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Hamas Blocks `Licentious' Websites


Hamas leaders in Gaza have announced plans to block "licentious" websites from Gaza computers.

A telecommunications official said Sunday that at least 5,000 sites had been blocked so far. However, he said, many sites deemed inappropriate would remain available due to a lack of proper equipment to block all of the sites on Hamas's blacklist.

Gaza has seen a crackdown on people and institutions seen as "un-Islamic" over the past several months, including bombings of cafes, hairdressers, and pharmacies and attacks on the area's small Christian community.

Olmert Threatens Gaza Offensive as Truce Efforts Continue

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel said time is running out for a peaceful resolution of the crisis in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, but ceasefire efforts are continuing.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Gaza is at a crossroads. He told the Cabinet that the daily Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israel from Gaza are intolerable.

Hinting at a major military offensive against the Islamic terrorist group Hamas, which rules Gaza, Olmert said this situation could not continue. He promised to restore peace and quiet to Israeli communities on the Gaza border.

Israel has been considering an offensive for months, but it held off because of this month's celebrations of its 60th anniversary and last week's visit by President George Bush.

Israel also fears an invasion of Gaza would cause high casualties among Israeli soldiers and Palestinian civilians, so it has not closed the doors on a ceasefire mediated by Egypt. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak will travel Monday to Egypt to discuss a truce with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Under the truce proposal, both sides would halt attacks and Israel would lift its crippling blockade on Gaza. But Hamas has rejected two key Israeli conditions: an end to weapons smuggling from Egypt and the release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been held for nearly two years by Hamas in Gaza.

Bush Urges Israel to Make 'Tough Sacrifices'

By VOA News

President George W. Bush said Sunday that Israel must make tough sacrifices, and that Palestinians must fight terrorism, in order to reach a peace deal this year.

Bush made the comments in the Egyptian Sinai town of Sharm El-Sheikh at a forum of political and business leaders. He then departed for Washington, ending a five-day visit to the Middle East.

In his speech, Bush reiterated his commitment to secure a deal on Palestinian statehood by the time he leaves office in January. He also called on Israel to ease restrictions on Palestinians, and he urged the Palestinians to continue building the institutions for a free and peaceful society.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that his people were "angered" by Bush's praise of Israel in a speech to the Israeli parliament on Thursday. Bush only briefly mentioned Palestinian statehood aspirations in that address, which was meant to celebrate Israel's 60th anniversary. Bush and Abbas met in Sharm El-Sheikh Saturday.

Bush also used his speech to criticize Arab states for political repression of government critics and opponents. He said that "too often in the region, politics has consisted of one leader in power and the opposition in jail."

He used Sunday's speech to urge that Arab states release what he called "prisoners of conscience" and open themselves up to political debate. But he also praised democratic reforms in countries such as Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria, Morocco and Jordan.

Jordanian Professor Advocates Suicide Terrorists Use Nuke Bombs


Jordanian University lecturer Dr. Ibrahim Alloush recommended on Al-Jazeera television that suicide bombers be equipped with small nuclear bombs.

According to a transcript provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Alloush said, "Whoever managed to get a martyrdom-seeker into Dimona, should consider how to get martyrdom-seekers into Dimona and elsewhere armed with non-conventional explosives - and perhaps even small nuclear bombs," he stated. "We should think in this direction."

Alloush lived for 13 years in the United States, earning graduate degrees at Ohio University and Oklahoma State University, where he earned a doctorate in economics.

As the editor of the "Free Arab Voice," he was jailed by the Jordanian government in 2003 for incitement, after publishing an article saying there were American bases in Jordan "taking part in the aggression against Iraq."

Alloush also maintains that the Holocaust never took place. In 2005, Alloush said in an interview with Al-Jazeera TV quoted by MEMRI, "The Holocaust is exploited to justify the Zionist policies and to justify the enemy state's right to exist. There is evidence and scientific research proving that the Holocaust is a lie."

The Jordanian professor also strongly supports Osama bin Laden's international al-Qaeda terrorist organization. Moreover, Alloush, said in the same 2005 interview that the US deserved the al-Qaeda attack on Washington and the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

"America brought the 9/11 attacks upon itself. OK? This is a case of the chicken coming home to roost. In other words, you have brought this problem upon yourselves," he said. "As long as America occupies the Arab homeland and the Islamic world militarily, politically, economically, and culturally, and as long as it supports the Zionist entity, it should expect something."

McCain Blasted for 'Hypocrisy' on Hamas

By WorldNetDaily

Sen. John McCain is being accused of "hypocrisy" for repeatedly criticizing Sen. Barack Obama over his stated policy of dialogue with America's foes when the Republican presidential candidate himself previously stated the U.S. may have to "deal" with Hamas terrorists.

McCain has been attacking Obama using a WND interview in which a top Hamas official said he "hopes" the Illinois senator becomes president. Ahmed Yousef, Hamas' chief political adviser in the Gaza Strip, also compared Obama to John F. Kennedy.

The Huffington Post, which largely supports Obama, last week dug up a television interview from 2006 in which McCain implies an eventual willingness for U.S. talks with Hamas.

"They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy toward Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, so ... But it's a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that," McCain said.

McCain was speaking two years ago on Sky News to former Clinton State Department official James Rubin, who had asked whether the U.S. should work with Hamas which that year won Palestinian legislative elections.

In an op-ed in the Washington Post this past Friday, Rubin accused McCain of "hypocrisy" and of "smearing" Obama by using Hamas' positive words to attack Obama.

In a now notorious interview, Hamas' Yousef stated in a conversation with WND and WABC Radio, "We like Mr. Obama, and we hope that he will win the elections. I hope Mr. Obama and the Democrats will change the political discourse. ... I do believe [Obama] is like John Kennedy, a great man with a great principal. And he has a vision to change America to make it in a position to lead the world community, but not with humiliation and arrogance," Yousef said, speaking from Gaza.

Yousef volunteered his statements about Obama in response to a question inquiring whether he was surprised Obama and other presidential candidates criticized Jimmy Carter's recent meetings with Hamas.

Yousef's comments have become a top theme in the presidential campaign, with Sen. John McCain and Obama repeatedly trading barbs over the Hamas official's comments.

In response to Rubin's claims of hypocrisy, McCain told reporters this weekend: "I made it very clear, at that time, before and after, that we will not negotiate with terrorist organizations, that Hamas would have to abandon their terrorism, their advocacy to the extermination of the state of Israel, and be willing to negotiate in a way that recognizes the right of the state of Israel and abandons their terrorist position and advocacy."

McCain contended Obama wants to "sit down and negotiate with a government exporting most lethal devices used against soldiers. He wants to sit down face to face with a government that is very clear about developing nuclear weapons. ... They are sponsors of terrorist organizations. That's a huge difference in my opinion. And I'll let the American people decide whether that's a significant difference or not. I believe it is."

Arab Who 'Died' Over Permit Makes 'Miraculous' Recovery


A Gaza Arab who allegedly died while waiting for a permit to enter Israel for medical treatment has been found alive and well, IDF officials said. A day after the Arab, Mohammed Al-Harani, was reported in international media as having died because of Israel's supposed denial of a permit to enter Israel in order to get chemotherapy treatment, he was actually found alive and well.

Several weeks ago, the family apparently reported his death to the Physicians for Human Rights" organization, an international cadre of doctors who treat Arabs in Gaza for free. The organization sent an angry letter to IDF and General Security Service officials, saying that Al-Harani had died waiting for the permit. A press release that was widely circulated among news agencies was released, and several Arab and human rights organizations condemned Israel for its "inhumane negligence."

But the next day, Al-Harani was found to be alive by the organization - and he was still interested in getting the permit. Explaining the discrepancy, Physicians for Human Rights said that "This is a rare case where a family member knowingly provided false information to the organization. The group speculated that a family member who wanted to prevent his interrogation reported him dead. Israeli officials said they would take Al-Harani's behavior into consideration when deciding about his permit request.

Google Co-founder: My Family Left Russia Because of Anti-Semitism


Distress due to anti-Semitism was the main reason his family left Russia, Google co-founder Sergey Brin told TheMarker in an interview over the weekend.

Brin, 34, was in Israel for President Shimon Peres' presidential conference "Facing Tomorrow," and visited Google's Israeli offices as well.

He was born in Moscow in 1973 to a Jewish couple, who belonged to the city's intelligentsia. His father wanted to study physics at university in order to fulfill his lifelong dream and become an astronomer, but was turned down because the Communist Party banned Jews from physics departments, in order to prevent them from accessing the country's nuclear secrets.

Mikhail Brin decided to study mathematics instead, and was offered a place although the entry exams for Jews were sat separately, in rooms that were notoriously known as "the gas chambers." In 1970, he graduated with distinction. Later, he gained his PhD from the University of Krakow, and worked for the Russian economic policy planning agency.

Sergey's mother, Evgenya, worked in the research lab of the Soviet gas and oil institute. Like her husband, she had struggled against the anti-Semitic discrimination which prevailed in the Soviet academia, and defied it.

In previous interviews, Sergey Brin said that as a child he was not aware of the anti-Semitism that troubled his parents, and came to grips with it only in hindsight. He said, however, that even as a child he didn't feel at home in Russia.

The Brins decided to leave Russia in 1977. It was the multitude of opportunities that the West had to offer, of which Mikhail became aware during an international conference that tipped the balance. Despite the fear of being declared "refuseniks," Evgenya was adamant to leave.

In 1978 they applied for emigration permit, and as a result Mikahil was fired and Evgenya had to resign. The family barely got by for several months until their application was approved in 1979. Shortly afterwards, the gates of the Soviet bloc were hermetically closed for emigration.

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