Israel Resource Review 13th July, 2007


Anatomy of Abbas Infatuation: Beware of False Messiahs
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, THE JERUSALEM POST July 10, 2007

Reading the newspapers and listening to radio news gives me a feeling of deja vu. Israel is (again) negotiating with Mahmoud Abbas to free Palestinian prisoners, just as we did with Yasser Arafat - because we must "strengthen the moderate Palestinian leadership" against the more radical Hamas.

We are turning over tax money to Abbas to help the Palestinians on the West Bank economically, just as we did with Arafat - because, we are informed, we must "strengthen the moderate Palestinian leadership" against the more radical Hamas.

And we are being urged by the US State Department to ease up on the various West Bank checkpoint restrictions to make daily life more liveable for the Palestinians just as we did with Arafat - because, we are advised, we must strengthen the moderate secular leadership against the more fanatically religious Hamas.

But we were tragically disappointed by Arafat. His Oslo package turned out to be a Trojan Horse, and what we got in exchange for land concessions was not peace, but more terror.

And even when former prime minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinian chieftain 96-97% of the West Bank and a land swap for the remaining 3-4%, he declared unequivocally (in Arabic) that his intention was not to go back to the pre '67 lines, but rather to the pre- '48 situation - before there was a State of Israel. Indeed, his response to the much-too-generous offer was the second intifada, in which the very Kalashnikov rifles with which Israel supplied him to supposedly fight Hamas were used against our civilians and our children.

IS MAHMOUD ABBAS truly a moderate, sincerely interested in making peace - or is he merely a clean-shaven, tie-sporting version of Arafat?

Well, he certainly had no difficulty joining a Hamas government which refused to recognize Israel, until they overthrew the sparse and craven Fatah forces in Gaza last month. He has never declared unequivocal acceptance of the Jewish state in Arabic, and he has never admitted that the Holocaust actually took place - after having written a doctorate attempting to prove that it did not.

And most importantly, Palestinian schoolbooks and radio, television and print media are still spewing out hateful caricatures and wretched rhetoric reviling Jews (and Zionists) and praising suicide bombers - all under Abbas's "moderate" regime.

I remember once calling my wife from a London hotel room, telling her I felt deathly ill after having eaten a portion of fish which didn't taste "right" in one of the restaurants.

"How much of the fish did you eat?" she asked. "About half the portion," I replied.

"Well," was her wise response, "the first bite was the restaurant's fault, but the second bite was your fault!"

HOW OBTUSE can we be? How can we account for making further concessions before having any tangible proof that Abbas is different, that he does in fact recognize our right to exist in the Middle East, that he will not countenance anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist text books and media hype?

When I attempt to understand the psyche of our government's actions, only one explanation comes to mind: Israel has fallen prey to belief in a false messiah named "Peace Process."

How ironic it is that the West Bank settlers and religious Zionists are called the false messianists when, in truth, it is the political Left who actually belong in that category.

And in a way, it is difficult to blame our leaders. After five difficult wars and tens of thousands of shattered families as a result of the devastation wrought by terrorist suicide attacks, drive-by shootings and Kassam rockets, they yearn for peace - even if it is only a mirage.

Tragically, the one thread that connects all fake messianic movements is the failure to be influenced by facts on the ground; despite the fact that - at least in accordance to classical and normative rabbinic sources - a dead messiah cannot be the messiah.

Shabtai Zvi enthusiasts, Jews for Jesus and Chabad messianists continue to believe in their messiah, despite their respective passings from this world.

And in our case, we dare not place our citizenship at risk on the basis of an illusion. Oslo is a dead messiah; it can only be resurrected on the basis of undisputable changes on the part of Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah cohorts - in speech as well as in deed.

We dare not attribute to these Palestinians a "moderate" political stance of compromise simply because that is what we would like them to be thinking and saying. The first time we blindly trusted before making concessions, it was their fault; this time, it would be our fault - and the State of Israel cannot afford to become even more vulnerable as a result of further misguided concessions.

The writer is the founder and chancellor of Ohr Torah Stone Colleges and Graduate Programs, and chief rabbi of Efrat.

This article can also be read at

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

Sderot Kids Enjoy a New England Summer
Yulia Zhorov, Jewish Journal Staff

After 12 long hours of flight, a group of 19 Russian children from Sderot, ages 9 to 13, finally landed at the JFK airport in New York to spend a month away from the Kassam rockets that caused them constant fear. Masha Rifkin, a Cornell University student, who spent three months in Sderot getting to know the kids, was behind the unprecedented fundraising that took place in Boston and the North Shore to bring these children to America.

"The children were surrounded by people who came to meet us at the airport, and their first words were, 'There are a lot of them, and they all love us already,'" said Natasha, a social worker from Sderot who accompanied the group as a chaperone.

The children were driven in buses, organized by the Free Wind Travel Agency of Lynn for a reduced fee, from New York to Boston. Ten kids then went to spend the month of July at the Shaloh House Jewish Day School Summer Camp in Brighton, and nine were transported to the Russian School of Mathematics Camp in New Hampshire.

The children were excited about all the new experiences awaiting them. Michelle Kroitin, who is almost 11, was excited about swimming in a lake for the first time in her life. Nadya Babayan, who is almost 13, couldn't believe it when she saw real squirrels and rabbits in the forest, and she said she hoped to meet a bear. Larissa Abramov, 9, was excited about dance, tennis and piano lessons. Maria Shochot, 10, still can't believe her eyes about how many shades of green there are at her camp. daily activities at the camps include swimming, dance, mu--sic, art, math classes, tennis and archery. At night, the youths gather around campfires to sing American, Russian and Israeli songs.

"When they came, they were afraid of almost anything. These are the children who spent the last six years under the threat of Kassam rocket attacks. It has become the reality of their everyday lives, and they don't really understand that it's not the way it should be," said Inna Rifkin, director of the Russian School of Mathematics of Newton, which is hosting the children free of charge.

"There were a few 'laughs through tears moments,' such as when one girl saw an industrial sized walk-in refrigerator in our kitchen. She called to the other children, saying, 'you see, they also have a bomb shelter'. They also jump from loud noises or voices coming from my counselors' walkie-talkie devices," said Rifkin.

From a distance, the children look like any other children. But when they walk through the open soccer field, they subconsciously hold hands or cling to their counselors or any other adults. When they start talking, it becomes evident that they are more mature then their Russian-American counterparts. They have an adult-like seriousness in their eyes, and are constantly alert to potential danger.

"It has been a great experience for our children, too. It was very important to our American kids to learn about how other children live, and re-evaluate their own values," added Rifkin.

"When they tell their stories, chilling accounts of what they lived through, everybody listens, because no child should be robbed of simple, childhood pleasures like playing worry-free in a back yard, or concentrating on learning at school instead of thinking, 'Will I make it in 15 seconds (the time they have from the moment of the Red Alert until the rocket hits the target) to safety?" said Masha Rifkin, who is spending the summer helping her mother, Inna, run the camp and attend to the children of Sderot.

Masha Rifkin wanted to bring children from Sderot to America to tell their stories to other children and adults.

"Noam Bedein, the CEO of the Sderot Informational Center for the Western Negev Ltd., and I wrote a play, taking different scenarios based on actual stories I was writing down while living in Sderot. Children will act them out. It puts human faces on all the dry information that is available now about Sderot. It is very important to the children to know that people are listening, and they are not alone. After years of feeling abandoned by their own government, it's a wonderful feeling for them to be known and recognized," said Masha Rifkin.

The play will contain simple stories like one about a beautifully decorated room, filled with toys, nice furniture and paintings, that the parents prepared for their two young daughters, but the girls never spent a night in it because it's on the second floor, and it's too dangerous. Or the story about Michelle, who lives 15 minutes from school, but takes about an hour to walk home because she chooses a route between bomb shelters and other places she can hide in case of a rocket attack.

One story will be dedicated to the memory of a 14-year-old girl who died while covering her younger brother with her own body.

Rabbi Dan Rodkin, co-director of the Shaloh House Jewish Day School which is also housing Sderot children, said, "the kids are adjusting very well they're so well-behaved and interaction between Americans and Israelis is not a problem." He was surprised at how dedicated these children are to Judaism and Israel.

"I admire their physical and psychological resilience. I thought that they may need some therapy or counseling, but these children, despite what they went through, are so strong and just simply wonderful," said the rabbi.

"The Children of Sderot" play will be performed twice, on July 25 at Temple B'nai Moshe, 1845 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, and on July 26 at Congregation Ahabat Sholom, 151 Ocean St., Lynn. The play will be performed in Russian, with simultaneous English translation. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $5 for children under 16 and seniors. For information, call Maria at 781-631-0331. All proceeds will benefit the Children of Sderot Fund.

This article ran in the July 13th , 2007 issue of the Jewish Journal at

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

The Israeli Army vs. the State of Israel
Dr. Arieh Eldad, Member of the Knesset, National Union Party

This week it was announced that the Judge Advocate General's Corps is considering suing the Winograd Commission in the High Court. Even if the army's Advocate General is not the IDF itself, and the Winograd Commission was appointed by the Israeli government and is not itself the State of Israel, still, the symbolism of this scandalous step taken by senior officers against an investigatory commission about to reveal the depth of their failure in the Lebanese was is enough to bring one to despair.

This is not the first time a senior officer has threatened state institutions and sued them in the High Court. A few months ago the home front commander General Yitzhak Gershon (who likes to be called "Gerry") did not hesitate to go to court to prevent publication of an interim report by the State Comptroller dealing with the home front's activities during the war. This general reported to the minister of defense on the day the war broke out that "the home front is ready" and recommended not declaring a state of emergency on the home front and not initiating use of the country's emergency economic program, and not even the program for providing for evacuation, assistance and dealing with fatalities, and he declared "that the border area is well protected and its residents are in the shelters." He who neglected to perform to his job, who dragged his feet and did not help the million Israelis directly affected on the home front, he did not hesitate to run to the High Court to prevent publication of the State Comptroller's report about his failures.

What did Gerry gain by all this? Three more months in his office. What did Israel lose? Three months in which it could have been preparing better for the next war. New shelters were not built in the north. In the south, Sderot was left to its fate. But this general did not even blink when it came to defending his "good name," which might have been sullied if the interim report had been published three months ago before he had a chance to respond to its conclusions.

Soon the State Comptroller will publish the complete report on the abandonment of the home front during the war. Then we will all know the extent of Gerry's role in the debacle. But even before publication of the report, we have learned that for him three more months in his job was more important than the steps necessary to provide for the safety and well being of millions of Israeli citizens. The military lawyers fought the State Comptroller to protect his "good name." To protect their "good name," unnamed generals and brigadier generals went this week to court to prevent publication of the Winograd report, because their "good names" might be sullied.

It is necessary to state that as long as the Winograd Commission has not identified which senior officers bear personal responsibility for the failure along with the prime minister, the entire IDF has been branded as a failure. As long as these people have not been removed from the army, more worthy officers are unable to fix what the former have brought about. In order to insist on their personal rights, they have not hesitated to delay the report's publication - and to oppose the state.

When the Agranat Commission report was issued following the Yom Kippur War, the late chief of staff David Elazar knew that he had been wronged, but it never occurred to him to sue the country that he loved, even though it had turned its back on him. He bowed his head and with a broken heart became another victim of that war. He died of that broken heart. Elazar took upon himself the responsibility for the failure of a war that ended in victory. We failed in the Lebanese war, but despite this failure the Israeli army generals are afraid even to have their names revealed, and they hide behind the Judge Advocate General's Corps; they are not prepared to lower their heads and wait for the commission of inquiry's conclusions. They are trying to accomplish a targeted assassination, or at least to continue fighting while retreating and remaining in the area as long as possible.

Are we seeing a new generation of IDF senior commanders who are ready to put their personal egos ahead of their people and the good of the country? Or perhaps they are serving not only their personal egos but also and mainly the personal ego of the prime minister?

Five generals serving today in the IDF served as military attaches to Sharon and Olmert. This politicization of the army is destructive. The person in Israel who most wants to delay publication of the Winograd report is Ehud Olmert. The report may perhaps redeem the citizens of Israel from his failed and corrupt leadership. Olmert knows he may lose his job after his publication. For him, anything is kosher that will prevent or delay its publication. Therefore he is pushing those loyal to him in the army to go to the High Court. If he could he would do it himself, but this he does not dare to do. So he has officers doing his dirty work, even if the result is destructive.

From his sinking ship, he sends senior officers to drill holes in the bottom of Winograd's boat. But we know the Winograd boat is also Israel's lifeboat.

This article ran in Maariv on July 13th, 2007

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

Wanton Police Violence in Jerusalem
Jacob P. Golbert, Professor of Law

The chareidi protest against the gay parade two weeks ago resulted in a police pogrom against the chareidi community. The police knew that there would be unrest and demonstrations in the chareidi community due to their permitting the Abomination Parade. Garbage receptacles were already burning the week before the parade, a guaranteed sign of chareidi displeasure and more ferment to come. The police decided to dispense collective punishment to intimidate the entire chareidi community in Yerushalayim.

The following are some details reported in the chareidi press about it.

Police Rampage in Meah Shearim, Destroy Homes, Club Bypassers

Police commander Ilan Franco in Yerushalayim gave orders for police to unleash violence without restraint. What followed in the next few days can only be called an unprovoked pogrom directed at innocent bypassers and residents peacefully living in their own homes.

A.S. who lives in Meah Shearim explained what he saw on motzei Shabbos from the window of his home:

"When there are demonstrations, most residents know that it's dangerous just to go out in the street, and whoever does, will get it. On motzei Shabbos at 1 in the morning, without prior warning, the police stormed at the end of Meah Shearim street.

"They fell on whoever was in the street and beat them up. I was watching from my porch as a Breslav chosid was going to the mikvah before going to shul to recite Tikun Chatzos. I yelled out to him that he shouldn't continue down the street, but before he figured out what I was saying, he was attacked murderously on all sides, and the policemen arrested him. The police were out to terrorize the residents.

"In Batei Neiman, the policemen knocked on all the doors and woke up all the residents. Whoever they found in the street was beaten by them. They knocked on the door of a well known sofer in the neighborhood and when he opened the door, they began to club him. An important rosh yeshiva lives next door to him, and when he went out to see what all the noise was about, they brutally fell upon him. Besides intimidation, no one understood what the police wanted."

The noise and screams woke up many residents. They came out on their porches to see what was happening. The police decided it was an opportunity to use their powerful water cannons which they shot indiscriminately at homes through Meah Shearim and Beis Yisroel.

The volley of blue and green water shattered windows, flooded homes, and caused heavy financial damage to many families. Children and the elderly living in these homes were terrified and helpless in the face of the brutal assault.

"Reb Yankel Weisberg is an elderly Jew in his 80's who is a famous artist. In the middle of his sleep, a volley of water shattered his windows and ruined dozens of his paintings. He suffered major damage.

"Another family had just celebrated the Ufruf of their son. They had come back lack from the celebration and were preparing to go to sleep. Suddenly their windows shattered and volleys of water sprayed the rooms of their home. The green water stained the wedding clothes and the chosson's streimel. The house looked as if after a pogrom.

Rav Yona Perl relates what happened to his 14-year old boy, who was returning from a melava malka with a pot in his hand containing food. "Just then a dozen policemen burst into Meah Shearim street and found the boy in their way. They fell on him, beat him up, trampled him and his kipa, and dragged him until Shivtei Yisroel street where they pushed him into a police van that took him to the Russian Compound."

Rav Perl was only notified where his son was in the middle of the night and told he didn't have a kipa and tefillin. He was allowed to come visit his son during the day, forced to stand around several hours while ignored by the police. Finally, in the afternoon, he had to sign a guarantee and an order that his son would have to leave Yerushalayim for the following week to gain the boy's release. "My son told me that from the moment he was under arrest, the police didn't stop abusing him. When they came to the Russian compound, he was interrogated. When he told them that he was not in the demonstration, he was punched in the head by the interrogator. When he was asked another question and delaying in answering it, they slapped him. Everything was a punch, a blow, they only know violence there. My son left the Russian Compound completely broken."

Despite the police intimidation, the large-scale demonstration against the gay Parade was held on schedule on Bar Ilan street on Sunday and thousands took part. Police were violent during the demonstration, attacking passive demonstrators on the side walk and speeding their motorcycles into crowds.

On Sunday night, Ron Binyamini, the Kol Israel police reporter reported live from Bar Ilan about the violence of the Yassam {Police Special Forces] against the demonstrators. Binyamini reported that two Yassamim were speeding in a motorcycle, with one driving and the second pounding anyone within reach.

The one driving the motorcycle drove up on the sidewalk so the other could beat the passive demonstrators standing there. Binyamini reported, "The policemen are using exaggerated force against people who are not dangerous. They clubbed anyone who happened to be in their way. Whoever passed by, got it."

Trying to neutralize the bad press, the Yerushalayim District police sent their long-time spokesman Shmuelik Ben-Robi to be interviewed by the press. He declared, "The report was false. It was invented by the reporter." But to prove the reliability of their reporter, Kol Israel interviewed eye witnesses who confirmed his report.

On Monday, close to 1 in the night, when Geula was empty of bypassers, Yassam policemen entered the building of a large yeshiva gedola in the area. Several students were engaged in their last preparations before going to sleep. The police found a bochur who had just exited the bathroom. They fell upon him in a fury, and beat him up. He filed a complaint in the Police Complaint Department the following day.

The Police Complaint Dept. is another charade to convince the gullible citizenry that they will receive justice in the State from the predations of the police. The head of the department is the wife of newly appointed Deputy Commander of Yerushalayim Nisu Shacham, the famous police commander who ordered police during the Disengagement to physically harm demonstrators and Gush Katif protesters "let them burn . . . use all power against them . . . . beat the top part of their body with clubs . . . I will [expletive] their mothers . . . . "

Who can be so naive as to believe that the wife of the brutal commander who incites his policemen to brutalize innocent citizens will deliver justice?

Reports of dozens of complaints of police brutality have already been filed in the Police Complaint Dept., and based on past precedent, most will be closed due to lack of "public interest".]

In Bet Shemesh, a demonstration was held in which hundreds were participating. Rav Shmuel Chayim Pappenheim, the editor of Ha'Aida, who was present, recounts, "I and another 15 people remained in the Shaar HaRema shul, which was two streets away from the demonstration. Suddenly two private police cars parked in front of the shul, and 8 Yassam policemen leaped out. They ran madly up the stairs, giving murderous blows with their clubs in every direction. We all fled, but one of the avreichim, R' Aaron Fishman, escaped into the shul. The police ran after him and broke into the bathroom he had locked himself into. They beat his face with their fists, and kicked him all over his body. They only left him after he had collapsed on the floor bleeding, with two of his teeth knocked out and his jaw bleeding. I was the volunteer in Magen Dovid Odom that night. I took him to the emergency room in Bet Shemesh, but they rushed him to Hadassah Ein Kerem to have him stitched up and hospitalized."

Seven demonstrators were arrested in Bet Shemesh.

The police pogrom was enacted every night that week, with more homes getting attacked and damaged. By the end of the week, every second apartment in the vicinity of Meah Shearim and Shivtei Yisroel streets had been damaged.

The number of injured and beaten reached hundreds. Officially, 84 chareidim had been arrested, of which 40 were youths. Many dozens of others were injured and had to be hospitalized. Most of these were innocent bypassers or people going about their business who had been set upon by the police.

Residents of Meah Shearim are banding together and are planning to sue the police and demand payment of damages. Considering the collusion between the courts and police, they can expect a lengthy and wearying run-around with any chance of compensation nil.

Chareidi Police Informants, and Policemen Camouflaged as Chareidim

One of the revelations of police tactics which the past week-long rampage revealed was the police tactic to camouflage themselves like chareidim as well as recruiting chareidi informants to help them.

During the Sunday demonstration, several demonstrators found themselves being pulled away by other chareidi demonstrators and when they remonstrated with them, the "chareidi" suddenly pulled out his police card and arrested him.

Channel 10 reporter, Sharon Gal, hosted a program about the camouflaged policemen called the "Mischardim" (after the "mista'arvim" - the disguised Arab unit in the army). The TV show showed pictures of several "chareidim", wearing black kipas, white shirts and tzitzis, who were in fact police from the mischardim department of Yerushalayim police. Some of the pictures showed them pulling out their police cards and arresting demonstrators.

The Channel Ten reporter explained that the camouflaged policemen also threw stones in addition to using water cannons, motorcycles and Yassam police.

Police also tried to recruit chareidi informants. Three weeks ago, apparently in preparation for the stormy days which the police knew were ahead, A., a Bnei Brak avreich walking in Geula, was suddenly stopped by a man who looked like a chiloni businessmen and who asked A. for his identity card.

"Who are you?" A asked warily.

The man showed him his police card and asked him if he has any information about organizing that's going on. The avreich told him that he is just a simple guy and he lives in Bnei Brak and doesn't know what's flying in Yerushalayim. The policemen didn't give up and explained to him, "I'm also against the parade, but you know that we can't let fanatics and kids at the fringe take control of the place."

When A. again asked him what he wanted from him, the policemen gave him a calling card of an intelligence official in the Yerushalayim police and asked him if he would like to become a secret agent for the police. He promised that in return he would arrange any bureaucratic problem in any public institution that he needed. As proof, he told him about another avreich who had become an informant for the police several hours before, and the police already shortened the wait for an operation for a family member in a large hospital.

A. refused to countenance the offer, and the policeman waved him away.

That second, a heavyset, tough-looking man with a Russian accent who was carrying a weapon approached A. The policemen told the Russian, "Leave him alone, he's just a poor guy." When A. asked what the Russian was doing there, the policeman told him that he always accompanies him on his attempts to recruit "because one never knows what could develop."

Policemen Prevented Magen Dovid Odom From Treating Their Victims On Sunday morning at 3 in the morning, Magen David Odom received an emergency call from a youth who had been clubbed near the Aitz Zayit Hotel near Zevihl institutions, next to Highway One. The ambulance found a 15 year old prone on the grass, and two policemen on horses. When they stopped their siren and jumped out of the ambulance to treat the bochur, one policeman galloped up to the ambulance and ordered them to leave. The paramedics refused to listen to them, since they are mandated by law to treat the injured, so the policeman began to threaten them. The paramedics remained in the ambulance and reported to their center that they were prevented by the police from offering first aid. The paramedics filmed the threatening policeman on horse.

A Border Police jeep then drove up to arrest the 15-year old. The two policemen on horse made off. The paramedics received orders to chase the policemen, and with the assistance of another paramedic who drove up in his private car, they chased one of the policemen into an alley. The policeman then threatened the paramedics that he would accuse them of harassment while fulfilling his job. In the end, the policeman identified himself as the deputy head of Yerushalayim police horse troops, Avshalom Malki.

Paramedics were not permitted to treat the wounded youth. He was taken to the police station in the Russian compound for interrogation. No one knows if the youth was treated afterwards or what further brutalization he underwent in police quarters.

On Tuesday night, several people were standing around the gas station on Hachoma Hashlishit corner of Shivtei Yisroel. One of the people, in his 30's, was reading Tehilim out loud. Suddenly Yassam policemen arrived and clubbed him on the head. They cracked his chin and his face and body was filled with blood. They also kicked his body with their feet.

Ambulances which arrived shortly after were prevented from treating the injured man. He was dragged into a police Skuda wagon at the point of losing consciousness due to loss of blood. In the Russian compound, he was treated by a police doctor. Shortly after, a police car came to the site and rinsed it of blood to cover up the testimony of their brutality a short time before.

Chareidi politicians Protest Brutal Police Behavior

At the Knesset Plenum during the week, chareidi politicians futilely protested the police brutality.

"It cannot be that Israeli police deliver collective punishment against an entire tranquil neighborhood. That they should hit right and left people who didn't even participate in demonstrations, drive madly with their motorcycles on the sidewalk, and club bypassers until they bleed! It cannot be that they shoot water cannons and shatter windows in homes that didn't touch, throw stones or do a single thing. It cannot be that Israeli police encourages violence through its actions against Israeli citizens," said MK Avraham Ravitz.

Rav Moshe Gafni turned to Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter and said,

"What is happening in Yerushalayim in the last few days is a scandal according to any measuring-stick. This is not a state ruled by law. We're living in a police state. They shoot water into the homes of people who have nothing to do with demonstrations. There was nothing like this in years. A phenomenon like this in the heart of populated neighborhoods? Are you aware that some of the policemen are serious lawbreakers? They must be dismissed from the police!"

MK Rav Meir Porush asked Dichter, "What are 3-4-5 year old little children guilty of? Why are their clothes and beds guilty? Why are their homes ruined with blue water? When did these children ever throw a stone in their lives?"

Dichter replied, "The police do not have a hobby of standing in chareidi neighborhoods or any others, with hundreds of policemen, police vans, and special units. He implied having to suppress the chareidi community's demonstrations was diverting them from their important work of eradicating crime." He depicted the general chareidi community as "rioters". MK David Azulai (Shas) replied, "Are children their goal? Is the minister calling children who are sleeping in their homes and being attacked with water cannons rioters?" Gafni added, "I'm not talking about rioters. I'm talking about an elderly widow living in her house." [A 80 year old woman had her house smashed and destroyed by the water cannons breaking the windows of her house and destroying the interior.] In another deliberation held in the Knesset plenum, Dichter said the police would investigate itself and its actions. "I am convinced that whoever has information about unreasonable violence etc. will inform the police. Whoever wants to bring the information to the Police Complaint Dept. -- the way is open to him. The Israeli police will certainly not get in their way." Dichter's words gave away the reason for the police violence and also intimated that it was directed from top police levels: the police doesn't like the chareidi community standing for its values and demonstrating when matters of concern to them are under assault. They would prefer to see the chareidim keeping their mouths shut and suffering in silence while letting the elites run the country. A useful tool to accomplish this is through collective punishment. By attacking innocents -- little children and elderly widows -- they hope to intimidate the chareidi community so they will think twice before they dare to bother the police again.

The police feel free to use collective punishment, because they know the courts will back them, the State Prosecutor and General Attorney will cover up for them, and the government will support them. They would never use this kind of violence against Arabs because of the fawning attitude of all these bodies to the international community and the Arabs.

"Reports of dozens of complaints of police brutality have already been filed in the Police Complaint Dept., and based on past precedent, most will be closed due to lack of "public interest"."

Lack of public interest, in plain English, means it's none of the public's business. The public has no legitimate interest in the deployment of psychopath squads by the police. The criminal system of justice never said such a thing when the brutality alleged was against Arabs. Oh, no! That was very much in the public interest. But against Jews? Especially Haredim? Get serious! People think I'm not only exaggerating but positively daft when I tell them that, with the possible exception of some vociferous Islamic states, Israel has the most anti-Semitic government in the world.

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

Proposed Palestinian State - US Asset or Liability?
Yoram Ettinger
Former Director, Israel Government Press Office

1. THE NATURE OF THE PROPOSED PALESTINIAN STATE, AND ITS IMPACT ON REGIONAL STABILITY, TERRORISM AND AMERICAN INTERESTS AND VALUES are attested by the raging Palestinian civil war and by the track record of the Palestinian Authority (PA) since 1993 and the PLO/Fatah since 1964 and1959: hate education, homicide bombing, systematic violent violation of commitments, inter-Arab treachery, corruption and oppression of Palestinians in general and the Christian community of Bethlehem in particular.

2. THE BROADER THE PA/PLO/HAMAS INDEPENDENCE, THE MORE INTENSE IS INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM. PLO independence was upgraded in 1993, transformed into the semi-sovereign PA; the most intense wave of anti-US terrorism has been conducted since 1993 (1st Twin Tower), culminating on 9/11. The 1993 establishment of the PA - by Palestinian terrorists from Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia - has adrenalized international terrorism. It has been perceived as a reward to the role-model of international terrorism, the PLO. The 1968-70 and 1970-1982 PLO autonomy in Jordan and in Lebanon provided training and inspiration to multitude of terror organizations in the Mideast, Far East, West Europe, Central and Latin America.

3. ROLE-MODEL OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM. Modern-day hijacking was introduced by the PLO in the late '60s, and then was emulated by other terror organizations. Since 1994, the PA has become the largest terrorist base in the world, a test site for "virulent hate-education as a manufacturing line of terrorists." It is an incubator for modern-day terrorism, such as homicide bombing and car bombing, which have been exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, England and other arenas.

4. OUTPOST FOR ANTI-WESTERN REGIMES. The PA, PLO and Hamas have been allies of Bin-Laden, Saddam, post-Shah Iran, Syria, Sudan, North Korea as well as Russia, China, Cuba and Venezuela, as evident by official Palestinian education, media and clergy systems. For example, on September 11, 2001, Abu Mazen's daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida stated, "ANTI-US HOMICIDE BOMBERS ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH.Today's homicide bombers are the noble successors of the homicide bombers, who taught the US Marines a rough lesson [300 a.m.ericans murdered in 1983]." Palestinians fought US forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq. The ideological mentors of the PLO and Hamas were the allies of the Nazis and the Communist regimes of the USSR and East Europe.

5. DEATH SENTENCE TO THE PRO-WESTERN REGIMES. A Palestinian state would doom the pro-US Hashemite regime, whose population and territory is 65% and 75% Palestinian, would export terrorism against the relatively pro-US regimes of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain and would provide an eastern Mediterranean platform to Iran, Russia and China.

6. LEOPARDS DON'T CHANGE SPOTS, ONLY TACTICS. The 1993-2007 profile of the PA is consistent with precedents. In 1950, Arafat and Abu Mazen fled Egypt due to subversion. In 1966, they fled Syria after murdering a number of Syrian intelligence officers. In 1970, they were expelled from Jordan following a foiled coup against King Hussein. In 1975 they tried to topple Lebanon's government, triggering a multi-year civil war and Syrian occupation. In 1990 (while Bush/Baker brutalized Israel!), the PLO spearheaded Saddam's rape of Kuwait, which hosted Fatah since the 1950s. Therefore, Arab regimes prohibit PLO to bear arms on their soil, while pro-Palestinian Arab rhetoric has been matched by anti-Palestinian Arab action and by minimal financial Arab aid.

7. THE PALESTINIAN ISSUE HAS NOT IGNITED ARAB-ISRAELI WARS. For instance, the 1948/9 War was fought by the Arab countries at the expense of the Palestinians, hence the Jordanian and Egyptian occupation of Judea, Samaria and Gaza following that war. Neither the 1982 Israel-PLO war in Lebanon, nor the 1987-92 1st Intifadah, nor the 2000-2006 2nd Intifadah ignited Arab-Israeli wars.

8. THE CLASSIC OXYMORON. The proposed Palestinian State and US national security interests constitute a classic case of oxymoron! A Palestinian State would exacerbate problems and paralyze solutions.

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

Defection of an Iranian General: Iranian Nuclear Secrets Revealed

Leading Israeli investigative journalist Ronen Bergmann has confirmed that General Ali Reza Askari, who disappeared in Istanbul last February and about whom many guesses were published about what had happened to him, defected to the West and is being held by the United States at a well-guarded intelligence compound, a high-ranking American official has told Yedioth Ahronoth. The official adds that during the many interrogations that were held with him, the general shed new light upon a series of subjects and affairs relevant to the most classified of the Iranian regime's secrets, to which he had direct or indirect access.

Bergmann reports that according to the American official, the defection of the general, who is considered one of the highest-ranking and prominent intelligence officials in Iran since the revolution, was made possible following a complicated intelligence operation as part of which the CIA made contact with the general, which led to a connection between Askari and Western intelligence personnel in Istanbul. He even succeeded in getting some of his relatives out of Iran, and now they are together with him in the security compound where he is being held.

Bergmann posits that General Askari has given the most important information about the Iranian nuclear plan. He said that there is another, secret track that until now has been unknown to the West and in the framework of which the Iranians have succeeded in making significant progress. Until now, it was known that the Iranians are building two nuclear reactors in Bushehr and in Arak and enriching uranium by means of centrifuges in a place called Natanz. The general added that parallel to these tracks, Iranian scientists have also made progress on another track based on relatively old technology for enriching uranium by using laser beams with the addition of various chemical improvements that make the technology more advanced.

According to Bergmann, the Iranian general gave details of a series of efforts that Iran is making in order to conceal this track from the eyes of the West's intelligence agencies so that if international pressure or a military operation should disrupt the two known tracks, Iran will be able to continue in the secret track until it builds the first Shiite atom bomb.

In Bergmann's view, General Askari served in a series of high-ranking positions in Iran's Revolutionary Guard. This is the group responsible for providing physical security and protecting the intelligence of Iran's nuclear project. This is where Askari's information comes from. It should be remembered that he served as the assistant to former president Khatami and as a member of Iran's Supreme National Security Council. The detailed information that Askari gave about the Iranian nuclear project has caused a great deal of concern over the past several months among decision-makers in several Western countries and among the few who deal with the Iranian subject in those states in which the material has been fully disclosed. It had been suspected for some time that the Iranians were trying to obtain a nuclear bomb by other means, and bits of intelligence even matched those assessments, but no one suspected that there had been such great progress that places Iran closer to the atom bomb than anyone had believed before Askari's defection.

Currently, Western intelligence officials are busy analyzing the information that Askari has given and reassessing the amount of time that it will take Iran to obtain a nuclear bomb. The American official says that the intelligence that Askari provided is also behind the statements that American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made last Friday, when she mentioned the grave danger from Iran.

A senior U.S. government official told Bergmann that when the analysis of the material and the questioning of Askari are completed, it is possible that the material will be used for public-relations purposes, in order to prove that Iran has been lying all along. The official said that the current working assumption is that the Iranians realize that Askari has apparently defected and have taken preventive measures on the assumption that he will tell everything he knows.

This article ran in the Philadelphia Bulletin on July 9th, 2007

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

Hamas Training Children In Use Of Weapons In Mosques

Hamas has special summer activities for the children of Gaza: a terrorist summer camp. "Come to summer camps of Islam, religion and fun," Hamas offers children and youth. Along with visits to the zoo, the proposed fun also includes training in shooting firearms, dismantling and assembling weapons and basic acquaintance with explosives. "Here is where the preachers and leaders of the future will grow," promises one of the counselors.

Hamas' summer project, which operates under the name "Freedom for the Prisoners" and is managed by two Islamic societies belonging to Hamas, started about 10 days ago: Several dozen summer camps were set up throughout the Gaza Strip, and dozens of children were "recruited" for each. In all, hundreds and perhaps thousands of children took part in the camps. Officially, the camps were designated for children of seventh to ninth grades, but in practice, much younger children registered.

The camps are held inside mosques and Islamic schools, far from the eye of the media, which is not permitted to cover the activity inside. The full content of the summer camps has also been carefully safeguarded until now. Pictures that reached Ma'ariv reveal military training, for all intents and purposes, of the children. Most of the training is carried out with wooden rifles shaped like Kalashnikovs. The children also learn to dismantle and assemble rifles and hand grenades. They are given training in shooting firearms and are instructed on explosive charges. The counselors belong to the Iz a Din al-Kassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing. They are dressed in military uniforms and do not try to conceal their identity.

This article ran on July 12th, 2007 in the Philadelphia Bulletin

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

NATO To Israeli Minister: 'Don't Count On Us To Act Against Iran'

Jerusalem - Leading NATO officials believe that Israel, ultimately, will be forced to cope alone with the Iranian nuclear program. This was reported recently by Israel Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman to Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert upon his return from meetings in Europe. In the course of his visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels two weeks ago, Lieberman met with NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alesandro Minuto Rizo and with the EU NATO representative Franco Frattini. Lieberman reported that the NATO leaders told him that Israel ultimately could not count on the international community to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

"We're stuck in Afghanistan, and European and American troops are wallowing in the Iraqi quagmire, which is something that is going to prevent the leaders of countries in Europe and America from deciding on the use of force to destroy Iran nuclear facilities," said the NATO leaders to Lieberman. "Therefore, at the end of the day, Israel is going to have to remove the nuclear threat posed by Iran with the means at its disposal, and it won't be able to count on international cooperation."

Lieberman then met with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos and the former Spanish prime minister, Jose Maria Asnar.

Lieberman now believes that it is the Americans and European countries' view that there is no longer a military option with respect to Iran. He believes that if Israel were to act alone, it would win the Europeans' and the Americans' blessings.

Israeli political officials said yesterday that in light of the information that was revealed by the Iranian General Ali Askari, who defected to the West, the U.S. administration has modified its analysis of the situation, which now conforms to the Israeli intelligence assessment. As The Bulletin reported on Monday, Askari revealed that Iran has been making advances toward the attainment of a nuclear bomb by means of laser technology - a developmental route that was kept hidden from the inspectors. Lieberman currently heads an Israeli task force that oversees the coordination among the security establishment that are focused on the Iranian nuclear threat. The task force forum, which was established in the wake of an agreement that was reached between Olmert and Lieberman in April, is attended by representatives of various branches within the IDF, the IDF Intelligence Branch, the Mossad, the Israel Atomic Energy Committee, the Israel National Security Council and the Israel Foreign Ministry.

This task force is supposed to submit its recommendations to the security cabinet within two months. One of the recommendations that has already been formed is to expand the scope of Israeli information broadcasts to Iran. The Strategic Affairs Ministry has demanded that the Finance Ministry allocate funds to this end in the 2008 state budget. Lieberman has met a number of times already with the new defense minister, Ehud Barak, and has discussed the Iranian issue with him.

This piece ran in the Philadelphia Bulletin on July 11th, 2007

Printer friendly version of this article

Return to Contents

Go to the Israel Resource Review homepage

The Israel Resource Review is brought to you by the Israel Resource, a media firm based at the Bet Agron Press Center in Jerusalem, and the Gaza Media Center under the juristdiction of the Palestine Authority.
You can contact us on