|Israel Resource Review
||6th July, 2007
'Hamas link at Haifa U': Fund run by Islamic Movement student group linked to Hamas, says terror expert
Standing in the midday Israeli sun on Wednesday, Jewish and Arab students at the University of Haifa argued over a recent article which appeared in Yedioth Haifa, headlined "Islam is spreading its influence at the university."
"Jewish students and other elements at (Haifa) University are protesting the rising Islamification on campus. They say Islamist rhetoric can be found across the institution," Yedioth Haifa reported last Friday.
"All we want is a little bit of tolerance. We have no problem with students who enter the campus to participate in its life, but it is extreme to come with T-shirts of Azmi Bishara (the exiled Arab-Israeli Knesset member accused of being a Hizbullah agent).
"There was also a diary handed out by the Islamic Movement here with pictures of Bin Laden, the burning Trade Towers, and Hassan Nasrallah," Sa'ar Ziv, the student's union spokesperson, told Ynetnews.
He was heckled by activists from the left-wing Hadash party, who described his comments as "racist" and "an attempt to silence voices."
Haifa U's Islamic movement
Journal of hatred / Eitan Glickman
Representatives of Islamic movement's northern faction distribute journal to Arab students at Haifa University honoring 'great leaders of Arab nation' Nasrallah, bin Laden
Away from the ruckus though, a few floors up in a central campus building, the Islamic Movement's stand was quietly staffed by a few Arab students, most of them bearded, with green shirts. They did not agree to be photographed, but showed a permit from the university's deacon allowing them to spread materials on campus.
The students denied glorifying the 9/11 attacks or Bin Laden. "Hitler was important too," said one activist. "But mentioning him doesn't mean you support him," he added.
The group's chairman, Mouad Hefeb, has recently become head of the entire Arab Student Committee at the university. Speaking to Ynetnews, Hefeb said the Islamic Movement on campus limits its activities to operating a small fund, known as IKRA.
"It's a limited fund to aid Muslim students," Hefeb said. "I pay towards it from my own pocket, NIS 50 a week," he added.
But IKRA also happens to be the name of Hamas' civilian infrastructure fund, designed to provide a cover for terror activity, according to the Israeli security website, Intelligence. Could the two IKRAs be linked?
"Ikra is the first word in the Koran," said Hefeb, when asked whether the fund was linked to Hamas. "It's a call to learn Islam from Allah to Muhammad. It's a common term," he said.
But that explanation was dismissed by Colonel (Res.) Jonathan Fighel, a senior researcher for the Institute of Counter-Terrorism, at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.
"Ikra isn't the first word in the Koran. The first words are: Bismillah al raham al rahim (In the name of Allah the compassionate the merciful). That explanation is nonsense, and it is an attempt to deceive," Fighel said.
"IKRA is linked to Hamas and to radical forces among Arab-Israelis, and the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel," he said, adding that the fund is part of a Da'wa effort (missionizing and spreading radical Islam).
Fighel outlined a number of contexts in which IKRA operated, each one linked to Hamas, Saudi Arabia, or even al-Qaeda. "IKRA is the name of a Saudi charity, part of the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO)," Fighel explained. "Some of this organization's branches around the world have been suspected of aiding al-Qaeda, and have been shut down," he added.
"In February 2004, the IDF searched the offices of an Islamic charity in Hebron, positively identified as being a Hamas fund. Among the documents recovered was a request for help from IKRA," Fighel added.
"In August 2005, Israeli police arrested Ya'coub Abu Asab. During a Shin Bet interrogation, Abu Asab admitted to raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for Hamas in Saudi Arabia, channeling the money though two funds, one of those being IKRA," Fighel continued.
"It's totally clear we are talking about a charity which has a mission. It is backed by a Saudi radical madrassah and is linked to Hamas," Fighel said.
Asked whether the presence of such a fund in an Israeli university represented a security threat, Fighel replied: "I can't say for sure. What I can say is that these type of activities create a terror-supporting atmosphere, and this has to raise questions among Israeli-Arabs."
He added that the reason police have not yet shut down the fund could be because "not enough judicial material had been gathered to close it."
"We are an Islamic movement that provides funds and scholarships," insisted Hefeb. "Our budget is decided according to our capabilities, and we don't have a lot of money," he said.
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International Solidarity Movement Gaza ship to sail from Cyprus
Special to Cyprus Mail
SHIPS CARRYING up to a hundred international volunteers are set to travel from Cyprus to the Gaza Strip in August to mark the fortieth anniversary of the capture of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem by Israeli forces in the 1967 Six Day War.
The action is meant to test the legitimacy of Israel's withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territory in 2005.
The effort is a part of the Free Gaza Movement, a campaign launched by the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which has reportedly cost the organisation upwards of $300,000.
One of the boats being used, which can carry up to 60 passengers each, will bear the name Free Gaza. The volunteers involved will reportedly include Greeks, Americans, Australians, Italians and Britons as well as Israelis and Palestinians, including Holocaust and Nakba survivors.
"Many of us have also been stopped from entering the occupied territories, because we have gone before to bear witness to what Israel does to the Palestinians" said volunteer Greta Berlin in an interview with American periodical CounterPunch.
Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, but it remains tightly in control of the territory's borders. Entry into Gaza by internationals remains extremely difficult through its Erez border with Israel, and practically impossible through its border with Egypt.
Israel has maintained control of Gaza's sea and air traffic since 2000, after an escalation in terror attacks, in what it sees as legal action through the Oslo II accords.
The volunteers taking part in the effort to reach Gaza by sea face arrest by Israeli authorities. The Limassol port authorities and Salamis shipping company have said it would be practically impossible for the ship to arrive in Gaza. Berlin, however, says the volunteers will resist arrest, citing their right to enter as observers under international law and that they come at the invitation of numerous NGOs.
The project is a part of the ISM's Freedom Summer 2007 campaign, which has been running since June 21. As well as taking part in the sea effort, volunteers with Freedom Summer 2007 will engage in peaceful protests against the continued construction of Israel's West Bank barrier in the towns of Bil'in and Um Salamuna.
"When international volunteers are absent, the Israeli army use lethal tactics of repression, such as live ammunition on unarmed protesters," read a statement on the ISM website.
"The world may believe that the Israeli occupation ended with the Gaza pullout, but volunteers who witness settlement expansion on Palestinian land know that the occupation in the West Bank gets worse."
The ISM was founded in 2001 by Palestinian activist Ghassan Andoni and Israeli activist Neta Golan. The organisation advocates non-violent protest against what it calls oppressive military occupation and repression of the Palestinian people, and documents to international media what it calls human rights violations on the part of Israeli forces.
It also advocates forms of resistance by the Palestinian people through direct-action efforts to challenge curfew and checkpoint restrictions imposed by the Israeli military. Its members have been found escorting civilians and ambulances to shield them from Israeli attacks.
ISM critics have often referred to these actions as human shield tactics, referring to its members as anarchists and communists, and as having supported the terrorist activities of the recently-dismissed Hamas government.
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2007
This piece ran on July 5th, 2007
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I DON'T FORGIVE THE SUDANESE - perpsective of an Ethiopian Jewish journalist who was a mistreated refugee in Sudan
Danny Adino Ababa
Correspondent, Yediot Ahronot
On Sudanese soil, in a place called Darfur, one of the worst genocides since World War II is taking place-and the world is silent. As if the tribal,
blood-filled war were of no interest. There are many reasons for this
silence. One of them is because they are black and poor, and mainly the
fact that they are not from the West. They have no economic strength
that can threaten the sated Western world. I, however, wish to relate to
Sudan, to the refugees knocking on our door along the border with Egypt.
I wish to talk about my personal experience.
Twenty years ago I was a refugee in the Umm Rakuba refugee camp in
Sudan, not far from the capital Khartoum. I was then a skinny, emaciated
boy living with his family in a tent in the hot desert. Some of those
who began the arduous journey to realize the Zionist dream and reach the
promised land died of hunger, of thirst and from malaria, which killed
many. 4,000 Jews died of various diseases; quite a few were killed in
cold blood by the Sudanese.
More than anything, as a child refugee, I remember the unfeeling
look, the blunt hatred, the indifference displayed by the Sudanese, the
simple citizens. They didn't help us, the just the opposite. They hurt
us and beat us again and again. They would not even allow us to bury our
dead in dignity. We buried them beyond the nearby hills, among the
trees, just anywhere, as if our dead were animals.
Twenty years hence, I am a semi-refugee in Israel, a black, proud,
Jewish refugee. Yes, I am an Israeli with a lot of questions and
thoughts, but also with a burning desire to play with the big guys, to
be on the side of those who can take in refugees. I have a great deal of
criticism for the absorption process, the embrace that is missing. So
much criticism, that there is not enough room to go into detail. But
here I wish to focus on the Sudanese and the merciful Jewish heart.
It could be that I am speaking out of a wish for revenge. Yes, I am
speaking from a wish for revenge. From that pain, from the deep memory
left by the wounds that refuse to heal. I am a refugee injured by the
abusive treatment of the Sudanese. And today, as an Israeli, they are
knocking on my door and asking me to extend them a hand. But I don't
want to. They don't deserve it. Not here. If the world cared about them,
the world would take them in. The Arab nation abjures them despite their
being Arabs like them. And as for the Christian refugees-the Christian
world is larger than this country's small piece of land.
In Israel there are Jewish refugees who chose to be part of this
people and feel no less like refugees than those who claim to have fled
from the hell of Darfur. I feel for them, it could be that there is some
truth in the claim that they are persecuted, but their exodus from Egypt
is clouded with blatant lies. They leave in an organized fashion, with a
detailed and paid-for plan, with one goal, which is not to flee-but to
make money. If we lend a supportive hand to the refugees from Sudan, we
must also give it to the prostitutes from Russia who sneak in through
the border with Egypt, because they too have the same goal-to earn a
Twenty years have elapsed since I fled the refugee camp in Sudan.
For 20 years the Sudanese have been visiting me in terrible dreams. I
cannot forget how a young Sudanese boy slapped my father in front of my
eyes. Among the hundreds of Sudanese who stood there and watched as he
gave my father a stinging slap, nobody said a word; there was not a
single person to shout that beating a helpless refugee is a despicable
act. Everyone smiled, as if my father were not a human being.
It will take me many years to let go of the anger and the memories.
Perhaps one day, if the dream of the bleeding heart organizations
working for the refugees comes true and thousands of Sudanese refugee
arrive here, perhaps one of them will be the man who slapped my father.
I will not hit him back, I will have just one thing to say to him:
that's it, you are the refugee and I am the master.
This essay was published in Yediot Aharonot on July 5th, 2007
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MEDICINE'S MURDERERS - Aftermath of The Arrest of Seven Doctors in Attempted UK Terror Bombing
Dr. Barry Rubin
July 5, 2007 -- THE arrest of seven doctors in the attempted British terror bombings has shocked many people. Sadly, it shouldn't.
All seven are Muslims working at government-financed hospitals, their salaries paid by the British taxpayer. Dr. Muhammad Hanif practiced at Halton Hospital in Runcorn, Cheshire; Dr. Muhammad Asha, at the North Staffordshire NHS Trust's University Hospital.
So can doctors be terrorists? Can people who are financially well-off be terrorists? Absolutely.
It is ideology, after all, that turns people into terrorists - not suffering.
Indeed, the No. 2 leader of al Qaeda is Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri - who was previously a stalwart of the Muslim Brotherhood in his native Egypt.
Zawahiri made the connections that led to his role in al Qaeda when he went to Afghanistan in 1980 to provide medical care for jihadists fighting the Soviets. Later, he was a key architect of the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed hundreds of innocents, and of the 9/11 attacks.
Other Islamist MDs include two recent leaders of the Palestinian terror group Hamas. Abdel Aziz Rantisi graduated first in his class from an Egyptian university in pediatrics; he succeeded slain cleric Ahmad Yassin as Hamas' chief in March 2004 - only to perish himself a month later. After him came Mahmoud al-Zahar (who had helped found Hamas in 1987), an Egyptian-trained surgeon who today is the most powerful man in the Gaza Strip.
Even before the rise of Islamism, there were secular doctor-terrorists. Dr. George Habash, a founder and for three decades leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), is now still active though enjoying his semi-retirement in Syria.
The PFLP was one of the most bloodthirsty terrorist groups in history, with exploits such as a 1978 attack at Orly Airport in Paris and the 2002 shooting of five (including a mother and three children) in Itamar on the West Bank.
Dr. Waddi Haddad was Habash's sometime partner before forming an organization specializing in terrorist operations, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-External Operations. Among its more spectacular actions was a 1977 hijacking of a Lufthansa flight en route from Mallorca to Frankfurt.
Consider, too, the kind of people who become doctors - relatively intelligent, well-organized, hard-working. These are valuable skills both in leading terrorist groups and in carrying out operations.
Yes, we in the West expect the study of medicine to produce humanists - men and women who view all life as sacred, dedicated to broad service for humanity.
But it is also an intellectual endeavor - exposing one to other intellectual currents in the surrounding world. And in much of the Muslim world, the strongest currents have been the various extremisms that promote terrorism.
And the doctrines of radical Arab nationalism and Islamism (like the one that motivated those totalitarians working in concentration camps six decades ago) view their enemies as sub-human. Toward them, those trained in healing are quite willing to become doctors of death.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center. His latest book is "The Truth About Syria."
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Do not free Pini Levy's killer
Dr. Efraim Zuroff
Director, Israel Office, The Simon Wiesenthal Center
[This article was published two days before Pini Levy's killer was released by Israel to Jordan. DB]
On November 13, 1990, I was on reserve duty at a small lookout directly above the Adam Bridge, overlooking the Jordan River. We were a group of nine soldiers, most of us relatively older reservists, whose major task was to guard the bridge and help prevent the infiltration of terrorists.
A few days previously, three Jordanian soldiers had crossed the river further south and murdered Captain Yehuda Lifshitz, so all of us were well aware of the importance of our mission.
That evening we had a barbecue and enjoyed the camaraderie that makes reserve duty almost bearable, and discussed that night's guarding assignments with our commander, Pini Levy. I wanted to do guard duty with Baruch Eliaz, a reservist from Har Adar with whom I had developed a good relationship over the first two weeks of duty; but Pini insisted that he would take the first shift, from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., with Baruch - a decision which ultimately cost him his life.
I have to admit that at the time I was annoyed at the prospect of spending three hours in the middle of the night with someone less interesting than Baruch. On the other hand, I thought that Pini, who had been sick the last two days and was doing guard duty out of pure self-sacrifice, really deserved a break; and if he wanted to guard with Baruch, so be it.
THAT NIGHT, at approximately 12:10, a terrorist infiltrated our lookout and managed to get to the guard post overlooking the river. He shot Pini with his pistol, grabbed his M-16 and headed for the hut where the rest of us were fast asleep. Luckily Baruch, who was initially shocked by the shooting, came to his senses and ran to the hut to alert us and try and catch the killer.
He caught him in our kitchen, about to open the door to the room where we were sleeping. It would have been dangerous to shoot (the walls were as thin as paper), so he hit him with the butt of his rifle.
By this time all of us were up, and had surrounded the terrorist. We held a quick consultation regarding what to do with him - decided a few minutes later when an area commander came to the lookout and handcuffed him. In the meantime, a team of medics arrived to try and save Pini, who was lying wounded outside the guard post. Unfortunately, their efforts failed and he died in a helicopter on the way to Hadassah Hospital.
Next day, the IDF's top brass came to the lookout to investigate the incident. Baruch related what had happened step-by-step. After he finished the story in the kitchen, Gen. Yitzhak Mordechai, at that time head of the Central Command, asked him bluntly: "Lama lo haragtem oto?" (Why didn't you kill him?) - to which no one gave a clear answer.
But it was obvious that by the time we caught the terrorist he did not pose any danger to any of us and thus, according to the Geneva Convention, we should not have shot him.
THAT QUESTION, however, has been resonating in my mind with great force ever since the government's announcement that, as a gesture to Jordan's King Abdullah, it planned to transfer Sultan Ajloni, the killer in question - who had been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in Israel - to Jordan, to serve the rest of his sentence there.
The question became even stronger when it became clear, several days later, that contrary to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's announcement that even after his transfer to Jordan Ajloni would serve his full sentence, all Israel had asked of Jordan was that he not be considered for a royal pardon for at least 18 months.
This news hit me like a ton of bricks. It was bad enough that Israel was breaking its long-standing policy of refraining from trading or even transferring terrorists who had committed murder. In this case, it was clearly facilitating the early release of a convicted murderer without any commensurate benefit whatsoever; thereby not only seriously weakening Israel's position in any future negotiations, but undermining a critically important unwritten rule: Any enemy who harms Israelis will be held fully accountable for his or her crimes.
And in the process, moreover, Israel was harming and insulting the bereaved family. As Pini's mother so courageously stated, if such a transfer at least resulted in the return of any of our captives, it might be justified - but what is the benefit of releasing a killer with no return whatsoever?
UNDER THESE circumstances, perhaps we made a terrible mistake 17 years ago by not seeing to it that the State of Israel and Pini's family would never have to face such a situation.
But who could have known, on that fateful night, that our government would betray its own principles, leaving the rest of us, and particularly Pini's family, in the lurch?
PUBLISHED IN THE JERUSALEM POST July 3rd, 2007
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In a Place Where There Are No Men
Dr. Arieh Eldad
Member of Knesset, National Union Party
Member of Knesset Haim Ramon missed 161 days of work. The Knesset regulations state clearly how many days a member is allowed to be absent as well as how he is to be penalized: His salary may be reduced. When he was charged, Ramon resigned from the cabinet and he suspended himself from the Knesset for the duration of his trial and, following his conviction on a sexual offense, the duration of his sentence requiring community service. An unsuspecting reader, if there are any left in Israel, may think that this self–imposed suspension was a penance that Ramon took upon himself, or perhaps it was a sense of shame that led Ramon to absent himself from the legislature. But now we know, it was not penance and it was not shame, it was just a long vacation with full pay, at public expense, and he has neither enough shame nor conscience to willingly return these wages to the state treasury.
And as we have now mentioned the treasury, this brings to mind the case of Avraham Hirschzon, who was until recently the finance minister, and was forced to resign because of the criminal charges against him. He has also not been seen in the Knesset lately. According to the Ramon precedent, he is also likely to receive full pay for the long vacation he is taking. There is no reason to assume that he will voluntarily return his salary to the state treasury; and neither the law nor a sense of honesty or justice will compel him to do so. It seems those who are accustomed to making personal withdrawals from the public coffers find it very difficult to do the opposite. Haim Ramon even considers himself worthy of being the next finance minister. It appears that Prime Minister Olmert, who has been forbidden by a legal ruling from continuing as acting finance minister - because he is the subject of ongoing criminal investigations - sees no problem appointing Ramon; and were it not for fear of the public's reaction, he would have done so long ago.
This trio - Olmert, Ramon, and Hirschzon - regard the state treasury as their private goldmine and probably don't understand all the petty charges being made against them. They control budgets of hundreds of billions and we want them to return tens of thousands. And they must wonder, why should they return money to their treasury? – They would see it as moving money from one pocket to another.
The Knesset Ethics Committee should have filled the moral vacuum in a place where Haim Ramon and his friends stand, but it has done nothing. I know the members of the committee. They are all people of conscience with clean backgrounds, but I cannot accept this failure on their part. I cannot but upbraid my friends. In a place where there are no men, they should have been men.
Several days ago during a graduation ceremony at Bar Ilan University's Law School, Manny Mazuz, the government's legal advisor, delivered an important speech. He spoke about the crisis in leadership, about a country with so many leaders who have been delivered a sort of Miranda warning, about leaders who are suspended and public officials for whom the interrogation room has a revolving door, and about the public's feeling that the country is losing its values and moving towards collective despair. He reminded the young law graduates about the parable of Yotam in the book of Judges, how all the good fruitful trees refused to be kings, and only the thorny bush, the bramble, agreed to be king (Judges 9:7-15).
Mazuz called upon his listeners to act, not to find excuses to be self-absorbed, but to join the ranks of those fighting despair and corruption and working to resolve this crisis of leadership. But Manny Mazuz played an important role in creating this crisis the moment he resolved not to press charges against Ariel Sharon, though he knew well about the latter's corruption. Now he can correct today, perhaps, a little bit of what he did in the past. He can uproot the thorny bramble ruling over us before fire comes out of it and devours the few trees left among us. Mazuz needs to be a man, by stepping out of the circle of those who merely despair and complain about the crisis of leadership – he can do this by removing from the stage the leaders who are found in the revolving door of the interrogation room, and those who have been convicted in courts of law and who are now returning through a back door, to once again dip their hands in the public coffers. Where Manny Mazuz stands there needs to be a man. If he once again refrains from taking action, he will continue to be part of the problem not the solution.
Literally and figuratively, these are hot days in Israel and fires are breaking out all over. Only a few firefighters are fighting the flames. Winograd, Mazuz, Lindenstrauss, the investigatory legal and ethical institutions all should be uprooting the thorns and weeds, but it seems that all of them are waiting for someone else to do it.
All the paths lead to that same thorny bramble, and the people of Israel are still waiting for the man who will come and uproot it - while there is still time, before the great fire.
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