Archive for July 20th, 2006

War in the Middle East Update

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

Hizballah Attacks Holy City of Nazareth
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com ) – Two children from Nazareth — the Biblical city where Jesus grew up — were killed when a Hizballah rocket slammed into their home on Wednesday.
Nazareth, about 20 miles south of the Lebanese border, is an Israeli Arab town. Roughly half of the Arabs are Christian.
Elsewhere, more than 70 rockets rained down on Israeli communities on Wednesday, some scoring direct hits and injuring a number of people.
Two Israeli soldiers and one Hizballah terrorist were killed and nine other Israeli soldiers wounded in fierce clashes along the Israeli-Lebanese border. Israeli ground forces crossed the border to rout a Hizballah cell entrenched in the area.
Meanwhile, diplomatic meetings were underway as the international community tries to push Israel toward a ceasefire.
But Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said on Wednesday that Israel has “no intention of ending this crisis [to] go back to living under the same reality.”
“We intend to stand our ground and see that Hizballah does not return to the border and that its flag will not fly above the border. The Lebanese government is the sovereign and must take responsibility for what takes place in its territory,” Peretz said at the start of a meeting with European Union envoy Javier Solana.

UN envoys calls for quick decision on deploying international force
A United Nations envoy who visited Israel and Lebanon this week called on Wednesday for a quick decision on whether to deploy a new international force to stop the escalating Mideast conflict.
Earlier Wednesday, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana called on “those who may have influence” over Hezbollah to help end the conflict, indirectly referring to Syria and Iran.
“We’re in a hurry. It has to happen fast,” said Terje Roed-Larsen, advisor on Lebanon-Syria issues to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. “There is serious work to be done in order to reach conclusions, which will be presented to the parties. The parties then have to agree with the presence of the force, what kind of force before it can go in.”

Israeli Troops Push Into South Lebanon
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) – Israeli troops punched into south Lebanon on Wednesday as warplanes flattened buildings including one thought to hold Hezbollah’s top leaders, intensifying an offensive despite mounting international pressure and a Lebanese appeal to spare the country further death and devastation.
Hezbollah denied that any of its “leaders or members” died in the strike in the Bourj al-Barajneh district of south Beirut. The explosives did not blast a leadership bunker, but a mosque under construction, the group said in a statement faxed to The Associated Press.
The strike was the most dramatic action on a day that saw Israelis clash with the guerrillas and launch strikes that killed an estimated 40 people. Israel broadcast warnings into south Lebanon telling civilians to leave the region, a possible prelude to a larger Israeli ground operation.

Most US voters support Israel
The US public is supportive of Israel and condemns the actions of Hizbullah, according to a recent poll.
The poll, commissioned by The Israel Project among likely voters in the US, found that 68 percent of the respondents believed Hizbullah had not acted properly and only 7% saw the organization’s activity as proper. A similar margin was found in regards to the actions of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
“The American voters clearly believe that the Hizbullah has gone too far,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, who heads The Israel Project.
The poll was conducted by Greenberg-Quinlan-Rosner among 1,000 likely voters.

King Solomon-era fortifications revealed in Israel excavation

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

If the Bible isn’t true, then why do archeologists keep finding things exactly as they were described in the Bible? I’m waiting for an answer…
Hummm…lots of silence from the doubters out there.

JERUSALEM (BP)-—More than 30 years have passed since a major expedition has attempted to reveal the history of Tel Gezer, the ancient city of King Solomon fame located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. This summer the biblical site has been re-excavated by a joint expedition of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The expedition is led by co-directors Steven M. Ortiz of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Sam Wolff of the Israel Antiquities Authority. The project encompasses several consortium members: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Marian Eakins Archaeological Museum, Lycoming College, Lancaster Bible College and Grace Seminary. More than 60 students and staff members participated in the inaugural season this summer from June 4 through July 7. In addition, the excavations drew support from local residents of Kibbutz Gezer and Karmi Yosef.
Some secular archaeologists doubt the reality of many people and places named in the Bible, but the current work at the Tel Gezer location may prove useful in verifying various biblical accounts.
This year’s excavations have revealed more than 40 meters of a massive fortification system associated with the six-chambered gate common in the building projects of King Solomon. Solomon’s extensive building projects are recorded in the biblical account of his activities throughout his kingdom and at his capital city of Jerusalem (1 Kings 9:15-17).

Original Link.

The Middle East conflict is hard to solve but easy to explain

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

Dennis Prager hits the nail on the head with this commentary.

The Middle East conflict is difficult to solve, but it is among the simplest conflicts in history to understand.
The Arab and other Muslim enemies of Israel (for the easily confused, this does not mean every Arab or every Muslim) want Israel destroyed. That is why there is a Middle East conflict. Everything else is commentary.
Those who deny this and ascribe the conflict to other reasons, such as “Israeli occupation,” “Jewish settlements,” a “cycle of violence,” “the Zionist lobby” and the like, do so despite the fact that Israel’s enemies regularly announce the reason for the conflict. The Iranian regime, Hizbollah, Hamas and the Palestinians — in their public opinion polls, in their anti-Semitic school curricula and media, in their election of Hamas, in their support for terror against Israeli civilians in pre-1967 borders — as well as their Muslim supporters around the world, all want the Jewish state annihilated.

Original Link.

‘You Don’t Speak for Me,’ Legal Hispanic Immigrants Shout

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

I’ve always felt that legalizing illegal immigrants was a slap in the face to the ones who came here legally.

(CNSNews.com) – A group of American Hispanics – legal residents of the U.S. – are blasting efforts to convert illegal immigrants into “guest workers,” arguing that their own pursuit of the American dream is being impeded by the influx of illegal aliens.
“We are American citizens, we’re voters. We elect our officials in office right now. Our voices need to be heard, not those of illegal aliens and their well-funded advocates,” said Mariann Davies, vice-chairman of the group You Don’t Speak For Me (YDFSM). Davies is the daughter of legal immigrants from Ecuador.
Davies told Cybercast News Service that YDSFM has attracted about a thousand members since it was launched earlier this year and represents the majority of Americans and American Hispanics against illegal alien rights.
YDSFM was formed by Col. Al Rodriguez in response to this year’s media coverage of Latino and Hispanic “pro-immigration” rallies — a phrase that Rodriguez said his group resents. YDSFM was angry that the rallies were portrayed as representing the position of all Latinos and Hispanics in the U.S.
In a statement on the YDSFM website, Davies indicated that she first noticed the problems in immigration control when she worked as a college volunteer during the implementation of the Immigration and Control Act of 1986. That law provided legal status to 3.1 million people who had come to the United States illegally.
“I witnessed chaotic and inconsistent paperwork for people with no documentation. It was a mess, and we now know that much of the information provided by illegal immigrants was fraudulent,” Davies said.
“We also know that terrorists were also granted amnesty under the 1986 program, something that should shock and anger all Americans. We also know that all 19 hijackers from September 11 took advantage of our legal system, staying here on expired or fraudulent visas to wage their war of terror,” she added.
Davies said she is outraged by more recent problems linked to the illegal immigration problem, such as the “84 hospitals that have closed emergency rooms in California” because of excessive illegal alien use and “the massive amount of public dollars that have been spent educating illegal alien students and children of illegal aliens.”

Original Link.

“TIME TO HIT THE GROUND” by Fern Sidman

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

As the war in Israel reaches new heights on both the northern and southern fronts, it was reported that Israeli launched over 110 airstrikes in Lebanon, with the latest being an attack on a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Lebanon. According to CNN, “Israeli warplanes dropped 23 tons of bombs on a bunker where Hezbollah leaders were holed up, according to the Israel Defense Forces.”

CNN also reported that, “Hezbollah said via its Al-Manar television station that none of its leaders was in the bunker at the time of the huge Israeli airstrike.”

Meanwhile, two more Israeli soldeirs were killed in heavy fighting as a small number of Israeli ground troops moved into southern Lebanon and two Arab children were killed as a result of a Katyusha rocket attack on the city of Nazareth. On the southern front, it was reported by Arutz Sheva that, “Some 30 armored vehicles entered a terrorist stronghold neighborhood in Gaza overnight; 17 terrorists were killed. Two soldiers were moderately wounded and a terrorist alert was issued for Petach Tikvah.”

It is clear that both Israel and the United States would like to end this conflict as soon as possible, for several reasons. Israel cannot sustain a protracted war for economic reasons and the United States would like to begin to talk about a cease fire after Hezbollah is permanantly vanquished. Time is of the essence and the only way to achieve long lasting results to this latest Hezbollah provoked conflict is for the calling of a major ground offensive in Lebanon.

According to a July 17, 2006 article entitled, Israel’s Moment of Truth, by Prof. Paul Eidelberg, it states, “No war can be won merely by bombing from the air. You cannot find and destroy most of the enemy’s rocket launchers without a ground invasion. The air force should be used primarily to support ground attacks, which alone can destroy a significant number of the enemy and his rocket launchers. To destroy the enemy’s ground forces means to kill as many Hezbollah terrorists as possible. It must concentrate overwhelming force in a land invasion whose goal is to utterly disarm and destroy the enemy. A cease fire will allow Hezbollah to retain its missiles, multiply and increase their range and hold all of Israel hostage.”

Prof. Eidelberg concludes his article with these words of vision and foresight. “If the U.S. pressures Israel into a ceasefire before Hezbollah is destroyed – that betrayal will lead to America’s ultimate demise vis-à-vis Islam. No one will support the U.S. after it has betrayed Israel. Israel must destroy Hezbollah, and will require a full-scale ground invasion of Lebanon. It has rightly been said “there is no one to talk to” – meaning Hezbollah, Iran, Hamas and Syria. Israel can’t negotiate with these Arabs or Muslins because they are committed to Israel’s destruction. Therefore, Israel must amass as much power as possible—arms, fuel, food, and land – not merely to deter any attack but to conquer the enemy.”

The United Sates is taking pain staking measures to insure that it will not be dragged into this conflict which is why US battle ships armed with US Marines are on the coast of Beirut as they take steps to evacuate thousands of American citizens who are currently in Lebanon The United States is cognizant of the fact that it’s enemies in Syria and Iran would dearly love to see the US embroiled in this war and the US fear of having its citizens murdered or its military attacked by Hezbollah is a very real threat.

Let us be mindful that the Syrian government has repeatedly warned Israel that any attack on Syrian territory will be perceived as an act of war and that will bring upon Israel the wrath of “the entire Islamic world.”

This threat must be taken seriously as the Iran has corroborated this position. Let us consider the following: In his translation of a speech to the “World Without Zionism” conference held for students in October of 2005, Nazila Fathi of The New York Times’ Tehran bureau reported Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying, regarding Israel, in part:

Our dear Imam (referring to Ayatollah Khomeini) said that the occupying regime (Israel) must be wiped off the map and this was a very wise statement. We cannot compromise over the issue of Palestine. Is it possible to create a new front in the heart of an old front. This would be a defeat and whoever accepts the legitimacy of this regime has in fact, signed the defeat of the Islamic world. Our dear Imam targeted the heart of the world oppressor in his struggle, meaning the occupying regime. I have no doubt that the new wave that has started in Palestine, and we witness it in the Islamic world too, will eliminate this disgraceful stain from the Islamic world. But we must be aware of tricks.

Ahmadinejad also claimed in the speech that the issue with Palestine would be over “the day that all refugees return to their homes [and] a democratic government elected by the people comes to power”, and denounced attempts to normalize relations with Israel, condemning all Muslim leaders who accept the existence of Israel as “acknowledging a surrender and defeat of the Islamic world.” The speech also indicated that the Iranian President considered Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip to be a trick, designed to gain acknowledgement from Islamic states. In a rally held two days later, Ahmadinejad declared that his words reflected the views of the Iranian people, adding that Westerners are free to comment, but their reactions are invalid.

In an interview with Iranian state television’s Arabic-language satellite channel, Al-Alam, on December 8, 2005, Ahmadinejad referred to Israel as a “tumor”, and suggested that it should be relocated to Europe.

In an article entitled, View from Haifa: The September 10th Syndrome by Steven Plaut (Jewish Press, 7/19/06) he states: “There is no diplomatic way of putting this. The kidnapping of Israeli soldiers in Gaza and along the Lebanese border is the direct result of Israel’s rewarding and appeasing terrorism over the past few decades. Long gone are the days when Israelis boasted that their government never negotiated with terrorists.

The 1976 Entebbe rescue was the greatest and, alas, the last serious use by Israel of force to deal with the kidnapping of Israelis by Arab terrorists. Since then, Israel has more often than not dealt with hostage situations by capitulating and conceding.

Such situations, of course, are never easy, both from a strategic and a moral perspective. There is a complex trade-off between the desire to free hostages at once and the need to deter and punish hostage grabbers. The understandable human – and humane – instinct to seek the immediate freeing of hostages must be weighed against actions that will put other lives in jeopardy. Decision makers face the dilemma that saving a single life today may well produce scores of deaths tomorrow.

• In 1985, the Likud-led government of Yitzhak Shamir carried out a prisoner exchange with the “Jibril” terrorists. Israel agreed to release more than a thousand Arabs incarcerated for terrorist activities in exchange for three Israeli soldiers. Just three days after the trade, one of those released Arabs was brought into an Israeli hospital. He had accidentally blown himself up while preparing a bomb intended for Israeli shoppers. Others among the released terrorists would, in the months and years to come, participate in a number of attacks and murders.

• On October 16, 1986, while on a mission over southern Lebanon, Israeli air force navigator Lieutenant Colonel Ron Arad and his pilot were forced by a technical problem to parachute out of their plane. The pilot was rescued by an Israeli chopper, but Arad fell captive to terrorists belonging to the Lebanese Shi’ite Amal militia. All trace of Arad was lost. Since 1986, Israel has engaged in feeble and pointless attempts at “quiet diplomacy” in order to win the release of Arad or at least learn of his fate. The efforts have produced nothing.

• In 1992, Yitzhak Rabin launched his “peace plan” of legitimizing and recognizing the PLO and at the same time ordered the expulsion of 400 Hamas terrorists from the West Bank and Gaza to Lebanon. The expulsion had near-universal support in Israel. Shortly thereafter, however, Israel permitted almost all the expelled terrorists return to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where they resumed their leadership roles in terror organizations. It was a yet another goodwill gesture for which Israel got nothing in exchange. Not even information on Ron Arad.

• In 1994, in the middle of Rabin’s “peace initiative,” Palestinian terrorists kidnapped Israeli soldier Nachshon Wachsman. The kidnappers held him hostage in the West Bank village of Bir Naballah, which had long been a hotbed of terror.

On October 7, 1994, villagers violently attacked Israeli soldiers who were trying to storm the Bir Naballah home in which Wachsman was being held. The terrorists had enough time to murder Wachsman before his would-be rescuers got into the house. Israel did not bulldoze the village in retaliation, just as it has not bulldozed other West Bank villages in which soldiers and civilians have been murdered.

These days, Israeli leftists are busy assisting the residents of Bir Naballah in sabotaging the security wall Israel is constructing, because it offends the sensitivities of the Arab villagers.

• In July 2003 the Israeli cabinet decided in a 14-9 vote to buy Ariel Sharon a Kodak moment in Washington by releasing more than 500 Palestinian prisoners, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah terrorists, again as a “goodwill gesture.” Few of the released terrorists took up quilting.

• In January 2004, Israel agreed to an exchange with Hizbullah. More than 400 Arab prisoners, many accused of killing civilians, were released in return for a single Israeli civilian hostage and the bodies of the three soldiers who had been murdered in cold blood by Hizbullah.

The prisoner exchange was widely opposed in Israel, and passed the Israeli cabinet by a single vote. Afterward, Israel never avenged the three soldiers murdered by Hizbullah. A suicide bombing that killed 10 Israelis took place the very day of the prisoners’ release, but Israel went ahead with it anyway.

Two of those set free had been high-ranking Lebanese terrorists, directly involved in the kidnapping, torture, and reported “sale” of Ron Arad to Iran. Israel did not even demand information on the whereabouts of Arad in exchange, just an empty promise of some information in the future, which, needless to say, has never materialized.

At the time, the Arab media crowed in smug satisfaction at Israel’s humiliation in the prisoner release. Al-Ahram called it a “new notch in Hizbullah’s belt!” In Israel it was seen as a debacle. Even Yoel Marcus at Israel’s far-left daily Haaretz called it a “License to Kidnap.”

Any kind of talk about a cease fire at this juncture would be futile and self destructive. Now is the time to finish this war by advocating and endorsing a full scale Israeli ground offensive in Lebanon. Now is the time to remain stalwart in our demands regarding the terms that will bring an end to this conflict. We must recognize who are enemies are and we must know that their incendiary rhetoric must be taken seriously.

Let us remember the words of the Hafotrah that we read this past Shabbos. Let us never forget the words of the prophet Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah 1:14) who said, “From the north shall the evil spill out upon the inhabitants of the land…” and in (Jeremiah 1:19) it states, “and they will do battle against you, but they will not prevail over you, for I am with you, so saith the Lord, to rescue you…”

Now is the time to get involved. This week’s Torah portion, Parshas Mattos-Massei tells us that, “Shall your brothers go out to do battle while you are sitting here? (Bamidbar, 32:6)

Let us take upon ourselves the following: We must pray ot the Almighty G-d of Israel for the three abducted Israeli soldiers, Gilad ben Aviva, Edud ben Malka and Eldad ben Tova, for all the soldiers in the IDF, for those Israeli civilians who have been injured in the rocket attacks and for the entire nation of Israel. We can organize and attend rallies and other pro-Israel events. We can contact our local media outlets and speak out against media bias. We gain nothing by being silent. As Jews and concerned individuals we need to have a strong spiritual response. We can add time each day for Torah study, give more tzedaka (charity) and perform more acts of chesed.

In conclusion, let us remember the warning that Hashem gives us in this week’s Torah portion, Parshas Massei, (Bamidbar 33:53-56). “You shall possess the land and you shall settle in it, for to you have I given the land to possess it. You shall give the land as an inheritance by lot to your families; to the many you shall increase its inheritance and to the few shall you decrease its inheritance; wherever its lot shall fall, his shall it be, according to the tribes of your fathers shall you inherit. But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land before you, those of them that you shall leave shall be thorns in your eyes and thistles in your sides, and they will harass you upon the land in which you dwell. And it shall be that what I meant to do to them, I shall do to you.”

May the Almighty G-d of Israel continue to bestow his infinite kindness, mercy and compassion of His people Israel and may be merit to follow His holy commandments and fear only G-d.

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Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.

Israel Giving Up ‘Element of Surprise’ to Save Civilian Lives

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

This is the difference between slimy islamic terrorist and God’s Chosen People.

Jerusalem (CNSNews.com ) – Israel has been willing to give up the element of surprise in its battle against Hizballah to warn civilians that they should flee areas where the Air Force is planning to attack, an army official said on Thursday.
Israel has been accused of using disproportionate force in its response to Hizballah attacks on Israel, and in some cases, of deliberately targeting civilians.
For the last eight days, residents of northern Israeli communities, including Israel’s third largest city, Haifa, have stayed in bomb shelters and security rooms as more than 1,600 Hizballah rockets have crashed into the country. Twenty-nine Israelis have been killed and hundreds more wounded.
Israel has launched massive air strikes on what it calls Hizballah targets, including weapons caches, trucks that may be used to transport weapons, and other infrastructure that may be of use to Hizballah. Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said on Wednesday that more than 300 Lebanese civilians have been killed in the last eight days.
But Israel said it is going to great lengths to prevent civilian casualties by warning civilians of impending attacks.
“We’ve taken numerous actions telling civilians to leave, [even] losing the element of surprise trying to not injure civilians,” said Army Capt. Doron Spielman.
“[Hizballah] is imbedded within densely populated areas. We’re losing [part of our] military might [by dropping fliers],” said Spielman in a telephone interview. “We’re not always able to drop fliers,” he added.
The Israeli army has dropped fliers in many areas where it intends to bomb Hizballah targets, warning residents — sometimes hours in advance — that they should leave the area because it will soon be attacked, said Spielman.
The same thing is going on in the Gaza Strip. On Thursday, the Israeli military began distributing flyers warning people with ammunition caches in or under their homes to leave ahead of IDF strikes in the area, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Spielman said the targets are picked “based on intelligence information… We have confirmation that targets are correct.”
If, for instance, Israel learns that a civilian home is being used to store rockets, the army drops fliers. When the house is hit by the Air Force, “we see the rockets flying off,” he said.

Original Link.