Archive for June, 2007

Afghan boy outsmarts the Taliban

Washington Times by Jason Straziuso ASSOCIATED PRESS June 26, 2007

Go to:  http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070626/FOREIGN/106260070/1001

FORWARD OPERATING BASE THUNDER, Afghanistan — The story of a 6-year-old Afghan boy who says he thwarted an effort by Taliban militants to trick him into being a suicide bomber provoked tears and anger at a meeting of tribal leaders.

The account from Juma Gul, a dirt-caked child who collects scrap metal for money, left American soldiers dumbfounded that a youngster could be sent on such a mission. Afghan troops crowded around the boy to call him a hero.

Though the Taliban dismissed the story as propaganda, at a time when U.S. and NATO forces are under increasing criticism for civilian casualties, both Afghan tribal elders and U.S. military officers said they are convinced by his dramatic account.

Juma said that sometime last month, Taliban fighters forced him to wear a vest they said would spray flowers when he touched a button. He said they told him that when he saw U.S. soldiers, "throw your body at them."

The militants cornered Juma in a Taliban-controlled district in southern Afghanistan’s Ghazni province. Although he is but an impoverished youngster being raised by an older sister — he proved too street-smart for their plan.

"When they first put the vest on my body, I didn’t know what to think, but then I felt the bomb," Juma told the Associated Press as he ate lamb and rice after being introduced to the elders at the joint U.S.-Afghan base in Ghazni. "After I figured out it was a bomb, I went to the Afghan soldiers for help."

While Juma’s story could not be independently verified, local government leaders backed his account and the U.S. and NATO military missions said they believe his story.

Abdul Rahim Deciwal, chief administrator for Juma’s village of Athul, brought the boy and an older brother, Dad Gul, to a weekend meeting between Afghan elders and U.S. Army Col. Martin P. Schweitzer.

Col. Schweitzer called the Taliban’s attempt "a cowardly act."

As Mr. Deciwal told Juma’s story, 20 Afghan elders clicked their tongues in sadness and disapproval. When the boy and his brother were brought in, several of the turban-wearing men welled up with tears, wiping their eyes with handkerchiefs.

"If anybody has a heart, then how can you control yourself [before] these kids?" Mr. Deciwal said in broken English.

Wallets quickly opened, and the boys were handed $60 in American and Afghan currency — a good chunk of money in a country where teachers and police earn $70 a month.

Afghan officials described the boys as extremely poor, and Juma said he is being raised by his sister because his father works in a bakery in Pakistan and his mother does domestic work in another village.

"I think the boy is intelligent," Mr. Deciwal said. "When he comes from the enemy, he found a checkpoint of the [Afghan National Army], and he asked the ANA: ‘Hey, can you help me? Somebody gave me this jacket, and I don’t know what’s inside, but maybe something bad.’ "

Lt. Col. George Graff, a father of five who attended the meeting, also teared up.

"Relating to them as a father and trying to fathom somebody using one of my children for that kind of a purpose … it just tore me up," said Col. Graff, a National Guard soldier from St. George, Utah. "The depths that these people will go to get what they want, which is power for themselves — it’s just disgusting."

A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, denied the militant group uses child fighters, saying it has hundreds of adults ready for suicide missions.

"We don’t need to use a child," Mr. Ahmadi told the AP by satellite phone. "It’s against Islamic law; it’s against humanitarian law. This is just propaganda against the Taliban."

However, a gory Taliban video that surfaced in April showed militants instructing a boy of about 12 as he beheaded a purported traitor with a large knife. U.N. officials condemned the act as a war crime.

Fidgety but smiling during all of the attention, Juma told the AP that he was scared when he was surrounded by Taliban fighters. He cupped his hands together to show the size of the bomb, then ran his hands along his waist to show where it was on his body.

Raised in a country where birthdays are not always carefully tracked, Juma said he is 4. But he looks older and Afghan officials said he is about 6. His brother appears to be a year or so older.

Their village lies in Ghazni province’s Andar district, a Taliban stronghold targeted this month in a joint Afghan-U.S. operation. The region remains dangerous, and Afghan elders worry for Juma’s safety. 



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The Taliban’s 6-year-old suicide bomber  (read it in The Guardian Unlimited – click on the link)
All done in the name of Allah.
Would he even know what to do with the all the virgins?
“Nato accuses Taliban of using children in suicide missions,” by Chiade O’Shea for The Guardianhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/afghanistan/story/0,,2109574,00.html
Children as young as six are being used by the Taliban in increasingly desperate suicide missions, coalition forces in Afghanistan claimed yesterday.
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), to which Britain contributes 5,000 troops in southern Afghanistan, revealed that soldiers defused an explosive vest which had been placed on a six-year-old who had been told to attack Afghan army forces in the east of the country.
The boy was spotted after appearing confused at a checkpoint. The vest was defused and no one was hurt.
“They placed explosives on a six-year-old boy and told him to walk up to the Afghan police or army and push the button,” said Captain Michael Cormier, the company commander who intercepted the child, in a statement. “Fortunately, the boy did not understand and asked patrolling officers why he had this vest on.”
Lieutenant Colonel David Accetta, ISAF eastern regional command spokesman, told the Guardian: “In the past we have not seen the Taliban sink that low, to use children as suicide bombers. The personnel secured the vest to make sure the child was safe.”
This is our enemy.

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U.S. Afghan Jews Keep Traditions Alive Far From Home Radio Free Europe


NEW YORK, June 19, 2007 (RFE/RL) — More than 200 Jewish families of Afghan  descent live in the New York City borough of Queens — the largest group of Afghan  Jews outside of Israel. In Afghanistan, meanwhile, there is officially only one Jew left, Zebolan Simanto, a 45-year old caretaker of a synagogue in Kabul.

The focal point for Afghan Jews in New York is the congregation Anshei Shalom, which is also a spiritual home to Jews from Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Russia,  Syria, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.

Afghan Memories Binyamin Pinchasi, a jeweler by trade, was born and raised in Israel. He has never been to Afghanistan, but both of his parents grew up in Kabul. They still have fond  memories of growing up in the Afghan capital more than 50 years ago.

“We never had persecution in Afghanistan. And the government was very helpful to us.”  Pinchasi, who appears to be in his early 30s and speaks a little Dari — which along with  Pashto is one of Afghanistan’s two main languages — says he feels a spiritual connection to the country, though only a faint one.

“Some connection yes, a little bit,” he said. “I think if we go to visit there, we’re going to  feel some more.”

Like most congregants at Anshei Shalom, Pinchasi helps support Simanto, the last Jew in Kabul. This year — like every year — they sent Simanto a package for Passover on  April 1 that was nearly 27 kilograms of grape juice, matzo and oil — all kosher — that cost $650 to ship to Kabul.

Pinchasi, who came to New York as a teenager, has lived in New York for about 13 years.  Anshei Shalom, he says, is the place where he finds comfort and spiritual guidance.

“We’re coming here almost every Sabbath, every Saturday,” he said. “During the week  we’re coming here at least three or four times…sometimes it’s every day. You feel it like you see all the people, all the [Afghans], you feel the tradition by the praying, and it’s different.”

Keeping Traditions Jonathan Abraham is also a member of the Anshei Shalom Synagogue. His parents left  Afghanistan in the late 1940s. He was born in Italy and raised in Israel. Abraham speaks  neither Dari nor Pashto, but he comes to the synagogue every week. Sermons here are conducted in Hebrew, which he speaks fluently.

“The idea is to carry on the tradition that for many-many years our parents and their parents tried to preserve and keep in Afghanistan where they were kind of isolated between a lot of Muslim countries and Russian [Soviet] countries that didn’t always encouraged them to keep their tradition,” he said.

Abraham says that when living in a free country where you can openly practice your religion  it is even more important to keep traditions alive to ensure that the hardships one’s ancestors experienced were not in vain.

Abraham says that he would like to visit Afghanistan one day when the country is not so  troubled. But he says that Afghanistan was only a stop in the Jews’ travels around the  world.

“Afghanistan was just a station for the Jews who were exiled from Israel thousands of  years ago,” he said. “So, we weren’t really Afghans by definition, we just lived over there.  We respected the rules of the country and leaders and the king, and whoever was in charge.  We are very grateful for the time we had over there but right now we’re in a different place.”

Jack Abraham, who was born in Afghanistan and lived there until the age of 11, is the president of Anshei Shalom. He claims that it is not the only Afghan synagogue in the United States.

Abraham says that each Sunday between 30 and 40 people attend the service.

‘Winds Of Change’ Approximately that many — all men — were present during the service on June 17.  There are separate compartments for women on both sides of the spacious and well air-conditioned prayer room but women, Abraham says, usually do not attend Sunday services, they come for prayers separately.

“They don’t have to pray with us, they can pray at home, they don’t even need to pray,” he said.  “In our religion the women have gotten a higher, much higher level of spirituality than men because they give birth. As such, they’re not required to pray like men.”

Anshei Shalom is in a lush, almost suburban area of Queens. But they’ve moved three times, Abraham says, since initially establishing the first synagogue in a basement in 1976. The current one-story building has housed the synagogue since 1983.

Afghanistan’s Jews, Abraham says, began moving out of the country long before the Soviet Union invaded in 1979.  “There was a wind of change; we felt the wind of change before the Soviets came in,” he said.

“We were feeling the wind of change in the 1960s. The changes were that the government was sending their students to schools in Russia [Soviet Union]. My mother is Bukharian, we ran away from the Russian Revolution to Baku [Azerbaijan], to Turkmenistan, to Bukhara [Uzbekistan], and then they passed the Amu Darya River back to Afghanistan. My father is Afghan; my mother is Bukharian. So, when we saw in the 1950s and 60s [that] Afghan students from a Muslim country [were] going to Russia [Soviet Union], we knew that the wind of change was going to come. Those kids were going to be somehow or another infused with socialism and communism and repression.  So, our people started leaving already.”

Abraham, who came to the United States to study in 1962 and decided to stay, says that he is very proud of his Afghan heritage. Abraham speaks fluent Dari and has a special place in his heart for the only remaining synagogue in Kabul — it was built by his father in 1964.

Feeling At Home “We never had persecution in Afghanistan,” he said. “And the government was very helpful to us. If there was any kind of a thing happening out on the street, they would inform the Jews ‘Take it easy, don’t go to work’ on these particular days because people were talking negative, and they would put police outside of our doors for protection. So, I’m looking at it as being fortunate, I’m grateful, I’m proud, I’ve never, ever hid the fact that I was born in Afghanistan. Never.”

Abraham’s father relocated to the United States in 1969, before the synagogue in Queens was established. After the Taliban government fell in Afghanistan in 2001, Abraham paid for the partial renovation of the Kabul synagogue, which by then had fallen into poor condition.  He says that the caretaker of the synagogue, Simanto, does not want to relocate to the United States but would rather carry on as the last member of his religion in Afghanistan.

“I talk to him but [Kabul is the] place [where] he feels at home,” he said. “He’s by himself, all by himself in a compound over there and he lives a life, breathes the air, he is totally alone, all by himself in that land.”

Abraham says that he talks to Simanto several times a year and that they will continue to support him as long as he needs help. After the repairs were done three years ago Simanto no longer had to climb into the synagogue through a window.

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(I have waited for a very long time for the real truth to present itself –   you can never hide truth. Please read is in it’s entirety)
Scared Gazans Clamoring to Enter Israel

Wednesday June 20, 2007 9:01 AM
by Sarah El Deeb for the Associated Press (AP)
EREZ CROSSING, Gaza Strip (AP) –  : Trapped by Israeli tanks and Hamas gunmen, hundreds of terrified Palestinians holed up in a stench-filled concrete tunnel at a border crossing Tuesday, desperate to flee the Islamic militants now ruling the Gaza Strip.
Israel took in two people hit by Hamas gunfire, 24 hours after they were wounded in an assault on the tunnel, but officials remained steadfast in rejecting pleas to throw open the border. Three people wounded in the Gaza fighting last week also were allowed into Israel.
Israeli officials permitted a food shipment into Gaza for the first time since Hamas seized control in five days of fighting with the Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. That eased concerns about a humanitarian crisis in the impoverished coastal territory.
The crowd at the Erez crossing included dozens of Fatah fighters, who Israeli officials feared could destabilize the West Bank, which is separated from Gaza by about 30 miles of Israeli territory. Officials said most of those seeking to cross were not in danger.
As the standoff stretched on, the scene inside the tunnel grew increasingly desperate.  Women, children and young men sat between two high concrete walls about 10 yards apart, looking tired and grimy. Suitcases and trash were strewn on the ground. Some people sat on mats, others on bare asphalt, including several men with bloody bandages on their legs.
A breeze barely stirred between the walls. The tunnel, which has no toilets, reeked of urine and sweat.
“It’s disgusting. People are using the walls as toilets. The women are suffering,” said one man, refusing to be identified out of fear for his safety. He said people were on edge and fighting over food.
In one instance, a crowd attacked a food cart, “and only the strong got the food,” the man said. Later, Israel sent in five cartons of food, he said. “There was order because they made everybody sit down,” he said.
The man said some in the tunnel feared Hamas members had infiltrated the crowd to spy on them.
Late Monday, gunmen from a small Hamas-allied group, disguised as civilians, pulled guns and grenades out of their luggage and killed the nephew of a notorious Fatah militia leader who had been slain by a Hamas mob last week, witnesses said. Fifteen people were wounded.
Nearly 24 hours after the attack in the tunnel, Israel allowed in two of the wounded Tuesday, army and medical officials said. Three other Gazans wounded last week also were let in. The army did not identify the wounded, who were taken to Israeli hospitals.
An Israeli activist group, Physicians for Human Rights, said Israel’s Supreme Court scheduled a hearing Wednesday to hear its petition seeking to force Israeli authorities to offer immediate medical treatment to anyone needing it at Erez.
Witnesses estimated 600 people were huddled in the long concrete passage that leads to the Israeli side of the crossing. About 100 were believed to be fleeing Fatah security men, with the others civilians seeking a better life in the West Bank.
Israel, which has sophisticated weapons screening equipment at Erez, said it was letting only the staff of international organizations, people with special permission and humanitarian cases to cross.
“We don’t think that all of them there are threatened,” Nir Peres, a military liaison officer, told Israel Radio.
THE REAL TRUTH (Comments on the above Breaking News!!!  Gosh!  How I’ve waited for this……  I am not a journalist or a historian and you don’t have to be one to know and understand the truth.  This is history……)
Death to Israel! But, since you’re not dead yet… Save us, O Israel!
This flight into Israel by those dedicated to eliminating the Jewish state, and who spend their time trying to kill Israelis and demonizing them, though they know, in the end, that the Israelis are not the demons they paint them but far milder — always and everywhere — than their fellow Muslim Arabs — also took place more than 30 years ago, during the fighting between Black September and the Jordanian army.
Here is an in-medias-res excerpt:
“The fighting began the following day, with the Jordanians laying down an artillery barrage against the PLO stronghold of Zarqa. Within hours similar attacks were taking place throughout Amman, at the strategic Jabal Al Hussein, and against refugee camps such as Al Wahdat (which had been the first to raise the flag of the Republic of Palestine). Arafat used the word ‘genocide’ to describe what was happening to the Palestinians, while urging his fighters to resist. The Palestinians fought well, but there were already discouraging events in the works. Iraqi army units which Arafat had counted on refused to come to his aid and were seen retreating to a distant safe area.
On September 18th, Arafat’s men were still holding out, and the Jordanian army was failing to make any progress at all, let alone the easy victory that was expected. The Arab League issued appeals for a cease to the fighting, but little real action was taken. By the end of the day, poor logistics and disorganization among the Palestinians began to take a toll, and several units were running out of ammunition. By early morning on the 19th of September, armored units from the Palestinian Liberation Army and and regular units from Syria invaded northern Jordan, driving towards Amman. Arafat’s propensity for propaganda was put to use as he declared northern Jordan a liberated area.
The fighting in the streets of Amman was bloody. Neither side took any prisoners, many innocents were raped and killed, and much of the city was set ablaze. Following this battle, there were several meetings to attempt to bring an end to the violence between the sides. Despite ever-rising animosity between Arafat and Hussein, a truce was hammered out between the sides by Sharif Nasser. However, immediately after this truce was set, Nasser died suddenly, and the agreement was never observed.
Arafat returned to Jordan after the negotiations and set up headquarters in Ajlun, a city in the north. He sent repeated messages to Hussein professing moderation and promoting a policy of live and let live, but the atmosphere had already become too poisoned for any amicable settlement. The final Jordanian move to liquidate the Palestinian resistance took place in July 1971. The Jordanian army pushed the Palestinian forces to a corner of the country, bordering Israel and Syria, and crushed them there. Arafat’s screams of genocide drew Arab protests and led to the closure of the Iraqi and Syrian borders with Jordan and suspension of Kuwaiti aid, but these measures could not alter the fate of the Palestinian fighters. Another three thousand Palestinians died in the next two weeks of fighting. The ferocity of the onslaught
forced many of the Palestinian fighters to flee across the Jordan River to seek asylum in Israel.
After hiding in a cave for some time, Arafat managed to call in a favor from Munib Masri, a member of the Jordanian Cabinet, and escaped into Lebanon with two thousand of his fighters.”
Please note that penultimate sentence: “The ferocity of the onslaught forced many of the Palestinian fighers to flee across the Jordan River to seek asylum in Israel.” And so they threw away their guns, waded across the river, into the comparatively benign, and certainly mercifully non-Muslim arms, of the waiting Israelis.
A moment to ponder.
And so is the one right now, the sight of those Fatah-men, trying to escape into Israel. We have a whole series of paintings called “The Flight Into Egypt.”
Who will produce for these kraussian last-days-of-mankind times, paintings called “The Flight Into Israel”?
Oh the ironies! This truth with historical precedent is also most instructive – the PLO on Black September fleeing their Jordanian Muslim ‘brothers’, to fling themselves on the mercy of …the Jews.
I understand, from another news item concerning those who are trying to flee Gaza, that the Israeli soldiers threw BOTTLES OF WATER out of their tanks to the Gazans nearby. You see, they take their Scripture seriously, too. NOT ‘kill the Unbelievers wherever you find them’, BUT “if thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink; for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee” (Proverbs 25: 21-22).
I recommend a reading of the Book of Proverbs. There is much that sheds a searing light upon the murderous Quranic goings-on in Gaza. For example, 6: 16“These six things doth the LORD hate, yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood. An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren”.   We may profitably reflect upon 26:17 “he that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is as one who taketh a dog by the ears” (now do we understand Israel’s prudent reluctance to wade into the bloody swamp of Gaza where Muslim preys upon Muslim?).
Note that little throwaway line in the article under discussion – “a crowd attacked a food cart, ‘AND ONLY THE STRONG GOT THE FOOD’ the man said. Later, Israel sent in five cartons of food, he said. ‘There was order because they [the Israelis – soldiers? those young IDF soldiers whom the anti-Zionist “peace activists” in the West love to hate?] made everybody sit down,’ he said.”
Fools may claim that the Quran and the Bible are ‘the same’. They are not. The Book of Proverbs alone is packed with many more sober, down-to-earth and universal moral and spiritual counsels and arresting epigrams than can be found in the whole of the Quran.
We may see the difference between Jewish and Muslim cultures, informed by their two so very different Books, as we observe the contrast between Sderot and Gaza, or between those young IDF soldiers giving food and water to people who hate them, and the gunmen of Hamas and Fatah murdering one another in the streets.
As for the slanderers of Israel, the propagandists for ‘Palestine’, there’s a proverb that fits them like a glove:
“He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are an abomination to the LORD” (Proverbs 17: 15).

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Read this in it’s entirety ……..  you will learn something out of this extract……
Posted Monday, Jun. 11, 2007 on IsraCast.com


OK. So I understand that you are ticked off at Israel , and in love with the Palestinians. That’s fine with me, as long as you have truly weighed all the facts.

So, you want to boycott Israel ????? I’ll be sorry to miss you, but if you are doing it – do it properly. Let me help you.

Check all your medications. Make sure that you do not have tablets, drops lotions, etc., made by Abic or Teva. It may mean that you will suffer from colds and flu this winter but, hey, that’s a small price for you to pay in your campaign against Israel , isn’t it? 

While we are on the subject of your Israeli boycott, and the medical contributions to the world made by Israeli doctors and scientists, how about telling your pals to boycott the following…..

An Israeli company has developed a simple blood test that distinguishes between mild and more severe cases of Multiple Sclerosis. So, if you know anyone suffering from MS, tell them to ignore the Israeli patent that may, more accurately, diagnose their symptoms. 

An Israeli-made device helps restore the use of paralyzed hands. This device electrically stimulates the hand muscles, providing hope to millions of stroke sufferers and victims of spinal injuries. If you wish to remove this hope of a better quality of life to these people, go ahead and boycott Israel .

Young children with breathing problems will soon be sleeping more soundly, thanks to a new Israeli device called the Child Hood.  This innovation replaces the inhalation mask with an improved drug delivery system that provides relief for child and parent. Please tell anxious mothers that they shouldn’t use this device because of your passionate cause.

These are just a few examples of how people have benefited medically from the Israeli know-how you wish to block. Boycotts often affect research. A new research center in Israel hopes to throw light on brain disorders such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

The Joseph Sangol   Neuroscience Center in the Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer Hospital , aims to bring thousands of scientists and doctors to focus on brain research.

A  researcher at Israel ‘s Ben Gurion University has succeeded in  creating human monoclonal antibodies which can neutralize the highly contagious smallpox virus without inducing the dangerous side effects of the  existing vaccine.

Two Israelis received the 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Doctors Ciechanover and Hershko’s research and discovery of one of the human cells most important cyclical processes will lead the way to DNA repair, control of newly produced proteins, and immune defense systems.

The Movement Disorder Surgery program at Israel ‘s Hadassah Medical   Center has successfully eliminated the physical manifestations of Parkinson’s disease in a select group of patients with a deep brain stimulation technique.

For women who undergo hysterectomies each year for the treatment of uterine fibroids, the development in Israel of the Ex Ablate 2000 System is a welcome breakthrough, offering a noninvasive alternative to surgery.

Israel is developing a nose drop that will provide a five year flu vaccine.

These are just a few of the projects that you can help stop with your Israeli boycott. But let’s not get too obsessed with my ducal research, there are other ways you can make a personal sacrifice with your anti-Israel boycott.  

Most of Windows operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel.  So, set a personal example. Throw away your computer!

Computers should have a sign attached saying Israel Inside. The Pentium NMX Chip technology was designed at Intel in Israel . Both the Pentium 4 microprocessor and the Centrum processor were entirely designed, developed, and produced in Israel .

Voice mail technology was developed in Israel

The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in 1996 in Israel by four young Israeli whiz kids.

Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R. & D. facilities outside the US in Israel .

So, due to your complete boycott of anything Israeli, you can now have poor health and no computer.

But your bad news does not end there. Get rid of your cellular phone. Cell phone technology was also developed in Israel by MOTOROLA which has its biggest development center in Israel. Most of the latest technology in your mobile phone was developed by Israeli scientists.

Feeling unsettled? You should be. Part of your personal security rests with Israeli inventiveness, borne out of our urgent necessity to protect and defend our lives from the terrorists you support.

A phone can remotely activate a bomb, or be used for tactical communications by terrorists, bank robbers, or hostage-takers. It is vital that official security and law enforcement authorities have access to cellular jamming and detection solutions.  Enter Israel’s Net line Communications Technologies with their security expertise to help the fight against terror.


A joint, nonprofit, venture between Israel and Maryland will result in a 5 day Business Development and Planning Conference next March. Elected Israeli companies will partner with Maryland firms to provide innovation to the US need for homeland security.

I also want you to know that Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.

Israel produces more scientific papers per capita – 109 per 10,000 – than any other nation.

Israel has the highest number of startup companies per rata. In absolute terms, the highest number, except the US . Israel has a ratio of patents filed.

Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies outside of  Silicon Valley . Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds, behind the  USA .

Israel has more museums per capita.

Israel has the second highest publication of new books per capita.

Relative to population, Israel is the largest immigrant absorbing nation on earth.

These immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom or expression, economic opportunity, and quality of life.

Believe it or not, Israel is the only country in the world which had a net gain in the number of trees last year. 

Even Warren Buffet of Berkshire-Hathaway fame has just invested millions with Israeli Companies.

So, you can vilify and demonize the State of Israel . You can continue your silly boycott, if you wish. But I wish you would consider the consequences, and the truth.

Think of the massive contribution that Israel is giving to the world, including the Palestinians – and to you – in science, medicine, communications, security.

Pro rata for population, Israel is making a greater contribution than any other nation on earth.

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The Palestinians are victims of Israel? You decide.

In the Palestinian narrative of their own situation, they are the victims of Israel.

They "lost their country" because of Israel. They became refugees because of Israel.

They are under occupation because of Israel. And Gaza is in chaos because of Israel.

Not only is this mindset deeply embedded in Palestinian society, with few mechanisms

for self-questioning.

The narrative is now also accepted as fact among large sections of ‘informed’ international

public opinion.

This narrative underlies the poor showing of Israel in public opinion surveys. It drives

Amnesty International’s stance on Israel, and the latest moves in Britain in favour of
boycotting Israeli academics. And it receives persistent reinforcement via BBC coverage
of Israel, and via other media outlets.

The narrative is, however, based on myths. The fact that it is becoming increasingly

deep-rooted in liberal opinion doesn’t make it true.

‘Israel’s creation took away Palestine from the Palestinians.’
Reality: In 1947 the internationally supported UN Partition Plan proposed a state for the

Palestinian Arabs, coexisting side-by-side with Israel. While the leaders of the future Jewish
state accepted the plan, Arab leaders rejected it.

Israel’s creation did not cause, as The Economist expressed it recently, "the loss of

Palestine". It was Arab leaders in 1947-8 who refused to agree to the creation of a
Palestinian Arab state.

‘Israel’s creation brought about the Palestinian refugee problem in 1948.’
Reality: Arab aggression, not Israeli aggression, was the root cause of the Palestinian

refugee problem. Arab opposition to Israel’s existence brought about the conflict of 1947-8
which resulted in thousands of Palestinian Arabs becoming refugees.

While many Palestinians left willingly, others were forcibly displaced during the fighting.

The argument rages as to how many Palestinian Arabs belong in each category.

But the basic fact is this: if the UN partition plan had been accepted by the Arabs, and

Israel had been allowed to live in peace at birth, there would have been no Palestinian
refugees in the first place.

It was not Israel’s creation that brought about the Palestinian refugee problem, but Arab

rejection of the creation of Israel.

‘The Palestinians are the victims of Israel’s 40 year military occupation of the

West Bank.’
Reality: Jordanian violence brought about Israel’s capture of the West Bank in 1967, and
Arab and Palestinian rejectionism have perpetuated that presence since then.

Successive Israeli governments have declared that they seek territorial compromise and

a two-state solution in the context of peace. It’s the explicit refusal of the Palestinian
leadership to recognise Israel’s right to exist which now prevents negotiations which could
make this happen.

The reason why the Palestinians have not achieved a West Bank state is not Israeli opposition

to Palestinian statehood and human rights. It’s Palestinian opposition to Israeli statehood and
human rights. That Palestinian stance is supported by Iran and other rejectionist forces
determined to sabotage a two-state solution.

It follows that Israel’s continued presence in the territories is the consequence of Palestinian

violence, not its cause. And most Israelis now accept that, however painful and traumatic it will
be, Israel would need to withdraw from most of those parts of the West Bank where still has a
presence, in the context of a durable peace.

"Israel has caused the chaos in Gaza."
Reality: In 2005 Israel physically destroyed its own presence in Gaza. The Palestinians were

given the opportunity to build up a mini-state, and benefit from a gigantic financial windfall,
which was promised by G8 countries and other members of the international community.

The Palestinians elected a Hamas leadership in January 2006 on a programme of rejection and

incitement towards Israel. Hamas has since refused to budge, plunging Palestinian society into
self-imposed isolation from the West.

The despair in Gaza is not due to the actions of Israel but, once again, to those of the

Palestinian leadership. Meanwhile, the factional warfare in Gaza has claimed many more
Palestinian lives in the last year than Israeli military activity.

The mindset of ‘Palestinians as victims of Israel’ recurs in many other areas.

Thus: ‘The Palestinians are victims of Israel’s security fence, the checkpoints, and

the targeted attacks’. In reality, each of these policies has been forced on a reluctant
Israel by the Palestinians’ own behaviour.

Israel’s share of responsibility
Of course, Israel is responsible day-to-day for a measure of Palestinian suffering,

inconvenience and resentment. Most fair-minded Israelis recognise this. But the root
cause of the Palestinians’ situation is not Israel’s actions, but their own. Yet, their culture
of victimhood blinds them to this reality.

Furthermore, the mindset is constantly echoed by ‘supporters’ of the Palestinians around

the world who demonise Israel, blame it in one-sided fashion for the Palestinians’ plight,
and do virtually nothing to encourage the Palestinians to acknowledge their responsibilities.

In so doing, these ‘supporters’ are actually damaging the Palestinians and helping to

consign them to perpetual misery.

As long as the culture of Palestinian victimhood prevails, it will fuel the conflict, and make peace impossible to achieve

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