My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)
Has anybody noticed that the agreement on the Rafah crossing has been torn up...
This weekend, Egypt reopened its Rafah border crossing with Gaza after four years of almost total closure. Amid much talk about the move’s meaning for Gaza’s quality of life, for Israel’s security, and for the character of Egypt’s new government, perhaps its most significant element has been overlooked. A binding international agreement, brokered by the U.S. and signed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority, has just effectively been torn up.
The 2005 agreement laid down detailed provisions for how Gaza’s border crossings would be run following Israel’s withdrawal from the territory earlier that year. From a security standpoint, Israel won’t mourn its demise, as the European monitors stationed at Rafah quickly proved useless at preventing the passage of terrorists and contraband.
But at a time when the world is demanding that Israel make far more dangerous territorial concessions in the West Bank in exchange for yet another piece of paper containing “robust” security provisions (to quote President Barack Obama), it’s worth noting just how flimsy such pieces of paper are. In a mere six years, Hamas has replaced the PA as Gaza’s landlord and declined to honor the latter’s promises, while Egypt’s new government has scrapped former President Hosni Mubarak’s policy of upholding the agreement even though he wasn’t a formal signatory. And presto! there goes the agreement.
Memo to: Brad Lavigne
Let's hope this is an indication of a emerging democracy...and that is just one of many parties...
A group of Egyptian political activists have announced plans to set up a local version “of the Nazi party,” an Egyptian newspaper reported on Thursday.
Citing a leftist Egyptian news portal, the Al-Masry Al-Youm daily said that “the party’s founding deputy is a former military official,” and that the party would be aimed at bringing “together prominent figures from the Egyptian society.”
The report cited founding member Emad Abdel Sattar as saying that the unestablished party “believes in vesting all powers in the president after selecting him or her carefully,” and that “preparations are under way to choose the most competent person to represent the party.”
Almasry Alyoum added that an Egyptian Nazi party “operated secretly under former President Hosni Mubarak, whose regime prevented party leaders from carrying out their activities freely.”
The newspaper said it could not verify the report, but said it found two Facebook pages that appeared recently under the title of “the Egyptian Nazi Party,” which have so far attracted 70 followers.
It's great news that he has been captured....hang him...
As it turns out, this has been a stand-out month in the battle against evil. First, there was the killing of Osama bin Laden. Now, finally, the capture of the fugitive Serb war criminal, Ratko Mladic.
In 1994, I was a fairly junior media relations officer with the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), deployed in midst of the war in the former Yugoslavia. It was a time when Mladic was at the height of his powers, able to control the flow of aid into besieged Sarajevo with the imperious ease of a man turning a faucet on and off. Mladic’s strategy of squeezing, expelling, and murdering his largely Bosnian Muslim victims — known locally as “Bosniaks,” a term denoting an identity that is more national than religious — made a mockery of the UN operation.
The six towns and cities designated by the UN as “safe areas” ended up becoming the most dangerous places in Bosnia. Srebrenica, the place where Mladic’s forces carried out a massacre of 8,000 Bosnian men and boys in 1995, dumping the dead bodies into mass graves, was one of those “safe areas.”
In the hours that followed Mladic’s arrest, media coverage focused on the consequences for Serbia, pointing out that a major obstacle to the country’s integration into the European Union had now been lifted. My attention, though, was fixed on the past — specifically, upon the blatant appeasement of Mladic and his backer in Belgrade, the late, unlamented Slobodan Milosevic, that I encountered first-hand at the UN.
A number of fine scholars, notably Noel Malcolm and Brendan Simms, have traced in careful detail the evolution of a British-French-Russian axis of appeasement that set the tone for the UN’s role in Bosnia. The British foreign secretary at the time, Douglas Hurd, was a notorious proponent of the notion that Yugoslavia, in its first iteration as the kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, and then in its remaking under Tito’s communist regime, was little more than a seething cauldron of inter-ethnic hatreds. This theory, in which everyone and no one was responsible for the slaughter which followed Yugoslavia’s disintegration, could lead to only one conclusion: let them get on with killing each other. This was music to the ears of the Serb ultranationalists, who worked diligently with their Croatian equivalents on a plan to carve up Bosnia.
A holocaust denier as well..
Mahmoud Abbas's recent op-ed in The New York Times is "worth reading," not because he "speaks some of the most important truths" about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict but precisely because of the lies and distortions it purveys, which tell us—unfortunately—something about the elite that has directed Palestinian politics since the 1960s.There's more...
Yasser Arafat, who led the Palestinian national movement from the late 1960s until his death in 2004, was notoriously duplicitous—a serial liar, in fact—and was distrusted by all Middle Eastern leaders across the board, Arab and Israeli. Most breathed a sigh of relief at his passing—as did many in Washington and other Western capitals.
But many happily hailed his successor, Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestine National Authority and the head of the Fatah party, the chief constituent of the PLO, as a worthier politician, a "moderate." Perhaps it was the suits that replaced Arafat's absurd martial uniforms; perhaps the donnish glasses; perhaps it was the softer verbs and adjectives. They dismissed as youthful whimsy his Ph.D. thesis from the 1980s, published in Arabic as The Other Side: the Secret Relations between Nazism and the Leadership of the Zionist Movement.
In that book, Abbas declared that the gas chambers were never used to murder Jews and dismissed as a "fantastic lie" that six million Jews had died in the Holocaust; at most, he wrote, "890,000" Jews were killed by the Germans. And they were killed, Abbas wrote, in part as a result of Zionist provocation orchestrated by Ben-Gurion from 1942. Or, as he put it: "The Zionist movement led a broad campaign of incitement against the Jews living under Nazi rule, in order to arouse the government's hatred of them, to fuel vengeance against them, and to expand the mass extermination." All of this was designed somehow to facilitate the victory of Zionism.
So Abbas's distortions of subsequent history in the New York Times need surprise no one (though one wonders why the paper's editors, who probably have some inkling of what actually happened in the Middle East in 1947-1949, should publish such malicious nonsense).
First, Abbas tells us that in May 1948, as "a 13-year-old Palestinian boy," he was "forced" and "driven" out of his home in Safad by the Zionists. But on 6 July 2009 he told an interviewer on Falastina TV, in Arabic, that his family had actually fled Safad, fearing Jewish retribution for a massacre the Arabs had committed against the town's Jews two decades before.
The truth, of course, is that Safad's Arabs fled the town as it was mortared and then conquered by Haganah troops on 9-10 May 1948; there was no "expulsion" (a word Abbas later in the article uses to describe what happened to all the Palestinians displaced by the first Arab-Israeli war).
For a week it was no problem until they found out he was Israeli...
A World Press Photo exhibit in Beirut is shutting down early after Lebanese authorities ordered the removal of an Israeli photographer’s prize-winning work, an organizer of the exhibit said Friday.
Erik de Kruijf, a World Press project manager, said the Netherlands-based organization preferred to close the exhibit 10 days early rather than face censorship.
“For a week it was no problem and then someone noticed that he is an Israeli photographer,” de Kruijf told The Associated Press. “We cannot allow censorship of any kind so that’s why we decided to take everything down.”
Israel never fails to make hard choices for peace...
Yet for all of the fact that he and his cheerleaders insist that Obama knows the history of the Middle East as well if not better than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he omitted a few key facts from his litany. Israel has already made “hard choices.” Israel signed the Oslo Accords empowering terrorist Yasir Arafat in 1993; and handed over all of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority in 2005. It offered Arafat in 2000 and 2001 and his successor Mahmoud Abbas in 2008, a Palestinian state in virtually all of the West Bank, a share of Jerusalem and Gaza and was turned down every time.
It is a real honor to be here representing the Friends of Israel Initiative. And to be among some of America’s, and the worlds, strongest -- and most effective -- friends of Israel.
Howard, they tell me after this session thousands of people will be going to lobby Capitol Hill in support of a strong and enduring US-Israel bond….That is good news, my friends. And though I am obviously not American, I want you to know when you go to the Capitol today to speak out in support of peace, in defense of democracy and freedom, in support of Israel, I am with you. And my fellow leaders of the Friends of Israel Initiative are with you. And our supporters all around the World are with you.
If you stand with Freedom. You stand with Israel.
Almost a year ago, I called upon a number of friends, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lord Trimble of Ireland, former Czech President and hero Vaclav Havel, former President of Peru Alejandro Toledo, former Clinton Cabinet Secretary and President of Miami University, Donna Shalala, Former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and several others to establish a high level group dedicated to fighting the growing global chorus working to isolate and delegitimize Israel, to work to and present Israel as a normal country, with all the imperfections and the virtues of any democratic country in the World.
The Friends of Israel Initiative, as we called it, is essentially a group of prominent figures, some former politicians, some intellectuals, some professionals and entrepreneurs, most of us not Jewish, who share the strategic vision that in defending Israel we are defending the West. We are defending our way of life, our values. We are defending ourselves.
Put simply, we MUST defend Israel if we want to preserve the West as we know it.
Look at the changes sweeping the region. Uncertainty is the dominant factor. And Israel is both more important to the West – and more besieged by hostility than in recent memory.
Now is a time for action. That is why we are not a PR organization. We want to have a positive influence among current decision makers, primarily in Europe, but also beyond. As in Latin America, for instance, where the campaign to get a Palestinian State recognized right now has been growing in strength lately.
Using our natural contacts, and engaging our peers in critical dialogue, we attempt to convey our views and encourage others to avoid mistaken political decisions. And we cannot let up. There is much to do.
One need only look at how the events of the past few months played out to be reminded of the rightness of our cause.
What stronger case could ever be made than when between Morocco and Pakistan there is only island of stability, democracy and prosperity… and it is the State of Israel.
In these days of turbulence it is imperative that we know who our friends are, and that we have leaders with the moral clarity and conviction to know the difference.
We are not agnostic about the outcome of the titanic struggle playing out in the region. These are times of potential promise but also of real danger to the world. Things might go in the right direction, or they could go dramatically wrong.
And we don’t have to look far to see how wrong. We’ve seen the Palestinian Authority choose a unity with terrorist organization that praises Osama bin Laden… and attacks America for delivering justice to a dangerous murderer. And while the announcement in Cairo of HAMAS and FATAH joining arms may have come as a shock to many…it should not have been a surprise.
And make no Mistake: HAMAS is not legitimate. They are terrorists. They seek the destruction of the West. And like their parent Organization, The Muslim Brotherhood, they seek global domination of Islam and the destruction of Israel.
For two years, the Palestinian Authority and the PLO have REFUSED peace talks with Israel. In fact after Ehud Olmert made yet another a historic peace offer. Not only did the President Abbas choose not to respond before choosing “unity” with those dedicated to destroying Israel, they have reverted even further to a position not seen in nearly 20 years. Today they refuse to even sit across form Israel at the negotiating table. Not since 1991 have we seen such things.
THOSE who do not make clear that the only path to peace – which is the only goal – lies strictly in direct bilateral negotiations, undermine the chances for peace. The Obama Administration has said it opposes unilateral efforts at the United Nations. We applaud this stance and encourage them to say so again and again…
The European flirtation with supporting the unilateral recognition in September, and moves by several Latin American nations this year to recognize a Palestinian state are contrary to peace.
And with HAMAS as part of the Palestinian Authority government those states who recognize a unilateral Palestinian State will be necessarily be embracing a terrorist state. This cannot happen. We must speak out. And we will.
We must confront the lies. And we must make sure that our elected leaders know the truth and stand with out friends. Israel shares our values. Israel’s security is our security. And the threats that loom over Israel endanger us all.
We are concerned that the movement in favor of unilaterally recognizing a Palestinian state now, country by country – without peace, in the absence of any negotiations between the parties, is real. And this bad idea, this threat to peace, must be confronted. If you favor peace, you cannot be for unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. Peace is the destination, nothing short of the end of all claims.
You can be sure that powerful voices will increase their calls for pressure on Israel. We are concerned that Israel might lack a sufficient numbers of allies in the region, in Europe and perhaps even here, to prevent some of these negative, veto-requiring scenarios from materializing.
We at the Friends of Israel Initiative will re-double our global efforts in defense of a negotiated and consensual agreement, born directly between the parties involved.
By the way, including borders that must be defensible and secure. And we all know that the 67 lines are neither defensible nor secure.
And we will defend the right of Israel to choose the terms of any agreement. Israel is a mature society, with strong and free institutions and a government accountable to its people.
No one from the outside has more right than the Israelis themselves to decide what is best for their future, what risks they can bear when they put their children on the bus or watch them go out on Shabbat.
In Europe, in Latin America, in Canada, here in Congress and in the Administration, everywhere, we will meet with leaders at all levels to convey our message.
In the United Kingdom, where anti-Israel sentiment, and even anti-Semitism itself, is increasingly nasty, we will work to bring together Labour, LibDem and Conservative Friends of Israel and encourage them to confront the abuse of their legal system that is an embarrassment to such a fine country.
In Latin America, where we continue to speak with our peers about the fallacy of unilateral recognition, and so far seen key countries like Columbia and Mexico preventing a wholesale, continent wide slide in that direction, we will create a Regional Roundtable to recruit and empower Friends of Israel in countries across the region to join us in speaking out in explaining why we are Friends of Israel.
We will take emerging leaders from all sectors to Israel, as we grow our networks and demonstrate our solidarity with the people of Israel and the Jewish State.
We will defend for the State of Israel what we defend for ourselves. Nothing more; nothing less. We will defend the State of Israel for ourselves.
Why?, you might ask. Why are you doing this? It is very simple: because all those who are involved in the Friends of Israel Initiative believe in Israel.
I believe in Israel. And I am not ashamed to say it.
I believe Israel is an integral part of the Western world. It might be in the Middle East, but it is not a Middle Eastern country.
I believe Israel is a democracy like us.
I believe Israel is a land of opportunities, prosperity and future,.
I believe the risks and threats that Israel faces are the same as those confronting us.
That’s why I think the image of Israel usually portrayed in the media, particularly in Europe, and the treatment of Israel in many international bodies is not only deeply unjust and morally disgusting, it is a major strategic mistake.
When people are delegitimizing Israel, our roots and the values of pluralism, tolerance, innovation, liberty and human dignity are delegitimized as well.
By accepting the criticism of Israel’s right to self-defense, we are allowing those same forces to undermine our own defensive capabilities –against those who seek to impose their fundamentalist way of life over all others–.
Fundamentally, my friends, I believe that if we allow Israel to go down under the weight of its enemies, we all go down.
After less than a year, I’m pleased with what we have achieved….and with the support we have received, but I know we can do more. There is certainly more to do.
Without your support we could not be here, and with your support we plan to achieve much more.
If you want to join us, contact us. Go to our web site. Send us an email. Call us.
May God Bless America, the people of Israel and all who seek peace.
Memo to: Brad Lavigne
They can only be used in nuclear weapons...
The world’s global nuclear inspection agency, frustrated by Iran’s refusal to answer questions, revealed for the first time on Tuesday that it possesses evidence that Tehran has conducted work on a highly sophisticated nuclear triggering technology that experts said could be used for only one purpose: setting off a nuclear weapon.
Memo to: Brad Lavigne
Some media outlets were hoodwinked into believing that perhaps Hamas is going moderate...
Hamas spokesman Mahmoud al-Zahar insisted his organization would not negotiate with Israel despite a statement to the contrary made by Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal, the Palestinian paper Al-Quds reported Wednesday.
Mashaal's statement "does not represent the movement's official stance, which is based on a plan of resistance and not negotiations", al-Zahar said.
He added that Gaza's government had not given Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas permission to negotiate with Israel after a joint Hamas-Fatah government is formed, due to a recent Palestinian reconciliation between the rival factions.
"We do not agree to such negotiations and do not encourage them – just the opposite," he said, adding that the speech made by Mashaal on the matter surprised many in the organization.
"There has been no change in the movement's position on everything related to the resistance, which is our only option," he said.
So-called reconciliation with Hamas and an unwillingness to negotiate with Israel...
Two weeks ago, Abbas blew up four years of U.S.-sponsored institution building, relative peace and growing prosperity in the West Bank by signing a “reconciliation” agreement with the Hamas movement — a deal that probably will obligate him to fire his progressive prime minister, release scores of jailed Hamas militants and bond his security forces with Hamas’s Iranian-equipped army. On Tuesday, he published an op-ed in the New York Times in which he committed himself to seeking a U.N. General Assembly vote on Palestinian statehood in September.
It was, as the Times put it in a separate news story, “a declaration of war on the status quo.” Abbas’s new strategy is radically different: The U.N. vote, he wrote, will “pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights bodies and the International Court of Justice” — in other words, sanctions.
Meanwhile, there will be a change in Palestinian doctrine. The new goal will be one on which Abbas and Hamas can agree: not a peace treaty leading to statehood but statehood followed by negotiations, “a key focus” of which “will be reaching a just solution for Palestinian refugees” — whose return to Israel would mean its demise. “Palestine would be negotiating from the position of one United Nations member whose territory is militarily occupied by another,” Abbas declared. This is a formula for war — or “the third intifada,” as Palestinians are already calling it.
More reason to support regime change in Teheran...
The death of Osama bin Laden has put a new focus on what role Iran might play in al-Qaida's future, as intelligence officials around the world analyzed reports that Saif al-Adel had taken over as al-Qaida's interim leader. Al-Adel was last known to be under house arrest outside Tehran.
The terrorist resume of al-Adel, one of al-Qaida's founders, includes helping orchestrate the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa. But he had sharp disagreements with bin Laden's leadership and opposed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He accurately predicted that inciting the wrath of the U.S. would hurt al-Qaida's worldwide efforts.
Al-Adel is among the many senior al-Qaida figures who fled into Iran after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. They were arrested there in 2003 and were placed under what has been loosely called "house arrest" in a compound outside Tehran. Over the years, some have been able to come and go, and the U.S. has worried that Iran would someday free them to restore al-Qaida's ranks.
This week, Noman Benotman, a former jihadist with links to al-Qaida in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sudan who is now a security analyst in London, said al-Adel will serve as al-Qaida's interim leader until bin Laden's permanent successor is named.
Some disturbing trends on the continent..
On April 19, the Corfu synagogue, in Greece, was burned. How many Jews live in Corfu today? One hundred and fifty. How many Jews live in Greece? Eight thousand, or about 0.8% of the population. For some, it seems these figures are still far too high. Two other synagogues were burned in Greece during the past year. Anti-Semitic graffiti on the walls are spreading all over the country.
What happened in Greece is happening everywhere across the European continent.
During the last decade, synagogues were vandalized or set on fire in Poland, Sweden, Hungary, France. Anti-Semitic inscriptions are being drawn on building walls in Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam, London, Berlin and Rome. Jewish cemeteries are being ransacked. Jews are being attacked on the streets of most major cities on the continent. In the Netherlands, the police use « decoy Jews » in order to try arrest the perpetrators red-handed.
Jewish schools are being placed under police protection everywhere, and are usually equipped with security gates. Jewish children in public high schools are bullied; when parents complain, they are encouraged to choose another place of learning for their children.
In some cities such as Malmö, Sweden, or Roubaix, France, the persecution suffered by the Jewish community has reached such a degree that people are selling their homes at any price and leaving. Those who stay have the constant feeling that they are risking their lives: they must be extremely streetwise and carry no sign showing who they are. In 1990, approximately 2000 Jewish people lived in Malmö; now there are fewer than 700, and the number is decreasing every year.
Jews now, in fact, have to be streetwise in all European countries: men wearing a skullcap usually hide it under a hat or a cap. Owners of kosher restaurants located on avenues where protests are organized close their facilities before the arrival of the participants -- even if the protest is about wages or retirement age. They know too well that among the demonstrators, there will always be some who will express their rage at the sight of a Jewish name or a star of David on a store front. In Paris, on Labor Day, May 1st, in front of a Jewish café on Avenue of the Republic, several hundred demonstrators stopped and began to boo « Jews » and « Zionists ». A man coming out of the café was assaulted until police officers arrived on the scene.
Sounds hard to believe..but...
The Iranian government is moving forward with the construction of rocket launch bases in Venezuela, the German daily Die Welt wrote in its Thursday edition.
Iran is building intermediate- range missile launch pads on the Paraguaná Peninsula, and engineers from a construction firm – Khatam al-Anbia – owned by the Revolutionary Guards visited Paraguaná in February. Amir al-Hadschisadeh, the head of the Guard’s Air Force, participated in the visit, according to the report. Die Welt cited information from “Western security insiders.”
The rocket bases are to include measures to prevent air attacks on Venezuela as well as commando and control stations.
The Iranian military involvement in the project extends to bunker, barracks and watch tower construction. Twenty-meter deep rocket silos are planned. The cost of the Venezuelan military project is being paid for with Iranian oil revenue. The Iranians paid in cash for the preliminary phase of the project and, the total cost is expected to amount to “dozens of millions” of dollars, Die Welt wrote.
The Paraguaná Peninsula is on the coast of Venezuela and is roughly 120 kilometers from America’s main South American partner, Columbia.
According to Die Welt, the clandestine agreement between Venezuela and Iran would mean the Chavez government would fire rocket at Iran’s enemies should the Islamic Republic face military strikes.
Memo to: Brad Lavigne
Memo to: NDP MPs, Brad Lavigne
A nice report from Robert Sibley of the Ottawa Citizen...
Canadians will see the erosion of their cultural values, including freedom of speech, if they continue to follow multicultural policies that are allowing the Islamization of the country, says Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
"Multiculturalism, I'm afraid, has been a disaster, but only because it is being used as a tool to promote Islam," he said Tuesday evening in a private reception at the National Arts Centre.
The reception was jointly sponsored by the International Free Press Society and Ottawa-based Free Thinking Film Society.
A nice piece by James Kirchick...
Hamas is everything that self-professed liberals should be "prejudiced" toward: obscurantist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, warlike and rejectionist. It calls for the death of homosexuals and bans dancing. Its charter beckons Muslims to hunt down Jews from "behind rocks and trees," claims that Muslims "have no escape from raising the banner of Jihad" and, in a prescient use of the rhetoric that has since united the radical Western left and the reactionary Islamic right, accused Jews of "Nazism." It picks fights with Israel that result in the needless deaths of Palestinian civilians. It could end the blockade in Gaza tomorrow if it wanted to, simply by laying down arms, renouncing terrorism and accepting Israel's right to exist - but no amount of Palestinian suffering will ever cause it to do so.
This unity deal breathes new life not only into Palestinian rejectionists but Israeli ones as well. A gift to the Israeli right, a unity government with Hamas will only strengthen the claims of Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas that there is no Palestinian partner for peace and thus no reason for making further concessions. Palestinian unity is indeed a prerequisite for a two-state solution, but it's fair to ask at what price that unity should come. Israelis, the majority of whom have long supported a two-state solution, cannot be expected to make deals with an organization constitutionally bound to the genocide of Jews.
Are the Revolutionary Guards training would-be terrorists in Venezuela???
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is allegedly training a large number of Kuwaitis, Bahrainis and Saudis in a private training camp located in Waheera, a remote area near the borders of Venezuela and Columbia, and intends to use them to carry out terrorist activities within their respective countries and other areas across the world in case Iran is attacked militarily, Al-Seyassah daily quoted a reliable source as saying.
The trainees are first sent to Venezuelan capital Caracas or Columbian capital Bogota via Damascus and from there, they are sent to the border region in cars, one of the militants who broke away from the Iranian group told the daily.
Reportedly, the training camp is run by some Iranian intelligence officers and others affiliated to the Revolutionary Guard in cooperation with Hezbollah and Hamas. The trainees were given courses in making bombs, carrying out assassinations, kidnapping people and transporting the hostages to other locations.
The trainees have been trained to act in case there is a war against Iran. As per the plan, all embassies of Gulf countries, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan in Latin American countries were to be targeted. These bombings, however, will not be carried out by Iranian Shiites, but mercenaries from poorer countries like Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador and Bolivia besides some other supporters from Hamas and other individuals so that Iranian involvement won’t even be suspected.
When asked about the financing of this militia, the source said the money Iran makes through drug trafficking and money laundering is equal to the budget of some countries. “For example, Dutch police, in cooperation with security authorities of seven other countries, arrested 17 drug smugglers in 2009 in Korasu and confiscated 2,000 kilos of cocaine from them. The huge quantity was smuggled through tankers from Venezuela to West Africa and then to Holland, Lebanon and Spain. Smugglers also transported cocaine by air from Korasu to Holland, Belgium, Spain and Jordan. The Dutch authorities had then announced that the smuggling network was linked to Hezbollah and Iran,” he added.
It pains me to say it, but the new Conservative majority government scares the hell out of me.
Memo to Brad Lavigne
Excerpt from address by President Shimon Peres
"We were alone, without a country of our own. The allied bombers that flew over Auschwitz did not drop even a single bomb on the mass murdering facilities.
The Shoah finally established that there is no substitute for a homeland of our own. There is no replacement for the Israel Defense Forces. Today we have established our own homeland. Today we have an excellent army that has gained the respect of the world. We have a democratic regime that can protect as necessary and pursue peace as needed. This is the answer to an enemy, every enemy.
Even today, after the Shoah, there is a regime in the world, whose leadership are Holocaust deniers and inciters. This should shock every person and conscience. The fanatical leadership of Iran is a threat to the entire world - not just a threat to Israel. It threatens every home and every place. It is a real danger to humanity.
The nations of the world declared that they will not accept a nuclear Iran. Now they must stand the test of their undertaking.
We, the Jewish people, were victims of racism, persecution and discrimination, but we never neglected the commandment to respect every person. Because every person, according to our tradition, is created in the image of God. Even in a darkened world we aspired, and will aspire to be a light unto the nations.
This is the significance of the State of Israel: To physically defend our people, and morally defend our tradition. Every citizen of Israel, regardless of religion or race knows that Israel is, and will be the most anti-racist country in the world.
Israel is the historical commemoration to the victims of the Holocaust."
Address by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
[translated from Hebrew]
Today, former President of the Supreme Court of Israel, Moshe Landau, passed away. He was one of the judges in the Eichmann trial. I remember that momentous event 50 years ago. I remember the chilling words spoken by the prosecutor Gideon Hausner. I remember the story about Miki Goldman, who as a child in the Holocaust received 80 lashes. He then became a police officer and stood by Eichmann. He called it the 81st lash. I remember that the trial left such a deep impression on me as a child, as it did on all the children in Israel, and it exposed us with such intensity, to the horrors of the Holocaust and, no less, to the stories of the survivors.
Sadly, the number of Holocaust survivors living among us diminishes from year to year, but at the same time, our regard for their heroism during the Holocaust and their contribution to the revival of the Jewish people increases, as does our desire to hear their stories. The memory of the Holocaust is a patchwork of thousands of stories, personal, almost trivial stories that blend into a great account that is horrifying, but also splendid. Sometimes it is a small object that contains the memory of an entire Jewish family, perished.
Eva Modval was a three-year-old girl in 1939, when her beloved parents bought her a doll for her birthday. She named her doll Gerta, after her nanny Gertrude. But during the next five years, Eva's life was filled with dread and horror as she escaped from town to town and from village to village like an animal hunted down. How did such a young child overcome such turmoil and terror? It was her doll that protected her spirit, and she safeguarded the doll. Eva's father, the head of her family, was captured and murdered. Eva and her mother were also caught, but they survived, and after the war they came to live in Israel.
Years later, Eva married and raised a family in Israel, but even as a mother and later on as a grandmother, she kept her little doll, the same doll she carried with her throughout all the hardships of the Holocaust and during the establishment of the State of Israel. Gerta - the Jewish doll.
For many years, Yad Vashem had been asking Eva for that doll. Eventually, with a heavy heart, Eva agreed to donate the doll to the museum, and this is what she wrote: "My dear doll, maybe you'll be able to tell the people of today, and particularly the children, what you saw and were you were with me. You have now become an inseparable part of my people, which has risen from the fire and ashes like a phoenix."
Eva Modval Haimovitz died a year and a half ago. Her family is with us here this evening: her husband Yitzhak, their three children Michael, Danny and Iris, her daughter-in-laws and son-in-law and their nine grandchildren. Here you are, sitting with us today, proving that life can triumph death, that good defeated evil.
But we all know that the national and global lesson to be learned from this hellish occurrence cannot be summed up in these words. As a son of the Jewish people, as Prime Minister of Israel, I wish to add further lessons that we must take from the Holocaust to serve as a compass and map to guide us forward.
The first and most important lesson is that if someone threatens to annihilate us, we cannot ignore those threats. We must not bury our heads in the sand; we must not shake off the threat in scorn and disregard. Has the world learned this lesson? I doubt it. Have we learned this lesson? I believe we have. But we must admit that throughout our history, Israel did not excel in predicting the future. We often repressed the gloomy reality facing us.
On the eve of the expulsion of the Spanish Jews, their great leader, Don Isaac Abarbanel, said that the Jews in Spain were doing fine. Four-hundred years later, when our people had leaders who predicted the future, who sensed and expected the anti-Semitic tempest approaching, they were ridiculed and ignored. Theodore Herzl predicted the anti-Semitic conflagration. He said it threatened all European Jewry. That was why he established Zionism. He forewarned the Jews about the blazing anti-Semitism breaking out time and time again. But he was perceived as a madman, or a pessimist, and many of our people called him that. Similarly, in 1938 Ze'ev Jabotinsky warned the Warsaw Jews about the imminent catastrophe, but to no avail.
My many friends around the world, at least in the enlightened parts of it, regard the memory of the Holocaust with reverence. But their attitude is reminiscent of generals preparing themselves for the previous war. It appears that it is so much easier to talk about the lessons learned from the past, than to implement them into the present and the future. But we, the Jewish people, cannot ignore the lessons learned from the Holocaust as they apply to the present day. New oppressors deny the Holocaust as they call for our destruction. Iran and its pawns, Hizbullah and Hamas, call for the annihilation of the Jewish state and openly act to that end.
All civilized people in the world, all those who claim to have learned the lesson from the Holocaust, must unequivocally condemn those who call for the obliteration of the Jewish state. Iran is even arming itself with nuclear weapons to realize that goal, and until now the world has not stopped it. The threat to our existence, to our future, is not theoretical. It cannot be swept under the carpet; it cannot be reduced. It faces us and all humanity and it must be thwarted.
So the first lesson is to take those who threaten our existence seriously. The next lesson comes from the understanding that attacks on our people were always preceded by waves of hatred that prepared the ground for the onslaught. Therefore, the second lesson we must take from the Holocaust is that we need to expose the true face of the hatred against our people. What was not said about the Jews of Europe? In the Middle Ages and in modern times, Jews were repeatedly blamed for the ills of the world - from plague and pestilence, war and revolution to economic crises. The hatred was engrained not only among the ignorant multitude, but it spread and became deeply rooted in the minds and hearts of Europe's leading scholars and philosophers.
That age-old hatred of Jews is awakening today, and is taking on the form of hatred of the Jewish state. Today too, there are those who blame the Jewish state for all the ills of the world - from increased oil prices to the instability in our region. There are those who say that if most of the world believes these claims, there must be a kernel of truth to them. Ahad Ha'am already said that the wide-spread acceptance of the blood libels in the Middle Ages proves that even when the majority of the world believes in something - that does not make it true.
And the third lesson is that we must control our own fate. Our relationships with the leading countries of the world, and with other countries in general are extremely important to us and we invest in them, nurture and develop them. But if we do not have the ability to protect ourselves, the world will not stand by our side.
Israel is a peace loving country; a democratic, cultured, thriving, developed country; a country that respects the human rights of every individual. It is an island of progress in a region where there is no progress. We hold out our hands in peace to any of our neighbors who want to live peacefully with us. But we will stand firm against those who wish to harm us. And today, on the Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day, I call out to our enemies and say that they should know one thing about the Jewish people: they are up against the formidable spirit of a people that has overcome the worst evil known to man. And let the world know, that when the people of Israel, and the IDF say "never again" - we mean it.
And, they are part of the new Palestinian Authority government!
Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas in the Gaza Strip, called bin Laden a martyr.
"We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior," Haniyeh told reporters. "We regard this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood."