a different side of Israel

Tag: George Bush (page 2 of 2)

Meet the “New Nice Guys”

Peres and Abbas at the World Economic ForumPicture from The World Economic Forum Jan. 2007
Recent events centering around the attention being given to P.A. Authority President Mahmud Abbas and his Fatah Organization (formerly known as the Palestine Liberation Organization or PLO for short) makes many Israelis wonder who their true friends really are. With the P.A. now divided into two entities “Hamastan” in Gaza and “Fatahland” on the West Bank, both the Israeli and the United States governments seem to have thrown their combined support behind Abbas, even though his people were thoroughly crushed by Hamas in Gaza, and are only still in control of Palestinian held areas in the West Bank due to Hamas not yet having enough strength in these areas – not yet anyway.

Israeli P.M. Ehud Olmert inviting Abbas to Jerusalem for talks, together with U.S. President George Bush’s speech on Monday concerning the U.S. government’s support of Abbas’ reorganized administration and outright rejection of Ismail Haniyah’s Hamas organization, seems to indicate everyone’s acceptance of the division of authority within the P.A. Olmert in fact appears so willing to accept a “moderate” Palestinian entity that in a gesture of good faith, he has agreed to release a total of 255 Palestinian prisoners in order to cement the deal. Not only that, the Israeli P.M. is also willing to not pursue another 180 members of West Bank terror groups, such as the Al Aqsa Brigades, some of whom were definitely involved in killing and wounding Israeli soldiers and civilians in the past.

Just who are these “moderate” Palestinians with whom Israeli government leaders, including newly installed Israeli President Shimon Peres, are now willing to accept as new partners for peace? Many Israelis appear to have very short memories since previously, before groups such as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad came into being, Israel’s Public enemy No.1 was non other than the PLO, headed by that old-time believer in armed struggles, Yasser Arafat himself. With Arafat at the helm, and being ably assisted by none other than Abbas , known better by his code name Abu Maazan, some of the worst “armed struggles” against Israelis occurred during a 25 year period leading up to the 1993 Oslo Accords. These attacks include:

1. The 1968 Savoy Hotel attack in Tel Aviv
2. The 1970 attack at Ben Gurion Airport, carried out with the able assistance of both the German Badar Meinhoff gang and the Japanese Red Brigade.
3. The massacre of Israeli Athletes at the 1972 Olympiad in Munich Germany.
4. The attack and massacre of 23 Israeli school children in the northern Galilee town of Maalot.
5. The 1978 Haifa Road bus hijacking in which more than 30 Israelis lost their lives.
6. And numerous attacks against Israelis in Nahariyah, Jerusalem, on Kibbutzim, and on army bases.

For the point of good order, it must be pointed out that all of these attacks were carried out long before the first suicide bomber blew himself up at the Hadara central bus terminal in late 1993!

In more recent times, many of these ‘moderate’ Palestinians were involved in numerous shooting incidents against both soldiers and civilians in the West Bank, and were also part of the group of Palestinians who lynched two Israeli reserve soldiers at the police station in Nablus at the beginning of the Second Intifada in October, 2000.

Moderate Palestinians? It might be argued by some that the group of 255 slated to be released on Friday are not supposed to be ones with “blood on their hands”, such as Marwan Barghouti, who was sentenced to no less than 5 consecutive life prison terms by an Israeli military court. But really now, how can it be possible that none of these persons, including several women, have absolutely clean records without even a few drops of blood on their hands? Not only that, with the P.A. now split into two separate entities, the release of even a thousand Fatah prisons will not help towards securing the repatriation of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who is being held by a group similar to the one who held BBC journalist Allan Johnston in Gaza for nearly four months. Who knows how many Hamas and other prisoners, many whom are surely murderers, will have to be set free in order to gain Shalit’s eventual release?

“Moderates”, in reference to Abbas and his Fatah organization, is only a cosmetic term conjured up to make the whole situation seem more palatable. But ‘palatable’ for whom? The citizens of Israel who have to live with their Palestinian ‘neighbors, or for US President Bush and other nations composing the 4 nation “quartet” who have pledged to bring about a final status solution for both Israel and the Palestinians.

If this scenario is what one refers to as “palatable”, then a lot of indigestion is certainly due to take place in both Israel and within the Palestinian Authority. And acute indigestion usually leads to a severe case of ulcers – bleeding ones that is.

Allen Johnston and Gilad Shalit

Wednesday’s “miraculous” release of kidnapped British journalist Allen Johnston, and his appreciation to the efforts of the Hamas organization in gaining his release from a shadowy Palestinian extremist group, the Army of Islam, only continues to point out the absurdities between this episode and the continued captivity of a young Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Johnston. Looking tired and pale, but otherwise in relatively good health, Johnston couldn’t have enough kudos to express in regards to his appreciation for the efforts that Hamas was supposed to have made to secure his release.

No sooner had Johnston finished expressing his appreciation, in the midst of a meal prepared by “former” PA prime minister Ismail Haniyah, than Johnston was whisked off to Jerusalem to present a special message from Hamas to Israeli governmental authorities. The “special message” is alleged to be one regarding a potential release of Corporal Shalit, who recently passed his first full year as a prisoner of what appears to be the same group who held Johnston for nearly four months. No sooner had Johnston been released from captivity, Hamas’s spokesman said in an ITV interview that Shalit’s possible release was “a different situation” and that the price Israel would have to pay to gain the young soldier’s release was going to be much different than the one that resulted in Johnston’s release, which was only a handful of ‘prisoners’ being held by both Hamas and the Army of Islam.

Judging from all the media attention that was given to Johnston’s release, it is a wonder whether this event might have been staged in order to put Hamas in a better light with the world media. So far, this hasn’t appeared to have worked as U.S. President George Bush said that the act on behalf of Hamas still doesn’t take the heat off of what is still regarded in the USA as a terrorist organization. Shalit, from whom a brief tapped message was recently given over by his captors, is reported to be in bad health and is suffering from a variety of ailments, some of which may have been inflicted on the day of his capture on June 26, 2006. The torment that has been inflicted on Shalit’s family, as well as on the entire Israeli population, has been played out during his long captivity and mostly likely orchestrated by a number of people, including possibly Al Qaeda operatives who are reported to be receiving instructions “from Afghanistan”.

The price that will have to eventually be paid to secure Shalit’s release could involve literally hundreds of Palestinian prisoners being released from Israeli prisons; many of whom with “blood on their hands”.

As for Johnston, he will soon arrive back in his native England and will undoubtedly continue to express his undying appreciation to the Hamas organization for securing his release. If and when Cpl. Shalit is released, will he also have someone to thank for efforts made to secure his release? At present that “someone” has yet to present themselves as Israeli government officials, particularly Prime Minister Olmert, have not yet presented an offer attractive enough to satisfy Shalit’s captors. And meanwhile, the Qassam rockets still fall into Israel and Israeli military forces again conduct operations against Hamas and other organizations in Gaza.

As British author Charles Dickens once wrote in his novel, A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times” in regards to the conflict between two separate entities. One wonders what Dickens would have written concerning the fates of the two individuals mentioned in this article. Who would be Charles (Evremonde) Darnay, and who would be Sydney Carton? We’ll let you, the reader, figure this one out.

Dialog with George Bush

A friend emailed me this and it’s just priceless. A dialog between George Bush and Condoleeza Rice..


Eating Humble Pie: Rumsfeld Resigns as Defense Secretary

Following an apparent Democratic Party sweep of both houses of Congress, U.S. President George W. Bush announced yesterday that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has resigned his position as head of America’s defense establishment. In a short speech at the White House, Bush said that he met with Rumsfeld and that “we both agreed that it was time for him to step down as Secretary of Defense.”

Bush as nominated Robert Gates, a former CIA head during Bush’s father’s Presidential Administration, to replace the outgoing Rumsfeld. Gates is a close friend of the Bush family, and is currently President of Texas A & M University. He served as CIA chief from 1991 to 1993. Upon accepting the nomination, Gates said: “the world is fighting terrorism on a world-wide scale. It is no longer a regional issue that many can ignore”. The nomination of Gates, however, is not a ‘shoe-in’ and must now be confirmed by a Senate which is no longer in ‘partisan’ hands. Rumsfeld’s resignation did not come as a surprise to many; and had probably been in the pipeline for some time, awaiting the right opportunity.

It’s still too early to say what changes will be made within the Defense Department. With a less friendly Congress to deal with, it’s certain that the situation in both Iraq and Afghanistan will be a top priority. Increasing opposition against the military actions and occupation by an American public who want solutions will be the new Congress’s most pressing agenda when it convenes in January, 2007. Incidents such as the Abu Ghiraib prison scandal and many incidents involving the rape and killing of Iraqi civilians by American troops only added to the problems during Rumsfeld’s ‘watch’, with far too many high ranking officers complaining of inadequate equipment and manpower to do the job.

More pressing priorities, such as a nuclear armed Iran and North Korea, now face the incoming Defense Secretary, not to mention the current situation in the Middle East. The Bush Administration in its remaining two years will have to deal with a war on terror involving increasing religious ideology versus Western democracy. America will have to decide whether to conduct a strategic retreat from both Iraq and Afghanistan, letting the peoples of those countries sort out their own problems; or to make an all out effort to achieve military victory on a scale not seen since World War II, which will include a return to military conscription (the draft) as well as possible rationing of fuel and certain commodities on the home front. Fighting a ‘partial war’ just won’t work, as the ultimate stakes are much too high.

Photo; Associated Press

Rafi Eitan Refuses to Sign Petition to Release Jonathan Pollard

Pensioner Party head and Knesset Minister Rafi Eitan refused to sign a special petition that could assist in the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. The petition, already signed by more than 60 Knesset members, is to be given to U.S. President George Bush during Prime Minister Ehud Omert’s scheduled visit to Washington D.C. Eitan, who was reported to be Pollard’s ‘handler’ at the time of his arrest in 1985, as done little since then on Pollard’s behalf.

While it is true to Pollard did approach Israeli intelligence agents on his own free will, and that he wasn’t recruited unwillingly, the story of the incident, referred to as “The Pollard Affair”, clearly indicate that Jonathan Pollard did what he thought was for the benefit of Israel, and definitely not for personal gain. The immense suffering that Pollard has had to undergo during his more than 21 years of imprisonment is more than many convicted spies have had to undergo in recent times; man of whom committed crimes for worse that Pollards deeds.

Eitan, now a kindly looking elder member of Olmert’s new cabinet (Eitan is Minister of Pensions and Welfare) has a long history of service to the country’s top espionage network, including the Mosad, and was in charge of a special spy operation, known as Lekem, which was active in the years following the destruction of Iraq’s nuclear facility in 1981. Pollard came into the picture when he offered to supply Eitan and his colleagues with classified information that Pollard had access to via his job in U.S. Navy Intelligence. Since the arrest of Pollard and his first wife, Ann, in November 1981, Eitan has done everything to distance himself from the entire matter.

Esther Pollard, Jonathan’s current wife, and his attornies, Nitzana Darshan-Leitner and Larry Dub, allege that Eitan possess a document that could result in Pollards immediate release if they are turned over to the U.S. FBI and judicial authorities. Eitan is alleged to possess the only copy of this document, according to Mrs. Pollard and her attorneys.

With the exception of the Rosenberg spy case in the early 1950s, no spy convicted of committing acts of espionage against the United States has suffered so harsh a crime as Jonathan Pollard. Even spies such as the Walker family, convicted for passing important classified military documents to Russian KGB agents, have served less prison time and have now been released.

Since Rafi Eitan is now a government minister, the possibility of his giving assistance to Mt. Pollard is even more remote, as this could cause him legal as well as political complications. “Even today, Mr. Eitan refuses to help our client, and the document he possesses that could assist in Jonathan’s freedom remains solely with Eitan”, Pollard’s attorneys wrote. If the petition that Prime Minister Olmert is taking to Washington does assist in gaining Mr. Pollard’s freedom, it won’t be with the help of Rafi Eitan, who perhaps has some secrets of his own to conceal beneath his grandfatherly demeanor.

Islam and Christianity

By Denis Schulz


Joseph Zogby was an aide to Assistant Secretary of State Martin Indyk during the Clinton administration. He was part of Slick Willie’s most disastrous outreach programs bringing in friends of the PLO and Hamas to get their insights into the Middle East. Zogby had frequently condemned his own country for its genocidal treatment of Native Americans and for the willful ineffectuality of the Americans in dealing with Israel. Zogby, of course, is an Arab American. The genocidal treatment of Christians in the Middle East by Muslims was never one of his concerns. But things are changing they say a new age begins, democracy is a-foot in the Middle East. Are they sure? Can one bet on it? What are the odds?

Is Iraq safe for Christianity now that Saddam Hussein has been deposed? Of course, there are tens of thousands of American troops patrolling the most dangerous areas; a democratic government of sorts is in the making; women are voting; Mullahs are proclaiming peace and toleration. It should be safe for an angelus or two, maybe a couple of Stations of the Cross shouldn’t it?

Think again. Christian women are being abused on the streets of Baghdad by Islamo-fascist thugs for not wearing the hijab; shop owners mostly Christians who sold beer under Saddam without fear are being shot dead in their own places of business; four churches were bombed in a single day in Baghdad; priests have been threatened and killed; Christian children are being forced to read the Quran; Christian Midnight Mass was cancelled this year because of fears of being bombed.

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From Ariel Sharon to Arik

Today’s Headlines

Maariv: picture of Ariel Sharon when he arrived at the hospital.

Maariv headlines - Sharon Jan 2006

The quote says: ”I don’t need you to take me to hospital, tomorrow I am going to be there anyway”. This was the angry response of the Prime Minister when his son Gilad wanted to take him. Even in the ambulance, when he met his doctor, Sharon insisted: “now that you saw me, can I go home? He then collapsed.
Yediot Ahronot: Shows a picture with the title “Praying”.

Yediot Ahronot - Sharon Jan 2006

Haaretz photogrpaher Lior Mizrachi took this amazing picture of Ehud Olmert next to Sharon’s empty chair.

Ehud Olmert without Sharon

The news just announced a worsening of Ariel Sharon’s condition. I planned to write this before the news and it seems more appropriate now. The newspapers are full of stories and articles on Arik Sharon and the void he leaves behind. I was thinking about how we as a nation have gotten to the point today that we feel this sense of loss. How did Ariel Sharon become Arik?

What made this man, a man hated and ridiculed by so many, the media, people and world opinion all of a sudden so loved? I am saying loved because there is no other way of describing it. You can feel a sense of loss and confusion. It shows itself in people’s faces, less then busy coffee shops and the non stop broadcasts and at times misty broadcasters that recall interviews. This is a collection of excerpts, stories and experiences collected from a variety of sources. I hope it shows a true picture of what we feel here. It is as impartial as possible.

I was watching last night a special Yair Lapid show on Channel 2 TV. He broadcast bits from an interview he held November 2005. The interview was at his home in Hashikmim Farm – there in the kitchen they sat down and in a typical Israeli straight forward, candid way, had a chat. I can’t provide a script of the interview but here are a few quotes:

Yair: What is your biggest fear?
Sharon: Blind hate.
Yair: Tell me something people don’t know about you?
Sharon: I like romantic movies, films that women like.
Yair: I heard that you never read the articles about you. Is that right?
Sharon: I wake up at 5:30 every morning and I only have an hour to take a look at the papers. I don’t get much time. I get to the office and then I am there until 11:00PM sometimes later.
Yair: You don’t take a nap in the afternoon, a break?
Sharon: I wish I did, but I can’t do it.
Yair: What about in the car, on the way to and from places? Can’t take a nap there?
Sharon: I rather look out the window, see the fields, the changing seasons. Don’t want to miss a chance to see the country.
Yair: How do you pamper yourself?
Sharon: I like to take a walk in the fields and around the farm. Look at the livestock.
Yair: I heard that you don’t go out to restaurants much. I believe it was 4-5 dinners in 4 years. Is that right?
Sharon: Yes, but as you can see from looking at me, I enjoy good food at home. It hasn’t slowed me down.(they laugh).
Yair: What’s your favorite food?
Sharon: I like the lentil soup we make here.
Yair: you have a special relationship with George Bush. Some people say that its because he can’t really manage long sentences.
Sharon: I don’t know about his inability to say long sentences. But actually who needs long sentences.

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Following the success of MillionDollarHomepage, I believe he is now at $520,500 ! I got a comment from Yes it’s political and its been done to death, there are now million dollar sites for every country in the world.

But this is a slightly different approach, one that goes to develop the “Pixel Advertising” trend if you please, while attempting to deliver a strong political message. Because after all, if this site actually gets to fulfill its goal and sell 10,000 pixels – then what we have here is a petition !
Good luck.

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