Archive for the ‘News and politics’ Category

Fifteen years in jail for love
Globe and Mail 08/18/2007 By Graeme Smith
 "Have you ever heard The saddest story in this prison?"

In the crumbling cell blocks of Sarpoza prison, on the western edge of Kandahar city, the question seems impossible to contemplate. This is a place full of terrible stories, some true and others bred in the imagination of men who survive on little but gruel.

But the deputy warden, Nadi Gul Khan, has something specific in mind.

He looks over at his friend, Mohammed Nader, who nods in agreement. Mr. Nader, thuggish and meaty, serves as an informal boss in Sarpoza’s national-security wing. A prisoner from a wealthy family, he has connections that give him influence in the worst corner of the prison, reserved for accused murderers, kidnappers and Taliban insurgents.

Many of the convicts here languish in dark cells where chunks of masonry fall from the ceiling as they sleep. Mr. Nader has a better room, with a bed, a television, and windows that look out on a garden.
His cell is swept clean, his dishes washed, and his tea carefully poured by a little man named Abib Rahman.

"Yes, it’s true," Mr. Nader declares, solemnly. "My tea boy has the saddest story."

Tea boys often suffer in places like this, where the role can require working as a sexual servant for other inmates. Maybe that is why the deputy warden feels it necessary to add: "It involves a girl," he says. "It’s a love story."

The prison boss summons Mr. Rahman, and he scurries into the room like a hobbit.

Everybody else lounges on cushions, but the young man with downcast eyes takes a spot on the floor.

"Tell your story," the deputy warden says.

Mr. Rahman obeys, and begins, in a soft voice, the unravelling of a tale that starts a decade ago with a child fleeing the slums to find his fortune, and the love that lured him into prison.

He introduces himself as the 22-year-old son of Mir Alam, of the Amirhil tribe, which makes him an ethnic Pashtun like most others here in southern Afghanistan but without any connections to the powerful tribes that hold sway in this region.

He lived in the slums of Kabul until he was 12 years old, he says, when his family sent him to Kandahar in search of work. The Taliban ruled the city in those days, and jobs were scarce.
A rich landowner from Panjwai took pity on the child. The farmer promised to pay Mr. Rahman the equivalent of $50 a month, he says, in exchange for menial work in his fields of wheat and grapes southwest of the city.

The boy moved into the farmer’s house and spent his days watering the crops, driving a tractor, and tinkering with the irrigation pumps.

A year passed. Mr. Rahman started to feel accepted by the family; the daughters didn’t cover their faces in his presence. He felt grateful for the work and the shelter, he says, but he grew worried about the fact that he hadn’t yet been paid.

"He was like my father," Mr. Rahman says. "It was hard to talk to him about the money."

When Mr. Rahman did broach the subject, the farmer was apologetic, saying he had little extra money. But he did have another kind of wealth: His daughters, which are worth about $5,000 each in southern Afghanistan, where brides are regularly purchased with cash, land, or cattle.

The farmer said he noticed that Mr. Rahman had grown friendly with one of his daughters. He calculated that it would take the boy eight years to earn the bride-price by working the land, after which he would give permission for them to marry.

"She was a year younger than me," he says, remembering her with a shy smile. "We were children together, we knew each other. We were very happy."

Afghans usually keep their families hidden from strangers. Mr. Rahman declines to say his sweetheart’s name, or describe her. He says only this: "She is beautiful."

More years passed. The girl started wearing a burka, the concealing blue shroud, after she reached puberty. Sweating in the fields added ropy muscles to the young man’s frame. He grew a light-brown beard.
The teenagers were no longer allowed to meet in private, because of local traditions, but one night the girl visited the young man in secret. She begged him to take her away from her father’s house, he says. She claimed that her mother had given her blessings, and she wanted to escape with him to Kabul. She never gave him details about why she wanted to get away from her father.

Horrified, the young man refused. He could not betray the man who had protected him like a parent, he says, and Pashtun tradition forbids marriage against a father’s wishes.

Still, he says, the daughter persisted. She would often find ways of getting him alone, sometimes only for a minute, to repeat her request.

His willpower started to break when he was 20 years old, he says.

Eight years had passed and the farmer showed no interest in a wedding.

The daughter visited him again one evening, with a variation on her usual plea. This time she brought a bundle of money, 30,000 Pakistani Rupees, or about $520. She had stolen the cash from her father, she said, and she wanted him to buy a motorcycle.

He picked out a red Chinese motorbike a few days later, paid cash, and stashed away the leftover money for their journey. Still, he hesitated. He told the farmer he’d purchased the bike with gift money from his family in Kabul, and the old man seemed pleased, sending him on errands along the dirt tracks that wind like brown streams around the green Panjwai valley.

Two months later, he finally worked up the nerve. The daughter packed a few dresses in a bag; he didn’t own anything except the clothes he was wearing. They drove away at night, up the bumpy paths in Panjwai, onto the paved roads that lead through Kandahar. The city teems with traffic by day, but the streets are empty by late evening and noise of their little bike’s engine would have echoed down the rows of shuttered shops.

They passed under the arched eastern gates of the city and took the northern fork in the road, puttering across the darkened scrublands.

Two hours later they reached Qalat, where truckers often stop on their way to Kabul, and hit a police roadblock.

It was September of 2005, and police were watching the highways carefully in hopes of preventing any disruption of the upcoming parliamentary elections. As usual in this country, the police also used the checkpoints to enrich themselves. Officers told Mr. Rahman it was forbidden to travel by motorcycle to Kabul because the road was too dangerous; instead, they would give him two seats in a shared taxi and hold his bike for safekeeping.

The young man had little experience with such situations, and didn’t argue with the officers’ logic. The young couple squeezed into an overcrowded taxi, a yellow-and-white Japanese sedan, and reached the capital city the next morning.

A cold welcome awaited them in Kabul. Mr. Rahman had not seen his hometown since boyhood, and his parents had died while he was away.

His three brothers were still living at home with their wives and children, a total of 16 people crowded into a modest five-room compound in the city’s western slums.

The family was scandalized by his attempt to elope. He introduced the 19-year-old as his future wife, and his brother exploded in rage.

"My brother said, ‘You don’t have a wife! Who is this woman?’ " Mr. Rahman says.

His brothers sent word to the Panjwai farmer that they had located his daughter. The landowner arrived quickly, all smiles, ate lunch with the family and spent a night in their home. In the morning he declared himself satisfied with the Rahman family and gave his consent for a wedding, on the condition that his daughter return home so they could prepare for the celebration.

The daughter wept at this news, Mr. Rahman says, because she didn’t want to go back.

"I knew he was dishonest, but there was nothing I could do," he says. "I tried to argue with him, but I’m not so strong."

Mr. Rahman watched his bride loaded into a car, and saw it disappear into the ramshackle slums. He was penniless, with nothing to show for his labour. His brothers tried to console him: As a healthy young man with no debts, they said, his prospects were good. The regime of President Hamid Karzai had brought prosperity to the capital; surely he could start again in the new Afghanistan.

The young man says he knew that returning to Kandahar wasn’t a good idea. By promising a wedding, the farmer had taken back his daughter with a face-saving untruth, and everybody involved knew it. Asking the farmer to make good on his promise would only invite trouble.

But Mr. Rahman was in love. He caught a southbound bus a week later, and showed his naivety by stopping in Qalat to inquire with the local police about his motorcycle. In the course of his explanations about the missing bike, Mr. Rahman mentioned the name of his former employer. One of the officers phoned the farmer, Mr. Rahman says, and moments later he found himself under arrest.

He spent the following months shuffled from jail to jail, from Qalat to the secret police headquarters in Kandahar, and onwards to the crumbling prison on the west side of the city.

He told his story countless times to police interrogators, he says.

The formal charge laid against him was kidnapping, but a prosecutor who listened to his story seemed sympathetic and predicted he would be set free within a month.

The poor and powerless often fare badly in Kandahar’s justice system, however. Mr. Rahman says the farmer used his tribal connections to influence the case, and he was sentenced to 15 years in jail.

The young man goes silent. The prison cell is quiet for a moment, except for the clicking of the deputy warden’s prayer beads. Birds sing in the garden. The prison boss stretches his heavy limbs and settles himself back on his bed with a chuckle at his tea boy’s misfortune.

Mr. Rahman stares down at his dirty feet. He is asked whether he regrets coming back to chase after his love, and he looks up with a glance that suggests he couldn’t have done anything else.

"Everything turned out the way I expected," he says. 


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TBOX – Key facts about Pakistan’s Islamic madrasas
Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:27 AM IST
(Reuters) – Pakistani security forces were securing the last parts of a mosque and school complex on Wednesday, a day after an assault that killed a rebel cleric, more than 50 Islamist fighters and eight soldiers.
Here are key facts about madrasas, or Islamic schools, in Pakistan


Pakistan has about 13,000 madrasas, according to official estimates. They provide rudimentary schooling, free religious education, shelter and food to about 1 million boys from poor families. Some are centres of higher learning, teaching different schools of Islamic thought, philosophy and jurisprudence. There are a very few madrasas for girls, of which the Jamia Hafsa in the Red Mosque complex is one.
According to a March 2007 report by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group think-tank, well-founded estimates put the number of madrasas in the country at about 20,000.
Most madrasas teach the Deobandi school of thought, a hardline interpretation of Islam whose adherents include Afghanistan’s Taliban movement and most Pakistani militant groups. A few are little more than fronts for militant organisations, some critics say.


Pakistan saw a spectacular rise in madrasa numbers in the 1980s when the schools, backed by funding from the West and Arab countries, became recruiting grounds for Islamic volunteers fighting Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Some madrasas later supplied recruits for the Taliban regime, which was toppled by U.S.-led forces in 2001 for sheltering al Qaeda militants.
Madrasas are funded through collections or from donations from abroad or from big business and even multinationals in Pakistan. Some rent out space for shops, often on illegally occupied state land.


President Pervez Musharraf launched a drive in 2002 to reform madrasas, but it faltered because of opposition from hardline groups.
There were fresh efforts following revelations that three of the four bombers in the July 7, 2005, attacks on London were Muslims of Pakistani origin, and that at least one of them was believed to have visited madrasas in Pakistan.
About 1,400 foreign students were ordered to leave in July 2005. Officials say many have left and of the 600 to 700 enrolled, half have got permission from their governments to stay.
The International Crisis Group says efforts to reform the seminaries are in a shambles, and madrasas have thrived because of the government’s dependence on religious parties.

© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved.

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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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