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Second Warning for Muslims to leave U.S. Before Attack


Another Pakistani journalist is reporting receiving another threat – this one from a senior Taliban leader – warning all Muslims to leave the U.S. in anticipation of a major terrorist attack before the end of Ramadan.

The head of the Islamabad-based al-Quds Center reported receiving an audio message from Mullah Masoom Afghani urging U.S. Muslims to get out of the country "because Allah's punishment would fall on America in the month of Ramadan." Muslims are observing Ramadan this year Sept. 24 to Oct. 23.

Ahmadinejad: God Told Me We Would Win


While the West is preparing to impose sanctions on Iran, due to the country's failure to suspend its nuclear activities, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is still optimistic. "We shall win," he was quoted in the Iranian media as saying Monday, and added: "One day I will be asked whether I have been in touch with someone who told me we would win, and I will respond: 'Yes, I have been in touch with God.'"

"We must not be afraid of them," he stated, hinting to the western countries. Ahmadinejad also noted that although he was at times mocked for his preoccupation with spiritual matters and his use of "divine" words," he was nevertheless certain that Iran would prevail, after having secured the support of international public opinion for its cause.

Meanwhile, Iranian news agencies reported Monday that Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi addressed the possibility of an attack on Iran and said, "If Americans and Zionists want to try their luck in Iran, they will experience a larger defeat than in Iraq."

Safavi added during a memorial service held at his headquarters: "We are obligated to our fallen to maintain the readiness and deal a powerful blow on the enemies in case of an attack.

"The blood of our shahids (martyrs) will bring about not only the liberation of Jerusalem and Karbala (Iraq) but the liberation of all mankind from the evil powers of the world; the blood of our shahids boiled the blood of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, and they will overcome the evil Americans and Israel."

Israeli President, Beset by Scandal, Skips Knesset Opening

By Jim Teeple (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israeli President Moshe Katsav, on Monday did not appear at the opening of the winter session of the Israeli Knesset, or parliament, one day after senior police officials recommended he be indicted on rape charges, as well as other criminal offenses. Pressure is growing on Israel's president to resign from his largely ceremonial post.

Talk is growing in Israel's Knesset of bringing impeachment charges against Katsav, and pressure is growing on the veteran politician to resign from his post as Israel's head of state. He was elected to the largely ceremonial post in 2000, and his term ends next year.

One of Katsav's main duties is to open parliament. His failure to appear at Monday's opening session comes one day after senior police officials recommended that he be indicted on charges of rape, aggravated sexual assault, illegal wiretapping and fraud.

The charges will be the most serious ever faced by an Israeli politician, if Israel's attorney general decides to bring an indictment. Katsav, a veteran politician, who is a member of the right-of-center Likud party, says he is innocent. His brother Lior says the president is being blackmailed by a former female employee who worked in the president's office.

Lior Katsav said his brother is innocent, is being framed and is being blamed for things that never happened.

President Katsav has parliamentary immunity, but, if he is impeached, he could face trial. A number of parliamentarians and Cabinet members, including Education Minister Yuli Tamir, have called on the president to step down.

"I think that the president should announce his resignation from his post," said Tamir. "The Number One citizen of Israel [Katsav] is accused of such crimes; it is unbearable, that it is unbearable to even think he will stay in his presidency."

Police say the charges against Katsav are based on interviews with as many as 10 women. Police have also interviewed Mr. Katsav on several occasions, and, in August, they searched the presidential residence, seizing numerous documents.

Israeli Ingenuity: A Biodetector Alert System


Israeli scientists have taken the standard smoke detector to a new level, creating a device that alerts those in the area when any biological hazard (read: harmful bacteria) is in the air.

Israeli startup Biological Alarm Systems Ltd. has developed a system to detect biological hazards in public places, according to an interview published this week on the Israel21c website. The new device, called the BAS101, addresses an issue which has become increasingly important as the threat of biological warfare looms ahead – how to protect the average citizen in day to day life.

International leaders are taking the threat seriously. In May 2006, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Anan called upon the international community to establish a forum to address the issue, albeit a bit late; international terror organization al-Qaeda had already prepared a step-by-step manual on how to develop biological and other weapons five years before.

The manual, discovered by Western intelligence agents, contained specific instructions on how to create biological weapons, including "exact formulas for the production of deadly toxins botulinum and ricin..." Such substances could then easily be introduced into ventilation systems of major population centers such as subway systems, airports, hospitals, shopping malls and other high-traffic areas.

It is precisely this type of scenario that the BAS101 was designed to prevent, according to BAS founder and chief scientist Alex Keinan who immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union in 1974. The device monitors airborne particles, collecting them in a receptacle and then transferring them to a biological unit which then traps any dangerous bacteria.

"Not only can the BAS alert you to airborne biological threats on the spot, but within minutes it gives a definitive answer of whether it's anthrax or another biological hazard. Therefore action can be taken immediately without the need to wait for the results from the lab," Keinan said.

The system works like an early-warning smoke detector, but instead is used in public areas where terrorists could target a large number of people with biological warfare. It is a small unit – 10 pounds – but has a rapid response time and, according to Keinan, requires little maintenance, increasing its cost effectiveness. Most important to decision-makers in homeland security arenas – Keinan says it works.

"Sensitivity and selectivity are the two important issues, he says. "You only need a very small amount of a biological agent to cause great damage, so the monitor has to be extremely sensitive." However, he adds, it is equally important that the device be able to screen out the tiny amount of hazardous biological material naturally found in the air in order to avoid false alarms. Keinan says the BAS101 can do it.

Descendants of King David Plan Israel Reunion

By Aaron Klein (Copyright 2006

An international foundation is seeking to gather Jewish descendants of King David, the second biblical king of Israel, for a reunion next year in Jerusalem aimed at fostering Jewish unity.

"King David was the first and essentially the only king of Israel to unite all of the Jewish people under one kingdom," said Susan Roth, CEO and founder of the Eshet Chayil Foundation, a group that sponsors Jewish charitable organizations and promotes Jewish education.

"In these times of conflict and divisiveness it is very fitting to make a public expression of unity, a demonstration to show it is time for the Jewish people to be joined together while common enemies from around the world once again seek our destruction," Roth said.

Roth also founded the Davidic Dynasty, which is sponsored by the Eshet Chayil Foundation and seeks to promote awareness about Jewish history and Jewish ties to the land of Israel through the life and leadership of King David. The Dynasty will hold a conference and a first-ever reunion of Davidic descendants in Jerusalem.

The reunion in Jerusalem is slated for May 28-30, honoring the 40-year reign of David and coinciding with the 40th year anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, which was recaptured by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War.

"At this critical time when Israel faces existential dangers that deny Jews have an eternal right to our homeland, we must restore our glorious pride as a nation and say that we will not allow Israel to be destroyed," said Roth.

Highlights of the reunion include a recitation at the Western Wall of Psalms, which King David authored; visits to archaeological sites connected to David; lectures from scholars and genealogy experts; and the dedication of a Torah scroll in honor of King David.

David initially established his kingdom in Hebron, which is 20 miles south of Jerusalem and is believed to be home to the resting place of the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah. After ruling in Hebron for seven years, David conquered Jerusalem, uniting Israel's tribes and establishing the Jewish state's capital.

The story of King David is told throughout the Bible's books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles. He is believed to have reigned from 1005 until about 965 BCE.

Jewish descent from David can be traced through oral tradition, rabbinic sources, historical data and extensive research, explained Chaim Freedman, a renowned Israeli genealogist who is serving as an advisor to the Davidic Dynasty.

Freedman said after the cessation of the Jewish monarchy following the destructions of the Jewish Temples, the line of David was carefully preserved and guarded. "The Messiah will come from the line of David," Freedman explained. "It was considered important for multiple reasons for Jews to trace their lineage."

Many great rabbis and Jewish leaders have said they are descended from David. Rashi, the 11th century author of one of the most authoritative commentaries, said he was a descendant, as did the leaders of the Jewish communities in Babylon, where the Jews were exiled and maintained a de-facto civil government until they were expelled to Spain in the 14th century.

In Spain, Rabbi Isaac Luria, a Jewish scholar and founder of one of the most important branches of Kaballah, wrote he was a descendant. Later, the leaders of the Jewish Chassidic movement in Europe, including its founder, Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, also known as the Baal Shem Tov, stated they were descendants. Rabbi Judah Hanasi, editor of the Mishnah, the authoritative recording of Jewish oral law, was also said to have been a descendent of King David.

"Most families claim descent from King David through Rashi, which is matrilineal descent since Rashi only had daughters," explained Chaim Freedman. "Several families claim descent directly from father to son, while others trace their lineage through oral tradition and family trees to other great Jewish scholars, such as the Baal Shem Tov," he concluded.

In Christianity, the very first verse of the Gospel of Matthew states Jesus is the "son of David."

The Davidic Dynasty, through its research staff, helps those who have a tradition of descendancy to trace their lineage. The group is procuring what it says will be the largest collection of Davidic lineage charts, including family trees and birth-line connections to Jewish sages descended from David.

The material will be available at the upcoming International Davidic Dynasty Genealogy Center and Museum in Jerusalem's Old City, which is being founded by Roth's organization.

The museum is slated to feature archaeological artifacts from the times of David, audiovisual and multimedia presentations and a glass figurine exhibit depicting the life of King David as told in the Bible, explained museum coordinator Yisroel Cohen.

"The idea of the museum is that Jews from all over the world – religious and secular – should come in and feel that they are a part of a spectacular heritage that comes straight from the Bible," Cohen said.

Roth, who says she is a Davidic descendant through Rashi and from prominent Chassidic leaders, explained why she decided to launch the reunion this year:

"Israel is being bombarded by its enemies from without and even has its own perils from within – Jewish assimilation, intermarriage and those who wish to forfeit their Jewish identity and birthright. These elements are also threatening our very existence. Now is the time to make a statement of Jewish unity and pride.

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