Thursday, June 01, 2006

[imra] Daily digest - Volume: 2 Issue: 1407 (11 messages)

imra Thu Jun 1 00:32:58 2006 Volume 2 : Issue 1407

In this issue of the imra daily Digest:

Laurent Murawiec: Radical Islam must be defeated
- belief system makes deterrence mostly irrelevant
Exclusive: Fugitive to head PA Force 17
Excerpts: Egypt courts trouble 31 May 2006
France: Deplore Israeli incursion in Gaza Strip
"not going to get involved in a discussion on what motivated it"
2 Palestinian Citizens Killed by Palestinian
Gunmen in Nablus
Judicial victory for the Jewish Community of Hebron
PM Olmert Speaks With US President George Bush
PM Olmert Meets With Convert Soldiers
Tzvia Shimon to Head SELA Disengagement Authority
Weekly Commentary: Retreat
proponents jeopardize future talks
Poll of Likud members: Have primaries now 48%:47%;
Netanyahu 48% Shalom 22% Feiglin 13%


Subject: Laurent Murawiec: Radical Islam must be defeated
- belief system makes deterrence mostly irrelevant

BESA Center for Strategic Studies Bar-Ilan University
Radical Islam: Challenge and Response
Thursday May 25, 2006
Laurent Murawiec
Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C.

Deterrence works because one is able credibly to threaten the center of
gravity of the enemy: the threat of inflicting unacceptable losses upon him,
whether in a bar brawl or in nuclear escalation. The calculus deterrence
relies upon is: is it worth it? Is the Price/Earning Ratio of the
contemplated action so hugely negative that it would wipe out the capital?
Deterrence works if the price to be paid by the party to be deterred hugely
exceeds his expected earnings. But deterrence only works if the enemy is
able and willing to enter the same calculus. If the enemy plays by other
rules and calculates by other means, he will not be deterred. There was
nothing the Philistines could have done to deter Samson. If the calculus is:
I exchange my worthless earthly life against the triumph of Allah on earth,
and an eternity of bliss for me, if the enemy wishes to be dead, if to him
the Apocalypse is desirable, he will not be deterred.

When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the Mayor of Tehran, he insistently proposed
that the main thoroughfares of Tehran should be widened so that, he
explained, on the day of his reappearance, the Hidden Imam, Mohamed ibn
Hassan, who went into the great occultation in 941 AD could tread spacious
avenues. More recently, he told the Indian Foreign Minister that "in two
years, everything will be settled," which the visiting dignitary at first
mistook to mean that Iran expected to possess nuclear weapons in two years;
he was later bemused to learn what Ahmadinejad had meant, to wit, that the
Mahdi would appear in two years, at which points all worldly problems would
disappear. This attitude, truly, is not new, nor should it surprise us:
religious notions and their estranged cousins, ideological representations,
determine not only their believers' beliefs but also their believers'
actions. Reality, as it were, is invaded by belief, and belief in turn
shapes the believer's reality. The difference between the religious and the
ideologically religious is this: the religious believer accepts that reality
is a given, whereas the fanatic gambles everything on a pseudo-reality of
what ought to be. The religious believer accepts reality and works at
improving it, the fanatic rejects reality, refuses to pass any compromise
with it and tries to destroy it and replace it with his fantasy.

As Pat Moynihan memorably told an opponent, "you are entitled to your
opinions, but you are not entitled to your facts." Ahmadjinedi inhabits his
beliefs rather than the common earth. With him we do not share the same
facts, even though we share a planet. The sharing takes the form of bombs
and bullets.

Ahmadjinedi wants to hasten the reappearance of the Hidden Imam, whose
coming, in traditional Muslim, and especially Shiite, apocalyptics, will be
the Sign of the Hour, that the End of Days is nigh. Ahmadinejad's politics
cannot be labelled 'radical,' as opposed to 'moderate.' His politics are
apocalyptic and eschatological. Its vanishing point is not earthly but
otherworldly. Famously Ayatollah Khomeini said: "We have not made a
revolution to lower the price of melon." The task of the Mahdi, when he
reappears, will be to lead the great and final war which will bring about
the extermination of the Unbelievers, the end of Unbelief and the complete
dominion of God's writ upon the whole of mankind. The Umma will inflate to
absorb the rest of the world.

The politics carried out by the complex in power in Tehran - Ahmadinejad,
the Pasdaran, the Basiji, the ministry of Intelligence, Supreme Guide
Khamenei - is apocalyptic and millenarian - but it also is autistic: in the
world, nothing that contravenes their perverted sense of what is and what
ought to be, may be allowed to exist; conversely, anything in the world that
contradicts their representations must be eradicated: the only things
allowed to exist are their representations. In their revolt against the
Order of the world, they are determined to impose upon that world an Order
that incompatible with most institutions and people. They are disposed to
destroy a world that refuses their dawa, as it stubbornly clings to its own
ways, in order to make way for their fanciful views. Contemporary jihad is
not a matter of politics at all (of 'occupation, of 'grievances,' of
colonialism, neocolonialism, imperialism and Zionism), but a matter of
Gnostic faith. Consequently, attempts at dealing with the problem
politically will not even touch it. Aspirin is good, and so is penicillin,
but they are of little avail to counter maladies of the mind. I am
emphatically not saying here that the jihadis are "crazy." I am saying that
they are possessed of a disease of the mind, and the disease is the
political religion of modern Gnosticism in its Islamic version.

Let us flash back in time, if you will, to Sept. 28, 1971, in Cairo. The
prime minister of Jordan Wasfi al-Tell, who had been threatened by the
Palestinian movement in retaliation for the so-called Black September of
1970, walks into the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel. "Five shots, fired at
point-blank range, hit [him]. He staggered. he fell dying among the shards
of glass on the marble floor. As he lay dying, one of his killers bent over
and lapped the blood that poured from his wounds." The multiplicity of
similar incidents tells us that they are neither some 'collateral damage'
nor incidental occurrences. They do not belong in the sphere of traditional
politics, they are instead located in an 'elsewhere' of geopolitics.

Soldiers kill. Terrorists kill. Modern Jihadis lap the blood. Inseparable
from contemporary Arab-Muslim jihad are the idealization of blood, the
veneration of savagery, the cult of killing, the worship of death. Gruesome
murder, gory and gleeful infliction of pain, are lionized and proffered as
models and exemplary actions pleasing to Allah. These are no merely
reflections of a pre-modern attitude toward death. I have collected, as can
anybody, dozens of examples of human sacrifice inflicted by the Islamic
jihadi of all stripes. This pornography of crime is endless, from the
gratuitous killing of a Leon Klinghoffer to Mohammad Atta's instructions,
"You must make your knife sharp and you must not discomfort your animal
during the slaughter," and the Behesht Zahra, the 'Paradise of Flowers'
graveyard near Tehran with its Fountain of Blood, or this report on the
killing of an Algerian intellectual: "Dr. Hammed Boukhobza who was killed by
a group of Islamist terrorists in the city of Telemly. (.) He was not just
killed in his apartment, but his wife and children who wanted to escape were
forced to watch how he was literally cut to pieces, his entrails slowly
drawn out while he was just barely alive. The terrorists obviously liked to
watch the suffering, and they wanted to family to share their enjoyment."

The accumulation of such deeds shows that they are not an epiphenomenon but
are central to the purpose of the jihadi. They are aired 24/7 on TV channels
such as al Jazeera and many others. They are avidly watched and celebrated,
private and family screenings are arranged. Think of images and videofilms
of assassinations, Daniel Pearl, Paul Johnson, 'live' killing for the
viewing public. Perhaps the worst symbol of it all was the picture taken on
Oct. 12, 2000 in Ramallah: a young man shows his red hands dipped in the
blood of two murdered Israeli soldiers to an exultant Palestinian crowd.
There is a public demand to meet the supply: snuff movies are served as
identity markers. They bespeak the triumph of a theology of death, a
'manufacture of death' as the Baathist ideologues used to say (the purported
division between supposedly 'secular' Arab or pan- Arab nationalists and
religious types is meaningless when the matter is life and death, as it is),
and an 'industry of death,' as leading Saudi ulama proudly say. Listen to
the hypnotic threnody of the Muslim Brotherhood's chanted motto: Allah
ghayatuna/Al Rasul zaimuna/Al Quran dusturuna/Al Jihad sabiluna/Al mawt fi
sabil Allah asma amanina/Allah akbar. These are words to be taken seriously,
even literally, as events have shown. Hassan al-Banna repeatedly praised to
heaven his Brotherhood's "art of death" (fann al-mawt). This is
thanatolatry, martyropathology or nihilism: when an entire society orients
itself in this direction, that society is becoming suicidal. A society that
gears especially its young toward killing and actively seeking death, it is
making choices that bring about its extinction. "We love death more than you
love life."

If you depreciate and deprecate life and conversely focus all your desires
upon death, the devoutly-wished passage into the glorious afterlife by means
of shahada, 'trading' (as Quran says) one's own earthly life for one's
afterlife is much easier, and taking the life of others is a mandate, it is
an obligation, an offering. Suicide-killing as practiced so much against
Israel, India and more recently the United States, is caused by this
collective pathology of the mind, the Gnostic religious ideology. There are
secondary, contributing causes, but they are just that, auxiliaries to the

The believers - here, the jihadis - are the Elect: they, and only they, know
God's plan for the world; they have been chosen by Him to fight and win the
final, cosmic battle between God and Satan, and bring about perfection on
earth, in this case, the extension of God's writ and dominion, the dar
al-Islam, to mankind as a whole. Everybody else is wrong and evil, jahili,
and an enemy who can and should be killed at will. Reality, Creation, that
is, is irretrievably perverted. The Perfect are "an elite of amoral
supermen" (Norman Cohn), who know what reality 'really' ought to be. They
are engaged in transforming the world so that it conforms to the 'second
reality' that they alone know, thank to their special knowledge, gn�sis. In
order to get from A to B, from the evil today to the perfect tomorrow,
torrents of blood have to be shed in exterminatory struggle, the blood of
all those whose actions or whose very being hinder the accomplishment of the
Mahdi's mission. Owing to their extraordinary status, the Perfects are above
all laws and norms. Everything they do is willed and sanctioned by God.
Their intent (niyyah) vouches for their acts. They alone are able to
determine life and death. The power this ideology confers upon its believers
is intoxicating. They love death more than we love life.

For five hundred years, from 1100 to 1600, Europe was wracked by Gnostic
insurrections, from the Flanders to Northern Italy, from Bohemia to France:
Pastoureaux, Taborites, Flagellants, Free Spirits, Anabaptists, etc. The
belief-structure just described was theirs. They mobilized hundreds of
thousands of people, threatened kingdoms and overthrew dukedoms, they
slaughtered Jews, priests and rich people, they created their own,
grotesque, bloody, totalitarian 'republics.'

"Soon we shall drink blood for wine," one of the leading insurgent writers
stated, "those who do not accept baptism. are to be killed, then they will
be baptized in their blood." And another one: "Accursed be the man who
withholds his sword from shedding the blood of the enemies of Christ. Every
believer must wash his hands in that blood. every priest may lawfully
pursue, wound and kill sinners." And "the Just. will not rejoice, seeing
vengeance and washing their hands with the blood of sinners." Hear Thomas
M�ntzer: "curse the unbelievers. don't let them live any longer, the
evil-doers who turn away from God. For a godless man has no right to live if
he hinders the godly. The sword is necessary to exterminate them. if they
resist let them be slaughtered without mercy. the ungodly have no right to
live, save what the Elect choose to allow them. Now, go at them. it is time.
The scoundrels are as dispirited as dogs.Take no notice of the lamentations
of the godless! They will beg you. don't be moved by pity. At them! At them!
While the fire is hot! Don't let your sword get cold! Don't let it go lame!"

By and large, the same screeds are heard from a variety of Islamic radicals.
. "Die before you die!" Ali Shariati tells the Shiite believer. "He who
takes up a gun, a kitchen knife or even a pebble with which to arm and kill
the enemies of the faith has his place assured in Heaven. An Islamic state
is the sum total of such individual believers. An Islamic state is in a
state of war until the whole world sees and accepts the light of the True
Faith," said Ayatollah Fazlallah Mahalati, organizer of Iranian
assassination squads. "To allow the infidels to stay alive means to let them
do more corrupting. To kill them is a surgical operation commanded by Allah.
we have to kill. war is a blessing for the world and for every nation, It is
Allah himself who commands men to wage war and kill. It is war that purifies
the earth," said Ruhollah Khomeiny. And article 15 of the Hamas charter,
explains: "I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault
and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill!" As I said, a soldier kills, a
jihadi loves to kill. And what was the dismal arithmetic conveyed by some
jihadi that since the Americans had purportedly killed a lot of Muslims, the
Muslims were "entitled" to kill 4 million Americans, children included?
Torah recounts the end of human sacrifice: it forcefully states that God's
Law is THOU SHALT NOT MURDER that was adopted by Christians. Today's jihad
is a giant regression to pre-Abrahamic times, to Moloch and Baal.

In modern times in the West, as Eric Voegelin and Norman Cohn have shown,
the ideology morphed and took on secular forms - Nazis and Bolsheviks in
particular. Islam, was heavily burdened by Gnostic contents, and
historically shaped by a tribal matrix that inherently fosters Manichean
tendencies ("them"-vs.-"us"). The jump from mere religion to religious
ideology was easy. It was achieved in the 19th century by Jamal al-Din al-
Afghani. It was followed by Abu Ala Mawdoodi, Hassan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb,
Ali Shariati, Ruhollah Khomeiny, Osama bin Laden. Hamas, Hezbollah, the
Deobandi of South Asia, the Indonesian Jemaah Islamiyya, the Talibans, the
Wahhabi, share this outlook.

Knowing this, how do we deter the modern Gnostic warriors, the jihadi?

Mainly, we do not. Those who are dead already, who consider themselves dead
to the world and only alive to the Afterworld, those who wish to die,
generally cannot be deterred. Faith has been described as a belief in things
invisible. Gnosticism is belief in a fantasy that is taken to be more real
than the common reality: they do not believe what they see, they see what
they believe. This cannot be deterred. Imagine Osama bin Laden is in front
of you: how do you deter him? Or Zawahiri, or Zarqawi ? Deterrence? Don't
even think about it. Deterrence might have worked way before contemporary
jihad was able to reach critical mass, sometimes perhaps in the early to

If our enemy was merely 'terrorism,' we could defang it, admittedly at great
cost: by destroying the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus and their grip on power, by
wiping out the Iranian Ayatollahs' strength, and by squeezing hard the
noxious Pakistani military-intelligence establishment - all in all, the
linchpins of Muslim terrorism. Once this infrastructure of terror collapsed,
much of terror would. But terror itself is nothing but the principal
paramilitary instrument of jihad: the operative concept is jihad, not
terror. The jihadis' purpose (in Clausewitzian terms, Zweck), in the very
words of the Quran, is to strike terror in the hearts of unbelievers, it is
a quasi-military objective: once terrorized, the Unbelievers, the
schismatics and the polytheists will convert, submit or die. The strategic
aim (Ziel) of jihad is the Gnostic takeover of the world. To some extent, we
may be able to lessen, hinder or hamper the Zweck. But the Ziel is
unconditional and cannot be altered. Can we de-fang jihad by pulling its
terrorist teeth?

Some workarounds work. The way in which Israeli military and security forces
have ruthlessly sapped the strength of Islamic terror, notably by a
high-tempo attrition of its leadership cadre, is exemplary and should be
studied and emulated elsewhere, different conditions obtaining.

Contemporary jihad, like its emanation, terrorism, is an integral chain: as
long as it is islamico-glamorous to be a cleric who issues fatwas calling
for the murder of Israeli civilians or American GIs, the cleric will go on.
Once dead, he will stop. So will the chairman of a charity that funnels
money to jihad. So will the senior intelligence officer who trains or
smuggles them, the predicator who incites, the madrasa or university
professor who brainwashes, the prince who lies for terror, the ayatollah who
sends out teams of killers, etc. This is deterrence after the French
expression the have been shot pour encourager les autres. Jihad is the
operative ideology of a number of states; states can be pinned down and hit.
This approach is a variant of the notion of decapitation, or of the
formulation of nodal targeting given by air power theorist Col. John Warden.
Less than the jihadi hardware, it is the jihadi software that has to be
hit - but not by soft power.

What did Europe do to crush the insurrectionary Gnostics in the Medieval and
late- Medieval era? Churchill once said: "If Hitler invaded hell I would
make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons."
Likewise I'll have a kind word for the Inquisition (not the Spanish one,
though), which did quite a job cleaning up the mess. They rounded them up
and they killed them. Thomas M�ntzer was defeated, captured and beheaded in
1525. The 'King' of the Anabaptists of M�nster, John von Leyden and his
aides, were executed in 1535. As a terrible warning, their bodies were
suspended in iron cages from the tower of St. Lambert's church in the town.
Those who survived hit in wait for better days. What they had found is that
their insurgency was hopeless, that it was useless, and that sticking one's
neck out was a sure way to lose it. Their will had been broken. Enough of a
trauma had been inflicted to do so.

One martyr will have followers, ten martyrs will be admired and emulated.
One thousand dead martyrs who died unheralded die in vain. If Ahmadinejad
and others die in vain and uselessly they will not die as martyrs but as
slobs. For the Gnostic, for the jihadi, his death is the only thing that
matters to him: take that away and nothing is left. It does not mean, as the
jurors of the Moussaoui trial were apparently led to believe, that "you
cannot make a martyr out of him, since this is what he wants." Make his
death a lonely, useless, ignored death. Unextraordinary, unromantic, trivial
deaths shatter the glory of the jihadi's death. It was George Patton who
said: "No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by
making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country." The recipe is not
pretty nor is it easy.

The defeated European Gnostics went underground, their sole hope resided in
the clandestine conveying of their beliefs, especially to their children.
Society cannot eliminate the Gnostic beliefs, but can make the strain
dormant instead of virulent. Jihad is integral to Islam and derives from its
most fundamental tenets. The severing of that link is not going to happen
soon. But throughout history, when Islamic conquerors met their match, they
stopped. When they met crushing defeat, they retreated, and found the ulama
and the faqih to justify that, like prophets who announced the Rapture for
yesterday, 8:09 am, and reschedule it for next year. But let us remember
that most of the faithful are not turned off by the ludicrous failure of
their prophet's prophecies, precisely because they live in the 'second

Once their leaders had been exterminated, the Medieval insurgents of Europe
disbanded and scattered. Applying high-tempo attrition and nodal targeting
to the jihadi apparatus worldwide (by which I emphatically do not mean
'terrorists' alone or even in the first place) seems to me to be a modern
equivalent. If I may say in homage to the chain of command that orchestrated
his elimination, Sheikh Yasin was not in the habit of wielding pistols - he
wielded death. It is those who deploy the undead who must be the priority


Subject: Exclusive: Fugitive to head PA Force 17

Exclusive: Fugitive to head PA Force 17
Khaled Abu Toameh, THE JERUSALEM POST May. 31, 2006

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas decided on Tuesday to appoint
a security officer who had been accused by Israel of involvement in
terrorist attacks as overall commander of his Force 17 "presidential guard"
in the West Bank.

The decision to appoint Col. Mahmoud Damra, also known as Abu Awad, comes
only days after Israel agreed to provide weapons and ammunition to Force 17
following increased threats on Abbas's life.

PA officials told The Jerusalem Post that Abbas approved the appointment of
Damra in a presidential decree issued just before he left Ramallah for
Tunis. They confirmed that Damra was on Israel's list of wanted terrorists,
but claimed that the charges were "baseless."

"Damra is a senior Palestinian officer who was very close to the late Yasser
Arafat," said one official. "He did have a role in the revolution and in the
struggle against Israel, like most Palestinians. But today he is committed
to the peace process and he supports President Abbas."

Damra was one of several fugitives who sought shelter in Arafat's Mukata
compound in Ramallah in 2002 after Israel accused him of masterminding
terrorist attacks. Damra was then commander of the Ramallah branch of Force
17 and was in charge of protecting Arafat and his top aides.

Israeli security officials said then that, since the beginning of the
intifada in September 2000, Damra had led a terrorist cell in the Ramallah
area that carried out deadly attacks, including shooting at vehicles,
attacking communities and IDF positions and planting bombs.

In March 2004, The Daily Telegraph quoted Israeli defense officials as
saying that Damra was "a commander of terrorist actions, even suicide

Damra's deputy, Abu Fadih, was killed during a gun battle with soldiers in
the center of Ramallah in March 2002. The IDF said then that Abu Fadih
headed a Fatah cell responsible for the deaths of at least 15 Israelis.

The gunmen commanded by Damra included members of Force 17 and Abbas's Fatah
party. According to the officials, Damra personally issued orders to them to
carry out attacks and was in charge of supplying them with weapons and
A statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office in 2001 announced the
arrest of three members of Force 17 who were allegedly involved in the
killing of Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane and his wife Talia in December 2000.

According to the statement, Damra was responsible for arming and instructing
the three men, who were identified as Talal Ghassan, 37, a senior Force 17
member in Ramallah, Marzouk Abu Naim, 43, and Na'man Nofel.

The three were planning on carrying out additional attacks on soldiers and
civilians, especially on the Ramallah-area bypass roads, on the Allon road
and in Jerusalem, the statement said.

Abu Naim led his interrogators to two bombs which the cell had been planning
to use.

Israeli security officials also attribute to Damra's men a shooting attack
near Neveh Tzuf in November 2000 in which two soldiers and a civilian were
killed, a shooting attack at the Tapuah junction in November 2001 in which
one civilian was killed, and a shooting attack on Route 443 near Givat Ze'ev
in December 2001 in which a civilian was killed.


Subject: Excerpts: Egypt courts trouble 31 May 2006

Excerpts: Egypt courts trouble 31 May 2006

+++AL-AHRAM WEEKLY 25-31 May '06:"Davos to downtown"By Salama A Salama
"thousands of security men chasing a few hundred young protesters"
"youths... arrested in hundreds downtown and on university campuses"
"No economic stability is possible in the absence of political reform"
A few days ago, the president of a major European country stopped over in
Cairo ...the delegation accompanying the guest included four students, boys
and girls, under the age of 20. ... top high school students and the trip
was a reward for their academic accomplishment.
I thought of this as I contemplated the divisive scene in this country.
Egypt has split into two halves. One half concentrates on a block of
downtown Cairo, with thousands of security men chasing a few hundred young
protesters. The protesters were out to support the judges in their bid for
judicial independence. The second half is in Sharm El-Sheikh, relaxing under
tight security for fear of terror, rubbing shoulders with world leaders and
businessmen, and busy discussing the Davos slogan -- "The Promise of a New
What generation are we talking about? Are we talking about the youths who
have been arrested in hundreds downtown and on university campuses? Or are
we talking about the youths ...talked about in Sharm El-Sheikh? Is there
anything in common between the two? How would one expect the downtown
youths, the young people who we've inundated with empty promises for years,
to feel affinity to the virtual world portrayed in Sharm El-Sheikh?
In Sharm El-Sheikh, participants in the World Economic Forum painted a
bright picture of economic security and jobs, of investment and reform.
Experts called for more inter-trade among Arab countries. Economists urged
the creation of 100 million new jobs by 2020. How could our young people
relate to that? How could they believe us when they see the region teetering
on the verge of a catastrophe? Forget about Iraq and Palestine. Forget about
the turmoil in Gaza and the Syrian-Lebanese crisis. Forget about Sudan and
the imminent international intervention there. Our youths are worried about
... their day-to-day clash with society, with our own political, educational
and police institutions. . . .We have made no real effort to train our
young for decent jobs. When Italy provided us with 3,000 jobs, just to stop
the lethal sea voyages in which hundreds of our young died already, alas,
only 35 youths had the qualifications to fill these jobs, according to the
Italian ambassador.
.... There is a deep gulf between the ethos of Davos and the reality of
Central Security deployment in central Cairo. That gulf will remain
unbridgeable so long as the National Democratic Party insists that security
measures are the only way to go.
You cannot suppress political and civil freedoms and expect to win. You
cannot deny the judiciary its independence and expect to win. This is
nonsense. No economic stability is possible in the absence of political

Sue Lerner - Associate - IMRA


Subject: France: Deplore Israeli incursion in Gaza Strip
"not going to get involved in a discussion on what motivated it"

(Paris, May 30, 2006)


We deplore the Israeli incursion into Gaza, a territory under the control of
the Palestinian Authority. We call on the Palestinian Authority to take all
necessary measures to stop the firing of rockets into Israeli territory. We
call upon the two parties to put a halt to all violence and to restore calm
and restraint.

Q - Israel invoked the right to intervene preventively. What is France's
interpretation of this justification to intervene in Gaza with such

We note first of all that this Israeli incursion was the first land
operation since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza last year. As we say in the
statement I've just made, Gaza is a territory under the control of the
Palestinian Authority. We therefore deplore this Israeli operation. I'm not
going to get involved in a discussion on what motivated it. What's important
is for the Palestinian Authority to take all measures to avoid the firing of
rockets from Gaza into Israeli territories and for both sides to show

Q - An Israeli minister announced that he was asking three Hamas deputies
and one minister, the minister of Jerusalem, to resign from Parliament and
from the government under the threat of expulsion and a ban on their living
in Jerusalem. Do you have any reaction?

We saw that announcement and are waiting to see what happens. On the French
side, we are very attached to the compliance with texts governing the status
of Jerusalem and are equally concerned with the protection of the civil
rights of Arab residents of Jerusalem. We remain opposed to any measure that
prejudges the final status of the city, which should result from
negotiations between the parties. [.]

Q - Has anything been decided in Brussels about aid to the Palestinians?

The Council will meet in June. It was decided last time that the Commission
would make proposals. It is working on them in conjunction with other bodies
or organizations, notably the World Bank, since one of the ideas is that the
fiduciary fund would be run by the World Bank. We are waiting for the
Commission's proposals. Technical meetings have taken place. We hope all
this moves rather quickly because it is urgent to establish this mechanism.

Q - In other words, thus far all European aid remains blocked?

Not everything is blocked; Many things were in fact already under way just
before the suspension. We mustn't have too dark a vision of things. A lot of
the aid was already en route. What's being suspended for now is a hundred
million euros. Once again, we shouldn't assume that no aid will be disbursed
in 2006; that would be wrong.

Q - In spite of that, there's been talk about this fund, and about a
solution, for weeks now. We can deploy emergency means for Indonesia, which
of course are well deserved, but for a situation like Gaza, there's no way
to deploy emergency means while we await the Commission's decision one way
or another?

We are well aware of the urgency of the situation. Most recently, there was
a World Bank report in early May that described the situation and showed how
things were indeed very troubling in different areas, including health and
education, and we are convinced of the need to do something. Once again, the
EU had already disbursed a certain number of credits before the suspension.
Humanitarian aid isn't affected by this suspension. Moreover, we are
pressuring the various parties to consider these humanitarian aspects. When
the foreign minister went to Israel, for example, he pleaded with the
Israeli government to disburse frozen funds. You saw that the Israelis
decided to unfreeze part of those funds. But we agree on the fact that it is
urgent to put this mechanism into effect. It was France that proposed it.
But the EU must make more specific proposals now, and it must be done



Subject: 2 Palestinian Citizens Killed by Palestinian
Gunmen in Nablus

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

Security Chaos and Proliferation of Small Arms
Extra-Judicial Executions of Suspected Collaborators with Israeli Security

Field Update
31 May 2006

2 Citizens Killed by Gunmen in Nablus

Yesterday evening, Jefal Mahmoud Ayesh (25) and Wedad Ghazi Abu Mustafa
(28), from Balata refugee camp near Nablus, were extra-judicially executed
in two separate crimes perpetrated by armed Palestinian groups. The
perpetrators claimed that the victims had been informants for the Israeli
security services.

PCHR's preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 15:30 on
Tuesday, 30 May 2006, a number of gunmen from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades,
the armed wing of Fatah, shot Jefal Ayesh near the northwestern entrance of
Balata refugee camp. Ayesh was hit with several bullets to the head, chest
and limbs, killing him instantly. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades declared
responsibility for the crime, claiming that the victim had been
collaborating with the Israeli security services.

And at approximately 16:40 on the same day, an armed group apprehended Wedad
Abu Mustafa from her house in Balata refugee camp. The gunmen took her to
Rafedia Hospital in Nablus. When they reached the hospital's courtyard, the
gunmen fired at her. She was killed instantly by bullets to the head, chest
and limbs. The victim was the widow of a citizen who had been recently
killed by Israeli Occupation Forces.

Since the beginning of 2006, six Palestinians have been executed
extra-judicially by armed Palestinian groups, under accusations of
collaborating with Israeli security services.

PCHR is worried about the continuation of extra-judicial executions carried
out by armed Palestinian groups, against persons accused of collaboration
with the Israeli security services. The Centre stresses the following:
- These crimes are a form of extra-judicial execution and are,
therefore, a serious violation of human rights;
- The legal pursuit of informants or those suspected of
collaborating with Israel is the duty of the Palestinian National Authority
(PNA) and its designated branches. This must be done within the framework
of the law, where suspects are ensured of all their legal rights, including
the right to a fair trial; and

- The Centre reiterates its strong opposition to the death penalty under
any and all circumstances, as it is a serious violation of human rights,
especially the right to life and the right to freedom from torture and cruel
and inhumane treatment.

Public Document
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8
2824776 - 2825893
PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip.
E-mail:, Webpage
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Subject: Judicial victory for the Jewish Community of Hebron

Judicial victory for the Jewish Community of Hebron
The Jewish Community of Hebron
May 31, 2006

"HaAretz" and "Yedioth Achronot" newspapers will print public apology to the
community and pay damages of over 10,000 NIS each. The public apology will
stress that the Israeli Supreme Court did not rule that the "Beit Shapira"
sales documents were counterfeit.

Following the expulsion from Beit Shapira on May 7, both HaAretz and Yedioth
Achronot newspapers published articles stating that the Supreme Court's
decision to allow eviction from the building was based upon their ruling
that the purchase documents were forged.

This statement was blatantly false. To the contrary, the court specifically
stated that it could not intervene in the question as to the legality of the
building's purchase or disputed claims of ownership and therefore ordered
that the case be adjudicated at a lower court level.

On May 8th Hebron's Jewish community, via attorneys Prof. Michael and Gilad
Corinaldi, notified the two newspapers of a civil suit pending against them,
for libeling the community and betraying journalistic ethics, thereby
causing damage to those responsible for the building's purchase, and its
residents. The suit demanded both an apology and financial damages.

Following negotiations between the newspapers' attorney and Prof. Corinaldi,
the two sides reached an agreement whereby the newspapers would print a
clarification and apology, stressing that the Supreme Court did not rule
that the purchase documents were false, and would express regret at the
error. HaAretz would pay the community total damages of 15,000 shekels and
Yedioth Achronot, 13,000 shekels.

Community leaders expressed satisfaction at the agreement.

"We have set a precedent, and this is the central point. The media cannot
print false accounts slandering residents of Judea and Samaria."

"This ruling also proves that the struggle for Beit Shapira is not over. The
apologies issued by the newspapers will only be the first in a series of
apologies we expect to receive concerning this issue: the police, the civil
administration, and the prosecutor's office will be added to the list of
those requesting our forgiveness."

"This episode is an important judicial victory, and is the first stage in
our judicial fight to restore Beit Shapira to its rightful, legal owners."

The Jewish Community of Hebron
P.O. Box 105, Kiryat Arba 90100 Israel
Tel: 972-2-9965333; Fax: 972-2-9965304


Subject: PM Olmert Speaks With US President George Bush

PM Olmert Speaks With US President George Bush
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this evening (Wednesday), 31.5.06, with US
President George Bush, who telephoned him in order to update on recent
developments regarding the Iranian issue. The two men agreed to be in close
contact on the issue.


Subject: PM Olmert Meets With Convert Soldiers

PM Olmert Meets With Convert Soldiers
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met today (Wednesday), 31.5.06, with a group of
IDF new immigrant soldiers from the former USSR, who had completed a Netiv
course designed to assist them as they converted to Judaism during their IDF
service. Prime Minister's Office Conversion Director Rabbi Haim Druckman,
GOC Personnel Maj.-Gen. Eliezer Stern, IDF Chief Education Officer
Brig.-Gen. Ilan Harari and Institute for the Study of Judaism Director Prof,
Benny Ish-Shalom also attended the meeting.

Prime Minister Olmert welcomed everybody and said: "This meeting is very
moving and I am very pleased to be here. I hope that you are also excited
to be part of the Jewish People. I assume that you overcame many obstacles,
disappointments and frustrations en route to Israel. But now you are here
and I very much hope that you are excited because we are very pleased that
you are here with us and that you want to live here and be Jewish. We want
to accept you with love and in a spirit of partnership.

I spoke to Rabbi Druckman and told him that what he is doing is praiseworthy
and that I was certain that whoever receives his signature deserves to be
accepted. It is very important that you are here and feel part of the
Jewish People; however, it is more important that you feel that we want you
to be part of us and that we are proud of you."

Prime Minister Olmert was asked why he thought immigration had stopped and
said that in his opinion immigration had not stopped; however, it had shrunk
for two reasons: "The first reason is that most immigrants came during the
1990's and most of them are here with us. The second reason is that life in
the former USSR has improved, and the regimes have become more democratic."

Prime Minister Olmert said: "There is no greater challenge than to bring all
Jews from everywhere to Israel. We have one home - here, this is our home,
the place that gives a greater future to the Jewish People and my Government
will do its utmost for continued immigration and the absorption of the


Subject: Tzvia Shimon to Head SELA Disengagement Authority

Tzvia Shimon to Head SELA Disengagement Authority
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today (Wednesday), 31.5.06, announced that he
intends to appoint Prime Minister's Office Senior Deputy Director-General
Tzvia Shimon to replace Yonatan Basi, who has sought leave to resign as
Director of the SELA Disengagement Authority. She has degrees in business
administration and management from Fairleigh Dickinson University in the
United States. She has held senior positions at the Israeli missions in
Cairo, Chicago, New York and elsewhere.

The SELA Disengagement Authority will continue deal with all the issues that
it has dealt with thus far according to the Evacuation Compensation Law.


Subject: Weekly Commentary: Retreat
proponents jeopardize future talks

Weekly Commentary: Retreat proponents jeopardize future talks

Aaron Lerner Date: 31 May 2006

While claims by retreat proponents that Israeli withdrawals only serve to
benefit the Jewish State may serve to help them in the domestic debate,
their arguments could very well seriously handicap future Palestinian
leaders who might be interested in striking a workable bargain.

Any future workable deal will, by its nature, require Palestinian compromise
on such issues as the right of return of refugees to within Israel's
borders, force/weapons limits inside the Palestinian entity and airspace
control, just to name a few.

If the time is ever reached that Israel finds itself dealing with a serious
Palestinian leadership that delivers on its obligations, those Palestinian
leaders are going to have to convince their constituents that Palestinian
concessions were matched by Israeli concessions in the give-and-take of the
bargaining table.

The retreat from Gaza already took the Gaza "chips" off the table. Remarks
by Olmert, Peres and others that additional retreats would be an Israeli
gain rather than a sacrifice do not go unnoticed by the Palestinian street.
They could readily set the stage for a future stalemate as Palestinian
negotiators, interested as much in their own survival as in making a deal,
find the Palestinian public unimpressed by Israeli territorial concessions
even if they are truly bare-bones Israeli red lines.

Rather than promote the chances for peace these retreat advocate are
jeopardizing the chances of ever negotiating a workable deal.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730


Subject: Poll of Likud members: Have primaries now 48%:47%;
Netanyahu 48% Shalom 22% Feiglin 13%

Poll of Likud members: Have primaries now 48%:47%; Netanyahu 48% Shalom 22%
Feiglin 13%

Aaron Lerner Date: 1 June 2006

Telephone poll of a representative sample of Likud party members carried out
by Maagar Mohot ("Brain Trust") for Makor Rishon the week of 1 June 2006 -
published on 1 June

Are you for or against having primaries today to elect the chairman of the
Likud and its candidate for prime minister?
For 48% Against 47% Other answers 5%

If primaries were held today which of these candidates would you vote for?
Netanyahu 48% Shalom 22% Feiglin 13% Other answers 17%

And if the candidates were Netanyahu, Shalom and Katzav?
Netanyahu 52% Shalom 16% Katzav 14% Other answers 18%

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730


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End of [imra] Daily digest - Volume: 2 Issue: 1407 (11 messages)

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