Google Search

Newsletter : 8fax0703.txt

Directory | Previous file | Next file

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 terrorist.

"'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 recover."

Bulldozer Terror Rampage Kills 4 in Jerusalem

By Jim Teeple (VOA-Jerusalem), Ha'aretz &

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 station.

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 newspapers—a global expectation that Israel alone will confront militarily the Iranian regime, and that an Israeli air attack on Iran is imminent.

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 noted.

"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 capability… 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 Kuperwasser.

"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 determine one.

"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 WND.

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 practicing Muslim.

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 Muslim.

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 Army.

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 Adi.

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.

Home Search

(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)

Read today's issue
Who is Don Canaan?
IsraelNewsFaxx's Zionism and the Middle East Resource Directory