a different side of Israel

Tag: Palestinian (page 12 of 12)

Record turnout for Palestenian elections today

AP Palestinian Elections

See the picture posted by the mother from Gaza on “Raising Yosuf” ,here and the pre elections jitters here.

Television channels are reporting a 60% voter turnout so far in the Palestinian elections. Out of the 1.3 million eligible to vote that’s a great rate. Only a third so far turned out to vote in East Jerusalem. First polls show a narrow victory to the Fatah over the Hamas. This was true earlier today.

The news through the day mentioned the record turnout. People enjoyed these first elections and the democratic process. With the charged atmosphere that surrounds the Palestinian and Israeli question one tends to forget that this is a major step, regardless of the results. With over a million votes in, the Fatah seems to have 42% of the votes and the Hamas approximately 39%. These are approximate numbers and still not final.

Ehud Olmert in a speech yesterday went over the conditions of the road map for relations with the Palestinians and the importance of these elections. No doubt the Israeli side would prefer if the Hamas was not the ruling party after these elections. On the other hand, the Fatah has its own problems and internal disputes.

As soon as the Hamas sensed the loss in recent hours, the word on the street is that the organization is now willing to discuss a cease fire with Israel. They call it a Hudna Agreement.

Hamas could be part of the a new coalition and end up a part of the new government. The percentages are close and the final results will be tallied tonight.

In any case, congratulations on what seems to have been a smooth election process.
Another first in the Middle East.

Nude Palestinian and Israeli Women – Online Exhibition

“My kind of Mid East Peace” paints a great picture of the Middle East. Check out these two models (with nude photos too :)) one representing the Palestinian nation and one the Israeli. A breath of fresh air and a welcome change. Well done.

Hamas Launches Media War

With the Palestinian elections approaching and inspired by their Hezbollah mentors, the Islamic Shiite movement that asserted itself as a major force in Lebanese politics saw a political future as the only way forward according to Dr. Nashat Aqtash hired by Hamas to give it a kinder gentler face. Poised to take the reins of Palestinian power and explaining what a good thing that is for all concerned. Hamas is recognizing that the media war is more important than the actual war on the ground, and so far in the media they were losing, Israel was able to give them a bad image.

Dr. Aqtash was hired as a consultant for a month-long campaign leading up to Wednesday’s parliamentary elections, earning $180.000. no doubt with the approval of Hamas’s leader in exile, Damascus-based Khaled Mashal, who hired him to re-brand the movement for western consumption.

To hear Aqtash tell it, the change in Hamas started after the assassination of Sheik Yassin, when discussions among the Hamas prisoners in the Israeli jails debating the wisdom of pursuing military victory over Israel, and according to Aqtash the conclusion was that they lost. But Aqtash spin takes Hamas only so far, anxious to sell the party’s election manifesto, he demurs when asked about long-standing Hamas principles not listed in campaign materials, the eventual, if delayed, destruction of Israel and creation of an Islamic state are talking points the “new” Hamas does not wish to engage.

Aqtash is evasive when asked about the words expressed by the late Hamas hardliner, Rantisi of removing Israel from the map, or when asked who approves his message, he says he has never spoken to the Hamas leader in Damascus since consultations aren’t necessary. Recent Palestinian polls show support for Hamas surging, with some analysts suggesting a dead heat with Fatah. What it all will mean afterward even Aqtash cannot say.
Hamas may or may not be persuaded to part with its weapons, Hamas may or may not be willing to sit down and negotiate with Israel.

I personally believe Hamas did not change its policies and the hardliners within Hamas will emerge empowered by democracy to reject any compromise with Israel.

By Manu

Abbas Depressed or Exhausted

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas denied reports of being depressed and justified his condition as just being exhausted because of his elections
campaign work. He also hinted at the same time that he might resign if the government formed after the nearing parliament elections will oppose his policies, including peace talks with Israel.

Abbas also reacted to Olmert’s statement calling for the resumption of the peace negotiations with the Palestinians, after the elections and once they dismantle the militant groups. Abbas is willing to meet Olmert as soon as possible, adding that negotiations is the only way for peace and not unilateral actions and assassinations.

Abbas intentionally avoided the condition mentioned by Olmert of dismantling the militant groups, which he refuses to do. Abbas’s “depression” is probably justified judging by the political mess he is in, his Fatah movement is plagued by corruption, Palestinian areas are increasingly chaotic recently, questioning his government’s ability to control the situation, or for that matter follow through on his commitments in any peace talks.

On the other hand the militant Hamas seems to gain popularity and is posing a strong challenge to the ruling Fatah party, inevitably earning seats in the new government after the vote, which in turn will put future peace negotiations with Israel on ice for a long time to come. No wonder Abbas feels depressed under the circumstances, I would too.

The Larry Miller guide to the Middle East

This was a little piece that Larry Miller wrote at the Daily Standard. It was initially attributed to Dennis Miller (LIKE MOST OF THE SITES HAVE BEEN DOING OUT THERE) but as we all know, mistakes happen. We Made A Mistake. Sorry. It wasn’t intentional. We hold no responsibility what so ever for what we publish. Never did actually. Is that CLEAR !? Thanks Don.

Larry Miller (Not Dennis Miller) A brief overview of the situation is always valuable, so as a service to all Americans who still don’t get it, I now offer you the story of the Middle East in just a few paragraphs, which is all you really need.

Here we go:

The Palestinians want their own country. There’s just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians. It’s a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like “Wiccan,” “Palestinian” sounds ancient but is really a modern invention. Before the Israelis won the land in the 1967 war, Gaza was owned by Egypt, the West Bank was owned by Jordan, and there were no “Palestinians.”

As soon as the Jews took over and started growing oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the “Palestinians,” weeping for their deep bond with their lost “land” and “nation.”

So for the sake of honesty, let’s not use the word “Palestinian” any more to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths until someone points out they’re being taped. Instead, let’s call them what they are: “Other Arabs Who Can’t Accomplish Anything In Life And Would
Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death.”

I know that’s a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN. How about this, then: “Adjacent Jew-Haters.” Okay, so the Adjacent Jew-Haters want their own country. Oops, just one more thing: No, they don’t. They could’ve had their own country any time in the last thirty years, especially two years ago at Camp David. But if you have your own country, you have to have traffic lights and garbage trucks and Chambers of Commerce, and, worse, you actually have to figure out some way to make a living.

That’s no fun. No, they want what all the other Jew-Haters in the region want: Israel. They also want a big pile of dead Jews, of course that’s where the real fun is — but mostly they want Israel.

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East Jerusalem to vote or not to vote

The Israeli cabinet’s decision to allow residents of east Jerusalem to vote in the approaching Palestinian elections, excluding the militant Hamas movement seem to upset everybody. In the Israeli press the question is asked whatever happened to the ”united Jerusalem” slogan declared over the recent decades by every Israeli politician, isn’t such a decision an admission of a future divided Jerusalem? paving the way for the Palestinian claim of a State with Jerusalem as its Capital-forever. I seem to recall the term of a united Jerusalem-forever, approving the placing of Palestinian authority ballot boxes in east Jerusalem and allowing Palestinian propaganda speaks for itself. The Arab press is upset as well, the Palestinian press calling for rationalism and calm instead of rushing into a Democratic celebration.

The Egyptian press complains about the Israeli decision of banning the militant Hamas candidates from campaigning in Jerusalem, but allowing other Palestinian candidates to campaign, calling it a policy of interference in Palestinian internal affairs, particularly in the election process, where Palestinians express their will and choose whoever they want to represent them. Just like the “free” elections in Egypt a few months ago, where hundreds of Egyptians were beaten and thrown to jail on election day.

Even The Syrian Government owned paper addressed his cynical question to the “western defenders of democracy”, how can conditional elections be held after a faction (meaning Hamas) has been excluded from them? look who is talking about free and democratic elections ! the last elections held in Syria were probably sometime before I was born, and I have just retired !

By Manu

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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Still Here – A day after Sharon’s Stroke

Last Battle Ariel Sharon Jan 2006


The Yediot Ahronot headline says it all: “The Last Battle”. Today the media is covering every aspect of Ariel Sharon’s hospitalization and the Hemorrhagic Stroke he suffered. Hadasa Ein Kerem Hospital manager Shlomo Mor-Yosef in a recent announcement informed us that Sharon is under sedation and will remain in the position for at least the next 24 hours. He underwent 9 hours of surgery and he is in critical but stable condition.

The international media and the whole world is covering the events here. Some are already eulogizing Sharon, providing background pieces on his political history. They present a grim outlook and a chaotic time for Israel. Nervous investors in the Tel Aviv Stock exchange caused a drop of 5-6% in the early hours of the day but drops have stabilized. Trading volume did reach an all time record today.

Last night Ehud Olmert received the official transfer of power. He is the prime minister and will remain in that position in all likelihood until the elections March 28. Israel is a democratic country with a strong governing body and political process. Unlike some other western world countries it may have a rough, unpolished spirit and mannerism about it, but at the end of the day, the powers to be are reliable and level headed individuals. We are still here and we are not going anywhere. To all the doom prophets out there that are hyping the situation and are forecasting the demise of Israel and the hopes for peace – You are full of CRAP!

All through the night and during these events, Sharon’s staff and advisors behaved professionally and responsibly, providing frequent and accurate updates. They have learned from working with Sharon well. Keeping a level head and their eye on the ball, they continue to function and all government offices and activities are continuing as scheduled.

In a morning session Ehud Olmert made the announcement today of Sharon’s medical condition and his wishes for a speedy recovery. The overall feeling is one of cooperation and camaraderie. Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud ministers have placed their resignation on hold until further notice. The Likud ministers were supposed to resign from government this week at Netanyahu’s demand.

The Arab world is not sad to see Sharon go. The Palestinian Authority’s official message is a wish for a speedy recovery but the street is different. Some celebrating and political leaders that say that his departure is a good thing. Better for Palestinian Israeli relations.
We watch the news and wait – but we’re all still fine, thank you.


In a press conference given by Shaul Mofaz, Minister of Defense, explained that all matters of security are being managed and that all through this difficult time all security and defense is being actively monitored and in full effect. The security ministry fully supports and stands at the service of the Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert.

A Quick Reference Guide to Israeli Politics

Ynet advertised a guide for the voter, showing the differences and similarities between the leading parties – USE WITH CAUTION !

Palestinian State:
Likud – No
Kadima – Yes
Labour – Yes

Giving up land:
Likud – Unclear, the party provided a list of areas it will want to keep
Kadima – Yes
Labour – Yes

Clearing out of the settlements:
Likud – No
Kadima – Yes, while leaving settlement blocks
Labour – Yes, while leaving settlement blocks

Road Map proposed by the US:
Likud – No, due to ban on Jerusalem developments
Kadima – Yes
Labour – Yes, as a basis for understanding, not on all points

Division of Jerusalem:
All – No

Refugee Right of Return to Israel:
Likud – No
Kadima & Labour – Not to Israel, but yes to a Palestinian State

Separation Fence:
Likud – Yes, not as a national border though
Kadima – Yes
Labour – Yes, while taking into consideration the Palestinian population

Golan Heights Withdrawal:
Likud – No
Kadima – No
Labour – Yes in exchange for peace

The art of Noblesse Oblige – Saudi Barbarian Style

By Denis Schulz.

When Jed Clampett heard that Arnold Ziffle needed a life saving operation he wrote out a check for $100; when Elvernie Bradshaw needed a breast reduction he chipped in ten bucks even though the very idea had him shaking his head; and when floodwaters threatened the folks on Coonskin Creek, Jed hustled down there, filled hundreds-if not thousands-of sand bags and got wet to the bone. But it one measures Jed by the standards set by Saudi Barbaria’s Royal Family for mastering the art of Noblesse Oblige Jed rates somewhere between skinflint and piker. Sure, he’s ahead of Jack Benny and Ebenezer Scrooge but he’s light years behind Islamo-fascist Royal Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. Now there’s a man who knows how to throw money around!

Alwaleed Bin Talal When the World Trade Center came crashing down, Al-Waleed hastened to New York City to offer Mayor Rudy Giuliani $10 million to help the survivors of the massacre put their lives back together(Al-Waleed is worth $23 billion, Forbes magazine rates him the sixth richest person in the world. And it’s all because “up from the ground came a-bubbling crude”) It was an incredible humanitarian gesture! Ten million dollars!
A great example of Noblesse Oblige! And all Rudy Giuliani had to do for that ten mil was to accept a few words of advice from al-Waleed. “I believe the government of the United States should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause” instructed the Prince. “Our Palestinian brethren continue to be slaughtered at the hands of the Israelis while the world turns the other cheek.”

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Slick Willie Does Jerusalem!

By Denis Schulz

Ex-president William Jefferson Clinton has been out of the loop for about five years now. That’s a long time for a politician but he still gets around quite well for a gentleman of his advanced years. He was in Jerusalem last week to honor the late Yitzhak Rabin on the 10th anniversary of Rabin’s assassination. On Saturday (Nov. 12) Slick Willie spoke to an admiring throng at the King David Hotel. These are not his exact words but they are close and may well reflect his inner thoughts.

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Sharon’s Political Gamble

Israel’s political landscape underwent a tectonic shift on Sunday, when Ariel Sharon appealed for patriotic Israelis support of his new center-right party after his resignation from the ruling Likud Party. Sharon’s decision was extraordinary even by the often chaotic standards of Israeli politics.

He described his new national responsibility party, as a “national-liberal movement”, his decision is being watched closely by the Palestinian leadership, “what is happening in Israel today is very significant” said Saeb Erekat, the senior Palestinian negotiator, “I believe it is an eruption of a political Volcano in Israel”.

Expressing no remorse for leaving the Likud, Sharon said that staying in the party would mean “wasting time in political disputes”.

Early polls suggest his individual popularity is higher than any other leader’s but the move still represents a huge political gamble. Sharon said his party’s dual priorities will be security and the fight against poverty, the reference to poverty was significant, as it was seen as an attempt to defuse the threat posed by the new Labour leader. Amir Peretz, who came to power recently on a ticket of fighting Israel’s growing poverty, is enjoying a surge in the polls.

Sharon is gambling that he can beat Labour and thereby force Peretz into considering working in coalition with him, but if Sharon’s party is beaten by Peretz, the Prime Minister will himself come under pressure to sign up to a Labour-led government.

Remembering Yitzhak Rabin

Yitzhak Rabin MemorialThe last few days were dedicated to Yitzhak Rabin and his assassination on November 4th, 1995. Ten years after the murder the country paused to remember the event and the fallen leader. All week television broadcast various documentaries and articles about the man, the final days and the Israel he left behind. Rabin’s death symbolized the end of a particular brand of Israelis for many people, the loss of innocence in a way and a departure from the “brutal honesty” that was so much a part of Yitzhak Rabin’s legacy.

The memorial in Tel Aviv Sunday, the official remembrance ceremony at the gravesite in Mount Herzel in Jerusalem and finally the official launch of the Yitzhak Rabin Center for Israel Studies last night were just some of the main events held.

Notable speeches where given by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who recalled the friendship and personal history they shared. He remembered their differences and the respect he always felt for the man. In September and October 1995, Sharon was one of several political leaders that preached against Rabin’s way and wasn’t addressing any of the hateful posters in the crowed showing Rabin in an SS uniform or wearing the Palestinian headdress. Moral responsibility is not big for today’s political leaders in Israel.

The Clintons were very much an important part of these events and in particular Bill Clinton was notable. The man loved Rabin and his words touched people. It seems like his appearance as an independent non political figure allowed him to speak from the heart and in people responded. He spoke of Rabin’s legacy, the dream of peace they both shared and his personal memories in warm, personal tones. In his speech Clinton spoke to Israeli politics in general as well, he spoke of our ability to accept the possibility that we may be wrong, as a crucial step in holding any meaningful debate. True to so many of the political life in Israel and the Middle East, the conviction and belief in a cause does not cancel out the validity of opposing points of view.

Hillary Clinton speaking at the dinner right after her husband was also remembering the times with Rabin and especially her experiences with Lea. She commended Lea as a wife of a military leader, statesman and politician, acknowledging with a nudge to Bill that it was very hard work. The crowed laughed. At that moment one could understand what made the Clintons so likeable in Israel. The awareness that they were as human as anyone else and that despite their personal issues they continued together has made them a very strong couple and one that can withstand future political challenges.

After Ariel Sharon made his speech he was rushed off by security. Broadcasts were paused to allow him the time to leave and it made me realize what a profound effect Rabin’s murder had. This event, the most heavily secured in the country’s history, was still not safe enough for the Prime Minister.

In a time where corruption lies and deception are rampant in Israeli politics, people like Yitzhak Rabin would have no room. In his final days Rabin was physically attacked and warnings by the security services were shrugged by him regularly. He refused to use the bullet proof Cadillac because he hated the symbol on the hood. He turned red in anger at protestors and yelled back at the crowds when he was hackled in speaking engagements. Never hiding behind heavy security and never shying away from an opportunity to speak to his people. The nation of Israel was his to argue with, fight for and lead and he did it in the most personal way he could, with as little barriers as possible. That was his way, for better or worse.

On the way to the Peace Rally in Tel Aviv on that fateful night security services warned of a definite threat on his life. He leaned over to Lea and asked her if she was afraid. She was but true to her Israeli nature answered no. He smiled and said well I guess we’re going then. He wouldn’t have it any other way and anyone who knew anything about the man would know that.

Yitzhak Rabin – A Biography

Yitzhak Rabin (Pronounced: Rabeen) was born in Jerusalem on March 1st 1922 to Nehemia and Rosa Cohen. His parents were active members of Achdut Haavoda, a Labour movement, his father an employee of the Israel Electric Company and his mother a member of the Hagana Organization and a City Council Member in Tel-Aviv.

Most of Yitzhak Rabin’s childhood years were spent in Tel-Aviv, first in a southern part of town bordering Jaffa and later in the town center. His primary school years were spent together with the children of the Labour party activists, he later enrolled at Givat Hashlosha High School when a short time later his mother became very ill, and the young student was transferred to Kaduri boarding school in northern Israel.

Yitzhak Rabin 1937
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