Avid Editor's Insights

Archive for April, 2008

A music video about Sedrot

Posted by avideditor on April 23, 2008

Hopefully the Israeli people rise up soon and stop the injustices of the Israeli government is inflicting upon the people by not going after the terrorist. Unfortunately, it looks like the inept government has just re-opened the border with Gaza and is now supplying the terrorist with fuel to fire more rockets at innocent people.


Posted in Israel, video | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Hamas Warns Of Harsher Attacks On Israeli Border Crossings, Previous Attacks Were Practice

Posted by avideditor on April 22, 2008

I think it is time for Israel to take out Hamas already. Read this great post from Holgers Awakens

Hamas Warns Of 'Harsher' Attacks On Israeli Border Crossings, Previous Attacks Were 'Practice': “

The stench of Jimmy Carter hasn’t even left the meeting room where he bowed down to the terrorist thugs of Hamas and Hamas has already expressed their good faith in this way, from the article here at JPost:

A Hamas spokesman says the Islamic terrorist group will carry out harsher attacks on Israeli crossings – worse than recent ones that killed five Israelis.
The terrorist, Abu Jandal, told a newspaper linked to Hamas on Monday that previous attacks on Gaza-Israel crossings were just ‘practice.’

Let’s face it, Israel needs to cut this stuff off at the ankles. The next incident, the next attack on an Israeli border crossing…Israel pounds into Gaza and doesn’t leave until 100 Hamas have died. It’s that simple. If Hamas wants to belly up to the bar and is willing to sacrifice 100 of its jihadists and leaders for a ‘chance’ at abducting an Israeli soldier or killing a Jew, then so be it. But for pete’s sakes Israel, make it known that is the price tag on such activity.

I’d go one step further – I would tell Hamas that 20 of their top leaders are now on a hit list. With each attack on the border or for each rocket launched into Israel, the next Hamas leader on the list is targeted and taken out.

Hamas are swine. They are the dredges of the world community. If Hamas were living and operating in any U.S. city and the police were not able to shut them down, then you would see bands of American citizens armed to the teeth hunting Hamas down like prey. It would happen here, so why should Hamas be given any outs in Gaza?

Hamas vows ‘harsh’ attacks on Israel, previous attacks were ‘practice’

A Hamas spokesman says the Islamic terrorist group will carry out harsher attacks on Israeli crossings – worse than recent ones that killed five Israelis.
The terrorist, Abu Jandal, told a newspaper linked to Hamas on Monday that previous attacks on Gaza-Israel crossings were just ‘practice.’
Two Israeli civilians and three soldiers have been killed in recent attacks. Abu Jandal described the recent attacks as ‘a walk in the park’ and said upcoming attacks would be harsher.
The Hamas threats came as former US President Jimmy Carter was saying Hamas would be prepared to live next to Israel in peace in the framework of a Palestinian state.

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Egypt is Building an Apartheid Wall

Posted by avideditor on April 22, 2008

It looks like Egypt has realized that it needs to separate itself from the fake group of people that it helped create. It looks like the hate filled propaganda of the “pali” is deadly to both arab and jew now.

Egypt is Building an Apartheid Wall: “Is Egypt beginning to understand terrorism? Soon after Hamas broke through the border crossing into Egypt, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit seemed to ease up on Israel’s West Bank security fence, ‘Whoever wishes to build a security fence on his land is free to do that.’ Right after that it was announced that Egypt, with $23 million in U.S. assistance, would build its own fence along the border with Gaza. Teams from the Army Corps of Engineers are expected in Egypt shortly to advise the project. Whats behind Egypts acceptance of an ‘Apartheid Fence’ on its border with Gaza? Maybe its the recognition that Hamas is like the Muslim Brotherhood–ON Steroids:

Egypt Builds a Wall, Changes Its Tune on Israels Barrier


By David Schenker

Weekly Standard, April 28, 2008

Much ado has been made of the Israeli security fence isolating the West Bank. When it is completed in 2010, the barrier — which runs roughly along the 1967 border between Israel and Palestinian territory — will span nearly 500 miles. Israelis say the purpose of the structure is to curtail terrorist attacks against the Jewish state. Theres little reason to doubt them: Despite a March attack that killed eight students at a Jerusalem seminary, statistics suggest that the barrier and a corresponding one around Gaza are working.

West Bankers condemn the structure because it encroaches into pre-1967 Palestinian territory, limits mobility, and separates farmers from their fields. Hamas, which has controlled Gaza since June 2007, describes its territory as ‘a big prison.’ Until recently, Egypt too was a vociferous critic. In 2003, Egypts foreign minister at the time, Ahmed Maher, described the structure as ‘defying international legitimacy and world public opinion.’

Even as Israel moves expeditiously to seal off its West Bank threat, however, Palestinians face the prospect of another wall hemming them in. This latest wall is not being constructed by the Israelis, though, but by Egypt, which seeks more protection from its Palestinian neighbors in Gaza.

Cairo has every reason to be concerned. In January 2008, Hamas demolished the Gaza-Egypt border fence, allowing an estimated 700,000 Palestinians — nearly half of Gazas population — to stream into the Sinai desert. Initially, Cairo viewed the Gaza breach as an opportunity to solidify its pro-Palestinian bona fides. Then reality set in. Egypt, it seems, was concerned that Palestinians entering the Sinai might exacerbate Egypts own terrorism problem. In April 2006, 23 tourists were killed in a car-bomb attack in the Sinai resort town of Dahab; two days later, U.N. Multi-national Force Observers, enforcing the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, were targeted by suicide attacks.

For Cairo, the threat extends beyond Sinai. Islamists in Egypt — led by the Muslim Brotherhood — have been making significant political gains in recent years, winning an unprecedented 88 of 444 elected parliamentary seats in 2005. The prospect of Hamass hooking up with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood terrifies the government of Egypt. As one Egyptian political analyst describes it, ‘Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood on steroids.’

Less than two weeks after the Gaza breach, Cairo took draconian measures to return the Palestinians to Gaza. It arrested dozens — including a group of armed Palestinians reportedly planning to attack Israeli tourists in the Sinai — and quickly resealed the border with miles of barbed wire. Hamas cried foul and pledged that it would not allow the border to remain sealed. In February, two Egyptian border guards were injured by Palestinian gunfire and several more were treated for broken bones after being hit by rocks thrown across the border.

With tensions along the border increasing, Egypt has softened its position on Israels West Bank barrier. In March, Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said, ‘Whoever wishes to build a security fence on his land is free to do that.’ Subsequently, it was announced that Egypt, with $23 million in U.S. assistance, would build its own fence along the border with Gaza. Teams from the Army Corps of Engineers are expected in Egypt shortly to advise the project.

At least in part, Cairos change in attitude was driven by Washington. For more than a decade, weapons have moved freely into Gaza via ubiquitous smuggling tunnels linking Sinai to Palestinian areas and bypassing Israeli scrutiny. Since Hamass Gaza takeover, though, the issue has increasingly garnered attention, as longer-range katyusha rockets — presumably transported via these tunnels — have started falling on Israeli cities with greater frequency. During the 2008 budget discussions, Congress was so concerned about perceived Egyptian inaction on the tunnels that a clause was inserted to condition nearly $100 million in U.S. aid on Cairos countering these smuggling routes.

For Cairo, the U.S. pressure was a blessing in disguise. The Egyptian government gives a lot of lip service to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, while privately it is apprehensive about the militant nature of Hamas-ruled Gaza. These sentiments have only been heightened by recent political and social inroads made by Egypts own Islamists.

At the end of the day, the Gaza border is above all else a matter of Egyptian national security. So despite the obvious comparisons that will be drawn between the Israeli and Egyptian barriers, Cairo had few alternatives other than to move ahead with a wall of its own. As Israel learned some time ago, good fences make good neighbors, especially when your neighbors are your enemies.

David Schenker is senior fellow and director of the program in Arab politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.


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Pope forming Christian-Jewish Alliance.

Posted by Rodan on April 19, 2008

I’m really happy with this Pope. He’s Pro-American, Anti-Euro Leftist, Anti-Islamists and Pro-Israel. He went to a synogogue yesterday for a Passover service and showed them respect. He see the evil the Western world is facing. We have external enemies in Islam and internal enemies: The Progressives.

Benedict becomes first pope to visit American synagogue

As a Catholic I view Jews as my spiritual brothers and together in spite of some differences, we both worship the God of Israel. Christians and Jews must stick together and we must take on our common foes.

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Liberman drops the Ether on Anti-Semite Jimmy Carter. Will Think Progress attack Lieberman?

Posted by Rodan on April 17, 2008

Posted by Trajan75

That ether, that shit that make your soul burn slow – Nas.

Ether is a street term coined by Nas in his lyrical destruction of Jay Z on the song of the same name. I use that term when a Leftists or Islamists gets exposed. Liberman drops the Ether on Anti-Semite and Jihad supporter Jimmy “The Dhimmi” Carter

Lieberman: Carter Is ‘Naive’ at Best

Here’s the words that enrage the anti-Semites at Think Progress, Joe drops Ether!

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., told FOX News that “at best, President Carter is being naive” in trying to negotiate with avowed terrorists. “There is a long list of people who thought they could reason with dictators and killers, going back to Neville Chamberlain and Hitler in the 1930s, but it has been shown to be absolutely wrong.”

I wish the Democrats were like Lieberman. He’s the last of the JFK/Truman Democrats and it’s a shame that line will soon be extinct. The Dhimmicrat (Democrat) Party is made up of appeasers and Islamic sympathizers. Joe calls Carter out.

He’s not alone. Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C wants Carter to suffer consequences for being a traitor.                     

advocates revoking Carter’s passport and supports a measure to withdraw all federal funding from his Georgia-based institution, the Carter Center. “We have a policy in this country about Hamas and he is deliberately undermining that policy,” Myrick said. “Why should we support his center when he will not support his government?”   

I agree with her. Carter is a traitor. Now the The Leftists will come out and say Hamas didn’t attack us.  well I have some news for the Hamas supporters on the Left , Hamas and Al-Qaeda have the same founder. Huh, they will say. His name is Abdullah Azzam. He was Bin Laden’s mentor in Afganisatn and co founded Hamas along with Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Yassin  and Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi. He dies in 1989, Bin Laden took over his organization in Afganistan which became Al-Qaeda and the “Palestinian” Organization became Hamas. Therefore carter is a traitor. He’s meeting with Al-Qaeda’s Sister organization. He should not be allowed to return to America or arrested for treason.

Think Progress won’t condemn Carter though, they’ll go after Lieberman. The reason, Faiz Shakir. He is the administrator of Think Progress and is a member of the Muslim Public Service Network. This group receives funding from Saudi Arabia and is linked with the Muslim Brotherhood

Let’s see if Think Progress goes after these 2 Patriots, Lieberman and Myrick. If they do this Will prove their support of Islamo-Fascism. If they don’t, it’s because we’ve exposed them before they did it. We launched a Pre-emptive strike.

Posted in America, Gaza War, Islamist, Israel, jihad | 2 Comments »

Relentless: The Struggle For Peace In The Middle East – Documentary

Posted by avideditor on April 17, 2008

Watch this great documentary on what the Palis mean when they say “peace” . If you want to learn more about Islam check out this movie.  It looks like islam is offering “peace” here with this movie.  Which one is your favorite? 


Vodpod videos no longer available. from video.google.com posted with vodpod

Posted in Israel, video | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Where to go when I am getting ready for Passover

Posted by avideditor on April 17, 2008

Update: I got distracted a I wrote a mini essay. The grammar is not up to par and I haven’t put links or pictures in it yet but hopefully it is readable. The solution to the “Palestinian” curse on Israel

Sorry for not being able to post and give insight on what is happening in the world. I have been engaged in a desperate attempt to clean my house for Passover. The deadline is tonight and I have another three days worth of cleaning to do. I will try to post some stories on my dumping grounds for future blogposts.  But if you want to venture off to get some of the best news and opinions I will give brief list of blogs to check out while I am busy. I follow over 140 blogs and I try to report on the best so don’t forget to come back here. But here is a list of some blogs you should check out. 







http://docstalk.blogspot.com/ (some of the best current articles you can find but no commentary) 





And of Course the big guns in information about radical Islam and the war on terror



http://ibloga.blogspot.com/ (Infidel Bloggers alliance)


http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/ (Jawa Report)



http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/ (despite them banning me for letting someone else use my extra account) 

By the way I am turing off comment moderation. So feel free to go crazy and get those trolls for me and add your favorite sites to this list if you want. I will turn it back on if things get way to out of hand. I usually only let 2 out of 10 comments go through because the rest of them are out right jihadi propaganda lies.

Enjoy and hopefully I will have my place clean before Shabbat and the yom tov start so I can catch up on the news and share my insights and the best stuff with you my readers.  


PS Sorry if I left you off this list. I thought of it and composed it in under a minute their are no bad feelings. 

PSS Here are a few more controversial blogs that I don’t always agree with but they give excellent reading opportunity. I in no means endorse what they say but they are worth a look. 












Posted in Israel | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Mark Levin interviews Author Andy McCarthy ‘Willful Blindness’

Posted by avideditor on April 16, 2008

Check out this amazing interview from some one that is fighting the jihadis in the court room. The great one, Mark Levin give an outstanding interview where I gained an important new perspective at the problems our country is facing from radical Islam. 

Posted in Islam | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

BET-TV Founder Says If Hussein Was White, Hillary Would Be Leading

Posted by avideditor on April 16, 2008

I think it is sick how race clouds peoples judgment. Barack Obama would not even have a chance if he where not black. It wonder if the Obama campaign will attack the BET founder for being racist now. 

BET-TV Founder Says If Hussein Was White, Hillary Would Be Leading: ”


This is what it is going to take to end all of this bullshit racism where racism doesn’t exist crap.

One of the few ways that we will overcome this hair-trigger racism crying in America, is when people like Bob Johnson say the kind of things Bob Johnson said below.

Whites can not point out unfairness or inconsistencies, or heck, white people can’t even bring up criticisms at all of non-whites without the race card being pulled out by someone, somewhere. After that you know Al Sharpton will start circling like a hammerhead shark.

Great example here. Johnson is saying the same thing Geraldine Ferraro said a while back, and he even points that out.

Wading back into the Democratic presidential race, billionaire businessman Bob Johnson said Monday that Sen. Barack Obama would not be his party’s leading candidate if he were white.

Johnson’s comments to the Observer echoed those of former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro. She stepped down as an adviser to Sen. Hillary Clinton last month after saying Obama wouldn’t be where he is if he were white.

‘What I believe Geraldine Ferraro meant is that if you take a freshman senator from Illinois called `Jerry Smith’ and he says I’m going to run for president, would he start off with 90 percent of the black vote?’ Johnson said. ‘And the answer is, probably not… .’

‘Geraldine Ferraro said it right. The problem is, Geraldine Ferraro is white. This campaign has such a hair-trigger on anything racial … it is almost impossible for anybody to say anything.’

Johnson, who made a fortune after founding Black Entertainment Television and now owns the Charlotte Bobcats, is a longtime friend of Clinton and her husband, the former president.

It was during a January appearance for the New York senator in Columbia that he first stepped into controversy, referring to Obama and ‘what he was doing in the neighborhood.’

Many took that as a reference to Obama’s acknowledged drug use in his youth. But in a statement, Johnson said he’d been ‘referring to Barack Obama’s time spent as a community organizer and nothing else. Any other suggestion is simply irresponsible and incorrect.’

On Monday, Johnson alluded to the incident.

‘I make a joke about Obama doing drugs (and it’s) `Oh my God, a black man tearing down another black man’,’ Johnson said.

The Obama campaign dismissed Johnson’s comments.

‘This is just one in a long line of absurd comments by Bob Johnson and other Clinton supporters who will say or do anything to get the nomination,’ said spokesman Dan Leistikow. ‘The American people are tired of this and are ready to turn the page on these kind of attack politics.’

Johnson disputed the notion that Obama has built a broad coalition. Most of his support, he said, comes from African Americans and white liberals but not white, working-class Democrats.

‘I don’t think he has that common — what I call `I-want-to-go-out-and-have-a-drink-with-you — touch,’ Johnson said.

An Observer/WCNC Poll this month found Obama and Clinton splitting the votes of white North Carolinians who say they’ll vote in the May 6 primary. Obama led 59 percent to 7 percent among African Americans.

Johnson said Obama is likely to win the nomination and has had the support of ‘the liberal media.’

‘They sort of dislike Hillary for her vote on the war. They don’t want to see Bill and Hillary in power again,’ he said. ‘So Obama comes in and runs a smart campaign. But that’s not the Second Coming, in my opinion, of John F. Kennedy, FDR or the world’s greatest leaders.’

(Charlotte Observer)

(Via avideditor’s shared items in Google Reader.)</

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Muslim group declines to meet the Pope

Posted by Rodan on April 15, 2008


I found this article Interesting over at Eye on the World.

US Muslim Group Declines to Meet Pope

As a Catholic I could care less if these Dog hating, Women oppressing and worshippers of a fake False Prophet don’t want to meet the Pope. I wish the Pope would call a Crusade so Europe, Russia, America and Latin America would combine and crush Islam once and for all. We need stop immigration from Islamic nations.

Posted in Islamist, jihad | Leave a Comment »

Happy 40th Birthday Israel- Yes I Mean 40

Posted by avideditor on April 15, 2008

I don’t this Israel is Israel without Hebron and Jerusalem. Read this great article I found on Yid with a Lid.

Happy 40th Birthday Israel- Yes I Mean 40: “
The battle for Israel’s birth began 60 years ago next month, but the modern state of Israel wasn’t born 60 years ago in 1948. The state created in 1948 had no Hebron and no Jerusalem, these two cities represent Judaism’s heart and soul. Hebron is the birthplace of the Jewish Homeland where Abraham first bought land. Jerusalem is were we made a home for God, it has been the center of Jewish expression for almost three millennia. As soon as Israel had gotten its hand on Hebron and Jerusalem 40 years ago, it has been trying to give them away. The story below is about the brave families who made their way to Hebron in 1968 to celebrate that first Hebron Passover since the 1929 massacre by the Arab population drove the Jewish Population away:

Forty Years in the Desert David Wilder
April 15, 2008 

In a few nights we will participate in one of Judaism’s most ancient ceremonies, and certainly one of the year’s most treasured events. We sit around a table and conduct a Seder – the annual recitation of the story of Israel’s redemption from Egypt.

Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook, Israel’s first Chief Rabbi, writes that that exodus had a two-fold purpose. On the one hand, it was a goal in and of itself, that being liberation from Egyptian bondage. However, he teaches that the exodus was also a means to an end, that end being the reception of the Torah at Mount Sinai, and eventually, observance of that Torah in Eretz Yisrael. The exodus as a stand-alone event was momentous, but its real significance came to pass only years and decades later.

We are currently marking the sixtieth anniversary of Israeli independence. The Jewish people have made tremendous leaps and bounds over the past six decades. Who could have expected, in May of 1948, the power and prestige a Jewish state would command at the beginning of the twenty-first century. This is especially notable considering the fact that the Jewish people, coming out of a 2,000 year old exile, had to virtually recreate its national being from scratch, having been totally removed from exercises in sovereignty for two millennium. On top of this we can never forget that Israel was reborn from within the ashes of Auschwitz. Jews have prayed, day in and day out for thousands of years for not only a return to Zion, but also for Techiat HaMetim, the revival of the dead. Israeli independence is no less than revival of the dead. For this, we rejoice and give thanks to the L-rd for have granted us this most magnanimous gift of national life.

That’s the up side. The down side is all too well known. From the very beginning there was a concerted effort made to oppress the foundations of Jewish being. The founding fathers, or most of them, were not great fans of observant Judaism. The kidnapping and forced resettling of over 1,000 Yemenite children is perhaps the quintessential example of attempts to eradicate Judaism from the Jews. Yet Ben Gurion was known to have answered, in reply to a question about Jewish legitimacy to settle in Eretz Yisrael, that the source of Jewish rights to the Land is the Bible.

The relationship between Israel’s leadership and our Land has been overtly problematic. Eretz Yisrael was almost viewed as a ‘card’ to be dealt at the proper time. This was explicitly felt both prior to and following the 1967 Six Day war, when Israeli leaders attempted to refrain from liberating Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, and following their liberation, expressed a desire to abandon them at the first possible opportunity. So it was that Israeli paratroopers, having captured the Old City of Jerusalem and Judaism’s most sacred site, Temple Mount and the Kotel (The Western Wall) were told to prepare to leave only a short time after the victory.

Yamit, Oslo, Hebron, Gush Katif and the northern Shomron all speak for themselves. Other words are superfluous.

Where does this leave us, after sixty years?

In my humble opinion, the state of Israel isn’t really sixty years old. Yes, if we count from 1948, to 2008, the result is sixty. But in reality, we couldn’t really call ourselves a full-fledged sovereign entity while our heart was still in captivity. That heart being Jerusalem and Hebron. They go hand-in-hand, together. David began in Hebron for seven and a half years before moving up to Jerusalem. Hebron was lost in 1929; Jerusalem in 1948. Jerusalem was liberated on the 28th of Iyar and Hebron the following day. Hebron was chopped into two parts in January, 1997. Ehud Barak offered Arafat 90% of Jerusalem only a few years ago. The fates of these two eternal, holy cities are inextricably combined and cannot be separated.

Following the Six Day war former Jerusalem residents, expelled during the 1948 War of Independence were repatriated. Moshe Dayan, then Minister of Defense, refused to speak to former Hebron Jewish homeowners who had lost their property to Arab marauders following the 1929 riots and massacre, and subsequent final expulsion in the spring of 1936. Only in 1968, exactly forty years ago this Friday, did Jews return to the first Jewish city in Israel.

As with many such stories, from close-up they seem almost ordinary. In reality, not only a physical reality, but also a metaphysical truth, such events are earthshaking, or perhaps better put, ‘heaven-shaking. ‘ The return of a small group of Jews, that 1968 Passover in Hebron, with the guidance of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook, with the participation of Rabbis Waldman, Druckman and Levinger, was the forerunner of a massive awakening, a returning to the heart of our land throughout Judea and Samaria. But this awakening too was not only a corporeal return to the land; rather, it was, primarily, a spiritual arousing, the voice of the Jewish people bursting through the ages, an almost primal expression of the faith buried so deep inside the souls of the Jewish people, who for centuries had cried out ‘next year in Jerusalem,’ whereby ‘Jerusalem’ was the keyword representing all our land, Eretz Yisrael. Without Jerusalem, without Shechem, without Hebron, we were as a body without a soul, a golem, whose bodily movements were predefined, perhaps classified as ‘natural.’ But the spirit, the inner essence, the heart, the soul, was missing. Only with the liberation of Jerusalem and Hebron and with them the rest of Judea and Samaria could we really and truly say, ‘we are back home – we have returned.’

That Passover, forty years ago, was the breaking of the ice – the trailblazer, the results of which are the authentic rebirth, physically and spiritually, of the Jewish people. As Jews began returning to their physical roots, so too did they commence the return to their spiritual roots; the numbers of Jews who have ‘returned,’ who have come back to observant Judaism in the past 40 years is beyond numbers. And that homecoming, as such, began with, and was initiated by our return to our land, our return to our heart – to Jerusalem and Hebron. The group of Jews who initiated and participated in that ‘Seder’ in Hebron in 1968 might not have known it then, and maybe some of them are still unaware of it today, but they were the sparks that set the fire of the return of the Jewish people to themselves after two thousand years.

Just as the exodus from Egypt had a double goal; one immediate and the other long-term, so too did our statehood in 1948 have a double agenda; one immediate – announcing before all the world, we, the Jewish people have not died out, we have escaped the bondage of galut, of exile, you have not been able to extinguish us; and also long-term – to bring the people back to all their land, to all their land and to all their heart and soul, physically and spiritually.

So as we celebrate sixty years and forty years, we can conclude that really, only now, are we beginning. The Jewish people spent forty years in the desert before entering the Land, forty years fraught with problem and crises. Now, we too have finished forty years, also filled with unimaginable predicaments. And just as then, when we came into the land the problems didn’t come to a swift end, we too, today, may still face unbearable situations. But those aren’t the key. The key is, we are home, we are in Israel, we have returned to Hebron and to Jerusalem, we have rediscovered ourselves, we have been granted the Divine gift of life, we are here to stay.

Happy Passover, Happy 60, Happy 40!

(Via YID With LID.)</

Posted in Israel | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Sweden: Muslim woman receives $4,000 in damages for having to remove face veil

Posted by avideditor on April 14, 2008

Wow it looks like the dhimmis have taken over the Swedish legal system as well as the foreign ministers.

Sweden: Muslim woman receives $4,000 in damages for having to remove face veil: ”

Cultural Capitulation Update: never mind the possibility of deception, and the concomitant ease of committing crimes, made possible by the face veil. Self-defense does not trump multiculturalism.

‘Muslim woman receives damages for headscarf slight,’ from The Local (thanks to Marked Manner):

A 20-year-old Malmö woman has been awarded damages after she was asked to leave a bus for wearing a veil.

The woman has received 25,000 kronor ($4,203) from public bus service operator Arriva after an agreement was reached with the Ombudsman against ethnic discrimination (DO), according to local newspaper Sydsvenskan.

The woman was instructed to leave the bus in the southern Swedish city when she refused to remove the niqab veil that she was wearing as part of her sartorial hijab headdress. The niqab covers the entire face except for eyes.

The bus driver had asked the woman to remove her niqab so that he could identify her, however the woman was using a buss pass that did not require identification.

‘The bus driver has not acted according to Arriva’s values. There is no doubt where the fault lies and this is most regrettable. We are happy to pay out the money to make up for it,’ said Jan Wildau at Arriva.

(Via avideditor’s shared items in Google Reader.)</

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Barack Obama Is Friends With Superman

Posted by avideditor on April 14, 2008

Other post on Obama

Read this great look at Barack Obama from the Infidel Alliance. I think Barack will destroy the country of America permanently. We need to do everything in our powers to stop this jihadi loving American hating marxist from becoming our president.

Barack Obama Is Friends With Superman: “Epaminondas posted an important article yesterday, which he titled, ‘Why Is Barack Obama So Compfortable Around People Who So Despise America?’

That’s a good question.

Particularly interesting to me was Epa’s discussion of Obama’s friendship with William Ayres, the Weather Underground terrorist:

Obama enjoys a friendly relationship with Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, a pair of terrorists?

I want to be clear here: Not terrorist sympathizers. Terrorists.

Ayers … is an unapologetic terrorist with a savage past — one who beat the system he so reviles when, after his years of fugitivity, terrorism charges were dropped due to government surveillance violations.

He’s ‘guilty as sin,’ by his own concession, but ‘free as a bird.’

Ayers didn’t just carry a sign outside the Pentagon on May 19, 1972. He bombed it. As his memoir gleefully recalled, ‘Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon. The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them.’

In a attack of synchronicity, the New York Times ran a piece on the release of William Ayres book Fugitive Days on September 11, 2001, in which Ayres was quoted as saying,

”I don’t regret setting bombs,” Bill Ayers said. ”I feel we didn’t do enough.”

This is Barack Obama’s friend.

Epa pointed out yet another interesting New York Times piece on William Ayres. This one, published five days after 9/11, entitled ‘The Way We Live Now’ obviously referring to the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks.In this interview, he is actually being interviewed by a lady named Hope Reeves whose parents were also members of the Weather Underground.

Now, I want you to really think about the content of this interview. Ayres seems to be on the edge of some sort of paranoid breakdown. He calls from a pay phone because he doesn’t trust the government. Nowhere does he express any anger towards the people who attacked us. Instead, all his anger is saved for America.

Witness this, my friends, and remember, this is Barack Obama’s friend:

Q: You’re calling from a pay phone? You still pick up a receiver and think, ”My phone might be tapped”?

I think anybody in America who doesn’t think that is off his rocker. Is there such a thing as a Big Brother? Absolutely. I mean, our worst paranoid fantasies about what the government was capable of in the mid-60’s turned out to be mild by comparison to what it did.

But you’re living a normal life now, with a job and a family and a book to sell, while at least one former comrade, like Kathy Boudin, who was just denied parole, is still in prison. Does that mean you’ve come to place a certain trust in society?

I don’t trust it. You can’t live in a society like this in equilibrium and not sell your soul. This society is not a just and fair and decent place.

So you’re living troubled?

Oh, I’m troubled, troubled. We’re living in a country where the election was stolen, and we didn’t have a mass uprising. It’s incredible. We’re all asleep. The pundits all pat themselves on the back: ”God, what a great country. You know, we could have had a constitutional crisis, but instead, we let him steal the election. Isn’t that great. What a country.” It makes me want to puke.

So if things are as bad as ever, was it worth it, all the struggling?

Without a doubt. And the reason is that we really did play a role in destroying the old system of segregation and in destroying the conquest of Indochina by the Americans.

My parents were also Weathermen. Whenever they refer to their ”revolution,” I can’t help rolling my eyes. I mean, isn’t there something a little absurd about thinking you would overthrow the United States government?

It’s a funny word, and people use it for a million different reasons. Mainly, these days, to sell products — a ”revolutionary” deodorant. We used the word to mean that we should create a society more equal, more fair, more just, more loving than the society that we have. It was a huge kind of hope. And it does seem, looking back, naïve and absurd. But if we are guilty of a kind of grandiose innocence, what we should not fall into in reaction is a kind of arch cynicism.

Yes, my parents have often accused me of being in what you would call ”a deep American sleep.” Is there something wrong with my generation for not being obsessed with world injustice?

Well, I’m going to disagree with you. There are all kinds of signs now of a wonderful activism going on internationally — Seattle and Genoa, young people objecting to global capitalism getting to make all the decisions about everybody’s life without any consultation or any democratic process at all, let alone any sharing of the wealth. People are demanding that the world come to its senses about things like global warming and environmental degradation and the pollution of water and air. It’s not all quiet.

You were quoted as urging the young to ”kill all the rich people, break up their cars and apartments, bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that’s where it’s at.” Did you actually mean for people to do that?

Many things were said in a kind of a humor. They were excessive and extreme and a joke. They were taken literally mainly by the for-profit media to show how crazy we were.

Well, my mom took it seriously, as a directive from you.

She killed her parents?

No, but it took years to heal the wounds. She and the other foot soldiers, as she calls them, looked to you and the Weather Bureau for direction.

Well, if there’s a lesson, it’s to never surrender your own mind. People being betrayed by leaders — well, that’s the cautionary tale.

Yes, there it is, right from the camel’s mouth. It is a cautionary tale.

Barack Obama is close personal friends with this guy. As Epa noted:

It was at the Chicago home of Ayers and Dohrn that Obama, then an up-and-coming ‘community organizer,’ had his political coming out party in 1995. Not content with this rite of passage in Lefty World — where unrepentant terrorists are regarded as progressive luminaries, still working ‘only to educate’ — both Obamas tended to the relationship with the Ayers.

Barack Obama made a joint appearance with Bill Ayers in 1997 at a University of Chicago panel on the outrage of treating juvenile criminals as if they were, well, criminals. Obama apologists say, ‘So what? People appear with other people all the time.’ Nice try. This panel was orchestrated by none other than Michelle Obama, then an Associate Dean of Student Services. Ayers didn’t happen to be there — he was invited by the Obamas to educate students on the question before the house: ‘Should a Child Ever Be Called a ‘Super Predator?”

William Ayres is a very paranoid man. However, I don’t think he is a lunatic. I don’t think he is insane. And, that is even more frightening than if he were, in fact, suffering from some sort of delusions.

William Ayres is not suffering from delusions, and yet he still is able to believe the government is watching him at all times. He believes he is so important that five days after 9/11 (‘the way we live now’), the government had nothing better to do than to focus on William Ayres.

In fact, one has to wonder if, perhaps, the reason for his paranoid outburst in this interview was exactly because the Al Qaeda terrorists had stolen his stage at the exact time when his book Fugitive Days had just been released.

And, so he invented a paranoid fantasy whereby the government of the United States was once again focusing their attention on him.

In William Ayres mind, the world revolves around William Ayres. He is a kind of Superman, able to pull the entire planet into gravity of his own fantasies about himself. The most powerful nation on Earth must be quaking in fear of William Ayres five days after 9/11.

And, this is Barack Obama’s friend.

Barack Obama, who very well may be the next President of the United States of America.”

(Via avideditor’s shared items in Google Reader.)</

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UN Agrees: Hamas Creating Gaza Fuel Crisis

Posted by avideditor on April 14, 2008

Wow the UN is doing something right for a change. It is too bad that it is over a minor thing like this. Hopefully this will be the start of the UN actually standing up against Hamas Hezbollah and other terrorist, but I am not holding my breath.

UN Agrees: Hamas Creating Gaza Fuel Crisis: “”

sraelNN.com) A United Nations official agreed Monday that Hamas is manufacturing a fuel crisis in Gaza by refusing to distribute one million liters of fuel that Israel has delivered to the area. The stored fuel would be sufficient for several days, the official said. Gas stations in Gaza have played their part in the crisis as well, with many refusing to sell fuel in protest of what they say is an insufficient supply.

One of the main points of fuel transfer into Gaza, the Nahal Oz fuel terminal, has been closed since last week following a fatal terrorist attack on Israeli civilians working in the area. Defense officials said Monday that the terminal is likely to remain closed for several days.

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What is a sufficient victory?

Posted by avideditor on April 14, 2008

Read Caroline Glick’s latest great piece showing the problems of Olmert and the “peace” process.

What is a sufficient victory?: “

Speaking to IDF commanders in Judea and Samaria last week, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert exhorted the officers tasked with preventing Palestinians from attacking Israel while operating under civilian cover to have sympathy for them. Olmert said ‘Take all the Palestinians who have been stripped at the roadblocks just because of fear that there may be terrorists and terror operatives among them. Take all those who wait at roadblocks because of fear that a car bomb may drive through the same roadblock. This could be a boiling cauldron, liable to explode and cause horrible burns, and it could be something else, dependent only on your ability to act wisely and forcefully.’

Since Olmert knows that IDF soldiers are as courteous as possible to Palestinians at roadblocks, his statement will have two major consequences. First it will cause a loosening of regulations at roadblocks and so impair IDF counterterror capabilities. Second, by insultingly insinuating that IDF forces are cruel, Olmert demoralized his own soldiers and reduced their willingness to accomplish their mission by hinting that they cannot expect the government to back them.

Olmerts message is just the latest action his government has taken in recent weeks that undermine the IDFs ability to maintain its military success since 2002 in defeating Palestinian terrorists in Judea and Samaria and preventing them from reorganizing.

The Olmert-Livni-Barak governments decision to take down roadblocks throughout Judea and Samaria; provide immunity from arrest to wanted terror fugitives; and permit the deployment of US-backed Fatah militias in Jenin all serve to directly undermine the IDFs remarkable achievements in defeating and preventing the reconstitution of the Palestinian terror war machine in Judea and Samaria since Operation Defensive Shield was carried out in 2002. Even more disturbingly, its reported willingness to cede the Jordan Valley to Fatah in the negotiations it is now conducting with Fatah leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Ahmed Qurei indicate that the Olmert-Livni-Barak government is ready to transform Judea and Samaria into a base for global jihadist forces just as occurred when Israel surrendered Gazas border with Egypt in 2005.

That the government is squandering the IDFs hard-won achievements in Judea and Samaria is made clear in a paper on counterinsurgency warfare authored by Major General (res.) Yaakov Amidror released this week by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Amidrors paper, ‘Winning Counterinsurgency War: The Israeli Experience,’ focuses on Israels military defeat of Palestinian terror forces in Judea and Samaria during and subsequent to Operation Defensive Shield.

AMIDROR IDENTIFIES six components of counterinsurgency warfare which he deems essential for effecting military victory over irregular forces. These components are: a political decision by the government to defeat terrorism; winning and maintaining control of the territory from which terrorists operate; acquiring relevant intelligence; isolating the terror enclaves from outside supporters; multidimensional cooperation between intelligence gatherers and fighting forces; and separating civilians from terrorists. Through its actions, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government it is undermining four of these components.

After identifying what he views as the essential components of successful counterinsurgency campaigns, Amidror identifies and defines three forms of military victory. First, there is ‘total victory’ which involves both a military defeat of insurgent or terror forces and the political reorganization of their societies from terror-supporting societies into terror-combating societies. Second, there is ‘temporary victory’ which involves a one-off military defeat of enemy forces which is not combined with any political transformation of their societies. Finally, Amidror considers what he refers to as ‘sufficient victory.’ As he defines it, a sufficient victory involves defeating an irreconcilable foe and then preventing him from rebuilding his capacity to wage war.

Like a temporary victory, a sufficient victory doesnt entail any political transformation of enemy society, and indeed it takes for granted that such a transformation is impossible to enact. But as opposed to a temporary victory, Amidror argues that the effect of a sufficient victory can be longstanding if the victorious side is willing and able to consistently prevent enemy forces from reconstituting themselves. That is, a sufficient victory requires a continuous rather than one-off campaign.

Amidrors definition of sufficient victory leads him to conclude that contrary to the approach of the Israeli and Western Left, there is a military option for victory in counterinsurgency wars devoid of political transformation. From an Israeli perspective, Amidrors vision of counterinsurgency warfare view is reasonable and understandable.

Israels options for transforming Palestinian society from a terror-supporting society to a terror-combating society are limited. Influenced by domestic, pan-Arab and pan-Islamic jihadist indoctrination; supported militarily, financially and politically by Arab states, Iran, terror groups and the West, the Palestinians have little reason to transform.
MOREOVER, ISRAELs strategic and national interests in maintaining control over Judea and Samaria could render sustainable a military strategy with no withdrawal element. This is not the case in other battlefields such as the US counterinsurgency in Iraq.

To a degree, Amidrors view that sufficient victory is possible is echoed in recent statements by US military commanders in Iraq. In a dispatch from Iraq published last month in National Review, Richard Lowry reported, ‘For all the security gains over the last year, American commanders believe they have hit a plateau.’ Absent coherent, competent action by the Iraqi government to secure and maintain the loyalty of Iraqis to the Iraqi state, like the IDF in Judea and Samaria, all US forces in Iraq can do is keep violence down to sufferable levels.

Yet in contrast to Israels success in Judea and Samaria, the success of US counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq is the consequence first and foremost of their politically-transformative guiding principles. As Lowry noted, the 80,000 Iraqi security volunteers who now openly collaborate with US forces in counter-terror operations, ‘represent more or less a direct transfer of forces from the enemys side to ours.’

In Israel, the basic assumption that guided both the decision by the Rabin-Peres government to embrace the PLO and form the Palestinian Authority in 1993 and the decisions by subsequent governments to leave the PA in place and maintain allegiance to the PLO as a negotiating partner was that like the Iraqi security volunteers, and like the South Lebanese Army which supported IDF operations in South Lebanon from 1985 through 2000, PLO and Fatah forces would act as transformative agents in Palestinian society moving it from a terror-supporting society to a terror-combating society.

This view, always controversial, has been proven wrong again and again. Just last week, the PLO ambassador to Lebanon Abbas Zaki restated the PLOs aim of destroying Israel in an interview with Lebanese television.

In Zakis words, ‘The PLO… has not changed its platform even one iota.’ That platform, to destroy Israel in stages, remains the objective of the PLO. He continued, ‘In light of the weakness of the Arab nation and the lack of values, and in light of the American control over the world, the PLO proceeds through phases, without changing its strategy. Let me tell you, when the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem, the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine.’

Israels willingness to maintain its support for the PLO in spite of the PLO and Fatahs obvious rejection of Israels right to exist and their continuous support and involvement in terror attacks against Israel exposes two flaws inherent in Amidrors view that it is possible to maintain a sufficient victory in counterinsurgency wars over the long term without inducing political transformation of enemy societies.

The first flaw is that it takes as a given that the will of the victorious armys government to maintain counterinsurgency operations will remain constant. The Olmert-Livni-Barak governments maintenance of the inherently adversarial Fatah terror group as a legitimate negotiating partner shows that this is not the case. The governments commitment to Fatah necessarily induces it to undermine IDF achievements in Judea and Samaria. Those achievements are inimical to the interests of Fatah and so, from the governments current perspective, they must be cancelled to please Fatah.

Since 2002, the IDFs military control over Judea and Samaria has not involved any serious efforts to transform Palestinian society on the grassroots level. It has not enhanced security for Palestinian civilians who are terrorized by terror operatives operating in their villages and towns. As Amidror notes, Israels actions to separate civilians from terrorists in Judea and Samaria are limited to crafting operations that minimize collateral damage. But while Israel does not target Palestinian civilians, it has done nothing to prevent them from being targeted by Palestinian terrorists. And so, it has given them no option to fight those terrorists. As a consequence although militarily the situation in Judea and Samaria has been transformed over the past six years, politically, the only change among Palestinians is that they have become more radicalized.

And here lies the second flaw in his analysis. To be successful, a counterinsurgency war must have a political component that reaches out to enemy populations. While it is true that Israel has limited capacity to change the way that Palestinians think about Israel and the form their society ought to take, Israel does have some capacity. For instance, Israel could launch a hearts and minds campaign among Israeli Arabs who are both politically and demographically linked to the Palestinians.

Such a campaign would be two-pronged. First it would involve a concentrated law and order campaign whose aim would be to reassert Israels sovereign authority in Israeli Arab areas. Second, it would secure law-abiding Israeli Arabs while delegitimizing the current anti-Israel, pro-terror leadership now in charge of Israeli Arab society and so cultivate the conditions necessary to replace that leadership with Israeli Arabs who embrace their identity as Israelis and oppose terrorism. The impact of such a campaign on the Palestinians in both Judea and Samaria would no doubt be dramatic.

Amidror makes the important point that there is no empirical data that proves the oft-repeated contention that terror-supporting societies are more willing to sacrifice for victory than terror-combating societies. As the Israeli public has shown since the Palestinians began their terror war in 2000, Israelis are just as willing, if not more willing, to make sacrifices for victory than the Palestinians. But for victory to be accomplished and secured, a military campaign needs to be complimented by a political campaign led by a political leadership that explains reality to its own public and is able to give terror-supporting societies another option.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

(Via Caroline Glick.)</

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Pirates Can Claim UK Asylum, Detaining Them May Breach Their Civil Rights

Posted by avideditor on April 14, 2008

It looks like England is becoming even more of a dhimmi state.

Pirates Can Claim UK Asylum, Detaining Them May Breach Their Civil Rights: “


I kid you not…

THE Royal Navy, once the scourge of brigands on the high seas, has been told by the Foreign Office not to detain pirates because doing so may breach their human rights.

Warships patrolling pirate-infested waters, such as those off Somalia, have been warned that there is also a risk that captured pirates could claim asylum in Britain.

The Foreign Office has advised that pirates sent back to Somalia could have their human rights breached because, under Islamic law, they face beheading for murder or having a hand chopped off for theft.

In 2005 there were almost 40 attacks by pirates and 16 vessels were hijacked and held for ransom. Employing high-tech weaponry, they kill, steal and hold ships’ crews to ransom. This year alone pirates killed three people near the Philippines.

Last week French commandos seized a Somali pirate gang that had held a luxury yacht with 22 French citizens on board. The hijackers were paid off by the boat’s owner and then a French helicopter carrier dispatched 50 commandos to seize the hijackers and the ransom money on dry land.

Britain is part of a coalition force that patrols piracy stricken areas and the guidance has troubled navy officers who believe they should have more freedom to intervene.

The guidance was sharply criticised by Julian Brazier MP, the Conservative shipping spokesman, who said: ‘These people commit horrendous offences. The solution is not to turn a blind eye but to turn them over to the local authorities. The convention on human rights quite rightly doesn’t cover the high seas. It’s a pathetic indictment of what our legal system has come to.’

A Foreign Office spokesman said: ‘There are issues about human rights and what might happen in these circumstances. The main thing is to ensure any incident is resolved peacefully.’

The guidance is the latest blow to the robust image of the navy. Last year 15 of its sailors were taken prisoner by the Iranians and publicly humiliated.

In the 19th century, British warships largely eradicated piracy when they policed the oceans. The death penalty for piracy on the high seas remained on the statute books until 1998. Modern piracy ranges from maritime mugging to stealing from merchant ships with the crew held at gunpoint.

(Times Online)

(Via avideditor’s shared items in Google Reader.)</

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Is Jimmy Carter in Violation of the Logan Act?

Posted by avideditor on April 14, 2008

Jimmy Carter should be arrested now. He is a disgrace. He was the worst president ever and now he is causing more trouble since he started accepting millions from the Saudis.

Is Jimmy Carter in Violation of the Logan Act?: The Logan Act was enacted in 1799. It states in full:

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

The origins of this law lie in the activities of Dr. George Logan, a Quaker pacifist doctor who tried to lessen tensions between the French Revolutionary government in Paris and the Federalists then leading the nascent American Republic, who tilted towards Britain. Logan traveled to France with an approving letter signed by Thomas Jefferson, and was accepted by the French government as a legitimate representative of the United States. Then-President John Adams condemned Logan for his rogue diplomacy, and decried the “temerity and impertinence of individuals affecting to interfere in public affairs between France and the United States.” One can only wonder what Adams would think of Jimmy Carter, who has brazenly announced his intention to meet with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal in Damascus later this week.

Perhaps it is in light of the Logan Act that White House Press Secretary Dana Perino emphasized, “The president believes that if president Carter wants to go, that he is doing so in his own private capacity, as a private citizen, he is not representing the United States.” It is all well and good for the White House to distance itself from the behavior of Jimmy Carter, but there is a limit to how far any American government can go in condemning the actions of a former president. The station of ex-president carries a diplomatic heft, and no one has used it with more inelegance and opportunism than Jimmy Carter, whose sabotage of American foreign policy has not been limited to Republican presidents (see Bill Clinton and North Korea). By calling on the United States to include Hamas in peace talks, and by meeting with the leader of said terrorist group in the capital a of country with which the United States does not even maintain diplomatic relations, Carter undermines a crucial plank in America’s Middle East policy.

Last year, Robert F. Turner argued that Nancy Pelosi had violated the Logan Act when she traveled to Syria against the wishes of the State Department and met with President Basher Assad. He wrote at the time:

Ms. Pelosi’s trip was not authorized, and Syria is one of the world’s leading sponsors of international terrorism. It has almost certainly been involved in numerous attacks that have claimed the lives of American military personnel from Beirut to Baghdad.

The U.S. is in the midst of two wars authorized by Congress. For Ms. Pelosi to flout the Constitution in these circumstances is not only shortsighted; it may well be a felony, as the Logan Act has been part of our criminal law for more than two centuries. Perhaps it is time to enforce the law.

The circumstances surrounding Carter’s visit are no less egregious, in fact, Carter’s freelance diplomacy is arguably worse. Hamas, unlike Syria, is not a country — an entity with territorial integrity, recognized by the international community as the legitimate authority of a nation-state — but a terrorist group. I’m no lawyer, but it appears that a strong case can be made that Jimmy Carter has been in constant violation of a federal statute ever since he left the White House.

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What stranger should we love?

Posted by avideditor on April 14, 2008

Biblical proof that the Jews should drive the terrorist out of the land of Israel. There is no Palestine there is only jordan and Israel. Every jew should put tephilin on and pray that this will be so and all the non jews that support Israel should give to the ZOA or help in other ways drive the terrorist out of the land of Israel the land that G-d has given the jews.

What stranger should we love?: ”

There is one statement that drives me mad during almost every lecture. Invariably, someone stands up and says something along these lines, ‘I know a little about Judaism, but the one thing I know for sure is that we should love our neighbors and not oppress strangers. That’s the entire Torah.’ That’s what they were told by incompetent teachers and progressive rabbis. Love your neighbor and throw out the other 612 commandments and the heap of halacha. Don’t forget to baptize, too.

Exodus 23:9: And ger, [him] you shall not oppress – you, too, know the soul of ger, for you were gerim in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 23:31: And I will set your limits from Reed (‘Red’) Sea to Philistine (‘Mediterranean’) Sea, and from steppe (‘Sinai Desert’) to the river (Euphrates), for I will give in your hand the yeshvei [of] the land, and you shall displace them (gerashtamo) from yourself.

What is the difference between yeshvei and gerim, those who must be displaced and those who must not be oppressed? The root i-sh-v means, to stay, such as in settlement. Thus yeshvei are the natives. The natives must be cleansed out because their hostility is inherently implacable: they, even their remote generations will always remember that Jews took away their land. This is not an issue of land ownership, but of sovereignty: the country belonged to Canaanites or the Palestinian Arabs, but now the state is Jewish. Modern Jewish rulers believe that Arabs will ignore the insult in return for generous aid, but the Torah’s author was infinitely wiser: if Jews want to be sovereign on this land, they must cleanse it from yeshvei.

The Torah economizes suffering: yeshvei have to be evicted (Exodus 23:31), ravaged (Deut20:17), but not necessarily killed. After the Jews cleared a country for themselves and uprooted yeshvei, security issues become less pressing and Jews can take measured risks. Deuteronomy 20, therefore, speaks of the wars which the Jews start voluntarily rather than by the divine commandment to take Canaan. In such wars, the natives need not be uprooted if they agree to submit to Jewish rule. If they did not defend themselves against the advancing Jews, such natives are allowed to remain, performing ‘labor duty for you and shall work for you’ (Deut20:11). That law applies only to the towns far away from the Jewish population centers (Deut20:15).

The conquered people lack the high status of gerim, who are not to be abused. The labor duty in question was likely the border defense, or perhaps public works in Jewish towns. Other than labor conscription, the conquered populations remain free and enjoy all the property rights. Their major difference from gerim is that the conquered populations may continue their pagan worship, as they do not live in the Land of Israel proper and so do not pollute it by their idolatry.

Now back to gerim. The Torah, particularly the section of Laws (Exodus 23 is a part of it) is not laid down in chronological order. Exodus 23:9 applies to the situation later than 23:31. How do we know that? Exodus 23:10 speaks of Shmita, seventh-year rest for agricultural land. Settled agriculture was the last stage in Jewish conquest of Canaan, after the land was taken from its original inhabitants. So gerim appear after yeshvei are displaced.

Who are gerim? They are not natives, as the natives are exterminated or evicted already (yes, Jews are not nice). In the Biblical Hebrew, the cognate gur has an unquestionable sense of, to huddle together, to reside timidly. That sense is very far from the toneless Modern Hebrew, to live. Even in the most aggressive sense, Psalm 56:6-7: ‘… all their thoughts are against me for evil. They iaguru secretly (or, from north – the left side in ancient coordinates)…’ Likewise Psalm 140:3-4: ‘Who think evil things in their heart, every day iaguru conflicts. They sharpened their tongue like a serpent.’ The main theme about gerim is timidity, submissiveness.

In modern terms, gerim must absolutely accept Jewish sovereignty. In ancient Judea, gerim were not oppressed, but neither had they have political rights. It is in this sense that the Torah speaks about Jews: ‘… for you were gerim in the land of Egypt.’ Whether the Jews were slaves or ate meat from full pots, they lacked political rights in Egypt.

Rabbis traditionally understood gerim even stricter, as converts to Judaism. Such reading is semantically (though not etymologically) correct, as foreign religions were banned in Judea, and resident aliens had to practice Judaism. In particular, not even slaves or gerim were allowed to work on Sabbath, erect altars, worship idols, sacrifice to foreign deities, or eat blood; they adhered to the restrictions of Pesach and Yom Kippur. They submitted to the laws given to Jews on the Sinai, and acted like Jews in all practical matters except marriage.

The terms ger and i-sh-v converge in some situations, as when Abraham pleads with the tribe of Heth to allow him burying his wife who died in Kiryat Arba (in our days, the place of notorious Jewish settlement which ‘took the Arab land’). Genesis 23:4: ‘I am a ger and toshav with you.’ Abraham, a great legal mind, is precise here: he is a submissive resident (ger) now, but will settle (toshav) this land. So Abraham insists on buying a cave for the burial instead of accepting the offer of receiving it free. Israel abandoned that cave, Mearat a-Mahpela, to Arab jurisdiction.

Even toshav, a status higher than ger, relates inferiority. He is not allowed to partake of Pesach sacrifices (Exodus 12:45) unless he converts to Judaism and circumcises (12:48). He is just a bit higher than a slave (Leviticus 25:35, 40). His right to live in the Land of Israel is unquestioned, but his status is far below Jewish freeman.

There is not a single instance in the Bible where ger lacks the clear sense of submissiveness.

What, then, is the meaning of ‘oppress’? We can only marvel at our lawgiver who preceded every political theorist. The Torah differentiates between natural law and special rights. Oppression means depriving a person from what is inherently his: life and ownership. Political rights, the rights to change or influence Jewish character of the state – he doesn’t have them.

Jews were oppressed in Egypt where we were slaves (Exodus 3:9). Syrians oppressed us so that we needed a deliverer (2 Kings 13:4-5). To our lawgiver, oppression was tremendously more severe than mere absence of voting rights.

The parallel prohibition in Exodus 22:20 clarifies, ‘And ger, you shall not squeeze (toneh) or oppress him.’ The word toneh (i-n-h) has a root cell cognate i-n-k (to suck), testifying to the reading, to squeeze out. What can be squeezed out of a person? Surely not his political rights, but life and property.

The important sense of l-h-tz root for oppression is its communal character: in the word’s common usage, one polity oppresses another. When the oppression is between individuals, it is referred to as a-sh-k, such as, ‘You shall not trample upon (taashok) your neighbor’ (Leviticus 19:13).

Long before Christians adopted this commandment as their major tenet, Jews were told, ‘You shall love your fellow [man] just as yourself’ (Leviticus 19:18). Not to the extent that you love yourself, but the way you do. Your love to fellow man should be in the likeness (cmo) of your love to yourself.

The common translation of r-y-h as ‘neighbor’ does not relate the word correctly. In Psalm 45:15, for example, the virgins in the king’s wife’s train are definitely not her neighbors. The translation friends also falls short, as Leviticus 19:13 won’t prohibit trampling upon one’s friend. The r-y-h sense has to do with following, going in the same direction. That sense makes for the double meaning of r-y-h: evil (to bend someone, to steer away) and friend (to bend together with someone, to have a common path unlike the others’).Thus, r-y-h is not an abstract neighbor, but someone sufficiently close that you ‘bend the rules’ together, deviate from the others’ road. For example, the Tower of Babel builders are described as r-y-h, fellows. Rather than neighbor, the proper translation of r-y-h is compatriot (with co- relating the sense of sticking together) or fellow.

The critical difference between us and Christians is who to consider a fellow man. Modern Christians unrealistically pronounce all people fellows, and surely fail to treat them as such. But their own parable of the Good Samaritan is instructive: even a despised Samaritan could be one’s fellow if the Samaritan helped him. Fellow is the one from whom help is expected. Such a definition surely excludes Canaanites and Palestinian Arabs from the commandment to love your fellow.

What is the love enjoined to our fellows? The context clarifies: ‘You shall not oppress your fellow’ (19:13), ‘You shall not hate your brother’ (19:17), and the 19:18: ‘You shall neither take revenge, nor restrain [yourself to take revenge later] at the children of your nation.’ This, by the way, refutes the claims that human vengeance is prohibited in Judaism, but is the power of God only. Revenge is prohibited only against fellow Jews, on the double presumption of their general goodwill and efficient law enforcement. In such a society, revenge on the personal level was superfluous. But taking revenge on the enemies of Jews (even their distant offspring) is not merely a right, but an often-reiterated obligation: ‘a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace’ (Ecclesiastes 3:8).

The commandment of love concludes a list which parallels the Decalogue, and is therefore comparable to the prohibition of jealousy (Exodus 20:13).

The prescribed love to one’s fellow is the absence of hatred, vengeance, oppression, and jealousy. While gerim must not be oppressed, fellows must also not be hated. The Torah distinguishes between several circles of people: the closer is the circle, the more rights are accorded to it. Extended family, a closer circle, enjoys still more rights: one must respect his parents. One’s own family, the closest circle, awards generous rights to wives. Later on, when Hebrew society became strong and gerim were fully integrated, the commandment of love was expanded onto them (Deuteronomy 10:19); converts became treated strictly on par with native Jews.

The Torah prescribes, ‘The ger who resides among you in your land shall be for you like a native, and you shall love him just as you love yourself’ (Leviticus 19:34). You cannot be more compassionate than that. But why the Torah, so short on words, reiterates, ‘in your land’? So that the ger absolutely recognizes the land as ours. And indeed the parallel Exodus 12:48: ‘And if a ger will reside with you, and will keep the Pesach to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised… he shall be like the native…’ In order to be like a Jew, ger must be like a Jew: he must circumcise, keep Jewish customs, and to all purposes become a Jew. Then, sure enough, we must love him just as we love any Jew, including ourselves.

To summarize: In ‘You shall not oppress gerim’ the Torah enjoins us against arbitrarily taking life or property of the submissive resident aliens who are loyal to Judaism. In ‘You shall love your fellow just as yourself’ the Torah enjoins positive attitude toward one’s compatriots, like-minded people only.

(Via avideditor’s shared items in Google Reader.)</

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Think tank: Hamas has an army of 20,000

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

I think it is time for Israel to turn that into an army of 0.

Think tank: Hamas has an army of 20,000: ”

An Israeli think tank reports today that since the brilliant
expulsion of Gazas Jews less than three years ago, Hamas has built up
an army of 20,000 men,
much of it trained in Lebanon and Iran. It also has long-range rockets
and advanced anti-tank weapons in the Gaza Strip and has smuggled in
more than eighty tons of weapons.

Entitled ‘Hamass
Military Buildup in the Gaza Strip’, the report – compiled by the
Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center – detailed the structure
of the Hamas military force in Gaza, naming commanders of its various
brigades and the type of weapons it has succeeded in smuggling into
Gaza through the Sinai.

According to the think tank that has close ties with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), which provides most of the information in the report, Hamass military buildup is currently at its peak although its completion will take another few years. [In other words, postponing an operation will only make it worse. CiJ]

military capabilities are based on the Izzedin al-Kassam Brigades – the
groups military wing responsible for the terror attacks against Israel.

In the event of a large-scale Israeli invasion of Gaza, the report claims that Hamas
would refrain from fighting against the IDF in open areas but would
instead channel the fighting into more densely-populated areas
. [Where they have lots of human shields. CiJ]

success in providing an asymmetric response to the IDFs might during
the second Lebanon war made it a role model for Hamas,’ the report
states. ‘The lessons of the second Lebanon war also illustrated the
importance of having a strong military force which could stand fast and
survive to protect Hamass control of the Gaza Strip, like the military
force Hizbullah established in south Lebanon.’

The commander of
the al-Kassam Brigades, which numbers 10,000 operatives, is Ahmed
Jaabri, who took over following the assassination attempt on Mohammed
Deif in July 2006 that left the supreme Hamas commander seriously

In addition to the brigades, Hamas also controls the
Executive Force which numbers another 10,000 operatives. There are also
another 3-4 thousand operatives who belong to other terror groups –
Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine etc. – and
these would also likely join Hamass fight against the IDF in the event
of an Israeli invasion.

According to the report, the northern
Gaza brigade is commanded by Ahmed Ghandour; two brigades in Gaza City
are commanded by Jaabari; the central Gaza brigade is commanded by
Ayman Nawfal who is currently in prison in Egypt and two brigades in
southern Gaza – one in Khan Yunis and one in Rafah – are respectively
commanded by Muhammad Sinwar and Raed al-Atar.

Haaretz adds:

Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center also said that Israels
2005 pullout from Gaza enabled the militant Palestinian group to boost
its power in the coastal strip, over which it gained control in a
violent takeover in June 2006.

Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip in August 2005 created a new
situation which accelerated the establishment of an area fully
controlled by Hamas. It was quick to use its increased military power
to make political capital in internal Palestinian affairs
,’ the study states. [For Haaretz, thats an astounding admission. They are effectively admitting that the disengagement was a huge mistake. CiJ]

Iran and Syria supply Hamas with weapons, technical knowhow and training, the study also stated.

the study said the Islamic group has smuggled 80 tons of explosives
into the Gaza Strip since it seized the territory last year.

But lets give the moderate Abu Mazen some more territory that he and
Hamas can use to build an army in Judea and Samaria and then the whole
country can be like Sderot. Eh Ehud?

Cross-posted to Israel Matzav.

(Via avideditor’s shared items in Google Reader.)</

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The Economics of Mid East Refugees

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

Here is more information and a better take on an earlier post.

The Economics of Mid East Refugees: “
The Right of return for Palestinian Refugees is the ultimate Straw Dog. First of all the term refugee give you the indication of people sleeping in tents carrying their clothes on their backs. They live in permanent houses, and the condition of their living quarters has more to do with former Egyptian President Nassar than any war with Israel (for more on this see The PLO was Born in Egypt, Raised by the KGB)

I have seen the Jewish vs Palestinian Refugee Issue debated many ways, of course never in the Mainstream Media, but never in the way described below by Economist Sidney Zabludoff. In the article below, he looks at the FACTS not the emotions underlining the refugee issue and explains if there is compensation for either group, it should probably come from the Oil producing states, not from Israel:

The Palestinian Refugee Issue: Rhetoric vs. Reality Sidney Zabludoff

The Palestinian refugee issue has festered for sixty years and remains a major stumbling block in reaching an Israeli-Palestinian accord. At the same time, there has been little discussion of the larger number of Jews who were forced out of Middle Eastern and North African countries where they had lived for thousand of years. The reality of the issue has given way to cloudy political motivations, and the facts about the numbers of refugees and assets lost in both cases are little known.[1]

The Facts

Number of Refugees

The exact number of Palestinians who fled Israel from November 1947 to December 1948 will never be known. The estimates range from about 400,000 to one million. The most plausible is some 550,000. Based on census figures and demographic trends, in 1947 there were most likely about 740,000 Palestinians living in the area that became Israel.[2] About 140,000 remained and roughly 50,000 soon returned after 1948 (estimates range from 30,000 to 90,000).[3] About two-thirds of those who left Israel went to the West Bank and Gaza with the remainder mainly going to Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.[4]

The number of additional Palestinian refugees resulting from the 1967 war is also based on rough approximations. Most observers use some 300,000, of whom nearly 100,000 returned in the months following the war.[5] In addition, about half of those fleeing were already refugees from the 1948 war. The result is that new refugees probably amounted to about 100,000. Thus, the net total of refugees created by both wars was some 650,000.

Within Israel, there were also internally displaced persons (IDP). These were Palestinians who fled their homes but did not regain them upon returning. Estimates of IDPs vary widely. Various Israeli scholars indicate 10,000 to 23,000; international organizations (International Red Cross and UN Relief and Works Agency-UNRWA), 25,000 to 46,000; and Palestinians, 150,000 to 300,000. Using the international organizations’ estimate, the IDPs would roughly equate to the 40,000 Jews forced out of the West Bank and Gaza during the 1948 war.

Before 1948, there were slightly more than one million Jews in the Middle East and North Africa outside the area that became Israel, including the 40,000 in the West Bank and Gaza.[6] The total number fell by half in the years following the 1948 war and then declined to some 100,000 following the 1967 conflict. The Jewish population fell further in the ensuing years and by 2007 amounted to just 15,000 to 35,000. The bulk of those remaining reside in Iran. Thus roughly one million Jews became refugees because of actions of Middle Eastern and North African countries.

When the two refugee exoduses are compared, it can be concluded with a high degree of likelihood that the number of Jewish refugees was some 50 percent greater than that of Palestinian refugees.

Value of Assets Lost by Refugees

A considerable number of estimates exist as to the value of the assets lost by the Jewish and Palestinian refugees. This includes numbers published by both groups that are well above any realistic amount and as such are likely politically motivated. Determining the value of property, businesses, financial holdings, and movable assets such as automobiles and furniture will under any circumstance be susceptible to a wide range of estimates. The best estimates are usually bank accounts if the data are available.

The most solid estimate for assets given up by Palestinians fleeing the 1948 war was by John Measham Berncastle, who undertook the task in the early 1950s under the aegis of the newly formed United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine (UNCCP). He was a British land value estimator who had worked in Palestine since 1935. His estimate was 120 million Palestinian pounds of which about 100 million was for land and buildings and 20 million for movable property.[7] Other estimates would add some 4-5 million Palestinian pounds for Arab bank accounts blocked by the Israeli government.[8]

The total of 125 million Palestinian pounds amounts to $350 million in 1948. This is equal to some $650 per 1948-1949 refugee. This number seems reasonable when compared to similar data. For example, per capita assets for Poland, the Baltic states, and southeast European countries during the late 1930s ranged from $550 to $700,[9] these being the most equivalent asset statistics available.

To this must be added the asset losses for those additional 100,000 who fled in the aftermath of the 1967 war and the 40,000 IDPs. The latter are included even though they often were given new property and/or compensation.[10] At a realistic $700 per capita that would amount to another $100 million in lost Palestinian assets. Thus the total of assets lost by Palestinians is some $450 million. In 2007 prices this would amount to $3.9 billion. In per capita terms for 2007, this would be $4,740 or for a family of seven more than $33,000. The 2007 values used in this article are calculated by using the U.S. Consumer Price Index.[11]

There also are no precise global figures of the assets lost by the Jewish refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. Using a similar methodology, the minimal amount would be $700 million at period prices and $6 billion at 2007 prices. For the Jews of the above East European countries the per capita range is $700-$900. Jews had higher per capita assets than for the country as a whole because most lived in urban areas and held a large share of the professional jobs. The same demographic structure existed in most countries of the Middle East and North Africa. For example, while Jews made up 3 percent of the Iraqi population in 1948, they accounted for 20 percent of the population of Baghdad.

There are two key reasons for the higher value of assets for Jewish refugees. Most important, the number of Jewish refugees from Middle Eastern and North African countries is some 50 percent higher than that of Palestinian refugees. Second, the demographic nature of the two groups varied, as explained. A higher percentage of the Jewish population was urban, mainly traders and professionals, which would tend to accumulate more assets than the Palestine population that was more rural.

For both Jews and Palestinians, there are also two factors that somewhat reduced the amounts that needed to be repatriated. Assets, especially financial ones, were sometimes saved by moving or smuggling them out of the country. Both sides did so. Many wealthy Arab families from Jerusalem, Haifa, and Jaffa left Palestine soon after the November 1947 UN partition resolution, taking with them their financial and other movable assets. Those fleeing after the fighting began obviously took whatever financial assets and other movable assets they could carry. There were no limits on the amount of money and goods. As a result, by the end of September 1950, $26.7 million ($229 million in 2007 prices) in Palestinian pounds was converted in Jordan to Jordanian currency.[12]

In the early days many Jews fleeing Middle Eastern and North African countries, mainly the wealthy ones, were able to smuggle money out of the countries in which they lived. For example, a number of Iraqi Jews moved money into Iran. But when it came to the mass exodus, each Middle Eastern or North African country had stringent regulations on the value of currency and high-valued goods, such as jewelry, that the refugees could take with them. In some countries Jews had a longer time to sell their property than did the Palestinians. But most often the transactions were at substantially reduced prices-less than 10 percent of their market value-and thus the losses were still substantial.

The second factor concerns assets repatriated. Israel returned more than 90 percent of Palestinian blocked bank accounts. The process started in 1953 under the UNCCP and was mainly completed by 1959, with the small remainder being paid out during the early 1960s. Similarly, for the most part contents of safe deposit boxes and items held in custody by the banks also were returned. The amounts returned exceeded $10 million ($86 million in 2007 prices).[13] There also were a few cases where Jewish property was restored. Egypt did pay some claims for compensation for nationalized Jewish property, mainly to Jews who had English or French citizenship, normally at prices at the time of confiscation. For example, an undisclosed sum was paid in 2007 to a French-Egyptian-Jewish family for a hotel in Alexandria that the Nasser regime seized in 1952.[14] In the case of Algeria, refugees who fled to France, including Jews, after independence in 1962 received resettlement support.

A major unknown is community property such as hospitals, mosques, synagogues, and religious schools. One estimate put the value of such Jewish-owned property in Egypt at $550 million in 2007 dollars.[15] It can be assumed, however, that the Jewish amounts are larger than those of Palestinians because of the higher number of refugees and a larger number of locations.

Other financial demands were made by both sides, none of which were seriously considered. The Israelis wanted compensation for direct damage caused by the Arab attack on Israel ($463 million in 2007 prices), of which 65 percent involved the heavily damaged Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem and the economic damage caused by the closure of the Suez Canal to Israel ($5.3-$5.9 billion in 2007 prices).[16] Other claims that had no determined value included direct expenditures incurred in repulsing the Arab invasion, indirect war damages on individuals, companies, and government due to the invasion, and losses caused by Arab boycott of firms doing business with Israel.

The Palestinians have mentioned psychological damage to individuals as well as the lost income. When these are added to property losses, the total according to one Arab estimate runs from $181-$290 billion in 2007 prices.[17] Some estimates by Jewish groups also seem to be high. For example, the World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries indicates that the value of the properties they lost was some $100 billion (2006 values)[18] and another estimate is $300 billion in 2007 values.[19]

It should be noted that it is impossible to determine an exact value for asset losses and an argument can be made for higher asset values. The roughly $10 billion in current value losses by both sides described above is determined by bringing the 1949 value up to 2007 value by adjusting for inflation. Often, however, prices of property increase faster than inflation and interest on financial assets is greater than the price increases. One method of determining current value is to use government long-term bond yields instead of inflation rates. This would increase the combined Jewish and Palestinian losses to some $36 billion in 2007 prices. The bottom line, however, is that no matter what methodology is used the losses of Jewish refugees from Middle Eastern and North African countries are almost certainly at least 50 percent higher than those of Palestinian refugees.

Reality vs. Political Machinations

In understanding the refugee issue, it is necessary to distinguish between the reality of the circumstances and political hopes and machinations.

Causes of the Refugee Outflow

Clearly, Israel in 1948 acted in self-defense against Arab states that wanted to eradicate the new country created by the United Nations. Many Palestinians fled in 1948 because Arab states said they should get out of the way of the war until the new state was defeated. Others took flight to avoid the fighting. Instances did occur in which Jewish forces drove the Palestinians out of their homes and Palestinian civilians were killed. But these occurrences were comparatively rare and take place in all wars. Unquestionably, the prime responsibility lies with those who started the war-in this case the Arab states.

By contrast, the expulsion of the Jews from Arab states was purely vindictive. Attacks on Jews and their property in these countries intensified in the 1920s with the discussion of a possible Jewish state in Palestine. The killings and property losses grew worse in the 1930-1945 era partly because of the added factor of Nazi propaganda and the Nazi and Vichy occupation of North Africa. During this period there was a small but steady increase in the number of Jews from Arab countries migrating to Palestine.

It was the extreme Arab violence and discriminatory government measures in reaction to the 1948, 1956, and 1967 wars that lead to the huge exodus of Jews. Throughout the region there were anti-Jewish riots involving harassment and killings reminiscent of East European pogroms. Moreover, often there was confiscation of property, along with limitations on employment and economic opportunities similar to Nazi German actions in the 1930s. Added to this was the independence from France of North African countries, which removed the French protection. Actions against Jews in Iran were much more limited than in Arab countries. Nevertheless, there was a steady outflow after 1948 that accelerated after the increased discrimination that followed the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The current Jewish population in Iran is about one-fifth that of 1948.

Perceptions of the Jewish and Palestinian Refugee Issues

Why does the Palestinian refugee issue remain strong while the larger expulsion of Jews is a backburner issue? The answer is simple and straightforward. Whereas the Jews who were forced out of Middle Eastern and North African countries were effectively and quickly resettled in Israel and Western nations, most of the Palestinians who fled and their descendants-some 4.7 million in 2006[20]-are still considered refugees after sixty years or three generations. About one-third are in the West Bank and Gaza and the remainder in nearby countries, most prominently Jordan.

Calling these people refugees makes no sense. Few if any live in tent camps or temporary residences. Most own their homes and live in areas of towns that can be classified as working class neighborhoods. Rather than refugees, they are simply the recipients of assistance, mainly for education and health. Outside of the West Bank and Gaza, only Jordan has granted citizenship to all Palestinians and fully integrated them into the local society. But even those assimilated into Jordan and elsewhere are still considered refugees by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA).

The political motivations are clear. In the years after the 1948 war, the refugee issue was kept alive partly because the Arab countries felt disgraced by having lost the war they had initiated. This sense was further aggravated by a strong nationalism that persisted for decades. After all, Jordan and Egypt could have absorbed the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, which they controlled as part of their own countries. Meanwhile, both Arab governments and the Arab League opposed granting citizenship to Palestinian refugees in their countries because it would undermine the use of the right of return to eliminate the Jewish state. In addition, it was quickly forgotten that the Arab states were the aggressors who bore the prime responsibility for causing the Palestinian refugee problem. The end result was that the Palestinian refugees became political pawns.

This fact was stated succinctly by the former head of UNRWA, Ralph Galloway, when he said: ‘The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the UN, and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders do not give a damn whether Arab refugees live or die.'[21]

Meanwhile, Israel did not aggressively pursue the Jewish refugee issue. Although it raised the matter in the early years of the new state,[22] after that the issue seemed to wane. Israel was eager to absorb those forced out of Middle Eastern and North African countries since it bolstered the Jewish population in Israel. Meanwhile, at first some Palestinian spokesmen denounced the expulsion of the Jews from Arab countries and even suggested a Jewish right of return.[23] They realized that the Jewish eviction undermined their own arguments.

The Palestinian and Arab leaders continued to press the Palestinian refugee and right-of-return issue, especially after the Oslo accords led to discussions of a two-state solution, mainly as a major bargaining chip in these negotiations. The more extremist leaders gave the issue great prominence as a means of achieving their goal of eliminating the Jewish state by creating an Arab majority. In all these cases, pushing the refugee issue cost them nothing since UNWRA, which was supporting the refugees in their countries, was financed largely by Western nations.

These political machinations made the Palestinian refugee situation unique. It is the oldest refugee situation handled by the United Nations and is the only one in which refugee status is granted to descendants. Moreover, the prolonged emphasis on refugee camps and the right of return goes against historical reality. Massive displacements of individuals across borders have occurred throughout human history. In most instances the refugee issue was dealt with by their absorption in other countries. Some were resolved by the conflicting nations.

For example, during the 1920s 1.75 million Greeks and Turks moved across new boundaries based on their religious beliefs-Greek Orthodox and Muslim. Others exchanges were tacitly agreed to. Such a case involved the fourteen million Hindus/Sikhs and Muslims exchanged in 1947 between the newly formed countries of India and Pakistan. Indeed, from World War I to the 1950s, it was a widely held global view that the separation of ethnic and religious groups by moving them across borders would reduce tensions among countries and the chances of war.

In other cases the moves were forced as a result of border changes. For example, at the end of World War II, at the insistence of the USSR, the Polish borders were moved west as the Soviets took over Polish territory and Poland took over areas previously in Germany. Millions were forced to move from their homes to new areas and no compensation was paid.

Normally, although initially the refugees faced poverty and difficult times, within one generation the resettled population assimilated into their new country. A case in point is the current president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf. He was born in New Delhi and at age four was one of the many Muslims who moved to Pakistan. The story of refugees (survivors) of the Holocaust, by far the most devastating event inflicted on any group during the twentieth century, also followed a similar pattern. Most survivors just wanted to get on with their lives in a new and secure environment.

In all these cases there is a natural tendency of each dispossessed group to remember the past and what they lost. Although such feelings are passed down through generations, it does little to affect these groups’ absorption into their new setting. Like others, the Palestinians would probably have followed the same course if not for the disruptions caused by terrorism bolstered by incessant anti-Israeli propaganda.

The Economic Ingredient

Soon after Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza following the 1967 war, the plight of the Palestinian refugees improved. Overall, the area’s economy grew significantly. Israeli government economic assistance helped, but an even more important factor was the natural heavy dependence of the Palestinian economy on the Israeli market for its labor and goods. In addition, Palestinian wages were high compared to those of nearby Arab countries making Palestinian goods less competitive in these countries. Indeed, as Hebrew University economics professor Nadav Halevi stated at a UN conference in Cairo: ‘The Palestinian economy needs the Israeli one more than the Israeli economy needs the Palestinian one.'[24]

As a result of the improved post-1967 economic situation, by 1974 90 percent of Palestinian refugees owned their own homes and their spending was close to that of nonrefugee families.[25] Refugees made up nearly half of the Palestinian population of the administered territories.

The favorable economic trend lasted until the First Intifada in the 1980s, when terrorist activity led to a downturn until the mid-1990s. Then, as a result of the Oslo accords, a more peaceful period emerged leading to resurgent economic activity and a 6-7 percent annual rise in GNP per capita.[26] During both growth periods, the economy benefited significantly from the enhanced integration of the Israeli and Palestinian economies.

The favorable Oslo period ended with the Second Intifada in 2000. There was some recovery from 2003 to 2005 but this soon diminished when Hamas came to power and then took over Gaza. From September 2000 to mid-2007, the Palestinian GNP per capita declined about 30 percent.[27] Clearly, terrorism has been a main factor undercutting economic opportunities for refugees as well as the entire Palestinian economy. Israeli antiterror measures hamper the movement of goods and labor between Israel and the territories.

Compensation for Refugee Losses

All refugee crises since World War I have involved considerable discussions of how to compensate for the property and other asset losses of individuals. International agreements on the subject have increased dramatically, especially since World War II and the founding of the United Nations. During World War II, a number of Allied agreements called for the return of property stolen by the Nazis and their collaborators. The United Nations and its agencies have passed several resolutions on returning property and the right of return of refugees.

In all these cases the agreements have had little effect, becoming no more than idealistic pronouncements. Moreover, all parties to the issue have different interpretations of the language used. This is true of the 1948 UN resolution 194, which refers to the right of return of Palestinian refugees. Finally, there is no balance since the United Nations has passed numerous such resolutions relating to the Palestinians but not one referring to the dispossessed Jews of the Middle East and North Africa.

The examples of compensation falling short are numerous. Less than 20 percent of asset losses by Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe have been returned despite the fact that the Holocaust was an event unequaled in modern history-the extermination of more than two-thirds of continental European Jewry.[28] The nine hundred thousand French pied-noirs who fled Algeria in 1962 lost property valued at $20 billion. Only about 10 percent of that was reimbursed by the French government in the form of assimilation assistance over the next fifteen years.[29]

More akin to the Arab-Israeli situation was the division of the British-ruled Indian subcontinent in 1947 into two states, India and Pakistan. Killings, riots, and property destruction led to the flight of Muslims in India to Pakistan and of Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan to India. Among the more than fourteen million refugees, less than 2 percent returned and/or recovered their land or business. Although there was considerable discussion of individual compensation, it never worked out. Again in the Greek-Turkish population exchange of 1923, individual compensation was suggested but dropped because of its complexities in favor of a global settlement between the parties. In both cases, the land and shops abandoned by those fleeing were turned over to the incoming refugees.

Such an exchange of property also took place between Jewish and Palestinian refugees. Israel used previously owned Palestinian land to absorb Jewish refugees. The Syrian government seized Jewish property and turned it over to Palestinian refugees.[30] But more commonly in other Middle Eastern and North African countries, seized Jewish property was not used to resettle Palestinians. Governments and local individuals simply took over the Jewish property and profited by not paying compensation.

A fairer resolution of the compensation issue involved the Israeli government’s settlement with the Palestinian IDPs. In 1953, it reached an agreement with UNRWA to take over responsibility for resettling these Palestinians. As a result they were no longer considered refugees but rather citizens of Israel. During the next ten years the Israeli government provided the IDPs either their original property and/or compensation for the losses. Although some Palestinians felt the offers were too small and have raised the issue in recent years, the group as a whole has become an integral part of Israeli society.

For most refugee crises of the post-World War II era, compensation came mainly in the form of temporary assistance. Such rehabilitation efforts usually lasted for several years while the refugee groups were becoming assimilated into their new surroundings. It is only the Palestinian one in which such support continued for a prolonged period. In 2007 prices, UNRWA has spent $13.7 billion since its inception in 1950.[31] Its 2007 budget exceeds $500 million. The result is that UNRWA, over the past fifty-seven years, has spent 3.5 times more than the Palestinian refugees lost in assets, and this excludes assistance they received through other aid programs provided to the Palestinians mainly by Western countries.

Lessons Learned

Most important, the refugee issue is not only bogus but a major distraction from the real issues: establishing a Palestinian state and eliminating terrorism. Only these steps would provide Israel security and allow the Palestinian economy to flourish as it did following the 1967 war and the signing of the Oslo accords.

Restoring such a reality would mean:

  • Shelving the right-of-return issue and accepting the outcome of similar religious or ethnic disputes that created a significant number of refugees. Each side would continue to live in their new domains, and property and other asset claims would be dropped. At the same time, Arab countries-mainly Syria and Lebanon-would accept the Palestinians as citizens and help integrate them into the local society and economy. Or if they so chose, these Palestinians could be resettled in a new Palestinian state.
  • Eliminating the refugee status of Palestinians. Instead of providing support to so-called refugees, economic assistance would be given to a new Palestinian state. Similar aid could be provided to other nearby countries to facilitate their absorption of Palestinians.

Obviously, however, negotiations to reach an Israeli-Palestinian settlement will have to deal with the refugee issue and its subparts such as the right of return and/or compensation. Put into perspective, it remains as a bargaining chip for Arab and Palestinian negotiators who continue to emphasize the issue via their political drumbeat. The only way to move toward the reality of how such events have been handled in the past is to stress the clear fact that there were more Jews who fled Middle Eastern and North African countries than Palestinians who left Israel.

If it is decided to establish a fund to reimburse the original Jewish and Palestinian refugee families or their heirs for the asset losses, there are two options. The most just method would be to pay each family/heir what it lost. Such a procedure, however, would be extremely complicated and take many years to determine each person’s losses. The second alternative is to establish a global fund in which each family/heir receives an equivalent amount. This would be unfair to the few Jews and Palestinians who in each society held the bulk of the wealth. This is a common situation in all countries. For example, in Iraq in the late 1940s, 2 percent of the Jewish population held 44 percent of the group’s assets.[32] To overcome this problem, a higher award could be paid to those who could prove they possessed assets worth more than a stipulated amount.

Under either option an estimated $10 billion would be needed to support an asset restitution fund. Realistically, only a small portion could be expected to come from the countries from which the refugees fled. Most funds would have to be provided by developed or oil-rich Arab countries. During the peace negotiations in 2000, the Clinton administration suggested such a fund should be financed by developed countries. The Arab countries, Israel, and the Palestinians all quickly approved that idea since they would not have to contribute. This is reality!

* * *


[1] The amount of material produced, especially on the Palestinian refugees, is huge, and much of it highly slanted to support political views. These books and articles provided the most useful research and analysis for this article: Avi Beker, UNRWA, Terror and the Refugee Conundrum: Perpetuating the Misery (Jerusalem: WJC Institute, 2003); Avi Beker, ‘The Forgotten Narrative: Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries,’ Jewish Political Studies Review, Vol. 17, Nos. 3-4 (Fall 2005); Randy Belinfante, ‘Resources for Research on Jews in Arab Countries,’ Proceedings of the Annual Convention of the Association of Jewish Libraries, Toronto, 2003; Eyal Benvenisti, ‘Principles and Procedures for Compensating Refugees,’ PRRN/DRC Workshop on Compensation as a Part of the Comprehensive Palestinian Refugee Problem, Ottawa, July 1999; Rex Brynen, ‘The Funding of Palestinian Refugee Compensation,’ FOFOGNET Digest, March 1996; Michael Comay, Zionism, Israel and the Palestinian Arabs: Questions and AnswersRefugees and World Politics (New York: Praeger, 1985); Michael Fischbach, Records of Dispossession: Palestine Refugee Property and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003); Moshe Gat, The Jewish Exodus from Iraq, 1948-1951 (London: Frank Cass, 1997); Sami Hadwi, Palestinian Rights and Losses in 1948: A Comprehensive Study (London: Saqi Books, 1988); Nadav Halevi, ‘Prospects for Palestinian Economic Development and Middle East Peace Process,’ paper presented at a United Nations conference in Cairo, June 2000; Andre Jabes, Jews in Arab Countries: A Survey of Events since August 1967 (London: Institute of Jewish Affairs, 1971); Arie Kacowicz and Pawel Lutomski, eds., Population Resettlement in International Conflicts: A Comparative StudyUNRWA: A Report (Wellesley, MA: Center for Near East Policy Research, 2003); Ruth Lapidoth, ‘Legal Aspects of the Palestinian Refugee Question,’ Jerusalem Letter/Viewpoints, 485, 1 September 2002; Luke Lee, ‘The Issue of Compensation for Palestinian Refugees,’ PRRN/DRC Workshop on Compensation as a Part of the Comprehensive Palestinian Refugee Problem, Ottawa, July 1999; Itamar Levin, Confiscated Wealth: The Fate of Jewish Property in Arab Lands (Jerusalem: WJC Institute, 2000); Itamar Levin, Locked Doors: The Seizure of Jewish Property in Arab Countries (London: Praeger, 2001); Emanuel Marx and Nachmias Nitza, ‘Dilemmas of Prolonged Humanitarian Aid Operations: The Case of UNWRA,’ Journal of Humanitarian Assistance, 22 June 2004; Ya’akov Meron, ‘Why Jews Fled the Arab Countries,’ Middle East Quarterly, September 1995; Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003); Ori Nir, ‘What Is a Refugee? What Is a Displaced Person?’ Haaretz, 7 March 1995; Walter Pinner, How Many Refugees? (London: McGibbon & Kee, 1959); Walter Pinner, The Legend of the Arab Refugees (Tel Aviv: Economic and Social Research Institute, 1967); Terence Prittie and Bernard Dineen, Double Exodus: A Study of Arab and Jewish Refugees in the Middle East (London: Goodhart Press, 1974); Maurice Roumani, The Case of the Jews from Arab Countries: A Neglected Issue (New York: WOJAC, 1977); Joseph Schechtman, Arab Refugee Problem (New York: Philosophical Library, 1952); Joseph Schechtman, On Wings of Eagles: The Plight, Exodus and Homecoming of Oriental Jews (New York: Yoseloff, 1961); Joseph Schechtman, The Refugee in the World: Displacement and Integration (New York: A. S. Barnes, 1963); Malka Hillel Shulewitz, ed., The Forgotten Millions: The Modern Jewish Exodus from Arab Lands (London: Cassel, 1999); Norman Stillman, The Jews in Arab Lands in Modern Times (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1991); Milton Viorst, Reaching for the Olive Branch: UNRWA and Peace in the Middle East (Washington: Middle East Institute, 1989); http://www.Wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_refugees. (Jerusalem: Keter Books, 1983); Elizabeth Ferris, ed., (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2007); Arlene Kushner,

[2] See Prittie and Dineen, Double Exodus, 8-9; Schechtman, Arab Refugee Problem; Schechtman, Refugee in the World, 199.

[3] See Morris, Birth.

[4] See Shulewitz, Forgotten Millions, 140.

[5] See Nir, ‘What Is a Refugee?’

[6] The total for 1948 is 1,036,000. This includes 856,000 from Arab countries (see Roumani, Case of the Jews from Arab Countries, 2), 140,000 from Iran, and 40,000 from the West Bank and Gaza. For other years, see the American Jewish Year Book.

[7] See Fischbach, Records, 128.

[8] See ibid., 98.

[9] Sidney Zabludoff, And It All But Disappeared: The Nazi Seizure of Jewish Assets (Jerusalem: WJC Institute, 1998).

[10] See Kacowicz and Lutomski, Population Resettlement, 136-50.

[11] US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index, 1982-1984=100.

[12] See Schechtman, Arab Refugee Problem, 95.

[13] See Fischbach, Records, 198-209.

[14] World Jewry Dateline, WJC Foundation, September 2007, 2.

[15] See Levin, Locked Doors, 137.

[16] See Fischbach, Records, 193.

[17] See Hadwi, Palestinian Rights.

[18] Jerusalem Post, 23 October 2006.

[19] Jerusalem Post, 16 November 2007.

[20] UNRWA as of 31 March 2006.

[21] See Roumani, Case of the Jews from Arab Countries, 50.

[22] See Schechtman, Arab Refugee Problem, 111-12.

[23] See Shulewitz, Forgotten Millions, 96; Meron, ‘Why Jews Fled.’

[24] See Halevi, ‘Prospects,’ para. 40.

[25] See Marx and Nachmias, ‘Dilemmas.’

[26] World Bank, Two Years after London: Restoring Palestinian Economic Recovery (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2007).

[27] Ibid.

[28] Sidney Zabludoff, ‘Restitution of Holocaust-Era Assets: Promises and Reality,’ Jewish Political Studies Review, Vol. 19, Nos. 1-2 (Spring 2007).

[29] See Kacowicz and Lutomski, Population Resettlement, 50.

[30] See Levin, Locked Doors, 182-84.

[31] Individual years from UNRWA reports with each year increased to 2007 prices using the US Consumer Price Index; see n. 11.

[32] See Gat, Jewish Exodus, 74.

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