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Dec. 15, 2008, Vol. 16, No. 242

Aliyah to Rise in 2009


The Ministry of Absorption and the Jewish Agency estimate that Aliyah will rise in 2009. They estimate that more than 30,000 Jews will return to Israel, partially because of the current global economic depression.

The agencies assume that Aliyah will be most dramatic from the Ukraine, Argentina, and South Africa which have experienced the most dramatic economic changes. They are also focusing on bringing immigrants from Europe and North America.

Hamas Plays Hardball with Israeli Ceasefire

By Robert Berger (Jerusalem) &

There has been a strong show of support for the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip, where tens-of-thousands of supporters rallied Sunday. The demonstration comes amid growing tension with Israel.

The Palestinians gathered in Gaza in support of the Islamic terrorist group Hamas, marking its 21st anniversary. There was a sea of green, as many wore caps and waved flags in the signature color of Hamas.

The rally shows that Hamas remains firmly in control of Gaza after seizing power a year and a half ago. Hamas routed the Fatah forces of internationally backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who now heads a more moderate government in the West Bank. Abbas is holding peace talks with Israel, but the Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, told the crowd that negotiations are a waste of time. He said armed resistance is the only way to liberate Palestine.

WorldNetDaily reported Sunday that sources close to Hamas in the Gaza Strip said Hamas was willing to renew an expiring six-month "truce" with Israel but is delaying in hopes of extracting more concessions from the Jewish state.

Khaled Mashaal, the chief of Hamas who lives under protection in Syria, was quoted Saturday by a Hamas television station in Damascus as saying, "There will be no renewal of the 'calm' after it expires." Mashaal made the statement hours after a meeting he held with former President Jimmy Carter.

Hamas has previously said it wants to extend the ceasefire from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank, which is said to be controlled by Abbas' rival Fatah party, but according to sources close to Hamas, the Islamist organization may delay this stipulation.

Israeli spokesman Mark Regev said the ceasefire is preferable, but there is a military option. Israel has other options, and if we have to use those other options, it's better to say that we first of all tried a more peaceful path before we had to use the other ones."

While preparing for confrontation with Hamas in Gaza, Israel is taking steps to strengthen Abbas in the West Bank. Israel plans to release 227 Palestinian prisoners on Monday.

The Next Political War in Israel

By Emanuel A. Winston (Commentary)

Strong indicators demonstrate that the Kadima mob is planning a theatrical attack sometime between now and the February elections. I observe Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (resigned for pending criminal indictment but wielding the high powers of prime minister) visiting Sderot and making heroic speeches about his knowing when to strike a retaliatory "pose."

Given Olmert has artfully avoided responding to years of Kassam Rocket, missile and mortar attacks on Sderot and Ashkelon, does he now think that time has arrived? Of course, he does - because national Israeli elections are coming in early February.

Ehud Barak, as Minister of Defense, has restrained the Israel Defense Forces from responding to Kassam, mortar and Grad missile attacks. Now Barak needs to show his good "generalship" in order to remain as the head of his Labor Party faction - also in the coming elections. Keep in mind Tzipi Livni, current Foreign Minister, and Shimon Peres, current President - as planners and colluders with the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to get approval for this limited assault on Gaza and Hamas.

It will likely go something like this: Barak will be in touch with Hamas and smooth the way by transferring $25 million dollars for Hamas terrorists' salaries. Hamas will, at a certain agreed time, fire off salvos for Kassam rockets and other ordinance.

They will shoot - and run. Then Barak and Olmert will make a public announcement of "We have had enough." We must protect our citizens in Sderot and Ashkelon." They will stand next to each other, looking very authoritative with Barak looking like a general about to go to war.

The army, under obedient Gen. Ashkenazi will shortly begin moving pre-positioned troops into Gaza. Keep in mind that all of these players knowingly allowed Hamas, with guidance from Hizbullah building deep concrete bunkers, with interconnecting tunnels for men and weapons - as they did in Southern Lebanon.

The Israeli troops moving forward will be faced with road bombs that blow up tanks, road-side missiles to destroy any vehicle, snipers positioned in interlocking fields of fire, mortars already sighted in to kill soldiers and buildings mined for possible Israeli soldiers to trigger. All of this and more was being built under the eyes of Olmert, Barak, Livni and Peres but, no attempt was made to stop it.

The Israeli soldiers will cautiously move forward, taking anticipated losses. The Muslim, Arab Palestinians will be in protected positions taking fewer losses. Besides, both were expendable because this is the arrangement.

The Israelis will move into Gaza a few miles, using artillery and tank guns but, under orders not to hit civilian target. Since the enemy has used civilian cover for all its operations, grateful for losses so they could weep to an accommodating media, the going will be difficult.

At a time agreed upon with Hamas and U.S. overseers, the Israelis will stop their advance, stay put for awhile and then declare victory for the "camp followers" (the leftist media) and then order a withdrawal.

Naturally, Olmert, Livni, Peres and especially Barak will be dashing about, giving interviews and posing for photo-ops. The U.N., the E.U., and the U.S. will be protesting the attack as inhumane. Olmert and Barak will say they had to do it - to save Israeli lives - which until now have made little difference to them.

From a time point of view, the kick-off to maximize political benefit before the election, should be sometime before the end of December or the middle of January. That should be sufficient time to get the full benefits of the follow-on propaganda by the leftist media.

What heroes these political criminals will be made out to be. All the false speeches and the exciting photos and video film showing advancing tanks will slip smoothly into the pre-election public relations. Kadima will be the glorious praetorian guards going to war and beating the enemy. In the meantime, Hamas will have Barak's $25 million dollars already shipped and received. Their war mechanism will remain mostly untouched in the Gazan deep concrete bunkers. (The concrete was shipped in from Israel - along with the humanitarian aid Israel shipped into Gaza.)

The Muslim Arab Palestinians will stop firing missiles until after the elections and then will start up again - as agreed. It will be a war, not to win, but to advance politicians. Soldiers will have to give up their lives for nothing but a temporary pause.

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