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70% of Israeli Arab Women: Slaps Not Domestic Abuse

By Ha'aretz

Some 70 percent of Arab women in Israel believe women who are pushed, slapped or struck by their male partners are not victims of domestic violence, according to a poll conducted by the Na'amat women's organization. The organization conducted the survey to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Some 73 percent believe women whose partners curse or humiliate them are not victims of violence. Asked if they agree with the claim that "sometimes a man acting violently toward a woman is justified and she understands this," 23 percent of the respondents said yes, compared to 71 percent who said they did not.

Will U.S. Push Israel to Concede Biblical Heartland?


The Palestinian Authority has asked the U.S. to impose sanctions on Israel if the Jewish state continues building any new housing structures in the strategic and historic West Bank, a top PA source told WND.

The source, who works from PA President Mahmoud Abbas' office, said the threat of sanctions would be part a series of Israeli-Palestinian understandings to be guaranteed by the U.S. that both sides are trying to reach before January.

The understandings, the source said, would result in an eventual Israeli withdrawal from the vast majority of the West Bank, an area rich in biblical history and significance.

Last week, informed Israeli and Palestinian sources told WND that despite media reports painting a dismal picture of negotiation prospects, Israel and the PA are still quietly working to conclude a major agreement before President Bush leaves office at the end of the year.

Aside from a major West Bank withdrawal, the agreement would also grant the PA permission to open official institutions in Jerusalem but would postpone talks on the future status of the capital city until new Israeli and U.S. governments are installed next year.

A top source said the PA requested that as part of the understandings, the U.S. would threaten sanctions for any new Jewish construction in the West Bank.

Israel recaptured the West Bank in the 1967 Six Day War. The territory, in which about 200,000 Jews live, is tied to Judaism throughout the Torah and is often referred to as the biblical heartland of Israel.

The book of Genesis says Abraham entered Israel at the West Bank city of Shechem (Nablus) and received God's promise of land for his offspring. He was later buried with the rest of the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs, except for Rachel, in Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs. The West Bank's Hebron was site of the first Jewish capital.

The nearby West Bank town of Beit El – anciently called Bethel, meaning "house of God" – is where Scripture says the patriarch Jacob slept on a stone pillow and dreamed of angels ascending and descending a stairway to heaven. In that dream, God spoke directly to Jacob and reaffirmed the promise of territory. Earlier, God had promised the land of Israel to Abraham at Beit El. In Exodus, the holy tabernacle rested just north of Beit El in Shiloh, believed to be the first area the ancient Israelites settled after fleeing Egypt.

Advisers to Sen. Barack Obama have in recent days given positive reception in meetings with Arab diplomats to a so-called "Arab Peace Initiative," which offers normalization of ties with the Jewish state in exchange for extreme Israeli concessions, an Egyptian official told WND.

The claim adds weight to the growing accumulation of evidence that Obama backs the Arab League's Initiative, which defenders of Israel warn would leave the Jewish state with truncated, difficult to defend borders and could threaten Israel's Jewish character by compelling it to accept millions of foreign Arabs.

Ya'alon Quoted as Saying Killing Ahmadinejad is an Option

By & Ha'aretz

Moshe "Boogie" Ya'alon, a likely candidate for Defense Minister under a Likud-run government, was quoted by an Australian newspaper Monday morning as saying that the option of assassinating Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must be considered.

"We have to confront the Iranian revolution immediately," Ya'alon said in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald. "There is no way to stabilize the Middle East today without defeating the Iranian regime. The Iranian nuclear program must be stopped."

When asked whether the options for action included a military strike against Ahmadinejad and the rest of the Iranian leadership, Ya'alon reportedly said: "We have to consider killing him. All options must be considered."

However, an aide to Ya'alon denied this quote, stating that the former Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff's comments on the necessity of considering the assassination of Iran's president were taken out of context.

Ya'alon spoke to several Australian journalists in Jerusalem. According to another report on the conversation, which appeared in the Australian, Ya'alon appears to be envisioning a two-staged attack: "Ya'alon said that if Israel were forced to resort to a military attack on Iran's nuclear program, there would need to be a follow-up to prevent the regime from rehabilitating itself," the paper reported.

Ya'alon said that regime change in Iran would be brought about by the Iranian people: "Israel needs to defeat the Iranian regime, not the people."

Ya'alon told the Herald that any military strike in Iran "will be quietly applauded by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf states. It is a misconception to think that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the most important in the Middle-East. The Shiite-Sunni schism is much bigger, the Persian-Arab divide is bigger, the struggle between national regimes and jihadism is much bigger," he said. "And I can't imagine the U.S. will want to share power in the Middle East with a nuclear-armed Iran."

Ya'alon, who was Chief of Staff from 2002 through 2005, said Iran has been the main sponsor of terror in the region for many years, and that he was surprised that the United States chose to invade Iraq, which was a less of a danger. "I was chief of staff during Operation Iraqi Freedom and I was surprised the US decided to go into Iraq instead of Iran," The Herald quoted him as saying. "Unfortunately, the American public didn't have the political stomach to go into Iran."

The Australian reported that Ya'alon advocated "a two-pronged approach" for defeating jihadism: "From top down, using a big stick. From bottom up, using education."

The former IDF chief said that Islamic jihadists in Iran and elsewhere believed they were on a roll: They saw Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, its withdrawal from Gaza and the 2006 Lebanon war as victories. He added that it was time to fight back.

Abbas: Early Elections if No Reconciliation With Hamas

By Luis Ramirez (VOA-Jerusalem)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he will call for early elections in 2009 if reconciliation talks do not succeed between rival Palestinian factions. The split between Abbas' moderate Fatah group and the terrorist Hamas faction has virtually paralyzed the Palestinians' political system.

Abbas addressed leaders of the Palestinian Liberation Organization meeting in the West Bank town of Ramallah. Abbas said his faction wants dialogue and will do its best to keep the talks going. But he said that if that dialogue does not succeed, he will - at the beginning of next year - call for presidential and parliamentary elections.

The Palestinian leader, whose term technically ends on January 9, has previously threatened to call early elections if there is no deal between his group and Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since winning elections in 2006. It is not clear how new elections would be conducted, since Abbas' Fatah governs only the West Bank, while the Gaza Strip has been under the firm control of Hamas.

The split has undermined the Palestinian Authority's peace efforts with the Israelis, who view Abbas as a moderate with whom they can negotiate. Israel rejects Hamas because it refuses to renounce violence and does not recognize the Jewish state's right to exist.

Some in Israel oppose early elections in the Palestinian territories out of concern that Hamas might win any new poll. An Israeli newspaper, Ha'aretz, published details of a defense paper to be presented next month, recommending that Israel prevent elections in the Palestinian territories.

The document warns that the disappearance of Abbas from the Palestinian political scene might cause the Palestinian Authority to collapse, killing prospects for a two-state solution.

Iran Hangs Accused Spy for Israel


Iran executioners hanged Ali Ashtari, who was convicted last July for handing over to Israel classified information on military and research centers, including material relating to the country's Atomic Energy Organization. Israel has denied any knowledge of the allegations against Ashtari, whose execution last Monday was not announced until Saturday.

"We had specific intentions with announcing the execution of Ashtari ... we want to show that new intelligence battles with [the] enemy's intelligence services have begun and that intelligence battles have become more serious," according to the head of the Intelligence Ministry's Counterespionage Department, who was quoted by the official Iranian news agency.

It was the first time a death sentence has been handed down and carried out against an Iranian for espionage on behalf of Israel. Ten Iranians were convicted eight years ago of spying for Israel and were sentenced from four to 13 years in prison. All of them were released before the end of their prison terms.

The execution of Ashtari was carried out at the same time that speculation has risen concerning a possible Israeli attack on Iranian's nuclear facility, which is producing uranium that can be used to make a nuclear weapon of mass destruction.

The 43-year-old Ashtari said in a video released by the government, "I want everyone to learn a lesson from my fate and not play with their lives. See my destiny and set it as an example for yourselves. And do not make the same mistakes that I made."

Israeli intelligence officials allegedly gave him "special equipment" to stay in contact with his Israeli contacts. IRNA also reported on Saturday that Iranian officials have arrested four "terrorists" who were found with "Zionist equipment and methods" in west Iran. They allegedly were planning to carry out assassinations.

Ex-Muslim Nonie Darwish: Muslim Hate for Jews Worse than Nazis'


Nonie Darwish, the founder of Arabs for Israel, says that the hatred the Muslims have for Jews is even worse than the hatred the Nazis had for them. "It isn't a societal thing, it's a religious thing," she explains. "It's intrinsic to their lives because it isn't a human command to kill Jews; it's the word of Allah."

In an interview with Israel National News, Darwish explained that it is Muslim teaching to kill non-believers in Allah, and that adherents of any other monotheistic religion must become second class citizens.

Darwish is the daughter of a top Egyptian Army officer, Lt. Gen. Mustafa Hafez, who founded the Fedayeen in Gaza - a group that launched murderous raids across Israel's southern border in the 1950's and was the precursor of the PLO. In July 1956, when Nonie was eight years old, her father became the first targeted assassination carried out by the Israeli Defense Forces in response to Fedayeen's attacks.

Darwish is an outspoken critic of the culture she came from. Supported by her husband and children, she dedicates her life to exposing the false accusations against the Jews which the Arab nations are promoting.

She explained that after 9/11, she called her friends in the Middle East to understand how something like that could have happened. She was surprised to hear all of them blame a 'Jewish conspiracy' for the deaths of 3,000 people in New York City. "How could my people, the Arab and Muslim people, accuse the Jewish people of something we know very well that we did ourselves?"

Although Darwish is no longer Muslim, she still refers to them as her people. Although her relatives in Egypt no longer speak to her, she doesn't see the problem in supporting Israel. "Loving the Israeli people does not mean I hate Arabs; they are my family," she stated.

Darwish said that she is very fearful of President-elect Barack Obama and thinks he will only add to the anti-Israel feelings in America. Still, she says: "There is nothing called 'no hope.' If there was no hope, I wouldn't be speaking."

Her organization is called Arabs for Israel ( and her new book "Cruel and Usual Punishment" will be available in January.

Poland Opens Warsaw Ghetto Tourist Trail


A tourist trail commemorating the Warsaw Ghetto's Nazi-era boundary has been commemorated by the Polish government. Maps, plaques and photos of the period were erected along the trail, although few artifacts of the Jewish ghetto remain.

Half of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust were Polish. About 450,000 Jews were cramped behind the walls of a 785-acre ghetto in Warsaw. The residents who did not die from starvation or disease were deported to concentration camps. Around 7,000 remaining Jews died in a month-long revolt against the Nazis in April 1943.

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