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Hamas Slams 'Zionists' for Campaign Against Website


A subgroup of the Hamas terrorist organization has accused "Zionist official parties" of launching a "fierce campaign against [the] Al Qassam website… to put pressure on the company which is hosting the site."

The Russian "Data Force" hosting company decided to stop hosting the site, according to a "military communiqué" issued by the Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades, a Hamas group.

Peres: Separate Jerusalem with a Wall


President Shimon Peres, following Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Vice Prime Minister Chaim Ramon, has become the latest mainstream politician to intimate that Jerusalem must be divided.

Peres paid a condolence call Tuesday morning to the family of David Shriki, a policeman who died of wounds he suffered in a Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem earlier this month. Shriki, 20, lived with his family in Rishon LeTzion.

Peres said that there must be a separation between the Arabs of Jerusalem and the Jews, and that it must be in the form of a wall. Peres emphasized that the problem is also one of education. He said that Arab doctors are a common sight in Israel, yet Jews are not afraid to go under their knife. "This shows," Voice of Israel reported that Peres said, "that when we reach a certain level of education, the relations between the two sides change."

Peres did not mention the suicide-slaughter of 21 Israelis aboard a #2 bus from the Western Wall in August 2003, which was perpetrated by a Muslim teacher and religious leader from Hebron. Nor did he mention the massacre of 20 Jews two months later in the Maxim Restaurant in Haifa committed by a female terrorist lawyer.

"Jerusalem has become a security problem of late," Peres said. "We have to make both a wall and a bridge in Jerusalem. We have to ensure separation and also let them live differently, otherwise it will be like a pressure cooker that is liable to explode. Without offering a carrot, there is no value to using a stick; sticks alone cannot educate. In the meanwhile, they are fortifying themselves, and Hamas is taking over the street, instilling fear on the Arab street in Jerusalem. It is not simple to solve this problem, and it can take time to find the right solution."

Olmert told a Knesset committee Monday that living with such a large number of Arabs in the capital means more terrorist attacks - implying that the reduction of terrorism is dependent upon removing them from the city's borders. "Whoever thinks we can live with 270,000 Arabs in Jerusalem must take into account that there will be more bulldozers, more tractors, and more cars carrying out attacks."

Rice Prepares for a Three-Way on Wednesday

By David Gollust (VOA-State Department)

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met senior Israeli and Palestinian officials Tuesday in preparation for a three-way meeting Wednesday with the two sides' chief negotiators. Officials said Rice hopes to take the peace process as far as she can in the time remaining for the Bush administration.

The Mideast parties committed themselves, at last November's Annapolis conference, to make every effort to conclude a peace agreement by end of 2008. But as Rice prepared for Wednesday's trilateral talks, her aides were downplaying expectations.

State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters the Secretary's aim, with less than six months left in office, is to push the talks as hard as she can, and as far as they can go, but if necessary hand off a viable peace process to the next U.S. administration.

"She is going to continue to push for a settlement," said Sean McCormack. "She is going to continue to push for progress on roadmap obligations. That is not to say that she or this administration is going to be irresponsible in terms of the process. You don't want to push the process to the point where it breaks down irretrievably and you have foreclosed the possibility of a solution between the two sides."

McCormack's remark about the danger of a breakdown was an apparent reference to U.S. peace efforts at the close of the Clinton administration. President Clinton pressed then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and the late Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat for a peace accord in the final months of his term, only see the effort fail and relations between the parties lapse into the violence of the second Palestinian Intifada.

Barak, defense minister in the current Israeli government, met with Rice Tuesday morning in a lengthy meeting that covered both the peace process and regional security issues including Iranian threats to Israel. In a talk with reporters, Barak said Israel is trying to supplement the negotiations with efforts, in coordination with the United States, to improve the security capability of the Palestinian Authority.

"We are trying first of all to secure our population against terror attacks, and at the same time to give the Palestinians both the opportunity and to help them to the extent we can to build institutions and capacity that will end up with a law-enforcing chain starting with a strong police, with intelligence, with a prison system, with court system which work, at least on a kind of Middle Eastern standard, if not the Maryland standard."

Report: Obama Kotel Note Leak was Campaign PR Stunt


Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama's campaign seems to have purposely leaked the contents of the note that he placed in the Kotel, web magazine Israel Insider wrote Tuesday.

While Israel's Hebrew newspaper Ma'ariv came under fire for publishing the note, "it now appears that Ma'ariv had collaborated with the Obama campaign in getting the 'private' prayer, with its 'modest' supplication to the Lord, out to the public, buffing his Christian credentials and showing his "humility," the web magazine said.

Last Friday, on the morrow of Obama's visit to the Kotel, Ma'ariv published a close-up picture of the note written by Obama to God, supposedly after a yeshiva boy took it from the crack between the Kotel stones in which Obama deposited it. Ma'ariv's competitor Yediot Acharonot slammed the paper for violating Obama's privacy.

In a statement issued following the public outcry over the leak, Ma'ariv said that "Barack Obama's note was approved for publication in the international media even before he put it in the Kotel, a short time after he wrote it at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem." A third newspaper, Ha'aretz, quoted Ma'ariv as saying that "Obama submitted a copy of the note to media outlets when he left his hotel in Jerusalem."

Based on these statements by Ma'ariv, Israel Insider concluded that the Obama campaign "managed the event brilliantly, if deceptively, getting the double benefit of appearing to be victimized by the invasive Israeli press and prayer-thieving Jew while at the same time leaking out his humble Christian plea to the Lord."

The report noted that by the week's end, "a (relatively) slick video appeared on YouTube that blended Obama's Western Wall prayer with various church scenes, crosses aplenty, a dove of peace, and a soundtrack based on Amazing Grace. The video closes with a "vote" button and an invitation to visit the official campaign website." The video can be seen at

Apparently unaware that the leaking of the note was coordinated by the Obama campaign and Ma'ariv, Kotel Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitz called the publication a "sacrilegious action" which "deserves sharp condemnation and represents a desecration of the holy site." He stated: "Notes which are placed in the Western Wall are between the person and his Maker; Heaven forbid that one should read them or use them in any way. The custom of placing notes between the stones of the Western Wall is ancient and is used as a means of expression by a person praying to his Creator."

Ma'ariv's editors, Doron Galezer and Ruth Yovel, are considered to be hard-core leftists. The paper said that it was "pleased" with its "journalistic accomplishment. In any case since Obama is not a Jew, publishing the note does not constitute an infringement on his right to privacy."

An Obama campaign spokesman claimed that the campaign hadn't approved the publication of any kind of prayer note. "Prayer notes at the Wall should remain private," a campaign aide said.

Israeli Channel 2 TV reported Sunday that the note was returned to the Kotel. It showed an interview with an anonymous yeshiva student, whose face was not shown, who did not want to say how he got possession of the note and claimed that the note was filched from the Kotel by a yeshiva student as a prank.

Jerusalem lawyer Shahar Alon asked Attorney General Menachem Mazuz Monday to order a police investigation into the removal and publication of Obama's note. "By making the note public," Alon wrote to Mazuz, "Ma'ariv violated the law protecting holy sites, several clauses in the penal code and also infringed upon the basic rights of a person's honor and freedom."

Alon also initiated a boycott of the newspaper. In a public letter, he called on all who felt that Ma'ariv had desecrated the holiness of the Kotel to refrain from purchasing the newspaper.

Bible-Thumping Joe Lieberman Connects Esau with Iran


Sen. Joe Lieberman, who formerly was a Democratic candidate for Vice President and now is an independent backing Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, told a Christian audience that Israel must prepare for war with Iran as Jacob did before meeting his estranged brother Esau. "I am your brother Joseph," Lieberman told a cheering crowd of Christians United for Israel. "Blessed are you in the name of the Lord."

As the audience waved Israel and U.S. flags, Lieberman praised his host, controversial Christian and pro-Israel preacher Rev. John Hagee. The Connecticut senator stated that Hagee reminds him of Biblical heroes such as Miriam and Moses, who are described in the Bible as having made human mistakes. "You and I and Pastor Hagee all believe in the Bible," Lieberman told the audience. "We believe in the God of the Bible. We love God."

Lieberman, an observant Jew, defended Hagee, who caused an intense controversy earlier this year by saying that the Bible alluded to the Holocaust as a pre-ordained plan to encourage Jews to move to Israel.

Responding to a campaign by dovish Jews to persuade him not to address the Christians in the presence of Hagee, Sen. Lieberman stated, "There has been a campaign to stop me, but the bond I feel to Pastor Hagee and to you is much stronger."

Hagee often cites the Bible to back Israel's right to the Promised Land. Addressing a CUFI convention in Washington last week, he told more than 3,500 people they should be like the biblical Esther when they lobby Congress for Israel and see themselves as "ambassadors of God" on behalf of the Jewish people "until victory comes."

His speech did nothing to allay fears among Jews that his support for Israel has missionary intentions. He stated that keeping Jerusalem united is a step towards the Second Coming, which he prophesized will be heralded by a "Jewish rabbi in side curls and not in a gray flannel suit."

Jewish Group Takes Over Anti-Semitic Facebook Group


An organization calling itself the Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF) took over a prominent anti-Semitic Facebook group on Sunday, and has succeeded in removing thousands of members from the virulently anti-Israel group. The action was taken after Facebook received tens of thousands of complaints about the group, said David, who asked that his last name not be used out of safety concerns.

David said he has received four death threats since the JIDF began their activities. The group, originally called "Israel is not a country! Delist it from Facebook as a country," was "one of the most vile, most anti-Semitic, most pro-Jihad and most disgusting, and most importantly, most active hate groups on the Internet," the JIDF posted on the anti-Israel group's page after it seized control. "It actively promoted hatred, violence, murder and genocide."

The JIDF decided to rename the group's administrator titles to "Mossad Zionist," and since the takeover the number of group members has dropped from 48,000 to half of that amount. The number is dropping by the minute as a result of the JIDF's takeover.

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