Archive for July 17th, 2008

Keren Family Watches as Relatives’ Murderer Set Free, Exchanged for Soldiers’ Coffins

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

What a deplorable situation!!

The relatives of Danny Haran, who was murdered together with his two daughters in 1979 by a terror cell headed by murderer Samir Kuntar, on Wednesday watched the footage of kidnapped IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev returned in coffins from mother Nina Keren’s home in Kiryat Tivon – furious at the fact that Kuntar has been released in return for dead soldiers.

Baruch Keren, Danny’s brother, said: “When I saw our coffins I felt defeated and humiliated. If the soldiers were alive, at least one of them, I would have accepted it differently no doubt. But when you see the coffins you understand how we’ve been toyed with this whole time.

“While we tried our best to be human and let a murderer marry and study, we have created this monster and turned him into their hero. I ask the Lebanese people – is this your hero? A man who bashed the skull of a little girl? This is the murderer you are crowning a hero?”

On Tuesday, the family met with President Shimon Peres, who signed off on Kuntar’s pardon papers.

Ronnie Keren, another brother, added to the heavy feelings surrounding Kuntar’s release: “My heart aches. We had an opportunity to change the negotiation terms after realizing the soldiers’ fate but went on with the deal.

“Our story with Samir Kuntar in Israel is over, but not done with. I am sure he will come back on a terror call which is why this is not the end of the story. I hope that Kuntar, like Nassrallah, will never live to see daylight. We must solve this problem and let every one know that Jewish blood is not spilled in vain. If I had the option of taking him out before he returns to Lebanon, I would have done it without hesitance.”

The family found it unbearable to watch the prisoner exchange footage. The TV was turned on for only a few minutes, as the relatives watched the scene at Rosh Hanikra. When the identification of Regev and Goldwasser’s bodies became clear, they turned the TV off.

Haran’s sister, Nurit Keren, said: “I wish we could have been surprised and that they (the soldiers) would have come back alive, so we wouldn’t appear like such fools. I dreamt tonight that one of them came back in a wheelchair. Danny would have been happy had the soldiers come back alive.”

Danny’s mother Nina Keren concluded the family’s responses by saying: “Kuntar’s parents should be ashamed of raising a killer, a savage, and there is no room for celebration. What are they celebrating? The return of a little girl’s murderer? It’s so inhumane.”

Original Link.

ANWR Drilling: Environmentally Safe and Decreases Gas Prices

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Tired of gas prices of over $4 per gallon yet?

Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) contends there is no finer piece of real estate on the planet to drill than ANWR. Bachmann will be part of a congressional delegation visiting the Refuge in Alaska and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, next week. The freshman lawmaker says the amount of land that would be used for drilling in ANWR is comparitively the size of a postage stamp on a football field.

“It’s a very small area and, in fact, this area is under darkness many days of the year; it has no trees, it’s a moonscape almost. It’s not an area where people can live or thrive, and again, the drilling is done in an environmentally sensitive and careful way,” Bachmann explains. “And it’s also in proximity to the current trans-Alaska pipeline that already moves the oil that we receive from Alaska for the use of the American people. That pipeline is only 50 percent full today.”

Under Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership, gas prices have increased 76 percent. Earlier this week, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) claimed “drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf will do nothing to lower gas prices,” yet simultaneously touted “Democratic legislation to speed up the leasing process for 20 million more acres in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.” Bachmann notes it is curious that every answer Democrats have for high gas prices is “No, we shouldn’t drill.”

Original Link.

Marriage Amendment to Stay on California Ballot

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

The people of California will get the opportunity to vote on the marriage amendment.

Following the California’s Supreme Court ruling that legalized homosexual “marriage” in that state, activists sued to keep the marriage protection amendment off the November ballot. However, they failed in their attempt on Wednesday when the court ruled in favor of Proposition 8’s inclusion on the ballot.

Glen Lavy with the Alliance Defense Fund says the homosexual activists trying to keep the amendment off the ballot showed their contempt for the will of the people and the democratic process by filing such a baseless lawsuit. “I would have been shocked if the court had prevented this amendment from going on the ballot,” he comments. “The lawsuit was frivolous. There was no basis for the arguments. It would have been ridiculous for the court to rule in their favor,” Lavy contends.

Matt Staver of Liberty Counsel represented the Campaign for California Families and argued in defense of the amendment. “[We] really didn’t know which way the court was going [on this particular issue],” he says. “But the good news is they’ve rejected the argument by same-sex advocates to remove the marriage amendment from the ballot.

Original Link.

Christian Counselor Fired for Trying to Help Lesbian

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

A Christian counselor has been fired on directions from government officials for trying to help a lesbian by referring her to another adviser who was supportive of homosexual “marriage,” according to a lawsuit filed on her behalf.

The action has been brought by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of Marcia Walden, who was fired from her position with a contractor for the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta because her religious beliefs conflicted with the homosexual’s goal of rebuilding a same-sex relationship and she reassigned the client to another counselor.

“A woman shouldn’t lose her job for merely upholding the highest professional standards,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Brian Raum. “It is unconstitutional to punish Walden for following her Christian faith, particularly when she made every effort to accommodate the needs of a potential client. Referring her to another competent counselor instead of attempting to offer her own counsel in such a situation was the ethical thing to do for the person seeking help. It’s egregious to be fired for honoring professional and ethical obligations.”

In August 2007, a woman working at the CDC sought help from Walden, a counselor at CSC which operated a counseling service under the federal agency’s employee assistance program, regarding a same-sex relationship.

“Walden explained that the client’s needs would conflict with her religious beliefs and that, therefore, it would be unfair for her to serve as the woman’s counselor. As a result, Walden referred the individual to a colleague,” the law firm said. “After the meeting with the client, Walden’s colleague told her that she had done ‘the right thing’ by referring the woman to him.”

However, it apparently was not enough that her counseling needs were addressed, because the lesbian complained about Walden, alleging the Christian counselor was “homophobic.”

The lesbian, who was counseled by Walden’s colleague, Ken Cook, told Walden’s supervisor, Gordon Hughes, Walden should not be employed because of her beliefs and asked to file a formal complaint against her.

…Walden was placed on unpaid suspension on Aug. 24, and during that time Jacqueline Byrum, a CSC employee relations specialist, advised her to set aside her religious beliefs.

Then Zerbe, the CDC worker responsible for overseeing the employee assistance contract with CSC, demanded Walden be removed, and CSC then dismissed her, even before its investigation was finished.

The company said the results of its investigation didn’t matter.

Original Link.

“A Day of National Mourning, Shame, and Disgrace” by Michael at Oleh Musings

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Today is the funeral day of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, the soldiers whose kidnapping by Hezbollah triggered the Lebanon War 2 years ago.

I grieve with their families; as a father, brother, and son, I can image the pain they must have gone through, not knowing what happened to their loved ones. I can only imagine the pain and relief they must feel, to lay those loved ones to rest, at last.

I grieve for my nation, humiliated by a terrorist group, led by a group of tired fools who have just handed the ultimate incentive to those terrorists to kidnap and kill more of my fellow Israelis. I grieve for the future, uncertain now, but certain to contain more violence.

And I am furious that an animal like Samir Kuntar was released. Even the Associated Press has to admit what this beast did:

…Israel freed Samir Kantar, a Lebanese militant convicted of killing a father in front of his 4-year-old daughter, and then killing her by crushing her skull with a rifle butt.

While I am glad that Goldwasser and Regev are home, I am furious that the price was far too high for any self-respecting nation to have to pay. There was no reason on God’s green Earth why an animal like Kuntar should ever have seen the light of day; he is an unrepentant child murderer, who made his killings as brutal as possible to enhance his victims’ pain, and who has sworn to commit his crimes again:

“…My oath and pledge is that my place will be at the battlefront, which is soaked in the sweat of your giving, and the blood of the most beloved among men [ a reference to terrorists who give up their lives for the cause] and that I shall continue down the path until complete victory… I give to you, Sir Abu Hadi [Hassan Nasrallah] and to all the Jihad fighters, my congratulations and renewed loyalty.”

Remember, that “battlefront” is where Kuntar fought his brave jihad war against an unarmed man and a 4-year old girl. This great “jihad warrior” was able to shoot a man in the back and bash in a small child’s skull. Yeah, he’s a paragon of morality courage, all right….

We must not forget that while we are grieving, our enemies are celebrating, and holding up this child-killer as a role model and a hero:

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) has quoted PA leaders the past several weeks as calling Kuntar the “brave warrior” and stating he is an inseparable part of the action to free our homeland” and his patience and strength are a lesson for us.”

While we can, and must, comfort the families of Goldwasser and Regev in their grief, we must never forget, or forgive, the brutality of the the Kuntars of the world, or their allies. And if that means that Israel will need to fight another war, to finish that job that our gov’t wouldn’t do two years ago, then so be it.

Original Link.

Israeli Critics Question Lopsided Prisoner Swap With Hezbollah

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

I still cannot believe that Israel agreed to this.

NAQOURA, Lebanon — Critics of Israel’s lopsided prisoner exchange with Lebanese guerrillas said Wednesday that such deals only encourage more hostage-taking — a fear underscored by Gaza militants who said the swap proves that kidnapping is the only language Israel understands.

The deal, in which a notorious Lebanese attacker, four other militants and the bodies of 199 Arab fighters were traded for two dead Israeli soldiers, closed a painful chapter from Israel’s 2006 war in Lebanon.

But it also raised questions about whether Israel should reconsider its policy of bringing back every soldier from the battlefield at just about any cost.

Israel has been carrying out unequal prisoner swaps for decades, including handing over 4,600 Palestinian and Lebanese captives in 1983 in exchange for six captured Israeli soldiers. In the past it’s even traded live prisoners for bodies, as it did Wednesday.

The rationale for such trades was a wartime ethic seen as essential in Israel’s early days to instilling loyalty and commitment from its troops.

In today’s world of asymmetric warfare — with militant groups increasingly focused on kidnapping as a way to pressure Israel and with the fight against terrorism now a worldwide challenge — the lopsided swaps could have graver consequences than in the past.

“What we’ve done now has made kidnapping soldiers the most profitable game in town,” said Israeli security expert Martin Sherman.

“There is absolutely no reason why Hezbollah should not invest huge resources now, along with Hamas, in the next kidnapping.”

The issue is of immediate concern because the government is deeply involved in indirect negotiations to free its other captive soldier, Gilad Schalit, held by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. Unlike Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, the two soldiers whose bodies were returned Wednesday, Schalit is believed to be alive.

Following this week’s Cabinet vote that cleared the way for the Hezbollah deal, Construction Minister Zeev Boim, one of only three ministers to vote against it, said he was afraid the swap would make it harder for Israel to win the release of Schalit.

“No one should be surprised if Hamas will now raise the price for freeing him,” he said.

Hamas made it clear Wednesday that it intended to do just that.

“As there was an honorable exchange today, we are determined to have an honorable exchange for our own prisoners” held in Israeli jails, Gaza’s Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said. “Let them answer our demands.” Israel holds about 10,000 Palestinians in prison.

Haniyeh’s spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri went further, saying the swap “shows that the only successful way to free the prisoners is by kidnapping soldiers.”

Explaining his opposition, Boim, the construction minister, said Wednesday: “We needed, in my opinion, to take this opportunity to change the rules we were dragged into many years ago, which have led to many lopsided deals.”

But the Israeli military said the deal drove home the Jewish state’s deep commitment to its soldiers.

“This painful process exemplifies Israel’s moral commitment to secure the return of all of their soldiers sent out on operational missions,” said a statement Wednesday from the Israeli Defense Forces. “It demonstrates a compelling moral strength which stems from Judaism, Israeli societal values and from the spirit of the IDF.”

Original Link.