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THE ISRAEL FILE (2003)



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THE ISRAEL FILE CONTINUES (2004):
[ http://www.theinsider.org/mailing/article.asp?id=0465 ]
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THE ISRAEL FILE (2003):
[ http://www.theinsider.org/mailing/article.asp?id=0462 ]


Israeli army shoot and beat women at peaceful Christmas-holiday protest
31 December 2003

    Israeli troops have used teargas and rubber bullets against a group of protesters at a section of the controversial barrier in the West Bank.
Several people were injured and about 10 arrested in the incident near the village of Budrus, outside Ramallah.
    Palestinians, an Israeli and several foreign nationals were said to be among those detained.
    Israel says the barrier is designed to prevent suicide attacks, while the Palestinians say it is a land grab.
    Hundreds of demonstrators, including members of the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement and the International Women's Peace Service, were at Budrus on Wednesday.
    ...
    Protester Ted Querbath, from New York, said he saw six people wounded when the army started shooting rubber bullets and tear gas.
    "A Palestinian woman was severely beaten up and bleeding on her head," he told Reuters news agency.
    SOURCE: BBC News, "Israeli troops shoot protesters", 31 Dec 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3358965.stm ]

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Israeli army shoots peace campaigners
26 December 2003

    Israeli soldiers have opened fire on a demonstration in the West Bank, injuring two peace activists.
    ...
    One of the demonstrators, Jonathan Faulk, told the Israeli Haaretz newspaper that soldiers opened fire with no warning, adding that the soldiers' lives were never in any danger.
    The demonstrators came from peace groups including the International Solidarity Movement.
    Israel says it is building the barrier to prevent terrorist attacks. However, the Palestinians say it will cut hundreds of thousands of their people off from their livelihoods.
    ...
    SOURCE: BBC News, "Israel troops fire on peace rally", 26 Dec 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3349753.stm ]

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Israel ignores US peace plan with huge expandsion of illegal settlements
3 December 2003

    JERUSALEM -- The government of Israel has approved the construction of more than 1,720 new houses in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip this year, according to critics of the settlements who say they undercut a U.S.-backed peace plan that mandates a freeze on settlement expansion.
    The planned building is in addition to at least 1,000 homes and other infrastructure projects under construction in the West Bank, which Israel is also encircling with a massive fence complex, according to groups and officials that monitor settlement activity.
    Two weeks ago, Israeli soldiers began expanding the boundary of Beitar Ilit, a community of more than 20,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews about five miles southwest of Jerusalem. Beitar Ilit is one of the fastest-growing settlements in the West Bank; it added 2,900 residents last year.
    Last week, Deputy Defense Minister Zeev Boim announced that several unauthorized settlement outposts -- many of them just a trailer on a remote hilltop between existing settlements -- would soon be categorized as legitimate settlements.
    "I've never seen settlement expansion at such a rate, ever," said Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian political analyst, who claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is pushing ahead with settlements while the peace process drags on. "He's stealing time to impose his own facts on the ground by practically annexing more than half the West Bank" with the fence project, Barghouti added, "and imposing ghettoization on Palestinian villages that will mean the destruction of a two-state solution."
    The Jewish settlers acknowledge their goal is to add more housing. "Our target is to grow and expand as much as possible," said Yehoshua Mor-Yosef, a spokesman for the Yesha Council, the settlement umbrella organization.
    ...
    SOURCE: Washington Post (US), "Israel Approves Construction Of More Homes At Settlements", by John Ward Anderson, 3 Dec 03.
[ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A29686-2003Dec2.html ]

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Israeli regime calls all the world's Jews back to Israel
17 November 2003

BBC News, "Sharon urges Jews to go to Israel", 17 Nov 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3275979.stm ]
    ...
    Ariel Sharon was addressing about 100 Jews in the capital Rome on the first day of his official visit to Italy.
    His Italian host Silvio Berlusconi has been a staunch supporter of Israel.
    ...
    "If Israel is weakened ... the Jews worldwide will not be able to live the lives they live today," Ariel Sharon told the crowd at a Rome hotel.
    ...
    "The best solution to anti-Semitism is immigration to Israel. It is the only place on Earth where Jews can live as Jews," he said.
    ...
    In recent weeks, a poll for the European Commission suggesting that EU citizens see Israel as the biggest threat to world peace caused outrage among Israelis.
    ...

FURTHER READING:

http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com

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Torture and death at Israel's concentration camps
14 November 2003

    It has been removed from maps and airbrushed from aerial photographs. But Facility 1391 certainly exists - you just have to ask the Palestinians and Lebanese who have been imprisoned and tortured there. Chris McGreal reports
    ...
    Facility 1391 has been airbrushed from Israeli aerial photographs and purged from modern maps. Where once a police station was marked there is now a blank space. Sometimes even the road leading to it has been erased. But Israel's secret prison, inside an army intelligence base close to the main road between Hadera and Afula in northern Israel, is real enough. For 20 years or more it has been housed in a large, imposing, single-storey building designed by a British engineer, Sir Charles Taggart, during the 1930s as one of a series of garrison forts designed to contain growing unrest in Palestine. Today, the thick concrete walls and iron gates are themselves protected by a double fence overseen by watchtowers and patrolled by attack dogs.
    The prison has held Lebanese abducted by the Israeli army as hostages, Iraqi defectors and a Syrian intelligence officer who tried to defect but was accused of spying and chose to remain in another prison rather than return home and face a firing squad. More recently, scores of Palestinians were incarcerated in 1391 for interrogation, which finally led to the almost accidental disclosure of a prison the state decreed did not exist.
    Those who have been through its gates know it is no illusion. One former inmate has filed a lawsuit alleging that he was raped twice - once by a man and once with a stick - during questioning. But most of those who emerge say the real torture is the psychological impact of solitary confinement in filthy, blackened cells so poorly lit that inmates can barely see their own hands, and with no idea where they are or, in many cases, why they are there.
    "Our main conclusion is that it exists to make torture possible - a particular kind of torture that creates progressive states of dread, dependency, debility," says Manal Hazzan, a human rights lawyer who helped expose the prison's existence. "The law gives the army enough authority already to hide prisoners, so why do they need a secret facility?"
    Unlike any other Israeli prison, the International Red Cross, lawyers and members of the Israeli parliament have been refused access. One leftwing MP, Zahava Gal-On, describes Facility 1391 as "one of the signs of totalitarian regimes and of the third world". The Israeli government declines to discuss the secret prison other than to issue a standard response: "Facility 1391 is situated on a secret military base. The base is used by the security services for various classified activities and thus its location is kept confidential."
    But it is not just human rights lawyers and leftwing MPs who have a problem. Ami Ayalon is a former head of Israel's intelligence service, the Shin Bet. He was told about 1391 but says he refused to have anything to do with it. "I knew there was a facility not under the responsibility of the Shin Bet, but under the responsibility of the military. I didn't think then, and I don't think today, that such an institution should exist in a democracy," he says.
    ...
    In the late 80s, Unit 504 went in search of another kind of prisoner; men who could be held hostage and exchanged for captured Israeli soldiers and airmen. In 1989, the Israelis seized Sheikh Abd al-Karim Obeid, a spiritual leader to Hezbollah. Five years later, they snatched Mustafa Dirani, a leading Shi'ite fighter. Both were taken directly to Facility 1391.
    The soldiers who grabbed Obeid also abducted his bodyguards, members of his family and Hashem Fahaf, a young man who happened to be visiting the sheikh to seek his blessing and who found himself locked up for the next 11 years, initially at 1391.
    Fahaf was never accused of any crime, but he was refused access to a lawyer and any other contact with the outside world. For the first few years, the Israelis denied they were even holding him. In April 2000, the Israeli supreme court finally ordered Fahaf's release. The government said it had been holding him and another 18 Lebanese as hostages - or "bargaining chips", as Israeli officials prefer to call it - in the hope of winning the release of an airforce navigator, Colonel Ron Arad.
    ...
    In its response to the lawsuit, the Israeli government denied Dirani was raped but it confirmed that prisoners were routinely stripped naked for interrogation. However, the state attorney's office later went further and said that "within the framework of a military police investigation the suspicion arose that an interrogator who questioned the complainant threatened to perform a sexual act on the complainant".
    ...
    Facility 1391 remained a secret for two decades or more because those delivered to its clutches could be made to disappear. But even amid the severity of occupation, Israel does recognise that Palestinians have rights. Last year, as the army rounded up thousands of Palestinians during the reoccupation of West Bank cities, it ran out of places to interrogate them. Some were delivered to 1391.
    A Jerusalem human rights organisation, the Centre for the Defence of the Individual (Hamoked), went in search of one man, Muatez Shahin, who was taken from his home by the army a year ago. The military insisted he was not on any of their lists of prisoners. Hamoked petitioned the high court and, after various attempts by the state to block the truth, won an unprecedented admission earlier this year that Shahin had disappeared into the previously unknown prison. State prosecutors initially told the court that the prison was no longer in use. A few weeks later, the state was forced to confess otherwise.
    ...
    Hamoked's director, Dalia Kerstein, an Israeli, was horrified. "I was shocked to find out there is such a facility. I don't want the country I live in to have such a secret prison," she said. "We're challenging the legality of this place. We're seeking to close it and we're challenging the whole system of interrogation that goes on in the facility and is a byproduct of the fact that this place is secret, including torture.
    ...
    "During one hearing I burst into tears. The judge asked me why I was crying. I said that for 30 days I didn't know where I was, I had no contact with a lawyer, I was transported in a brutal way. The judge finally said they had to come up with some evidence against me or let me go. So they let me go."
    SOURCE: The Guardian (UK), "Facility 1391: Israel's secret prison", 14 Nov 03.
[ http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1084796,00.html ]

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American Jews meet to plot the future of the Middle East
14 November 2003

    Next week, 4,000 leaders of the organized Jewish community in North America will convene in Jerusalem for their annual General Assembly to discuss with their Israeli hosts the "shaping of our common future."
    As I intend to participate, I would be happy if one of the Jewish American participants grabbed me by the sleeve and demanded to know what Israel was doing in Gaza. Why Gaza? Because, in a nutshell, it embodies the major problems Israel is now facing.
    Israel keeps 7,700 Jewish settlers in the midst of 1 million Arabs in locations that have no strategic importance and in an area which, unlike Judea and Samaria - the West Bank - doesn't even have a biblical significance (except, of course, for Samson).
    These settlements in Gaza create endless friction with the Palestinians, breeding hatred and revenge, and securing them taxes the already overburdened Israel Defense Forces. No wonder, then, that in poll after poll the majority of Israelis say that Israel should evacuate its settlements from Gaza.
    ...
    SOURCE: IHT (US), "To American Jews: Israel needs your criticism", 14 November 04.
[ http://www.iht.com/articles/117573.html ]

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Israel illegally evicts Muslim farmers from their own land
7 November 2003

    Palestinian farmers in the northern Jordan Valley on Wednesday received letters stating Israel would use their property to erect a security barrier, Palestinian officials said.
    Palestinian Authority officials subsequently fired off protests to the United States and the European Union. They said the commander of the Israel Defense Force's central command had ordered the land confiscation.
    SOURCE: CNN (US), "Palestinians: Israel hands out land confiscation notices", 7 Nov 03.
[ http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/11/05/mideast/ ]

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Israeli policy of shooting Palestinians at random now official
6 November 2003

    A new set of rules was recently released by the Israeli military command, permitting the Israeli occupying troops stationed in the illegitimate Jewish settlement of "Nitzarim" to shoot and kill any Palestinian carrying a binoculars in the vicinity of the settlement.
    Israeli sources mentioned that the Israeli southern command has released these new rules after two Palestinians attacked the isolated settlement two weeks ago, killing three soldiers and wounding others. The sources claimed that these rules were released to prevent Palestinians from "observing Israeli military activity", which they say usually comes prior to planning an attack.
    "Before the rules, we were afraid to go out after sunset, because the trigger-happy Israeli soldiers open fire at anybody who moves outside in the dark. After we heard about the new rules, I would be so afraid of letting my kids out to play even in broad daylight, because the soldiers might see them holding something similar to a binoculars and open fire. We can not possibly trust those soldiers, because they are occupiers and psychopaths, and they would not hesitate to shoot anybody, be it a child or an old man," Abu Kmail told IPC correspondent.
    SOURCE: Scoop (NZ), "Israel Begins Random Shooting Policy in Nitzarim", 6 Nov 03.
[ http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/WO0311/S00053.htm ]

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UK government criticises Israeli occulation but in reality actively supports it
5 November 2003

    Large quantities of British arms and internal security equipment are being sold to Israel despite the government's public criticism of the country's human rights record and growing violence there, the Guardian can reveal.
    Export licences for weapons are being cleared even though Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, has admitted that Israel has breached assurances that British equipment would not be used in the occupied territories. Exports approved by the government this year cover categories including leg-irons, electric shock belts and chemical and biological agents such as tear gas. They also include categories covering mortars, rocket launchers, anti-tank weapons, military explosives, and infrared and radar sensors.
    SOURCE: The Guardian (UK), "Arms sales to Israel breach guidelines", 5 Nov 03.
[ http://politics.guardian.co.uk/foreignaffairs/story/0,11538,1077972,00.html ]

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EU asks Israel to forgive people in Europe because they are "anti-Semitic"
5 November 2004

    The European Commission has apologised to Israel for an opinion poll which found that Israel is the country most ordinary Europeans regard as the biggest threat to world peace.
    Israeli leaders and international Jewish groups have angrily denounced the poll, saying European criticism of Israel is motivated by anti-Semitism.
    In apparent agreement, the President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, said the results "point to the continued existence of a bias that must be condemned out of hand".
    "To the extent that this may indicate a deeper, more general prejudice against the Jewish world, our repugnance is even more radical," he said.
    The present holder of the rotating European presidency, the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, said he felt "surprise and indignation" and that the question had been "misleading".
    Mr Berlusconi recently weathered a similar controversy after publicly denying that the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini played any role in the Holocaust. He was subsequently awarded a prize by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League for his support for Israel and the US.
    Carried out as part of continuing surveys by the European Union, the telephone poll sampled 7500 respondents in all 15 EU member states.
    Presented with the names of 14 countries, the respondents were asked if they regarded each in turn as a threat to world peace. The results showed 59 per cent of respondents agreed that Israel was the biggest threat to world peace. The US, Iran and North Korea came joint second with 53 per cent. Iraq came next with 52 per cent, followed by Afghanistan.
    Libya, Saudi Arabia, China, India, Somalia, Russia, Syria and Pakistan all scored less than 50 per cent.
    Palestine was not listed because, the EU says, it is not a country.
    ...
    SOURCE: SMH (AU), "Israel gets apology for peace-threat poll", 5 November 04.
[ http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/11/04/1067708213036.html ]

    Israel has been described as the top threat to world peace, ahead of North Korea, Afghanistan and Iran, by an unpublished European Commission poll of 7,500 Europeans, sparking an international row.
    The survey, conducted in October, of 500 people from each of the EU's member nations included a list of 15 countries with the question, 'tell me if in your opinion it presents or not a threat to peace in the world'. Israel was reportedly picked by 59 per cent of those interviewed.
    The leaking of the results of the poll to El Pais and the International Herald Tribune has sparked a bitter row, with a major Jewish human rights and lobbying group, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, demanding that the EU be excluded from the Israel-Palestinian peace process and accusing Europe of suffering the worst outbreak of 'anti-semitism' since World War Two.
    ...
    SOURCE: The Observer (UK), "Israel outraged as EU poll names it a threat to peace", 2 Nov 03.
[ http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1076073,00.html ]


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Israel closes doors to foreign media except pro-Israeli journalists
3 November 03

    Israel will force journalists to undergo stringent checks from its internal Shin Bet security service as a requirement for accreditation, the head of the Government Press Office said Monday.
    Israeli and foreign journalists criticized the decision as an attempt to inhibit freedom of the press.
    The Foreign Press Association said that while it understands Israel's security problems, there is no evidence that journalists pose a risk. The new policy gives Israeli authorities "unreasonable veto power" over who can be a foreign correspondent, the association said in a statement.
    ...
    FPA deputy chairman Tami Allen-Frost said the Shin Bet's past blacklisting of Palestinian journalists showed there was "almost no transparency" in the security service, and it refused to provide explanations for its decisions. The new measure "constitutes an utter violation of freedom of the press and the dramatic reversal of the openness that has prevailed in Israel for decades," the association said. The new regulations "appear to be another step in a two-year campaign to harass and intimidate the foreign press."
    SOURCE: The Guardian (UK), "Israel Imposes Security Checks on Media", 3 November 03.
[ http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-3343622,00.html ]

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Israel's most senior commander admits Israeli tactics prevent peace
31 October 2003

    Israel's senior military commander told columnists for three leading newspapers this week that Israel's military tactics against the Palestinian population were fomenting explosive levels of "hatred and terrorism."
    SOURCE: Washington Post (US), "Top Israeli Officer Says Tactics Are Backfiring", front page, 31 Oct 03.
[ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A44374-2003Oct30.html ]
[ http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost/434853461.html?did=434853461&FMT=ABS&FMTS=FT ]

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Israel orders Switzerland not to support Middle East peace plan
28 October 2003

The Israeli Foreign Ministry summoned a senior Swiss diplomat to protest Switzerland's backing for an informal Mideast peace plan reached by former Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, an official said Tuesday."
    "Foreign Ministry spokesman Jonathan Peled said Switzerland's acting head of mission, Claude Altermatt, was summoned on Monday. Peled said Israeli officials expressed "misgivings about the Swiss involvement in promoting'' the peace plan."
    SOURCE: The Guardian (UK), "Swiss Backing of Peace Plan Irks Israel " 28 Oct 03.
[ http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-3318692,00.html ]

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6 months later Israel investigates Israeli army killing British civilian
27 October 2003

    Israel has announced it will investigate the shooting of a British peace campaigner in the Gaza Strip.
    Tom Hurndall was hit in April while trying to protect women and children, according to his campaign group, the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).
    The 22-year-old, who had lived in Manchester, had been working with the group in the town of Rafah when he was shot.
    ...
SOURCE: BBC News (UK), "Inquiry into activist shot in Israel", 27 Oct 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/3216715.stm ]

    The parents of a UK peace campaigner who was shot by Israeli troops in the Gaza strip have met Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to call for the soldier who shot him to be prosecuted.
    Anthony and Jocelyn Hurndall from Tufnell Park, north London, are also releasing details of two reports into the shooting - one produced by the Israeli Defence Force and one by the family.
    Tom Hurndall, who lived in Manchester, was hit while trying to protect women and children, according to his campaign group, the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).
    The 22-year-old had been working with the group in the town of Rafah when he was shot.
    He is now in a deep coma in intensive care at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead after suffering severe brain damage from which he is not expected to recover.
    SOURCE: BBC News, "Shot activist's family want action", 17 Jun 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/2996490.stm ]

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Israel refuses to comply with UN resolution to stop the illegal wall
22 October 2003

    The UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly passed a resolution demanding that Israel halt construction of a huge barrier in the West Bank.
    The resolution also calls for existing stretches of fence to be removed.
    It says the barrier contravenes international law, but falls short of meeting Arab-led demands that the entire matter be referred to the International Court of Justice in the Hague for a legal ruling.
    But Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said construction of the barrier would continue.
    SOURCE: BBC News (UK), "UN condemns West Bank 'wall'", 22 Oct 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/1/hi/world/middle_east/3212430.stm ]

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Israel aims more nuclear missiles at Arab countries
18 October 2003

American-made Harpoon missiles, armed with nuclear warheads, are now aimed by Israel’s fleet of Dolphin-class submarines against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
    Following September’s exclusive report in American Free Press about Israel’s submarine nuclear attack capability, over 100 Harpoon cruise missiles have been secretly airlifted to the remote island of Diego Garcia, a joint UK-U.S. base in the Indian Ocean.
    The three Israeli submarines that arrived at the base early this month were each loaded with 24 Harpoon missiles.

    SOURCE: AFP (US), "Israeli Subs Have Nukes Aimed at Iranian Sites", 18 Oct 03.
http://www.americanfreepress.net/10_18_03/Israeli_Subs/israeli_subs.html

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US blocks diplomatic attempt to stop Israel's ilegal wall of oppression
15 October 2003

    The United States has vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israel's controversial West Bank barrier.
    The draft, introduced by Arab states, declared that the structure was illegal under international law and that construction must be halted.
    ...
    But Palestinians argue that it is encroaching on more Palestinian land and making a number of Israeli settlements in the border areas permanent.
    Other international mediators had been urging Israel to end construction of the fence.
    But the US - Israel's closest ally - had been less than vocal on the issue.
    President George Bush had merely called the barrier a "problem".
    ...
    Most of the countries taking part in the debate criticised the construction of the barrier, saying it will inflame tensions.
    ... The US was the only one vote against the draft.

    SOURCE: BBC News (UK), "US blocks action on Israeli 'wall'", 15 Oct 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3192762.stm ]

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Israeli agent caught stealing intelligence from Russia
14 October 2003

    NOVOSIBIRSK, Russia, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Russian officials say they seized a computer diskette from an Israeli man at the Novosibirsk airport that contained information on secret research.
    The Novosti news agency said the unidentified man was not detained after the disk was confiscated Tuesday as he prepared to board a flight to Israel. The diskette allegedly contained information on unidentified Russian scientific developments.
    Officials said the diskette was sent to Moscow for examination.
    SOURCE:
Washington Times (US), "Russia: An Israeli tried to steal secrets", 14 Oct 03.
[ http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20031014-032110-3800r.htm ]

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Israeli troops kill yet more civilians and demolish their houses
13 October 2003

    Raid on camp leaves hundreds of Palestinians homeless
    Israeli tanks and bulldozers pulled out of southern Gaza yesterday after one of the most destructive raids of the intifada, leaving hundreds of Palestinians without homes and eight dead, including two children.
    The army fought its way into Rafah refugee camp on Thursday night, ostensibly in search of tunnels under the border with Egypt which the military said were being used to smuggle heavy weaponry such as ground-to-air missiles.
    But by the time the raid was over 48 hours later, just three tunnels had been found, while more than 100 homes had been rocketed or flattened by bulldozers, about 1,500 people left homeless and two children killed after an Israeli helicopter fired a missile into a crowd.
    The army also cut off electricity and water to the camp.
    The United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, accused Israel of breaching international law through "disproportionate use of force" in a civilian area. Yasser Arafat's aides called the raid a "war crime and a human tragedy."
    "The Israeli soldiers came and opened fire in our neighbourhood two days ago," said Ehad Abu Taha, 23.
    "The younger children were screaming so we tried to get away. We couldn't take anything.
    "My father tried to go back yesterday but the Israelis were still there. When we went back today, there was nothing left of my house. There was nothing left of my neighbourhood."
    In some places, entire rows of houses were crushed under the bulldozers. In other streets Israeli helicopters picked off two or three homes at a time with missiles.
    At dawn yesterday, once it was clear the Israeli tanks were mostly gone, hundreds of people loaded up donkey carts and fled their homes amid a swirl of rumours that the army would be back.
    Women stumbled down the road with doors to their homes strapped to their backs and children hauled buckets filled with cutlery.
    ...
    SOURCE: The Guardian (UK), "Rafah counts its dead as Israeli tanks pull out", by Chris McGreal, 13 Oct 03.
[ http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1061769,00.html ]

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Israeli politicians angry at plan for peace - before they even saw it
13 October 2003

    A draft peace agreement aimed at offering an alternative route to peace in the Middle East has been angrily attacked by Israeli ministers.
    The unofficial plan - known as the Geneva Accord - was finalised over the weekend during a meeting of Israeli opposition politicians and Palestinian representatives in Jordan.
    Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told the Jerusalem Post it was "not helpful" to make people think there might be something other than the international plan known as the roadmap.
    ...
    Full details of the plan, which comes after two years of secret negotiations, are due to be released when the initiative is formally adopted in Geneva next month.
    ...
    SOURCE: BBC News, "New 'peace deal' angers Israel", 13 Oct 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3188308.stm ]

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Israeli regime attacks its neighbours again
7 October 2003

    The Israeli air raid on Syrian territory has prompted concern and condemnation from many world leaders.
    Israel informed Washington of the raid only hours after it took place.
    ...
    Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi branded Israel's strike a "flagrant aggression and a violation of Syria's territorial integrity", but made no comment on the Israeli allegation that Iran funded the camp targeted in the raid.
    The Arab League held an emergency session in Cairo to discuss the attack.
    "This aggression represents a serious escalation that threatens regional and international security and peace and exposes the deteriorating situation in the region to uncontrollable consequences, which could drag the whole region into violent whirlpool," the body said in a statement.
    The Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, said the attack was an "aggression on a close country," while Qatar and Kuwait - which like Egypt are close US allies - also condemned the Israeli attack.
    Jordan's Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher said the air strike could "drag the whole region into a circle of violence".
    France, which holds a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, said the air strike "constitutes an unacceptable violation of international law and rules of sovereignty".
    And Germany's Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, on a tour of the Middle East, said: "Violating the sovereignty of a third country complicates further the [peace] process, that's why what happened in Syria cannot be accepted."
    SOURCE: BBC News, "Strike on Syria: World reaction", 7 Oct 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3166554.stm ]

    An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council has heard widespread condemnation of Israel for carrying out an air raid on Syrian territory.
    ...
    Syria, which requested the crisis talks, called for a vote on a draft resolution condemning what it called Israel's "military aggression" but the meeting was adjourned without a vote.
    UN ambassadors are now consulting their governments on their next steps.
    Damascus has insisted the site targeted by Israel was a civilian zone. It said Israel was threatening security in the Middle East with its first attack on Syrian soil in more than 20 years.
    At the council meeting, all the diplomats except US ambassador John Negroponte spoke out against the Israeli action.
    ...
    SOURCE: BBC News, "Syria asks UN to condemn Israel", 7 Oct 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3166768.stm ]


    SOURCE: The Guardian, "Syria Considers Amending Resolution", 7 Oct 03.
[ http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-3235935,00.html ]
    Syria is considering amending its resolution that seeks U.N. condemnation for Israeli air strikes on its soil after many countries, including the United States, called for more balance.
    The United States renewed its warning that it might block any draft that did not condemn the suicide bombing in Haifa. [But when Syria ammend the resolution, will the US honour their end of the bargain?]
    ...

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Israelization of US foreign policy
3 October 2003

    BEIRUT -- Few disputed at the time that Israel was a factor that pushed U.S. President George W. Bush to go to war on Iraq. Just how much weight it had among all the other factors was the only controversial question. But what is clear, six months on, is that Israel is now a very important one indeed in the stumbling neoimperial venture that Iraq has become.
    This "Israelization" of U.S. policy crossed a new threshold with the two blows dealt Syria in the past fortnight -- Bush's endorsement of Israel's Oct. 5 air raid on its territory and the Syrian Accountability Act passed by the House of Representatives last week. A community of U.S.-Israeli purpose pushed to unprecedented lengths is now operational as well as ideological.
    SOURCE: Japan Times, "'Israelization' of U.S. Middle East policy proceeds apace", by David Hirst, 3 Oct 03.
[ http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/geted.pl5?eo20031023a1.htm ]

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US supports Israeli plans to kidnap political opponents
17 September 2003

When Israel threatened to kidnap or assassinate Yasser Arafat, the democratically elected leader of Palestine, people throughout the world were concerned that no civilised or democratic country would behave in this way.

Any other government publicly abusing their authority in this way would be condemned as a dangerous rogue state, but the Israeli regime acts with absolute impunity because they have powerful friends in the White House. American tax-payers contribute up to ten billion dollars per year directly to the Israeli "defence" budget.

The Arab world went to the United Nations to resolve their dispute with Israel by diplomatic means. The United States government deliberately and single-handedly blocked the peaceful route, by using their veto to prevent the Arabs from registering their concerns. What options does this leave the Arabs with? There are fifteen nations on the UN Security Council, and the plump man representing the US was the only person who opposed the resolution.

Israel is the most dangerous regime in the Middle East. Thanks to their wealthy and powerful American friends, Israel is the only regime in the region that is known to possess weapons of mass destruction, including a huge stock-pile of nuclear missiles and long-range and biological and chemical weapons. Israel has a long history of invading neighbouring countries. The Israeli occupation of Palestine is illegal under International Law, and the construction of settlements on occupied territory is a direct contravention of the Geneva Conventions. Israel in material breach of numerous UN resolutions. Israel has one of the worst records of human rights abuses in the world. They are armed and dangerous, and hold themselves above international laws and conventions. As such, Israel represents a serious threat to international as well as regional peace and security.

The International Community has a responsibility to bring states like Israel back within the boundaries of the civilised world.

There can be no hope of peace until the US, Israel, and other hypocritical regimes change their ways.

    Arab diplomats have condemned Washington's decision to veto a UN Security Council draft resolution denouncing Israel's policy of "removing" Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
    US Ambassador to the UN John Negroponte said the resolution was "flawed" because it did not include a "robust condemnation of acts of terrorism" by Palestinian militant groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
    The US was the only one of the 15 countries on the Security Council to oppose the resolution...
    ...
    Palestinian UN representative Nasser al-Kidwa said that the veto would lead to "serious consequences" for which the US alone bore responsibility.
    And Syrian Ambassador Fayssal Mekdad described the decision as "regrettable", adding that it only worsened a situation in the Middle East that is already "extraordinarily complicated".
    ...
    The draft resolution, sponsored by Syria, had demanded that Israel "desist from any act of deportation and cease any threat to the safety of the elected president of the Palestinian Authority".
    It followed a statement by Israel's security cabinet last week denouncing Mr Arafat as an "obstacle to peace" and saying he should be removed through unspecified means.
    Over the weekend Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that his government had not ruled out killing Mr Arafat.
    SOURCE: BBC News, "Arab world condemns US Arafat veto", 17 Sep 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3115114.stm ]

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Israel - profile of America's favourite "democracy"

* All published material is subject to official censorship.
* Discussion of sensitive issues e.g. illegal weapons not allowed in so-called "parliament".
* Suspects in foreign nations are beaten and illegally kidnapped.
* Public are not allowed to speak against the government.
* Public controlled by threats from secret police.

J. F Kennedy, US President, was calling for weapons inspections in Israel... Until he was assassinated on November 22nd, 1963.

    Arab states have accused the United Nations nuclear watchdog of holding back from criticising Israel.
    Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was ignoring Israel's alleged weapons of mass destruction.
    At the same time, they said, the agency was putting pressure on other countries to give up their nuclear programmes.
    ...
    Israel, unlike Iran and North Korea, has not signed the NPT. The Jewish state has never confirmed being a nuclear power, but is widely believed to possess nuclear weapons.
    Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said: "What surprises us is that at a time when the International Atomic Energy Agency is intensifying its efforts and monitoring (NPT) member countries... we see that it continues to ignore the rejection of Israel in not joining the treaty.
    ...
    Under US pressure, the IAEA has given Iran until 31 October to prove it does not plan to develop nuclear weapons.
    SOURCE: BBC News, "Nuclear watchdog 'ignores Israel'", Oct 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3151552.stm ]

    SOURCE: BBC News, "Israel's nuclear programme", 22 Dec 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3340639.stm ]
    While Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons, few international experts question the Jewish state's presence on the world's list of nuclear powers.
    Its nuclear capability is arguably the most secretive weapons of mass destruction programme in the world.
    Unlike Iran and North Korea - two countries whose alleged nuclear ambitions have recently come to the fore - Israel has never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, designed to prevent the global spread of nuclear weapons.
    As a result, it is not subject to inspections and the threat of sanctions by the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
    ...

    SOURCE: BBC News (UK), "Israeli nuclear 'power' exposed", 16 Mar 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/correspondent/2841377.stm ]
    [This TV program was cancelled at the last minute: "There is no suggestion that any political pressure affected a scheduling decision by the BBC."]

    SOURCE: BBC News (UK), "Israel 'may have 200 nuclear weapons'", 23 Aug 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/892941.stm ]

    SOURCE: MSNBC (US), "Israel: the arsenal of an undeclared nuclear power", 21 Apr 03.
[ http://www.msnbc.com/news/wld/graphics/strategic_israel_dw.htm ]
[ http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0421-08.htm ]

    SOURCE: The Guardian (UK), "Saudis consider nuclear bomb", 18 Sep 03.
[ http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1044380,00.html ]
    Saudi Arabia, in response to the current upheaval in the Middle East, has embarked on a strategic review that includes acquiring nuclear weapons, the Guardian has learned.
    This new threat of proliferation in one of the most dangerous regions of the world comes on top of a crisis over Iran's alleged nuclear programme.
    ...
    United Nations officials and nuclear arms analysts said the Saudi review reflected profound insecurities generated by the volatility in the Middle East, Riyadh's estrangement with Washington and the weakening of its reliance on the US nuclear umbrella.
    They pointed to the Saudi worries about an Iranian prog-ramme and to the absence of any international pressure on Israel, which has an estimated 200 nuclear devices.
    ...
    Riyadh is also worried about a string of apparent leaks in American papers from the US administration critical of Saudi Arabia.
    ...
    UN officials said there have been rumours going back 20 years that the Saudis wanted to pay Pakistan to do the research and development on nuclear weapons.
    In 1988, Saudi bought from China intermediate-range missiles capable of reaching any part of the Middle East with a nuclear warhead.
    Four years ago, Saudi Arabia sent a defence team to Pakistan to tour its secret nuclear facilities and to be briefed by Abdul Qader Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb.
    ...
    Mr Albright said the Saudis would face a long haul if they were determined to acquire nuclear weapons. He doubted whether anyone would sell. [This contradicts claims by the US and the UK that terrorists could obtain nuclear weapons.]
    Arab countries yesterday urged the International Atomic Energy Authority, the UN nuclear watchdog, to get tough with Israel to let inspectors assess its nuclear programme in line with similar pressure on Iran.
    Oman's ambassador to the IAEA, Salim al-Riyami, speaking on behalf of the Arab League, which represents Arab states, said it was time to get tough with Israel. "I think it's time to deal with this issue more substantively than before," he said.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Fourty-nine people arrested for trying to protect one Palestinian home
5 August 2003

    More than 40 people have been arrested for trying to stop Israel's construction of a "security fence" in the West Bank.
    The activists - most of them foreigners - had camped in front of the home of a Palestinian family they said would be isolated by the fence near the town of Qalqilya.
    SOURCE: BBC News, "Israel arrests fence protesters", 5 Aug 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3124819.stm ]

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Israeli regime blames nobody for British girl killed by their bulldozer
27 June 2003

    The Israeli army has closed an investigation into the death of a US peace activist crushed by one of its bulldozers, saying it was an accident and that no action would be taken against the soldiers involved.
    Rachel Corrie died in March during a protest against the demolition of a house in the southern Gaza Strip.
    SOURCE: BBC News, "Israel calls Corrie death 'accident'", 27 Jun 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3025016.stm ]

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Israeli fury as Belgian court opens way for Sharon War Crimes trial
15 January 2003

    Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt says he supports a change to the country's law on human rights, to allow the prosecution of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for alleged war crimes.
    Mr Verhofstadt said on Tuesday he did not object to parliament broadening the scope of the law so that a war crime could be prosecuted "no matter where the person accused of the crime is located," Belgian media said.
    The country's 1993 "universal competence" law allows Belgian courts to try cases of alleged human rights abuses committed anywhere in the world.
    But last June, a Belgian appeals court ruled that Mr Sharon could not be tried because crimes committed abroad could only prosecuted if the suspect was on Belgian territory.
    The case had been brought by survivors of the killing by Lebanese Christian militiamen of hundreds of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps near Beirut in 1982.
    A 1983 Israeli investigation found that Mr Sharon - as defence minister of the Israeli forces - was indirectly but personally responsible for the massacres.
    ...   
    SOURCE: BBC News (UK), "Belgium opens way for Sharon trial", 15 Jan 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2662635.stm ]

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Israel asks America for $12 billion dollars more
5 January 2003

Israel is asking America for a further $12 billion US dollars to help build its economy, in addition to the $3.2 billion dollars per year that they already give to the Israeli government.

The US government provided Israel with financial aid and loans on the condition that the money is used to buy from the US arms
industry.

    An Israeli delegation is due to arrive in Washington to try to secure an emergency aid package worth $12bn.
    Israel's economy is suffering from one of the worst crises in the country's history.
    The conflict with the Palestinians, together with the world economic downturn, has led to rising unemployment and falling investment.
    Israel submitted the request several months ago and is now sending a senior delegation to follow it up.
    It includes the head of the prime minister's office, Dov Weisglass, as well as the directors general of the finance and defence ministries.
    A third of the aid package would be for military and security spending, to help Israel fight the Palestinian uprising and boost its defence preparations for a possible US-led war against Iraq.
    The rest of the money would be in the form of loan guarantees.
    Obvious choice.
    The United States is an obvious place to turn for help; it already gives its close ally $3.2bn in aid every year.
    Mr Weisglass called the request part of "very deep and involved strategic relations" and said Washington was regarding it favourably.
    Israeli commentators have said that even if Israel gets the money, it will not have an immediate impact on the economy.
    ...
    Israelis are much more focused on security, although a vote-buying scandal in Mr Sharon's Likud Party has cut into its once commanding lead.
    SOURCE: BBC News, "Israel seeks US aid package", 5 Jan 03.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2627561.stm ]

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Israeli soldiers protest against illegal occupation of Palestine
30 December 2002

Israel's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Israeli soldiers who refuse to support Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.

The court decided that soldiers have no legal right to conscientious objection, and sent the original objector back to prison for disobeying orders. Other Israeli troops say they prefer to go to prison rather than participate in a brutal military occupation that is illegal under International Law.

    "Our refusal to serve in the occupied territories
    is the most Jewish and Zionistic ideal that can be
    upheld in this situation"   
    - David Zonshein, Israeli soldier

    Israel's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a group of reserve soldiers who have refused to serve in the occupied territories.
The campaigners belong to "Courage to Refuse" - which rallies conscientious objectors who consider areas gained by Israel during the 1967 to be occupied illegally.
    The court however did not address the legality of the occupation but whether conscientious objection is permissible in the army.
    SOURCE: BBC News, "Court rejects Israeli reservists' appeal", 30 Dec 02.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2614327.stm ]

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USA veto another UN resolution criticising Israel's latest war crimes
21 December 2002

The American government has vetoed a United Nations resolution criticising Israel for killing three UN personnel and the destruction of a UN World Food Programme warehouse.

The other permanent members of the Security Council all approved the UN resolution. Only the USA prevented it from being passed. In so doing, as ever, the US have slammed shut the only diplomatic door available for Arab nations to express their grievances.

Are America's reasons for blocking the UN resolution good enough to justify closing the door to diplomacy between Arabs and Israelis? The alternative is perpetual conflict and killing in the Middle East.

    The United States has vetoed a United Nations resolution condemning Israel for the deaths of three UN staff in Gaza and the West Bank.
    ...
    Syrian ambassador Mikhail Wehbe in turn said that he had accepted amendments from council members all week but that the US had been "attempting to equate the victim with the butcher".
    ...
    It is the first time in a year that the US has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on the Middle East conflict.
    Only the five permanent members of the Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States - have a right of veto, and the four remaining members all voted in favour of the resolution.
    British aid worker Iain Hook, 54, worked for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and was shot dead in the Jenin refugee camp in late November.
    The Israelis said that their soldiers mistook Hook's cellphone for a weapon, after gunmen entered a UN compound.
    ...
    International criticism
    However the UN says that Israeli soldiers in the area were under no threat at the time, and that the army delayed an ambulance, leaving Hook to bleed to death.
    Two Palestinians working for UNRWA were shot dead in Gaza a week later.
    Israel was also heavily criticised by the international community after it blew up a World Food Program warehouse storing more than 500 tonnes of food aid in the town of Beit Lahiya in the Gaza Strip.
    ...
    SOURCE: BBC News, "US vetoes anti-Israel UN resolution", 21 Dec 02.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2596249.stm ]

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Israeli intelligence agents watched and filmed the 9/11 attacks
2 November 2002

We know that Israeli agents made video recordings of the 9-11 attacks. Positioned at a safe distance from the twin towers of the World Trade Centre, Israel's intelligence service filmed the whole episode, but did they do more than just watch? How did they know the precise time and place of the attacks?

Nobody gained more from 9-11 than Israel, not even the US President and his oil-funded cabinet.

    SOURCE: Sunday Herald (UK), "Five Israelis were seen filming as jet liners ploughed into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001", 2 Nov 02.
[ http://ww1.sundayherald.com/37707 ]
    Were they part of a massive spy ring which shadowed the 9/11 hijackers and knew that al-Qaeda planned a devastating terrorist attack on the USA? Neil Mackay investigates.
    THERE was ruin and terror in Manhattan, but, over the Hudson River in New Jersey, a handful of men were dancing. As the World Trade Centre burned and crumpled, the five men celebrated and filmed the worst atrocity ever committed on American soil as it played out before their eyes.
    Who do you think they were? Palestinians? Saudis? Iraqis, even? Al-Qaeda, surely? Wrong on all counts. They were Israelis – and at least two of them were Israeli intelligence agents, working for Mossad, the equivalent of MI6 or the CIA.
    Their discovery and arrest that morning is a matter of indisputable fact. To those who have investigated just what the Israelis were up to that day, the case raises one dreadful possibility: that Israeli intelligence had been shadowing the al-Qaeda hijackers as they moved from the Middle East through Europe and into America where they trained as pilots and prepared to suicide-bomb the symbolic heart of the United States. And the motive? To bind America in blood and mutual suffering to the Israeli cause.
    After the attacks on New York and Washington, the former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was asked what the terrorist strikes would mean for US-Israeli relations. He said: “It’s very good.” Then he corrected himself, adding: “Well, it’s not good, but it will generate immediate sympathy [for Israel from Americans].”
    ...

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Israeli government has collapsed as right-wing extremists sieze control
31 October 2002

The government in Israel has collapsed, and politicians from the coalition party have resigned in protest, because the Israeli Prime Minister refuses to spend money on the worsening national social crisis instead of funding Israel's occupation of outside territories.

The Israeli economy has gone bust, but American tax payers will pay the bill. The scale of the social crisis in Israel can be measured by their recent request for a further $10 billion dollars from the American government to help reduce the problem, while Israeli tax-payers' money is spent on supporting the illegal military occupation of Palestinian territories.

    Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is holding talks with extreme right-wing and religious parties in an effort to prop up his teetering government.
    The government was left close to collapse after its main coalition partner, the Labor Party led by former Defence Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, withdrew in a row over funding for Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
    Following Mr Ben-Eliezer's resignation, Mr Sharon moved swiftly to appoint hawkish former chief-of-staff Shaul Mofaz as Israel's new defence minister on Thursday, an aide to Mr Sharon said.
    As head of the army, Mr Mofaz took a hard line towards dealing with the Palestinian uprising and advocated expelling Yasser Arafat from the Palestinian territories.
He was succeeded as army chief in July by Lieutenant-General Moshe Ya'alon.
    Mr Arafat said the appointment of Mr Mofaz did not bode well for the peace process.
    "Mofaz on one side, Ya'alon on the other and Sharon over them, what do you imagine will happen in the region?" Mr Arafat told the Arabic satellite television station al-Jazeera.
    Despite the loss of Labor, Mr Sharon said he would continue leading the country.
    ...
    Washington has declined to comment on the crisis, but the Bush administration has made it clear it wants a period of calm in order not to divert attention from possible action against Iraq.
    ...
    SOURCE: BBC News, "Sharon seeks new coalition backing", 31 Oct 02.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2379693.stm ]

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Israel's economy has collapsed but America will pay the bill
22 October 2002

The Israeli regime is asking America for a further $10 billion dollars to help build its economy, in addition to the $2.1 billion per year of American tax-payers money which is already paid to the Israeli military.

This generous donation by the American tax-payer will be used to support the illegal military occupation of Palestine and to terrorize neighbouring countries.

    Ariel Sharon is pressing Washington for billions of dollars of emergency aid to revitalise the Israeli economy, driven deep into recession by the two years of Palestinian uprising.
    Already the biggest recipient of US foreign aid - $2.1bn a year, most of it spent on military equipment from America - Israel is putting together a proposal for up to $10bn (£6.5bn).
    The intifada has helped to give Israel its worst recession for 25 years. Foreign investment and tourism have collapsed. The shekel loses value by the month. Unemployment has risen to 10% and shops suffer from people's reluctance to wander through malls which may attract suicide bombers.
    Three years ago the economy was growing at the rate of 6%: now it is contracting.
    ...
    The government's attempt to contain the damage with deep budget cuts, tax increases and a pay freeze has provoked a public sector strike which has left the streets of Israel's main cities strewn with rubbish but done little to reverse the economic downturn. And there is an election next year.
    Last month the chairman of the national security council, Uzi Dayan, told the knesset that the intifada was costing the economy close to £2bn a year and that without an end to the violence there is little hope of reversing the financial decline.
    ...
    "I think nothing will improve until something happens to the peace process."
    Mr Sharon asked President Bush for the biggest aid package to Israel for more than 10 years when they met at the White House last week.
    The president made no promises, but he tried to talk up the Israeli economy at a press conference. "We have great confidence in the Israeli economy. We have a great confidence in the Israeli people. I am confident that the economy will be strong," he said.
    The head of the prime minister's office, Dov Weisglass, is heading a team from the treasury and the foreign and defence ministries considering a number of options, including a request for loans from the US treasury, guarantees for low-interest loans from US banks, and the diversion of some of Washington's military assistance to the Israeli treasury.
    At present Israel must feed military aid back into the US economy by buying American equipment. One proposal is for it to be spent on Israeli-made weapons, which would help boost manufacturing and prop up the shekel.
    ...
    Prof Kleiman says Mr Sharon is seeking to take advantage of Washington's concern about Israel's role in any coming conflict with Iraq.
    ...
    Israeli officials acknowledge that the Americans may seek further concessions in return for financial assistance.
    In the early 90s Yitzhak Shamir, then prime minister, sought $10bn in loan guarantees to help absorb hundreds of thousands of immigrants from the former Soviet Union.
    ...
    Mr Shamir refused, his government fell and he was replaced Yitzhak Rabin, who agreed to the US demand.
    ...
    "This improves very much Israel's credit ratings, which have come to play a much more important role. It's a confidence-building measure."
    SOURCE: The Guardian (UK), "Israel asks US for $10bn to halt recession", by Chris McGreal, 22 Oct 02.
[ http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,816495,00.html ]

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Israeli pilot reports seeing UFO
15 July 2002

The authorities suspect it was an asteroid. Experts have warned: "A small asteroid could accidentally trigger a nuclear war if mistaken for a missile strike."

"...this month, an Israeli pilot flying an airliner over the Ukraine
reported seeing a blue flash in the sky..."

    SOURCE: BBC News, "Asteroid could trigger nuclear war", 15 Jul 02.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_2128000/2128488.stm ]

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Israel's role in the attacks on America of 11 September 2001

    In the wake of the attacks on New York many have struggled to understand what could have motivated those responsible. Despite almost universal condemnation of the attacks, many argue that a misguided US foreign policy in the Middle East is at least partly to blame. The BBC's Tehran Correspondent Jim Muir, who has spent decades covering conflicts in the region explains the forces at work.
    ...
    Forgotten victims
    The above was one of many such incidents during Israel's adventure in Lebanon, in which uncounted thousands of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians were killed.
    They died unmourned and largely unnoticed by the American public, whose largesse - financial, military and political - made it all possible.
    The same formula has held true for the Palestinians practically since Israel's creation in 1948.
    Apart from President Dwight Eisenhower, who pressured the Israelis to pull out of Sinai after their tripartite assault on Egypt with Britain and France in 1956, few US leaders have ever stood up to Israel and its enormous influence on Capitol Hill.
    Although there are many other issues, Washington's enabling alliance with Israel may be the biggest element in the Arab and Muslim anger, hatred and despair which are focused on America.
    For them, Israel is a terrorist, gangster state which has usurped Palestinian land and water, demolished Palestinian homes, and stopped at nothing in pursuit of its interests and enemies, including torture, murder and pioneering the use of the car bomb in the region.
    Powerful ally
    Whatever Israel has done, it has always been able to count on unflagging US diplomatic support, especially in vetoing, diluting or ignoring UN resolutions.
    ...
    In a comment typical of much regional reaction to the terror attacks, one Iranian newspaper wrote: "It is obvious that they never even thought of sharing the plight of, or expressing sympathy with, the oppressed and innocent Palestinians, whose 'sin' is demanding an end to Israeli military occupation and systematic crimes against humanity."
    Other aspects of the impact of America's massive global power on the region also add in to the bitterness felt by many ordinary people. Perceptions include:
    * American support for Iraq in its eight years of war with Iran (1980-88) in which hundreds of thousands of people died. Many Iranians believe Washington encouraged Saddam to invade Iran in order to puncture the Islamic revolution, and provided him with intelligence and other help for many years.
    * When Saddam later invaded Kuwait and threatened US oil interests, the picture changed. The US sponsored and invoked UN resolutions to cover a massive Western intervention, having ignored many other resolutions relating to Palestine and Israel's invasion of Lebanon. The image of cynicism and double standards is widely held.
    * While Gulf Arabs might have applauded the US-led war against Iraq, the subsequent sanctions regime has punished the Iraqi people while Saddam continues to build palaces. There is a widespread feeling that the Americans have never been serious about unseating Saddam.
    * Throughout the Arab world, Washington's closest alliances are with regimes which have negligible democratic foundations and highly dubious human rights performances. This too does nothing to endear the US to ordinary people, reinforcing the image of an arrogant, uncaring and deeply hypocritical global power, pursuing its interests without regard to principle.
    ...
    But irrespective of who precisely did it and why, many people in and from the region had a deep gut feeling that decades of accumulated poison somehow found expression on 11 September 2001.
    SOURCE: BBC News, "Explaining Arab anger", 19 Sept 01.
[ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1552900.stm ]

    SOURCE: Karen Armstrong, "Our role in the terror". The Guardian, 18 Sep 03.
[ http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1044413,00.html ]
    ...
    Ever since 9/11, President Bush has repeatedly condemned Islamist terror as an atavistic rejection of American freedom, while Tony Blair recently called it a virus, as though, like Aids, its origins are inexplicable. They are wrong, on both counts. The terrorists' methods are appalling, but they regard themselves as freedom fighters, and there is nothing mysterious about the source of these extremist groups: to a significant degree, they are the result of our own policies.
    ...

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Did Jesus come exclusively the save the Jews?

According to the Christian Bible, Jesus was sent exclusively to help
the Jews and no other people. He was apparently reluctant to help
anyone who wasn't an Israelite.

In both Matthew's and Mark's Gospel, Jesus openly refused to help
someone simply because she was a foreigner (Mt 15:22-23, Mk 7:26).
Jesus then referred to his people, the Jews, as "the children", and
all others as "the dogs" (Mt 15:27, Mk 7:27). Jesus was finally
persuaded to help the woman and heal her daughter only after she
humbly acknowledged that, like dogs, gentiles are inferior to Jews:
"even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table" (Mt
15:27, Mk 7:28).

SOURCE: The Gospel According to Matthew, Chapter 15
http://hope.edu/academic/religion/bandstra/BIBLE/MAT/MAT15.HTM#21 ]

SOURCE: The Gospel According to Mark, Chapter 7
[ http://hope.edu/academic/religion/bandstra/BIBLE/MAR/MAR7.HTM#24 ]

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
[ http://www.theinsider.org/mailing/article.asp?id=0462 ]
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


MISCELANEOUS (NOT YET SORTED)

    SOURCE: Amnesty International, "Israel/Occupied Territories", 7 Jul 01.
[ http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/2001/israel07182001.html ]
    The International Community Must Act to End Israel's Policy of Closures and House Demolitions.
    Amnesty International called today on the international community to act promptly to end the Israeli policy of closures in the West Bank and Gaza.
    "The confinement of more than three million people for 10 months to their own villages or homes by curfews and closures is a totally unacceptable response to the violence of a few," the organization said.
    ...
    "In the vast majority of encampments, not a single person was accused of the murder and arrested. Yet the Israeli Defence Force bulldozed the tents and stone shelters, blew up the caves where many groups live, and even filled wells with rubble."
    In Rafah and Khan Yunis more than 70 homes have been demolished since March, most of them one-storey buildings of refugees who lost their homes in 1948.
    Israel is a High Contracting Party to the Geneva Conventions. Yet its actions towards the Palestinians, regarded as "protected persons" under the Conventions, is in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Article 33 states clearly that:
    "No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited...
    Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited."
    In a joint letter to political and UN leaders on 6 July, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reiterated their calls for international observers to monitor compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law as a means of enhancing protection for civilians.
    ...
    Since the beginning of the intifada in late September 2000 at least 480 Palestinians have been killed, most of them unlawfully, by Israeli security forces when their lives and the lives of others were not in danger.
    ...
    Human rights abuses by opposition groups can never justify abandonment of human rights principles by a government.

    SOURCE: The Guardian (UK), "Israel on road to ruin, warn former Shin Bet chiefs", 15 Nov 03.
[ http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1085624,00.html ]
    Four former directors of Israel's Shin Bet security service have given unprecedented warnings that the prime minister, Ariel Sharon, is leading the country to catastrophe by failing to pursue peace with the Palestinians.
    The criticisms, which follow a warning by the army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Moshe Ya'alon, a fortnight ago that the government's harsh treatment of Palestinian civilians was "strengthening terrorist organisations", provide further evidence that confidence in Mr Sharon is crumbling in the security establishment.
    The former Shin Bet chiefs - Yaakov Perry, Ami Ayalon, Avraham Shalom and Carmi Gilon - made their criticisms in an interview with the Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth.
    "We are heading downhill towards near-catastrophe," Mr Perry said. "If we go on living by the sword, we will continue to wallow in the mud and destroy ourselves."
    Mr Shalom called the government's policies "contrary to the desire for peace".
    The former intelligence chiefs said Mr Sharon's insistence on a complete halt to "terrorist attacks" before peace talks could begin in earnest was either misguided or a ploy to avoid negotiations and continue the policies of Israeli expansionism.
    ...

SOURCE: Jews Against the Occupation - List of More Than Seventy UN Resolutions of which Israel is in Material Breach.
[ http://www.jewsagainsttheoccupation.org/UNresolutions.html ]

"The Insider" mailing list article, 31 December 2003.

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