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Iran Purchasing Israeli Vehicular Security System


In an ironic twist, Iran has ordered 15,000 vehicular security systems from a Chinese vendor. The devices are manufactured in Israel by the Sonar Company. According to a report in Yedioth Ahronoth, an Iranian government representative recently attended a security show in China where he saw the system. He then purchased 20 units which he took back with him, leading to Iranian government officials ordering an additional 15,000 systems, which are being installed in senior government vehicles, including the vehicle of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Esther Pollard: Bush is Willing to Free Pollard This Week


Jonathan Pollard's wife Esther said Monday that President Bush is ready to free the imprisoned Israeli - but that Prime Minister-designate Ehud Olmert has to make the request.

Speaking on Channel Two's Monday morning television talk program, she said, "Someone who is very close to President Bush came to me last night and said that Bush is ready to free Jonathan even in time for the upcoming Passover holiday [which starts Wednesday night] - as long as Olmert makes an official request."

She said that the source with whom she spoke is "known very well to Mr. Olmert as trustworthy and having close ties with the U.S. President. I am willing to meet with Olmert even today," Mrs. Pollard said, "if he invites me, in order to give him the information I have." A staffer in the Prime Minister's Office told Arutz-7 that such a meeting "would be considered" if Mrs. Pollard would turn to them and ask for one.

The Committee to Free Jonathan Pollard faxed a letter to Olmert Monday entitled, "Re: An Urgent Official Request to President Bush to Release Pollard." The committee wrote, "According to the information we have, Bush is willing to respond favorably to a request of this nature, and is anticipating such a request from you."

The letter also noted that before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the United States freed 1,000 Iraqis as a good-will holiday gesture to the Sunnis.

"We are surprised," the Committee wrote, "that you have not yet officially asked President Bush to free Jonathan Pollard as a Passover holiday gesture to the Jewish people... The fact that Israel, after 21 years, does not make an official and serious request for its agent's release in honor of the holiday gives the impression that we are not interested in him."

The Committee added that Pollard has been imprisoned far longer than those who were freed after spying for the United States' enemies.

Jonathan Pollard was a Navy intelligence analyst in the 1980s when he came across information vital to Israel's security that was not being transferred to the Jewish state - contrary to an intelligence-sharing agreement between the U.S. and Israel. He then passed along the information to Israel, ultimately helping Israel to protect itself from Iraqi missiles. He was later caught while trying to find asylum in the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Despite a plea bargain agreement, he received a life sentence with no parole for an offense that usually nets 2-4 years. In failing health, Jonathan Pollard is now in his 21st year of that sentence.

Despite the wide exposure his cause has received, many in the Jewish community continue to view Pollard as a traitor who deserves to remain in prison. He continues to be accused of having caused major harm to U.S. interests, including endangering American agents in the Soviet Union.

However, it is now known that a central force behind the promulgation of this impression was the man who actually betrayed the said U.S. agents in Russia - CIA agent-turned-KGB mole Aldrich Ames. Ames, finally arrested for spying in 1994, revealed to the Russians the names of every American spy in the Soviet Union, leading to the execution of several of them. As former Justice Department attorney John Loftus has documented, it was Ames himself, before he was caught, who was assigned the task of preparing the damage assessment of Pollard's activities - and he used the opportunity to attribute to Pollard the crimes that he himself had committed.

Speaking with Channel Two, Mrs. Pollard had harsh words for incoming Knesset Member Rafi Eitan, head of the Pensioners Party. The Pensioners won an unexpected seven Knesset seats in the recent election because of what is felt to be a protest vote by young and/or disenchanted voters. Eitan was Pollard's handler in the U.S. on behalf of the Mossad; Pollard charges that Eitan later held up a document that could have led to his release.

"He has shaken off his responsibility for Jonathan ever since the day of his capture," Mrs. Pollard said about Eitan. She charged that Eitan once said that if he were present when Pollard tried to find asylum in the Israeli Embassy, he would have "shot him in the head, thus ending the Pollard affair before it even began."

Asked about Pollard last week, Eitan said only, "I would very much like to see this man go free." He has also been quoted as saying that he has worked for Pollard's release, and that he hopes that when he is appointed as Cabinet minister in Olmert's new government, he would be able to use his influence to have Pollard freed.

Jonathan Pollard himself told Ma'ariv that Eitan "betrayed me and abandoned me for 21 years," and even testified falsely against him to the Americans.

Bush: Iran Attack Reports 'Wild Speculation'

By AFP, VOA News

While the White House is still warning Iran about its uranium enrichment, which Washington and its allies believe hides a nuclear weapons program, the administration has gone out of its way to play down reports of planning for military strikes.

The United States wants to settle the Iran nuclear crisis through diplomacy, President George W. Bush said on Monday, describing reports of plans to attack the Islamic Republic as "wild speculation."

The Washington Post reported Sunday that despite the fact that U.S. intelligence sources believe that Iran needs another 10 years before having nuclear weapons, Israel believes a critical breakthrough will happen within months, and is therefore pressuring the Americans.

President Bush said he read the reports and found them to be way off the mark. "What you are reading is wild speculation, which happens quite frequently here in the nation's capital." The president said he believes in a doctrine of prevention. But he made it clear that does not mean he believes the use of force is always warranted to deal with a perceived threat.

"We do not want the Iranians to have a nuclear weapon, the capacity to make a nuclear weapon, or the knowledge as to how to make a nuclear weapon," he said. "That is our stated goal."

White House Spokesman Scott McClellan also downplayed the prospects for the use of military force. He said no president ever takes the military option completely off the table, but he stressed the United States is seeking a diplomatic solution to this dispute.

In Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the reports, which also appeared in The New Yorker magazine, are part of a campaign of psychological warfare being waged by the United States. He said Iran would not be dissuaded from its nuclear goals. Iran insisted its nuclear program is designed to produce electricity. But the United States and other countries have accused Tehran of using the civilian program as a cover for the development of nuclear arms.

And Afif Safieh, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization's mission to the United States, told the Voice of America that "any threat to Israel by nuclear strikes is a threat to the Palestinian society."

Safieh told VOA that Iranian President Ahmadinejad's comments about wiping Israel off the map were "vehement, vociferous statements that didn't have any realistic dimension. I believe that they were extremely unhelpful to Iran itself and to Palestine as such."

Safieh pointed out the danger of such a threat, saying, "Any threat to Israel by nuclear strikes is a threat to the Palestinian society, because you are not unaware under Israel there is still Palestine, and among Israelis there are as many Palestinians who live there. So nuclear future strike, which I believe is implausible, will be a threat to the Palestinian society as well because of the interpenetration of both societies and the geographic overlapping of the two communities." He said such statements were "unnecessary, unwise, and unhelpful, to Iran and to Palestine."

Israel Takes Further Steps to Isolate Palestinian Authority

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel has taken further steps to isolate the Palestinian Authority, two weeks after the Islamic terrorist group Hamas took power. The Israeli measures have sparked angry Palestinian reaction. Israel has suspended formal security ties with the Palestinians, a day after it declared the new Hamas government a "hostile entity."

The army shut down a district coordination office outside the West Bank town of Jericho, the last security facility to be manned by both Israelis and Palestinians. It is a sign of the utter breakdown of the peace process, because security cooperation was a key element of the Oslo Accords signed in 1993.

Israeli spokesman Mark Regev said Israel is severing ties with the Palestinian government, because Hamas seeks the destruction of the Jewish state, and has rejected international demands to renounce violence. "Under Security Council Resolution 1373, it is illegal to have a cooperative relationship with a terrorist organization," said Regev.

That is one of the reasons why the United States and European Union have cut off nearly $1 billion in annual aid to the Palestinian Authority. As a result, the Hamas-led government is broke, after just two weeks in power, and it is unable to pay the salaries of 140,000 government employees, which are 10 days overdue.

Palestinian legislator Saeb Erekat says economic sanctions hurt the people, not the government. "We urge the American administration to do whatever it takes to ensure that we do not face a human catastrophe, due to the dire financial situation that we're facing.".

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Israel's decision to sever ties is a violation of peace agreements and international law. Hamas described Israel's position as a "declaration of war."

'Haredi Sex Commando' Targets XXX Web Sites


A group of ultra-orthodox hackers, shocked by the obscenity of some porn sites, has launched an internet campaign in a bid to cause such sites to crash. The hackers, already named at some internet forums the "ultra-orthodox sex commando," or the "ultra-orthodox electronic underground," focus their efforts at this point on Hebrew sites.

The first target was the Hebrew porn site – a mid-sized, not very popular site that features sex videos. Those who tried logging in to the site found instead a photo of the Lubavitch Rabbi with the text: "We, the religious-net group, hacked into this site and erased all obscenities. The other sites we plan on bringing down are listed below." (Editor's Note: As of Monday evening, the porn site remains up and running.)

The hackers erased the explicit content and wrote that "the holy kabbalah warns that the sin of spilling sperm in vain is the cause for most diseases and misfortune."

The ultra-orthodox website "Shofar" was hacked into several days ago. The religious content was replaced with anti-censorship and anti-religious items. It is unclear if the two incidents are related.

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