Smuggled for the Palestinian Authority
Senior Israeli security sources said yesterday that the Palestinian Authority was behind the attempted smuggling of dozens of weapons which was foiled by the Israeli Army on Friday near the northern part of the Dead Sea.
This is the largest case of weapons smuggling onto Israeli territory in many years. According to Israeli security sources, it has been definitively established that the Palestinian caught with the Zodiac boats in which the weapons and ammunition were smuggled from Jordan to Israel is not a member of a terrorist organization.
"Only the Palestinian Authority has the ability, the infrastructure and the money with which to carry out an operation of this magnitude, and all signs point to them as being behind the smuggling," said the security sources. The sources noted the possibility that the smuggling was carried out as part of the Palestinian Authority's efforts to arm itself in preparation for a possible armed conflict with Israel should the peace process remain frozen. "Criminals do not use this type of weaponry, and terror organizations do not use it in such quantities," said one of the sources.
The smuggling was thwarted on Friday shortly after 8:00 pm when Israeli soldiers stationed at an observation post, whose task is to keep watch over the northern Dead Sea area, noticed "suspicious movements" in the water. A warning was transmitted to all the local villages, and Israeli army and police forces streamed into the area. Roadblocks were established along all the roads in the area and a police helicopter assisted in illuminating the scene.
Israeli soldiers conducted searches along the water, and with heightened alertness near Ein Pascha, where the vegetation is thicker. "We walked near the vegetation," said one of the soldiers, "when suddenly a man emerged with his hands raised. He surrendered immediately and without a struggle."
Other forces arrived at the scene and continued to search. Within a few minutes they had discovered two Zodiac boats containing a huge stockpile of weapons - 60 Kalachnikov rifles, one M-16, 7 hunting rifles, 39 pistols and a large amount of ammunition. The weapons were concealed in carton boxes, with each Kalachnikov carefully wrapped in nylon and every pistol packed individually. A change of clothing and a large quantity of food was found alongside the weapons.
Uzi Dayan, Commander of the Central Command, said yesterday that weapons are generally smuggled by criminal elements, "but this time we are examining the likelihood that the Palestinian Authority was the intended recipient of the weapons."
Second Thoughts About Kabbalah
Who hasn't noticed "practical Kabbalah seminars" all over the Jewish world of late, from Hollywood to Tel Aviv.
Jews who are seeking to find themselves and spiritual answers are often "advised" to learn the secrets of the Kabbalah, the masterful work of Jewish mysticism.
However, perhaps this piece of advice should be not be taken so seriously.
In the title, "Faith and Folly", written by Rabbi Yaakov Hillel and published by Feldheim in 1990, Rabbi Hillel advises that "No one should use Practical Kabbalah unless he has been informed by Elijah the Prophet or shown clear signs that G-d wills it and his soul is suited for it. The "Tannaim" and "Amoraim" (Rabbis of the Talmud) and sages of later generations who used Practical Kabbala all had such revelations or signs. In the absence of such permission, one should not even try to acquire the knowledge, lest one be tempted to use it. In this regard, Rabbi Hillel quotes Rabbi Guttmacher, the author of Tzafnat Pa'ne'ach, in his explanations of the sayings of the Rabbah bar bar Chanah, "ma'mar 9".
Meanwhile, the foremost proponent of the Kabblah, Rabbi Yitzhak Luria of Tzfat, also known as the "Arizal", forbade the use of Practical Kabbalah (Sha'ar Ha-Mitzvot, Parshat Shemot).
Moreover, the Arizal even refused to teach Practical Kabbalah to his closest disciple, Rabbi Chayim Vital. R. Chayim studied it on his own, but did not receive it as a tradition from his teacher.
Meanwhile, in the classic Rabbinic work known as "Sefer Ha-Brit", you can find the following warning: "All the books of the Practical Kabbalah, whether in manuscript or in print - even if they bear the names of famous Kabbalists - are likely to be counterfeit, and are surely filled with mistakes. Even in authentic works, such as Brit Menuchah and Sefer Raziel HaMalach, the Rishonim deliberately inserted errors in order to make the books unusable part 2, Divrei Emet 11:2)."
Rabbi Hillel concludes in his study that "only a few of the famous Sages of Israel, to whom all parts of the holy Tora were known, studied Practical Kabbala in secret by themselves, but did not use it - except in rare cases, under specific conditions, to save the public or sactify the Name. Their works on Practical Kabbalah, such as those of R. Chaim Vital and the Ramaz, were never published and never intended to be publicized. Those who publish books about Practical Kabbala, the Names, the nostrums and lots are denigrating sacred wisdom, causing the public to stumble, and desecrating the Name by inviting ignoramuses to set themselves up as miracle men. "
Should a Jew conducting a spiritual search turn to practical Kabbalah for answers?
The question remains if the Jew is capable of doing so.
Perhaps there are other more practical options for the seeker of Jewish spirituality.
The 50th Anniversary and the Media
Arab and Left wing organizations now receive, escort and brief the media who arrive in Israel to cover Israel's fiftieth anniversary year, with little competition from anyone on the other side. Arabist "briefers" dredge up every possible myth and any possible negative fact of Israel: the "expulsion of the Arabs in 1948", etc.
At this point in time, no outfit exists to receive, escort and brief the media who arrive from abroad. Israel's Government Press Office at Beit Agron is now only a place for the visiting journalist to receive a press card.
Few briefings take place at Beit Agron any more. The 1996 removal of the boxes from Beit Agron is one of the factors that made it something less than a hub of journalist activity.
Meanwhile, the GPO and the IDF spokesman do provide an excellent beeper/e-mail system for the correspondents who are permanently based in Israel.
However, the temporary reporter is not plugged into that beeper/telemesser system that does exist.
That does not mean that the visiting reporter will not use the facilities of the GPO or the IDF spokesperson.
However, the visiting reporter often uses Israeli government and army facilitities at the instruction, direction and/or counsel of the Arabist media lobbyist who "got to the reporter" at the hotel or at the journalist's home bureau.
The fact remains that while "Arabists" distribute a wealth of material to news bureaus abroad and to the reporters when they arrive in Israel, the well researched/well prepared reports of the GPO are posted on the internet and not proactively marketed and distributed.
Materials on past or recent Israeli history or Israel's views on subjects such as refugees, settlements, human rights and the Intifada are simply not marketed effectively to the foreign media, let alone the local Israeli press.
What is made readily available to the media are an assortment of tendentious materials provided by Arab lobbyists, Peace Now, Bitzelem, Uri Avneri's Gush Shalom, Meron Benvenisti, Shimon Peres.
If the visiting reporter were not antagonistic or biased to begin with - and the vast majority of reporters are simply not informed or knowledgable - the reporter often winds up with a bias against Israel that the journalist learns while in Israel.
Suggested Solution: A Systematic Media Strategy
Israel coped with a similar although less extreme situation in 1987-88, at the 40th anniversary of the state. At that time, Shamir's press spokesman, Avie Pazner, initiated every activity possible for the visiting foreign press, and placed every possible information resource at their disposal. That resulted in hundreds of good media clips for Israel in 1988, which counterbalanced the first year of the Intifada.
What is sorely missing is any systematic effort to orient visiting journalists who arrive in Israel. Even if they were all given special GPO/IDF beepers, the human element would be missing.
What exists is a well-funded "amuta" (non-profit organization) to provide programs for Israel's 50th anniversary. Doron Shmueli, the new amuta director, reported to the Knesset that he has more funds than he knows what to do with.
Here is what that amuta for Israel's fiftieth anniversary could do to ameliorate the situation of visiting journalists:
Proactively recruit, receive, brief, and escort journalists who arrive in Israel, working in cooperation with the IDF spokesman, the GPO and the Foreign Ministry, to catalyze the following:
An impossible task.
A letter to Abe Foxman:
February 26, 1998
Mr. Abe Foxman
Dear Mr. Foxman,
The annunal comprehensive international compendium on antisemitism, published by Tel Aviv University with partial funding from ADL in Israel, has for the past four years seemed to adopt a certain policy when it comes to the Palestine Authority.
The 1995 and 1996 reports made no mention of the PA, while the 1997 report only devoted one page to the PA, with no mention made of sources that emanate from the PA Ministry of Information, the PA's PBC TV and Radio networks, the speeches given by Arafat, or the PA school curricula, all of which are rich in anti-Jewish incitement.
The director of the department of TAU that issues this annual report has not yet used the material that has been brought to her in this regard.
For the past month, the official outlets of the PA have devoted themselves to wide support for Sadaam Hussein. The demos to obliterate Tel Aviv emanate from the PA offices and have been widely praised on PBC Radio. The question remains: will the TAU 1998 report include analysis of the consistent PA incitement against Jews and Israelis?
David Bedein, Media Research Analyst
Killer Watch: A New Oslo Peace Watch Organization
Thirty three murderers of more than one hundred Israeli citizens and at least nine American citizens have been awarded asylum inside the areas under the control of Arafat and the Palestine Authority.
These killers include the perpetrators of the most recent heinous crimes against Israel - including the 1994 kidnap/ murder of Nachson Wachsman and the 1994, 1995 and 1996 explosions planted on Egged Buses in Afula, Hadera, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Ashkelon.
The story of what happened to Khalil Sharif and Amjad Hanawi, the two killers of our son, David, murdered on May 13, 1996 while he waited for a school bus, speaks for itself.
Khalil Sharif , who was never arrested, detonated a bomb on Ben Yehudah Street in Jerusalem, on September 4, 1997, killing himself and four teenage girls along with a young father who was taking his little boy for an ice cream.
Amjad Hanawi wandered free in the PA until intense pressure on the American and Israeli governments bore fruit, resulting in Amjad's February 2, 1998 arrest and his February 5, 1998 trial and conviction as an "accomplice" in the murder of our son.
Amjad was sentenced to ten years in a Palestinian jail.
Since the PA has released other killers who have been convicted of murder after a matter of weeks and months, we wonder how long Amjad will remain in confinement.
We therefore have registered Killer Watch, as a non-profit organization, designed to monitor the whereabouts of the murderers who remain welcome guests of the Palestine Authority, while we make sure that Amjad Hanawi remains in prison.
We wish to encourage people to make direct calls to the American ambassador to Israel and the Israeli Prime Minister's office, to make sure that the murder welcome policy of the Palestine Authority be stopped.
Only if people continue to raise the Palestine Authority "killer asylum" issue will it remain on the agenda of the Oslo process.
Killer Watch will seek funds to hire a team of private investigators who will produce timely reports as to the whereabouts of the killers who have sought refuge inside the areas under the control of the Palestine Authority.
A problem is a problem when someone makes it into a problem.
After all, what nation would tolerate a neighbor that would harbor killers of its citizens?
Stanley and Joyce Boim
Thus, the more likely reading of the authorization section of P.L. 102-1 is that Congress specifically authorized the use of United States military forces to drive Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Congress would have taken the reference in Resolution 678 to `all subsequent relevant resolutions' to mean those Resolutions that preceded 677, those, that is, referenced by number in 678. Congress further would have understood the reference in Resolution 678 to the use of force `to restore international peace and security in the Area' to encompass the restoration of the status quo ante, the withdrawal of Iraq from Kuwait. Certainly, there is nothing in the authorization section of P.L. 102-1 that requires or compels a reading that would be in effect an open-ended authorization of the use of United States military forces to achieve any subsequently adopted goals of the United Nations.
Nonetheless, sufficient ambiguity does exist to permit the possible construction of the language of P.L. 102-1 as authorizing United States military force to carry out subsequently-adopted Resolutions setting forth an intention to force Iraq, under threat of military force, to rid itself of prescribed weapons and to permit United Nations inspections to assure that the result has been achieved. It is not clear, as noted above, that the Security Council has adopted any authorization for its member states to use military force to achieve these results, but we pass that question by.
The pertinent question is, given two possible interpretations of congressional meaning, how do we resolve the matter?
Second, one must look at the textual object. Although two meanings are possible, one is more likely to represent the meaning to be ascribed to it by Congress. If, however, after confronting the actual language to be interpreted and finding a likely but not compelled interpretation, how do we then infer or deduce meaning from context and surroundings? One such method, favored by the courts, including the United States Supreme Court, is under some circumstances to adopt a default means of interpretation. When, for example, the issue arises in the context of a critical or critically important question of constitutional meaning, courts impose a `clear-statement' rule under which Congress, or some other entity, will not be understood to have meant to say something having great bearing on its powers or on the Constitution without saying it clearly, perhaps expressly. For example, when the issue is whether by the terms of a statute Congress has waived the sovereign immunity of the United States, the Court will not apply ordinary rules of statutory construction but will require the clearest possible expression of congressional intent; any waiver must be unequivocal. E.g., United States Dept. of Energy v. Ohio, 503 U.S. 607 (1992); Library of Congress v. Shaw, 461 U.S. 273 (1983). Of course, the particular issue with which we deal is highly unlikely to present itself as suitable for judicial resolution, but subsequent Congresses and private parties may resort to such rules of construal.
Congress has been highly protective of its powers in this area, especially of the use of United States military forces abroad, since the great debate in this country with respect to the undeclared war in Indochina, which eventuated in the adoption, over a presidential veto, of the War Powers Resolution. P. L. 93-148, 87 Stat. 555, 50 U.S.C. Sec. 1541-1548. In view of the hesitancy of Congress to act in respect of the Gulf War and of the close votes in both Houses, how likely is it that Congress would have authorized the President to use United States military forces to effectuate a United Nations Resolution or a series of Resolutions that were to be adopted sometime in the future? It is, of course, possible for Congress to authorize something on the basis of an occurrence not yet having resulted. But with respect to the commitment of United States forces abroad? Again, Congress might do so, but ought we to conclude that it did so in 1991 on the basis of contestable language susceptible to more than one interpretation? Might a clear statement of Congress' intent to do so be required before such a construction is adopted?
In short, to conclude that P. L. 102-1 contains authorization for the President to act militarily in 1998 requires the construction of an interpretational edifice buttressed by several assumptions. We must conclude that Congress in 1991 intended to base its authorization of United States military action upon the future promulgation of United Nations policy developed in the context of circumstances unknown or at most highly speculative in 1991. We must conclude that Resolution 687 did authorize member states to act to implement its goals and not merely reserved to the Security Council a future determination of what it might authorize. We must conclude that Resolution 1137 did authorize member states to act to end Iraqi recalcitrance and not merely expressed the aspiration of the Security Council to do something in the future. And we must conclude that Congress in 1991 was so confident of United Nations policy in the future that it would have authorized the future committal of United States military forces to achieve what the Security Council wished to achieve.
We have examined legislation enacted later by Congress in the same year that bears on Operation Desert Storm, in particular P. L. 102-190, 105 Stat. 1290, and P. L. 102-25, 105 Stat. 75, and find nothing bearing on what Congress might have thought it was doing in P. L. 102-1. Certainly, there is nothing in those Acts to be construed as additional authorizations.
In the end, it is for the Congress to determine what the 102d Congress meant in adopting the joint resolution that became P. L. 102-1. How, if Congress' interpretation is different from that of the President, Congress is to give effect to its determination presents another question altogether.
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