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Archive for April 13th, 2008

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]

Hamass
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]

‘Hizbullahs
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
injured.

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:

The
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.

The
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.

Futhermore,
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!

* * *

Notes

[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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Obama’s Marxist Cousin Becomes PM of Kenya

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

I guess it runs in the family. Read this great article brought to you by Yid with a Lid.

Obama’s Marxist Cousin Becomes PM of Kenya: “

There must be much celebration in the Senator Barack Obama camp, his cousin Raila Odinga has been named Prime Minister of Kenya in a power sharing deal. (for more about the Odinga-Obama relationship see Kenya, Islam and Obama Hussein.

Odinga is a Marxist who reportedly has made a pact with a hard-line Islamic group in Kenya to establish Shariah courts throughout the country. He has also vowed to ban booze and pork and impose Muslim dress codes on women — moves favored by Obama’s brother.

With al-Qaida strengthening its beachheads in Africa — from Algeria to Sudan to Somalia — the last thing the West needs is for pro-Western Kenya to fall into the hands of Islamic extremists.

Yet Obama interrupted his New Hampshire campaigning to speak by phone with Odinga, who claims to be his cousin. He did not speak with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki. (source)

Kenyan rivals sign power-sharing deal

POWER-SHARING DEAL

The key points of Kenya’s power-sharing deal signed Thursday by President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga:

-Kenya will create the prime minister’s post demanded by the opposition.

-The prime minister will have the power to ‘coordinate and supervise’ government affairs more authority than the government had wanted to give. Still, it was unclear if the prime minister will have executive authority that cannot be overruled by the president.

-Kenya will have two deputy prime ministers, one nominated by each member of the coalition.

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya’s rival politicians signed a power-sharing agreement Thursday and shook hands after weeks of bitter negotiations on how to end the country’s deadly postelection crisis.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga referred to his rival as ‘my countryman, President Mwai Kibaki’ — an important sign of acceptance from a man who has said Kibaki’s re-election in the Dec. 27 vote was a sham.

But in a reminder of the previous weeks’ chaos, police fired tear gas to disperse dozens of people who were gathered outside Kibaki’s office to witness the signing.

Kibaki and Odinga, both in blue suits, looked stoic as they signed the deal, side-by-side, to create the prime minister’s post for Odinga that the opposition has been demanding.

‘For the last two months, Kenyans have known nothing but sadness,’ Odinga said.

FIND MORE STORIES IN: State Department | Nairobi | Prime Minister Gordon Brown | Tom Casey | President Mwai Kibaki | Raila Odinga | Kenyans | East African | Eldoret | Kibera | Kericho

Kibaki added: ‘This process has reminded us that as a nation there are more issues that unite than that divide us.’

Both Kibaki and Odinga claim to have won the country’s presidential election, which observers say was marred by rigging on both sides.

The dispute set off street violence that killed more than 1,000 people and eviscerated the East African country’s economy. Postelection violence has largely subsided in recent weeks, but the country remains on edge.

Mediator Kofi Annan said earlier Thursday that ‘compromise was necessary for the survival of this country.’

As prime minister, Odinga will have the power to ‘coordinate and supervise’ government affairs, according to the deal. That is more authority than the government had wanted to give, but it still leaves open whether the prime minister will have executive authority that cannot be overruled by the president.

It was unclear when Odinga would take up the position. Kibaki said he is reconvening parliament next Thursday to begin work on the constitutional changes necessary to make the deal into law.

In western Kenya, scene of the some of the worst postelection violence, many people said it will take years to recover.

‘The deal between Raila and Kibaki will help to cool down the situation but I doubt if it will enable us to get back to our homes,’ said Paul Waweru, 56, among 19,000 people living in a camp in Eldoret.

Samson Kiplagat, a trader in the western town of Kericho, said Odinga had sold out.

‘Raila has betrayed us for settling for a lesser position than that of the presidency,’ he said.

But residents in Nairobi’s Kibera slum celebrated what they saw as a chance for peace.

‘The general mood among people is that of happiness,’ said Nelson Ochieng, whose barbershop was destroyed during the postelection violence. ‘We are tired of the political crisis. I was a barber but my shop was burnt. Now I’m jobless and the end of this crisis means that I can rebuild my business.’

The conflict has tarnished the reputation of this once-stable and prosperous country, bringing sharp rebuke from exasperated Western powers. Diplomats from the U.S. and around AfricaKenya to urge progress, many of the exasperated by the talks’ glacial pace. have jetted in to

The State Department welcomed Thursday’s announcement but said work remains to ensure long-term success.

‘We want to see this agreement implemented and much will depend on its implementation,’ said Tom Casey, a State Department spokesman. ‘We will be watching very carefully to see how this progresses.’

‘We appreciate the goodwill shown’ by Kibaki and Odinga in reaching the agreement and calling on their followers to cooperate, Casey added.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown also applauded the deal but said ‘the hard work must continue. Kenyans need help to resettle and rebuild. Real leadership, patience and tolerance is necessary to ensure that the agreement sticks.’

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Hamas Calls on Faithful to Conquer Rome

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

This video is evidence that even if Israel didn’t exist. The jihadis would still be targeting the west. Israel is the most important battle ground for the future of the west against radical Islam. HT The Jawa Report 

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Swedish foreign minister compares Netanyahu to Hamas

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

The Swedes should kick this mad man out of his post. This moral equivalency has gone to far. Netanyahu believes in protecting the Jewish people, while Hamas worships the culture of death and would gladly kill all its own people as long as it kill the jews. The european media is partly to blame for this because of their extremely bias coverage. But I still hold the responsibility to Sweden to remove this man. I am boycotting the country until this mad man is forced to step down. I recommend others do the same. Feel free to cross post this. Anyone willing to boycott sweden with me just say yes as a comment.

Swedish foreign minister compares Netanyahu to Hamas: “

Israeli diplomats are furious over a radio interview yesterday with
Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt in which Bildt compares Israeli
opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu with Hamas.

In
an interview with a Swedish radio station, Bildt was asked how it was
possible for Israel to make peace with the Palestinians while Hamas
controlled the Gaza Strip.

‘It is possible to make peace without
Hamas the same way it is possible to make peace without Netanyahu on
the Israeli side,’ Bildt said.

Israeli diplomatic officials
called the comparison ‘chutzpah’ and said that Bildt had a long history
of making pro-Palestinian statements.

‘It is a horrible and
stupid statement that displays complete ignorance about the Middle
East,’ a Foreign Ministry official told The Jerusalem Post. ‘He clearly
does not understand the difference between the leader of an Israeli
political party and a group that is engaging in the terror that
threatens Europe as much as Israel.’

While the comparison
is odious, I’m more surprised to see ‘Israeli diplomats’ coming to
Netanyahu’s defense than I am to see that Bildt made the comments. Both
Bildt and Sweden have made comments like this before. Sweden is a member of something called the Negotiations Support Unit,
a group of European countries who are encouraging the ‘Palestinians’
not to compromise on the ‘right of return,’ and instead to flood the
state of Israel with ‘refugees’ so as to do demographically what they
could not do militarily. Other members of this group (in case you are
wondering) include Britain, Norway, Denmark and Holland. And Sweden was
where an Israeli ambassador would have been prosecuted – but for his
diplomatic status – for unplugging an ‘art exhibit’ honoring a suicide bomber.

Netanyahu,
on the other hand, has been lambasted in the Knesset and the media here
recently for allowing a wealthy Jew to pay the costs of his vacation  public relations trip to England
two summers ago in which he spent the entire time speaking on behalf of
the government’s conduct of the war in Lebanon (before a lot of people
realized how badly the government was running the war, Netanyahu was
playing the loyal opposition). No ‘Israeli diplomats’ have come to
Netanyahu’s defense. Only Manchester millionaire Joshua Rowe has.

Cross-posted to Israel Matzav.

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

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Gaza Palestinians shell senior Israeli officers touring battered border communities

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

These terrorist need to be stopped now. Israel has the obligation and the ability to protect its citizen. I hope this event shows the senior Israeli officers the necessity to destroy this evil.

Gaza Palestinians shell senior Israeli officers touring battered border communities: “

DEBKAfile’s military sources report OC Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, his aides and local security officers took cover when they came under heavy cross-border mortar fire from Gaza Sunday, April 13. None was hurt although the Palestinian aim was precise, starting as soon as the Israeli group inspecting security measures came within sight. Four shells landed 40 yards away.

This is the third time in a month that increasingly aggressive Palestinian cross-border fire has targeted a high-ranking Israeli.

(Via DEBKAfile.)</

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Obama’s “Bitter” Remark Draws Duplicitous Attacks

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

Now I’m all for playing rough. Politics is a dirty business. But these attacks are outrageously irresponsible, reprehensible and offensive. Both Clinton and the McCainiacs know exactly what Obama was referring to when saying the nation’s poor and middle classes were bitter. And why shouldn’t they be?

A week ago Sen. Barack Obama, the front runner in the Democrats’ bid for the White House, spoke at a closed-door fundraiser in San Francisco. When someone in the crowd of this elite group of supporters asked why he was not polling higher in the upcoming Pennsylvania primary, the junior Senator from Illinois offered up this theory:

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them…And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not…And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

As word spread of his comments, the campaigns of both Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, began to condemn and criticize, charging Obama with elitism and for being out of touch with middle America. Even Hillary herself piled on, saying Obama’s comments were “not reflective of the values and beliefs of Americans….Americans who believe in the Second Amendment believe it’s a constitutional right. Americans who believe in God believe it’s a matter of personal faith.”” Nice. Now she’s for guns and God?

She continued: “It’s being reported that my opponent said that the people of Pennsylvania who faced hard times are bitter; well, that’s not my experience. Pennsylvanians don’t need a president who looks down on them; they need a president who stands up for them, who fights for them, who works hard for your futures, your jobs, your families.” Could she possibly be anymore sanctimonious than that?

And from the McCain camp: “It shows an elitism and condescension toward hard-working Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking,” said Steve Schmidt, a senior adviser. “It is hard to imagine someone running for president who is more out of touch with average Americans.”

Now I’m all for playing rough. Politics is a dirty business. But these attacks are outrageously irresponsible, reprehensible and offensive. Both Clinton and the McCainiacs know exactly what Obama was referring to when saying the nation’s poor and middle classes were bitter. And why shouldn’t they be? Starting with Ronald Reagan in the 80’s, their values were co-opted and their loyalties misused and abused, and they were routinely directed towards hot-button issues like abortion, gay marriage and gun control. These Reagan Democrats, by the time George Bush and Karl Rove got through with them, felt duped, dirty and betrayed. And now they’re still without proper health care, jobs, quality education for their kids, and are mired in a housing crisis. You’re damned right they’re bitter, and they ought to be. They were mercilessly used and abused. And that’s what Obama was talking about.

An elitist? Out of touch? Give me a break. Obama and his wife have not been in the Washington power seat for the past 16 years like the Clintons. Nor have they made $109 million since 2000. And for Pete’s sake, who is more elitist, more out of touch, than the crusty old Republican relic McCain? Shame on these two combatants for stooping to the lowest common denominator in attacking a rival.

Thankfully, and quite impressively, Obama shot back hard Friday evening:

“Here’s what’s rich. Senator Clinton said, ‘Well I don’t think people are bitter in Pennsylvania. I think Barack is being condescending.’ John McCain said, ‘How could he say that? How could he say that people are bitter? He obviously is out of touch with people.’ Out of touch? Out of touch? John McCain — it took him three times to finally figure out that home foreclosure was a problem and to come up with a plan for it, and he’s saying I’m out of touch?”

Let’s hope this sort of animated smackdown is a foreshadowing of how Obama might very well stand up to the vicious Republican attack machine should he eventually win the nomination and go into battle against McBush for the presidency.

read more | digg story

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FREE SPEECH in an age of Jihad. And heres video of Mark

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

FREE SPEECH in an age of Jihad. And here's video of Mark: “

FREE SPEECH in an age of Jihad. And here’s video of Mark Steyn’s speech.

HT InstaPundit:

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More on the Company Obama Keeps: Anti-Semitic Hatred From Key Obama Supporter Shocks Naive Jewish Liberal Donor

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

I have little sympathy for the donor because she funds terrorist. I hope this event wakes her up and she stops funding anti-Israel and anti-jewish organizations. But I think this show more about how Obama is bad news for America, the jews, and Israel.

More on the Company Obama Keeps: Anti-Semitic Hatred From Key Obama Supporter Shocks Naive Jewish Liberal Donor: “

By Debbie Schlussel

Many people have sent me this letter, below, and it now appears on many sites. It is an important read to remind people that anti-Semitism is all over, and that far too many key Barack Hussein Obama supporters openly hate Jews, and want you to know it. And that Obama is far too lax in looking the other way.

But the letter is also confirmation of another thing I and many of my readers and friends have known all of our lives: Foolish Jewish liberals continue to throw money at our enemies, and then they are shocked–shocked!–that those enemies tell them, ‘Hey, we hate Jews.’ Hello . . .?

daphnaziman.jpgericlee.jpg
Carly Simon Look-Alike/Uber-Naive Jewish Liberal Daphna Ziman Shocked
About Eric Lee’s Anti-Semitism

While I live and grew up in a Black city, in a Black neighborhood, and graduated from a Black high school; And while I know that there are many philo-Semitic Black Americans (we have many such readers on this site and I have many such friends with whom I grew up and whom I’ve known most of my life), the fact is that the Black community has far too much tolerance for anti-Semitism. And it’s not just Farrakhan, Jackson, Sharpton, and Wright–though their popularity in Black America is symbolic, as their anti-Semitism is never rejected by the collective Black community.

In fact, regardless of the history of Jews going out of their way for Blacks and Black civil rights–several literally gave their lives and were shot as they marched for Blacks–and helped found the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Blacks comprise the only ethnic group in America (Muslims are not an ethnic group) where anti-Semitism remains high. They are also the only ethnic group in America–in poll after poll–where anti-Semitism goes up as socio-economic status (earnings, education, etc.) goes up. I have a tremendous love for Black Americans–who helped build this country–and I deplore racism. But I deplore all forms of racism, including Black-on-White racism, and I do not love the collective, tolerated hatred of Jews that is far too rampant in Black America.

That toleration and embrace of anti-Semitism is not new. That’s why, as I read this letter by Daphna Ziman–and as I watch plenty of naive, guilt-ridden Jews embrace Barack Obama despite his close ties to Wright and Farrakhan–I believe that they get what they deserve. Ms. Ziman had no business giving money to this group in the first place. She should have known this was their sentiment. It only reminds me of philantropist Mort Zuckerman buying and donating greenhouses in Gaza for HAMASniks and not easily predicting the greenhouses’ quick destruction and non-appreciation for the Jewish favor in 2005.

So, here is the letter by this very naive Jewish philanthropist Daphna Ziman, who now is shocked–shocked!–by the anti-Semitism towards her, a Jew, despite her donation to those she should have known–from a litany of media reports throughout her life about ‘Hymietown’ and ‘Zionist interlopers’ and ‘gutter religion’ comments–do not wish her well:

JEWISH PHILANTHROPIST ENCOUNTERS ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACK – Letter by Daphna Ziman

by Daphna Ziman

April 8, 2008

Hi,

I have to tell you of an experience I had last night that was so anti Semitic and frightening:

Last night I was honored by Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, for my work with Children Uniting nations with African American children who are living out of home care. I have dedicated my life to saving these children from abuse, neglect and a life of crime. We created ‘adoption day’ and ‘Day of the child’ determined to recruit caring adults to be mentors and life savers for our at risk children in the inner cities.

The mayor was present and City council member Bernard parks, Assemblyman Mike Davis, Senator Mark Ridely Thomas etc. I was introduced as a children advocate and a leader in the Jewish community. I began my speech by talking about how I woke up in the morning and listened to Hillary Clinton’s speech, in the spirit of Dr. King from Memphis that moved me so deeply. I expressed to the crowd how grateful I was to listen to Sen. McCain apologize to the community for mistakes he has made in the past. I acknowledged Sen. Obama’s speech from the campaign trail about Dr. King’s mentorship.

After I spoke and thanked the fraternity and their members, Rev. Eric Lee, pres. and CEO of Southern Christian Leadership Conference of greater Los Angeles, was introduced as the key note speaker.

He began his speech by thanking Jesus for Obama, who is going to be the leader of the world. He continued by referring to other leaders Like Dr. King, being that this was the moment of celebrating Dr. King’s spirit on the anniversary of his death, and Malcolm X.

It was right after the mention of Malcolm X that he looked right at me and started talking about the African American children who are suffering because of the JEWS that have featured them as rapists and murderers. He spoke of a Jewish Rabbi, and then corrected himself to say ‘What other kind of Rabbis are there, but JEWS’. He told how this Rabbi came to him to say that he would like to bring the AA community and the Jewish community together. ‘ NO, NO, NO,!!!!’ he shouted into the crowd, we are not going to come together. ‘The Jews have made money on us in the music business and we are the entertainers, and they are economically enslaving us.’

He continued as to how now the salvation has come and the gates have open for African Americans to come together behind Barack Obama, because now is the time to show them.(meaning the Jews).

He continued to speak about ‘ White supremacy’ vs the talents and visionaries in the core of African Americans. He demeaned being given freedom, by saying ‘To what?’ to a country that kills women and children.

I could no longer be polite and sit in front of the crowd, so I walked out.

Members of the fraternity ran after me as did my staff, I was not able to contain my tears and I cried.

I cried for me and my family, who have tried so hard to help the African American community, because we adopted children from the same realities and wanted to give back to other children and people. We have been completely color blind, for us it was only helping those children in need. I cried for our beloved country and the division that Barack Obama has caused with his Rev. Wright opening the gates to ‘hate’ against the Jews and whites. I grew up so looking at America as the land of Freedom. I was honored to receive my citizenship accompanied by members of the Kennedy family. Now, I’m afraid for Israel because Barack sat there for 20 years listening and not standing up for what’s right, why would he standup for Israel?

I cried for the Jewish community who are so blind that they can’t see that there’s a movement here that will destroy us. I cried because for the first time in my life I was afraid of the future.

I cried for our world that is moving backwards and not forward. Everyday, I see children so lost, and so deserving of hope and love. I look into their eyes, knowing that it is their lives that are in our hands.

I’m crying now, so I’m going to stop writing because it is so painful. I just had to share this experience with you.

Well, I’m glad Ms. Ziman is crying now. But what took her so long? Unlike Ms. Ziman, I don’t cry at this old hat ‘news’ that for her is a sudden, shocking revelation. I cry that there are so many extremely naive Jewish liberals like her, who look the other way at the wholesale anti-Semitism of the Black community. And constantly throw money at–and enable–them.

And continue to refuse to wake up. Why the heck was she giving them a dime in the first place?

And that’s not all to which she’s giving her dimes. Ms. Ziman claims she’s worried about Israel and anti-Semitism. Yet, she continues to give oodles of money to the anti-Israel UNICEF and to donate to the Muslim ‘refugees’ of Kosovo, who are rife with anti-Semitism. (Check out this page detailing where her money goes.) She’s clearly quite ignorant, but for her April 8th ‘epiphany.’

She is the enabler of the kind of hatred which she now decries, and she seriously needs to look in the mirror.

We are going through a modern-day Dreyfus Trial all over the world. But people like Daphna Ziman are clueless and won’t face the fact that court is in session.

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

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PALI: Work accident!

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

I hope they speed up there work accident progress. Too many of them are surviving. I hope the trend of jihadis killing themselves with out being able to hurt anyone else continues.

Elder of zion wrote:

Work accident!: “Ma’an reports:

Three Palestinians were killed and two others injured on Sunday in an explosion in Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

Sources in the Interior Ministry of the Hamas-led de facto government said the explosion was ‘internal,’ and not related to any fighting.

Ma’an learned that the explosion was at home of Hamas fighter Hasan Al-Mutawwaq who was assassinated by Israeli forces.

Firas Press identifies one of the victims as a 15-year old.

As Palestine Press Agency elaborates, ‘Typically, the militia elements of Hamas store weapons and explosives in densely populated Palestinian camps and neglect the lives of citizens and threaten their security.’

This is the second ‘work accident’ this weekend.

Our count of the number of Palestinian Arabs violently killed by each other this year is now at 61.

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

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OIL money being used to build 30,000 more houses for Terrorist

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

Israel needs to stop this project. It is sick. Billions of dollars are coming in to build Jihadis houses on Jewish land. Israel is preventing Jews from living in Hebron while allowing jihadis to build more houses. Jordan is the “Palestinian” state. We need to do what we can to prevent these terrorist from continuing to pollute the land of Israel with their hate. They should be moving not building more houses.

Fund Plans 30,000 Housing Units for Yesha Arabs: “”

(IsraelNN.com) The Palestinian Investment Fund announced Saturday that it was planning the construction of 30,000 housing units in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Officials said private companies would be involved in the construction, which is expected to cost approximately $2 billion.

Members of the fund said the project was meant to solve a housing shortage in the areas. The fund will establish a mortgage company as well, they said, to make it easier for Arab families to purchase the new homes.

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Israel finally admits Hamas stealing fuel

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

Finally Israel admits to providing fuel to the terrorist group Hamas. Hopefully, they will stop shipping fuel to Gaza until Hamas is no longer in control.  Elder of Zion wrote:

Israel finally admits Hamas stealing fuel: “Ha’aretz reports:

Hamas seizes half the fuel Israel sends to the Gaza Strip and uses it in part for its military wing’s vehicles, Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials said Thursday. 

Israel cut off the only source of fuel for Gaza’s 1.4 million people Thursday after Wednesday’s deadly attack on the only fuel transfer point into the territory.

But Israeli defense officials indicated that the cutoff would not last past the weekend.

Nir Press, commander of the military liaison unit for Gaza, said Hamas takes about half the fuel transferred to the Gaza Strip.

Hussein al-Sheikh, a PA official, told Haaretz that Hamas seizes some 400,000 of the 800,000 liters of diesel transferred to Gaza weekly and intended for uses such as generators, hospitals, water pumps and sewage pumps.

Israeli sources said Hamas was preventing the pumping of all the fuel from the Nahal Oz depot’s reserves and funneling it to the Strip’s gas stations. In the past week, only a small amount of fuel and diesel was pumped from the depot, leaving some 820,000 liters of diesel and 200,000 of gas in the depots, they said.

‘Hamas is trying to create a false fuel crisis in the Gaza Strip,’ a senior government source said. ‘The simulated strike by Gaza’s gas-station owners is also organized by Hamas. They want to create long lines for gas and a feeling that Israel is tightening the siege on Gaza, although this is not the case,’ he said.

Funny, I’ve been mentioning these facts for months.

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BBC chief: Reporting on Islam is over-cautious out of fear of offending Muslims

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

It looks like Islam has intimidated the news agencies to have a bias for them.

BBC chief: Reporting on Islam is over-cautious out of fear of offending Muslims: “

When the head of the BBC says this, you know you’ve got a real problem. ‘BBC chief Mark Thompson warns of ‘over-cautious’ Islam coverage,’ by Dan Sabbagh in the Times (thanks to all who sent this in):

Mark Thompson, the Director General of the BBC, tonight warned broadcasters against becoming overly-cautious in their reporting on Islam for fear of causing offence to Muslims.

Speaking at Westminster Cathedral Mr Thompson, a practising Catholic, said there was ‘a growing nervousness about discussion about Islam and its relationship to the traditions and values of British and Western society as a whole’.

He said that the BBC and other major channels ‘have a special responsibility’ to ensure that debates about ‘faith and society’ and about any religion ‘should not be foreclosed or censored’.

In an effort to demonstrate that his remarks were not targeted solely at ensuring that Islam received journalistic scrutiny, Mr Thompson also referring to his decision to broadcast Jerry Springer, The Opera despite an avalanche of complaints from Christians unhappy at the depiction of Jesus in the satire.

‘There is no point having a BBC which isn’t prepared to stand up and be counted; which will do everything it can to mitigate potential religious offence; but which will always be forthright in the defence of freedom of speech and of impartiality,’ he said….

Indeed not.

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

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Bomb-making material found in Islamic school

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

For some reason I am not surprised.

Bomb-making material found in Islamic school: “

Qur’an class — 9:00.
Teachings of Muhammad class — 10:00
Explosives training class — 11:00.

‘Traces of explosives found in Islamic school,’ from the Bangkok Post (thanks to Cindy):

Officials yesterday found traces of bomb-making material in the Islam Burapa school in Muang district, which has been turned into a centre for insurgents to plan their moves since the state ordered it shut down last year.

The rebel group ignored last year’s raid at the school when security officers rounded up seven suspected insurgents, and have continued to plot insurgent activities there by making bombs and supplying them to militants, according to a villager.

The officials, led by Khunying Porntip Rojanasunan, director of the Central Institute of Forensic Science, found traces of explosive materials on furniture, utensils and cloth in four shelters in the school. One of the shelters belongs to a man identified as Abdulaman Mauseng.

”These materials are found to be the same as those used in bomb blasts in the area,” said Narathiwat governor Karan Supakijvilekka.

Teachers and more than 600 students were forced to study elsewhere after the school’s licence was revoked following the raid in July last year….

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

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Jewish Refugees Losses Outweigh Arabs

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

With all the talk about Arab refugees that call themselves “Palestinians”, the world is neglecting the fact that Jewish refugees lost more.

UPDATE: For more info go here

Jewish Refugees’ Losses Outweigh Arabs’: “
Hillel Fendel

Research by international economist Sidney Zabludoff shows that the Jewish refugees of 1948 suffered more and have been helped less than their Arab counterparts.

In a paper published by The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Zabludoff shows that many more Jews were forcibly displaced or expelled from their homes around the world than Arabs, that they lost significantly more property, and were helped over the years to a much smaller extent. The number of Arabs displaced by the War of Independence in 1948 is estimated at 550,000, and another estimated 100,000 were displaced by the Six Day War in 1967. The number of Jews who were forced to move as a result of the Israeli-Arab conflict was between 850,000 and one million.

It is further estimated that the Jews, most of whom lived in cities, lost $700 million in lost and stolen property – worth some $6 billion in today’s dollars. The Arabs of 1948 and 1967, on the other hand, lost an estimated total of $450 million, or $3.9 billion in today’s money.

Zabludoff notes that the case of the Arab refugees is different than any other refugee crisis in world history, in that aid for their cause has never stopped, and has been ongoing for nearly 60 years. UNRWA, the United Nations Relief Works Agency, has poured $13.7 billion dollars into the Arab refugee concentrations. In addition, Arab and Western countries have given their own aid over the decades.

The Arabs have also done much better than the Jews in terms of repatriated assets. Israel returned more than 90% of blocked Arab bank accounts and most of the contents of safe deposit boxes, Zabludoff notes, while there have been only ‘a few cases where Jewish property was restored.’

While many of the Arabs living in the Land of Israel left their homes voluntarily, goaded on by Arab promises that they would come back as victors and be able to displace the Jews, the Jews in Arab countries were generally expelled amidst violence, threats and confiscation of their property.

‘Since 1920,’ Zabludoff writes, ‘ all other major refugee crises involving the exchange of religious or ethnic populations, while creating hardships, were dealt with in a single generation. Meanwhile, issues such as the ‘right of return’ and compensation never were adequately resolved and were largely forgotten. The same pattern evolved for Jews who fled Middle Eastern and North African countries, even though their number was some 50 percent larger than Palestinian refugees and the difference in individual assets lost was even greater.’

The U.S. House of Representatives last week recognized for the first time the rights of Jews who became refugees as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Resolution 185 expressed ‘the sense of the House of Representatives regarding the creation of refugee populations.’

Zabludoff is an international economist who has worked for the White House and the CIA..”

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

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‘Peaceful’ Hamas Friday sermon and Fatah comments

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

UPDATE: FOR THOSE JIHADI READERS CHECK OUT THIS. ISRAEL SUFFERED GREATER LOSS AND MORE REFUGEES THEN THE “PALESTINIANS”

Israel should destroy Hamas ASAP. Fatah should also not be trusted. They have the same goals as Hamas. You can see a spokes man revealing them here. Or read the transcript

Following are excerpts from an interview with Abbas Zaki, Palestinian Authority representative in Lebanon, which aired on NBN TV on April 9, 2008:

Abbas Zaki: We believe wholeheartedly that the Right of Return is guaranteed by our will, by our weapons, and by our faith.

Interviewer: Do you still believe in weapons, not just in negotiations?

Abbas Zaki: The use of weapons alone will not bring results, and the use of politics without weapons will not bring results. We act on the basis of our extensive experience. We analyze our situation carefully. We know what climate leads to victory and what climate leads to suicide. We talk politics, but our principles are clear. It was our pioneering leader, Yasser Arafat, who persevered with this revolution, when empires collapsed. Our armed struggle has been going on for 43 years, and the political struggle, on all levels, has been going on for 50 years. We harvest U.N. resolutions, and we shame the world so that it doesn’t gang up on us, because the world is led by people who have given their brains a vacation – the American administration and the neocons.

[…]

Young Palestinian: As I recall, the invasion of 1982 and the destruction of South Lebanon was not just in response to missile attacks, but in response to operations as well. Israel does not use only the missiles as a pretext. It uses any activity of the resistance as a pretext.

Abbas Zaki: The important thing is that in any operation, Israel will pay a price. We don’t want cases in which you don’t kill even a chicken, but Israel kills 20 of you. I salute any operation that makes Israel pay a heavy price.

[…]

The P.L.O. is the sole legitimate representative [of the Palestinian people], and it has not changed its platform even one iota. 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 P.L.O. 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.

Update the Hamas video doesn’t work with some browsers sorry. you can see the video at Israel Matzav

HT Israel Matzav

Vodpod videos no longer available. from israelmatzav.blogspo posted with vodpod

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British Home Secretary Reveals 30 New Islamic Terror Plots Against U.K.

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

It looks like Britain is waking up to the consequences of turing London into Londanistan. Radical jihadis run large parts of that city. I hope Britain takes out the trash now.

British Home Secretary Reveals 30 New Islamic Terror Plots Against U.K.: “

Whoa! The article that details new finding from the British Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, can be found here at NewsOfTheWorld, contains so much new terror info, let’s get right to it:

‘There are 2,000 individuals who are being monitored. There are 200 networks involved and 30 active plots.’
And she warned the menace of Islamic fanatics is mounting so fast that police will be unable to cope within a year—unless they are given new powers to lock up terror suspects for longer.
We can’t wait for an attack to succeed and then rush in new powers,’ said Mrs Smith. ‘We have got to stay ahead.

What I am reading from the Home Secretary is almost bordering on panic. She is not pulling any punches – she is saying it like it is – they either have to put away the jihadists for extended sentences and/or they have to give police and security officials more leeway in their investigations. Or there will be hell to pay.

More from the article:

‘The complexity of these plots is growing and the number of international investigations is greater than before. Each time a plot is uncovered, the terrorists learn and they develop.
‘That’s why there is a massive increase in the way they are using technology and encrypting information. So it takes time to get the evidence you need to charge somebody.’

And in essence, what Home Secretary Smith is complaining about is something that President Bush saw years ago – a need for greater surveillance and a whole new charge against these plotters that enables local and federal policing agencies to hold them for extended time. The people of the U.K. are going to wake up some day to a horrific set of attacks because they tried to err on the side of human rights for plotters who simply do not qualify as humans. We are at war agains jihad and if you look at it as a traditional war, would you capture an enemy combatant behind your lines and let him go in one week? Of course not, in times of war, that detainee would be in a P.O.W. camp – this is war, these plotters are the enemy and they should either see the inside of a prison cell until the war is over or they should hang in the gallows.

30 plots on UK

HOME Secretary Jacqui Smith last night revealed security forces are investigating THIRTY deadly terror plots which threaten mayhem across Britain.
She told the News of the World: ‘We now face a threat level that is severe. It’s actually growing.

‘That’s why there is a massive increase in the way they are using technology and encrypting information. So it takes time to get the evidence you need to charge somebody.’
This week the Home Secretary will step up the government’s ‘Prevent’ campaign—its battle against Islamic extremists who preach hate and indoctrinate potential jihadi recruits.
On Wednesday she will announce a new deal she struck with the Pakistani government on a visit last week. It will allow respected moderate Islamic clerics to be brought over from Pakistan to help British imams combat extremism in the Islamic communities.
Mrs Smith explained: ‘The vast majority of British Muslims have a Pakistani heritage. If we work with the government there we can win the arguments.
‘We need to do more to tackle those places where radicalisation is developing—in prisons, schools, higher education—so that people are getting the right messages about what it means to be a British Muslim.’
She added: ‘We will also work to ensure we identify vulnerable people being groomed for terror—in the same way we protect young people from being dragged into crime and abuse

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

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Israel Will Have To Stand Up For Itself

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

I know Israel can do it but I really hope America gets its head out of its ass and bombs Iran now. Iran would give a terrorist a nuke to blow up NYC once it gets the bomb. Every second Iran continues its enrichment program the greater the chances of millions of Americans will die. It is time to free the Iranian people from the death cult that has taken over there country.

Israel Will Have To Stand Up For Itself: “

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NYT:

THE failure of diplomacy to stop Iran’s nuclear program became obvious this week, when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad revealed the installation of 6,000 new centrifuges at the country’s main uranium enrichment complex. His announcement was accompanied by the now customary assertion that outsiders can do nothing to stop Iran from fulfilling its nuclear destiny.

Once, not so long ago, this kind of boast would elicit clear American declarations that Iran would never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. Everything, President Bush would say ominously, is on the table. This time he has been quiet. I wish I believed that it is the quiet before a storm of laser-guided action. It seems more likely that it is the abashed silence of an American president whose bluff has been called in front of the entire world.

Washington’s performance should concern anyone who cares about long-term American influence in the Islamic world. But for Israel (and Israel’s supporters), this is an urgent problem. It is Israel, after all, that has been set by the Iranian leadership as the target for annihilation.

In response to the news from Iran, some supporters of Israel have started to suggest that the failed efforts at prevention be replaced by assured American deterrence: any Iranian nuclear attack on Israel would be treated as an attack on the United States. Charles Krauthammer, a Washington Post columnist, recently referred to this as ‘the Holocaust doctrine.’

From Israel’s perspective, the thought is tempting — but it’s not realistic.

In 1981, Israeli planes destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak. The world’s reaction was harshly critical. Even the Reagan administration, usually a close ally, denounced the operation.

Prime Minister Menachem Begin was undaunted by the fury. At a press conference in Jerusalem he announced that he felt obligated to do anything in his power to stop Israel’s enemies from getting their hands on means of mass killing.

Begin mentioned the Holocaust; it was never far from his mind. But his primary focus was strategic, not historical. Israel was no different from any other country. It would bear the ultimate responsibility for its own security.

Begin was right. Here’s why:

First, in exchange for assistance, Washington would naturally (and rightly) demand a very strong say in Israeli policies. A misstep, after all, could embroil it in a nuclear exchange. Within a very short time, Israel’s sovereignty and autonomy would come to resemble Minnesota’s. This is not a bad thing if your country happens to border Iowa. It works less well in Israel’s neighborhood.

I’m not questioning American friendship. But even friendship has practical limits. Presidents change and policies change. George W. Bush, the greatest friend Israel has had in the White House, hasn’t been able to keep a (relatively easier) commitment to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It is a good thing that Israel didn’t build its deterrence on that commitment.

What’s more, it is fair to say that Israel is not a weak country. It has developed a powerful set of strategic options. In the best case, it would be able to act on its own to degrade and retard the Iranian nuclear program as it did in Iraq (and, more recently, Syria). In a worse case, if the Iranians do get the bomb, Iranian leaders might be deterred by rational considerations. If so, Israel’s own arsenal — and its manifest willingness to respond to a nuclear attack — ought to suffice.

If, on the other hand, the Iranian leadership simply can’t resist the itch to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ — or to make such a thing appear imminent — then it would be up to Israel to make its own calculations. What is the price of 100,000 dead in Tel Aviv? Or twice that? The cost to Iran would certainly be ghastly. It would be wrong for Israel to expect other nations to shoulder this moral and geopolitical responsibility.

Don’t misunderstand. It would be a noble thing for the United States to support Israel’s efforts to stop an Iranian bomb or, if it comes to that, to back Israel’s response to an attack. But no country can rely on the kindness of others.

Next month Israel celebrates its 60th Independence Day. Sovereignty comes with a price. Israel’s willingness to pay it is the only Holocaust doctrine that it can really rely on.

Zev Chafets, who served as director of Israel’s government press office under Menachem Begin, is the author of ‘A Match Made in Heaven,’ about American evangelical support for Israel.

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

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“The Founding Fathers Planted White Supremacy In The DNA Of This Republic”

Posted by avideditor on April 13, 2008

Wow even more anti American rhetoric from Obama’s spiritual leader. Obama belongs on a FBI watch list for his terrorist supporting behavior and the rhetoric of his wife not the leading candidate for the democrats. What happened to the party of Roosevelt?

“The Founding Fathers Planted White Supremacy In The DNA Of This Republic”: ”

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Chicago Sun-Times:

April 13, 2008

The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., former pastor of Barack Obama’s Trinity United Church of Christ, has kept a low profile since some of his sermons landed him in the middle of a political firestorm.

But on Saturday Wright made his first extensive public remarks since the controversy began as he paid tribute to his friend, former appellate judge R. Eugene Pincham, a congregant at Trinity since 1987.

While discussing ‘seven lessons the judge taught me,’ Wright never mentioned church member Obama, who has rejected some of Wright’s comments, which included denunciations of America for its mistreatment of black people and claims that America’s promotion of terrorism abroad helped prompt the 9/11 attacks. But Wright did take the opportunity to bash some of the critics of his controversial statements, including Fox News personalities Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity.

Standing ovation

And while Wright made no mention of terrorism, he did revisit the topic of America’s mistreatment of blacks, saying America’s founding fathers ‘planted slavery and white supremacy in the DNA of this republic,’ and adding that Thomas Jefferson wrote, ‘ ‘God would punish America for the sin of slavery.’ I guess that makes Thomas Jefferson unpatriotic,’ he said to the cheers of the congregation.

Reflecting on the late Pincham, Wright said his faith ‘was not the jingoistic, chauvinistic ‘you’re either with us or against us’ demonizing kind of faith.’ Wright said Pincham was friends with ‘Jews, Muslims, rabbis, imams, fathers in the Catholic church and [Louis] Farrakhan in the Islamic faith.’

Escalating into full-preaching mode, Wright thundered, ‘Fox News can’t understand that. [Bill] O’Reilly will never get that. Sean Hannity’s stupid fantasy will keep him forever stuck on stupid when it comes to comprehending how you can love a brother who does not believe what you believe. [Pincham’s] faith was a faith in a God who loved the whole world not just one country or one creed.’

At that point, congregants nearly drowned Wright out with a booming standing ovation.

Wright also referred to Fox News as ‘Fix News.’

And, talking about Pincham’s integrity and honesty, Wright said, ‘You don’t change who you are because of where you are. You don’t stop telling the truth because it is not politically correct or it makes a racist uncomfortable. You don’t blame other folks for not fixing some of the problems in our own community that we can and need to fix ourselves.’

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

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