Saturday, April 26, 2008

Analysis: What does Hamas really want?

Khaled Abu Toameh

More than two years after Hamas came to power following the January 2006 parliamentary election - and nearly a year after the movement took full control of the Gaza Strip - its main goal remains to gain the recognition of the international community.

Hamas's argument is simple: We won a free and democratic election, and that's why we are entitled to recognition.

But Hamas knows that without accepting the conditions set by the international community - recognizing Israel's right to exist, renouncing violence and accepting previous agreements between the Palestinians and Israel - it would be difficult to persuade the world to change its position vis-√°-vis the movement.

Hamas appeared to have scored a symbolic victory in the past few days, when former US president Jimmy Carter met with its leaders in Ramallah, Cairo and Damascus. For some Hamas officials, the fact that a former American president is willing to talk to Hamas unconditionally is tantamount to recognizing the movement's legitimacy and future role in any political process.

Their hope is that the meetings with Carter will mark the beginning of the end of the international boycott of Hamas and the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip. The officials expressed hope that Carter's talks will pave the way for other prominent figures from the West to meet with Khaled Mashaal and top representatives of Hamas.

Yet, as it emerged from the results of Carter's talks, Hamas remains as defiant as ever, and is still far from making serious concessions that could lead to ending the boycott.

The only concession Carter managed to extract from Mashaal was a promise to allow kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Schalit, who has been held in the Gaza Strip for almost two years, to send another letter to his family.

Otherwise, Hamas's position regarding the major issues, such as a truce with Israel and recognizing its right to exist, remain unchanged.

The Hamas leaders rejected Carter's proposal for a unilateral 30-day truce, insisting that any cease-fire must be "mutual and simultaneous."

Hamas's long-standing policy has been that a cease-fire must include the West Bank, not only the Gaza Strip. The movement claims that in the past, when it declared a unilateral cease-fire, Israel did not abide by it, and continued to target its members.

Had Carter done his homework before making the proposal, he would have discovered that the Egyptians and other Arab countries had already failed to convince Hamas to accept the same offer.

With regard to Schalit, Hamas believes that time is on its side, and that the longer it waits, the more it will get. This is why Mashaal dismissed Carter's offer that Israel release some 70 Palestinian prisoners, in addition to Hamas ministers and legislators, as part of a prisoner exchange for Schalit.

Hamas sees Schalit as a valuable asset, and is convinced that Israel would eventually succumb to its demand and release several hundred Palestinian prisoners, including many who are serving life sentences. Again, Carter was apparently unaware that the Egyptians and Qataris have failed over the past two years to persuade Hamas to soften its position on this issue.

Besides, Hamas is most likely to lose points on the Palestinian street if it strikes a "bad deal" on Schalit.

The Palestinians have paid a very heavy price (more than 800 killed in Gaza) since Schalit's abduction, which is why Hamas needs a significant number of prisoners released from Israeli jails. The movement needs to show the Palestinians that the price they paid was not in vain.

Hamas has also dismissed Carter's demand to recognize Israel's right to exist. The most Carter managed to get out of Mashaal was an announcement that the movement would accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, without recognizing Israel. In other words, Hamas is saying, "Give us something for now, so that we can continue fighting for the rest of Palestine in the future."

Even Hamas's pledge to "honor" a Palestinian national referendum on any peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israel is not new. As Mashaal said in Damascus Monday, Hamas already agreed to a referendum back in 2006.

However, he made it clear that the agreement was part of a comprehensive accord between Hamas and Fatah, and was contingent on its fulfillment by both sides. Since the accord has collapsed, Hamas knows that it would be impossible to hold a referendum under the current circumstances of the Palestinians having two different entities, one in the West Bank and the other in Gaza. What Hamas is saying, in other words, is: "Yes to a referendum, but only after we patch up our differences with Fatah."

Given the ongoing crisis, the chances of rapprochement between the two parties are as remote as ever.

Buoyed by the results of public opinion polls showing that Hamas continues to enjoy the support of many Palestinians, the movement has endorsed a two-fold strategy to force the international community to lift the blockade on Gaza.

On the one hand, Hamas has decided to step up its armed attacks on Israel, with the hope that this will lead to an all-out Israeli military operation - with heavy casualties on both sides - after which Israel would be forced, under pressure from the international community, to ease travel restrictions and reopen the border crossings into Gaza.

On the other hand, Hamas, with the help of the popular Al- Jazeera TV network, has waged a diplomatic offensive aimed at winning support for its demand to end the boycott. Last week, Hamas scored yet another PR victory when Carter condemned the blockade of the Gaza Strip as an atrocity.

The Hamas campaign is not directed only at Israel, however. It is also aimed at other Arab countries, primarily Egypt. In recent days, a growing number of Hamas leaders has been issuing public statements strongly condemning the Arab governments for failing to help the Palestinians in their efforts to lift the blockade. Most of the criticism is directed at Egypt for failing to reopen the Rafah border crossing and for continuing to impose severe travel restrictions on the Palestinians living in Gaza.

Sources close to Hamas say the movement is unlikely to change its strategy regarding all the major issues. The most Hamas can agree to is a temporary truce with Israel, the sources explain. But even then, Hamas wants to reach such an agreement from a point of strength, not weakness.

Last Saturday's attack on the Kerem Shalom border crossing was part of Hamas's effort to carry out a mega operation that would shock Israel and force it to accept a truce. Hamas would have argued, then, that the truce was the result of its "military victory," and not a sign of weakness on its par

Khaled Abu Toameh

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

The Golan Heights: Geography, Geology and History

The area in the north which came under Israeli control as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War and is popularly referred to as the "Golan Heights," is actually composed of two geologically distinct areas (divided by Nahal Sa'ar): the Golan Heights proper (approx. 1.070 sq. km.) and the slopes of the Mt. Hermon range (approx. 100 sq. km.).


While the Mt. Hermon range is mostly limestone, the Golan Heights proper is mostly basalt and other types of volcanic rock, forming a plateau that drops off to the west, to the Jordan River and Lake Kinneret (in the Syrian-African Rift Valley), and to the south, to the Yarmouk River. The plateau is crossed by a number of seasonal streams which run through valleys, sometimes very deep, and flow west into the Jordan or the Lake. The Golan proper may be divided into three regions: northern (between Nahals Sa'ar and Gilabon), central (between Nahals Gilabon and Dilayot), and southern (between Nahal Dilayot and the Yarmouk Valley).

The northern Golan has double the average rainfall of the southern Golan, and often receives snow in the winter, as does the Mt. Hermon area. Hydrologically, nearly the entire Golan lies within the Lake Kinneret catchment basin, which supplies 30% of Israel's water requirements. Two of the Jordan River's main sources, the Dan and the Banias Rivers, rise on the slopes of Mt. Hermon -- in addition to many seasonal streams that rise on the Heights and flow into the Lake, either directly or via the Jordan. In 1964, Syria sought to divert the sources of the Jordan and prevent their waters from reaching Israel, provoking a series of border incidents; the Syrian plan was ultimately thwarted by IDF operations in the spring of 1965.

In ancient and classical times, the Golan was heavily forested (see Ezekiel 27:5-6). Today, small remnants of these forests survive near Odem and Mt. Avital in the north, and near Yehudiya in the central Golan. Half of Israel's mammal and reptile species, and all of its amphibians, can be found on the Heights.


In Biblical times, the Golan Heights was referred to as "Bashan;" the word "Golan" apparently derives from the biblical city of "Golan in Bashan," (Deuteronomy 4:43, Joshua 21:27). The area was assigned to the tribe of Manasseh (Joshua 13:29-31). In early First Temple times (953-586 BCE), the area was contested between the northern Jewish kingdom of Israel and the Aramean kingdom based on Damascus. King Ahab of Israel (reigned c. 874-852 BCE) defeated Ben-Hadad I of Damascus near the site of Kibbutz Afik in the southern Golan (I Kings 20:26-30), and the prophet Elisha prophesied that King Jehoash of Israel (reigned c. 801-785 BCE) would defeat Ben-Hadad III of Damascus, also near Kibbutz Afik (11 Kings 13:17). In the late 6th and 5th centuries BCE, the region was settled by returning Jewish exiles from Babylonia (modern Iraq). In the mid 2nd century BCE, Judah Maccabee and his brothers came to the aid of the local Jewish communities when the latter came under attack from their non-Jewish neighbors (I Maccabees 5). Judah Maccabee's grandnephew, the Hasmonean King Alexander Jannai (reigned 103-76 BCE) later added the Heights to his kingdom. The Greeks referred to the area as "Gaulanitis", a term also adopted by the Romans, which led to the current application of the word "Golan" for the entire area. Gamla became the Golan's chief city and was the area's last Jewish stronghold to resist the Romans during the Great Revolt, falling in the year 67 (see Josephus, The Jewish War, Chap. 13, Penguin edition). Despite the failure of the revolt, Jewish communities on the Heights continued, and even flourished; the remains of no less than 25 synagogues from the period between the revolt and the Islamic conquest in 636 have been excavated. (Several Byzantine monasteries from this period have also been excavated on the Heights.) The decisive battle in which the Arabs under Caliph Omar, crushed the Byzantines and established Islamic control over what is now Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, was fought in the Yarmouk Valley, on the southern edge of the Heights, in August 636. Organized Jewish settlement on the Golan came to an end at this time.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, Druze began to settle in the northern Golan and on the slopes of Mt. Hermon. During the brief period of Egyptian rule (1831-1840) and in the ensuing decades, Sudanese, Algerians, Turkomans and Samarian Arabs settled on the Heights. The Turks brought in Circassians in the 1880's to fight against Bedouin brigands.

The Jewish presence on the Golan was renewed in 1886, when the B'nei Yehuda society of Safed purchased a plot of land four kilometers north of the present-day religious moshav of Keshet, but the community -- named Ramataniya -- failed one year later. In 1887, the society purchased lands between the modern-day B'nei Yehuda and Kibbutz Ein Gev. This community survived until 1920, when two of its last members were murdered in the anti-Jewish riots which erupted in the spring of that year. In 1891, Baron Rothschild purchased approximately 18,000 acres of land about 15 km. east of

Ramat Hamagshimim, in what is now Syria. First Aliyah (1881-1903) immigrants established five small communities on this land, but were forced to leave by the Turks in 1898. The lands were farmed until 1947 by the Palestine Colonization Association and the Israel Colonization Association, when they were seized by the Syrian army. Most of the Golan Heights were included within Mandatory Palestine when the Mandate was formally granted in 1922, but Britain ceded the area to France in the Franco-British Agreement of 7 March 1923. The Heights became part of Syria upon the termination of the French mandate in 1944.

After the 1948-49 War of Independence, the Syrians built extensive fortifications on the Heights, from where they systematically shelled civilian targets in Israel and launched terrorist attacks (in gross violation of Article III of the Israel-Syria Armistice Agreement of 20 July 1949). 140 Israelis were killed and many more were injured in these attacks between 1949 and 1967; heavy property damage was also inflicted. During the 1967 Six-Day War, the IDF captured the Golan Heights -- in response to Syrian attacks -- in just over 24 hours of intense fighting on 9-10 June. Nearly all of the Golan's Arab inhabitants fled as a result of the war; four Druze villages remain, three on the slopes of Mt. Hermon and one in the northern Golan.

The renewal of the Jewish presence on the Heights almost immediately followed the war. Kibbutz Merom Golan was founded in July 1967, at the initiative of kibbutzim in the nearby Upper Galilee and Hula Valley. By 1970, there were 12 Jewish communities on the Golan. On 6 October 1973, Syrian forces attacked across the 1967 cease-fire line and made their greatest gains in the central Golan, almost reaching the escarpment, before being pushed back beyond the 1967 line by the main Israeli counterattack, which began on the morning of 8 October. Israel and Syria signed a Separation of Forces Agreement on 31 May 1974; this agreement remains in force.


Druze sector

There are approximately 17,000 Druze inhabitants on the Golan Heights today. In contrast to 1948-1967, when civilian infrastructure and services were almost completely neglected by successive Syrian governments, Israel has invested substantial sums in either installing or upgrading electric and water systems, in agricultural improvements and job training, and in building health clinics, where none had existed previously. The inhabitants also enjoy the benefits of Israel's welfare and social security programs. Israel has built or refurbished schools and classrooms, extended compulsory education from seven years to ten, and made secondary education available to girls for the first time. The Golan's Druze residents enjoy complete freedom of worship; the Israeli authorities have made financial contributions and tax and customs rebates to the local religious establishments.

Jewish sector

Today, there are approximately 14,000 Jewish residents in 33 communities (27 kibbutzim and moshavim, 5 communal settlements and the town of Katzrin) on the Golan Heights and the slopes of Mt. Hermon. (Katzrin has its own mayor and local council; the other 32 communities form the Golan Heights Regional Council.)


The economy of the Golan Heights is based on both agriculture and industry, including tourism. 8,100 hectares of land are under cultivation, producing a wide variety of crops, including wine grapes. A further 46,575 hectares are dedicated to natural pasturage, supporting 15,000 head of cattle and 5,000 sheep, for both meat and dairy production. The Golan's dairy cattle produce approximately 60 million liters of milk per year. The are approximately 30 industrial enterprises on the Golan, mostly based in the Katzrin Industrial Zone.

There is a substantial tourist infrastructure on the Golan, including the Mt. Hermon ski slopes, archaeological sites, hotels, restaurants, bed-and-breakfast/guest room facilities in many communities, and three Society for the Protection of Nature Field schools. There are also facilities for jeep and bicycle tours, as well as horseback riding. Israel has established 13 nature reserves -totaling 24,908 hectares -- on the Heights. The Golan Archaeological Museum is located in Katzrin.


On 14 December 1981, the Knesset passed The Golan Heights Law by a vote of 63-21. Its first paragraph states: "The law, jurisdiction, and administration of the state shall apply to the Golan Heights." Following the passage of this law, the Israeli military administration on the Heights was dismantled and regular civilian authorities were established. The Golan's Druze residents are permitted to maintain their previous citizenship, but were given the option of becoming full Israeli citizens. For various reasons, few have done so.

Source: Israeli Government Press Office

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

CIA to describe North Korea-Syria nuclear ties

By Paul Richter and Greg Miller

WASHINGTON -- CIA officials will tell Congress on Thursday that North Korea had been helping Syria build a plutonium-based nuclear reactor, a U.S. official said, a disclosure that could touch off new resistance to the administration's plan to ease sanctions on Pyongyang.

The CIA officials will tell lawmakers that they believe the reactor would have been capable of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons but was destroyed before it could do so, the U.S. official said, apparently referring to a suspicious installation in Syria that was bombed last year by Israeli warplanes.

The CIA officials also will say that though U.S. officials have had concerns for years about ties between North Korea and Syria, it was not until last year that new intelligence convinced them that the suspicious facility under construction in a remote area of Syria was a nuclear reactor, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity when discussing plans for the briefing.

By holding closed, classified briefings for members of several congressional committees, the administration will break a long silence on North Korean-Syrian nuclear cooperation and on what it knows about last year's destruction of the Syrian facility. Nonetheless, it has been widely assumed for months that many in the administration considered the site a nuclear installation.

It was not clear Tuesday how recently North Korea may have been aiding Syria. But disclosure of the relationship to the committees is likely to bring criticism from conservative lawmakers who already believe that U.S. overtures to North Korea have offered the government in Pyongyang too many benefits without assurances that it will disclose the extent of its nuclear arms effort or ultimately surrender its weapons.

U.S. officials provided little explanation of why they want to brief lawmakers on the North Korean-Syrian links after declining to do so for months.

A senior Senate aide said the timing appears driven by a Bush administration desire to apprise committee members of the latest intelligence on the reactor before releasing some of the information.

"I have this strong impression the reason they want to brief the committee is they want to say something publicly," said the aide, who discussed contacts with the administration only on condition of anonymity.

The administration has briefed senior members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, a senior Senate aide said. But other lawmakers have remained in the dark. The administration has been under pressure to extend briefings to a larger circle of lawmakers.

The administration is planning to ease sanctions on North Korea as part of talks aimed at removing Pyongyang's nuclear weapons. The six nations involved in the talks, which also include China, Russia, South Korea and Japan, have been negotiating since 2003.

After a breakthrough last year in which North Korea agreed to shut down its only functioning nuclear production facility, it was rewarded with fuel oil and the release of frozen bank funds. But talks stalled after the Bush administration demanded that Pyongyang provide a full description of its past nuclear activities by a December 2007 deadline.

Shifting course, U.S. officials said two weeks ago that it would be sufficient for the North Koreans to acknowledge U.S. concerns about their nuclear activities. In return, administration officials would remove North Korea from the stigmatizing U.S. list of countries that sponsor terrorism and Pyongyang would no longer be subject to U.S. trade sanctions under the Trading with the Enemy Act, a 1917 law.

The administration shift appeared to give ground to North Korea in the negotiations, spurring fierce criticism from U.S. conservatives and debate over the broader plan to ease sanctions as a step toward dismantling Pyongyang's weapons programs.

But under the latest approach, U.S. officials will describe to the North Koreans at least some of their conclusions about Pyongyang's links with Syria. Some analysts speculated that U.S. officials may wish to avoid sharing intelligence with North Korea before they have briefed most members of Congress.

Danielle Pletka, a vice president of the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute think tank, said the congressional briefings were simply a step the administration needed to take to move forward. "This is a box-checking exercise," she said.

Gordon Johndroe, a White House spokesman, said, "The administration routinely keeps appropriate members of Congress informed of national security and intelligence matters." He declined to comment on specific sessions, however.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, complained in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal in October that the administration "has thrown an unprecedented veil of secrecy around the Israeli airstrike," and that based on information he had been given "it is critical for every member of Congress to be briefed on this incident, and as soon as possible."

Some administration officials are believed to be unhappy with the latest developments in talks with North Korea. But several analysts were skeptical of speculation that the briefing might have been initiated by internal opponents who hope to set off an outcry that would scuttle any deal with Pyongyang.

"You'll have some outcry, but I doubt there are enough people on Capitol Hill even paying attention to oppose it," said Gordon Flake, who follows the issue as executive director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and is a critic of such a pact.

He speculated that lawmakers would be reluctant to stand in the way of the deal, because that would risk criticism that they had blocked a hopeful avenue of progress on a top national security problem.

Another senior Senate aide said that although the disclosure might bring complaints, Congress would not turn against the negotiations with North Korea. The critics would not be able to come up with any better alternative, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity when discussing senators' views.

Paul Richter and Greg Miller

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Jimmy Carter: Angel of Peace?

by Carlos

April 23, 2008 - "You don't make peace with your friends, but with your enemies." How often have we heard this slogan lately? If repeating a cliché often enough could make problems disappear, we would already have peace in the Middle East.

Unfortunately, reality has an annoying way of spoiling the pristine simplicity of even the best-crafted aphorism.

This may seem an uncharitable way to describe a Nobel laureate's mission for peace, but let's examine its implications.

Impatient with the lack of progress in the peace process, Jimmy Carter decided to do something about it - in defiance of the stated policy of the United States Government, which classifies Hamas as a terrorist organization.

So Carter went to the Middle East and met with Hamas top leadership, ostensibly to get the peace process moving. After all, the Israelis should be reminded, you make peace with your enemies, not your friends. So knowing what's best for Israel, he met in Damascus with Khaled Meshaal, the top official of Hamas. Carter described Meshaal as a clear thinker, who showed no signs of fanaticism.

Meshaal is a clear thinker, and a shrewd one as well. Here is what Carter got from Meshaal: "Hamas accepts the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital and with full and real sovereignty and full application of the right of the Palestinian refugees to return."

What does Israel get for this? A "conditional" ten-year cease-fire, but no recognition under any circumstances.

So Hamas can build its new state on the model of Hezbollah, fortifying batteries of rockets ready to use against Israel once the ten years are over.

But would Israel even get ten years of peace? The phrase "ten years" is significant to anyone who knows Islamic history. It evokes the famous treaty of Hudaybiyya (or Khudaibiya; there is no standardized English spelling) that Muhammad made with the Quraish tribe, which controlled Mecca at the time. Muhammad agreed to a hudna or "truce" that was to last for ten years. After two years Muhammad became strong enough to defeat the Quraish, so he broke the treaty on a pretext and conquered Mecca. Muhammad set the example, and since that time the language of a "ten year" hudna between Muslims and non-Muslims became code for a pause in the fighting that Muslims can use to build up their strength, then break at a strategic moment. Meshaal, of course, is counting on his Western audience not to know this.

We have heard this kind of language before. In an interview on Egyptian TV in 1998, during the Oslo years, Yasser Arafat reassured his Arabic audience that the Oslo treaty was an "inferior peace" on the model of Muhammad's Treaty of Hudaybiyya, a peace made to be broken.

In addition, Meshaal insists on an unrestricted right of return of Palestinian refugees into Israel, which he knows would mean the end of the Jewish state.

So in essence, what Carter extracted from Meshaal was nothing more than a pack of deceptive, empty words.

To those who may still not believe that this is what Meshaal really meant, a Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, said that even if Israel gives Hamas everything it wants, the agreement would be "transitional" only, with Hamas still free to seek to incorporate all of Israel as part of its state when the time is right. Another Hamas spokesman, Abu Jandal, promised even more aggressive attacks against Israel from the Gaza strip than the rocket strikes that still continue to terrorize the Israeli south.

So don't believe me. Believe the leaders of Hamas, and take seriously what they say.

It is clear that Carter got no real concessions for peace from Hamas. What he did get was to make Hamas look legitimate.

Hamas is implacably opposed to Israel's existence on religious grounds and considers Israel's destruction a divine command. Their Charter says so, and they have repeated it many times. Religious people do not compromise on what they believe to be their sacred duty. Therefore both the United States and the European Union have sought to marginalize Hamas and to strengthen the less extremist Palestinian faction led by Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas has problems of his own, but he is not an intractable religious fanatic.

Carter is effectively undoing the efforts of the US and the EU, and is undercutting Abbas and the more moderate Palestinian leaders. Hamas knows this, and is using Carter to gain international recognition and support for its message of religious hate. Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar stated that Carter's visit will elevate Hamas in the eyes of the world, and he proclaimed that "This meeting is a message to those who don't recognize Hamas' legitimacy as a movement," meaning not only Israel but Abbas, the US, and the other Western democracies.

By strengthening the most intransigent faction in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Carter is doing tremendous damage to the cause of peace. But Jimmy Carter, ex-President, humanitarian, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, feels he knows better than all the people here and in Europe who have worked so hard to establish that terrorism and religious hatred must never be rewarded or justified.

But hey, we make peace with our enemies, don't we?


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.


"Arafat Invokes 1974 Phased Plan Calling for Israel's Destruction." Egyptian Orbit TV, April 18, 1998.

Bronner, Ethan. "Carter Says Hamas and Syria Are Open to Peace." New York Times, April 22, 2008.

Michael, Maggie, Associated Press. "Carter Hugs More Thugs." New York Post, April 18, 2008.

Soltis, Andy. "Jimmy's Ha-Mess." New York Post, April 22, 2008.



by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator

Once again the Bush-Rice ream wants something from Israel which usually puts Israel at death's door. In this instance, they have accused an 84 year old Jewish war vet of WW2, commander of his Jewish War Vets Post who "supposedly" or "allegedly" gave Israel secret technology about the F15 and nuclear technology somewhere around the early 1980s or 25 years ago. Some have forgotten that several US Presidents quietly assisted Israel in attaining nuclear technology and heavy water (more to be investigated on this matter).

Why save up this tidbit and spring it on the news, using the full force of the U.S. State Department and White House Public Relations mechanism (aka Propaganda)? Considering Israel has been flying the F15 for years, what is the secret that was supposedly/allegedly conveyed to Israel by this 84 year old Jewish American hero in New Jersey?

Clearly, Israel must be acting stubborn about something that Rice and the Palestinians or Saudis want her to do.

The following is complicated so don't give up and ascribe the components to unlikely plots or conspiracy theory because - All of it happened:

It has been reported on the radio that Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has agreed in secret, back-channel meetings to surrender the entire Golan Heights for a "promise" of peace from Bashar Assad of Syria.

(Please note a piece from April 16th, "PLANNING TO LOSE THE NEXT WAR?", in which I forecast that Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzippi Livni had been negotiating a pull-out of the Golan by losing a war with Syria.) Today April 23rd, the radio and Jerusalem Post announced that Olmert told the President of Turkey that he would surrender the entire Golan to Syria.

Bush, Rice, James Baker III, among others, want Syria to pull away from Iran and believe gaining the Golan will achieve this. It won't work and Syria will have just acquired a mountainous firing position as well as access to Lake Kinneret while Israel will lose Mt Hermon and Mt. Dov (Sheba Farms) and all of their advanced electronic observation positions.

The cruel exposure of 84 year old Ben Ami Kadish for spying 25 years ago and blasting this heroic man across the Media is a well-planned exercise in pressure to get Israel to bend til she breaks on all issues demanded by President George W. Bush before he leaves office.

That includes abandoning the Golan, with most of Israel's fresh water resource, surrendering Judea and Samaria to the Muslim Arab Palestinians as their second Palestinian State - then cutting off more than half of Jerusalem, the ancient, eternal Capital only of the Jewish people as if Jerusalem was a human sacrifice - to become the capital of the Muslim state.

The players like Bush, Rice, Baker assisted by Olmert, Barak and Livni know that this will result in the pre-mediated murder of the Jewish State of Israel and her Holy Capital. The Israelis of the Left delude themselves that this will stop the plan by the Muslim world to destroy what the Muslims call the "infidel" State of the Jews and result in the dreamed-for peace. They believe that the Global Terror Base they allowed Hamas to create when Sharon and Olmert evacuated 10,000 Jewish men, women and children from 21 thriving Jewish communities in Gush Katif/Gaza plus 4 more from Northern Samaria - won't happen again. Are they blind?

In the meantime the Washingtonian Arabists of the German Bush dynasty, the black-hearted Condoleezza Rice, the Jew-Hating Baker (who said: "F..k the Jews; they didn't vote for us anyhow.") are all conspiring to finalize the demise the Jewish State.

All of this began long ago. It was planned and initiated by the Arabist State Department and the multi-national oil companies - wired to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Oil States.

Recall the hatred of then Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger and Admiral Bobby Ray Inman. Remember how they cut off vital intelligence to Israel (without Presidential authority), including the acquisition by Saddam Hussein of Poison Gas factories and Saddam's plans to decimate Israel.

When Jonathan Pollard blew their cover and alerted Israel to Saddam's Poison Gas capabilities, Weinberger went ballistic. He then attacked all Jews working in the Defense Department in what we would call "black ops". He would have fired Albert Einstein. Casper and his cronies did everything possible to poison the warm relationship between America and Israel.

That doctrine has continued through the U.S. State Department which actually runs American foreign policy no matter who is President. Today it is painfully visible as exemplified by charging that Ben Ami Kadish spied on America 25 years ago. This is what is called a "Saver" or something known long ago but saved up and pulled when needed to make extravagant pressure on the intended victim.

Add to that the Bush-Rice "sting" operation against AIPAC (American-Israel Public Affairs Committee). That was a classic entrapment which Rice and the FBI used, manipulating the system wherein the Government passed information through journalists, embassies, consulates to other nations off-the-record. When such info was passed to Israel about Iran gaining nuclear weapons' capabilities, Rice's State Department and the FBI were waiting to pounce.

The concept was to pressure AIPAC to stop lobbying the American Congress who always appreciated the Jewish State of Israel, the only democracy and the only reliable ally America had in the Middle East. The State Department used the FBI to further pressure Congress on such vital security issues as selling certain American high-tech bombs to Saudi Arabia. They also used these issues of implied "dual loyalty" to pressure Israel to "go along" with whatever the Washington Arabists wanted for their clients like Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq under Saddam in his time, etc.

Long ago, I coined the phrase: "The "Shadow Government" to describe this conspiratorial manipulation of forces operating in Washington. This "Shadow Government" is no friend of Israel and no friend of the American people but, are in the manipulative conspiracy business for themselves - which is why we are now paying $119 per barrel of oil and gasoline is close to $4 per gallon.

At this moment, Bush, Rice and Baker (in the "Shadows") are using every dirty political trick to crush Israel into submission. And the weak Olmert has been too easily recruited, along with Bush and Livni - just as they did with Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Barak, pre-Oslo.

The war by the U.S. State Department against the Jewish State started in earnest on the day Israel declared she was an independent State 60 years ago, May 14, 1948.

Keep in mind that it's not the American people or the American Congress but the pro-Arab State Department in the "Shadow Government" that influences, drives and controls American foreign policy.

Emanuel A. Winston

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

U.S. State Department Undermines Jewish Rights and Defies International Law.

The Tale of a "U.S.-Palestinian Partnership"

By Eli E. Hertz

April 14, 2008

The U.S. State Department has recently released a video on its website displaying remarks on the current activities of the new "U.S.-Palestinian Partnership" headed by Mr. Walter Isaacson, President of the Aspen Institute, and one of the C0-Chairs and the Coordinator of this initiative who stated at that press conference:

"The Partnership will be "trying to get a [Arab] call center developed ... in East Jerusalem ..."

Mr. Walter continues:

"I certainly think that Minister [Ehud] Barak is very much in favor of this call center" [Is Barak giving-up on 'East Jerusalem'? Is Shass listening?]

Ziad Asali, President of the American Task Force on Palestine stated in the same press conference:

"And what is available to us [Arab Palestinians] at this point in time is what we can do in the West Bank and East Jerusalem ... The first call center that's being considered actually is [from all places] in East Jerusalem."

In the name of "business development and economic opportunities [For Palestinian Arabs]" the State Department is systematically ignoring and undermining Jewish rights to Judea and Samaria and the sovereignty over Israel's Capitol - Jerusalem.

Palestinian Arabs are encouraged by their success' at historical revisionism and global brainwashing (including the U.S. State Department), with the "Big Lie" of a 'Palestinian people.'

Historically, before the Arabs fabricated the concept of Palestinian peoplehood as an exclusively Arab phenomenon, no such group existed. This is substantiated in countless official British Mandate-vintage documents that speak of the Jews and the Arabs of Palestine-not Jews and Palestinians.

The State Department's use of fabricated and loaded terms such as 'Palestinian People' and 'East Jerusalem' is a perilous threat that will only continue to incite Palestinian Arabs - leading to war, not peace.

To Condoleezza Rice: You maintained that you are "a student of international history" and the Jewish people's history is well documented. Palestinian Arabs have nurtured a myth that historically there were two Jerusalems - an Arab 'East Jerusalem' and a Jewish 'West Jerusalem.'

Jerusalem was never an Arab city; Jews have held a majority in Jerusalem since 1870, and 'east-west' is a geographical, not political designation. It is no different than claiming Annapolis, the capital of Maryland should be a separate political entity from the rest of that state.

Jerusalem has served, and still serves, as the political capital of only one nation - the one belonging to the Jews.

Eli E. Hertz

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Let us hear the testimony of two other Arab leaders:

It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity... yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel".

- Zuhair Muhsin, military commander of the PLO and member of the PLO Executive Council – Dutch daily Trow, March 31st 1977

"You do not represent Palestine as much as we do. Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as a Palestinian people, there is no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people, Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of the Palestinian people".

- Syrian dictator Hafez Assad to the PLO leader Yassir Arafat

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

20 middle east policy questions to ask candidates running public office in the USA

By David Bedein

I have spent the past week covering Middle East policy issues during the

presidential primaries in Pennsylvania, in my capacity as the Middle East

correspondent for the Philadelphia Bulletin.

I find that people hesitate about which would be the appropriate questions to

ask candidates for president concerning their proposed Middle East polices.

The following twenty Middle East policy questions are the questions that

American voters may wish to pose to Senators Obama, Clinton and McCain...along with all candidates for the US Congress

1. Numerous declassified security reports confirm

that Saudi Arabia continues to fund groups defined by

the US government as terrorist organizations, while

Saudi Arabia maintains an active state of war against

the state of Israel since 1948. How would you, as President

relate to the security threat posed by Saudi Arabia?

2, The current administration offers major arms sales

to Saudi Arabia, despite its pro-terror posture. Would

you, as President, continue this policy of arming the


3, Successive US presidents have supported the idea

that Palestinian refugees should be reside in the squalor of UNRWA refugee

camps, under the premise and promise of the "right of return",

instead of being rehabilitated under the principles of UNHCR which

work to rehabilitate refugees in decent living permanent living conditions,

instead of perpetuation the unreal notion of the right

of return to villages and homes that no longer exist.

Would you, as President, call for an application of

UNHCR principles to alleviate the

plight of Palestinian refugees?

4. The Bush Administration has announced a program

to arm the Fatah, despite current terror activities of

the Fatah and despite the fact that Fatah remains on

the list of organizations defined by American law as

illegal terrorist organizations. Would you, as President,

continue to arm the Fatah?


5 The PA has used US AID funds to foster an Islamic

Sharia constitution which doe not provide juridical

status for any religion besides Islam. Does you, as President , approve of

this PA policy? Would you, as President, ask for a change in such

a constitution as a condition of future aid to the PA?

6. The Bush Administration has restrained Israel from

counterattacking in Gaza to put an end to the daily

missile attacks from Gaza. Would you, as President,

restrain the hand of Israel?

7. As a matter of policy, terrorists who fire missiles

at Israel from Gaza use Gaza civilians as human

shields. Would you, as President, recognize the fact

that casualties in Gaza remain a direct result of

this human shield policy?

8. The Palestinian Authority harbors terrorists

suspected of murder and refuses to hand them over for

trial. The Clinton and Bush Administrations turned a

blind eye to such a policy. Would you, as President,

allow such a policy to continue?

9. Palestinian Authority operates with no system of

civil liberties or human rights. Would you, as President,

condition for any future US assistance in a

human rights and civil liberties reform in the PA?

10. Christians are persecuted in the PA and are often

not allowed to practice their religion in the open in

the PA. The American consulate in Jerusalem has

refused to render assistance to Christians who are

persecuted by the PA. Would you, as President,

continue to ignore the plight of Christians who are persecuted in

the PA or will you, as President,

champion the cause of Christians to practice their religion freely in

the PA?

11, Syria continues to host and support a plethora of

terror groups. What would the policy to Syria, as

President, be to Syria in this regard?

12. Syria continues to orchestrate the export of

lethal narcotics to the world. Would you, as President,

support an effort to destroy the Syrian source of

lethal narcotics in the Bekka Valley?

14. Since the Golan Heights was used by Syria between

1949 and 1967 to attack Israeli communities in the

Galilee, would you, as President,

support an effort to

force Israel to withdraw from the Golan?

15. The Bush Administration asks that Israel abide by

the road map for peace. Which road map would you, as President,

endorse- the road map of April 30th

2003 or the road map of May 25th 2003? [The second

road map contains the reservations of Israel, which

include detailed Israeli directives to disband terror

groups as a precondition to continued negotiations]

16. The Bush Administration characterizes the Fatah

terror organization as a "moderate" factor. Would you, as President,

share in that characterization.

17. The Clinton and Bush Administrations overlooked

the fact that the PLO never ratified the Oslo accord

"declaration of principles" which required the PLO and

Fatah to recognize Israel, denounce terror and cancel

the PLO/Fatah charter which calls for Israel's

obliteration. It will be recalled that the PLO signed

the Oslo accords on the White House lawn on September

13th, 1993 and would not ratify these accords when

the PLO executive convened on October 6th, 1993 in

Tunis and would not cancel the PLO charter when the

PNC convened on April 24th. 1996. Would you, as President,

continue the Clinton/Bush policy of ignoring

the fact that the PLO never ratified the Oslo accord

and never cancelled the PLO charter?

18. The Clinton and Bush administration instituted a

policy of ignoring the message communicated by the

newly constituted Palestinian Authority in the Arabic

language which communicates a clear language of

continued war on Israel. Would you, as President,

insist on a change in that policy and issue a+

directive that any aid to the PA require a cessation

of calls to terrorism by the official media outlets of

the PA?


19. The Clinton and Bush administrations have

consistently ignored the fact that the new Palestinian

Authority curriculum introduced by the PA inculcates

the next generation to continue the war to liberate

all of Palestine. Would you, as President,

ask for a

cancellation of such a curriculum?

20. Since the Gaza withdrawal demonstrates that

Palestinians will use areas under their control to

launch missile attacks against Israel, would you, as President,

insist on future Israeli withdrawals?

David Bedein

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.