Newsletter : 6fax0926.txt
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Assad Overture Rebuffed
Israel Faxx News Services
Israel has rebuffed a peace-or-else ultimatum issued by Syrian President Bashar Assad.
He told a German newspaper Sunday that his country sought peace with Israel but could
resort to war if necessary, an apparent reference to Syria's bedrock demand that it regain
all of the Golan Heights under any accord. "I don't say that Israel should be wiped off
the map. We want to make peace with Israel," Assad told Der Spiegel. "But my personal
opinion, my hopes for peace, could change one day. And if this hope disappears, then war
may really be the only solution."
Lebanese Christian Leader: Israel War Was Catastrophe for Lebanon
By VOA News
A prominent Lebanese Christian leader said the month-long conflict between Hizbullah
and Israel was a major catastrophe for Lebanon. Samir Geagea was speaking Sunday at a
rally attended by tens of thousands of his supporters in the town of Harissa, north of
Geagea rejected Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah's claim of victory in the fight
against Israel. The Christian former warlord says the majority of Lebanese feel their
country has suffered a catastrophe that makes their present and future uncertain.
Nasrallah proclaimed victory Friday in a mass rally in Beirut attended by hundreds of
thousands of Lebanese Shia Muslims. He also vowed that Hizbullah would hold onto its
Geagea said Lebanon would not become a strong state if Hizbullah continues to receive
smuggled weapons and functions as a state-within-a-state.
The Christian leader's Lebanese Forces Party is a member of the anti-Syrian coalition
in Lebanon's parliament. The coalition holds a majority in parliament and supports the
pro-Western government of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.
One Arab's Apology
By Emilio Karim Dabul (Commentary)
September 25, 2006 -- Well here it is, five years late, but here just the same: an
apology from an Arab-American for 9/11. No, I didn't help organize the killers or
contribute in any way to their terrible cause. However, I was one of
millions of Arab-Americans who did the unspeakable on 9/11: nothing.
The only time I raised my voice in protest against these men who killed thousands of
innocents in the name of Allah was behind closed doors, among the safety of friends and
family. I did at one point write a very vitriolic essay condemning their actions, but fear
of becoming another Salman Rushdie kept me from ever trying to publish it.
Well, I'm sick of saying the truth only in private - that Arabs around the world,
including Arab-Americans like myself, need to start holding our own culture accountable
for the insane, violent actions that our extremists have
perpetrated on the world at large. Yes, our extremists and our culture.
Every single 9/11 hijacker was Arab and a Muslim. The apologists (including President
Bush) tried to reassure us that 9/11 had nothing to do with Islam, but was a twisting of a
great and noble religion. With all due respect, read
the Koran, Mr. President. There's enough there for someone of extreme tendencies to find
their way to a global jihad.
There's also enough there for someone of a different mindset to find a path to
enlightenment and peace. Still, Rushdie had it right back in 2001: This does have to do
with Islam. A Christian who bombs an abortion clinic in the name of God is still a
Christian, at least in his interpretation, and saying otherwise doesn't negate the fact
that he has spent a goodly amount of time figuring out his version of the one true and
right thing to do.
The men who killed 3,000 of our citizens on 9/11 in all likelihood died saying prayers
to Allah, and that by itself is one of the most horrific things to me about that day. And,
while my grandparents never waged a jihad, their attitudes toward Jews weren't that much
different than Mohammed Atta's. No, they didn't support the Holocaust, but they did
believe that Jews were trouble in many different ways, and those sorts of beliefs were
passed on to me before
I'd ever actually met a Jew.
I'm sorry for that, for ever believing that anything that my grandparents or other
relatives had to say about Jews or Israel, for that matter, had any real resemblance to
truth. It took me years to realize that I'd been conned into
believing the generalizations and stereotypes that millions around the Arab world buy
into: that Jews, America and Israel are our main problem.
One look at the average Arab regime should alert us to the fact that the problem, dear
Achmed, lies not overseas or next door in Tel Aviv, but in the brutal, corrupt despots
that we have bred from country to country in the Mideast, across the span of history. That
history and its corresponding economic devastation is the main reason I reside on New York
City's West Bank - New Jersey - not the one near Jerusalem. On my worst day, I'm happy
fact. I'd rather be here than there, and experience the freedom and boundless
opportunities that were mostly unknown to so many generations of my family in the
For as long as I live, the image of those towers falling, as I watched in horror and
disbelief from the corner of 40th and Fifth, will be for me my Pearl Harbor, for in that
instant I recognized that not only was our city under attack so was our freedom. It still
is. And will continue to be for years to come.
And the threat is not from within, but from Islamic fascists who desperately want to
destroy the freedom and opportunities that millions the world over still seek.
Five years after that awful day, it's time for all Arab-Americans and Arabs around the
world, to protest against Islamic fascism, to raise our voices - and, where necessary, our
arms - against these tyrants until their plague of terror has been driven from the face of
the earth forever.
Emilio Karim Dabul is a freelance writer and PR consultant living in New Jersey.
PA Raises Demands for Release of IDF Captives
While Hamas and Fatah cannot get together on a unity government, they are united in
demanding increasingly more for the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.
Shalit was abducted by an eight-man Hamas terrorist cell in late June when he was
manning a tank just outside the Gaza border. Two soldiers were killed in that attack.
Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas said that Israel must release Marwan
Barghouti and Ahmed Saadat if it wants to see Shalit again. Barghouti is serving five life
sentences for the murder of Israelis, while Saadat was the mastermind of the killing of
Israel's Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi in 2001.
Not to be outdone, Hamas official Mahmoud A-Zahar said that Israel must release not
only female and teenaged terrorists imprisoned in Israel, but all of the long-time
terrorist prisoners - including those incarcerated for the murder of Jews.
A-Zahar, a long-time mortal foe of Israel - he told BBC in 2003, "I'm telling you
frankly, the attitude of Islam is not to accept a foreign state in this area" - blamed
Israel for the lack of progress in the talks on the release of Shalit.
The issue of the terrorists in Israeli prisons has long been an acute one for the PA -
largely because PA society views those held as prisoners, and not as terrorists. For
example, a senior Hamas leader named Dr. Ahmed Bahar spoke at a recent Gaza gathering and
said, "If an Israeli soldier has a mother, we have 10,000 prisoners who also have
mothers." He did not mention at all the crimes for which the thousands are being held. Nor
did he note that the abducted Israeli is not treated to basic necessities such as contact
with his family, as opposed to the incarcerated Arabs.
A spokesman for Hamas said, "Israel will not receive a single snippet of information
regarding Shalit's fate and will continue to live in uncertainty regarding his condition,
until Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert executes the exchange deal [for the
Knesset member Effie Eitam (National Union) warned Olmert not to cave in to the demand
to release Barghouti, saying it would be "moral bankruptcy." Eitam said such a move would
"destabilize the framework of law and justice in Israel. Abu Mazen's demand to release a
murderer of innocent people reveals the true face of the government's new partner. It
proves that the voice is the voice of Abu Mazen, and the hands are those of Hamas."
Israel's two other kidnapped soldiers of this year are Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev,
abducted by Hizbullah into southern Lebanon on July 12, in an attack that set off the
recent war in Lebanon. Their release is barely even being discussed.
Hizbullah chieftain Sheikh Nasrallah "spit in the face of the organized community of
nations," according to Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev, when he addressed a
mass rally in Beirut over the weekend. Nasrallah said that Hizbullah would not agree to be
disarmed under the current Lebanese government, that the terrorist group is now stronger
than ever, and that it has more than 20,000 rockets - more than it claimed before the war.
Israel Intended to Assassinate Nasrallah After Ceasefire
Israel planned to assassinate Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah a number of days
after the ceasefire went into effect, Channel 2 News reported on Monday night.
There were many opinions heard on Monday after Nasrallah addressed hundreds of
thousands of supporters in southern Beirut over the weekend. Knesset member (Yisrael
Beitenu) Avigdor Lieberman stated Nasrallah should not have left the event alive. Former
Mossad Director Shabtai Shavit told Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) on Monday that if the
situation permitted, he would have ordered the terrorist leader taken out during the
victory rally over the weekend,
National Infrastructure Minister (Labor) Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, a former defense
minister, disagreed; stating such a move over the weekend would have placed northern
Israel under attack once again, in the heart of the holiday season.
Israel's Jewish Population Decreasing
According to Central Bureau of Statistics data, the population of the State of Israel
at the end of 2005 was comprised of 6,990,700 people, of which 5,313,800 were Jewish (76
percent of the entire population), and 1,377,100 were Arab (19.7 percent) according to
data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
The data also showed that since 2000, the Jewish population has decreased by 1.8
percent, while the Muslim population has increased during the past five years by 1.1 to
1,140,600. The birth rate in Israel has decreased over the past two years by about 4
percent, from 2.95 in 2003, to 2.84 in 2005.
Life expectancy in Israel has risen to 78.3 years for men, and 82.38 years for woman.
Likewise, there has been an increase in the gap between the life expectancy age of the
Jewish population and the Muslim population.
In 2005, 21,000 people made aliyah. Of those, 9,400 were from the former Soviet Union,
and account for 44 percent of new immigrants, where as 3,600 were from Ethiopia,
accounting for about 17 percent of olim.
Man Arrested for Blowing Shofar at Western Wall
Shades of the 1920s: A Jewish man was hauled off to the Old City police station in the
middle of prayer for sounding the shofar during Rosh HaShanah services at the area known
as the Kotel HaKatan.
The incident occurred around 7:30 a.m., at the northern-most section of the accessible
Western Wall - a little-known area called the Kotel HaKatan, the Small Wall. It is
considered to have extra sanctity, as it stands opposite the presumed spot of the Holy of
Holies of the Beit HaMikdash.
Sunday morning, a group of some 10 men and two women gathered at the site, as they have
done for several years on Rosh HaShanah, for early-morning prayers. The holiday prayers
feature the blowing of the shofar (ram's horn) at several different times. Towards the end
of the first shofar sounding, a Border Guard policeman came in, made an unclear motion
with his hand as if to ask what was going on, and then left. He said nothing.
Shortly afterwards, Eliyahu K., the 20-year-old prayer leader, blew the shofar a second
time, in the midst of his silent prayer (in accordance with Sephardic custom). Policemen
came in once again and began trying to pull him away. However, Eliyahu was in the midst of
reciting the Amidah - a long passage during which one must stand in one place without
moving - and he therefore did not move.
The policemen informed their supervisors by radio that he was praying and refused to
move, and reinforcements were soon sent - no fewer than 20 policemen, according to several
witnesses. They then started dragging him out, and when they stopped for a moment, he got
up and resumed his prayers. They then began to drag him away again, and shortly afterwards
again stopped for a moment - and again he resumed his prayers. At this point, the
policemen allowed him to complete his prayers.
In the meanwhile, the other members of the prayer group came out and tried to prevent
the policemen from taking Eliyahu away. At this point, the policemen started swinging
their clubs violently; no one was hospitalized, but "it was a big brawl," in the words of
one witness, with many people being dragged around and beaten while wearing their
prayer-shawls and Sabbath suits.
Meanwhile, Eliyahu was taken to the small police station at the Western Wall plaza, and
several of his friends followed him there. They wanted to go up the steps into the police
station, and demanded that at least the shofar be returned, but the police again came down
with their clubs.
They finally took Eliyahu by foot, accompanied by his fiancé, all the way around
the Old City, past Mt. Zion and through Jaffa Gate, to the Kishle police station inside
Jaffa Gate. At this point, there was no longer any violence, and Eliyahu was released
around 11:30 - after being charged with attacking a policeman, disturbing a policeman in
the line of duty, and disturbing the public order.
One witness related, "It's not only that they stopped him from blowing the shofar, but
rather the fact that the police beat us up very harshly. I was on my way to the Wall for
prayers when I saw 5-7 policemen going with Eliyahu and protecting him very closely. I
walked after them, and then a few of his friends came, and then the violence started. We
asked the policemen to return the shofar, and they started kicking us and punching us."
The worshipers said that the police had apparently been called by an Arab woman who
said the sound of the ram's horn disturbed her children.
A Jewish resident of the Old City told Arutz-7, "How ironic. The loud Arab weddings and
nightly prayers by the muazzin [over a powerful loudspeaker] at 4:30 a.m. disturb our
sleep every night." Similar complaints are heard from Jews living near Arab villages in
Judea and Samaria.
A member of the Jerusalem Police spokesman's office, contacted by Arutz-7 for a
statement on the matter and asked whether this signified a new policy towards
shofar-blowing at the Wall, said, "When we have an answer for you, I will get back to
The rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, told Arutz-7, "This is a very
grave incident, and I have asked the local police commander, Yossi Priente, to check into
it - both the violence and the prevention of the shofar blowing. It reminds us of the days
of the British Mandate when Jews [had to make] super-human efforts to blow the shofar at
the Western Wall."
He was referring to the 1ate 1920s, when the British, in an attempt to appease the
Arabs, and following violence at the Wall, forbade shofar-blowing at the Wall. In one
famous incident in 1929, a man named Moshe Segal blew the shofar at the conclusion of Yom
Kippur - and was immediately arrested by the British. Though he had fasted for the
previous 25 hours, the British detained him without food until midnight, when he was
released. It was later reported that the release came about when then-Chief Rabbi Avraham
Yitzchak Kook informed the commander that he himself would not eat until Segal was
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