Wednesday, October 31, 2007


52 MKs support bill to subject any concession of J'lem land to referendum52 Members of Knesset, half of them of members of the government coalition, supported a bill proposed by MK Silvan Shalom (Likud) which stated that any concession of territory in Jerusalem must first be approved in a referendum, Israel Radio reported Wednesday.

Further, the bill stated that such a concession must also be approved by a majority of MKs.

Shalom stated that it was unacceptable for such an important decision to be decided in a crooked manner.

Comment: At first blush this looks wonderful. Look again. First only 52 MK's voted affirmatively for this-the ones you expect to vote in such a manner. This action takes the heat off the backs of the Knesset members. How? By putting the item of Jerusalem on a referendum, they do not have to truly take a stand and they put the responsibility on the hands of the electorate.I am in favor of the latter but suggest the MK's must be held accountable within their own body-other vote possibilities exist

Oppression within Islam-Yes, it is true!

This is overwhelming. Very hard to watch. It has left me speechless. Islmofascism is not just about the desire of terrorists to rule the world. It is about oppression of the worst kind, against their own citizens and family members who happen to be women.


Cut and paste url-you should know that this video was thrown off YouTube

Summary of questions to ask Walt & Mearsheimer series

Comment: For a few weeks I have run questions you might consider asking Profs.Walt & Mearsheimer-here is the complete list-thank you.
1. Can you tell us why, in your 350 page book, you ignored the connections between the American oil lobby and Arab countries, and their ties to international terrorism?

2. Why does your book ignore the context for Israel's policies by whitewashing terrorism, ignoring the founding documents of Hezbollah, Hamas, Fatah and dismissing the pronouncements of Presidents Ahmadinejad and Assad and the goal of so many in the region to prevent Israel's continued existence in any boundaries? Don't you think these issues are crucial for understanding Israel's policy choices?

3. Can you explain why Benny Morris, whom you cited frequently on the history of Israel, wrote that your work "is a travesty of the history that I have studied and written" and that you have a "fundamental ignorance of the history with which you deal?"

4. Your work has been criticized for being one-sided, for using sources with political agendas or that are marginalized versions of Israel's history not accepted by mainstream scholars or foreign policy experts. For example, you use "new historians" like Ilan Pappe whose work has been discredited, and even adopt the Palestinian version of Camp David instead of Dennis Ross and President Clinton's version. Don't you think it is incumbent upon scholars to research the range of views on controversial issues they address so their final work is not full of factual errors and transparent bias as yours seems to be?

5. Are you considering revising your book to correct the fundamental errors that scholars have exposed, such as cherry picking a Ben Gurion quote so he seems to support Jews expelling Arabs when in fact he opposed it, or claiming Israel had the military advantage in the 1948 War when in fact it didn't, or claiming Israel encouraged the US to invade Iraq when even you admitted in an interview that Israeli policy experts originally discouraged the US war plans? Would you be willing to reassess your conclusions and issue a new edition once you become better informed?

6. Given that radical Islamists and countries like Iran openly state that they despise America and its values and want to dominate the Middle East, resurrect a Caliphate and institute sharia law, why would decreasing support for Israel suddenly change their ideology or their long term agenda?

7. You claim that terrorism against the U.S. and Al-Qai'ada's 9/11 attack stem largely from the close US-Israel alliance. What then were the motives for Islamic terrorism against Britain, Spain, Scotland, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and the threats of attack in France, Denmark and other European countries that don't have close alliances with Israel and that have often been openly hostile to it?

8. Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are eagerly promoting your book, Holocaust denier Mark Weber applauded it, and former KKK leader David Duke said it "validates every major point I have been making...." Can you explain why white supremacists would view your book so favorably?

9. As you know, if the Arab countries really wanted to support the Palestinian people, they would have helped build roads, schools and hospitals instead of financing terrorism and suicide bombing. Given that your book repeatedly criticizes Israel's policies in the Territories, why aren't you also extremely critical of the Arab countries' goals for the Palestinian people and their role in perpetuating the conflict?

10. Could you please be more specific about when you think Israel deserves special American support for its defense? Would it be only after Israel was attacked, say by Iran?

11. Why didn't your book focus on the lack of moderate, stable governments in the Arab world which is the main problem the U.S. faces in the Middle East? What policy recommendations—other than decreasing support for Israel—would you recommend to foster more moderate, responsible governments in the region?

12. The policies you advocate have already been proposed by the US and Israel--a 2-state solution along the slightly modified 1967 borders and decreased economic aid to Israel which is scheduled to be zero in 2008. What, then, are the new policies you want the U.S. to recommend, and how will they solve the central problem: Arab rejection of Israel's right to exist?

13. Your book seems to argue that America should be friendlier with terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah and dictatorial regimes that violate human rights and practice religious and gender apartheid like Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran and other radical Islamic regimes. How will fostering these relationships further America's interests?

14. Can you explain why, if the Israel Lobby is so powerful, the US continues to sell arms to Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries that are not at peace with Israel? For example, the US is concluding a 20 billion dollar ten-year arms deal with the Saudis and other Gulf countries.

15. You claim that Al-Qaeda is largely motivated by humanitarian concern for the Palestinians. Given that Al-Qaeda has been murdering Arabs in Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, how can you argue that they are motivated by humanitarian concerns instead of by their ambition to dominate the Middle East?

16. Saudi Arabia, the US' most important and influential Gulf ally, and Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf states all want the Iranian nuclear threat to be eliminated. Isn't it clear that US policy toward Iran will be molded by multiple countries' concerns?

17. How do you reconcile your claim that President Bush and VP Cheney were driven into the Iraq War by the Israel Lobby when they can't rely on the Jewish vote, are most closely affiliated with Saudi Arabia and the oil lobby, and are reputed not to heed polls or lobbies?

18. Your book consistently identifies who is Jewish and even who has Jewish relatives. For example, you tried to prove that 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean had to be in the "Israel Lobby" because some of his advisors were Jewish and his "wife is Jewish and his children were raised Jewish as well." (p. 164) Why do you consider these ethnic/religious identifications more important than the merits of these people's policy positions? Is this the reason that many view your book as anti-Semitic?

19. You make a point of distancing yourselves from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion—something never seen in serious scholarship--and yet proceeded to single out who is a Jew or has Jewish attachments, as though this alone were incriminating, and your book earned the praise of neo-Nazis and radical Islamist groups. How do you feel about the very real possibility that your book will fuel anti-Semitism and what are you doing to ensure that your work will not have this dangerous effect?

20. You claim that criticism of Israel is suppressed in the U.S. How then do you explain the extensive coverage of your article and book in the media, and your book tour appearances? Has the pro-Israel lobby been weakened, or did you exaggerate its power?
21. You argue that too many intellectuals, think tanks and writers are pro-Israel, and therefore the media silences information and debate. Yet you support the Arab narrative of the conflict, and seem to want it to dominate instead. Do you really believe that no point of view that supports or defends Israel has validity?

22. You minimize the dangers of a nuclear Iran, saying that the threat of retaliation would deter any Iranian use of nuclear weapons just as it deterred the Soviet Union. Iran's former President has already said that Iran doesn't fear massive retaliation and its current president declared several times Iran's intention to "wipe Israel off the map." Isn't it likely that Iran's messianic leadership doesn't operate on the same principles as the Soviets did, and that "mutually assured destruction" may not be an effective deterrence?

23. Has it occurred to you that the vast majority of American scholars, journalists and policy makers reject your essentially one-sided Arab narrative about Israel not because of the "Lobby's" influence but because it is based on factual and historical distortions?

Understand this now-our cultures are very different

Saudi beheads 5 nationals for murder, rape of teenager Saudi authorities on Wednesday beheaded five Saudi men convicted of killing and raping a teenager, the Interior Ministry said.

In a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, the ministry said the five Saudis kidnapped the teenager, raped and stabbed him. Then, they severed his head and afterward dumped the boy's body in a lake.

In violation of Saudi's strict Islamic Sharia law, the five are also said to have drank alcohol, taken drugs and carried out several car thefts in the holy city of Medina.
Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam under which those convicted of murder, drug trafficking, rape and armed robbery are executed in public with a sword.

Guess who Europe’s subsidizing?

The European Union and its member countries have been subsidizing various opponents of Israel for many years. A study, just published by the Dutch Center for Documentation and Information on Israel contains perhaps the most detailed investigation of one such case. A group called United Civilians for Peace is a joint venture of five Dutch NGOs. Fifty to 90% of their budgets are funded by the Dutch government and the European Union. A sixth partner left UCP in view of its extreme anti-Israeli activities.
UCP - among other things - publishes research about "Dutch economic links in support of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian and/or Syrian territories."
Journalist Joost de Haas, writing in the Dutch Telegraaf summed up the 50-plus page report by the Dutch Center for Documentation saying: "A peace organization financed with taxpayers money is guided by the Palestinian terror organization Hamas and supports the Iranian atom bomb."
The EU and the Dutch government thus indirectly finance Dutch opponents of Israel.
This story is the tip of a European iceberg of financial support for anti-Israeli bodies. NGO Monitor has exposed various state agencies which finance extreme anti-Israeli organizations. In an article in the Swiss daily Le Temps, Gerald Steinberg, who heads NGO Monitor cited examples of such support by the Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation.
A few months ago the Jewish Chronicle wrote that Israeli diplomats intended to raise claims with the Irish government that its Irish Aid Department was financing anti-Israeli NGOs some of which promote the demonization of Israel and boycott actions. The Swedish International Development Agency is also involved in financing extreme anti-Israeli groups.
IN AN interview with Rijk van Dam, a former Dutch member of the European Parliament he told me that the government of Finland had contributed millions of Euros to pay for Palestinian textbooks which promote the hate of Israel.
In 2004 Wall Street Journal op-ed writer Daniel Schwammenthal detailed how difficult it was to obtain information on the funding of the PLO by European governments. This, while the latter claimed their activities were transparent.
Earlier this year the Israeli government criticized the British embassy in Tel Aviv for contributing funds to a study on the security barrier and its impact on the Palestinians. A Foreign Ministry source said: "It is interference by Britain in an internal Israeli matter. How would they react in London if our embassy was to fund a British research organization that is trying to promote an agenda critical [of their government]. This is not acceptable in international relations."
AND THEN there is the abuse by the Palestinian Authority of part of the many billions of Euros it gets in funding from the EU. Van Dam says: "There is no doubt that a substantial portion of European funding has served purposes such as corruption and terrorism."
He added that at a meeting in the European Parliament the then Palestinian finance minister [and now Prime Minister Salam Fayad] was asked how European money was spent. He replied that he did not know, not a penny was left, and it had all gone to the pockets of fat cats.
Van Dam also explained how difficult it was to have an inquiry started into this abuse of European funding and how powerful sources in the EU tried to abort it. Ultimately its findings were not conclusive.
The former Israeli ambassador at the EU, Efraim Halevy, told me a revealing story. The EU was paying the Palestinian Authority in a less than straightforward way and channeling part of their funds semi-legally. "Some money went directly into Yasser Arafat's bank accounts. Once I was meeting the [then EU Commission vice president] Manuel Marin when he got a call from the German foreign minister who complained that $25 million, which Arafat got as 'special emergency funding,' had been transferred to the wrong account. It went into the general account and should have gone into his private one.
"The commissioner asked the minister for a few minutes' pause and then turned to me and politely asked me to excuse him because he had to attend to the matter at hand. I left, of course, but not before my host had unburdened himself and had expressed his exasperation at the way he was being forced to cooperate in these matters."
This is a very limited selection of facts concerning an issue of major importance. One can only wonder why the Israeli government does not systematically expose this European misbehavior.

The writer is chairman of the Board of Fellows of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and has published four books on European attitudes toward Jews and Israel.

What I Said

The following is a speech given by David Horowitz at the University of Wisconsin last Monday as part of the university’s Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week program I understand that the cold weather set in just to day so I planned this event to warm things up. Actually, it wasn’t my plan to warm things up. The heat has been provided by a national hate campaign organized by the political left to intimidate and discredit the student organizers of the event and prevent the discussion they hoped to stimulate from taking place. Some of this hate crowd is present tonight. Yes, I can hear you. You attack this event by alleging that it is put on by racists and bigots and Islamo-phobes. I’m going to disappoint you, if you listen. This evening is not about prejudice against Muslims. On the contrary, this evening is on behalf of all those Muslims who are oppressed by Islamo-Fascism, which you would know if you read what we have said.
If you want to understand what this week is about, here is the poster we designed to announce our events. What it shows is a soccer field in Afghanistan. The figure with the AK-47 is a Taliban soldier. And this poor woman, who is about to have her head blown off at point blank range by an AK-47 has been accused of sexual improprieties, which violate Islamic law. As you may or may not know, in countries where Sharia, which is Islamic law, is imposed by the state, women cannot be witnesses. So this poor woman had no defense. Nor could other women testify in her behalf. Islamic law forbids it. The person who shot the video from which this still is taken asked the Taliban why they were doing this on this soccer field. It happens the United States, in its never-ending generosity, gave Afghanistan that soccer field. The Taliban soldier replied, “Well, if the United States will give us a place for executions, we will play soccer on the soccer field.” These are the religious barbarians we face.
Every person in this photo is a Muslim. The victim is a Muslim. There are 130 million girls in Islamic countries who have had their genitals sliced off at puberty, without anesthetic, because sexual pleasure in a woman is held to be evil by some perverted interpretation of Islamic law. The clitorectomies are to save these girls from evil. This evening and this week is to protest that barbaric treatment of young Muslim women. There are 4,000 homosexuals who have been executed in Iran. This evening is to protest that as well. There are 52 countries in the world where there have been honor killings of Muslim women. If a Muslim woman is raped, her family is shamed. Remove the stain of that shame, one of her relatives, a brother, a cousin, parent, murders her. This is a week to bring awareness about that barbaric practice by Islamo-fascists and to try to stop it.
One of our concerns in this regard is the failure of the Women’s Studies Movement to educate students about these atrocities. There are probably 600 Women’s Studies programs on American campuses, which focus on the unequal treatment of women in society. We have had a very hard time locating a single class which focuses on the oppression of women under Islamic law.
As you probably know, women under Islamic law get half the inheritance a man does. In some countries where Sharia is enforced, women can’t even get an education. In Saudi Arabia, there is currently a campaign for women’s liberatiion which is attempting to get women the right to drive an automobile. To drive an automobile! Why aren’t Women’s Studies Departments up in arms about this? You can probably go to a Women’s Studies class at this university and learn about the oppression of women in the faculty lounge, but you can’t learn about the oppression of women in Tehran or Riyadh or Kuala Lumpur.
For the information of our opponents here tonight, this week is already a tremendous success, because no matter how hostile you are to what you imagine to be our views, which have been unbelievably distorted in the attacks this week, you yourselves are already now discussing the issues we set out to raise: “Why is it that American feminists are not up in arms about the savage abuses of women by Islamo-fascists, about those 130 million young girls who have their genitals sliced off?”
So we have already done a service to Muslim women all over the world just by raising this. I know that there are the people who feel that the Muslim community is under threat here. But think of the Muslim community in Algeria where between 150,000 and 200,000 moderate Muslims were slaughtered in the 1990s, by an organization calling itself Al Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb. Think about the Muslims in the Sudan who are being slaughtered by a Taliban-like regime, simply because they don't subscribe to the regime's version of Islam. This is a serious problem in the Islamic world where (except for the nation of Turkey, which seems to be going in the other direction) there is a lack of separation of church and state. What that means is if radical clerics get in control of the state, they will use the state law to enforce their version of the Qur'an.
In Iran, just last week, the modesty police issued a new edict that couples can't hold hands in public. If you want the definition of a totalitarian state, it's a state that controls every aspect of a person's life. Religions, and particularly Islam, are concerned with many aspects of a person’s life. Religion is about morality, about the family, and about social relations. So when interpretations of religious law are enforce by the political state that’s the end of all freedom. It means one set of priests is going to have the power state behind their interpretation of what you can and cannot do. The end result of that process is this poor woman in the photo who is about to have her head blown off by an AK-47 for violating a government edict about her sex life. I don’t think there is anybody in this room who would support that. I hope there isn’t.
That’s really what we intended to do with this week, to make people aware of this problem. I have called it “Islamo-Fascism.” That is not a term designed to say that all Muslims or a majority of Muslims are fascists. In fact a majority of Muslims are either victims of Islamo-Fascists or threatened by them. The FoxNews channel anchor and other misguided individuals think that the term “Islamo-Fascism” is hate speech. That’s the same thing as saying the term should be banned. In a democracy, at least in our democracy as it has been degraded by so-called liberals today, the way you ban ideas is by calling them “hate speech.” But saying that Islamo-Fascism implicates all Muslims make no logical sense.
We use the term “Italian Fascism” without assuming that all Italians are fascists. Hitler did not even win a majority of the vote in Germany, yet we use the phrase “German Fascism” without implying that all people of German descent are fascists. People like Alan Colmes will throw around the term “white racism” pretty casually. Everyone in this room has either used the phrase “white racism” or read it without objection. Do you mean to call every white person a racist when you use that term? That would make Alan Colmes a racist. Yet that’s precisely what the opponents of Islamo-Fascism week seem to be claiming.
The hateful attacks on this week are, in fact quite stupid, when you think about what they are claiming. If I intended to come on a college platform and say hateful things about all Muslims, I would be hooted off the stage. No campus organization would invite me to say such things and if I did say them I would never be invited by any campus organization again. Since no one on a college campus is prepared to hear hate speech, why bother to protest it in advance. It’s self-discrediting. Yet we live in such Orwellian times that no one laughs when the left makes these preposterous claims.
So, on the one hand, the hate campaign against us is a very stupid campaign, although it is also malicious. On the other, it is quite sinister. When you are called a racist from one end of the country to another, when you are identified as somebody who is preaching hate against a religious or ethnic or racial group, someone is going to believe those charges. The effect, in other words, is to put a target on your back. Which is why there is so much security present tonight.
America was attacked on 9/11. It was attacked by religious fanatics carrying the Qur'an and screaming “Allahu Ahkbar” as they flew planes....[At this point, 9/11 conspiracy theorist Kevin Barrett, previously an adjunct lecturer at Wisconsin, seized a floor Mike intended for the question period and began a rant calling for an investigation of 9/11. The audience, half of whom were leftists, was not amused. Collectively, it began a Wisconsin football chant “Asshole, asshole,” the sheer volume of which blew Kevin Barrett out of the room.]
I want to thank everyone here, including my detractors for restoring order. This just shows how easy it is to destroy -- even if it was only momentarily -- the fabric of a conversation. I will open these mikes for questions afterwards, hopefully not rants, but actual questions. I find when I am in a conversation with somebody I strongly disagree with and I have plenty of friends who are on the other side, for example, of the Iraq War issue, I always learn, even -- even if I'm not persuaded by their arguments -- that there are people on the other side of these debates who are very passionate and very emotional, who are sincere in their beliefs and who are committed to their country and its democracy. I hope that some of my opponents here, if we can manage to keep this at a civilized level, who will also come away with that kind of impression and who will think about these issues in a new way. That's the whole idea of having a this conversation.
The term Islamo-Fascism is, in my view, a useful and justifiable term because of the merger of religion and state in the totalitarian ideology we're facing. It is also historically based. What we are facing is a global religious movement that is a movement within Islam. It is not to be confused with Islam itself. The Islamo-Fascists want you to confuse them with the Muslim community as a whole. They want to hide behind the Muslim community. And they are inflicting great damage on the Muslim community by doing so. When Ahmadinejad speaks or when Zawahiri speaks, they speak in the name of the Muslim ummah, but they do not actually speak for the Muslim ummah. And that distinction has to be made.
What we are facing is a radical force within Islam that originated in Egypt in the 1920s, with the Muslim Brotherhood. Hassan al-Banna was the founder of this movement, which is a movement of political Islam to seize control of states and impose Sharia, Islamic law, on their populations. The Muslim Brotherhood attempted to assassinate Nasser. It assassinated Anwar Sadat, and it would probably like to assassinate the present ruler of Egypt, Mubarak – all of them Muslims.
Hassan al-Banna was an admirer of Alolf Hitler. The key terrorist organizations, Al Qaeda and Hamas, were created out of the Muslim Brotherhood. Osama bin Laden learned his version of this ideology from teachers who were members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas was created by the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, was also an admirer of Hitler. He was the godfather of Palestinian Nationalism. He went to Berlin during the Second World War to meet with Hitler and to recruit Arabs to the Nazi cause, and he had his own plans for a death camp in the Middle East to get rid of the Jews in Palestine.
The Baathist parties in Syria and Iraq were modeled on the European fascist parties. I could go on and on with this. But the reality is that there is a historical relation between the Islamic radicals and the European fascists, and one of the links in this chain is Jew hatred. Historically, within the Islamic Empire, Christians and Jews were second-class citizens. That is they had to pay an extra tax. They had to identify themselves. They were called dhimmis. But Jews settled in the Islamic world, because there was more not less tolerance for them there. They fled the Christian world, because during the Middle Ages, as you also know, they were burned at the stake by the Catholic Church if they didn't convert to Christianity. So Islam historically was a more hospitable place for Jews to live.
The Jew hatred which is now endemic in the Arab Muslim world stems directly from the Arabs’ association with the Nazis during the 1930s and 1940s when Germany attempted to bring the whole Arab world into its orbit. By Jew hatred, I mean the publication of forgeries like the protocols of the Elders of Zion. I mean teaching little children to kill Jews from an early age.
People have a misunderstanding about this. Let me just say one more thing about this radical Islamic Crusade, which I am calling Islamo-Fascism. Its goal is the restoration of the caliphate, which it wants to establish in Baghdad. I'm merely following here the plan that was laid out by Zawahiri, Bin Laden's number two in one of his fatwas. The idea is to establish a caliphate -- a global totalitarian Islamic empire. These Islamic radicals despise nation states. They want an Islamic ummah under their ruthless thumb.
It is claimed by many that the only reason for the attacks on the United States are its policies towards Israel or because of the war in Iraq, or because of George Bush. Bush created the war on terror has become a mantra in some powerful circles of the Democratic Party around George Soros. But there is no basis in fact for these claims. The first leader of the modern Islamo-Fascist movement and the leader of the first Islamo-Fascist state was the Ayatollah Khomeini. It was Khomeni who declared America the Great Satan, and who led crowds a million strong in chants of, "Death to America," in 1979. And it was Jimmy Carter – not George Bush -- who was president when he did that. But Jimmy Carter was a supporter of the Ayatollah and an enemy of the Shah whom he overthrew. Carter accused the Shah of human rights violations and undermined his rule. Carter persuaded the Shah to release Khomeini's cohorts from prison, and allow Khomeni to return to Iran. Jimmy Carter made possible the Islamic Revolution.
When people say that the United States and its policies are responsible for 9/11, they're forgetting this history, Jimmy Carter’s support for the very Islamo-fascists who are now attacking us. In the past twenty-five years far from being an imperialist oppressor of Muslims, as the Islamo-fascists and the American left would have you believe, the United States saved the lives of millions of Muslims. When Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, its armies conducted a scorched-earth policy, which means they killed everything in their way. They killed a million Muslims in Afghanistan, until the United States, by providing them with stinger missiles, by providing them with weapons, helped the Mujaheddin to defeat the Soviet Empire.
The United States went to war in Kosovo for Albanian Muslims, and saved them from extermination. The United States sent the Army Rangers into Somalia to feed starving Muslims in Somalia, and was attacked there by an Al Qaeda warlord. Al Qaeda and the Islamo-fascist movement have killed more Muslims than all the members of Bush's “coalition of the willing” and all of Israel’s soldiers put together.
So it is completely absurd to hold Americans responsible for the hatred that is directed against us. It's completely ridiculous. It is the opposite of the truth. The hatred against America is hatred of the fact that America is free and supports Muslims who don’t want to submit to the Islamo-fascists’ will.
The Middle East conflict is also misunderstood. The idea is floated about by Jimmy Carter and the Arab haters of Israel that Palestinian Arabs were deprived of their lands, that their lands were stolen, and Palestine is occupied by Israel. The historical fact is that not only was the land on which Israel was created not part of any Palestinian entity, it wasn't even controlled by the Arabs themselves.
The Middle East adjacent to the Jordan River and extending past the Euphrates was for 400 years controlled by the Ottoman Turks. The Turks, not the Arabs. The Ottoman Empire, which was founded in the 16th Century, came to an end when the Turks picked the wrong side in the First World War -- the German side. When you lose a war, the victor gets the spoils. So the imperial powers of Britain and France got to divide up the Ottoman Empire.
Britain had promised the Jews the “Palestine Mandate” which they controlled. It was named “Palestine” by the Romans who drove the Jews out and gave the region the name of the enemies of the Jews, the Philistines, who were Greek sailors from the Aegean and not Arab at all. The Arab nomads did not settle in the region of Palestine until centuries later. The British promised this region of the Ottoman empire to the Jews for a national homeland. Jews had lived there for 3,000 years. For two thousand years Jews, since the Romans drove them out, Jews had been without a state, and had been continually expelled from the countries they settled in. During the Second World War they slaughtered in the millions with the support of the Palestinian Arabs and their leader Haj Amin Al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.
So when people say that the Islamo-Fascists or the Palestinian leadership had no involvement in the Holocaust, that is simply false.
The Palestine Mandate was promised to the Jews, but in 1922, Winston Churchill gave 80% of the Mandate to Arabs from the Palestine region. That state is called Jordan. Nearly 70% of the state of Jordan is made up of Palestinians, but they ruled by the Hashemite tribe. You never hear anybody from the Palestinian cause or from the American left, anybody from the ranks of those attacking this event and attacking the state Israel, and attacking the United States calling in the Left – you never hear anyone of them complaining about the oppression of Palestinians in Jordan. Or calling for their liberation. That is because all these attacks on Israel and the United States are motivated by hatred for Israel and the United States, not concern for the Palestinians.
To return to this history, 80% of the Palestine Mandate was given by the Imperial Powers to the Arabs of the Palestine region. The remaining 20% was divided evenly between the Jews living in the Palestine Mandate, and the Arabs living in the Palestine Mandate. The Jewish portion, just 10% of the entire Palestine Mandate and less than 1% of the Arab Midle East, was three little unconnected slivers, the largest of which -- 60% of the total – was an arid desert. That was what the UN by an overwhelming majority vote in 1948.
In addition to Israel’s creation by the UN, the Imperial Powers Jordan Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. All of these states were artificially created by the Imperial Powers out of the Turkish Empire. So the attacks on Israel for stealing Palestinian land are one big lie whose sole purpose is justify the Islamo-fascist campaign to destroy the Jewish nation.
In 1948, instead of accepting the partition of a tiny portion of the land they had been given, the Arab states – Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypty, Iraq, Syria and Jordan attacked Israel in a war which they proclaimed would “push the Jews into the sea.” It was a war of aggression - and they lost. The Arabs have continued that war for the last sixty years.
There were refugees from this war. There were 600,000 Arab refugees. And there were 600,000 Jewish refugees. The Jews fled Iraq, Iran, Morocco and other Arab lands in which they had lived for hundreds of years. In Iraq, the largest ethnic community in Baghdad, for hundreds of years, was the Jews, until the 1930s, when Iraq became a fascist country and massacred the Jews living there and drove the survivors out.
There are over 5 million Palestinian Arabs living in refugee camps today; there no Jews living in refugee camps. Why is that? Because the state of Israel, re-settled the Jewish refugees, gave them homes, gave them citizenship, and gave them jobs. But the Arab states deliberately kept the Palestinians in refugee camps, refused to allow them to become citizens of Jordan or Saudi Arabia or other Arab countries. Billions of dollars have been poured into the Arab refugee problem by the United States and Israel and the UN. But all that money has done has been to maintain the refugee problem. There's a reason for that. It is because the Arab states and the Palestinian leadership want poverty stricken Arabs as cannon fodder for their hateful war against the Jews. That's what the Middle East conflict is about.
There are one million Arabs who live peacefully in Israel. These Arabs have more rights living in Israel than the Arabs in any Arab state. They vote. They are elected to Israel’s parliament. They have the rights of the only democratic state in the entire Arab world.
These facts expose the attacks on Jewish settlements in Gaza and the West Bank for the propaganda they are. If Arabs can live in Israel, why can't Jews live in the West Bank or Gaza? The answer is -- the answer is, the Jew hatred shared by all Arabs, which wants to push the Jews into the sea. This racism whose agendas are genocidal is being inflamed by the Islamo-fascists. This is what the Middle East conflict is about.
There is no reason on earth why there can't be a Palestinian state in the West Bank with Jews living in it or why there couldn't be 7,000 Jews living in Gaza, who have now been removed. The Israeli Army had to evacuate the Jews from Gaza because they would have been killed without military protection. The Jews of Gaza had lived peacefully and had created a horticulture industry that produced 10% of the gross national product of this exceptionally poor area. The Jews were only 7,000 individuals out of a population of more than a million Arabs. But they had to be evacuated or the Arabs would have killed them. And when they left, the first thing the Arabs did was to destroy the greenhouses they had built and along with it 10% of their own income. This is a consequence of the genocidal movement led by Ahmadinejad and Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah. Nasrallah has said, "If the Jews will gather in Israel, we won't have to hunt them down." Hassan Nasrallah is a Nazi and he heads a Nazi organization any definition of that term.
In the face of these enemies, leftists are deluded, and leftist Jews in particular. Who do you think they're going to kill, when they get their states and the power that goes with it?
I recommend to you all a book, which was not written by a conservative. It is called Reading Lolita in Tehran. The author, Azar Nafisi, is a university professor of English literature. Its title comes from the fact that she returned to Iran after the Khomeini Revolution in 1979, and taught The Great Gatsby and other American novels to her Iranian students at the University of Teheran. The story she tells should be a warning to every leftist in this audience. Nafisi had attended school in the United States at the University of Oklahoma, where she belonged to a group of Marxist radicals.When the Khomeini Revolution took place, they all went back to Iran, believing that Khomeini was a progressive didn't really mean it when he said he wanted to create an Islamic state.
The American Left embraced Khomeini and revolution. Richard Falk, who is a spokesman of the present movement against the war in Iraq called Khomeni a liberator. Andrew Young, who was Jimmy Carter's Ambassador to the UN, called him a saint. Encouraged by these endorsements, the Iranian Marxists at the University of Oklahoma, who probably belonged to the anti-war action network of the time, went back to Teheran to join the revolution. And one by one, as Nafisi describes in her book, they were executed by the revolutionary state. Because they were Marxists. Because they were progressives. Because they did not toe the Islamo-fascist line. Khomeni’s goal was to establish an Islamic state under 7th century Islamic law. That is what the “war on terror” is about.
Khomeni killed twenty-five times as many Iranians –Muslims -- in the first three years of his revolutionary rule than the despised Shah had killed in the 34 years of his. The reason Khomeini hated the Shah is because the Shah allowed women to be educated in Iran for the first time in their history, and allowed them, if they so chose, to remove the veil. The Shah was a dictator, but he was a progressive dictator. And that's why Khomeini and Islamic fundamentalists hated him, and overthrew him.
This is a warning to you progressives in the audience. This is my gift to you if you will take it. The Islamo-fascists whom you support will devour you in the end.
When Ahmadinejad says he wants to wipe Israel from the face of the earth, and America too, he means it Ahmadinejad believe that by sowing chaos in the world through nuclear war he can hasten the already imminent second coming of the Tweflth Imam, who died in the 10th century. This war will bring about Armageddon. Ahmadinejad looks forward to the death this will bring because true Muslims like himself will ascend to heaven, and those who are lucky enough to be males will get 72 virgins along the way.
Before I finish, I want to say something about the Iraq War. Watching the left mobilize to oppose the war, I was reminded of the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The constant complaint of the left at the time was that the United States supported dictators like the Shah because they were anti-communists. If they followed our foreign policy, we didn't care what they did to people within their borders. That was the Left's complaint and you heard it over and over and over again -- the United States supports dictators.
So it was quite illuminating to me when George Bush set out to overthrow one of those dictators, one of the true monsters of the 20th Century, a man who had murdered 300,000 people. Who do you think he murdered? He murdered Muslims. He murdered mainly Shi'a Muslims. He dropped poison gas on the Kurds. He put Muslims into plastic shredders. His two sons went on a rape rampage, raping and killing Muslim girls.
And then Bush came along and overthrew him. And the left hates Bush for that! I watched all of my former comrades go out in the streets to try to save Saddam Hussein, this fascist dictator and mass murderer, from being overthrown. Now, what is that about? It is about the left’s hatred for America which is greater than its hatred for oppressors like Saddam Hussein. The reason the Left is in a de facto alliance with the Islamo-Fascists is because the believes what the Islamo-fascists believe -- that the United States is the Great Satan; and Israel, of course, is the Little Satan. It is their progressive duty to make the United States lose the War on Terror, so the Khomenis of the Middle East can liberate the Muslim world.
The Left has been on the wrong side of battle for freedom for almost 100 years.
I think the War in Iraq has been mismanaged, and so has the war at home. The President has failed to explain the war to the American people. But these mistakes don’t negate the fact that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was a good deed. Moreover, the United States cannot afford to lose this war. If we lose the War in Iraq, if we do what Nancy Pelosi or Cindy Sheehan want us to do, which is just to get out, what will happen in Iraq is exactly what happened in Vietnam when we did the same thing. After we left Vietnam to the mercy of the communists, 2.5 million people slaughtered.
Not only will Moqtadar al-Sadr and the Republican National Guard slaughter every Muslim -- every Muslim in Iraq who wanted their freedom, who went to vote, who supported the coalition led by America -- but Iraq will wind up in the hands of Ahmadinejad and Iran, and they will go after the other Arab regimes in the region whose Islamic ways are not pure enough. The result will be a massive regional war, and because Russia and China will support Iran, possibly a global war as well.
The reason for our intervention in Iraq in the first place was to prevent such a war. Saddam had conducted two wars of aggression; one against Iran and the other against Kuwait. After the Gulf War, we imposed a truce on him. We should have overthrown him. But that Bush regime was conservative and didn't. Instead they imposed arms control agreements on Saddam in the form of UN resolutions 687 and 689, which were followed by 15 other UN resolutions, all about arms control and all equally disregarded and defied.
The same thing happened after the First World War. The Allied Powers had imposed arms control agreements on Hitler, and Hitler had done exactly what Saddam Hussein did. He systematically defied the agreements and rebuilt his war machine. Instead of stopping him when he was weak but defiant, the western powers, particularly France and Britain, appeased him. If these powers had taken on Hitler in 1937, they would easily have crushed him. But by the time Hitler was strong enough militarily to go to war, it war cost 70 million lives to defeat him. The antiwar crowd and appeasers of the Thirties have that on their heads.
George Bush was right to take down Saddam Hussein when he defied international law. Now we need to win the War in Iraq in order to avoid another World War which will be even more costly than the last.
Thank you.

Denial at Brown

Robert Spencer

“Polemics don’t advance the debate,” says the Brown Daily Herald in “Ignoring ‘Islamofascism’ hype,” a vicious little polemic that accuses the organizers of Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week of wanting a “fight.” The editorialist preens: “We’re glad that the debate is being carried out at this level, not with signs and shouting.”
Of course, there was shouting when I spoke at Brown last week, although not too much, so the Daily Herald has every right to be proud. There were few disruptions during the talk itself, although there was a loud group of louts toward the back, one of whom during the question period told me angrily that he didn’t want to listen to what I was saying. I assured him that no one was forcing him to listen at all, and that he was quite welcome to leave.
The question period was full of the usual self-righteous lecturing by thoroughly propagandized students who have no training in critical thinking and quite obviously feel deeply threatened when their cherished ideas, which rest on such shaky intellectual and evidentiary foundations, are questioned.

I see that one of the fundamental weaknesses of the Left, and their Islamic supremacist allies, is that they believe their own propaganda, and don’t even have the conceptual apparatus required to help them recover when its inaccuracy and dishonesty is exposed. Even at their best the questioners were clearly playing “Gotcha,” trying to get me to say something they could use against the Week and the perspective I represent, rather than engaging in real intellectual give-and-take. This too is a function of how thoroughly they have been propagandized, for they have been taught that those who oppose them are morally evil, and can’t even conceptualize the possibility that people of good will might disagree with them and thus should be engaged with ideas, not rants and attempted traps.
I didn’t expect anything else at the beginning of the Week, and of course I was nowhere greeted with anything like the reception that Nonie Darwish and David Horowitz received at other universities. In general, the hysteria, the lies about the Week and the intentions of its organizers, and the attempts to silence us all indicate how much the Week was needed, how threatened the Left and its jihadist allies are by our shining this light upon them and pointing out the hypocrisy of their “bigotry” talk, and how vitally important it is that we keep up this kind of pressure.
But Brown students should indeed be very proud, considering the immense provocation they had to suffer through. The editorial says: “Fortunately, despite confrontational remarks made by Robert Spencer, who said in his lecture here Thursday that he does not believe ‘that Islam at its core is a peaceful religion,’ Brown’s campus remained largely calm.”
Anyway, this was not an assertion I made without evidence. I drew a distinction between teaching and practice and explaining the vulnerability of peaceful Muslims to jihadist recruitment on the basis of the jihadists’ use of various passages of the Qur’an and Hadith (which I cited), I explained that all the schools of Sunni and Shi’ite jurisprudence have a doctrine involving warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers.
This was and is a statement of fact. If it is false, the Brown Herald, or the Muslim community at Brown, should refute it. Anyone is welcome to refute it if they can. I can and have (in my books and elsewhere) explained it at length, with abundant citations from the Qur’an and Sunnah, as well as from mainstream Islamic commentaries on the Qur’an and Islamic jurists.
But they don’t refute it. No one ever has refuted it. Instead, here the Herald treats it as if the very statement constitutes incitement to violence against Muslims. And in an unconscious irony, the Herald expresses relief that the campus remained “largely calm,” rather than erupt into violence over someone daring to assert that Islam is not a religion of peace.
Well, bravo, Brown students! What admirable, nay, noble restraint! But if you really want a debate on the key issues, as you say in this editorial, simply heaping abuse and contempt on your opponent and being glad that nobody popped him one is not actually a demonstration of the falsity of his arguments. If you are willing to engage in a genuine discussion and debate of this question -- does Islamic doctrine actually teach peace? -- I am at your service, and will return to Brown.
If you do not wish to engage in such a debate, as appears clear, then be assured that you will not forever be able to ignore this question, or to act as if the mere asking of it is the equivalent of burning a cross on someone’s front lawn. Unfortunately, those Muslims who do not believe that Islam is a religion of peace, who are the ones who benefit most from the ruling of this question out of polite discourse, will continue -- unimpeded by their peaceful coreligionists -- to commit acts of violence in order to advance the cause of Islamic supremacism. It is more than likely that this conflict will touch you personally, and your vilification of the anti-jihad movement and your refusal to engage it intellectually may at that point look very different to you from the way it looks today.

Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of seven books, eight monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Religion of Peace?.

Funding an Enemy

Janet Levy

Last Friday, President Bush certified Saudi Arabia as a cooperative anti-terrorism ally and released U.S. financial aid to Riyadh Funding an EnemyBy Janet Levy FrontPageMagazine.comLast Friday, President Bush certified Saudi Arabia as a cooperative anti-terrorism ally and released U.S. financial aid to Riyadh.

This occurred despite charges leveled against the “Kingdom” by Stuart Levey, the U.S. Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, who one day after the sixth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, declared that Saudi Arabia had failed to prosecute terrorism financiers.

Levey voiced frustration that not a single terrorist supporter identified by Washington had been prosecuted by the Saudis.“If I could snap my fingers and cut off the funding from one country, it would be Saudi Arabia,” a frustrated Levey told the press. “When the evidence is clear that these individuals have funded terror organizations . . . then that should be prosecuted and treated as real terrorism because it is.”Levey leads an office which marshals the Treasury Department's policy, enforcement, regulatory and intelligence functions to sever the lines of financial support to international terrorists, weapons of mass destruction proliferators, narcotics traffickers, and other threats to our national security. Yet, the United States blithely ignored the very person with the best information whose job is to help stop terrorism and safeguard our country.Instead, we are providing U.S. aid to the world’s top oil-producing country which is also coincidentally the main financial and ideological sponsor of Wahhabism or Islamic extremism.

This austere form of Islam insists on a literal interpretation of the Koran and spreads the belief that all those who don't practice their form of Islam are heathens and enemies. In effect, we are funding our enemies. Even more outrageous, we are funding wealthy enemies: a resource-rich country that is the largest source of financing for Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorists who have murdered hundreds of Americans and Israelis.

The extent of Saudia Arabia’s wealth frequently makes headlines. Recently, Prince Al-Walid bin Talal, a member of the Saudi royal family, sold a 5% share of the Kingdom Holding Company, one of the largest investment companies in the world, for more than two and a half times its initial public offering valuation. As a member of the Saudi royal family, Al-Walid holds assets estimated at $20.3 billion and is deemed by Forbes Magazine as the 13th wealthiest person in the world. The prince’s major holdings include Citibank, AOL, Apple, Inc., Worldcom, Motorola, News Corp, Planet Hollywood, and numerous other companies. He alone is the largest foreign investor in New York and his extensive real estate holdings including upscale hotel chains and resorts.

In July of 2005, Talal donated $20 million to the Louvre in Paris, the largest donation ever received by the museum, for the construction of a wing to house Islamic art.In recent years, Talal has used his financial clout to influence American foreign policy, shape media portrayals and promote Islamist ideology. Following the 9/11 attacks, in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals, Al-Walid offered a $10 million donation to New York City toward relief efforts and suggested that the U.S. should reexamine its allegedly pro-Israel policies in the Middle East as the root cause of the attacks. The donation was turned down.Prince Talal gave $500,000 to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), an un-indicted co-conspirator in the funding of Hamas, for distribution to American public libraries of books that sanitize Islam and terrorist organization activities.

One book declares that terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah were placed on the U.S. government’s terrorist list, not because of their well-documented terrorist operations, but because of the pro-Israel bias of American leaders.During the 2005 Muslim riots in France, Prince Talal, the fifth largest shareholder of the parent company of Fox News, called network chief Rupert Murdoch and demanded that a screen banner identifying the unrest as “Muslim riots” be changed to “civil riots.” The Prince maintained that the U.S. media is too pro-Israel and he encouraged the Arab world and media to do more to counter this tendency.Further, Prince Talal has tried to influence U.S. Middle East policy by donating $20 million each to Harvard University and Georgetown University, among the largest university donations in history, to finance Islamic studies and create a pro-Islamic environment among future and current policy leaders.

From a country that ironically routinely punishes practitioners of Christianity, he declared that his primary reason for bestowing the gifts was the promotion of “Muslim-Christian” understanding.Of grave concern is another donation by the Prince to the Saudi Committee for the Support of the al-Quds Intifada for $27 million given in 2002. Although committee leadership attempted to portray the gift as assistance for Arab-Palestinian families resisting the “occupation,” documents captured by the Israel Defense Forces indicated that the funds were payoffs for suicide bombings used as enticements to murder by Hamas. A Saudi-government cleric, Sheikh Saad al-Buraik, stated to television audiences viewing the 2002 fundraising telethon, “I am against America until this life ends…She is the root of all evils and wickedness on Earth…”

He further urged listeners to pillage the Jews, enslave their women and wage all-out jihad.The travesty of U.S. funding for a wealthy terrorist-sponsoring nation is further demonstrated by a 2005 study, “Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Invade American Mosques” by Freedom House, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that seeks to advance the worldwide expansion of political and economic freedom. Freedom House researchers found that over 80% of U.S. mosques had been radicalized by Saudi-appointed, Wahhabist imams and ideology. These Saudi-trained clerics, the ideological arm of the royal family, advocate the rejection of Christianity and Judaism, the full application of the Sharia or Islamic law in America, hatred of non-believers, renunciation of allegiance to America and the waging of jihad by all Muslims against infidels.It is indeed troubling that U.S. leaders overlook the role that the Saudi government plays in supporting terrorism worldwide and the spreading of extremist ideology within America.

It is the height of irony that while Saudia Arabia bans churches and arrests Christians praying in private homes, it is also freely funding a fifth column inside America in the form of “religious” instruction. For President Bush to praise Saudi Arabia as an “anti-terrorism” ally while Saudi-funded efforts within our borders are undermining and threatening our very existence as a free nation, nullifies American counter-terrorism measures and ignores the warnings of those charged with protecting us. Such a decision dangerously ignores reality and courts our own destruction.

Terrorists plotted setting U.S. fires


WASHINGTON – While websites frequented by jihadis have been ablaze with claims of responsibility for setting the California wildfires, terror leaders also urged arson attacks as a tactic last summer, according to a new report in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.
In July, a post was made to numerous jihadist boards and then spread to a number of blogs citing a previously issued fatwa authorizing the setting of forest fires as a weapon of jihad. The post began "this is an invitation to the Muslims of Europe and America, Australia and Russia to burn forests." It went on to state the justification under Islamic Sharia law for this action and to cite its benefits for jihadists.
The post, revealed in G2 Bulletin's report, cites an undated video that shows Abu Mus'ab al Suri, author of "Call to Global Islamic Resistance" and advocate of the doctrine of individual terrorism, discussing the benefits to the jihad of setting forest fires.
Last year, the report points out, Maj. Robert Arthur Baird of the U.S. Marine Corps wrote in the May 2006 issue of Studies in Conflict and Terrorism: "The United States is at significant risk of a future pyro-terrorist attack – when terrorists unleash the latent energy in the nation's forests to achieve the effect of a weapon of mass destruction – the threat, must be defined America's vulnerabilities understood and action taken to mitigate this danger to the United States."
In his master's thesis, Major Baird also discusses arson as a terror tactic and sees it as a very real risk: "Instead of using expensive, complex and readily detectable nuclear or radiological bombs, a terrorist could easily ignite several massive wildfires to severely damage regional economies, impact military and firefighting forces and terrorize the American people."
(Story continues below)
He goes on to state that a terrorist has the potential to "unleash multiple fires creating a conflagration potentially equal to a multi-megaton nuclear weapon."
Is that what has happened this year?
California authorities have confirmed some of the wildfires were set deliberately, and a terror watch organization says the circumstances match terror plans the FBI alerted law enforcement to several years ago.
"In 2003 an FBI memo alerted law enforcement agencies that an al-Qaida terrorist being held in detention had talked of masterminding a plot to set a series of devastating forest fires around the western United States," the National Terror Alert Response Center warned.
"It was reported that the detainee, who was not identified, said the plan involved three or four people setting wildfires using timed devices in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming that would detonate in forests and grasslands after the operatives had left the country," the advisory continued. "The detainee believed that significant damage to the U.S. economy would result and once it was realized that the fires were terrorist acts, U.S. citizens would put pressure on the U.S. government to change its policies."
WND reported in 2004 that an Arabic-language jihadi website also posted a message purporting to be "al-Qaida's plan of economic attack" on the U.S. that including proposals to turn the nation's forests into raging infernos. The National Terror Alert Response Center report said, "We are NOT implying that the California fires are an act of terrorism; however, the threat of pyro-terrorist attacks pose a significant risk to the U.S. and the fires in California and Greece earlier this year should be a wake-up call."
Less than two months ago, between four and five dozen people were killed and scores more hospitalized with serious injuries as a result of wildfires in portions of Greece. Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis expressed his suspicions.
"So many fires sparked simultaneously in so many places is no coincidence," he said when the blazes erupted.
And Terror Watch notes a top prosecutor in Greece now has begun investigating whether the arsons were, in fact, terrorism.
Dimitris Papangelopoulos said the investigation will determine "whether the crimes of arsonists and of arson attacks on forests" should be prosecuted under the nation's anti-terrorism law.
Arab terrorists in Israel have started dozens of major forest fires over the years.
As far back as 1988, Israeli police caught more than a dozen Palestinian adults in the act of setting fires, while other Arabs confessed to arson after arrest. Some fires followed specific calls by underground Arab terrorists. A leaflet issued by the Palestinian uprising's underground leadership called for "the destruction and burning of the enemy's properties, industry and agriculture."

President Unilateral Embargo Hollow’

From the Iran Media:

TEHRAN, Oct. 30--President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said America’s recent unilateral sanctions over Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities are ’hollow’.
“The recent US decision (against Iran) has made it clear that the Americans are unable to harm us unilaterally,“ the president said while addressing the third round of nationwide assembly of municipal councils on Tuesday, IRNA reported.
He was commenting on Washington’s announcement on October 25 that it has unilaterally imposed a package of sanctions against Iran over its peaceful nuclear activities, targeting Iranian banks and companies, IRNA reported.
“The Americans think that they can force the Iranian nation to retreat by imposing unilateral economic sanctions and publicizing through some of their internal agents that the sanctions are effective and that people are facing economic difficulties,“ he added.
The president stressed that the people of Iran should know that the evil hands involved in economic sabotage have been identified and will be completely cleansed from the country’s economic scene soon.
“Today the political and propaganda campaigns to stop the Iranian nation have failed and the enemies have realized that they are unable to check the progress of the Iranian nation,“ he said.
Ahmadinejad said time is ripe for heads of certain European countries to act independently.
“The independent move of heads of certain European states will be in their own interest. We welcome the independent views of certain governments,“ he said.
The chief executive also said certain powers, the US in particular, should learn from the current events otherwise they will be driven to isolation.
Declaring that the Iranian nation is a state of defense readiness, he said thanks to the national perseverance, Iran will defend its integrity and independence.
“Experience has shown that whenever the nation has resisted pressures and threats, no power can harm their might and interests,“ he said.
Ahmadinejad said these powers should know that the era of bombardment, jet fighters and bullying other nations have ended.
“We’ve never taken reciprocal action against the European countries’ rhetoric and only give them advice to come to terms with Iran,“ he said.
“But if certain states decide to inflict economic losses on Iran, we will stop economic cooperation with them.“

Olmert’s Non Strategy Revealed

David Bedein

On Sunday, following the weekly Israel government cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert dispatched cabinet secretary Oved Yehezkel and his official spokesman Yaakov Galanati to brief the press about the steps leading to the Annapolis Middle East Summit on November 26th, 2007 scheduled at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Olmert’s spokespeople emphasized that the Israeli government did not expect to reach any agreement with the Palestinians at the summit, that the “only thing that would happen there would be declarations,” adding that “Israel will announce its recognition of a Palestinian Arab National state, alongside an Israeli Jewish national state, with Israel formally accepting the road map.”

That road map was presented by then - US Secretary of State Colin Powell and then- White House National Security Advisor Condeleeza Rice to Israel and the Palestinians in May 2003, and adopted by the Israeli cabinet underthen- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

However, this reporter asked Olmert’s cabinet secretary about the 14 reservations that the Israeli cabinet had tacked on as conditions to the road map, one week after the Israeli government had ratified the plan, in May 2003. How quickly people forget.

The cabinet secretary repeated himself, reading Olmert’s statement once again that Israel was accepting the road map. The cabinet secretary indicated that there were no conditions in Olmert’s statement.

As a reminder, the Israeli government had added to its acceptance of the road map a statement that “In the first phase of the plan and as a condition for progress to the second phase, the Palestinians will complete the dismantling of terrorist organizations (Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front, the Democratic Front, Al-Aksa Brigades and other apparatuses) and their infrastructure; collection of all illegal weapons and their transfer to a third party for the sake of being removed from the area and destroyed; cessation of weapons smuggling and weapons production inside the Palestinian Authority; activation of the full prevention apparatus and cessation of incitement….There will be no progress to the second phase without the fulfillment of all above-mentioned conditions relating to the war against terror."

These conditions are missing in Olmert’s acceptance of the road map. Of the other eighteen reporters present at the briefing, only one reporter understood that Olmert had quietly circumvented this fundamental condition for accepting the road map.

In other words, the Olmert administration plans to use the Annapolis Middle East Summit to announce to the world that it will recognize an independent, sovereign and armed foreign nation state in the hills of Judea, Samaria (the West Bank) and on the coastline of Gaza and, perhaps, in some of Jerusalem without a prerequisite that the Palestinian leadership dismantle terrorist organizations.

This reporter also asked if the Israeli government would specifically demand that Yassir Arafat’s successor, Machmud Abbas, AKA Abu Mazen, would be required to dismantle the Al Aksa Brigades of the Fatah organization, which work under the direct command of Abbas, who is also the Chairman of the Fatah.

The answer from Olmert’s cabinet secretary was that the Israeli government had not taken a stand on that subject.

This reporter also asked Olmert’s cabinet secretary if the Israeli government would ask that Abbas order the cancellation of the Palestinian educational curriculum that is based on Israel’s destruction.

The answer from Olmert’s cabinet secretary was that the Israeli government had not taken a stand on that subject.

In other words, when the Israeli government cabinet secretary innocuously says that, at Annapolis, “Israel will announce its recognition of a Palestinian Arab National state,” that means that Israel accepts a “state of Palestine” contiguous to Israel without any formal requirement that this new nation state crush terrorist organizations that pose a threat to the lives of Israel’s citizens.

The precedent of Israel allowing a terror entity in its midst is exemplified by the situation in Gaza, where Israel now allows an Arab terrorist organization that rules Gaza to shell the entire southern region of Israel every day with only a tepid military response. Israel has limited its reaction to targeting some of those who fire shells into Israel, while beginning to limit Israeli electricity supplies to Gaza, while at the same leaving the Palestinian terror leadership unharmed.

On Sunday, the Israeli cabinet did approve electricity reduction measures against Gaza, following continuing missile attacks from there.

Israeli Security officials say that the goal is to make it clear to the Palestinians that Israel intends to sever all connection with the Gaza Strip and reduce economic ties with it. The Israeli army intends to close the two out of the three crossing points into Gaza.

In hard-hit Sedrot, reactions to these limited measures were mixed. "I am glad that the government is trying to do things like this. Until now there was a total stalemate," said Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal, who criticized the government in the past for doing nothing. "The Palestinians should pay a much heavier price for what they are doing to Sderot," Moyal said.

Meanwhile, the head of the Sedrot Parents Association, Batya Katar, said that "It's a mockery," saying that "Hamas leader Ismail Haniya and his information minister who give orders to shells Israel should be killed. Only then will there be quiet." The head of the “Task force for Sderot Security,” Alon Davidi, agreed with Katar. "Barak's decision is an attempt to throw sand in the eyes of the inhabitants of Sderot and the State of Israel," he said, claiming that the defense minister's measure will be interpreted as a show of weakness and a desperate, ineffective measure.

This reporter asked Olmert’s cabinet secretary what the response of the government was to this week’s latest shelling of Sderot and the Western Negev from Gaza.

His answer: ”It was not discussed.”

David Bedein is the bureau chief of the Israel Resource News Agency, located at the Beit Agron International Press Center in Jerusalem.

Bush Budget Plans for Iran Attack

An item buried in President Bush’s latest request for $190 billion in emergency war funding offers telling evidence that the U.S. could be preparing an attack on Iran. The Defense Department has asked for $88 million to retrofit B-2 Stealth bombers so they can carry a 30,000-pound “bunker buster” bomb called the massive ordnance penetrator (MOP), which has the capacity to destroy deep underground targets.
The Administration says the request is in response to an “urgent operational need from theater commanders.”
Some observers might conclude that the Pentagon is seeking weaponry to strike Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida in their caves in Afghanistan.
But as Gerard Baker, U.S. editor of the Times of London, points out in the New York Post, that would not require Stealth bombers.
“The Americans own the skies over Afghanistan and Iraq and could, if they wished, blanket the two countries with all manner of bombardment from a few thousand feet in broad daylight,” Baker notes.
Instead, the more likely targets are the subterranean nuclear enrichment facilities in Iran, according to Baker, who writes:
“The debate in Washington about what to do with the increasingly recalcitrant and self-confident Iranian regime has taken a significant turn in the past few weeks. And the decision to upgrade the bombing capacity of the military is perhaps the most powerful indication yet that the debate is reaching a climax.”
The Pentagon request confirms an earlier report that first ran on in July, which disclosed that the Pentagon was planning to modify the B-2 Stealth bombers so they could carry the bunker buster bombs – “a move that could be a prelude to an attack on Iran and its nuclear facilities.”
The Newsmax report revealed that Northrop Grumman, the Air Force’s prime contractor on the B-2, would retrofit the bomber to carry the new 30,000-pound MOP.
“The U.S. Air Force’s B-2 Stealth bomber would be able to attack and destroy an expanded set of hardened, deeply buried military targets” using the MOP, the company said at the time.
Regarding the likelihood of an American attack on Iran, Baker observes that the U.S. now “thinks it has the intelligence and the military capacity to undermine the Iranian threat seriously…
“The only real question about the next phase in this war is whether an escalation by the U.S., in a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, would further American – and Western – objectives, or impede them. The evidence is increasingly suggesting that the costs of not acting are equal to or larger than the costs of acting.”

The Isaiah Plan

Tamar Yonah

The Isaiah Plan. This is the only formula that will bring peace, so "Peace off, Sister."
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is coming to the region for yet ANOTHER stab at peace. -The establishment of a Palestinian State. It's not enough that there are at least 22 Arab states already in existence, and only 1 tiny, tiny Israel. They want to chop us up some more, slice us to bits like salami, and place a Moslem 'Palestinian Terror State' right in the belly of Israel.
This is where I live, this is where my house is, this is where my children were born and raised. This is where my ancestors lived. This is the region that G-d gave to the tribes of Ephraim, Benjamin and Judah. They want to cut our heart out, wrest Jerusalem from us, and make it into a Palestinian state. Dig down in the earth here, you will find JEWISH, not Arab artifacts. This is where Jewish Kings ruled. There were never any 'Palestinian' kings, and a country of 'Palestine' never existed. Palestine was the Jewish Homeland. My father was a 'Palestinian'. Most Arabs came in to this 'Jewish' region looking for work as more and more Jews came home and joined their brothers who were here for centuries. These Arabs would be insulted if they were called, 'Palestinians' which meant JEW. They were either Egyptians, or southern Syrians .There was never even an Arab Palestinian currency in all these centuries. The REGION known as Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire (1299 to 1922) and therefore used TURKISH currency . When the British came in after WWI, they made the Land of Israel the ŒBritish Mandate of Palestine‚, and the Egyptian pound was used until 1927 . Egyptians swarmed into Israel for jobs, as the Arabs living in Gaza do today, crossing into Israel where they earn higher wages.

Though my father is not in this photo, here is a picture of Palestinian Jewish Parachutists in World War II.

The British then made what is called, the Palestinian pound, which was of course equal in value to the British pound sterling.

British Palestinian Pound with English, HEBREW, and Arabic on it. There was no such thing as an Arab Palestinian currency. There was never any country called Palestine.

The currency of 1948 with HEBREW. Palestine was JEWISH.

The 'Road Map' peace plan and the 'Two State Solution' peace plan are just another re-hashing of a failed policy, the formula of 'land for peace'.

Each peace plan that has been shoved down the throats of the Israeli people in the last 30 years, has failed, and they have all been based on the 'land for peace' formula.
Here are some of the latest peace plans and summits from the last 30 years that have all been based on the formula of 'land for peace'. All have utterly failed and literally 'bled' Israel.
Camp David Accords (1978)
The Reagan Peace Plan (September 1, 1982)
Madrid Conference of 1991
Oslo Accords (1993)
Wye River Memorandum (October 23, 1998)
The Clinton Peace Plan (December 23, 2000)
Mitchell Commission (Plan) ( October 17, 2000 )
The Tenet Plan (June 10, 2001)
Camp David 2000 Summit (2000)
Taba summit (January, 2001)
The Zinni Plan (March 26, 2002)
Elon Peace Plan (2002)
Arab Peace Initiative (March 28, 2002)
The 2002 Nusseibeh-Ayalon Principles
The People's Voice (July 27, 2002)
March 2002 Saudi Peace Initiative
Geneva Accord (October 20, 2003)
Sharm el-Sheikh Summit of 2005 (February 8, 2005)
2006 Franco-Italian-Spanish Middle East Peace Plan
Binational solution
Two-state solution
Saudi peace proposal
Red Sea Summit
The Road map
Did you skip over reading all those peace plans and summits? No fair. Read them each, and concentrate on them. We bled and paid a high price for each one of those 'solutions for peace'.
What we should be saying to the U.S. administration is that we appreciate them wanting to make peace in the region, but they've gotten nowhere, except for weakening Israel and emboldening the Moslem Arab countries and terrorists. Thanks America, but no thanks. We'll handle it from here on out.

Our great prophet, Isaiah said in 32:17: "The product of righteousness shall bring peace; and the effect of righteousness, quiet and security forever." Got it? I think our great prophet was smarter then Bush & Co., Clinton & Co. and Carter & Co.

So, I propose we stop with all these peace plans. We should aim for justice and righteousness. We should pursue, not 'peace', but our enemies. Israel must crush the terrorist infrastructure. Israel must bring the Arab nations who conspire against her to their knees until they beg us for peace and give us an unconditional surrender. The only way to stop this war, is to WIN it.
The corrupt Palestinian Authority has forfeited its right to exist. It has encouraged, born, fostered, and sponsored terrorism. It has violated it's commitments it made in every peace treaty signed, which was to stop their violence and terror. We should mete out justice to those Arab terrorists and leaders who have spilled our people‚s blood, to those Arab leaders who hold our soldiers captive, and to all the Arab and Moslem nations who conspire against us with threats of annihilation.

Justice we should pursue. We should demand the immediate criminal prosecution of the MUSLIM WAQF in JERUSALEM for destroying the Temple Mount.
We should bring PA leader Mahmoud Abbas to justice for his terrorist past, his involvement in the Massacre of our young athletes in the 1972 Munich Olympics. He wrote his Ph.D. dissertation, later published as a book, by denying the Holocaust.
We should also bring to justice any of our own leaders (whom I shall not name here) who have become corrupted, accepted bribes, armed our enemies, and released convicted terrorists. To these politicians who have sold themselves out, well, as an acquaintance of mine says, „They give Œworking girls‚ a bad name. The Knesset today is the biggest brothel in Israel.‰
By pursuing justice and righteousness, the world will be a better place, a safer place, and a more peaceful place.

So to all those planning the slicing up of Israel like a salami in Annapolis this November, I say, "Peace off!" We are going with the 'Isaiah Plan'. Righteousness.
And the result of pursuing righteousness will bring us peace.

Hamas: We’ll take control over West Bank in autumn

Ali Waked

Senior Hamas leader Nizar Rayyan said Monday that the Islamist group would soon take control over the West Bank.
"In the autumn Hamas supporters will be praying in the Muqata compound in Ramallah (site of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' offices)," he said during a rally in Gaza.

"We are now praying at the Presidential compound in Gaza, just as we said we would. Abbas' regime will fall like a leaf come autumn."

Since Hamas' violent takeover of Gaza last June, the Palestinian Authority's security services have been seeking out Hamas operatives on a daily basis, especially those suspected of belonging to the group's armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

Hamas has repeatedly threatened to retaliate to any attacks against its men in the West Bank.

Rayyan continued to say that "in the fall the man who kills his own people will be exposed, and we will annihilate him just as we have annihilated others like him."

Yaser Abed Rabo, a member of Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee, said in response that "Rayyan belongs in an asylum. These people are mentally and nationalistically backward.

"Rayyad, Mahmoud al-Zahar and that whole Hamas gang really, they don't deem Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank to be that important at all. All they want is to spread the Islamic mindset amongst Muslims worldwide. This group has nothing in its arsenal but threats; this gang does not know the meaning of dialog, all they can do is curse," the PA official told the Ma'an news agency.

Qaddafis Seat at the Table

On October 16th, the United Nations, with at least tacit U.S. approval, elected the former terrorist state, Libya, to serve a two-year term on the U.N. Security Council. The prospect that Moammar Gaddafi, once the target of U.S. and U.N. sanctions, would participate in the U.N. Security Council decision-making process is part of the charade that relations between Libya and the U.S. are, in the words of Libyan diplomat Giadalla Ettalhi,
"back to normal." In truth, the acceptance of oil-rich Libya on the international body charged with maintaining worldwide peace and security, reveals how the need for oil can cleanse even the most heinous of atrocities committed by terrorist states and nullify the suffering of its victims.
With oil and gas prices climbing, Libya's plentiful oil and gas resources, have provided incentives for foreign investments. Energy firms worldwide have been anxious to do business with Libya and the governments of many European countries acted several years earlier to remove economic restrictions placed on Libya because of its past actions. U .S. companies have also pressured the U.S. government to normalize relations to stay apace with their European rivals. The U.S. desire to explore alternative sources for oil and gas may well have influenced the decision to normalize relations and paved the way for Libya to serve on the Security Council.
With Libya on the U.N. Security Council, the stage is truly set for a theater of the absurd. That's because the Security Council is charged with maintaining international peace and security, which Libya has a well-known history of violating. Under the provisions of its charter, the Security Council can investigate any conflict that may lead to international friction and take a full spectrum of actions ranging from recommendations and political pressure to deploying peacekeeping forces or authorizing military action. The council may also choose to institute economic sanctions, sever diplomatic ties or refer cases to the International Criminal Court for arbitration.
Five permanent members sit on the Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – and have veto power over resolutions. Ten temporary members serve for two-year terms. The office of the president, responsible for setting the council's agenda and overseeing crisis situations, rotates monthly among all of the member countries.
Thus, in an abundance of irony, it could potentially fall to Libya to oversee a world crisis, the very country which has been anti-American since 1969 when Gaddafi came to power and which was responsible in 1988 for blowing up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people from 21 countries, including 189 Americans. The Lockerbie bombing was the deadliest terrorist attack against the United States until the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
As a result, Libya until recently was under U.S. and U.N. sanctions that hindered its ability to develop its energy sector. In 2003, when Libya announced that it would dismantle its program for weapons of mass destruction, the United States and the European Union agreed to restore diplomatic relations. At the time, the Libyan government ratified a series of nominal, human rights treaties.
But these actions were instituted purely for political expediency and didn't reflect the situation on the ground , according to an investigation by Amnesty International, a far left-leaning, non-governmental organization known for selective criticism of human rights violations. Amnesty International found that significant numbers of Libyans were being incarcerated for non-violent political activities and the death penalty was in place for cases of political dissent. Publicly, Colonel Gaddafi denounced capitol punishment and denied human rights violations but, according to Amnesty International, death sentences, unfair trials and the use of torture to extract confessions continued to be reported by Libya's Internal Security Agency.
Two recent incidents cast doubt on Libya's reformation and denunciation of terrorism. In September of 2006, following an apology by Pope Benedict XVI for quoting an obscure medieval text that criticized the teachings of Mohammed, Muammar Gaddafi's son remarked, "If this person were really someone reasonable, he would not agree to remain at his post one minute, but would convert to Islam immediately."
He added that Muslims "should not look for charity from the infidel…but should fight Islam's enemies who attack the faith and the Prophet Mohammed." Gaddafi himself stated that the Pope's apologies meant nothing to Muslims.
Further, last December, a Libyan court sentenced five Bulgarian nurses and an Arab-Palestinian doctor to death by firing squad for allegedly infecting 400 children with HIV. Gaddafi charged that the health workers were agents of the CIA and the Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, and had held them in custody since 1999. The accused were tortured, beaten, raped and forced to confe ss. On Al Jazeera TV, Gaddafi's son admitted that many of the children were already HIV-positive prior to the arrival of the Bulgarian team and confirmed that the health workers had been tortured with electric shocks and attack dogs, drugged and endured threats to their family members. Gaddafi demanded that the European Union compensate the families of each infected child at the rate of $13.3 million per child and called on then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair to initiate a full prisoner exchange deal that would have freed the convicted Lockerbie bomber, Ali Mohmed al Megrahi. Following the release of the prisoners and their "pardon" by the Bulgarian government, Gaddafi called on other Arab countries to sever diplomatic and economic ties with Bulgaria.
When it comes to their chartered responsibility to intervene in threats to international peace and security, the U.N Security Council has a sordid history that will doubtless be further abased with the addition of Libya. The Council's list of failures include lack of effective intervention in the genocides in Rwanda and Darfur; its creation of a corrupt 30 year "interim" "peacekeeping" force in Lebanon that aids and abets the Islamic paramilitary Hizbollah; its inability to condemn the brutal crackdown on pro-democracy forces in Burma; and its impotence in dealing with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's support for state sponsors of terrorism, nuclear enrichment program and calls to destroy a democratic member state; as well as a multitude of other failures too numerous to mention.
All are clear evidence that the so-called "Security" Council has been an inept body of the United Nations for decades. The recent election of Libya can only thrust the Council further into the depths of incompetence, rendering worthless any of the commitments set forth in its charter.

Janet Levy is the founder of ESG Consulting, an organization that offers project management, fundraising, promotion, event organizing and planning services for conservative political causes and issues related to terrorism and national security.

Hariri says he has evidence of Syrian assassination plots

Rym Ghazal
Daily Star staff (Arab media)
Wednesday, October 31, 2007

BEIRUT: The head of the parliamentary majority MP Saad Hariri was due to meet Free Patriotic leader Michel Aoun in Paris on Wednesday, after Hariri announced on Tuesday that he had evidence of Syrian assassination plots against himself and Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.
Hariri made the accusation after talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo on Tuesday in response to a question about alleged assassination plots by Syrian President Bashar Assad's brother-in-law and head of intelligence Assef Shawkat.
"We have intelligence about this and we are following it up," Hariri told reporters on Tuesday.
"The intelligence is correct and our security services are working on it," Hariri said.
Shawkat is among 10 Syrian officials and Lebanese politicians Washington accuses of undermining the Lebanese government, and who are banned from entering the United States.
"There is cooperation between Lebanese security services and Arab security services to avoid such assassinations," Hariri added, without specifying which countries were helping in the investigations.
Just hours after Hariri's announcement, Aoun's office in Lebanon told the media that the FPM leader was on his way to Paris to meet with Hariri.
Sources close to the FPM told The Daily Star that Aoun will meet with Hariri on Wednesday.
Hariri left for Paris on Tuesday night after concluding his meetings in Egypt, where he briefly met with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Hariri said his talks with Mubarak in Cairo focused on the upcoming presidential vote and "the interference of certain states to prevent the holding of these elections."
Hariri said that Mubarak had promised to help prevent "any interference in the Lebanese presidential election or anything that might prejudice the stability of Lebanon."
"We feel that this is a way of undermining Lebanese dialogue and Lebanese consensus," he said, after pointing out that most recent political assassination of a March 14 lawmaker came just a few days after Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri had appealed for dialogue.
Six people were killed in September in a Beirut car bombing, including MP Antoine Ghanem, just days before Parliament was scheduled to convene to choose a new president.
Hariri also met with Palestinian President Mahmmoud Abbas and other Palestinian officials in Cairo, where they discussed the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Hariri expressed his support for the Palestinian cause.
Earlier this month, Hariri was at the forefront of Lebanese efforts to push for the international court to try those behind his father killing, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and others, as he appealed for increased international pressure to set up a court as soon as possible.
"We asked for a harder position from the United Nations in the face of those assassinations," Hariri said told UN chief Ban Ki-moon in New York on October 9.
There was no response from Egyptian or Syrian officials to Hariri's statements.
The US State Department said Tuesday it cannot confirm Hariri's claims that Syria plotted his and Siniora's assassination.
"Without commenting on the specifics on those allegations, it's clear that there is a pattern of threat, intimidation and use of violence against those who are trying to further the process of political reform in Lebanon," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.
The State Department's top diplomat for the Middle East was meeting in Paris with French diplomats who are also worried about the upcoming election and the fate of the fragile Lebanon government.
US and French diplomats plan to hold a strategy session to help Lebanon's paralyzed democratic government ahead of crucial elections.
In meetings set for Wednesday in Paris, Assistant Secretary of State David Welch will meet French envoy Jean-Claude Cousseran as well as officials from the French president's office. The two sides will "emphasize our strong view that the next president must be chosen in accordance with the Constitution and repeat our strong view that this process needs to happen free of foreign interference," a State Department official said Tuesday.

Also Tuesday, Siniora held a joint news conference in Beirut with Saudi Ambassador Abdel-Aziz Khoja, during which the premier was asked about Hariri's comments, to which he responded: "It is true and we have been informed about it."
Siniora also stressed his government's commitment to the Lebanese Constitution and to holding presidential elections on time. "The government has always respected the Constitution and it will continue to do so," Siniora told reporters, adding that he never said he is against "amending it."
Hariri also mentioned in Cairo that there is possibility of an amendment, "only if there is agreement and consensus on amending the Constitution."
Concerning the letter sent to the UN, Siniora said that is a "position paper" in which the Lebanese government outlined the latest developments regarding the UN Resolution 1701, including the latest violations by Israel of Lebanon's sovereignty.
Siniora also thanked Saudi Arabia for offering $20 million to pay registration fees for all public school students.
For his part, Khoja told reporters that Saudi Arabia "will not bother with any stray comments made against Saudi Arabia from either the majority or the opposition camp."
Khoja also stressed that the Lebanese presidential election is an "internal Lebanese matter" and does not involve Saudi Arabia. "I have great faith that the various Lebanese leaders are making progress and that the elections will take place peacefully," he said.
Khoja also met with Berri, after which the Saudi ambassador informed the media that the speaker is "optimistic that the presidential election will happen on time."
"We have no opinion on any of the candidates, and it is up to the Lebanese to agree on one candidate," Khoja said on Tuesday after meeting Berri.
However, the head of the Democratic Gathering bloc, MP Walid Jumblatt, declared during an interview with Al-Jazeera television that he had called on the US to support a president elected by a "half plus one" formula.
"There is no other choice at this point ... but for the US and regional forces to support a president elected by half plus one," he said, as he called for sanctions on Syria.
Jumblatt also dismissed any possibility of an amendment to the Constitution.
"We are not going to change the Constitution to allow the head of the army to become president," Jumblatt said on Tuesday, referring to General Michel Suleiman, who has been named as a possible interim president if the Lebanese cannot reach a consensus.
"Suleiman can become president when he is not longer the commander of the army," Jumblatt said.
Jumblatt also called on Suleiman to preserve the army's role in maintaining stability by standing against any attempts to spread chaos.
Away from the barrage of statements made by senior Lebanese leaders, Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir received the recommendations of the Bkirki quartet committee.
Sfeir made a brief comment to the media after receiving the committee report, saying he will "study it" before making any further announcements.
Member of Hizbullah's politburo Sayyed Hussein Mousawai warned the Lebanese against handing over the decision on the presidency to the United States.
"Our disagreements are not about the [presidential] seat itself ... but rather about independence and dignity, where we refuse to hand over Lebanon to the US," Mousawai said during a ceremony in Baalbek.
Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has agreed to hold talks with his Syrian counterpart Walid Moallem in Istanbul this week, the French Foreign Ministry announced late Monday.
The announcement followed a visit to Syria by Kouchner's envoy, Jean-Claude Cousseran.
The upcoming Kouchner-Moallem meeting, the first since the French official refused to meet his Syrian counterpart during the UN General Assembly deliberations in September, will be held on the sidelines of a three-day conference on Iraq opening in Istanbul on Thursday.
Kouchner had cancelled a September meeting with Moallem in New York in response to the assassination of the Lebanese lawmaker Ghanem. - With agencies