December 31, 2005

Holding Aid to Ransom

Does anyone really believe that Kate Burton was released by her Palestinian abductors as a goodwill gesture without payment of a ransom? That her parents support her determination to remain in this lawless area seems utterly barmy. Perhaps they will change their minds when they find out that a ransom was indeed paid and that their daughter will be rich pickings for the next lot of Gazan bandits.

Pre-emptive Surrender

Come and meet our new neighbours, the masked men of Hamas. Not just Gaza turned into Hamastan as we all expected after disengagement. But Hamas legally taking over control of the PA, which is effectively the government in waiting for the State of Palestine. According to all the polls, Hamas will oust Abbas and his Fatah party from control of the PA at the forthcoming election. According to the Jerusalem Post, Dov Weisglass, is reportedly working with top brass on "a policy for Israeli relations with a Hamas controlled PA". Weisglass is Sharon's lawyer and closest advisor. It is he that conducts 99% of Israel's contacts with the White House. He was the guy who offered disengagement when the Road Map got bogged down. Bush didn't ask for it and was reportedly surprised when this 'free surrender without obligation' offer was made. Israel used to be renowned for surprise pre-emptive strikes at its enemies. Most of the time this yielded us more territorial depth and the enhanced security that came with it. Now that we have prefected the new skills of pre-emptive surrender, it will be interesting to see how Weisglass deals with a Hamas-run PA. So far we haven't heard any Western leaders insisting that we have to deal with Hamas as the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people. But you can be sure Dubi Weisglass will come up with something pre-emptive and totally unsolicited. Something not least to please his friend Condi.

December 26, 2005

Suicide Application Form

I, ……………, son/daughter of ………… ID number…………
Date of Birth …………Address: ……………………………………………
Telephone: ……………………Request membership in the Martyrdom-seeking
Division in the province of …………..
Signature: ……………

The following is the translation of the text of this advertisement that appears regularly in the hard-line weekly Parto Sokhan as part of a recruitment drive for suicide operation volunteers.

“Martyrdom-seeking operations embody the pinnacle of
a nation’s greatness and the apex of its epics”
His Eminence the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Statement for Recruitment of Martyrdom-seeking Forces
In order to achieve all-round readiness against the enemies of Islam and the sacred Islamic Republic and to protect the foundations of Islam, the Lovers of Martyrdom Garrison plans to organise “a martyrdom-seeking division” for each province in the country from the martyrdom-seeking and brave popular forces of that province and give them specific and specialised training. We therefore request all our pious brothers and sisters, who are committed and determined to defend Islam, if willing, to submit two photographs of themselves, a copy of their identity cards, and the filled-in application form below to the following address, so that preparations for their organisation and training could begin:
P.O. BOX 16535-664, Tehran

December 21, 2005

Appeasement as EUsual

In one of her first acts as German chancellor, Angela Merkel has shown herself to be a true European, and chosen appeasement. She has released TWA 847 hijacker Mohammed Ali Hammadi apparently in exchange for a German woman kidnapped in Iraq. One of Hammadi’s co-hijackers was Imad Mugniyeh, today one of the most dangerous Arab terrorists at large with an American bounty of $5 million on his head. Mugniyeh has been implicated in scores of kidnappings and bombings including the Israel embassy blast in Buenos Aires which killed 29 people and for which he has been formally charged by Argentina. To appreciate the callousness of Merkel’s decision, it is worthwhile recalling the full story of the TWA 847 hijacking ordeal in which a US naval officer was executed and his body thrown out of the cockpit window. I remember how, in those troubled days Israel stood firm and alone on the world stage in refusing to do deals with terrorists. Oslo-dreamer Peres and the left’s new poster boy Ariel Sharon have changed all this by allowing thousands of terrorists out of their own jails to appease the Quartet and by allowing 5-time lifer Barghouti to run Fatah from his prison cell. Even worse, following the PA elections, will be Israel’s acceptance of Hamas leaders in their new guise of Palestinian lawmakers.

The sad fact is that today the US is far tougher and uncompromising on terrorists than Israel. But that seems to be only for killers of US nationals. When it comes to the killers of our own people in Israel, the US state department demands amnesties. No sooner do we bus them out of their jail cells, they return to work in their terror cells. Mrs Merkel can expect a rough ride from the US for freeing the killer of their navy hero. And with his old friend Hammadi home free for Christmas in Beirut, Mugniyeh will no doubt be emboldened to extract even greater ransoms from the obliging German chancellor.

December 19, 2005

A Message of No Hope

At his time of the year, mailbags and airwaves are filled with messages of hope.
Here is a message of 'no hope'.

December 18, 2005

A Lesson in Mortality

Whatever our political persuasions, on a day like this we should all pray for Ariel Sharon's speedy recovery. On a day like this we should also pray that - like most patients who have had a close call - Sharon will take life more seriously and not take his health for granted. On a day like this we should also hope he includes the country in those same sentiments and does not also take Israel's security and survival for granted. For today we saw the first serious Kassam attack launched from territory Sharon surrendered in Gaza. Launched from the former settlement of Dugit, the missile landed in an industrial zone just south of Ashkelon. It could just as easily have hit the major power, oil and desalination plants in Ashkelon proper, or even worse a school or residential area.
One hopes the twin shocks of the day will inspire some deep reflection by the old man. That life is precious and not to be taken for granted. As is our state of Israel.
But the therapy will be very different.
Sharon's survival depends on treatment which will thin his blood.
Israel's survival depends on treatment which will thicken its borders.

December 15, 2005

Hillel: Cafe & Sage

This photograph is a particular favourite of mine. Not just because Ari is cute, but also because it was taken at Cafe Hillel in Jerusalem's German Colony high street called Emek Refaim. Just over two years ago it was the site of Dr David Appelbaum's last rendezvous with his daughter Naava on the night before her wedding. Both were killed, along with five other innocents, by a 22 year old Palestinian suicide bomber. He had been assisted by four Israeli Arabs who were subsequently found and arrested. Like so many other bombed premises, Cafe Hillel was swiftly rebuilt better and smarter. It stands as an act of defiance against those who wished to undermine our people's will in their own eternal capital city.
As for the bereft families of the victims and the 45 injured - who may never recover from the physical and psychological trauma of that event - they deserve better than a government which rewards terror with territory and opens our border checkpoints to more of the same.
They deserve better than leaders who put their trust in Mahmoud Abbas, an unrepentant Holocaust denier, who is frightened of his own shadow and has declared again and again that he has no intention of disarming terrorists, even within his own Fatah organisation.
And why do our leaders do this? Why do they so inuringly hand over vast swathes of our God-given homeland, when its liberation hill-by-hill can be measured in the blood of our valiant soldiers? The answer is: to please a Quartet of self-interest. Americans who need to appease Arabs to ease their plight in Iraq. Russians who supply Syria and Iran with all the weaponry they need. A corrupt EU whose auditors have refused for 11 successive years to sign off accounts from which hundreds of millions have flowed into Arafat's terror coffers. As for the fourth member, the UN's attitude to the Jewish state needs no introduction.
No! It must be our own self-interest and the security of our state and our people that should be held paramount by our leaders.
No-one said it plainer than the woodcutter who centuries ago used to live not far from Emek Refaim and became the renowned Torah sage whose name this cafe bears.
"If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
And if not now... when?"

December 12, 2005

Kadima: The Last Line

Over the last few years, the Israel debate has been all about coloured lines. What should remain within the Green Line and what Red Lines the government should not cross (if indeed there are any left!).

With Kadima expected to further embolden our enemies with more unconditional retreats in the East, to add to Barak's retreat in the North and Sharon's retreat in the South, we must now start seriously thinking about a new coloured line.

The Blue Line of the Mediterranean coast.

Perhaps Kadima is the best party to lead us into the sea.
Its people are so expert in jumping ship.

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December 11, 2005

Wake-Up Call

I was awoken at 6 am by the sound of a boom. At first I thought a plane had crashed on the approach into Heathrow. I waited for the sound of sirens. None came, so I turned over to get back to sleep. But just moments later my cellphone rang. It was my cousin on his drive to work in Tel Aviv asking: "Was it a terrorist attack?"
Turns out to have been an explosion at the UK's 5th largest fuel terminal 20 miles north of my home. Burning over 7 million gallons of gasoline, it was soon confirmed as the biggest fire in Europe since the war.
Miraculously no-one was killed.
I ask myself: How is that possible?
The only explanation is that there were no security guards on the premises.
Anyone stationed at the gate would have been vaporized.
Meaning the place was wide open to a terrorist attack.
Is there anyone in charge of Homeland Security in the UK?
If so, they had better take note.
If the bang was loud enough to wake thousands of Londoners, it may also have roused the sleepers of Al Qaeda.

December 07, 2005

Sharon's Last Stand

People ask: “When did Ariel Sharon change his spots? What happened that made him suddenly decide to uproot the settlements he planted and abandon the party he created? Was there a defining moment when he ceased to be a follower of Jabotinsky and Begin and decided to adopt the retreatist manifesto of the left?”

The answers are many and varied. But nobody seems to know for sure when that moment was.

One other defining event is perhaps easier to identify.

Sharon’s last speech as a true Likudnik.

That was October 4th 2001.

His famous Czechoslovakia speech.

He appealed to democratic nations: “Don't repeat the mistake of 1938 when it was decided to sacrifice Czechoslovakia for the sake of an expedient temporary solution. Don't try to appease the Arabs at our expense. Israel will not be Czechoslovakia. We will fight terrorism to the end."

This was a response to the Bush administration’s declaration of support for a Palestinian state in hopes of enlisting Arab support on the eve of its invasion of Afghanistan.

Earlier in the day, as Shimon Peres was indulging his peace fantasies with Palestinian officials, two Israelis, including a woman soldier, had been killed when a Palestinian dressed in Israeli army uniform opened fire at the bus station in the northern town of Afula.

The following day Sharon apologised for the outburst.

For me, that is the day, the moment, that I feel changed everything for Sharon. And he seems to have gone on apologising to the Americans ever since.

I have never lost my respect for Sharon as a brilliant and fearless general and military tactician. But when it comes to the Americans, he is like Superman in a kryptonite overcoat. In stark contrast to Menachem Begin who showed his mettle more than once in stand-up arguments with US presidents, Sharon seems to be a total ‘Yes Man’. Stories of Condoleeza Rice’s condescending ultimatums and screaming sessions with Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz are too frequent to be dismissed as hearsay. That she feels able to behave in this way freely and so often is proof positive that she and her colleagues regard Israel as nothing more than a meek and compliant client state.

That our most feared general - whose biography is entitled Warrior and who is commonly referred to as Bulldozer – allows this to prevail and found it necessary to apologise for the Czechoslovakia jibe speaks volumes. No matter how dependent we may be on American aid and military hardware, our leaders must never apologise for declaring that the Jewish nation is not expendable.
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