Saturday, April 21, 2007

Remodelling history: Security Council Resolution 242 does NOT require Israeli Withdrawal to 1967 borders

April 21, 2007

Security Council Resolution 242 does NOT require Israeli Withdrawal to 1967 borders

Everyone who was sentient in 1967 can remember that the drafters of UN Security Council Resolution 242, as well as Israel, understood that it does not require Israel to withdraw to the borders of June 4, 1967. At the time, the resolution was rejected by every Arab state as well as the PLO. 
A massive effort to change history has more or less succeeding in wiping these facts from the collective memory of most of the world. Most articles about the Arab peace initiative now include language similar to the following, "Israel must withdraw to June 1967 borders in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 242, but that interpretation is not supported by the record.
Ami Isseroff
This Camera report provides some of the evidence. 
Security Council Resolution 242 According to its Drafters

CAMERA  January 15, 2007

After the 1967 Six Day War, when Israel prevented an attempt by surrounding Arab nations to destroy it militarily, the United Nations Security Council prepared a carefully-worded resolution to guide the parties. Since then, U.N. Resolution 242 has been invoked as the centerpiece for negotiation efforts, including the Israeli-Egyptian Camp David Accords, the Oslo Accords and the Road Map peace plan.

Obsession - Anti-terror film finally got passed the PC censors at Pace university

Anti-terror film unmuzzled at PACE university

The "Obsession" film should not be a Zionist issue. It is about terror and incitement. Whatever you may think of the commentators, the footage the film shows of crowds screaming "death to America" is authentic. The footage of Jew hate is authentic. We wrote about the virtual banning of Obsession from American theaters and campuses before.
As reported in the press release below, Hillel has gotten PACE university to apologize for banning the film, and for an incendiary statement they made about campus Hillel, and they even got them to allow the film, as a special favor we suppose.
But this should not have been an issue for Hillel or the ZOA or for Jewish groups at all. The Islamist attacks of 9-11 didn't happen in Israel and they did not kill only Jews. The recent attacks in Algeria and Morocco didn't kill Jews either. They were aimed at Muslims. Fighting terror, hate and extremism has to be the concern of every decent human being on Earth, regardless of their religion or race. That's the only way we will ever lick it. Terrorism and Islamist extremism are the enemy of civilized people everywhere.
Ami Isseroff

Friday, April 20, 2007

Apathy Grows in Syria's election

While many of us are understandably more interested in the upcoming elections in France, this weekend Syrians also go to the polls. But apparently, according to the article below from the Financial Times, even the Syrians don't care and are no longer pretending to care about the results of a one-party election.
The meaning of elections in one-party states (Iraq under Saddam Hussein, the former Soviet Union) is becoming harder and harder to defend. Still, you will find those who think elections equal democracy. No. Elections occur only every few years, and many people do not vote. Democracy consists in resolving disputes peacefully, day after day, and by the actions of independent institutions. It is often jeopardized--by terrorism and its supporters who call it "resistance to occupation," and by cronyism and corruption, which erode democratic institutions. If the people of Syria ever become free, the elections will become meaningful. The infrastructure for meaningful elections exists.
--Wendy in Washington, D.C., where we are fighting for meaningful federal representation as well

Apathy grows in Syria's one-party poll
By Ferry Biedermann in Beirut

Published: April 19 2007 18:51 | Last updated: April 19 2007 18:51

Voter apathy may be a grand phrase when applied to elections for a rubber-stamp parliament in an effective one-party state. But when even Syria's government-controlled Tishreen newspaper sees fit to point out a distinct lack of "enthusiasm" for the coming elections, interest must be at rock-bottom.

"Nothing on the ground indicates that the Syrian people are showing enthusiasm for the forthcoming elections for the people's assembly," Tishreen noted this month. The daily ascribed the apathy to a lack of debate on issues that affect the public and unfamiliarity with the role of parliament.


Syrians, or rather a fraction of them if predictions are correct, will go to the polls on Sunday, inviting unfortunate comparisons with vibrant electoral processes in France and Nigeria which also hold presidential elections this weekend.

In Syria, voters will choose from almost 10,000 government-vetted candidates for 250 parliamentary seats, of which 170 are reserved for the ruling Ba'ath party and its allies. The other 80 go to independents, including many rich businessmen and industrialists who in practice do not dare diverge from the government line.

The authorities have cracked down hard on political opponents and human rights activists over the past year. Prominent writers such as Michel Kilo and human rights lawyers such as Anwar Bunni are still in jail, ostensibly for criticising the government's policies in Lebanon. Dissidents such as Kamal Labwani are still locked up after having had contacts with opposition groups abroad. Some have chosen exile and others have stopped speaking out.

It all seems part of a consolidation of power in the hands of President Bashar al-Assad, who inherited the mantle from his father Hafez al-Assad in 2000. Mr Assad is set to have himself reconfirmed as president later this year in a referendum in which he will be the only candidate.

The young ruler is regarded as having recovered from a wobbly period after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the not altogether voluntary withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon in 2005.

Full text (free) online at the Financial Times,,dwp_uuid=fc3334c0-2f7a-11da-8b51-00000e2511c8.html

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Scientists fear dam will flood ancient Iranian historic sites

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iranian engineers began filling a new dam Thursday despite warnings from archaeologists that its reservoir will flood newly discovered antiquities and could damage Iran's grandest site, the ancient Persian capital of Persepolis.

At the inauguration ceremony, attended by Energy Ministry officials, pipes were opened for water to start flowing into an artificial lake created by the dam spanning the Sivand River, 520 miles south of the capital, Tehran. The lake's waters will be used to irrigate the area's farms.

Iranian state-run television said the dam was opened "on the order of the president" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but the hard-line Iranian leader did not attend the inauguration.
Thomas Braun, Lima, Peru 

Progressive Zionism versus benighted fanaticism

This is probably NOT what you think. Enjoy.

Progressive Zionism versus benighted fanaticism

Dan Fleshler presented a vision of Progressive Zionism - his own personal vision -- at his Realistic Dove Web log. Not surprisingly, he drew a lot of flak from the usual crowd of fanatic "progressive" anti-Zionists. They presented a demonized picture of Zionism and insisted that there is no such thing as Progressive Zionism. Not only do they not recognize the right of Israel to exist -- these people won't even admit that progressive Zionists exist. Their comments indicate much more than wilful ignorance about Zionism. They reflect the results of a systematic campaign of demonification that is every bit as vicious as the medieval inquisition.
Personally, I can't see how anyone who supports suicide bombing and genocidal religious fanaticism could be a progressive. I can't see how anyone supports the right of Palestinian Arabs to self determination could deny the same right to the Jewish people. I can't see how anyone intent on perpetuating the murderous conflict in order to destroy one side can claim they are for "peace."
Here is Dan's reply.
Ami Isseroff

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tony Greenstein in three easy steps

A while ago there was some brouhaha on the ENGAGE site, caused by the rash (we think) decision of the team to provide space for Tony Greenstein's rebuttal of an excellent article by David Hirsh. David wrote about the pitiful attempt of TG and his few remaining friends to exonerate themselves of antisemitism accusations, leveled at the rabidly anti-Israeli Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).

Read more here (


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

NUJ Israel Boycott Action Criticized

Melanie Phillips rounds up some of the criticism of the call to boycott Israel by the National Union of Journalists in Britain on her blog. While I thought I was inured to the idiocy of policy statements by journalists' unions on both sides of the Atlantic (I am an American journalist), the action taken by the NUJ is truly astounding. One of their own members is being held hostage in Gaza, by Palestinian militants, as confirmed by members of the Palestinian Authority, and the union's response is to vote to boycott Israel.

As Phillips explains:
"If something nasty happens in the Middle East, they think Israel is the only party to be blamed. If Palestinians kill Jews, blame Israel. If Palestinians kill Palestinians, blame Israel. If Palestinians kidnap a British NUJ member, blame Israel. And if Palestinian journalists protest to Palestinians about the kidnap by Palestinians of a British journalist, those Palestinian journalists are to be 'rewarded' by — a boycott of Israel."
Read her post, the NUJ in La-La Land, at

--Wendy in Washington

Saudi boycott of Israel continues despite WTO membership

Saudis continue to violate US law and promises with anti-Israel boycott

Last year, Jerusalem Post reported that Saudi Arabia is continuing to boycott Israeli trade, despite US law and Saudi WTO membership, and despite their promises to drop the boycott. This boycott is apparently circumented somehow, because 12 Israeli firms are exporting to Saudi Arabia . Nonetheless, the official Saudi boycott of Israel continues, and the USA continues to do almost nothing about about it, as Jerusalem Post reports now:
Despite a promise made to Washington nearly 18 months ago to drop its trade embargo against Israel, Saudi Arabia continues to enforce the Arab League boycott, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
Click here for the whole story

Christian bookstore bombed in Gaza

The harassment and terror visited on the Christian minority in the Palestinian territories by Islamist extremists is quite distressing, especially given the deep roots of Christianity in the country. The only place where the Christian population is increasing in the Middle East is in Israel proper. The global Christian community is not actively defending their co-religionists, in part because most Christians in the region are Orthodox, not Protestant or Catholic. More importantly, much Christian attention and advocacy is directed against Israel, while ignoring the plight of Christians. I don't know what it would take to put Christians on the map. Their situation, in the Palestinian territories as well as in Lebanon and the Copts in Egypt, is one of the greatest instances of religious persecution today. --Wendy Leibowitz

Bombs hit Christian bookshop, Internet cafe in Gaza
15 Apr 2007
Source: Reuters
By Nidal al-Mughrabi

GAZA, April 15 (Reuters) - Bombs damaged a Christian bookstore and an Internet cafe in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, Palestinian police said, with no claim of responsibility.

Attacks against Christian sites in the territory are rare, but at least 40 Internet cafes and video shops have been blown up in the past few months. Many of the bombings were claimed by a previously unknown group, "The Righteous Swords of Islam".

The bombings came a day after the Palestinian cabinet ratified a security plan aimed at stopping mounting lawlessness in the Gaza Strip, where rival factions have frequently clashed.

Residents said an explosion before dawn at the Protestant Holy Bible Society in Gaza City blew out windows and ignited a fire that burned shelves of books. Police said a bomb caused the blast.

Elsewhere in Gaza City, a bomb destroyed an Internet cafe, police said.

Some 3,000 Christians live among 1.5 million Muslims in Gaza. Relations between the communities have been good.

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, an Islamist group that formed a unity government with the secular Fatah faction last month, said the new administration was determined "to end security anarchy".
more at:

Irish stew with some matzo balls

The story about the recommendation on boycott of Israeli artists issued by Aosdana, Ireland's state-sponsored academy of creative artists, did not make a lot of waves in the media. Probably because it is not remarkable enough. JP says:

Aosdana, Ireland's state-sponsored academy of creative artists, voted last week on a motion to "back the call from Palestinian filmmakers, artists and cultural workers to end all cooperation with Israeli state-sponsored cultural events and institutions."

The proposal - put to a motion by composer Raymond Deane, founder of the Irish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, and seconded by playwright Margaretta D'Arcy - was defeated in the organization's general assembly.
Of course, as in any other place of the world, Ireland has its share of polarized opinion on the Israel/Palestine issue. Of course, the extreme political wings, as usual, miss the crucial point when taking a decision like this: the boycott will not help the situation, and polarized vision will assist only the cause of further polarization. But this is besides the point I wanted to make. Which pont is about the (almost) absolute lack of anything remarkable in that event.



Monday, April 16, 2007

Michael J. Fox Parkinson's Foundation invests in Israeli Foundations

Michael J. Fox Foundation puts faith in Israeli Parkinson's research
By Laura Goldman
April 15, 2007

Two Israeli companies working on treatments for Parkinson's Disease have been awarded grants by the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Cell Cure Neurosciences and Proneuron Biotechnologies were awarded $660,000 and $430,000 respectively under a new program started by the foundation to recognize that breakthrough research is being done in industry.

"Can you believe it? Two out of the 10 companies that received a grant under the therapeutic development initiative came from Israel," said Karen Leeds, development officer at the Fox Foundation. "The competition was stiff. More than 70 companies from all over the world applied."

These two small Israel biotech companies successfully competed with industry giants like Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. In fact, Cell Cure received the largest grant awarded by the foundation under this initiative.

More at:^l1613

Terror-Free Funds

I see this as the reverse of the Israeli boycott campaigns.
--Wendy in Washington

Missouri Treasurer Crusades to Deny Funds to Terrorists
By Joshua Brockman - Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman may be far from the front lines in the war on terrorism but she's on the cutting edge of efforts to fight it with the power of the U.S. dollar.

The first woman elected as Missouri's chief financial officer, Steelman is leading a campaign in the Show Me State and beyond to get state and local governments to stop investing publicly managed funds in companies that do business in countries believed to sponsor terrorism.

"Whether you're for or against the war, there are Americans sacrificing their lives on a daily basis for the protection and security of the U.S. And yet we don't move our most powerful weapon -our financial markets - to help and make sure that we are not funding terrorists. I'm not going to wait for the federal government. It's my job as state treasurer to do what I can here in Missouri," Steelman, a 48-year-old Republican, said in a telephone interview.

After taking office as treasurer in January 2005, the former professor, broker and state senator severed her office's business relationships with foreign broker dealers such as BNP Paribas because of financial ties to Iran. In July 2005, she persuaded fellow board members of the Missouri State Employee Retirement System, which oversees $7 billion in investments, to adopt a process to screen and divest from companies associated with governments sanctioned by the U.S. government.

Last July, Steelman engineered the first public fund to become "terror-free" in the United States. The international fund filters out companies with ties to four countries - Iran, North Korean, Sudan and Syria - on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism. In December 2006, she helped to make Missouri the first state to approve a plan to offer a "terror-free" 529 college-savings program that will be offered to all state residents in late 2007.


Legislation was introduced this year in nine states - California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon and Texas - to prohibit state funds from being investing in companies doing business in Iran. And 27 states saw bills this year aimed at divesting from companies that do business with one or more of the countries named as sponsors of terrorism, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Remainder at:

Minister slammed for 'sinful' hug

Minister slammed for 'sinful' hug

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- Pakistan's tourism minister says she fears for her life after clerics at a radical mosque issued an edict accusing her of sinning by hugging her French parachute-jumping instructor, the state news agency reported.

Minister of Tourism Nilofar Bakhtiar told a parliamentary committee of her fear on Saturday following the Taliban-style edict against her by Islamic clerics at Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, in Islamabad, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

The clerics said the hug was "an illegitimate and forbidden act" and "without any doubt, she has committed a great sin."

Thomas Braun, Lima, Peru

Schiff: avoiding preventive strike led to 2006 war

Haaretz military analyst Ze'ev Schiff writes that Israeli avoidance of a preventive strike against Hezbollah's weapons buildup led to the 2006 war.

Prime Ministers Barak and Sharon both wanted to focus on the Palestinian front and avoid opening a second front, Schiff writes, but "Hezbollah and Iran read things differently. They understood that Israel was incapable of properly handling combat on two fronts at the same time. Hezbollah acted on this assumption when it embarked on the kidnapping on July 12, 2006. A few weeks earlier it had not refrained from attacking the air force base on Mount Meron with rockets."

Schiff's conclusion: "It is a serious mistake to think that refraining from a reaction to the kidnapping of the soldiers in July would have spared us a war. The war would have arrived later, after greater incitement on the part of Hezbollah and Iran."

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Someone doesn't like "Resistance" and this time it is not "Zionists" or "neocons"

This Reuters article tells us: Moroccans fear suicide attacks could wreck growth. The story states:
Moroccans fear a series of suicide bombings in the commercial hub Casablanca may wreck the very economic growth needed to reduce the poverty seen as a breeding ground for jihadist foot soldiers.
Indeed, suicide bombings can jeopardize economic growth. They are bad for the other sort of growth too.  10 of 10 children killed in suicide attacks stopped growing. That is a medical fact. But it is hard to understand why people who are so enthusiastic about resistance in Lebanon and Israel, and so unhappy about the same thing in their own country. 
The story continues:

Two suicide bombers, Mohamed Baha and his brother Omar, blew themselves up outside U.S. diplomatic offices in a Casablanca on Saturday in the first such targeted attacks in four years.

Only the two were killed in the blasts, no one was wounded.

Coming days after a police raid in which three bombers blew themselves up and a fourth was shot, the prospect that more suicide bombers may be at large has raised concerns the menace could hurt foreign investment and tourism at a time when the government is striving to lure both to spur growth.

Nobody was hurt except suicide bombers, but these people are complaining! In Iraq this would be considered a quiet week. Bad Moroccans! They must be turning into Zionists. Where is A.N.S.W.E.R. and where is Counterpunch to denounce their reactionary attitude??
Ami Isseroff

Mullah Watch: Pakistani Imams issue edict over sinful hugging

Don't hug anyone in Pakistan, it could be dangerous:
Clerics issue edict over sinful hugging

Pakistan's tourism minister says she fears for her life after clerics at a radical mosque issued an edict accusing her of sinning by hugging her French parachute jumping instructor, the state news agency reported.

Minister of Tourism Nilofar Bakhtiar told a parliamentary committee of her fear on Saturday following the Taliban-style edict against her by Islamic clerics at Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, in Islamabad, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

The clerics said the hug was "an illegitimate and forbidden act" and "without any doubt, she has committed a great sin."

Two clerics at the mosque issued the edict against Bakhtiar last Sunday, demanding that she be sacked, her family punish her and she be made to ask for forgiveness after pictures in the Pakistani media showed Bakhtiar hugging her parachute jumping instructor at a fundraising jump in France.

Hundreds of students from an Islamic seminary attached to the mosque have been running an anti-vice campaign in Islamabad, threatening music shops and brothels, in a bold challenge to President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, a U.S. ally who has pledged to promote moderate Islam.

The mosque's chief cleric, Maulana Abdul Aziz, has threatened to stage suicide attacks if authorities try to raid the mosque.

Bakhtiar rejected the edict last week, saying she had only received a pat from her instructor for her jump in France last month to raise money for victims of a devastating earthquake in Pakistan in 2005.

Bakhtiar was not immediately available for comment on Sunday.

"I have strengthened my security after the fatwa (edict) from the so-called Shariat court and the killing of Punjab provincial minister Zil-e-Huma," APP quoted Bakhtiar as saying, referring to the shooting death in February of a female provincial official by a man who told police he was opposed to women holding high offices.

Last month, an anti-terrorism court sentenced to death the man who attacked Zil-e-Huma Usman, who was minister for social welfare in Punjab province.
Is this coming soon to a theater near you?

Memorial for Daniel Pearl

Daniel Pearl, a victim of terrorism, will be remembered in a Miami Holocaust remembrance ceremony:

Daniel Pearl, the American journalist who was abducted and killed by terrorists in 2002, is expected to be remembered during a Holocaust memorial ceremony here Sunday. Pearl's name will be added to Miami Beach's Holocaust Memorial Wall during Yom Hashoah - the annual  time of remembrance.

It will be the first time a non-Holocaust victim has been remembered there. Judea Pearl, 70, Daniel Pearl's father, will speak at the ceremony. "Of course he was not a victim of the Holocaust," he told The Miami Herald. But "the same forces that killed my grandparents in Auschwitz, the forces of hatred, are still operating in our world in the 21st century - and Danny is one of the victims."

Maybe it would be better to set up a separate memorial to victims of terror: American victims, Israeli victims,  Algerian victims, Spanish victims, Iraqi victims, Egyptian victims...  It is not a Holocaust yet, though the list is growing. Pearl's wonderful family have set up the Daniel Pearl Foundation, which promotes peace. Perhaps that is the best memorial.

Ami Isseroff

Iran to seek bids for two atomic power plants

Iran to seek bids for two atomic power plants

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran, embroiled in a row with the West over its nuclear ambitions, will issue tenders in the next few days for two new atomic power plants, a senior official said on Sunday.

Ahmad Fayazbakhsh, an official at Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said the power plants would each have capacity for 1,000 to 1,600 MW and would be built at Bushehr, the southwest port city where Russians are building Iran's first atomic plant.

The West fears Iran's civilian nuclear plans are a smokescreen for a military program, a charge Tehran denies.

Thomas Braun, Lima, Peru

Yet another theory about Iraq

A Washington Post review discusses Ali Allawi's theory that Paul Bremer was too soft on the Baathists. When something goes wrong there is no lack of people who can explain what happened after the fact. The extraordinary thing about Iraq is that everyone has a different and contradictory explanation. Most people blame Bremer for going to far and dismantling the entire Iraqi army, but Allawi seems to have the opposite view:

"The CPA did not demolish the state that it had inherited and then start to rebuild it along the lines that it prescribed," Allawi writes. "The unwillingness to treat the Ba'ath legacy for what it was -- a totalitarian state with a privileged elite -- and therefore in need of a radical overhaul, made the CPA reforms essentially tentative and nominal. It was as if a huge, decrepit building had been struck unevenly by a demolition ball that succeeded in inflicting only minor damage to the edifice."

Allawi was finance minister in the postwar Iraqi government. Perhaps his book can give us a clue as to where all the money went. True, Allawi blames Iraqis as well as Americans for the mess:

Indeed, Allawi's lament is shared by many former Iraqi exiles who returned to their country after Hussein's fall, dreaming of modernizing their homeland and sharing all they had gleaned in their years overseas. But the Iraq they encountered was very different from the one they left: It was decrepit and dangerous, riven by ethnic and religious tension. In the end, Allawi is just as critical of his fellow Iraqis as he is of the Americans. It is his countrymen, he concludes, who have failed to put aside their sect and work for the common good.

But if the Iraqis could not make things right, how could they have expected the Americans to do so?
Ami Isseroff