Newsletter : 12fx0724.txt
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Israel Will Protect Itself from Syria's Chemical Weapons
Will Israel have to protect itself from Syria's chemical weapons? If so, the Jewish
State will do what it must, according to President Shimon Peres.
The president told CNN in an interview Monday, "The use of chemical weapons is
internationally forbidden. What do you do when someone violates the law? You fight against
them. You stop them. The Syrians must be aware that what they do is against international
law and endangering here our lives, so we shall not remain indifferent and tell them, 'do
what you want.'"
As in Sunday's Fox News interview with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, CNN's host
attempted to find out how and when Israel might decide to act against the Syrian
And as had Netanyahu, Peres adroitly blocked the question, commenting, "I think Israel
is quite experienced in discovering dangers ahead of time... our eyes are sharp and alert,
and I'm sure that we shall know ahead of time."
In Netanyahu in Sunday's conversation with U.S.-based Fox News, the prime minister was
blunt in responding that although Israel would not "seek action," neither would it back
away from having to do what it must to protect its citizens if necessary. "We certainly
don't want to be exposed to chemical weapons falling in the hands of Hizbullah or other
terror groups because that's something that we can't be indifferent to," Netanyahu said.
"It's a great threat. We'll have to consider our action. But do I seek action? No. Do I
preclude it? No."
At a news briefing Monday in Washington, however, Pentagon press secretary George
Little was far more blunt. Speaking for the government, Little warned Syria not to "even
consider using chemical weapons" after Damascus threatened to employ its unconventional
arms. They should not think one iota about using chemical weapons," Little told reporters.
The remark came after Syria admitted having chemical weapons, and having said it would use
them if attacked, although not against its own citizens.
Israeli armored personnel carriers have been driving along the northern border with
Syria near the Druze village of Buqata in the Golan Heights. One of the biggest threats to
Israel from the Syrian civil war is the likely collapse of the Damascus government, and
the possibility that its arsenal of chemical weapons and missiles could fall into the
hands of the Lebanese Hizbullah terrorist organization, Netanyahu warned.
However, Syria, in what might have been a veiled threat against Israel, said it will
use them if attacked. The regime promised it would not engage in chemical warfare against
rebels, who by all accounts except for that of the government are pushing President Bashar
Assad out of power.
Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi "assured" the world that it has
secured chemical weapons, which it previously has not admitted to be in its possession but
never would be used "inside Syria."
"No chemical or biological weapons will ever be used, and I repeat, will never be used,
during the crisis in Syria, no matter what the developments inside Syria," he said on
state television. "All of these types of weapons are in storage and under security and the
direct supervision of the Syrian armed forces and will never be used unless Syria is
exposed to external aggression."
Syria never signed the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention. Despite the Syrian Foreign
Ministry's vow not to use chemical weapons against the opposition, Senator John McCain
does not trust the regime. "These are helicopter gunships, tanks, artillery that are
slaughtering people, and now there is a risk -- and I'm not saying it is going to happen
-- a risk that in his desperation, Bashar al-Assad might use those chemical weapons,"
McCain said on CNN.
Der Spiegel: Germany was Warned One Month Before Munich Massacre
Germany and the state of Bavaria were warned about a possible terror attack, but failed
to prevent the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich 1972 Olympics, the German
weekly Der Spiegel claimed in its new edition.
The weekly's leading story, titled, "Olympic secret case: the Munich attack and
how the state covered up its failure," claims that Germany and the state of Bavaria
committed "grave errors," whose true scale "is still kept secret."
Eleven Israeli athletes and coaches were murdered on Sept.5, 1972, in Munich, as well
as a German police officer. Three of the eight terrorists, belonging to the Palestinian
Black September organization, survived the failed rescue attempt of the German police.
Der Spiegel's report reveals that concrete warnings were received a month before the
Olympic Games began, but were not adequately addressed. Thus, for example, the German
embassy in Beirut reported on August 14, 1972 that the "Palestinian side," planned an
"event" during the Olympic Games. Four days later the German foreign office passed the
report to the federal domestic intelligence agency's office (BfV) in Bavaria with the
recommendation "to take all possible steps in the framework of security preparations."
The report reveals that the authorities ignored not only intelligence reports but also
public warnings. On September 2, three days before the attack, the Italian magazine Gente
reported that Black September terrorists were planning "a sensational action in the
Moreover, Der Spiegel reveals that that German police had in fact prepared for the
eventuality of a Palestinian terror attack. Several days after the attack, a police
detective found a document prepared for the Olympics that included "26 scenarios," penned
by Goerge Zieber, the Munich police psychologist. One of them explicitly dealt with the
possibility of "Palestinian terrorists raiding the Olympic village."
Still, after the attack, when the BfV requested these documents from the police it was
told that "it is indeed true that
as part of the preparations scenarios were
but there is no written evidence."
Der Spiegel's report reveals the attempts to cover up the failure. One of the documents
presented in the report was written ahead of a special cabinet meeting, by a foreign
office official, two days after the attack, on September 7: "We must refrain from accusing
each other, and from self criticism."
Other documents, penned by the German and local Bavarian governments, reveal that the
authorities did their best to cover up their failure, and present the terrorists as
operating in an "accurate" manner. Der Spiegel claims that in doing so, the authorities
intentionally ignored reports they had access to, reports that portrayed the terrorists as
a clumsy gang, who did not prepare properly, and even had trouble reserving a hotel room
The investigation of the attack revealed that before the massacre the Palestinians
walked by the quarters of the Israeli delegation in the Olympic village, and even ran into
athletes from Hong-Kong in one of the upper stories of a village building. Still, Munich
police claimed, after running an "analytical appraisal" of the attack, that the terrorists
"did not explore the area," before the attack. The Spiegel report presents documents
proving that the Munich Prosecutor's office launched a "causing death by negligence"
inquiry against the chief of police Manfred Schreiber and the commander of his special
unit. These details were never made public.
Der Spiegel's story is based on secret reports from the inquiry after the attack,
cabinet meeting minutes and diplomatic correspondence, which were exposed after a request
by the weekly. The bodies that allowed Der Spiegel access to the documents include the
Chancellor's office, the BvF and the foreign office. The full report, titled "From Dream
to Terror Munich 1972" will be aired on Sunday night at 21:45 (German time) on
German channel ARD.
Swiss Hospitals Ban Circumcision
Two Swiss hospitals have banned circumcision, accepting the ruling of a German court
that ruled the Jewish and Muslim rite illegal but ignoring a German resolution protecting
the custom, rooted in Biblical law.
The German resolution urges the government to pass legislation to protect circumcision
that is carried out according to medical standards and with as little pain as
Zurich University Children's Hospital announced it would prohibit the procedure in
non-medical cases until it considers legal and ethical issues, the Swiss Local newspaper
reported. The Zurich hospital averages approximately one circumcision every month or two.
The St. Gall Hospital followed suit.
The ban by Swiss hospitals does not affect circumcisions elsewhere, usually in
synagogues, by a "mohel," the Hebrew word for those who perform the procedure, which is
carried out on babies on their eighth day unless there are medical considerations that
demand a delay.
The German court ruling affected all circumcisions in the country and was handed down
after a case in which a four-year-old Muslim boy was hospitalized after excessive bleeding
following a circumcision.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the government to legislate around the ruling,
saying it would make Germany a "laughing stock."
Video: Egyptian Actor Turns Violent on Candid Camera Show
An Egyptian actor who appeared on a local candid camera show did not take things well
when, as part of the prank, he was told he was being interviewed for an Israeli
The actor, Ayman Kandeel, can be seen losing his temper and turning physically violent on the set upon being told the network is Israeli. He goes so far as to physically assault a woman interviewer. (Watch it at http://youtu.be/dPLFrLOet0Y)
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