country's civilian population centers. But Eitam, who predicted Iran would also retaliate against international interests, said Israel is prepared for the expected onslaught of violence: "We are ready to defend ourselves against Hezbollah and are quite adept at dealing with terrorism. These Iranian threats are very cheap prices to pay relative to what an Iranian nuclear threat represents for the future of the state of Israel. Eitam went on to blast Olmert and the current Israeli administration for what he said was "gross negligence" at failing to counter the Iranian threat. "I am extremely skeptical as far as Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni being able to revive and renew a credible Israeli policy toward Iran. So far they are paralyzed. They have no program. They are just waiting for a miracle or for someone else to act. In a very short time if Olmert fails to provide a new approach, the real question becomes whether he should continue to be allowed to govern." Eitam recommended Israel make public a policy of deterrence he says would render an Iranian first strike against Israel useless. "It is crucial to change Israel's current policy of vagueness to open deterrence. It needs to be made clear to the Iranians that Israel will not be the only country destroyed if it is attacked.
Iran Trains ‘Ultimate Suicide Martyrs’
May 18….(CWN) The eyes of the world are fixed on Iran's nuclear program, but there's another secret weapon the Iranians are working on. The regime is turning out thousands of these weapons right now: they are young men and women who are training to become suicide bombers. As this radical army prepares for battle, we went inside one of its training camps to find that more are signing up every day. A month after becoming the new leader of Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held a town hall-like meeting in which he praised the virtues of suicide bombing. He called it “an art.” On television, Ahmadinejad said, "Is there art that is more beautiful, more divine, and more eternal than the art of martyrdom? A nation with martyrdom knows no captivity." Ahmadinejad also made similar statements at a recent Army Day parade in Tehran, urging his soldiers to prepare for paradise. In Ahmadinejad’s speech, he said, "Our army is the army that angels rush to them, (demons) to send them messages not to be sad or worried, to let them know that paradise is awaiting them. We thank Allah that our army is the army of Allah, the army which is ready to sacrifice for Allah." Standing close to him at the parade was one of the top generals in the Iranian army. In an exclusive interview, Sayeed Abdorrahim Musavi, a general in the Iranian army, told CBN News that his soldiers were ready for the Americans. General Musavi said, "We are the guardians of the beliefs of our nation and we are in full alert, ready to defend our beliefs. We will teach the American army a lesson they will never forget and this experience will not be equal to their experiences in Afghanistan or Iraq." But as tensions over its nuclear program escalated, the regime here decided that it needed more men and women who were willing to die. So, a couple of months ago, they launched their ‘Lovers of Martyrdom’ organization. The goal: to recruit and train men and women for suicide operations. According to the suicide application, the group hopes to form a "martyrdom division" in every Iranian province. On television, Ahmadinejad said, "Art reaches perfection when it portrays the best life and the best death. After all, art tells you how to live. That is the essence of art." Ahmadinejad's words have found resonance. In a video produced by an Arab TV station and obtained by CBN News, scores of men and women can be seen signing up for suicidal missions. Chanting, "There is no god but Allah," the volunteers welcome the opportunity to die a martyr’s death. So far, some 52,000 people have reportedly joined the Lovers of Martyrdom group. Firooz Rajai is with the Lovers of Martyrdom organization. He said, "Our goal is to achieve martyrdom by way of true jihad. This is the true path to which we strive. We vow to turn into bombs that will explode at anyone who wishes to desecrate our holy places." A spokesman for the organization warns that recruits are ready to strike America, Britain or Israel if ever Iran's nuclear facilities come under attack. Muhammad Ali Samadi is also a spokesman for the Lovers of Martyrdom "These countries should know that they have interests in some sensitive areas which can be targeted by our suicide attackers." On a recent Sunday afternoon, on the south side of Iran's capital city of Tehran, CBN News gained rare access to a ‘martyrdom registration center. Inside the center for martyrdom registration our camera captured the sights and sounds of what appeared to be a well-organized effort to recruit and train the next wave of suicide bombers. In one corner of the room stood a poster declaring that "Israel must be wiped out". In another corner are video manuals on how to carry out suicide missions. On television and computer screens scattered around the room are video clips showing Palestinian suicide attacks against Israelis. Elsewhere, are history books documenting the practice of suicide bombing. There were also cartoons poking fun at Christians and Jews. Blaring in the background are songs of praise for those who had answered the call of martyrdom, and plastered on the walls, the pictures of Palestinian suicide bombers, young and old, male and female. It was here, next to the large poster of a suicide registration form, that we met 22-year-old Yazdi, an engineering student from Tehran University. I learned that Yazdi has signed up for martyrdom. I asked, "Why did you sign up to become a martyr?" Yazdi said, "Martyrdom for me is sweeter than honey. A martyrdom operation is a kind of operation that when you strap explosives on yourself to blow yourself up you are immediately considered a martyr. Martyrdom operations are a strategic weapon for us against the West, which is equipped with the most modern weapons. Our weapon is based on our belief." I also spoke with Maseh, who has signed up for martyrdom too. I asked, "What about being sent as a suicide bomber to the United States or Europe? Will you go?” Maseh replied, "To become a martyr in the US protecting Islam? I would say I am ready to become a martyr protecting Islam anywhere in the world!” Like Yazdi, Maseh also volunteered to become a suicide bomber. Maseh said, "Eternal life is on the other side when you are next to Allah. I prefer not to be in this world. I would rather be a martyr than live in this world." According to Yazdi, about 200 signed up at this registration center which ironically used to be the former US Embassy in Tehran, the site of the 1979 hostage drama. Known around here as the ‘US den of espionage,’ the building is now under the command of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The US seal that once greeted visitors at the front gate of the embassy has been sanded down. The embassy walls are covered with a number of anti-American murals. Yazdi commented, "I am so happy that we are registering people for martyrdom operations in what used to be your embassy! Allah willing, Islam will be victorious over America!" But for many of those signing up today, wiping Israel off the face of the earth is the greater priority. Maseh said, "I do not want Israel to exist on the map of the world." That is a sentiment that has run deep in this country for two generations and one that Iran's new leader is only too happy to echo, every chance he has. Ahmadinejad said, "The Zionist regime of Israel is like a rotten, dried tree that will be annihilated by one storm." The suicide recruits say they can't wait. So while these men and women, who refer to themselves in the video as "ticking time bombs in Iran", await their orders, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pledges to revive the spirit of the Islamic Revolution and vows that one day Islam will conquer the world. Ahmadinejad said, in a speech, "Have no doubt, Allah willing, Islam will conquer? It will conquer all the mountain tops of the world."
Abbas: Give Us Money or We 'Terrorize You'
May 17….(Ryan Jones) While many in the west, including Shimon Peres view PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas as a true partner for peace, and while Washington is secretly trying to undergird his presence in the West Bank, Abbas's remarks following a speech to the European Parliament suggest that he is anything but a peace partner. According to the terms of the "Oslo Accords," the PLO is supposed to eschew threats of violence as a negotiating tactic, though Abbas, like Arafat before him, regularly violates that commitment. He did so again during a news conference in Strasbourg, France after addressing EU lawmakers determined to bypass American opposition and continue funding what has become the Hamas Authority. Abbas warned reporters that if the world does not immediately open its pocketbooks to the aid-dependent Palestinian Arabs, they will, in a manner reminiscent of spoiled children not getting their way, erupt in a new expression of violence and terror likely to destabilize the entire region. If the ban on international aid is not lifted "life will be frozen and there will be an explosion of anger and this would lead to a chaotic situation of which we cannot foresee the results." The United States and Europe, the primary donors to the Palestinian Authority, froze financial aid after the Palestinian Arabs overwhelmingly chose the Hamas terrorist organization to head its government. For the Americans, it would be a violation of their own laws to have contact with, let alone fund, a Hamas-led entity. But Abbas insists the world needs to accept his people's decision and give Hamas a chance "to adapt to the basic requirements of the international community." Hamas leaders have made clear that acceptance of Israel's right to sovereignty is not on the table, nor is a renunciation of the group's terrorist ways. Rather, Hamas has moved to bolster PA policies that have long facilitated anti-Jewish terrorism.
'Da Vinci' Actor: Bible Needs 'Fiction' Disclaimer
May 17….(WND) While promoters of the movie, "The Da Vinci Code" have tried to downplay the film's challenge to Christianity, actor Ian McKellan took a shot at the Bible in an interview with the "Today" show, saying Scripture should carry a disclaimer that it is "fiction." McKellan, who played Gandalf in "Lord of the Rings," was responding to a question from host Matt Lauer about the requests by some Christian groups to insert a "fiction" disclaimer at the beginning of the controversial film, which suggests Jesus and Mary Magdalene were man and wife and that the divinity of Jesus was an invention of fourth-century church leaders. McKellan, who announced in 1988 he is homosexual, has said in the past that he rips out the book of Leviticus, which condemns homosexuality, from the Gideon Bible in every hotel room in which he stays. Lauer, on location with director Ron Howard and leading cast members at the Cannes Film Festival in France where the film officially debuts tonight, asked: "There have been calls from some religious groups, they wanted a disclaimer at the beginning of this movie saying it is fiction because one of the themes in the book really knocks Christianity right on its ear, if Christ survived the crucifixion, he did not die for our sins and therefore was not resurrected. What I'm saying is, people wanted this to say 'fiction, fiction, fiction'. How would you all have felt if there was a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie? Would it have been okay with you?" McKellan replied: "Well, I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying this is fiction. I mean, walking on water, it takes an act of faith. And I have faith in this movie. Not that it's true, not that it's factual, but that it's a jolly good story. And I think audiences are clever enough and bright enough to separate out fact and fiction, and discuss the thing after they've seen it." In an interview published today in the Hollywood Reporter, Ron Howard said he means no offense to Christians, declaring "people's faith is nothing to take lightly, I have a great deal of respect for people of faith, all faiths." At the same time," he said, referring to his film, "it is a work of fiction. It's not meant to offend, it's not theology. If anyone thinks the story is going to be upsetting, they shouldn't see it." A survey of British readers of the book on which the film is based reveals that the book and the movie causes most people to believe its claims over that of the Biblical record.
FOJ Note: The Da Vinci Code is a scurrilous attack on the most sacred book in the history of the world. Jesus Christ did not have a wife, and never left any biological offspring. Jesus himself said, “that which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of spirit is spirit.” Jesus whole mission to this earth was a mission of spiritual dynamics, to effect salvation and resurrection for his children, and he was not preoccupied with the flesh. The only children the Lord has are those born of the Spirit!
Mexican Protesters Demand Immediate Citizenship
May 17….(WND) While a divided Congress wrangles over how to solve the immigration crisis, advocates of illegal aliens yesterday denounced all of the major legislation under consideration, along with President Bush's proposals, demanding in protests throughout California that they be given full citizenship now. Protest organizer Luis Magaña in Stockton, Calif., condemned the President's guest-worker proposal. "If a program doesn't give us the full rights accorded other workers in the United States, then we're against it," he told the paper. "They haven't spelled out the details and there's no discussion with the people who will be affected." Activists in several California cities held news conferences yesterday to denounce legislation under consideration in the Senate and passed by the House and to oppose the president's call to deploy National Guard troops on the border. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office in San Francisco was the site of one rally that featured signs and banners reading "Do Not Militarize the Border" and "No Human Being Is Illegal." The protesters said they would continue until senators hear their message. The Mexican government, meanwhile, warned it would file lawsuits in US courts if National Guard troops detain illegals on the border.
FOJ Note: This land is our land. How dare the country of Mexico threaten the American people for requiring a secured border, especially in a time of war! The Mexican border should have been totally secured, by whatever means necessary on September 12th, 2001, and it is a disgrace that our government (and the present Administration) has betrayed the trust of the American people.
His Ascension and Our Access
May 17….(Oswald Chambers) We have no experiences in our lives that correspond to the events in our Lord’s life after the transfiguration. From that moment forward His life was altogether substitutionary. Up to the time of the transfiguration, He had exhibited the normal, perfect life of a man. But from the transfiguration forward, Gethsemane, the Cross, the resurrection, everything is unfamiliar to us. His Cross is the door by which every member of the human race can enter into the life of God; by His resurrection He has the right to give eternal life to anyone, and by His ascension our Lord entered heaven, keeping the door open for humanity. The Transfiguration was completed on the Mount of Ascension. If Jesus had gone to heaven directly from the Mount of Transfiguration, He would have gone alone. He would have been nothing more to us than a glorious Figure. But He turned His back on the glory, and came down from the mountain to identify Himself with fallen humanity. The ascension is the complete fulfillment of the Transfiguration. Our Lord returned to His original glory, but not simply as the Son of God. He returned to His father as the Son of Man as well. There is now freedom of access for anyone straight to the very throne of God because of the ascension of the Son of Man. As the Son of Man, Jesus Christ deliberately limited His omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience. But now they are His in absolute, full power. As the Son of Man, Jesus Christ now has all the power at the throne of God. From His ascension forward He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Former Arafat Aide: Arms Purchased With Israeli Money
May 17….(YNET) Former PA security funds manager Fuad Shubaki says during interrogation that the Arafat-led PA funded terrorist cells that operated against Israel; and purchased arms worth millions of dollars transferred to the PA by Israel and the international community. Shubaki was taken for questioning by the Shin Bet on March 14 after being apprehended in an IDF operation in the Jericho prison, where he was imprisoned under international supervision since May 2002. In his interrogation Shubaki admitted that money received by Israel was used by the PA to fund terrorist cells which operated against Israel. He also admitted that under Arafat's instructions, the Palestinian Authority was involved in smuggling and producing weapons, and funding terrorist cells which operated against Israel. According to Shubaki, with the outbreak of the intifada in 2000, he received an order from Arafat to purchase the largest possible quantity of weapons from different sources. Under Arafat's orders, all of the heads of the various PA bodies began purchasing weapons, and a special body was set up to coordinate the effort. PA representatives were placed in a number of countries abroad where they operated as branches for the arms purchasing. Senior PA members would give Shubaki tips for purchasing weapons, and he passed them on for approval from Arafat. Shubaki himself funded the purchasing of weapons, and after receiving approval from Arafat, senior PA members in Gaza purchased large quantities of weapons. During his interrogation, Shubaki said that Jibril Rajoub (head of the PA Preventative Security Force in Gaza) was among the top figures to receive funding to purchase weapons. Shubaki also said that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hizbullah were behind the Karine A weapons ship intercepted by Israel in January 2002. The Iranians and Hizbullah coordinated the arms ship with senior members of the Palestinian Authority, he said. Iranian envoys, who Shubaki met in 2001, also offered military aid to the PA, including sites to produce weapons, technology to produce arms, and military training.
Peres: We'll Give Hamas 12 Months Before Starting Withdrawal
May 17….(Arutz) Shimon Peres and former US President Clinton spoke at the inaugural event of the World Leaders Forum at a Toronto hotel. With some 250 participants paying $3,000 a plate, the two celebrities spoke of the need to "privatize" peace. "More than ever before," Clinton said, "private citizens have it within their power, no matter what their means, to help bring world peace." Peres said, "Today private business is as interested in foreign affairs as the past governments were. The governments are more concerned with the domestic situation, and private business is concerned very much with the global situation." The funds were raised to benefit Ontario's Pine River Institute (a boarding school for teen substance abusers) and Israel's Nano Technology Research. Peres explained that Israel's first choice, in its relationship with the Palestinian Authority, "is to proceed by negotiation, and only if this fails and we are left without a choice should we proceed in a unilateral way. Unilateralism is not an ideology, it is a last alternative." Disregarding the Jewish People's national, historic and spiritual ties with the Land of Israel, Peres said, "We are trying to get rid of the occupation because occupation stands against everything we stand for. But at the same time we have to defend our lives, and this is the contradiction." Overlooking the thousands of deaths and the tragic political results of the Olso process he initiated, Peres said that for peace, "you must be prepared to be generous, to be forthcoming." Peres ended his speech by saying, "Since optimists and pessimists are dying the same way, we might as well live as optimists." During the coming months, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said that he will seek peace-by-agreement with the Palestinian Authority. However, there appears to be no one in the PA with whom he is willing to talk. Hamas is ruled out as a partner because of its stated desire to destroy Israel, while Fatah, led by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, (Abu Mazen) is viewed as ineffectual. As Peres said, "We will gladly talk with Abbas, but the problem is, will his agreements be respected by the Hamas government?"
FOJ Note: Shimon Peres is the real power behind Prime Minister Olmert.
US Fears Syria Obtained Nuclear Technology
May 17….(Washington Times) (Intelligence report: Syria may have received nuclear weapons technology from covert Pakistani supplier group, which is responsible for supplying nuclear goods to Lybia and Iran)
The United States' intelligence agencies suspect Syria was offered and received nuclear weapons technology from the covert Pakistani supplier group headed by A.Q. Khan, according to an intelligence report quoted by the Washington Times. An annual report to Congress on arms proliferation states that Pakistani investigators have confirmed reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the Khan network "offered nuclear technology and hardware to Syria." The report covered the period of 2004. Its release was delayed by the new Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which took control of the report from the CIA as part of an intelligence reorganization. "We are concerned that expertise or technology could have been transferred," said the intelligence report, which is the first time the Bush administration has publicly linked Syria to Khan's Paksitani network, which is responsible for supplying nuclear goods to Lybia, Iran and North Korea. Syria conducts nuclear research at three facilities located at Dayr, Al Hajar and Dubaya, the report said, adding that "in 2004 Syria continued to develop civilian nuclear capabilities, including uranium extraction technology and hot cell facilities, which may also be potentially applicable to a weapons program." Referring to missiles, the report said Syria continued to seek help in building solid-propellant rocket motors, and that North Korea supplied equipment and assistance to the missile program. The report added that Syria is building its own liquid-fueled Scud missiles and is developing a 500-mile-range Scud D and other variants with help from North Korea and Iran. The US government is closely following Syria's research and development efforts in a bid to search for any hint of activities that may end in a nuclear weapons program. The US intelligence is also following Syria's attempts to purchase civil nuclear technologies from the IAEA for fear that this technology would be used to build a program for nuclear weapons.
Pakistan’s Khan Network Supplied Nukes to Syria
May 17….(Washington Times) US intelligence agencies suspect Syria was offered and received nuclear weapons technology from the covert Pakistani supplier group headed by A.Q. Khan, according to an intelligence report. An annual report to Congress on arms proliferation states that Pakistani investigators have confirmed reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency that the Khan network "offered nuclear technology and hardware to Syria." "We are concerned that expertise or technology could have been transferred," said the intelligence report, which is the first time the Bush administration has publicly linked Syria to Khan. "We continue to monitor Syrian nuclear intentions with concern." President Bush has said that the Khan network supplied nuclear goods to Libya, Iran and North Korea. The report, known as the 721 report because of the provision of intelligence legislation that required it, covered the period of 2004. Its release was delayed by the new Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which took control of the report from the CIA as part of an intelligence reorganization. The report noted that Syria is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and is required to submit to IAEA safeguards and inspections. Syria conducts nuclear research at three facilities located at Dayr, Al Hajar and Dubaya, the report said. "In 2004 Syria continued to develop civilian nuclear capabilities, including uranium extraction technology and hot cell facilities, which may also be potentially applicable to a weapons program," the report said. The report also said China is a "key supplier" of nuclear, missile and weapons of mass destruction goods to states of concern. Chinese companies "continued to work with Pakistan and Iran on ballistic missile-related projects and firms in China provided dual-use missile-related items, raw materials, or assistance to Libya and North Korea," the report said. Chinese language documents found in Libya revealed that the Khan network had supplied it with nuclear warhead design information. China's government has not said how its warhead information made its way from Pakistan to Libya. China supplied most of the uranium-enrichment technology and bomb designs that allowed Pakistan in 1998 to become a declared nuclear power. The proliferation was a violation of China's obligation to the NPT but Beijing was never punished for the activities. On missiles, the report said Syria continued to seek help in building solid-propellant rocket motors, and that North Korea supplied equipment and assistance to the missile program. Syria is building its own liquid-fueled Scud missiles and is developing a 500-mile-range Scud D and other variants with help from North Korea and Iran, the report said. Another key supplier is Russia, which has supplied missile technology and goods to China, Iran, India and North Korea, as well as nuclear technology and goods to Iran and India.
Hamas Urges 'Palestinians' to Stay the Course of Jihad
(PA's terrorists rulers say no chance of peace)
May 16….(JNEWSWIRE) Marking the "catastrophe" (al-nakba) of Israel's rebirth as a sovereign nation on its ancient soil, the Hamas rulers of the Palestinian Authority Monday urged their constituents to stay the course of jihad. In an official statement, Hamas said "modern history has never seen a crime equal" to Israel's reestablishment. Hamas looked to stir further hatred for Israel's Jews by claiming their homecoming had been accompanied by the eviction of some 700,000 Palestinian Arabs, when in reality the vast majority of those "refugees" left voluntarily at the urging of regional Arab leaders, who had promised a quick victory over the Zionists. (It is also a matter of historical record that 800,000 Jews were forced to flee Arab states as a result of the establishment of Israel. In this way a de facto population exchange took place. While nascent Israel had to, and did, absorb the vast majority of these refugees, the much larger and wealthier Arab states refused to take in their own. Furthermore, unlike the poverty-stricken Arab refugees, the Jews were forced to leave business and property worth untold millions behind in the lands from which they were driven.) The PA statement said that until Jerusalem allowed every one of those so-called "refugees" and their descendants, purported to be some four million people, to take up residence in Israel thereby destroying the Jewish state, there could be no talk of peace. "The right of the return of the Palestinian refugees and the refusal to negotiate it is something that we must not retreat from, no matter what the circumstances. All talk of an agreement or negotiations is not acceptable as long as the return of the refugees has not occurred." So long as Israel fails to meet that hostile demand, the "Palestinians" must remain committed to slaughtering Jewish men, women and children in acts of barbarous terrorism at every opportunity, insisted Hamas. "The resistance, all forms of the struggle, is a legitimate right as long as the conqueror sits on Palestinian land... All talk of stopping the resistance or of its illegality is unacceptable." "...the commemoration of the Nakba and its grave consequences teach us that we must adhere even more strongly to the Jihad, to resistance, to the strong stand, and to the non-concession of the right of return, self-definition and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem."
Pope Benedict XVI Echoes the Fatima Message
May 16….(Zenit) Pope Benedict XVI presented the message of hope given by “Our Lady of Fatima,” whose image visited Rome for the 25th anniversary of the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. "'In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph,'" said the Pope during his Regina Caeli address on Sunday, recalling the words uttered by the "lady in white" to the little Portuguese shepherds in 1917. On May 13, 1981, "the Servant of God, John Paul II, felt that he had been saved miraculously from death by the intervention of a 'maternal hand,' as he himself said, and all his pontificate was marked by what the Virgin had announced in Fatima," explained Benedict XVI. The message the Blessed Virgin entrusted to Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia, "in continuity with that of Lourdes, was an intense call to prayer and conversion," recalled the Pontiff in the presence of thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square. According to the Holy Father, it was a "truly prophetic" announcement, "especially if one considers that the 20th century was scourged by unheard-of destruction caused by wars and totalitarian regimes, as well as by widespread persecutions against the Church," he continued. "Although anxieties and sufferings have not been lacking, and there are still reasons for apprehension about the future of humanity, what the 'Lady in white' promised to the little shepherds is consoling: 'In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph,'" Benedict XVI acknowledged. The statue of Our Lady of Fatima arrived from Portugal on Friday and was received by the contemplative community of the Benedictine Sisters of the Mater Ecclesiae Convent. Later, the statue was carried in procession to the Church of St. Stephen of the Abyssinians, which is in the Vatican, and afterward to Paul VI Hall, for a meeting promoted by the Roman Work of Pilgrimages. In the afternoon, the statue was taken by helicopter to Castel Sant'Angelo, where it was received by some 20,000 pilgrims, led by Cardinal Ivan Dias, archbishop of Bombay, India, who took it in procession on the Via della Conciliazione to St. Peter's Square. The procession paused on the site where John Paul II fell after being shot by Mehmet Ali Agca in 1981. On the occasion of the anniversary, a stone was placed on that site with John Paul II's coat of arms and the date of the attack, in Roman numerals.
FOJ Note: The Lady of Fatima apparition is a modern reappearance of the Queen of Heaven that God indicates in Jeremiah is an abomination unto God. The Queen of Heaven is actually a demonic entity, attempting to entice the world into the worship of a female deity, the counter part of God almighty. She is further known as the Lady of All Nations! Isaiah highlighted that Jehovah alone was God, and not the Lady of Kingdoms! (Isaiah 47:4-5 As for our redeemer, the LORD of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel. Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called, The lady of kingdoms.)
PLO’S Al Aksa Brigades Threatens US, Europe
May 16….(Jerusalem Post) The Aksa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, on Monday threatened to strike at US and European interests in response to international sanctions on the Palestinian Authority. The threat, the first of its kind, came as PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was scheduled to hold talks in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin on the severe financial crisis in the PA territories. Moreover, the threat by Abbas's Fatah party came as Palestinians marked the 58th anniversary of the nakba, or catastrophe (the secular anniversary of Israel's independence). "We won't remain idle in the face of the siege imposed on the Palestinian people by Israel, the US and other countries," said a leaflet issued by the Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the Gaza Strip. "We will strike at the economic and civilian interests of these countries, here and abroad." The leaflet added: "Let the entire world know that we won't succumb in the face of the policy of blackmail, siege and starvation. In the past we did not capitulate in the face of the policy of assassinations, detentions and air raids." The group also urged the heads of Arab and Palestinian banks to resist US pressure and to agree to transfer funds from Arab and Islamic countries to the PA. Another armed group affiliated with Fatah, the Abu Rish Brigades, threatened to launch a new intifada unless the international community agreed to fund the PA. "This will be a merciless intifada that will destroy everything," said Abu Haroon, a spokesman for the group in the Gaza Strip. "We will plan and carry out more martyrdom attacks inside the Green Line regardless of the price and effort," he warned. "Those who are imposing the sanctions on the Palestinians will soon regret their decision." Abu Haroon, who was speaking at a rally marking the anniversary of the nakba in Gaza City, accused the US administration and some European and Arab countries of "acting as if they were receiving instructions from the Zionist Knesset." Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip to mark Nakba Day. Many carried old keys as symbols of the right of return for refugees to their original homes inside Israel. Hamas also emphasized the Palestinians' right to pursue the fight against Israel until the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
Chavez: $100/Bbarrel if US Hits Iran'
May 15….(WND) The price of a barrel of oil could surge to triple figures if the United States were to attack Iran in order to halt that country's nuclear program. That's the claim of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez who said the Iranians would have no choice but to cut off their supply of fuel. "If the United States attacks Iran, oil could reach $100 a barrel or more," Chavez told a meeting today hosted by London Mayor Ken Livingstone, according to Reuters. "The English middle classes would have to stop using their cars." "If they attack Iran, the Iranians will cut off their supply of oil. We would do the same if we were attacked. We would cut off our oil," Chavez told some 1,000 leftists and trade unionists. "Moreover, Iran has said it would attack Israel, and I know they have the wherewithal to do so." In recent years, the price of oil has gushed to about $70 a barrel, meaning billions of dollars for the economy of Venezuela and fueling Chavez's self-styled socialist Bolivarian revolution. "If they attack Iran I think it will be far worse than the situation is in Iraq," Chavez added, calling Iraq "the Vietnam of the 21st century." Chavez got a warm welcome to London by Livingstone, who commenced the meeting by claiming President Bush was running "a gangster regime." "We salute you Mr. President," Livingstone told Chavez. "Londoners stand with you, not with the oil companies and the oligarchs."
FOJ Note: Imagine, the mayor of London, a city recently hit by a terrorist attack, and its mayor supports the enemy that is seeking its destruction.
Iran Sending Weapons to Iraqi Shiite Terrorists
May 15….(DEBKA) In the past two weeks, Iran has been pumping into Iraq two types of extra-lethal weapons in very large quantities. They have already taken their toll in the shooting down of two military helicopters, one American and one British, and an estimated 19 deaths of US military personnel. DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources estimate the delivery to Iraqi insurgents as consisting of around 1,000 SA-7 Strela ground-air missiles made in Iran, and a very large quantity of a newly-developed roadside bomb, loaded with compressed gas instead of ball bearings and cartridges, to magnify their blast and explosive power. The supplies have been distributed across Iraq, Basra and Amara in the south, Baghdad and its environs, Haditha in the west, and Mosul in the north. The new bombs, developed jointly by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the Lebanese Hizballah, have already gone into service with the Shiite terrorists on the Lebanese border with Israel. Israeli military sources say it is only a matter of time before the deadly roadside bombs, already used in Iraq, will also reach Palestinian areas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In Iraq, the new weaponry has had three major effects:
1. The guerrilla-terrorist groups which received the shoulder-carried, highly mobile Strela missiles have scored three hits in fourteen days. On May 6, they fired a missile from one of Basra’s crowded alleys and downed a British military helicopter, killing all four military personnel aboard. Sunday, May 14, Iraqi insurgents shot down an American helicopter, killing its two crewmen over Yussifiya, inside the Triangle of Death south of Baghdad.
2. The number of roadside bomb attacks, their precision and lethality is going up all the time. Sunday, May 14, four US soldiers died in these blasts in the western Anbar province and Baghdad, while 2 British soldiers were killed and another injured at the same time near Basra. In seven days, the British force stationed in southern Iraq lost seven men, a record for that space of time in the three-year war. In the first half of May, US troop losses spiraled to 19, most of them the victims of the new roadside bombs.
3. Together with the new Iranian weapons, a new array of Shiite terrorist groups has sprung up and is hitting American and British troops. The coalition has imposed a blackout on this disturbing development.
Until now, the insurgent forces fighting the coalition consisted mostly of Baathists, Islamist and al Qaeda. The only Shiite enemy was the radical Mogtada Sadr and his Mahdi Army. The appearance of the new Shiite insurgents is a dreaded milestone in the Iraq war.
FOJ Note: While the US debates about whether or not to attack Iran in lieu of Iranian threats to annihilate Israel, Iran is already killing Americans in Iraq.
Peace, or a Tsunami of Terror?
May 15….(JNEWSWIRE) According to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the "consolidation plan" he is determined to implement will ultimately bring peace, and even "fun" to the war-weary people of Israel. Echoing experts in recent months have described Israel's security as today being stronger than at any other time since 1948. According to the just-retired chief of Israel’s Military Intelligence, Aharon Ze'evi, however, there are no soft and promising winds of peace blowing in from the horizon. What he sees is a "tsunami of terror" heading for the Middle East. And when it crashes onto Israel's shores, it could even take the form of a nuclear attack if such weapons are successfully obtained by Iran and terror groups like the Palestine Islamic Jihad. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reportedly vowed that history as we know it will come to an end in two to three years. An attack from the north, from Syria and the Hizb'allah, is also a possibility Ze'evi foresees. The chilling warnings came in an address Ze'evi gave at a Tel Aviv conference Monday. Unlike Olmert's vision, which is reminiscent of the dreams of a predecessor (Shimon Peres) who, 13 years ago, rambled rapturously about the dawning of a "New Middle East," Ze'evi's comments resonate with the reality experienced for decades in the Middle East. Evident to rightist and leftist Israelis alike, the danger threatening their homeland has consistently and steadily increased, exponentially with the modernization of weaponry.
Massacre Called 'Gift from Allah' by Palestinian Leader
The death yesterday of Daniel Wultz, a Florida teenager critically injured
last month in a suicide bombing at an Israeli restaurant, is a "gift from Allah"
and revenge against American Jewish support for Israel, Abu Nasser, a leader of
the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, one of the groups responsible for the deadly
blast, told WorldNetDaily.
WEEK OF MAY 7 THROUGH MAY 14
Cold War Talk Prompts Russian Call for 'World Government'
(According to this news article from Britain's Arabic-language Elaph newspaper, recent talk of a new Cold War has prompted Russia's foreign minister to broach the subject of bringing together a 'chorus' of major nations into a world government.) "Is it Time to Take a Serious Stab a World Government? Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Told a Russian Magazine that it is.
May 12….(Watching America) Russian Foreign Secretary Sergueii Lavrov called for the establishment of a world government, bringing together the United States and Russia. Lavrov's call comes at a time of a chilling of relations between Moscow and Washington and amidst signs of a new Cold War. Moscow is wary of the establishment by America of a front of "New Democracies" in Eastern Europe, Ukraine and Georgia to counter "the Russian Bear," which is powerfully awakening. In an interview granted to the magazine "Russia in Global Politics," Lavrov said that bringing together a "chorus" of major nations into a world government will eliminate the jockeying for power that creates imbalances. Lavrov was certain that "most countries will welcome such a grouping of leadership." He also said that there is no place in Russian politics for animosity toward the US, and that the basic goals of American and Russian foreign policy were nearly identical. He made clear that the policies of both countries are to create a more secure and predictable world. From Lavrov's point of view, the political differences between Moscow and Washington are essentially philosophical. He explained that the apparent difference in opinion concerning the emerging international system is due to mutual misunderstanding. He added that this misunderstanding is far less significant than that which existed during the previous era, when there was a "negative stability" between two poles, namely the United States and the Soviet Union. Lavrov pointed out that "absolute security" cannot be achieved through excessive military superiority, and he pointed out that in special cases, differences in interests are completely natural.
Are We Headed For an Oil-War?
May 12….(FOJ) A world-wide economic war over oil seems to be escalating. The price of a barrel of oil presently stands around the 75.00 dollar mark, and persistent problems around the world indicate that oil will become a major weapon in the battle over sources for oil. Iran has threatened to interrupt the supply of oil shipped through the Staits of Hormuz in the event the US or Israel should take action against the rogue terrorist-sponsoring regime not allow for nuclear inspections, and let the world see for itself that it is only kidding when it says it will nuke Israel. Beyond the coming shakedown over Iran, oil supplies are also threatened by rogue regimes in Venezuela, Bolivia, Chad, and Nigeria. In the past week, there have been a spate of kidnappings on foreigners in the Nigerian oil town of Port Harcourt, where many oil-services companies keep their main Nigerian operations. There has also been a mysterious assassination of an American oil executive riding in a car to work at the offices of the US oil-drilling-equipment maker Baker Hughes Inc that is based out of Houston, Texas. Nigerian Islamic militants have attacked oil installations throughout Nigeria and have cut more than 20 percent of Nigeria's daily production of 2.5 million barrels. The kidnappings and killings in Nigeria, where up to 550,000 barrels per day of oil production remains shut in, has "increased fears of lower export volumes from the oil-rich region, with most of its supplies heading to the US. Nigeria is the world’s 8th largest oil exporter.
Meanwhile, Socialist Bolivian President Evo Morales caused a stir this week when he announced his intention to follow the Marxist pathway of fellow South American leader, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and nationalize the oil industry in Bolivia.
Venezuela’s President, Hugo Chavez has made no secret of his intention to drive American oil companies out of his country. He is also closely aligned with the Axis of Evil-terrorist sponsoring nations in the Islamic world. He recently visited Iran, and pledged support to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the ongoing nuclear debate over Iran’s nuclear program, and its stated goals of “wiping Israel off the map.”
Graphic charting oil price records over the last 36 years. The chart shows how oil prices skyrocketed after the Arab war on Israel in 1973, and the ensuing Arab oil embargo against the US. The spikes in oil prices seem always to come on the heels of US actions to protect its oil and foreign interests in the Middle East. (Iraq) OPEC, headquartered in Vienna, Austria says it do very little to tame the record oil prices. OPEC member countries lay the blame on Middle East political tension and rampant speculation, and on what the world views as an unfair and misguided US support for Israel.
Putin’s Cold War Revival
May 12….(Bill Wilson/Montana News) The man who President George W. Bush said he looked into his eyes and saw that he can be trusted, likely reignited the flames of the Cold War during Russia’s State of the Nation speech. Russian President Vladimir Putin spent a large portion of his speech discussing military expansion, nuclear weapons and the need to be ready to fight on a moments notice. Putin said that the United States spent 25 times more than Russia on its military budget, “"In the defense sphere, this is called 'their house is their fortress.' Well done! But it means that we must build our house strongly, reliably, because we see what's going on in the world." Putin said that modernizing Russia's armed forces, especially its nuclear arsenal, was vital to global stability and that the country must be "solid" in the face of American attempts to build a "fortress." He said, "Key responsibility for standing up against threats, for guaranteeing global stability, will lie with the world's leading powers possessing nuclear weapons and powerful military-political influence." Putin, who wants a predominately professional armed forces, said the Russian military had to be capable of reacting to multiple threats, ranging from a traditional enemy attack or pressure exerted by another country to an attack carried out by international terrorists. It was clear in Putin’s remarks that he believes the United States is a big threat as he specifically mentioned America’s military expenditures and the need for a massive military build-up to counter the US and to provide, what he called, “global stability.” To rebuild its once-powerful military, Russia is well into a strategy to raise money by arming and equipping counterbalances to the United States by selling weapons, nuclear capable missiles and nuclear technology to North Korea, Iran, Syria, Egypt, and, yes, even China, all enemies of either the United States and Israel. Bible prophecy is clear that a powerful nation from the North of Israel will bring the nations of Northern Africa and Persia against the nation of Israel which will launch the Great Tribulation and the rise of the anti-Christ. This battle is characterized in Ezekiel 38. In verse 16, the Lord says, “And you shall come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring you against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in you, O Gog, before their eyes.” “Gog,” by most accounts, is Russia. And God’s hook appears to be already in Russia’s jaw. Putin’s words and actions are proof. But do not fear because redemption is near.
The 'Palestinians' are Hamas
May 12….(JNEWSWIRE) Malcom Hedding, a leading figure in the International Christian Zionist movement took to task those governments that insist on continuing to send millions of Euros in financial aid to the Palestinian Arabs, despite the fact that those Arabs overwhelmingly elected the terrorist group Hamas into power. Mr. Hedding, the director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), told members of the European Parliament attending a special meeting hosted by the European Coalition for Israel that Europe should not differentiate between people and their democratically elected governments. "Otherwise, what is democracy?" he asked. "At the end of the day, people have to be responsible for the people they put in power." Hedding made his remarks as the United States was debating with the rest of the Quartet on ways to get financial aid to Palestinian Arabs by bypassing the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority. Reports, which have since been denied by a senior but unnamed official in the Bush administration, indicate that America's earlier determination to stop all funding to the Palestinian Authority has been eroded. A mechanism is being worked out now by a Quartet committee whereby the needed funds can be channeled to the Palestinian Arabs. The ludicrousness of this evasion seems to be lost on the power brokers. Either that or they insist on purposefully going ahead despite it. On the one hand the West, specifically the US, has made it a major foreign policy goal to plant democracy in the Islamic Middle East (notwithstanding the fact that Islam and democracy are anathematic to each other). In line with this, massive international efforts were made to ensure that the Palestinian Arabs held "free and fair" elections this past January. Under the approving gaze of a smiling former-US president Jimmy Carter, a great majority of Israel's "Palestinian" peace partners "freely and fairly" chose Hamas to head up their government. Mr. Carter even followed up by declaring that the PA elections had been a model of democracy. But after choosing, overwhelmingly and with eyes wide open blood-soaked terrorists dedicated to anything but peace as their leaders, the "Palestinians" are paying a steep financial price. Determined to bail them out despite their open antagonism, the liberal nations of the West have concocted an artificial and transparent distinction between the general "Palestinian" public and those they themselves elected. Hedding's refusal to play along with this plot provided context for the venomous words of a senior Hamas religious leader, who on the same day described Christian Zionists as criminals, enemies of the Palestinian Arabs, worshippers of Satan, and one of the greatest threats to world peace.
Dobbs to President Bush: Do You Take
us for Fools?
May 11….(WND) Outspoken CNN anchor Lou Dobbs is thrashing President Bush and US Senators for continuing to follow what he calls "absurd policies on both issues of border security and illegal immigration," and asks the rhetorical question, "How dumb do you all think we are?" The scathing remarks come amid this week's report that US officials are tipping off the Mexican government as to the positions of the Border Minutemen, a group private American citizens looking to stop the ongoing invasion of illegal aliens (AND NO TELLING HOW MANY TERRORISTS) across the border. "President Bush continues to push his guest-worker program and amnesty for anywhere between 11 million and 20 million illegal aliens, and he insists still that nothing less than what he calls comprehensive immigration reform is acceptable," says Dobbs. "And the lies keep coming from both political parties. This president is not enforcing the immigration laws enacted by Congress, and this Congress is failing in its duty of oversight to demand that those laws be followed. Only a fool, Mr. President, Sen. Kennedy, Sen. McCain, would believe you when you speak of new legislation. You don't enforce the laws now. Would you do so if the law were more to your liking? Would you secure our borders and ports? Would you halt illegal immigration? Those are rhetorical questions, only, I assure you. The answers are obvious; obvious because of your conduct." Addressing the president, Dobbs says up to 3 million illegal aliens continue to cross our border with Mexico each year, with enforcement against illegal employers of illegal aliens in this country all but nonexistent. "How do you explain that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have all but ended their investigations and inspections of employers that hire illegal aliens? Again, only a rhetorical question, because we all know the answer," Dobbs said. The CNN anchor goes on to state the "official record," noting only 318 employers out of five and a half million in the US have been fined for hiring illegals since 2001. In 2004, only three employers were fined. "That is a dismal record, Mr. President, as dismal as the fact that the number of ICE agents assigned to enforce immigration laws in the workplace has declined from only 240 back in 1999 to now less than 100," Dobbs said. He lays blame for the lack of border security and illegal immigration squarely on the shoulders of "two political parties that are beholden to corporate America, the largest employers of illegal aliens, and the leadership of both parties that are selling out American citizens in search of cheap labor and political advantage. How dumb do you all think we are? Again, that's only a rhetorical question." Dobbs says he'll suggest on his television show in the coming days that "the leadership of both the Republican and Democratic parties begin to take some notice of our laws and our expectations that those laws be enforced," as well as reminding them they represent all US citizens, and not just corporate America and special interests. Dobbs has been making headlines in recent weeks, coming under fire by groups not opposed to illegal immigration.
FOJ Note: Could it be that both American political parties are solidly in the geo-political camps of the Globalist World Governance agenda? FOJ has documented several news items, some just this week of how Al Qaida is using the open border with Mexico to infiltrate hundreds of terrorist cell agents, and yet the US government remains either blind to, or unconcerned about that imminent threat.
Iran President Calls Israel a ‘Tyrannical Regime’
May 11….(FOJ) Iran’s president on Thursday intensified his attacks against the US and Israel, calling Israel a “a tyrannical regime that will one day will be destroyed,” but also added he was ready to negotiate with the United States and its allies over his country’s nuclear program. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has previously said Israel should be wiped off the map, told a cheering crowd of students in the Indonesian capital that it is every country’s right, not just the United States, to use new technology to meet energy needs. Students in the crowd held up posters saying “Iran in our hearts,” and “Nuclear for Peace,” but the crowd clearly espoused an anti-American sentiment.
He said his country was willing to negotiate, but that the United States first must drop its “bad attitude.” Asked what it would take to begin talks with the United States to resolve the standoff, he said Tehran would talk to anyone except Israel, which Iran does not recognize. “There are no limits to our dialogue,” he said. “But if someone points an arm (a weapon) at your face and says you must speak, will you do that?” Ahmadinejad has repeatedly spoken out against Israel and provoked a world outcry in October when he said Israel should be “wiped off the map.” Israeli officials have described Iran’s nuclear quest as the Jewish state’s greatest threat. Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres warned Monday that Iran could be threatened with destruction if it continues to vow to destroy Israel. At a meeting Tuesday, representatives of the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France as well as Germany agreed to tell Iran the possible consequences of its refusal to halt its uranium enrichment program and the benefits if it abandons it. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday she and her counterparts on the UN Security Council agreed to give Iran another two weeks to reconsider its position. The Chinese and Russians have balked at the British, French and US efforts to put the resolution under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. Such a move would declare Iran a threat to international peace and security and set the stage for further measures if Tehran refuses to comply. Mr. Putin insisted in his speech to Russia that it will not condone any military threats against Iran!
Iran and Sudan Preparing to Pierce Israel?
May 11...(DEBKA)Not only is Iranian President Ahmadinejad denouncing Israel in public, secretly Tehran has opened a back door into Israel for its penetration-terror agents. Sudan is also quietly slipping cells into the Negev. DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources reveal that two Iranian Revolutionary Guards companies were dropped at Khartoum’s military airfield May 2 by a C-130 transport and driven to a secret military installation on the outskirts of the Sudanese capital. Their arrival signals the onset of an Iranian military airlift to Sudan of a fully equipped RG (Republican Guards) brigade with armor, a major escalation of the clandestine Iranian threat to Egypt and Israel alike. DEBKAfile’s security sources report the ongoing routine of illicit Sudanese infiltrations into the southern Israeli Negev, are shepherded by any of three local smuggling rings: the Palestinian gang headed by Jamal Samhadan and the Hamas government’s new appointee as commander of its security forces, Sudanese-Egyptian crime organizations and al Qaeda’s Sinai network. All three are readily available to operate under the orders of the Iranian RG intelligence officers posted in Sudan. The scale of the Negev traffic is such that hardly a day goes by without Sudanese infiltrators being caught attempting to steal across the Egyptian border into southern Israel. Many are job-seekers; a few, mules for gunrunners or spies collecting data on army installations in the desert region; some were caught recently near the town of Mitzpeh Ramon. They are led to their destinations by Egyptian intelligence agents familiar with the territory, Palestinian terrorists from Gaza or a sprinkling of Israeli Arabs. An Israeli security source told DEBKAfile that the current Egyptian-Israeli-Gazan border situation offers Iranian agents and terrorists mixed in among the Sudanese infiltrators an easy route into southern Israel. The RG agents are known to be linked to the Lebanese Hizballah.
Think The Two-State Solution Will Work?
May 10….(FOJ) On June 24, 2004, President Bush reiterated the UN scheme to partition the Promised Land. For the first time, an American President publicly submitted that a two-state solution was the only practical solution to the complex Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Anyone that thinks statehood for the terrorist-led proposed Palestinian State will bring peace, better think again. History demonstrates that two states with one of them being Israel is not a solution the Arabs are willing to accept.
Putin Says Russia Needs to Arm Against 'Fortress' US
May 10….(AP) Russia faces a "fortress" United States and must embrace high technology to keep up in a growing arms race, as well as in fierce economic competition, President Vladimir Putin said in a state of the nation speech. President Putin also warned the US that Moscow will not support military action against Iran. Addressing both houses of the Russian parliament and other top officials in the nationally televised, hour-long speech on Wednesday, Putin said Russia must remain on guard in a post-Cold War arms race. "It is premature to speak of the end of the arms race," Putin said the annual address. "It is in reality rising to a new technological level," the Russian leader said. Putin said that the United States spent 25 times more than Russia on its defense budget. "In the defense sphere, this is called 'their house is their fortress.' It means that we must build our house strongly, reliably, because we see what's going on in the world." Putin said that modernization of Russia's huge but inefficient armed forces was vital to global stability and that Russia must be "solid" in the face of US attempts to build a "fortress."
Al Qaida’s Exploits South of the Border
(excerpt from WND) (Al-Qaida in league with Mexican radicals in plot to penetrate US)
May 10….(WND) Britain's secret intelligence service, MI6, has established the first proof al-Qaida is playing a major role in the new Cold War between North and South America, with Osama bin Laden's terror network seeing itself in league with Mexican subversives in infiltrating the US border. The evidence emerged as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez swash-buckled into London after scoring a win in yet another venomous battle with Washington for influence and economic advantage across the Latin American continent. Chavez’s Venezuela controls the western hemisphere's largest supply of oil reserves. In the words of a MI6 memo, the situation "is a new and dangerous threat to stability that is also being exploited by al-Qaida." Details of al-Qaeda's penetration into Latin America emerged from documents discovered during recent anti-terrorist operations in Pakistan to try and locate Osama bin Laden. The documents included evidence that al-Qaida has established links with the Colombian terror group, FARC, and the Shining Path, SL, in Peru. They also reveal al-Qaida's links with thousands of Muslim students in the Dominican Republic. Another Pakistani document shows the links between al-Qaida and Mexico's Popular Revolutionary Army, EPR. The documents reveal that al-Qaida sees EPR as collaborators in attacks in Mexico on foreign targets, "especially those of the United States and Britain." It also says that EPR can play a key role in allowing al-Qaida operatives to enter the United States through the busiest land crossing in the world, Tijuana. Al-Qaida is firmly entrenched in Venezuela. The godfather of that South America axis is Fidel Castro, Cuba's leader for 45 years. But in support is Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia who last week promised: "I am going to be a nightmare for Washington." In coming presidential elections the candidates are Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, Peru's Ollanta Humala and Andres Lopez of Mexico. The Mexican populist likes to see himself as a mirror image of Chavez and has labeled the country's outgoing president, Vincente Fox, "a puppy of Bush." The documents discovered in Pakistan have become of prime concern to MI6, given Britain's substantial holdings in Latin America. Chavez has warned Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, "I sting those who rattle me." It is over threats like that MI6 analysts try to decipher how far Chavez will allow al-Qaida to be his sting master. Pentagon officials have confirmed that human smuggling rings in Latin America are attempting to sneak Al Qaida operatives into the US. Before the US-led coalition attacked Iraq, the US State Department offered congressional testimony that both al-Qaida and the Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah were taking firm hold in "America's backyard." Air Force Maj. Juan Diaz Castillo, who was Chavez's pilot, told WorldNetDaily through an interpreter that "the American people should awaken and be aware of the enemy they have just three hours' flight from the United States." Diaz said he was part of an operation in which Chavez gave $1 million to al-Qaida for relocation costs, shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States
Ahmadinejad’s Letter to President Bush Was a Verbal Attack
May 9….(DEBKA) Neither of the letters Mahmoud Ahmadinejad mailed Sunday, May 7, to George W. Bush represents an olive branch, but rather just the reverse: Their writer takes a high moral tone and emphasizes the importance of Islam to mankind and the world. Neither does the Iranian president deign to offer concessions to ease international concerns and the standoff on Iran’s nuclear program. DEBKAfile’s sources in Tehran obtained access to the first drafts of two separate communications, only one of which Iranian proposes to release to the media. The private note trots out the Islamic Republic’s reiteration of its right to develop nuclear energy for purely peaceful purposes and Iran’s greatness as the cradle of human civilization. The Note intended for release is longer and couched in phrases designed for propaganda effect. Ahmadinejad complains that Iran is anxious for progress in the sciences but is constantly persecuted by the forces of “world arrogance” (i.e. the US and the West). He even harks back to the 1950s, claiming the Clinton administration had admitted that the United States had then staged a military coup to overthrow the Mossadeq regime in Tehran and install the Shah. The Iranian president calls on the United States to give up its tough positions, which in any case are foredoomed to failure and will harm its prestige, because Washington will never bend the Islamic Republic to its will, even by sweeping sanctions. Iran’s president declared in his letter to President Bush that democracy had failed worldwide and lamented “an ever-increasing global hatred” of the US government. He also lambasted President Bush for his handling of the Sept. 11 attacks, accused the media of spreading lies about the Iraq war and railed against the United States for its support of Israel. It questioned whether the world would be a different place if the money spent on Iraq had been spent to fight poverty. In the letter, Ahmadinejad says that people around the world have lost faith in international institutions and questions whether the Bush administration has covered up some evidence surrounding the Sept. 11 attacks. Liberalism and Western-style democracy “have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity.” “Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the Liberal democratic systems,” it read. Ahmadinejad also suggested that Bush should look inward, saying there was an increasing hatred worldwide of the United States, and that history shows how “repressive and cruel governments like the US do not survive.”
Cleric Says Christian Zionists 'Adopted Satan as God'
May 9….(WND) Christians who support Israel are distorting their true faith, and have adapted Satan as god and comprise the greatest danger to world peace, according to a senior Islamic Palestinian Authority cleric. The cleric, whose article on Christianity and Israel is posted on an official PA government website, also accuses Zionist Christians of persecuting Palestinians and directing the war in Iraq, and he calls for pro-Israeli Christian denominations to be expelled from the "world church." "Very few people know the truth about this Christian Zionist movement, which unconditionally supports the Zionist enemy and unconditionally opposes Islam and the Muslims," writes Hamed Al-Tamimi, director of inter-religious dialogue for the PA's Judicial Council. The article, posted in Arabic, was translated by Palestinian Media Watch. Continues al-Tamimi: "The Zionist-Christian motivation, in addition to imperialist motivation, was behind the cursed Balfour Declaration. Lord Balfour and Prime Minister Lloyd George were Christian Zionists, and the truth is we should not deny that these Crusader motivations stand today behind the British and American policy in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other Arab and Muslim countries. "Christian Zionists are a group who adopted Satan as god who drives their crazy nature. They have praised depravity and cursed virtue, they have turned the moral scale upside down and have reached a point in which forgery, deception and lying have turned into descriptions of world policy, which is led by the Zionism on both its branches, the Jewish and the Christian." Al-Tamimi then quotes from a speech by Riad Jarjour, secretary-general of the Middle-Eastern Churches Committee, who calls for Christian Zionist denominations to be "expelled by the world church, since they are a dangerous distortion and a big deviation from the true Christian faith, which concentrates on Jesus. Christian Zionism defends a national political program which considers the Jewish race supreme."
FOJ Note: As usual, the demonic inspired clerics of fundamentalist Islam have been led by Satan to turn things around 180 degrees. It is obvious that it is a top priority of Satan’s Last Days strategy to isolate Christian Zionism, (which did indeed help create an environment for Jehovah to bring a remnant of Jews back to the Promised Land) and to encourage the World’s False Church to eliminate Biblical teaching that is supportive of God’s providence with his chosen nation, Israel. Unfortunately, there are many so-called Christian denominations and Churches that are blindly following the demonic-rhetoric out of Satan’s camps in the Mid-East.
Bush Says War on Terror is World War III
May 8….(Breitbart) US President George W. Bush said the September 11 revolt of passengers against their hijackers on board Flight 93 had struck the first blow of "World War III." In an interview with the financial news network CNBC, Bush said he had yet to see the recently released film of the uprising, a dramatic portrayal of events on the United Airlines plane before it crashed in a Pennsylvania field. But he said he agreed with the description of David Beamer, whose son Todd died in the crash, who in a Wall Street Journal commentary last month called it "our first successful counter-attack in our homeland in this new global war, World War III". Bush said: "I believe that. I believe that it was the first counter-attack to World War III. "It was, it was unbelievably heroic of those folks on the airplane to recognize the danger and save lives," he said. Flight 93 crashed on the morning of September 11, 2001, killing the 33 passengers, seven crew members and four hijackers, after passengers stormed the cockpit and battled the hijackers for control of the aircraft. The president has repeatedly praised the heroism of the passengers in fighting back and so launching the first blow of what he usually calls the "war on terror". In 2002, then-White House spokesman Ari Fleischer explicitly declined to call the hunt for Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda group and its followers "World War III."
Iran’s President Sends President Bush a Letter
May 8….(My Way) Iran's leader has written to President Bush proposing "new solutions" to their differences in the first letter from an Iranian head of state to an American president in 27 years, a government spokesman said Monday. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki delivered the letter to the Swiss ambassador on Monday, ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told The Associated Press. The Swiss Embassy in Tehran houses a US interests section. In the letter, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proposes "new solutions for getting out of international problems and the current fragile situation of the world," spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham told a news conference. Elham declined to reveal more, stressing "it is not an open letter." Asked whether the letter could lead to direct US-Iranian negotiations, he replied: "For the time being, it's just a letter."
Russia Will Continue Providing Aid to Palestine
May 8….(Moscow News) Russia may continue to provide financial aid to the Palestinian National Authority, the Foreign Ministry’s special envoy said on Monday. Sergei Yakovlev, the ministry’s envoy to the Middle East, said the Middle East Quartet that comprises Russia, the European Union, the United States and the United Nations, would discuss possible means of providing aid to Palestinians at its upcoming meeting. When asked by journalists whether Russia would continue to provide aid, he said: “The possibility is not ruled out,” RIA-Novosti news agency reported. The Russian government provided $10 million in urgent financial aid to the Palestinian National Authority on May 4. The ministry said, “in view of the aggravating socioeconomic and humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories, the Russian government has decided to offer urgent financial aid to the Palestinian National Authority, totaling $10 million.” The funds, intended to be used for social and humanitarian needs, were transferred to an account of PNA President Mahmoud Abbas’s office, the ministry said, adding that the transaction had been coordinated with the Middle East Quartet, comprising Russia, the EU, the United States and the United Nations. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last month it would be wrong to halt aid to the Palestinian National Authority because of radical Islamic group Hamas’ dominance of its new government, in an apparent reference to the EU’s decision to freeze its aid to the PNA indefinitely. Hamas had claimed responsibility in the past for a number of terrorists acts in the region, and is on the list of terrorist organizations both in Europe and the United States. Russia does not classify it as a terrorist group, however, and was the first country to invite its delegation to talks in March, a move that was called by an Israeli politician a “stab in the back”.
Saudi’s Back Moscow and Beijing Against Sanctions for Iran
May 8….(DEBKA) A one-day Gulf Cooperation Council- GCC consultative summit convened urgently in Riyadh Saturday, May 6, by Saudi King Abdullah added its voice to international opinion on the Iranian nuclear issue. These meetings are rarely top-level, usually attended by more junior officials. This time, the emirs of Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the UAE were there. They joined in calling on Iran to do more to show the nuclear watchdog it was not seeking a nuclear bomb and provide guarantees to ease the concerns of its neighbors that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes. The six leaders refrained from asking Iran to halt uranium enrichment or obey the UN Security Council. DEBKAfile’s Gulf sources add: The GCC agreed essentially not to follow the tough American-led line demanding a UN Security Council resolution permitting sanctions or military action against a defiant Iran, but rather the Russian-Chinese insistence on dialogue with the stress on guarantees. Riyadh appears to have united the bloc on the Iranian question and to be offering to mediate between the West and Tehran on the nuclear controversy. This position backs up the line taken by Beijing, Moscow and Berlin urging more dialogue and cooperation with the IAEA rather than penalties.
Washington is Risking Not Only Israel
(US Support for 'convergence' will endanger US interests)
May 8….(JNEWSWIRE) The Bush Administration’s support for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Judea-Samaria withdrawal plan will endanger not only Israel, but also US interests and efforts in other parts of the region, warns The Jerusalem Post top columnist Caroline Glick. Glick, who was embedded with American forces during the last Gulf War, noted in Thursday's edition of the Post a disconcerting lack of public or official debate "either on the strategic consequences of the Gaza withdrawal or on the likely security consequences of a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria." She said such a debate would quickly reveal the utter failure of last summer's Gaza "disengagement", which led to the rise of Hamas, and the unacceptable risk of a similar result from the surrender of Judea and Samaria, which would destabalize both Israel and neighboring Jordan. And the outcome of that undesirable scenario for America, according to Glick, would be that: "Fuel and other vital materiel for US forces in Iraq would no longer be able to be safely transported overland from Israeli ports through Jordan into Iraq due to the instability of both Israel and Jordan." The reason that is so dangerous is that it would force the Americans to rely heavily on Persian Gulf ports, which would in turn embolden Iran to disrupt US supplies via the Straits of Hormuz. Not to mention the creation of yet another anti-American terrorist training center in Judea and Samaria, which will do booming business after the US-backed Israeli retreat encourages jihadists across the globe to join the battle against the Judeo-Christian West. A resurgence of the international terrorist offensive is all that waits on the other side of "convergence."
Brit MI6 Confirms bin Laden Nukes
May 8….(WND) MI6, Britain's secret intelligence service, has identified six Pakistani scientists working in Iran's nuclear bomb program who have been "advising al-Qaida on how to weaponize fissionable materials it has now obtained." MI6 and the International Atomic Energy Agency believe the scientists have played a major role in enabling Iran to be "well advanced in providing uranium enriched materials for nuclear bombs," said Alexander Cirilovic, a nuclear terrorism expert in Paris. Both high-level MI6 and CIA sources have confirmed the scientists would only have been allowed to assist al-Qaida with the authority of Iran's unpredictable President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The revelation comes at a time when Washington has increased pressure on Tehran to give up its nuclear weapons program. The scientists worked for Dr. A.Q. Khan, the "father of the Islamic bomb," who is now under house arrest in Pakistan after confessing he had provided both Iran and North Korea with details of how to make their own nuclear bombs. The MI6 report to other intelligence services followed bin Laden's recent threats to unleash a new wave of terror, with Britain and the United States his prime targets. Recently, from his lair in north Pakistan, bin Laden boasted that Al Qaida did not find it difficult to obtain weapons grade material. Former CIA operative David Dastych, a G2B contributor from Poland and one of the agency's experts on nuclear terrorism, said: "The traffic in nuclear materials is ongoing and growing." Bin Laden's material is probably hidden somewhere in the mountain fastness between Iran and Afghanistan. Its proximity to Iran's own nuclear facilities has made it easy for the Pakistani scientists to assist al-Qaida. Like Khan, all are strong al-Qaida supporters. One, Bashiruddin Mahmood, was briefly arrested in 2004 by the Pakistan intelligence service. He said he had met the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar and a high-ranking al-Qaida operative. In his statement Mahmood admitted: "They had asked me to devise a radiological bomb. It would be constructed from nuclear material wrapped in conventional high explosive which bin Laden had obtained from a nuclear storage site in Uzbekistan. I refused to do so." Despite a CIA request to have him transferred to the United States for further questioning, Mahmood was set free. Shortly afterward he fled from Pakistan to Iran. With him went five other senior scientists at the Khan laboratories. They were Muhammad Zubair, Saeed Akhhter, Murad Qasim, Imtaz Baig and Waheed Nasir. They had helped Khan to successfully detonate Pakistan's first nuclear bomb at a test site beneath the Baluchistan desert. "Depending on the quality of the fissionable material bin Laden has obtained, the combined scientific skills would be able to create considerably more than a "dirty bomb," said Cirilovic.
Hamas and Fatah Engage in Gun-battles
May 8….(FOJ) Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas gestures as he sits under a picture of President Mahmoud Abbas from the Fatah Movement during a meeting members of the Palestinian Legislative Council from his group at his office in Gaza City, Monday, May 8, 2006. Rival gunmen from Hamas and Fatah fought with assault rifles and missiles Monday, killing three militants in the bloodiest internal fighting since Hamas took power six weeks ago. Last week, Israeli authorities uncovered a Hamas plot to assassinate Abbas.
WEEK OF MAY 1 THROUGH MAY 7
Hamas Orchestrates Massive Marches Against US
May 5….(FOJ) Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyed addresses supporters after Friday prayers at a mosque in Gaza City today. Following regular Moslem Friday prayers, and a fiery sermon by the Imam, thousands of Palestinians marched throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip in support of the beleaguered Hamas-led government. The US has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in economic aid to the Palestinians over the course of the last fifteen years, and yet the Palestinian people, as they have for years while receiving American aid continue to burn the American flag, and blame the US and Israel for their economic plight. Arafat received billions in foreign aid for a decade to build the Palestinian infrastructure, but most of that aid was siphoned off towards terrorism and PLO cronyism. Haniyed said that public sector salaries are two months late, largely because Israel and the West have frozen the transfer of funds to the Hamas-led government. The Palestinians need $116 million a month to pay salaries. In the past, the US and the West has donated much of the $1 billion in annual foreign aid that makes up most of the Palestinian budget. The European Union is the Palestinians' largest donor, giving more than $600 million a year. Now the US says it will fund only humanitarian projects without going through the Palestinian government. Also, Israel has halted the transfer of about $55 million a month in taxes it collects for the Palestinian government. The Arab League, which helped found the PLO, and has a history of shortchanging the Palestinians on aid pledges has only committed to deliver $55 million a month.
Palestinians React Angrily to Bush Support for Israel
May 5….(FOJ) Palestinians shout anti-Israel and anti-U.S. slogans and burn American and Israeli flags during a demonstrations at several locations around Gaza and the West Bank, and in the Baqaa Palestinian refugee camp near Amman, Jordan. Hundreds of Palestinian refugees protested after US President George W. Bush said on Thursday the US would not waver in its commitment to the security of Israel and would have no contact with Hamas leaders of the Palestinian government until the militant group recognizes the Jewish state.
Bush: US Must Ensure Israel's Security
May 5….(Jerusalem Post) US President George W. Bush said Thursday at the American Jewish Committee conference in Washington that the United States had a strong and inalienable obligation to ensure the security of Israel, referring to the threats Iran had made against the Jewish state. President Bush repeated his pledge that the United States will not deal with the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority as long as Hamas refuses to disavow terrorism and to acknowledge Israel's right to exist. The US president also said that he would keep pushing for a strong resolution at the United Nations to curb Iran's nuclear programs. "America will continue to rally the world to face these threats," Bush said. The audience applauded repeatedly his rhetoric against Hamas, a group the United States considers a terrorist organization. "As you know, I'm a strong believer of democracy and free elections, but that does not mean that we have to support elected officials who are not committed to peace," Bush said. "Hamas has made it clear that they do not acknowledge the right of Israel to exist, and I've made it clear that so long as that's their policy, we'll have no contact with the leaders of Hamas," Bush said. The United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia, co-sponsors of a Middle East peace plan known as the road map, have spelled out their demands of Hamas. "Democratically elected leaders cannot have one foot in the camp of democracy and one foot in the camp of terror," Bush said, repeating a theme of his administration since Hamas' election to head the Palestinian Authority in January. "Hamas must accept the demands of the international community, to recognize Israel, disarm and reject terrorism and stop blocking the path to peace." Bush was followed at the podium by Angela Merkel, the first German chancellor to address the American Jewish Committee's annual meeting. Merkel backed Bush's stances against Hamas and Iran. "It must not be permitted that Iran gets possession of nuclear weapons," she said. While supporting the formation of a Palestinian state, she said Hamas will have to answer to the Palestinian people for the consequences of its policies. President Bush also spoke fondly about Ariel Sharon, the Israeli leader who had a stroke on Jan. 4. Israel's Cabinet declared Sharon permanently incapacitated on April 11, officially ending his five-year tenure. "Ariel Sharon is a friend who remains in our thoughts and prayers. He is a man of courage and a man of peace," Bush said. "And so tonight we pray for his recovery and we rededicate ourselves to the cause to which he devoted his life, the peace and the security of Israel." Earlier in the day, the White House congratulated Israel on the inauguration of its new government, and a Bush spokesman said that the US President expected to work with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his ministers. The spokesman said that the "Roadmap" was the proper way to push the peace process forward and stressed that Hamas was not a partner in this course of action.
Israel: 'You have been warned'
May 5….(Stan Goodenough/JNEWSWIRE) A long-standing leader in the international Christian Zionist movement has sent a strongly-worded warning to the brand new Israeli government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Jan Willem van der Hoeven, a Dutch Christian and 40-year resident of Israel, who in 1981 founded the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and directs the International Christian Zionist Center, said the “convergence” plan will “explode in the faces” of Olmert “and those who have chosen, often out of personal ambition, to sit with you in your government.” Israel’s leadership had “been warned by many, by military experts, by political strategists, by deeply, deeply concerned leaders, both Jews and Christians, not to allow a Palestinian (Muslim) state to be created between Israel and the Jordan; and not to divide this land.” Van der Hoeven said that “God Himself has warned you repeatedly not to do this evil to your people and nation. He has even warned that He will severely judge the nations who advocate such a path.” Nonetheless, many of Israel’s leaders had “chosen to harden their hearts and their foreheads, thinking they know better, better than all these experts, even better than God Himself, what is ultimately the best for Israel.” The rationale given by Olmert, who in his speech to the Knesset earlier Thursday reiterated the “need” to withdraw from 95 percent of Israel’s biblical lands in order to ensure that Israel remain a state with a Jewish majority, was, Van der Hoeven said, “a baseless argument” that would be “to no avail.” Pouring withering scorn on the whole Jewish majority issue, the Dutch pastor said if Israel had not aborted two million Jewish babies in the years since its independence, and if previous leftist government policies had not discouraged Jewish immigration and encouraged Jewish emigration, there would be no demographic threat to worry about. “Go ahead,” he continued angrily. “Give in to the pressures of a world which will in any case not fight for your survival.” Van der Hoeven also slammed the expected willingness of the new government to allow a major international homosexual event to take place in Jerusalem later this year. “Follow their goyish ways. Be afraid to say no and let them parade their lustful pleasures when, by the tens of thousands, they come here to your destined holy city this summer, parading in your Jewish capital their filth-ridden abominations, all with the permission of an Olmert-led government which now includes SHAS [the ultra-orthodox party], the great upholders of God’s sanctity!" "Do it all, and see what the Divine answer will be. When it comes, and it will surely come, it will not be peace so that, as you said, Mr. Olmert, Israel will be a place that will be FUN to live in.” It would be the opposite, Van der Hoeven said, unless Israel turns back now.
VP Cheney Rebukes Russia
May 4….(My Way) Vice President Dick Cheney accused Russia on Thursday of backsliding on democracy and urged it to stop using energy supplies for "blackmail" in one of Washington's sharpest rebukes to Moscow. "Russia has a choice to make," Cheney told Baltic and Black Sea leaders at a summit in Vilnius, calling on Moscow to return to democratic reform at a time of increasingly chilly relations between the United States and Russia. Cheney also took specific aim at Moscow's use of its vast energy supplies for what Washington says is sometimes the bullying of neighbors. "No legitimate interest is served when oil and gas become tools of intimidation or blackmail, either by supply manipulation or attempts to monopolize transportation," he said. Russia, which is trying to harness its position as an energy giant, drew international criticism earlier this year when it briefly turned off its gas taps to Ukraine in a pricing dispute that disrupted supply to Europe. Moscow has also warned Europe the Russian state gas monopoly Gazprom, the world's top gas producer, could divert its supplies to Asia if it is barred from the European retail gas market. Cheney's harsh remarks could further antagonize Russia, which holds a veto in the UN Security Council where Washington intends to push for a resolution demanding Iran curb its nuclear ambitions. Russia opposes any sanctions. He said opponents of reform in Russia were "seeking to reverse the gains of the last decade" by restricting democratic rights and warned President Vladimir Putin some of Moscow's actions could hurt relations with other countries. The address by Cheney, a powerful, independent-minded vice president known for a hard line on Russia within the administration, marked an intensification of US and European Union criticism against Moscow for its record on democracy. European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana also addressed the conference and, like Cheney, referred to diplomatic tensions with Russia. Russia suspects the US policy of promoting global democracy is really an instrument to establish itself as the dominant power in the post-Soviet states.
Israel's Olmert Would Split Jerusalem in Border Plan
May 4….(Fox News) Breaking an old taboo, Israel's new government is drawing up plans to divide the holy city of Jerusalem by giving up Arab neighborhoods, an architect of the program said. Still, Israel would keep Jerusalem's Old City with its shrines sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians alike, an unacceptable plan to Palestinians, particularly if carried out unilaterally. Otniel Schneller, in interviews with The Associated Press this week, outlined the government's plan to separate from the Palestinians and draw Israel's final borders by 2010, providing the clearest indication yet of what Jerusalem is likely to look like and how Israel plans to abandon much of the West Bank. Schneller cautioned that the ideas are still in the planning stages, require international backing and that there's no clear timetable for carrying them out. Under the plan, which would be executed unilaterally if efforts to resume peace talks fail, Jerusalem's Old City, its holy shrines and the adjacent neighborhoods, would become a "special region with special understandings," but remain under Israeli sovereignty, said Schneller, a lawmaker in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Kadima Party. Since Israel captured east Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast War, Israelis had been in broad agreement that the city could never be divided again. The idea of giving up Arab neighborhoods was first brought up in 2000 peace talks, but it failed to materialize. Schneller's blueprint is reviving it. With Olmert determined to draw Israel's borders, likely without waiting for Palestinian agreement, a division of Jerusalem looks realistic for the first time. Olmert's withdrawal plan involves dismantling dozens of Jewish settlements with tens of thousands of people and moving them to larger West Bank settlement blocs that Israel hopes to hold onto under a final peace deal. Israel has said it will give the new Hamas-led Palestinian government time to agree to international demands to recognize Israel, accept past peace deals and renounce violence. More than a month into its reign, Hamas has rejected the demands, Israel has cut off all ties with what it has labeled an enemy entity and it appears increasingly likely the Jewish state will draw its borders on its own. "The continuation of the scattered settlements throughout the West Bank creates an inseparable mix of populations that will threaten the existence of the state of Israel as a Jewish state," Olmert told parliament as he presented his government on Thursday. If necessary, "we will also act without the Palestinian Authority's agreement to reach an understanding that will first and foremost be based on the correct definition of Israel's borders," Olmert said. That's a position hotly rejected by the Palestinians, who say the result will be a truncated territory on which it will be impossible to build a viable state. The US has long held the position that "borders and Jerusalem and all final status issues, ultimately have to be decided in negotiations between the parties," US Embassy spokesman Stewart Tuttle said. But Washington is not likely to oppose unilateral Israeli pullouts from the West Bank. Jerusalem is one of the thorniest issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and was a key reason the sides failed to make peace during the so-called Camp David peace talks in 2000. Both sides claim the city as their eternal capital. Moshe Amirav, a Jerusalem expert who participated in the Camp David talks, said Olmert's plan is almost identical to the deal that was formulated at the negotiations feverishly mediated by then-US President Bill Clinton. The plan currently would give most of Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods, including a-Ram, Anata, Abu Dis, Tsur Baher and Jabel Mukaber, to the Palestinians, while keeping the predominantly Jewish areas for Israel. "Those same neighborhoods will, in my assessment, be central to the makeup of the Palestinian capital, al-Quds," Schneller said, calling Jerusalem by its name in Arabic. "We will not divide Jerusalem, we will share it." "Our battle plan has to be a battle to live as good neighbors without a peace agreement
Israel Celebrates 58th Birthday Since Miraculous Restoration
May 4….(FOJ) It is a fact of history which must be repeated each year so that young people, who are not old enough to remember, will know that the miraculous restoration of Israel was indeed a miracle. Israel, one of the oldest civilizations in history was a people without a homeland for 2000 years, until May 14, 1948. The Israeli Bureau of Statistics also announced this week that most of the world’s Jews now live in Israel. Israel was uprooted from its homeland in 70AD by the Roman Empire, and dispersed to the far corners of the world. Yet, God’s Holy Prophetic word indicated that one day God would begin to move in the affairs of this world to begin to restore a remnant of the Jewish people to the land and prepare her for the return of Jesus Christ. Albeit, the Lord also conveyed through his prophets that Israel would be faced with insurmountable problems in the Latter Days after she was physically restored to the Promised Land, the very problems we are witnessing today. Yesterday, Israelis watched fireworks during celebrations marking Israel's 58th Independence Day in Tel Aviv. But soon, as the signs of the times indicate, the supernatural fireworks will boom over Jerusalem! (Zechariah 12:2-3 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.)
Iran Threatens Israel if US “Acts Evil"
May 3….(Reuters) Iran threatened on Tuesday to attack Israel in response to any "evil" act by the United States and said it had enriched uranium to a level close to the maximum compatible with civilian use in power stations. The defiant statements were issued shortly before world powers meet in Paris to discuss the next steps after Tehran rejected a UN call to halt uranium enrichment. We have announced that wherever America does something evil, the first place that we target will be Israel," ISNA quoted a senior Revolutionary Guards commander, Rear Admiral Mohammad-Ebrahim Dehqani, as saying on Tuesday. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for the Jewish state to be "wiped off the map". Iran's deputy oil minister said there was "some possibility" of a US attack on his country over its nuclear program. "I am worried. Everybody is worried," Mohammad Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian said in New Delhi after talks on a proposed $7-billion pipeline from Iran to India via Pakistan. Concerns that Iran's dispute with the West could lead to disruption of its oil output pushed oil prices above $74 a barrel, close to the record of $75.35 touched last month. The United States, Britain and France are expected to introduce a resolution to the Security Council this week that would legally oblige Iran to comply with UN demands. The three countries favor limited sanctions if Tehran remains defiant. Iran said Russia and China, also veto-wielding permanent council members, would not back any punitive measures.
Iran Threatens Israel if US Attacks
May 3….(AP) Iran's first target would be Israel in any response to a US attack, a Revolutionary Guards commander said Tuesday, reinforcing the Iranian president's past call for Israel to be "wiped off the map." "We have announced that wherever (in Iran) America does make any mischief, the first place we target will be Israel," the Iranian Student News Agency quoted Gen. Mohammad Ebrahim Dehghani as saying. Dehghani, a top commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards, also said Israel was not prepared to go to war against Iran. "We will definitely resist US B-52 (bombers)," Dehghani was quoted as saying. On Tuesday, Israeli elder statesman Shimon Peres called on Iran to scrap its nuclear program and warned: "Remember that Israel is exceptionally strong and knows how to defend itself." President Bush has said a military option remains on the table if Iran does not agree to international demands for it to stop enriching uranium and open its nuclear program to inspections. However, Bush said he wants to solve the dispute through diplomacy. Dehghani, who served as a spokesman during Revolutionary Guards war games last month, said the exercises were held ahead of schedule to send a message to the US and its allies against any plans for a military strike. "We were due to organize the maneuvers in May but because of timing conditions and issues related to nuclear energy and upon the recommendation of Mr. Larijani, it was held 40 days sooner than planned," he said. Ali Larijani is Iran's top nuclear negotiator. Friday marked the deadline set by the UN Security Council for Iran to freeze its uranium enrichment program. Council members are now considering the next steps, which could include punishing sanctions though Russia and China are on record as opposing that option. The semiofficial student news agency gave no further details on Dehghani's remarks or where he made them. Israel's army chief, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, said in an interview published Tuesday that the world has the military might to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. He also said that if Iran does obtain nuclear capability, it will constitute a threat to Israel's existence. When asked if the world can, militarily, stop Iran's nuclear program, Halutz told the Maariv newspaper "Yes, yes. Regarding whether or not the world can, the answer is yes." Questioned on whether Israel would be involved in such a military operation against its top enemy, Halutz said "We are part of the world."
Oil Marches Toward $75 on Iran Tension
May 3….(AP) Oil rose to almost $75 a barrel on Wednesday, near record highs as mounting tension over Iran's nuclear plan compounded worries of global supply disruptions amid forecast of falling fuel stocks in the United States. US light, sweet crude traded up 34 cents at $74.95 a barrel by 0331 GMT (11:31 p.m. EDT), extending a rally for a fourth successive day after a jump of 91 cents on Tuesday. Prices were within striking distance of their all-time peak of $75.35 a barrel on April 24. IPE Brent crude matched Tuesday's record of $74.97 a barrel, but was later trading at $74.80 a barrel, up 16 cents. "The Iranian situation is increasing the geopolitical risk premium that the market builds into the price of oil," said Dariusz Kowalczyk of CFC Securities in Hong Kong. Prices have soared nearly $5 over the past four days amid a fresh surge of fund investment that has also lifted gold to a 25-year high on a weak dollar, and platinum to a record. Dealers will focus later in the day on US weekly fuel inventory data expected to show a ninth-successive decline, but it was Iran that dominated the market. Iran, which issued a threat on Tuesday to attack Israel in response to any "evil" act by the US, said it had succeeded in purifying uranium to 4.8 percent, at the top end of the 3 to 5 percent range used in nuclear power plants. Iran is the world’s 4th largest exporter of oil. Iran also announced that wherever America does something evil, the first place that we target will be Israel," a senior Revolutionary Guards commander, Rear Admiral Mohammad-Ebrahim Dehqani, was quoted by ISNA news agency as saying on Tuesday. "Events seem to be moving into a confrontation and the market is afraid what it will do to supply," Kowalczyk said. Adding to the market strain, a quarter of Nigeria's exports remain halted due to militant violence while Bolivia's move to nationalize its energy sector has alarmed foreign investors and could inspire similar moves by other South American countries. Fears that the US could be short of gasoline supplies added to the worries, with the peak driving demand season due to start in three and a half weeks.
Israel Independence Day 2006 – *5766
May 3….(Stan Goodenough) Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, She gave birth to her children. (Isaiah 66:8) Fifty-eight years ago Tuesday night, in a single day that fulfilled millennia-old biblical prophecy; the Jewish national home was reborn. As Jews across the land and around the world held their breath, David Ben Gurion stood in a hall on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard to declare “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel to be known as the State of Israel.” Independence was restored to the Jewish people just over 2000 years after they had lost it to the Roman Empire in 63 BC. The day in 1948 was a multi-miracle milestone:
* It marked the precise, 100 percent accurate fulfillment of what Jewish prophets had foretold thousands of years before.
* It verified that the Jews had indeed survived as a nation through two millennia of worldwide dispersion and persecution that culminated in the Holocaust.
* It marked the return of the remnant of that nation to the same land, cities and towns from which Rome had driven it 1,818 years before.
* It marked the successful defeat, by a mere few hundred thousand people, of the mighty British Empire which, after initially opening the way for the Jews to have their homeland back, tried everything in its power to frustrate and prevent the establishment of the Jewish state.
* It saw the instantaneous appearance, and wide (if not universal) international recognition of a completely resurrected historic state, with its own original language, a government, military power, national infrastructure and state institutions. In the 58 years since that momentous day, Israel has grown and thrived against often-insurmountable odds. The 800,006 people who inhabited the land in 1948 have multiplied to the 7,026,000 citizens of Israel today. Of these, 5,333,000 are Jews and 1,387,000 are Arabs. The balance are made up of immigrants and their children who have not been registered as Jews by the Interior Ministry. Since Independence Day 2005, the population increased by some 159,000 people, with 138,000 babies being born and some 21,000 new immigrants arriving in the land. A quarter of the population (1,786,000) live in these Israel’s five large cities of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Haifa, Rishon L’Tzion and Ashdod.
Israel’s rural population is 572,000, about eight percent the total. Less than two percent of Israelis live on kibbutzim (cooperative farms) today compared to six percent in 1948.
Israel has thrived despite:
* Being born in war and being forced to wage four more wars while massively outnumbered
* Enduring an unrelenting terrorism campaign that continues to this day
* Insidious and effective trade boycotts
* Suffering enormous doses of hostility from the world’s press
* Weathering tens of resolutions of condemnation from the United Nations
* Experiencing numerous other expressions and forms of antisemitism “disguised” as anti-Zionism. In May 2006, "Am Yisrael Chai!" (The nation of Israel lives!)
Russia Has Officially Left the Western
May 3….(Guardian) Moscow could be on the verge of clinching an arms deal with Syria or Iran that would send the US and Israel into pop-eyed rage. A few days ago a Russian arms manufacturer let slip at an arms fair in Kuala Lumpur that his state-run weapons design bureau was close to sealing a foreign sale of Iskander-E missiles. The destination of the hardware was secret, he said, but the most obvious market is clear: the Middle East. Last year, Israel was furious when it emerged that Moscow was planning to sell the Iskander to Damascus. The Iskander is like the Scuds that Iraq used during the Gulf war but many times more accurate and better equipped to avoid defensive weapons such as the Patriot missile. Syria, part of George Bush's "axis of evil," would love to be able to trundle some of these short-range ballistic missiles (range: 180 miles) down to its southern border to point at Israel in the event of a conflict. No doubt the Iranian regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is also itching to get its hands on some of these weapons, whose sale is not restricted by any treaty. Earlier this month Iran tested an underwater missile that looked suspiciously like a Russian Shkval. President Vladimir Putin, under pressure from the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, was forced to step in and reverse the Syrian missile deal. These days, one might surmise, he would not give a fig. Everything about Russia's stance in the international arena suggests a new confidence that radiates "don't bully me". It is still possible the Iskanders will go to a less threatening client than the Middle Eastern bad boys, China, say, or India or Algeria. But the point is, they will go to whomever Moscow wants. Russia has shown in recent months that western condemnation will not shake its resolve to play on the world stage as it likes. Welcoming a Hamas delegation to Moscow last month, described by a minister in Jerusalem as "stabbing Israel in the back," was one example. A second was the decision a few weeks later to give financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, against the wishes of the US and the EU. In another robust move, the Russians have refused to back down on a recent $700m (£380m) deal to sell 29 Tor M1 mobile surface-to-air missile defense systems to Iran despite pressure from Washington. "We hope and we trust that that deal will not go forward because this is not the time for business as usual with the Iranian government," grumbled the US undersecretary of state Nicholas Burns last week, as the UN geared up for its crucial report tomorrow on Iran's nuclear enrichment program. But the complaint fell on deaf ears at the Kremlin. While Russia's arms industry is growing fast, its new brassiness relies mostly on the billions of dollars it is raking in from hydrocarbon exports, on the back of high oil prices. As an emerging energy superpower, Moscow is increasingly seeking to play off potential buyers of its oil and gas. Last week Alexei Miller, the head of the Russian state gas monopoly, Gazprom, warned that attempts to limit his company's expansion in Europe would "not lead to good results". The company caused alarm at the British gas supplier Centrica when it emerged that the Russian firm saw it as a potential takeover target, Gazprom had turned off the taps to its neighbor Ukraine in January, in a politically charged dispute. Miller also said: "It should not be forgotten we are actively seeking new markets, such as North America and China." President Vladimir Putin weighed in on the theme yesterday. "Despite the great demand for energy resources, any excuses are being used to limit us in the north, in the south, in the west," he said. "We must look for markets, fit into the processes of global development. I have in mind the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, which are developing at great speed and need to cooperate with us." Dmitry Trenin, an analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Centre, says Russia, fed up with pandering to the US and Europe, is undergoing a fundamental shift in foreign relations. Now it will focus on ties with countries, such as Brazil, India and China, that it sees as being on a similar path of development to itself. "Russia has left the western orbit," Mr. Trenin said. "It was circling it distantly for about a decade, Pluto-like. But now it's flown the Western Orbit."
Israel: Population Seven Million and Counting
May 2….(Ha Aretz) On the eve of the 58th Independence Day, Israel's population has reached 7,026,000. This figure is 8.7 times larger than it was when the state was established IN 1948. Israel had 806,000 citizens in 1948, and half of them still live here. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, 80 percent of Israelis, 5,639,000, are Jewish and 20 percent, 1,387,000 are Arab. Over the past year Israel's population grew by 118,000, pushing it past the 7-million mark. Most of the increase, 104,000 individuals was from natural growth (births minus deaths).
Roadmap Quartet at Deadend?/ Discusses its Mideast Role
May 2….(Ha Aretz) Heads of the international Quartet will convene at the office of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Tuesday to discuss the future role of the US-UN-EU-Russian grouping in the Middle East conflict, with the talks centering on the possibility of backing away from the road map peace plan and ending Quartet mediation in the Mideast conflict. A main issue in the talks will be whether to appoint a replacement for James Wolfensohn, the Quartet's former envoy for the Disengagement, or to refrain from further involvement in mediation between Israel and the Palestinians. According to senior European sources, the Quartet officials will also weigh the degree to which the road map peace plan is relevant, discussing whether to update the plan or to withdraw from it altogether. Senior Quartet sources are voicing doubt regarding the continuation of international involvement in the Mideast diplomatic process. The doubt comes in the wake of the formation of the new coalition by Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who has indicated that he intends to continue to pursue his policy of unilateralism, and following the rise of the Hamas government and the international boycott against it. Wolfensohn, ending more than a year's service as the Quartet envoy to Israel and the Palestinians, Monday singled out the rise of the Hamas government as a main stumbling block to further movement in Middle East diplomacy.
Iran's Secret Attack Plan Codenamed 'Judgment Day'
May 2….(WND) Tehran has recruited and funded eight Islamic fundamentalist organizations to undertake retaliatory strikes against US and British military and economic interests across the Middle East, and perhaps in the US and Europe, in the event Iran's nuclear facilities are attacked, reports a London Arab daily, Asharq Al-Awsat. The plan, which has been heavily funded and was created by a number of experts in guerilla warfare and terrorist operations, includes suicide attacks against US and British targets in the region as well as their allies. According to information gleaned from a senior source in the Iranian armed forces' joint chief of staff, logistical support for the groups that would participate in the plan comes from Brigadier General Qassim Suleimani of the of the Revolutionary Guards' al Quds Brigades. "Most of Iran's visitors in the last four months, including the leaders of revolutionary groups in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon, as well as the heads of Hezbollah cells in the Persian Gulf and Europe and North America were asked, when they met with the Iranian intelligence minister Gholamhossein Mohseni Ezhei and his aides: 'Are you ready to defend the Islamic revolution and vilayat e faqih (rule of the clergy)?'" the source said. "'If you agree to take part in the great jihad, what would you need to be ready for the great fight?'" The leader of one of the Iraq groups that is part of the "Judgment Day" plan told the Iranians his men would turn Iraq into hell for Americans in the event of an attack on Iran. The Revolutionary Guards' military training camps have been made available to Moqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army. Al Sadr has received more than $20 million from Iran for the insurgency inside Iraq. Street-fighting training has been given in Isfahan, Iran, to members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as large sums of money and large quantities of arms. As reported by WND, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has recruited Imad Mugniyah, the Lebanese commander of Hezbollah's overseas operations, to oversee retaliation against Western targets following any US strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. Officers sent to southern Lebanon last month are in command of more than 10 thousand rockets aimed at Israel's cities. It is believed they've been given control of Hezbollah's missiles to attack Israel if Iran's nuclear sites are hit. US officials and Israel intelligence sources believe Mugniyah is in charge of these operations. "When and if the Iranians decide to hit the West in its soft belly, Imad will be the one to act," a Western intelligence source said. Approximately 80 members of Hezbollah received training last year in ultralight aircraft and undersea operations in order to carry out suicide attacks. Implementation of the plan is set to begin immediately following a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities and would progress in six stages:
*US bases in Iraq and the Persian Gulf region to be struck by Iranian missiles.
*Suicide attacks in a number of Muslim countries against US embassies, military bases, economic and oil-related facilities tied to US and British firms, and targets in countries allied with the US.
*Attacks by Revolutionary Guards and Iraqi insurgents loyal to Iran against US and British forces in Iraq.
*Hundreds of rockets launched by Hezbollah against pre-selected targets in Israel.
*If US military attacks continue, more than 50 Shehab-3 missiles will be launched against Israel and 50 terrorist cells inside the US, Canada and Europe will be given approval to launch attacks against civil and industrial targets in those countries to maximize civilian casualties with germ agents and "dirty bombs."
Rice Says Iran Is 'Playing Games'
May 1….(AP) The Bush administration calls Iran's offer to let a watchdog agency inspect the country's nuclear facilities a stalling tactic, intended to avoid UN penalties that would further isolate Tehran. "Iran is playing games," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday on ABC's "This Week." "But obviously, if they're not playing games, they should come clean. They should stop the enrichment, suspend the enrichment." Iran's deputy oil minister played down the chance of UN action, saying punishing Tehran would send oil prices even higher. Tehran on Saturday offered to allow inspections if the UN Security Council would turn the dispute over to its nuclear monitor, the International Atomic Energy Agency. A report by the UN agency confirmed Iran had successfully produced enriched uranium and defied the Security Council's Friday deadline to stop the process. "The international community is completely of one mind, that no one wants needs or really can tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran in the midst of the world's most volatile region. While the US and its European allies are pushing for possible penalties, veto-wielding Security Council members Russia and China have opposed the idea.
Gathering War Clouds
May 1….(David Dolan) Israeli officials are increasingly worried over growing signs that a new full-scale Middle East war may be drawing near, instigated by the Muslim fundamentalist country of Iran with backing from Syria, the burgeoning Lebanese Hizbullah militia, the Al Qaida international terrorist network, and the Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups. Such a conflict, they warn, could plunge the entire region into utter chaos, possibly resulting in the overthrow of pro-West regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. More immediately, most regional oil supplies to the world would probably be quickly cut off at the outbreak of such a war, an action that Iran has repeatedly threatened to take in recent weeks, launching small submarines that can lay mines in the gulf outlet. Such a conflict would probably also spark a severe international economic crisis that could end up pitting Russia and China (an increasingly close ally of the Iranian regime, whose oil is essential to the dazzling Chinese economy) against the United States and the European Union. Israeli UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman recently said the new Hamas-led Palestinian Authority, backed by Syria and Iran, has issued a “declaration of war” against Israel. He warned that “a dark cloud is looming above our region, and it is metastasizing as a result of the statements and actions by leaders of Iran, Syria and the newly elected government of the Palestinian Authority.” Gillerman went on to urge his fellow UN ambassadors to “listen carefully and take at face value these recent statements, which are clearly declarations of war.” Israeli analysts said Ambassador Gillerman was referring to recent hostile statements by Iran’s extremist Shiite Islamic leaders, especially radical President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He told a mid-April “Conference on Palestine” in Tehran that his regime would insure that Israel is quickly annihilated in the near future, alluding to the use of nuclear weapons to accomplish that horrendous goal. He said the Jewish State would meet its doom during one single “storm” that would swiftly strike it. This came after another speech in which he pledged full support for a renewed Palestinian attrition war, saying such terrorist assaults would set the stage for Israel’s final destruction.