Archive for February 23rd, 2009

Amnesty International Urges Arms Embargo on Israel

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

The ‘human rights’ group Amnesty International called on the United States to stop weapons sales to Israel and on all countries to impose an arms embargo on both Israel and the Palestinians.

“As the major supplier of weapons to Israel, the USA has a particular obligation to stop any supply that contributes to gross violations of the laws of war and of human rights. The Obama administration should immediately suspend US military aid to Israel,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty’s Middle East director.

He also called on the “UN Security Council to impose an immediate and comprehensive arms embargo on Israel, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups.”

The London-based group, which operates in 150 countries, targeted both Israel and Hamas in the 38-page report it issued late Sunday night.

But the bulk of the text detailed Israeli actions against Palestinians in Gaza and US culpability for Israel’s 22-day military operation in the Gaza Strip. Amnesty has been highly critical of Israel in past reports.

In this report, Amnesty focused on the issue of arms sales, and explained that due to a 10-year agreement lasting until 2017, the US was due to provide $30 billion in military aid to Israel.

“To a large extent, Israel’s military offensive in Gaza was carried out with weapons, munitions and military equipment supplied by the US and paid for with US taxpayers’ money,” said Smart.

Its use in Gaza was in violation of US and international law, the report charged.

“Israeli forces used white phosphorus and other weapons supplied by the US to carry out serious violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes. Their attacks resulted in the death of hundreds of children and other civilians, and massive destruction of homes and infrastructure,” said Donatella Rovera, who headed Amnesty International’s fact-finding mission to southern Israel and Gaza.

Amnesty researchers found fragments and components of munitions used by the IDF – including many made in the US – littering school playgrounds, in hospitals and in people’s homes, according to the report.

They also found remnants of a new type of missile, seemingly launched from unmanned drones, which releases large numbers of tiny sharp-edged metal cubes, each between 2 and 4 square millimeters in size.

Rovera also charged that Hamas and the Palestinians had committed war crimes against Israel by firing rockets at Israeli civilians along the southern border.

Israel initially denied using white phosphorous during Operation Cast Lead but has since stopped denying it and is investigating the matter.

The Foreign Ministry issued a sharp attack on the report prior to its publication and said it was a “tendentious description of reality that doesn’t rest on objective and professional criteria.”

The statement stressed that the weapons Israel had used during Operation Cast Lead were compatible with international law.

The statement said Israel had never intentionally targeted civilians, and testimony to the contrary in the report had come from “interested parties, under Hamas influence.”

The ministry took Amnesty to task for its comparison of the supplying of arms to Israel to the supplying of arms to Hamas.

“Israel is a sovereign state obligated to use force to protect its citizens, while Hamas is a terrorist organization. Is it possible to compare the arms in al-Qaida’s hands to the weapons in the hands of the NATO forces?” the statement read.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the report ignores the basic fact that Hamas is a terrorist organization that is so recognized by the US, the European Union and other countries.

“The organization systematically refuses to recognize Israel and any possibility of reaching peace with it, and publicly declares its yearning for its destruction,” the ministry said.

The statement also took Amnesty to task for not mentioning Hamas’s uses of civilian shields, something it knew would lead to civilian casualties during combat.

“Hamas openly and in an organized fashion uses women and children to protect military targets, and booby-traps homes and public buildings,” the statement read.

While mentioning the rocket fire on Israel, the ministry said the Amnesty report ignored its scope – the fact that some 10,000 rockets and mortars had been fired at Israel over the last eight years.

In advance of the report, Gerald Steinberg, the executive director of NGO Monitor, said, “This report is clearly part of a campaign to deprive Israel of the means to defend itself. This is another example of Amnesty’s double standards and anti-Israel bias exploiting the language of international law.”

“Amnesty’s reports on Israel are often based on inaccuracies, half-truths and unverifiable allegations from so-called eyewitnesses, and reflect a lack of serious credible research capabilities,” Steinberg said.

“In 2002, an Amnesty ‘expert’ first confirmed the nonexistent Jenin ‘massacre,’ and in the 2006 conflict with Hizb’allah, many of Amnesty’s claims were later shown to be unsubstantiated.

The factual errors are amplified by inaccurate statements using the rhetoric of international law, using terms such as ‘disproportionate’ and ‘war crimes,’ which they apply far more to Israel than to groups such as Hamas. This ideologically biased pattern was repeated in the recent Gaza conflict.”

Original Link.




Christian Gifts from Israel – The Jerusalem Gift Shop

“One Nation Under…Obama” by Ron Graham

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Change is on the way. Americans enthralled by Obama’s language of “change” haven’t a clue as to just what those changes entail. There have been many disheartening reports concerning America’s dismal future over the past few months. Just look at the nightly news, internet news sites, blogs, etc. and you will see that many Christians, and even non-Christians, in this nation are quite concerned, and rightly so.

In the meantime we who have known the truth about this man all along are still reeling from the fact that we are systematically losing our rights as once free Americans. Do we, as American citizens, still have rights? Apparently not. We don’t even have the right to expect that a man who sits in the highest office of our land show proof that he was actually born on US soil. The Constitution says we have that right, but we are being denied what the Constitution calls for. Why can’t we the people see the proof of citizenship for each person running for this high office? Although I’m not a fan of John McCain either I do know that he was thoroughly investigated and exonerated as being a natural born citizen. The Constitution of the United States of America, under Article II, section I dictates: “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President” Period. End of story. There are no qualifying words to infer anything different.

We’ve all heard the rumors about President Barack Obama’s birth certificate from Hawaii being a forgery. Before her death the man’s own grandmother claimed that Barack was born in Kenya and she made that statement on the record in a video. Grandmas aren’t usually known for lying about the location of a grandson’s birth. I see a very simple solution to this whole debacle: Come clean Mr. President, if you’re not afraid of the outcome, and present the people who elected you President of the United States of America with an original birth certificate proving beyond the shadow of a doubt the origin of your birth. That’s all there is to it.

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All of our past accomplishments, as a nation under God professing liberty and justice for all, will be of no avail as we the people allow the red, white, and blue to be trampled upon. I know many don’t look at this country as a nation built on the precepts of God’s word, but it was. This fact is in the history books of the past, books that for the most part have been removed from our public school curriculum and substituted with lies. There is plenty of proof of the truth for anyone who honestly wants to seek after it. There are many in this country who would love to see the United States of America fail and fall apart. This is certainly in the making as we currently stand at this most extraordinary precipice in our nation’s history.

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I’m afraid we (Americans as a whole) have placed into the Oval Office a man who has never had any respect for the Constitution or the Country which placed him there. God forbid that Americans elect a president who is actually proud of the United States of America and wants to do all he can to uphold the Constitution. God forbid that we would actually elect a man or woman who would work with, and along side of, the system of laws and regulations set up in this nation’s beginnings. Our nation has a U.S. birth certificate–it’s called the Constitution. What about you Mr. Obama?

Mr. Obama made many promises on the presidential campaign trail, many of which he has shunned in his first thirty days in that prestigious office. Those of us who did not vote for him (and there are many) are seeing exactly what we expected from him and were fearful of. Others, those Obamaniacs, (new word I found on WND – WorldNetDaily.com) are still looking to him for their salvation.

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This nation looked to a man to fix their problems, a man who seemingly was surrounded by a light, a new light of hope. They had never seen such a man engulfed in such a brilliant hopeful light before, one that the media swooned over and the multitudes clamored to touch. Those who voted for Mr. Obama were blinded by that light. Blinded to the truth and so they fell for the lie – the lie of “change”, the lie of prosperity. They were hopeful of retuning to a life of excessive materialism. A Mercedes in every garage attitude.

As for those irritating Christ followers, well, we’ll just have to do something about them. They are a fly in the ointment, a thorn in the side of Mr. Obama, but Mr. Obama has a plan to eliminate that segment of the American society. Mr. Obama is going to push through every immoral perverse piece of legislation possible and create a multitude of immoral laws that will sooner or later render the Christians in this country completely powerless. At least that’s what he thinks. That’s because he doesn’t really know who he’s dealing with. Watch out for hate crimes. They will be focused on those who believe the truth of the Bible.

There is really nothing Mr. Obama can do to those who faithfully follow Jesus Christ. Our God is much bigger than Mr. Obama, and has a much longer reach. God is in control of our current situation here in the US , the same as He is in every nation on earth. God will have his way; He will be exalted above all others. Nothing can change that fact, or alter the outcome, and no man can legitimately claim otherwise.

In everything Mr. Obama does as President, the only thing that would really matter is if he were to embrace the Christian faith with all his heart. If that would happen he could truly effect change. He could, with the following he currently enjoys, lead many to Christ. Many people would realize true God-given salvation with a President in office who faithfully followed Jesus Christ in his public as well as his private life. Imagine the change that would come over this country, and the infectiousness of such change that would permeate the entire world.

Alas, I see Mr. Obama embracing the enemy of God instead. So, we will continue to see politics as usual. And along with the same lies of the past we will see many new deceptions appearing on the American scene, and the American people becoming even more disillusioned, and all this after just a few short months of Mr. Obama’s presidency. Mr. Obama will continue to spew his father’s lies, and some will believe them because they feel they have no other choice. The majority of Americans who voted for Mr. Obama will hopefully come to the conclusion that they were wrong in believing this man and will begin to let their voices be heard in opposition to him.

Those who are currently blinded by the light of such a man will need to be convinced that they have swallowed his lies hook, line, and sinker. Currently I see that everything Obama does is quickly eroding away at America ’s future. I also see that unholy light which has so completely surrounded him and protected him from most of the populace coming to a correct understanding of just what he represents, soon being depleted. This man is so bent on destroying what was once the American way of life that before long it will mean America will be unrecognizable as a nation of free, peace loving people.

This report just out from WND:

When Americans were asked whom they admired enough to call their No. 1 hero, the majority of respondents answered “President Obama.” In the new online Harris poll, citizens chose Jesus Christ as No. 2.

Folks if you agree with this poll I can tell you without hesitation Obama is your god. Anyone who puts any human or any material object before Jesus Christ has made up their minds to just who or what is their God.

Yes folks change is coming it will be here sooner than we would like. Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
God bless you all,
Ron Graham

Read the complete article here.

Detainees “Rights” – Obama Agrees with Bush

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

I bet that Obama’s most liberal supports are livid with him over this. I bet they are feeling very betrayed right about now.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s Justice Department sided with the former Bush administration on Friday, saying detainees in Afghanistan have no constitutional rights.

In a two-sentence court filing, department lawyers said the Obama administration agreed that detainees at Bagram Air Base cannot use U.S. courts to challenge their detentions. The filing shocked human rights attorneys.

“The hope we all had in President Obama to lead us on a different path has not turned out as we’d hoped,” said Tina Monshipour Foster, a human rights attorney representing a detainee at the Bagram Air Base. “We all expected better.”

In midyear last year, the Supreme Court gave al-Qaida and Taliban suspects held at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the right to challenge their detention. With about 600 detainees at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and thousands more held in Iraq, courts are grappling with whether they, too, can sue to be released.

Three months after the Supreme Court’s ruling on Guantanamo Bay, four Afghan citizens being detained at Bagram tried to challenge their detentions in U.S. District Court in Washington. Court filings alleged that the U.S. military had held them without charges, repeatedly interrogating them without any means to contact an attorney. Their petition was filed for them by relatives since they had no way of getting access to the legal system.

The military has determined that all the detainees at Bagram are “enemy combatants.” The Bush administration said in a response to the petition last year that the enemy combatant status of the Bagram detainees is reviewed every six months, taking into consideration classified intelligence and testimony from those involved in their capture and interrogation.

After Obama took office, a federal judge in Washington gave the new administration a month to decide whether it wanted to stand by Bush’s legal argument. Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd says the filing speaks for itself.

“They’ve now embraced the Bush policy that you can create prisons outside the law,” said Jonathan Hafetz, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union who has represented several detainees.

Original Link.

“My Neck of the Woods is in the News” by Michael, an American Oleh

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later….

After Shabbat ended yesterday, my wife went online and read this:

A Katyusha rocket fired from Lebanon hit an Israeli village near the Lebanon border early Saturday. Two residents of the town were injured by broken glass, and several others were treated for shock. Two houses were damaged in the blast….

Here are more details, from the Jerusalem Post:

Five people were wounded in the … Katyusha attack, as the rocket fired from Lebanon exploded near a home in a Western Galilee town.

Three people who were inside suffered light wounds from flying glass and shrapnel, and were hospitalized in Nahariya. Magen David Adom paramedics treated two others for shock.

We heard that the “Western Galilee town” was Ma’alot, about 5 kilometers north of us here in Karmiel. We never heard the rockets, and Shabbat here seemed normal and peaceful. Sometimes, these news bites can be a real slap in the face, more because it’s not how you want to end the sabbath than because it’s particularly unexpected. And that itself is a slap in the face. [Michael, that’s too close for comfort!! We’re praying for you and your family. -ed.]

Of course, the Army shot back:

The IDF responded immediately by firing artillery rounds at the source of the fire in southern Lebanon.

I’m glad that there was a quick response, even though I have mixed fdeelings about it; what self-respecting country can let itself get hit by random artillery and rocket fire with responding? Isn’t that what Cast Lead was all about?

The shooting drew the usual rounds of condemnations, from the usual suspects:

International media reports said Hizbullah denied involvement in the rocket attack. Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora denounced the attack as a violation of UN resolution 1701, and also condemned Israel’s retaliatory shelling.

Senior Fatah commander in Lebanon Sultan Abul-Einein condemned the attack as well and said it had not been carried out by anyone connected to the PLO, Israel Radio reported.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese Army, together with UN peacekeepers, discovered the launch sites for the rocket attacks.

So let’s get this straight: the largest terrorist groups in Lebanon deny firing the rockets (why deny it, if Israel is so weak?), and the Lebanese Army and UNIFIL found the rocket launchers (which tells you how effective the long range artillery response is; hence, my mixed feelings). So why is Siniora denouncing the Israeli respose?

As I see it, these rocket attacks from the north are either launched by Hezbollah, which now claims to be part of the Lebanese government (and which makes the attacks an act of war), OR they were launched by terrorist groups (of which Hezbollah is the largest), and the Lebanese government is powerless to stop them (assuming that the denounciation means they want to stop them).

In the first case, denouncing Israel’s response is simple hypocrisy; in the second, it’s simply impotence. In either case, it’s more of the Arab world’s moral equivalency bunk. Par for the course, eh?

Original Link.