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Friday, October 28, 2005

JINSA Report #527 The Body Count

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October 28, 2005

JINSA Report #527

The Body Count

The "body count" is a very bad way to assess progress in a war; neither
the count of enemy dead nor of our own soldiers lost provides an
adequate understanding of the stakes involved. But if we are to count
the dead, let us not forget to count the 200,000. That is not a typo.

Forensic experts have uncovered mass graves in Iraq with 200,000 bodies
– so far – and believe as many as 200,000 more remain un-exhumed. There
are men, women and a startling number of children. There are graves with
five, fifteen and hundreds. Some were killed as long ago as the early
1990s, some as late as 2003. Their graves span the far southern reaches
and the northern edges of Iraq. They were tortured or shot or buried
alive. There are Shi'ites, Kurds and Sunnis, according to family members
who line up to identify remains and give their loved ones a proper burial.

Little has been made of this in the American press. Journalists expected
to find caches of WMD, not caches of human remains. But those remains
lead us to the larger questions – to what end is the American sacrifice
of 2,000 brave young men and women thus far?

JINSA is clear that Saddam's depredations throughout the 1980s and 1990s
made his removal necessary. In the post-9-11 environment, we agreed with
the President and Congress that waiting longer for Iraq to comply with
UN demands for accountability on WMD would be counterproductive. We also
knew that UN sanctions were falling heavily on those Iraqis least able
to tolerate them, while failing to curtail Saddam's funding for weapons,
palaces and suicide bombers. The UN reported that its own sanctions were
causing 5,000 "excess deaths" of children each month in Iraq [the number
over the average before the sanctions]. But even we are stunned by the
number of people Saddam had killed in ones, twos and tens.

In the narrow sense, the U.S.-led coalition is fighting to provide
political space for Iraqis to establish a government by the consent of
the governed. If they are successful, mass murder by its own government
will be Iraq's past, not its future. This makes the decision of the
Sunni militias to participate in the upcoming Parliamentary election a
victory to be celebrated in its own right. In the broader sense, through
Iraq and Afghanistan to Lebanon, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Egypt,
Jordan, the PA, Pakistan, Syria and Iran, citizens are coming to believe
that their future lies in political choice – and dictators are coming to
fear the same thing.

If the experiment fails, the dictators will take heart and the citizens
will be crushed. Those who fight to make it fail are a coalition of
secular and religious totalitarians whose goals begin with civil war in
Iraq and extend to building a base for the export of violent Islamic
radicalism across the Middle East, into Europe and across the oceans.

We mourn the 2,000 and mourn the 200,000. But we believe American
soldiers, as they were in World War II, are liberators while they fight
totalitarian oppression that would surely come to our shores without
their defense of our freedom and security.

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JINSA Article Digest for October, 28th

Articles added to JINSA Online from October, 21st to October, 28th.

#525 Elections in the PA

(2005-10-21) Hamas may achieve an electoral victory in upcoming Palestinian
elections. Our government, however, is under no obligation to support
governments with violent, racist officials. There is a big difference between
writing Palestinian election rules and agreeing in advance to support with
American political and financial aid any rotten government the people elect.
Read the analysis in JINSA Report #525.

Read more @

The Los Angeles Times: Arming Marines With Know-How For Staying Alive

(2005-10-25) On October 24, 2005, The Los Angeles Times ran a large article
on the efforts of Det. Ralph Morten of the Los Angeles Police Department to
educate U.S. Marines about defeating suicide bombers. Det. Mortens knowledge
comes from close study in Israel of the how the Israeli security services
thwwart suicide bombers. JINSA proudly underwrote two of Det. Mortens visits
to Israel. Read the entire article.

Read more @

#526 It was NOT Retaliation

(2005-10-27) Media references to a Hamas/PIJ ceasefire that came to an end in
Hadera miss the point and so did the State Department spokesman. There has
been no ceasing of fire by Palestinian terrorists determined to kill Israelis
- there have been continuing mortars and shootings, and now the successful
suicide bomber. Israels defensive measures have simply made it harder for
terrorists to reach their intended victims. For that, Israelis are no doubt
grateful and the State Department should not feel defensive. Read the anaysis
in JINSA Report #526.

Read more @

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

JINSA Report #526 It was NOT Retaliation

1779 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Suite 515
Washington, DC 20036

202-667-0601 Fax
October 27, 2005

JINSA Report #526

It was NOT Retaliation

Palestinian Islamic Jihad "took responsibility" for the explosion in
Hadera that killed five and wounded more than 20 yesterday, claiming
retaliation for the killing earlier this week of a top Islamic Jihad
leader by the IDF. In the State Department briefing on the subject, the
usual platitudes were uttered by the spokesman – who then had to deal
with no fewer than eight incarnations of the questions, "What will this
do to the peace process? Couldn't we have foreseen this bombing because
it was retaliation for an Israeli targeted assassination? If they (the
Israelis) are able to assassinate them, can't they also arrest them
instead of escalating the violence? Doesn't the U.S. oppose such

The spokesman responded several times with the point that the U.S.
position on "that" (declining to use the term) was "well known and
hasn't changed." While we are pleased that he didn't allow the reporters
to blame Israel, we do wish he had addressed the points. We will do it
for him.

1) The bombing was not retaliation for the killing of Luay Sa'adi on
Sunday. Experts in Israel have described the process by which suicide
bombings are planned – the selection of a target and a bomber, the guide
for the bomber, the car, moving the explosives into place, the trial
runs, the escape plan for the guide, etc. It takes a minimum of two to
three weeks to put it together. And for every bomber that succeeds, a
great many others have been stopped in various stages of planning or
executing the crime. PIJ, Hamas, Fatah, et. al., bomb what and who they
can when they can. It is only serendipity if the timing for a successful
attack works out so they can try to hang the responsibility on the victim.

2) The U.S. does not approve of Israel's narrowly focused removal of PIJ
and Hamas leaders hiding among civilians, hoping to be protected by
Israel's unwillingness to inflict collateral damage. We would argue that
such strikes removed the top leadership of Hamas, producing periods of
calm that have permitted the political process to continue.
Interestingly, the State Department appears to have no position on the
targeted killing of Palestinians accused of "collaboration with Israel"
without the benefit of trial, never mind the benefit of evidence (see
JINSA Reports 203, 204, 276 and 470).

3) On the question of "can't they just arrest them?" the answer should
be "no." Israel in under no obligation to sacrifice its soldiers by
sending them into the narrow, hostile streets of Palestinian cities to
knock on a door and serve an arrest warrant. Terrorists deserve no such
polite request. Targeted strikes prevent the collateral damage to which
the world objects, and protects the soldiers.

Media references to a Hamas/PIJ "ceasefire" that came to an end in
Hadera miss the point and so did the State Department spokesman. There
has been no ceasing of fire by Palestinian terrorists determined to kill
Israelis – there have been continuing mortars and shootings, and now the
successful suicide bomber. Israel's defensive measures, including the
security fence and targeted strikes, have simply made it harder for
terrorists to reach their intended victims. For that, Israelis are no
doubt grateful and the State Department should not feel defensive.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Special Briefing: Sharon Freed Today's Bomber as a Good Will Gesture

  Israel's daily newsmagazine
October 26, 2005
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Just over a month ago, the Sharon government released today's suicide bomber

Dear Israel Insider Readers,

Today's events highlight the strange dichotomies of living in Israel. In the morning, Bill Gates paid an historic visit, lauding the nation as a "high tech superpower."

In the afternoon, a Palestinian misfit -- just released by Israel as a goodwill gesture to PA chief Abbas -- blew himself up in a Hadera market, killing elderly Jews and an Arab Israelis.

The stock market plunged, the security forces went on high alert, and we can all expect an onoing blow-for-blow battle with the twisted murderers of Islamic Jihad, Abbas' Fatah, and Hamas -- as signs point to a sharp escalation in violence.

Finally, the President of Iran announced that the Islamic world was rising up to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.

These nights we hear the sound of jet aircraft practicing in our skies. All I can say is: practice makes perfect!

May those who sow the wind with evil and death reap a whirlwind of richly deserved recompense.

When will our slumbering nation awaken?

Reuven Koret

My Man of the Year:
Jihad bomber kills five in Hadera; Israel: orders come from Syria
A suicide bomber blew himself up at a falafel stand in the town of Hadera, killing five and wounding 30, five seriously. Islamic Jihad claimed credit.

"The PA must make clear to Hamas that as long as they continue to operate militarily, they have no place in the political system."
White House Spokesman Scott McClellan 10/26/2005

Iranian president: Recognizing Israel means defeat of the Islamic world
Iran's hard-line president called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" and said a new wave of Palestinian attacks will destroy the Jewish state.

Hamas leader: PA elections can "go to hell", threatens more kidnappings
Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar made it clear that Hamas' goal is for there to be no elections at all.

Rice calls on borders to be opened for Palestinian economic development
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggested that Israel loosen controls at border crossings to allow freer passage for Palestinians and economic development in Palestinian areas.

IDF fires artillery at open fields in response to Jihad rockets on Sderot
Israeli artillery fired on reported launch sites after Jihad terrorists in Gaza fired a volley of rockets at Israel on Monday afternoon.

Top Jihad fugitive killed, terrorists vow "bloody" revenge
Israeli troops killed two Palestinian terrorists in an exchange of fire in Judea and Samaria early Monday, one of whom is among its "most wanted."

"Galil Freedom Brigades" takes credit for killing Israeli woman in Netanya
An Arab organization calling itself the "Galil Freedom Brigades" says it murdered Katie David, a 27 year-old security guard found Sunday in Netanya.

Israel drops campaign to ban Hamas from Palestinian elections
Israel implicitly admitted defeat after President Bush pointedly skipped repeating the demand in a public appearance with the Palestinian leader last week.

PA announces plan to disarm Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
Abbas announced another attempt to set up training camps and incorporate Al-Aksa members into the regular Palestinian security forces.

Israeli soldiers catch Palestinian woman hiding grenade under her baby
A Palestinian woman was found hiding a hand grenade under her baby during an arrest raid. Two other Palestinian militants were shot dead.

Israel's Dana International takes back seat to ABBA in "Best of Eurovision"
The Song Contest celebrated 50 years of glamour, glitz and pop tunes with a special jubilee show that let viewers pick the best Eurovision song ever.

After warm welcome to terror leader, Bush confident of Arab-Israeli peace
Bush said he was a "heck of a lot more confident" of peace prospects than when he took office. Abbas and Sharon are committed to making peace, he said.

Israeli leaders call for regime change in Syria after assassination report
Israeli leaders called for changes in Syria's leadership after a U.N. probe implicated top Syrian and Lebanese intelligence officials in the assassination.

Abbas asks Bush to push Israel to free Barghouti, maybe for Pollard release
Bush asked to push Israel to release terror leader Marwan Barghouti, perhaps in deal to free spy Jonathan Pollard, imprisoned twenty years by U.S.

Israelis cheer Saddam trial while Palestinians mourn their hero
Many Palestinians, bitter at what they say is American bias toward Israel and the U.S. occupation of Iraq, say U.S. President George W. Bush should be on trial alongside Saddam.

The Proper Response to Terror
By Ze'ev Orenstein
Until the "Palestinians" and the rest of the Arab world accept a Jewish State in the Land of Israel, then we must view them as our enemies.

By Ellen W. Horowitz
Unholy Toledo! President Katsav: There is nothing more valuable or precious than the Land of Israel. It is simply not to be swapped, sold or surrendered.

Ghettoizing Gush Etzion
By Emanuel A. Winston
If one bothers to track the route of the separation barrier, one can see clearly that it is meant to divide Gush Etzion into small, easily evacuable segments.

Painful Concessions
By Ted Belman
The Saudi Peace Plan and the Geneva Accords are in fact the destination on the Road Map, whether Israel likes it or not.

Prejudices revived in US by Palestinian Christian group
By Roz Rothstein
A largely unseen wave of anti-Semitism has been washing up across North America in a series of conferences aimed at dismantling Israel.

Changing Emphasis
By M.J. Rosenberg
The Mideast conflict was once a zero-sum game. When one side won, the other lost. That is not true today. A weaker PA means a weaker Israel.

After drive-by murders, Israel's priority must be survival
By Bruce S. Ticker
Israel is forced to choose between endangering its own citizens or inconveniencing and harming Palestinians, be they innocents or terrorists.

Bush proves soft on Palestinian security compliance
By Dr. Aaron Lerner
Mr. Bush is sending a message to the Palestinian street that there isn't any genuine pressure on the PA to take serious steps against terror.

Sharon's Dispersal Plan
By Aliza Karp
Sharon knew the Jewish strength in the settler communities and decided to divide and conquer, trying to weaken this enemy of Israeli secularity.

Tears of anger and tears of mourning
By David Wilder
Perhaps G-d is sending down His tears, for Kinneret, for Matat, for their families, for their unborn children, for people abandoned by their brethren.

Remembering Kineret
By Alan Perlman
Know that one day, a G-d fearing government will rule this country, and when it does, we will demand justice, no matter how delayed.

Our Moments
By Paula R. Stern
As we sit in our sukkah, let us remember that we are the sum total of the moments in our individual lives and the lives of our country.

When Israelis Are Wet Rags
By Alex Margolin
The reporters show that Palestinians have been affected by Israel's security measures, but never discuss that the Palestinians destroyed a peaceful political process by launching a campaign of terror.

War is a State of Mind
By Uri Avnery
A fifth generation of Israelis and Palestinians has been born into the war, like their parents and teachers. Every day of their lives, violence has dominated the daily news.

Is Uncle Sam Confused?
By Shelomo Alfassa
The FBI reportedly "snubbed the Jewish applicants" because they didn't want to "offend Muslim translators." The Marines apparently had no such problem.

Palestinian progress: released "collaborators" only shot in legs

Youth movement builds six illegal outposts in one day

Separation, Sabra-style: Settlers want barrier replaced by cacti

Anti-Semitic series now airing on Jordanian TV

Veterinarians from Israel, Jordan cooperating to battle bird flu

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Israel Campus Beat - October 23, 2005

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Prepared for the Israel on Campus Coalition and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
October 23, 2005    

President Bush Welcomes Palestinian President Abbas to the White House
After meeting with Mahmoud Abbas at the White House Thursday, President Bush said: "Israeli withdrawal creates new opportunities, creates responsibilities for the Palestinian people. The way forward must begin by confronting the threat that armed gangs pose to a genuinely democratic Palestine. And those armed gangs must confront the threat that armed gangs pose to lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians." (White House) Read More.
Since Israeli Withdrawal from Gaza, Palestinians Now Give Top Priority to Improving Living Standard, Not End to Occupation by Bernard Gwertzman
Khalil Shikaki, director of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, says there has been a profound shift in the attitudes of Palestinians since the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in August. Prior to the withdrawal, Palestinians overwhelmingly gave the "end to the occupation" as their top priority. Now, he says, the priority is for an improvement in the economic life in the Palestinian areas, with an end to political corruption, and an end to the occupation falling far behind. (Council on Foreign Relations) Read More.
Israel Tightens Restrictions after Attacks Kill Three by Greg Myre
Israel imposed new travel restrictions last week on Palestinians in the West Bank and suspended contacts with the Palestinian Authority in response to two drive-by shootings that killed three young Israelis and wounded five. "When you have these attacks you can't go on with business as usual," said Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israel's Foreign Ministry. The three were Matat Adler, a 21 year-old newlywed (pictured left), her cousin Kinneret Mandel, 23 (c), and Oz Ben-Meir, 15 (r). (New York Times) Read More.
Palestinian Woman Found with Hand Grenade while Holding One-Month-Old Baby
A Palestinian woman was found Saturday hiding a hand grenade under her baby during a West Bank arrest raid, an Israeli army officer said. The woman, Aziza Jawabra, admitted the grenade was near her one-month-old son, but said she did not know it was in the pocket of the jacket she was wearing. Lt.-Col. Arik Chen said his troops finally searched Jawabra after they became suspicious of the way she was carrying the baby. The soldiers found she was holding the grenade just under the baby's backside. (AP/CBC) Read More.

Back to Top

For Mr. Abbas: Time to Act - Editorial
We were encouraged to see President Bush use Mr. Abbas's trip to Washington this week to ratchet up pressure on both the Israelis and the Palestinians. The Bush administration was right to press Mr. Abbas to require that candidates in the coming legislative elections renounce violence. Mr. Abbas himself must begin to match his words about eschewing violence with actions because that's the only way the Palestinians will ever get the state they so crave. (New York Times) Read More.
    See also Abbas Must Act by Mortimer B. Zuckerman (U. S. News)
A History of Violence by Bret Stephens
Many explanations have been given to account for the almost matchless barbarism into which Palestinian society has descended in recent years. The Palestinian president leads a society in which dignity and violence have long been entwined, in which the absence of the latter risks the loss of the former. This is not to say that Mr. Abbas himself is a violent man. But his fate as a politician rests in the hands of violent men, and so far he has shown no appetite for confronting them. (Wall Street Journal) Read More.
Hamas, A Political Party? by P. R. Kumaraswamy
Without moderation and the willingness to compromise, enlisting Hamas in the electoral process would only complicate matters for Abbas. If it is to compete with and perhaps replace the PLO, Hamas needs to present itself as a political party guided by compromise rather than a militant group driven by ideological militancy. It is far from certain whether Hamas has the ability to make that transformation. (Indian Express - India) Read More.
Pretoria Calling by Dennis Ross
The Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has a credibility problem that his visit with President Bush is unlikely to help: how to convince his people that violence against Israel will not lead to an independent Palestinian state. Arafat loved to equate the Palestinian struggle for statehood with the struggle of South Africans against apartheid, but his was always a false analogy. The international community supports a two-state solution because it recognizes that there are two national movements with populations in rough equality. That was never the case in South Africa. (New York Times) Read More.

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UCLA: Reaching for Middle East Peace by Saba Riazati
A town hall meeting was held last week to discuss OneVoice's steps toward conflict resolution in the Middle East. OneVoice is an organization that seeks compromise between Palestinians and Israelis through educational campaigns aiming to depolarize extremist groups from both backgrounds in hopes of reaching peace. Among the speakers was actor Jason Alexander from the sitcom "Seinfeld." "This crisis alone is going to determine the quality of life in the 21st century," Alexander said. (Daily Bruin) Read More.
MIT: Program Offers Youth Connection to Israel
When Joshua Sklarsky was offered a chance to spend 10 months in Israel, he didn't hesitate to say yes. He joined the Masa program - Hebrew for "journey." Jews ages 18 to 30 can select from more than 100 secular and religious classes and volunteer opportunities for a semester or one academic year. Sklarsky, of Voorhees, N.J., speaks fluent Hebrew. He returned from Israel in June to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (Gannet News) Read More.
Penn State: Big Ten Opens Up Travel to Israel; PSU Continues Ban by Cynthia Rathinasamy
Four years ago, heightened security issues in Israel resonated as far as Penn State, shutting down all study abroad programs to the country. Those programs are still suspended at Penn State, but other Big Ten universities, including Michigan State, Ohio State and Indiana University, are permitting students to travel to the Middle East despite federal travel warnings. (Digital Collegian) Read More.
Stanford: Editorial Questions Beinin's Political Stance by Bob Borek
History Prof. Joel Beinin was harshly criticized in The Stanford Review last week for a supposed pro-Palestinian bias in teaching his courses. The editorial, entitled "Joel Beinin Does Not Deserve Tenure," was written by Daniel J. Jacobs, a professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Florida and a member of the Stanford Class of 1982. Last spring, Jacobs took Beinin's online course, "Palestine, Zionism and the Arab-Israeli Conflict," which is sponsored by a consortium composed of Stanford, Yale and Oxford. Jacob's editorial focused mainly on points of misinformation in lecture and in a video narrative distributed to the class. (Stanford Daily) Read More.
Towson: Ronen Weiss' Campus Mission by Andrew Scherr
Born and raised in Ashkelon, Ronen Weiss joined the Israeli army when he was 18 and served as an air force intelligence officer for four years. At age 23 he set out to share his passion for his homeland with young adults in the U.S. by becoming one of the Hillel organization's first "Israel fellows." After spending the past two years working on the UC-Davis and Sacramento State campuses, Mr. Weiss came to Baltimore this past August. Headquartered on the Towson University campus, Mr. Weiss splits his time between the Hillel sites at Towson, Goucher College, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. (Baltimore Jewish Times) Read More.
Tufts: From Different Camps, Student Activists Arrive at Same End by Amanda McDavid
Two students from opposite sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide agree on the causes of the conflict, and they came to Tufts last week to tell students how to help solve the problem. Khulood Badawi, the former president of the Association of Arab Students in Israeli Universities, joined Yuval Adam, the leader of the Student Coalition at Tel Aviv University, in Cabot 205 for a discussion hosted by the New Initiative for Middle East Peace and the Fletcher School's Med Club. (Tufts Daily) Read More.
    See also UMass: Unheard Voices Working Together by Asif Khan (Daily Collegian)
ICC, Israeli Ministries Aim to "Re-Brand" Israel
Directors of Israel's three most powerful ministries have agreed on a new plan to improve the country's image abroad - by downplaying religion and avoiding any discussion of the conflict with the Palestinians. Among other recent converts to this idea is Hillel, the international campus organization. Hillel's Israel on Campus Coalition unveiled a sweeping campaign at the beginning of this school year, titled "Israel Starts With I." (Hillel) Read More.
PSM Seeks Conference Site by Will Horning
A location has not yet been chosen for this year's conference of the Palestinian Solidarity Movement, but officials maintain that a conference will be held in spring 2006. Last year Duke hosted the event in October. The PSM - an umbrella organization of several pro-Palestinian groups across the country-promotes university divestment from Israel, the right of return for Palestinian refugees and an end to U.S. aid to Israel. The controversy and protest seen at previous conferences makes coordinating the events a difficult and time-consuming process, PSM officials said. (Duke Chronicle) Read More.
Rupert Murdoch Sells Lunch Date to Raise Funds for Jerusalem College
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is selling himself on eBay to raise money for a Jerusalem hi-tech college. Murdoch has set a reserve price of $25,000 per ticket for the lunch date with him, and all profits will go to the Jerusalem College of Technology, praised by the News Corporation boss as an institute "producing top-notch graduates." (Ha'aretz) Read More.
Scholarships Help Students Get to Israel by Sheri Shefa
Jeff Seidel has helped send 466 Jewish students to study in Israel so far this year, and he says he won't stop until he reaches his goal of sending 1,000. His Old City Center and the Jewish Student Information Centers near Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University offer $500 scholarships to North American students who want to visit Israel and learn about their Jewish heritage. Seidel, originally from Chicago but now living in Jerusalem, has been running the information centers for 20 years. (Canadian Jewish News) Read More.

Back to Top

Duke Reflects on PSM One Year Later by Saidi Chen
A year after the Palestine Solidarity Movement set off a storm of controversy and dialogue by holding its annual conference at Duke, the waters have calmed, but people are still assessing the conference's impact on the University. Orit Ramler, executive director of the Durham-Chapel Hill Jewish Federation, said she is aware of donors who had stopped giving to Duke in response to the conference. "There are lots of people who are still very unhappy with Duke," she said. "At the same time, I think the way that Duke worked with the Jewish community was great." (Duke Chronicle) Read More.
George Washington: Hizballah Not So Nice by Scott Liftman
I was a little disappointed with Geoff Bendeck's column, "GW Expat: Face to Face with Hizballah." Bendeck asserts that, "Other than being hell-bent on the destruction of Israel, Hizballah members seem pretty nice." In that case, I will make sure to invite some Hizballah members to Shabbat dinner at my parents' house where they can regale us with heartfelt tales of embassy bombings and kidnappings. Good times. (Hatchet, letter to the editor) Read More.
Harvard Law: Amicus Curiae: Justice for Palestine or Jew-Baiting? - Editorial
We recently learned that Harvard Law School's student organization Justice for Palestine has invited Norman Finkelstein to speak on campus on November 3. We urge the group to reconsider. Finkelstein makes a point of attacking the personal and academic integrity of just about every prominent Jew who dares speak out in favor of the rather mild propositions that (1) the Holocaust ought be remembered or (2) that Israel has as much a right to exist as any other country. Among the more famous and noteworthy Jews whom Finkelstein has called "fakes," "frauds," "plagiarists," "clowns," "hoaxers," and "hucksters" are Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, author Leon Uris, author Joan Peters, filmmaker Steven Spielberg...and former Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban. (Harvard Law Record) Read More.

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The Fools Rush In by Liel Leibovitz
The newest ambassadors from Israel at Heart are a bit more casual than last year's business suit-clad contestants. They are the members of Shotey Hanevuah (The Fools of Prophecy) - Click to listen - Israel's hottest band. Starting next week, they will tour campuses from Columbia University to University of California at Berkeley, trying to win over minds and hearts with their music and to show students that there's more to Israel than the grim images on cable news networks. (New York Jewish Week) Read More.
Israelis Sing It in Fluent English by Harry Rubenstein
In hopes of reaching larger audiences and getting noticed on the international scene, Israeli musicians are increasingly turning to English for musical expression. In addition to infiltrating the airwaves, clubs and music video channels in Israel, they're also making inroads in the U.S. and Europe by launching tours and finding loyal audiences who find it perfectly natural to hear Israelis with a natural grasp of rock & roll singing in English. (Israel21c) Read More.

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Maryland: Terp Women Have Israeli Help in the Pool
Last year vs. the Seminoles, Hokies and Yellow Jackets the women's swimming and diving team broke four records at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, home of the 1996 Olympic Games. Sophomore Maya Finkler (Rishon LeZion, Israel) came in third in the 200-free and senior Inbal Levavi (pictured, Kibbutz Givat Haim, Israel) took third in the 200-back. (CSTV) Read More.
Maccabi TA Beats NBA's Toronto Raptors 105-103 in Exhibition Game
The Toronto Raptors became the first NBA team to lose to Maccabi Tel Aviv in 27 years when Anthony Parker's jumper with 0.8 seconds left lifted the Israeli club over Toronto 105-103 on Sunday. Parker, who played in the NBA for Philadelphia and Orlando, had 24 points. Croatia's Nikola Vujcic added 21 points and 10 rebounds for Maccabi, the Euroleague champion. (Ha'aretz) Read More.
    See also Orlando Magic Downs Relentless Maccabi 93-79 (St. Petersburg Times)

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Bar-Ilan: First Libeskind Building in Israel to Open
The Wohl Center at Bar-Ilan University, the first building in Israel to be designed by world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, is set to open its doors later this month at a gala dedication ceremony marking its completion. The Center will serve as venue for gatherings, and national and international conferences, and will also provide cultural venue for university and community events. Libeskind: '"Voices and their Echoes stand at the central point, which brings together two essential components of Bar-Ilan: secular and sacred." (Ynet News) Read More.
Cornell: Jericho's Echo, Punk Rock in the Holy Land by Mark Rice
The world of "punk," ranging from clothing and hairstyles to the actual music, is often though of as intense, or at the very least, a little unorthodox. That being said, it is even more difficult to imagine punk existing in the political and cultural pressure cooker of Israel and the Middle East. Yet this is the subject of documentary maker Liz Nord's film, Jericho's Echo. (Cornell Daily Sun) Read More.
Ushpizin - Unorthodox Meeting of Israel's Secular, Religious Jews by Bob Strauss
One of the best character-based comedies of the year, "Ushpizin" (that's Aramaic for "Holy Guests") comes to us from a most unexpected source. Shuli Rand was a popular Israeli actor before he became Orthodox and dropped out of the business. Years later, he reconnected with a secular director friend, Giddi Dar, and they decided to make a movie that might bridge the wide gap between the nation's ultra-Orthodox and less-observant Jews. (SBSUN) Read More.
"Blues by the Beach" Documentary this Month
All this month, "Blues by the Beach," the story of Mike's Place, a bar on the Tel Aviv beach hit by a suicide bomber, will be shown at various venues in an effort to have it qualify for an Academy Award nomination as Best Documentary of 2005. After showing in New York and Denver, the film will open in San Francisco and Boston later this week. Click for schedule and details. (Our Jerusalem) Read More.

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A United Nations investigation has concluded that senior Syrian officials planned the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Israelis Debate What Should Be Done about Syria

Pressing Syria
by Ron Ben-Yishai

  • Opinion about Assad is unanimous: he lacks leadership qualities, is easily swayed, lacks strategic vision and is indecisive. In effect, he's not a leader, but rather a puppet spokesman for his father's old stalwarts in the Baath Party.
  • That's why no-one was surprised when it became public that Washington, in conjunction with France and the United Nations, would try to bring about his removal.
  • Many in Israel hope this report is accurate. But the celebrations are premature and even unjustified.
  • It is important to remember that Syria contains ethnic, religious and political groups most of whom are hostile to one another and have historical blood feuds on the go.
  • The situation is not as extreme as that in Iraq or Lebanon, but it is fragile enough. The one element preventing complete anarchy is the brutal Baath regime and the security mechanisms.
  • The impeachment of Bashar could cause a violent outbreak that would disturb the stability of the entire region. Aside from an ethnic and religious bloodbath inside Syria itself (between the Alawis and the Sunnis), the Lebanese terror group Hizballah, whom Assad restrains by means of controlling the pipeline of Iranian aid, will act more freely under the direct control of Tehran.
  • Instead of sacking Bashar, it would be better to invest technology and intelligence to seal the Iraq-Syria border. But the main tactic must be heavy, sustained economic and diplomatic pressure. (Ynet News) Read More.
  • Don't Touch Assad by Assaf Shmueli

  • Dear George, I've noticed lately you've decided to re-adopt your hard-nosed cowboy image, imposing order on the Wild West.
  • No Arab country, including the Syria whose leaders you are already passing judgment on, was here 100 years ago. They are all young countries, with borders established over bridge games between the leaders of Britain and France.
  • In every Arab country there are dozens of competing fundamentalist groups, of the type that sprouts the roots of terror, in central authority, in which they see the hand of the West, and rebel.
  • They, too, can't stand Assad or the successors to the Hashemite Prince Faisal, and they, too, would like to topple them.
  • Listen to me, Bush. In light of your success in maintaining quiet in Afghanistan and Iraq, I am asking you - no, I'm pleading with you - don't raise your hand against the Assad family.
  • I also don't like them; I also think they are trouble-makers. But in light of your rich experience, I would prefer Assad's stable dictatorship to the chaos of Islamic radicals who would use the chance to further their dream of a huge Islamic state. (Ynet News) Read More.

    Don't Save Assad by Guy Ronen

  • At this moment, Israel absolutely must not throw Syria a life-saving rope. And not even - perhaps especially not because - the Syrian president is weaker than ever.
  • From the time he came to power, Bashar Assad has made every possible mistake.
  • It appears at the moment that following the publication of the international investigation into the Hariri murder, the international community will rise up with one voice against Damascus, with a long list of demands.
  • What should Israel do with all this? Nothing. We cannot pay the price of peace with Syria at the moment. To the contrary, attempts to do so at the present time will lead to nothing - and will only go to serve the moribund dictatorship in Damascus.
  • In theory, it should be easy to get Assad to agree to a good deal because he is weak. But a contract with a weak and isolated leader, who has hit a dead end in every possible area, and whose country is weaker than Israel in every measure of strength, could well not be worth the paper it's printed on. (Ynet News) Read More.
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