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MI Chief Expects Terrorists to Target Be'er Sheva Within Two Years

By Ha'aretz

Wednesday's rocket attack on an Ashkelon shopping mall prompted IDF Military Intelligence Chief, Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin to tell Ha'aretz that "every community within a 40-kilometer range may come within range of the Hamas rockets: Ashdod, Kiryat Gat, even Be'er Sheva."

Yadlin spoke in an interview to be published in full Friday in Ha'aretz Magazine. Security sources told Ha'aretz that after the visit to Israel by President George W. Bush, which ends on Friday, the IDF will step up offensive operations in the Gaza Strip. But the source said that at this time there are no plans to permanently take over parts of Gaza.

Bush Says US, Israel United Against Iran's Nuclear Ambitions

By Scott Stearns (VOA-Jerusalem) &

President George Bush said the United States and Israel are determined to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Bush is in Israel for events marking the nation's 60th anniversary.

Bush said America stands with the Jewish state in breaking up terrorist networks and opposing what he calls Iran's ambition to develop nuclear weapons. "Permitting the world's leading sponsor of terror to possess the world's deadliest weapons would be an unforgivable betrayal for future generations," he said. "For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his nation's nuclear program is about generating electricity not weapons.

Bush spoke at a special session of Israel's parliament marking the special relationship between the United States and Israel. Sixty years ago this week, U.S. President Harry Truman was the first to formally recognize Israel, just 11 minutes after its independence from British rule.

As part of this trip, Bush is hoping to encourage Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to agree on the outline of a separate Palestinian state before he leaves office in January. But his remarks to the Knesset made no mention of a timetable for that state or how to unite Palestinians who are divided between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Fatah in the West Bank.

Looking ahead 60 years, Bush said he envisions a Palestinian state governed by law, respecting human rights, and rejecting terror.

"From Cairo to Riyadh, to Baghdad and Beirut, people will live in free and independent societies, where a desire for peace is reinforced by ties of diplomacy, tourism, and trade," he said. "Iran and Syria will be peaceful nations, where today's oppression is a distant memory, where people are free to speak their minds and develop their talents. And al Qaida, Hizbullah and Hamas will be defeated, as Muslims across the region recognize the emptiness of the terrorists' vision and the injustice of their cause."

"Israel will be celebrating the 120th anniversary as one of the world's great democracies, a secure and flourishing homeland for the Jewish people. The Palestinian people will have the homeland they have long dreamed of and deserved - a democratic state that is governed by law, and respects human rights, and rejects terror."

The president and Mrs. Bush have been the guests of honor at a series of events marking Israel's 60th anniversary. But it is a time of sadness for Palestinians who were displaced by Israel's founding.

Bush leaves Israel Friday for Saudi Arabia and talks with King Abdallah. He will then travel to Egypt for separate meetings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Jordanian King Abdullah, and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Earlier Thursday, Bush toured the Roman-era desert fortress of Masada. A cable car carried Bush to the top of the towering plateau, where in an act chronicled by a 1st-century historian, 960 Jewish men, women and children committed suicide rather than surrender to Roman forces crushing a rebellion in ancient Judea.

At Masada, Bush and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert viewed ruins including a water collection system that sustained besieged Jewish zealots at the sand-colored sanctuary.

"The courage and bravery of those who fought at Masada can be seen in Israelis today," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said before Bush's visit to the site of ancient Roman ramparts overlooking the Dead Sea.

One theme repeated in Bush's speech at a special Knesset session was the rejection of appeasement and negotiations with terrorists. In the same speech, and echoed in Olmert's speech, Bush praised Israel's concessions for peace and envisioned a Palestinian State.

"You won't ever see that happen," Knesset member Hendel shouted towards Olmert as the two right-wing MKs left the plenum.

"No nation should ever be forced to negotiate with killers pledged to its destruction," President Bush told the Knesset, adding that "we stand together against terror and extremism, and we will never let down our guard or lose our resolve." He went on to note that "the founding charter of Hamas calls for the elimination of Israel" and that "the President of Iran dreams of returning the Middle East to the Middle Ages and calls for Israel to be wiped off the map."

Bush then decried negotiations with "terrorists and radicals" as "the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

Palestinians Express Anger on 60th Anniversary of Israel's Creation

By Jim Teeple (VOA-Jerusalem)

Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on Thursday marked the 60th anniversary of the 1948 war that followed Israel's independence, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, obeying orders from Arab big shots, fled into exile.

Thousands of Palestinian schoolchildren gathered at Manara Square in downtown Ramallah to release black balloons over the city to commemorate what Palestinians call the Nakba, or the catastrophe, when Israel was founded 60 years ago.

Many Palestinians like Maha, who declined to give her last name, said they were angry with President George W. Bush for not visiting the Palestinian territories as he did in January during his last visit to the region.

"Yes it means a lot. How come he celebrates the establishment or the 60th anniversary of Israel and does not look at the other side of the coin, the other face of the coin?" Maha asked.

In his annual Nakba speech Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for reconciliation and unity among Palestinians - divided since last year's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas militants. Tensions were high in Gaza after Hamas security forces stopped Fatah allies of President Abbas from holding a Nakba rally.

In his Nakba speech to Palestinians Abbas said he would continue peace talks with Israel, aimed at reaching some sort of framework peace agreement by the end of this year. Abbas will meet with Bush this Saturday in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Why Israelis Love Life


An Asia Times article, explaining why Israel is the "world's happiest country," cites statistics showing that Israel leads the world in the national gap between fertility and suicide rates.

The author, identified only as Spengler, compiled and compared the fertility rates and suicide rates of 35 industrial countries, and found that Israelis "appear to love life and hate death more than any other nation."

Spengler explained that he compared "the proportion of people who choose to create new life, against the proportion who choose to destroy their own. Israel stands alone, positioned in the upper-left-hand-quadrant, or life-loving, portion of the chart."

Israel's fertility rate (births per woman) is 2.77, according to Spengler, while its suicide rate is 6.2 per 100,000 people. In the U.S., however, the numbers are only 2.1 and 11, respectively, and in France they are 1.98 and 18. The gaps in the numbers of many of the other countries are on the chart are even wider.

"It's easy for the Jews to talk about delighting in life," Spengler wrote in another Asia Times article, because "they are quite sure that they are eternal, while other peoples tremble at the prospect impending extinction. It is not their individual lives that the Jews find so pleasant, but rather the notion of a covenantal life that proceeds uninterrupted through the generations."

"Israel is surrounded by neighbors willing to kill themselves in order to destroy it," Spengler writes. He notes that Muslims teach, "As much as you love life, we love death" - a formula found in a Palestinian Authority textbook for second graders as well.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia ranks 171st on an international quality of life index, Spengler writes, while "Israel is tied with Singapore on this index, although it should be observed that Israel ranks a runaway first on my life-preference index, whereas Singapore comes in dead last."

Spengler suggests traditional Jewish faith in God as the reason for Jewish joy. Muslim faith, however, is of the type that encourages a form of fatalism, he feels: "Arabs did not invent suicide attacks, but they have produced a population pool willing to die in order to inflict damage greater than any in history. One cannot help but conclude that Muslim clerics do not exaggerate when they express contempt for life."

UK `Apprentice' Contestant: The Hunt for Kosher Chicken

By Ha'aretz

A task to find a kosher chicken in Marrakech (Morocco) caused a stir on the BBC's version of The Apprentice this week, when the self-declared Jewish contestant headed straight for a halal butcher to procure the poultry.

The luckless Michael Sophocles came in for a blasting from the competition's businessman overlord, Sir Alan Sugar, himself Jewish, who questioned Sophocles' religious background after the contestant said that he did not know the meaning of the word "l'chaim."

"In your CV, what's the first thing you wrote on it?" Sugar demanded of Sophocles. "What did you say in there, you're a good Jewish boy? Is that right?"

Upon receiving an ambiguous response, Sugar told him: "If you're unsure you can always pull your trousers down and we can check. Is it right you went to a Muslim halal butcher and asked him to get you a kosher chicken? and he actually made a prayer over it?" Sugar asked.

When Sophocles replied in the affirmative, Sugar continued: "Are you having a laugh or what? I don't know why you didn't go the whole hog and find a Roman Catholic priest to take the butcher to confession."

Sir Alan then asked Sophocles if he knew the meaning of "l'chaim" - a Hebrew expression meaning "to life," which is frequently used by Jews in toasts. Sophocles admitted that he did not know what the word meant, but did know "what the word schmuck means."

Sugar's amazement at this gap in knowledge of Jewish custom elicited Sophocles' admission that he was in fact half-Jewish, which led Sugar to question the contestant whether he had included his religious background as "some kind of thing for me to sympathize with you, treat you a little bit differently."

Sophocles denied the charge, and Sugar let the issue go as he continued to lambaste the team for their poor performance. Sophocles narrowly missed dismissal from the competition, whose prize is six-figure salary and a job in Sugar's organization, as task leader Jennifer Maguire was ousted.

In the discussion Sugar had with his two associates prior to the final elimination, Sophocles was branded a "waste of space" by one, while the other marveled that even he, as a Catholic, knew what kosher was.

PA Children's TV: Tel Aviv Doesn't Exist

By WorldNetDaily

A children's television program broadcast by the recognized terrorist organization Hamas has told viewers that Tel Aviv does not exist; instead it is the Palestinian city of Tel Al-Rabi'.

The programming is being publicized by the Middle East Media Research Institute, which has posted the video on its website. WND has reported earlier on similar programming that once featured President George W. Bush being "killed" as well as a children's Mickey Mouse-lookalike being "martyred" for the Palestinian cause.

A year ago, WND also reported an online forum tied to the website of Hamas posted a photo of a little girl in a combat vest and the head band of the terrorist Al-Qassam Brigades.

The message accompanying the photo said the girl "is part of the Muslim generation which will go down in history [as a generation] … that refused to [accept] humiliation and defeat."

The latest excerpt is from the Hamas children's show called "The Pioneers of Tomorrow," and aired on Al-Aqsa television on May 9, MEMRI said.

A "bunny" and a man are talking: Assud the Bunny: Grandpa, where did you live? In what city? Grandpa: We used to live in the most beautiful place in Palestine. Assud: Where? Grandpa: My dear, you've never seen such a place. I used to live in Tel Al-Rabi' [the Arab word for "spring," which is "Aviv" in Hebrew]. What a beautiful place. My God, when I recall Tel Al-Rabi', which the Zionists have called...

Assud: There's no such place called Tel Al-Rabi'. What's the matter, Grandpa? Have you gone senile? Grandpa: I'm not senile. My head is working just fine. How can you say I'm senile? This place was called Tel Al-Rabi', but the Zionists and Jews Hebraicized the name to 'Tel Aviv.' Where did this 'Tel Aviv' come from? It has been Tel Al-Rabi' for generations, on the land of Palestine, right next to Yafa. How can you say I've gone senile? I know this.

"My head still works just fine. Are you trying to confuse me? I'm not senile yet. I have documents and proof. I have all the papers here. The documents are right here with me. How can you say I'm senile? I have all the documents with me. Here they are. Everything is here, from the days of the British and even before. This is our land, as well as the fields, the trees, and the houses. I can even show you the key. You're calling me senile? I have proof.

Assud: Forgive me, Grandpa, it's not our fault. It's the fault of the school curricula, which did not teach us that Tel Aviv is in fact Tel Al-Rabi', and vice versa.

Grandpa: No, my dear, take it from me. I know, and I have the papers and the land deeds. The name Tel Al-Rabi' has been forged by the Jews and Hebraicized to 'Tel Aviv.' They invented all these names. 'Ashdod' is, in fact, Isdud. 'Ashkelon' is, in fact, Al-Majdal. Where did they get these names? Al-Sab' is called 'Beer Sheva'! It's all a lie. There are all pseudonyms. Yafa, Al-Lydd, Al-Ramla, Al-Sab' – they changed all these names and Hebraicized them, and now they say: That's Tel Al-Rabi'? There is no such thing. It's Tel Aviv. It's all a lie. All these names were Hebraicized by the Jews.

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