Newsletter : 11fx0826.txt
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Cheney: I Urged Bush to Bomb Syrian Reactor, But He Refused
Former Vice President Dick Cheney urged President George W. Bush to bomb the nuclear
reactor Syria was building in Deir er-Zor in the north of country, but Bush refused.
The revelation comes in a book Cheney plans to release next week. The book, called "In
My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir," is critical of Bush on several foreign policy
issues, says the New York Times, which quoted excerpts from the book in Thursday's
Israeli Airstrikes Kill 10 in Gaza
By VOA News, IsraelNationalNews.com & Ha'aretz
Palestinian sources said the number of casualties from the latest round of Israeli
airstrikes in Gaza has risen to 10 dead and at least 20 wounded. Israeli warplanes carried
out air raids over the Gaza Strip on Wednesday and Thursday after Palestinian terrorists
fired rockets into southern Israel.
The sources said at least one militant from the Islamic Jihad group was among those
killed in the airstrikes.
Israeli forces and Palestinian murderers have traded attacks across the Gaza border for
the past week, since terrorists crossed into southern Israel and attacked a bus, cars and
security personnel on August 18. Eight Israelis were killed.
Pursuing the attackers, Israeli troops killed some of the assailants along Israel's
border with Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Five Egyptian officers were also killed, sparking
outrage and anti-Israel protests in Egypt.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered Thursday to hold a joint
investigation with Egypt into the killing of the Egyptian officers. A statement issued
by Netanyahu's national security adviser said military officials on both sides would set
terms of the probe.
Egypt's military-backed government threatened to withdraw its ambassador to Israel to
protest the killings. Egypt blamed the deaths on Israeli troops it said had violated the
1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty.
Rocket fire from Gaza resumed as expected Thursday evening. At lest 17 Kassam rockets
and mortar shells were fired from Gaza on Thursday evening exploding in open fields in
Eshkol, the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council, and south of Ashkelon. The "Color Red"
warning siren was sounded in the areas under attack.
Shortly after 7 pm another rocket was fired that struck near the Erez crossing. The IAF
reported that warplanes struck a separate terror cell preparing a launch just before the
Erez attack and scored a "precise hit."
Gaza sources Thursday confirmed that a terror cell launching mortar shells and Kassam
rockets from the northern Gaza town of Beit Lehiya was hit by IAF fire. The sources say an
air force missile hit a motorcycle carrying Salim Arabid and Ala Abu-Hiraf of the Islamic
Jihad terror group's Al-Quds companies.
Shortly after 10 pm on Thursday, Terrorists in northern Gaza fired a rocket at the
western Negev city of Sderot. The rocket hit an agricultural facility east of the
The Iron Dome missile defense system uses sophisticated decision-making software to
make a split second determination on whether or not to intercept incoming rockets based on
whether it will land in populated or built-up areas. It is unknown if it attempted to
intercept the rocket at the agricultural facility or not.
Barak Nixed Proposal to Launch Preemptive Strike Ahead of Negev Terror Attack
Shin Bet's chief recommended a preemptive move against the Popular Resistance
Committees, but Defense Minister Ehud Barak feared it would result in a major clash in
Barak last week decided not to authorize a preemptive strike before the terrorist
attack on the Egyptian border, a senior official in Jerusalem said. The head of the Shin
Bet security service, Yoram Cohen, recommended a strike against a terror cell of the
Popular Resistance Committees.
The senior official said the recommendation followed precise intelligence on an effort
to launch a terror attack out of Sinai; the organization had warned about it for some
time. The same intelligence was used several hours after the attack to kill the
According to an Army Radio report, when the operational opportunity arose to strike at
the terrorists, the Shin Bet recommended that action be taken. Nonetheless, senior defense
officials and political leaders turned down the request, according to Army Radio.
In response, the IDF Spokesman's Office said that "the report suffers from substantive
factual inaccuracies, and due to operational and intelligence reasons we cannot elaborate
on the matter." The Shin Bet declined to comment on the report.
Claims have increased in recent days that Israel is wary of stepping up attacks on the
Gaza Strip lest this stoke criticism from the international community, tension with Egypt
and a larger conflict with Hamas. According to Army Radio, officials argued that the
preemptive strike recommended by the Shin Bet would serve as a catalyst for the militants
to carry out the attack.
Countering this argument, the Shin Bet argued that if the terrorists made it to the
Sinai Peninsula neighboring Israel, it would be very difficult to prevent the attack.
Meanwhile, two days after telling Army Radio that Israeli and Egyptian officers would
not carry out a joint investigation into the attack in the south, National Security
Adviser Ya'akov Amidror has changed his stance. In a special announcement Thursday
afternoon, he said a joint investigation would indeed take place.
The reason for the change probably stems from the anger that his statements to Army
Radio have stirred in Egypt's Supreme Military Council. During the Tuesday morning
interview, Amidror said no joint probe involving Israeli and Egyptian officers would take
place into the incident near Eilat. But he said the two sides would carry out separate
investigations and then compare their findings.
Amidror made the statement even though Barak had announced on Saturday that Israel
sought to hold a joint investigation with Egypt into the incident. Earlier this week, the
head of the Planning Directorate at the Israel Defense Forces, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel,
traveled to Cairo to discuss with the Egyptians ways of carrying out the joint probe.
The statements by the national security adviser were followed by a report Wednesday in
the Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Yaum, which was highly critical.
"The Israeli side has not responded so far to our demand for a joint investigation and
did not announce a timetable for the completion of the investigation," the daily quoted a
senior Egyptian government official as saying. "If there is no joint investigation we will
recall our ambassador from Tel Aviv."
Thursday afternoon the Prime Minister's Bureau issued an unusual statement in Amidror's
name. The national security adviser stressed that "Israel agrees to hold a joint
investigation with Egypt on the events of the terrorist incident on the way to Eilat that
took place last week." Amidror added that the details would be determined between the
militaries of the two countries.
Explaining the reason for the two versions, the Prime Minister's Bureau said that only
during the past 24 hours had a final decision been made on a joint investigation.
Ahmadinejad: Iran is Determined to Eradicate Israel
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran was determined to eradicate
Israel, ISNA news agency reported Thursday. "Iran believes that whoever is for humanity
should also be for eradicating the Zionist regime (Israel) as symbol of suppression and
discrimination," Ahmadinejad said in an interview with a Lebanese television network,
carried by ISNA.
"Iran follows this issue (the eradication of Israel) with determination and
decisiveness and will never ever withdraw from this standpoint and policy," the Iranian
president added in the interview with the Al-Manar network.
The remarks by Ahmadinejad came one day before the annual anti-Israeli rallies named
Quds (Jerusalem) Day, which are held nationwide in Iran on the last Friday of the fasting
month of Ramadan.
Ahmadinejad on Monday said that Iranians and Muslim nations worldwide should hold Quds
rallies and show their willingness to dispose of this "infectious tumor and this regime
full of rascality."
The Iranian president provoked international condemnation in 2005 when he said that
Israel should be eliminated from the map of the Middle East and transferred to Europe or
Israel Sinking into Religious-Fundamentalist Swamp
By Salman Masalha (Commentary)
Knesset member Avi Dichter (Kadima) sponsored, along with 40 other members from various
parties, a new Basic Law that defines Israel as "the national home for the Jewish people."
The proposed law includes a number of sections that, in the vernacular, piss me off.
It is becoming clearer and clearer that this Knesset, all of it, is the most populist
in nationalistic terms, and the least fundamentalist in religious terms. Now they want to
exchange the impossible mantra "Jewish-democratic" with something new.
It is clear that the intention of Dichter's proposed law is to deny the natural rights
of Arab citizens in Israel. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did well to explain the
matter in a speech he gave in December 2003 at the Herzliya Conference: "We have a
demographic problem. But it is not centered on the Palestinian Arabs in the territories,
but on Israeli Arabs."
Even blunter words came from former Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra (Kadima): "We
have Arab citizens in the State of Israel. This is our greatest problem. Finish with Gaza,
finish with Judea and Samaria, and the biggest problem remains."
Support for this approach comes in the section of the new bill that revokes the
official status of the Arabic language, the language of 20% of Israeli citizens.
It is well known that Israeli politicians very much love to take after Europe. So it
would be appropriate to let you know how Europe behaves. Finland is a European country and
quite advanced by all opinions. There is a Swedish minority in Finland which is 5% of the
population. In this Finland, which was once part of the Kingdom of Sweden, no one can be a
public servant if they don't speak Swedish.
Similarly, it seems the "greatest danger" has pushed the legislators to introduce
another racist section into their proposed law, which allows religious and national
separation to enable the existence of "separate community settlement," and it also has
pushed lawmakers to sink further and further into the religious-fundamentalist swamp.
Israel is fitting into the region more and more. The proposed law adds us to the club
of enlightened nations such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. The law intends to make
Knesset legislation and civil judges subject to Jewish jurisprudence and "Jewish
tradition," in an attempt to establish Israel as a state based on unenlightened Jewish law
- based on a Basic Law. In the term "Jewish tradition" is hiding a religious tradition of
Jewish tradition, like all other monotheistic traditions, includes a number of laws
that can be described as moral abominations that completely oppose the universal
declaration on human rights.
The frequent treatment of such questions does not testify to strength, but the
opposite. The source of this weakness is the occupation of 1967. On one hand, this
occupation has deepened via the "Zionist theft enterprise" called the settlements. On the
other hand, the demographics between the sea and the Jordan River have not remained
Therefore, it is no surprise that the law was formulated in cooperation and at the
initiative of the Institute for Zionist Strategies. This is to teach us that the Zionist
mind continues to invent new ideas.
With a lack of foreseeable prospects for a national solution in Israel, the situation
will reverse itself. The day is not far away that we will begin using the infamous Zionist
language, but this time in reverse. This time we will start to speak of the "Jewish camp"
or the minorities - the Jews of course. I will even go so far and introduce the phrase
"honorable Jews." You have been warned.
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