Newsletter : 8fax0703.txt
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Peres: I was Proud of the Soldier Who Fired
President Shimon Peres said Wednesday that he was proud of the off duty teenage soldier
who killed the terrorist tractor driver. "I looked at the soldier on leave. He did not
have a gun and he looked for one. Once he found a gun he went up and shot the
"'He who comes to kill you kill him first.' I was proud of him because he put
himself at risk for others that way. Innocent citizens were murdered in such a horrible
way in Jerusalem today," he said at a ceremony for volunteers in the President's
Residence. "Thank God the babies are alive; let us pray together for the wounded to
Bulldozer Terror Rampage Kills 4 in Jerusalem
By Jim Teeple (VOA-Jerusalem), Ha'aretz & WorldNetDaily.com
At least four people were killed Wednesday and about 57 others injured when a
Palestinian bulldozer driver went on a deadly rampage in downtown Jerusalem. The man was
killed by an off-duty soldier and police said the incident was a terrorist attack.
Witnesses reported a scene of chaos and panic as the bulldozer plowed over cars,
knocked over a city bus and damaged buildings on busy Jaffa Road near the city's main bus
Bus driver Assaf Nadav never got a chance to tell the Palestinian at the wheel of a
20-ton bulldozer to drive more carefully.
"I saw a bulldozer coming towards me and initially there was a small bang on the left
side," Assaf said about the initial moments of an attack on Wednesday on Jerusalem's main
Jaffa Road in which the bulldozer ploughed into vehicles and pedestrians. I opened the
window to tell him to watch his driving. He looked me in the eye and drove towards the bus
and then lifted it and turned it on its side," Assaf told reporters.
He said his No. 13 commuter bus was full, and some of the passengers were standing.
After it was flipped over, a policewoman broke the back window and people streamed out.
Asked to describe what it had been like inside the bus, Assaf replied: "Screaming would be
too mild a word."
An eyewitness to the attack said that the bulldozer which plowed into a packed commuter
bus also picked up a nearby car "like a toy." At the scene of the attack, a half-dozen
cars were flattened and a third was overturned by the enormous Caterpillar tractor. "I saw
the bulldozer smash the car with its shovel. He smashed the guy sitting in the driver's
seat," said Yaakov Ashkenazi, an 18-year-old yeshiva student. "I was shocked. I saw a guy
going crazy," said Yosef Spielman. "All the people were running. They had no chance."
Dozens of people were seen fleeing from the scene of the attack, as the wounded lay on
the ground amid piles of broken glass and blood stains. A woman sprinkled water over a
baby's bloodied face, a rescue worker stroked the hair of a dazed elderly pedestrian and a
loved one raised the bleeding leg of a woman sitting outside the overturned bus.
A policewoman was the first to react, shooting at the bulldozer but not hitting the
target. Then Moshe Klessner, an 18-year-old off-duty soldier, reportedly grabbed the gun
of the policeman, jumped onto the bulldozer and shot the terrorist several times in the
head at nearly point-blank range.
Heroism apparently runs close to Klessner. His brother-in-law, a civilian and former
soldier, was the man who finally killed the terrorist gunman during March's yeshiva
massacre in Jerusalem, running into the school while other police officers refused to
engage the terrorist during the gunman's rampage.
Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told VOA the incident was clearly a terrorist attack
and the bulldozer driver was heading for Jerusalem's main food market.
"Police officers arrived on the scene and attempted to stop the killings," he said. "We
clearly understood that it was a terrorist attack by the way that he continued to try and
make his way to the market, and therefore it was critical to stop him from continuing in
the direction of the market."
Rosenfeld said the man driving the bulldozer was a Palestinian with an East Jerusalem
identity card. The area where the incident took place is a construction site with a new
light rail system and road widening projects under way. Palestinian residents of East
Jerusalem have access to Jewish West Jerusalem and carry out nearly all construction work
in the city.
"I saw the bulldozer smash the car with its shovel. He smashed the guy sitting in the
driver's seat," Yaakov Ashkenazi, an 18-year-old seminary student, told the Jerusalem
Post. Sixteen-year-old Eyal Lang Ben-Hur told the Post he was in a bus when the driver
yelled out, "Get out of the vehicle! Everyone out!" People fled in a panic, he said, and
the bus was hit an instant later. Zion Shetreet, who witnessed the attack, told Israel's
Ynetnews the "tractor turned into the road very suddenly and started trampling over the
cars standing in the stoplight. This is something you only see in the movies," he said.
"It was awful."
This was the second terrorist attack this year. In March, an East Jerusalem man
attacked a Jewish seminary killing eight students. Rosenfeld said just like that attack
there was no prior warning. "There were no specific warnings that an attack was going to
take place, but immediately after this incident the security level was heightened, both in
Jerusalem and in other cities," he said.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants who have carried out many terrorist attacks inside
Israel said they were not responsible for the bulldozer incident and police said they are
trying to determine if the man acted by himself. The attack took place as a truce between
Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip entered its second week.
Int'l Expert: `World Expects Israel to Bomb Iran'
The West assumes that Israel is aware of the magnitude of the threat from a nuclear
Iran, and expects Israel to strike Iran, according to Yossi Kuperwasser, the former head
of the IDF's Research and Assessment Division.
In an interview with Ynet, Kuperwasser confirmed what may already be seen on the
headlines of many of the world's newspapersa global expectation that Israel alone
will confront militarily the Iranian regime, and that an Israeli air attack on Iran is
Meir Amit, a former head of the Mossad intelligence service, told World Net Daily's
Aaron Klein that he supports an Israeli attack against Iran. Amit, who until today has
opposed using force against Iran, said if we let things go as they are, we will find
ourselves in a very dangerous situation. We have good intelligence, and we shall decide
what the right timing for any attack is."
A U.S. Pentagon source late Tuesday published its assessment that Israel will likely
strike in Iran by the end of the year. As the Iranian threat escalates against Israel, the
Western nations assume Israel will do their dirty work for them, Kuperwasser asserts.
The former senior IDF officer has many years' experience in tracking Iran's efforts to
acquire nuclear weapons. He says that the deciding factor in the Iranian threat is
Tehran's ability to produce industrial quantities of high-grade uranium. "Within a year to
a year and a half, the Iranians will have enough uranium for a nuclear bomb," Kuperwasser
"This is also the American intelligence estimate, which at the time was harshly
criticized, and rightfully so. As far as we know the Iranians have not yet reached this
at the same time, they continue their research uninterrupted."
Commenting on the new SA-20 missile defense system delivered to Iran by Russia, the
Israeli intelligence expert says that the missile system could make it much more difficult
for Israel to launch an aerial strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. "This is a missile
system that can protect against missiles and airplanes. The Iranians have another aerial
system today, but they view it as inadequate. Clearly, every addition to the aerial
defense system may minimize the effectiveness of an aerial strike," he says.
The West has begun to take the Iranian threat seriously, according to Kuperwasser, but
for Israel it may be too little, too late. "The West realizes that this is an Iranian
challenge to the existing world order, aiming for Islam to enjoy a different status.
Finally people have woken up, but the question is whether officials in the US and Europe
realize the gravity at this time. It looks as though everyone is trying to shift the
responsibility to someone else, and they believe that ultimately, if nothing changes,
Israel will do the job for the West."
Meanwhile, as Western nations slowly emerge from denial, Iran continues its nuclear
program undeterred, in the belief that nobody will stand in their way, noted
"Iran realizes that the West is sensitive to pain and money, and won't embark on an
operation that would significantly boost oil prices," he says. "Every time the possibility
of a military strike is raised, the Revolutionary Guard's commander speaks out and warns
against the chaos. They believe that the likelihood of a strike is very low.
"In this poker game, the Iranians are leading at this time," Kuperwasser remarks. "The
pressure should be boosted considerably, and it should be made clear that a military move
will be carried out if needed
if the Iranians believe that the West is serious, they
will think twice about whether it is worthwhile for them to continue."
These statements by a member of Israel's intelligence elite follow recent comments from
the United States defense establishment, widely published in the international press, that
Israel is expected to respond militarily to the Iranian nuclear threat. Israeli government
officials late Tuesday slammed the reports, calling them "irresponsible" and charging the
Western media with preempting Israeli policy before Israel itself has a chance to
"We cannot believe that the press is making such conclusions based on a report from
another country. This is irresponsible and shows disrespect for the normal channels of
communication and diplomacy," charged a spokesman for the Israeli government on Israel
Army Radio Tuesday evening.
Franklin Graham Peppered Obama About Ties to Islam
At a meeting with Christian leaders last month, Sen. Barack Obama reportedly was
peppered with questions by Franklin Graham son of evangelist Billy Graham
about the presidential candidate's ties to Islam, his Christian baptism and whether he
accepts Jesus as his savior, it has emerged.
The new accounts, published by the Religion News Service and by the left-leaning
magazine The Nation, contrast with major media reports describing Obama's closed-door
meeting June 10 with Christian A-listers as friendly. "I can confirm Rev. Graham did
indeed ask Obama about his personal faith. Because it was a private meeting, it is up to
Obama if he wants to release any more information," Graham's spokesman, Jeremy Blume, told
One meeting attendee, Rev. Eugene Rivers, pastor of Boston's Azusa Christian Community,
told the Religion News Service that Graham asked about Obama's Christian beliefs and the
senator's family connections to Islam.
Obama's father, described in some reports as an atheist, polygamist and alcoholic, was
buried in Kenya as a Muslim. Barack Obama Sr. had three sons with another woman who
reportedly all are Muslim. The Illinois senator's brother, Roy, is described as a
Rivers said Obama told Graham of this father: "the least of the things (that) he was
was Islamic." According to River's account, Graham went on to ask Obama whether he
believed Jesus is the only way to salvation.
Rivers, a declared Obama supporter, recalled: "Obama said, brilliantly, 'Jesus is the only
way for me. I'm not in a position to judge other people.'"
Another Obama meeting participant, Stephen Strang, publisher of the evangelical
magazine Charisma, told The Nation several participants, not just Graham, expressed
concern about the Muslim background of some of Obama's family members. Strang, a member of
Pastor John Hagee's Christians United For Israel organization, said Obama replied he had
hardly known his father, who left his family when Obama was 2 years old.
Strang quoted Obama stating he never attended mosque while a child in Indonesia, a
contention contradicted by quotes to reporters from Obama's childhood friends. "I remember
[Obama] saying, 'We never went to the mosque when we lived in Indonesia,'".
Obama has long denied he was ever a Muslim. His campaign site states: "Senator Obama
has never been a Muslim, was not raised as a Muslim, and is a committed Christian." But as
WND reported, public records in Indonesia listed Obama as a Muslim during his early years,
and a number of childhood friends claimed to the media Obama was once a mosque-attending
Widely distributed reports have noted that in January 1968, Obama was registered as a
Muslim at Jakarta's Roman Catholic Franciscus Assisi Primary School under the name Barry
Soetoro. He was listed as an Indonesian citizen whose stepfather, listed on school
documents as "L Soetoro Ma," worked for the topography department of the Indonesian
Indeed, in Obama's autobiography, "Dreams From My Father," Obama acknowledged studying
the Quran and describes the public school as "a Muslim school. In the Muslim school, the
teacher wrote to tell mother I made faces during Quranic studies," wrote Obama.
The Indonesian media have been flooded with accounts of Obama's childhood Islamic
studies, some describing him as a religious Muslim.
Speaking to the country's Kaltim Post, Tine Hahiyary, who was principal of Obama's
school while he was enrolled there, said she recalls he studied the Quran in Arabic. "At
that time, I was not Barry's teacher, but he is still in my memory" claimed Tine, who is
80 years old.
The Los Angeles Times, which sent a reporter to Jakarta, quoted Zulfin Adi, who
identified himself as among Obama's closest childhood friends, stating the presidential
candidate prayed in a mosque, something Obama's campaign claimed he never did. "We prayed,
but not really seriously, just following actions done by older people in the mosque. But
as kids, we loved to meet our friends and went to the mosque together and played," said
An article in March by the Chicago Tribune found Obama did attend mosque. "Interviews
with dozens of former classmates, teachers, neighbors and friends show that Obama was not
a regular practicing Muslim when he was in Indonesia," stated the Tribune article. It
quotes the presidential candidate's former neighbors and third-grade teacher recalling
Obama "occasionally followed his stepfather to the mosque for Friday prayers."
In a free-ranging interview with the New York Times, Obama described the Muslim call to
prayer as "one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset." The Times' Nicholos Kristof
wrote Obama recited, "with a first-class [Arabic] accent," the opening lines of the Muslim
call to prayer. The first few lines of the call to prayer state:
Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme! I witness that
there is no god but Allah. I witness that there is no god but Allah. I witness that
Muhammad is his prophet...
Still, Obama says he was raised by his Christian mother and repeatedly has labeled as
"smears" several reports attempting to paint him as a Muslim. "Let's make clear what the
facts are: I am a Christian. I have been sworn in with a Bible. I pledge allegiance [to
the American flag] and lead the Pledge of Allegiance sometimes in the United States Senate
when I'm presiding," he told the Times of London earlier this year.
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