imra Tue Mar 7 02:20:06 2006 Volume 2 : Issue 1345
In this issue of the imra daily Digest:
Omri Sharon cronyism [with support of Olmert]
expose shocks Kadima officials
Haneya: Formation of New Government
within Three Weeks [before Israeli elections]
Hamas between Clashing With Abbas's Speech
and Adapting Mutual Platform
IDF Aerial Attack Against a Vehicle Carrying an
Islamic Jihad Terrorist in the Northern Gaza Strip
BACKGROUND INFO: Islamic Jihad Terrorist Involved in Terror
Attacks Against Israel Targeted in an IDF Aerial Attack in Gaza City
Hamas votes to revoke Abbas powers
Excerpts: Journalism of Al Ahram Weekly.
The British versus Begin. Egypt confused.6 March 2006
President al-Assad Speech At the Arab Parties General
Conference (very important to concentrate on the right to return)
Jordanian Government: Won't interfere with Israeli
unilateral evacuations, concerned with Israeli election results
MEMRI: Saudi Cleric: Denmark Apology
Too Late & Jews are a Cancerous Tumor
Exclusive: Saudi Arabia will host Israel boycott event
Analysis of NGO Funding: Finland's Ministry
for Foreign Affairs Development Cooperation
Subject: Omri Sharon cronyism [with support of Olmert]
expose shocks Kadima officials
Omri Sharon cronyism expose shocks Kadima officials
By Mazal Mualem, Haaretz Correspondent 6 March 2006
Kadima members were horrified Sunday at revelations concerning the large
number of political appointments in which former MK Omri Sharon was involved
during the premiership of his father and Kadima founder, Ariel Sharon.
Among them were appointments arranged through the office of the acting prime
minister and current Kadima leader, Ehud Olmert, who at that time was
minister of industry, trade and employment.
An investigative report that was broadcast on Channel 10 television Sunday
night cited excerpts from Omri Sharon's appointment book, in which he gave
full details of how he arranged such appointments and the names of those
involved. Most of the appointments were aimed at shoring up support for his
father in the Likud Party Central Committee, since he, his father and most
other Kadima members, including Olmert, were members of Likud at that time.
The diary extracts also reveal the close ties between Omri and Olmert.
One extract, for instance, dates from August 2004, when the central
committee was due to vote on the prime minister's proposal to bring Labor
into the government. Omri Sharon listed several committee members whose
support had to be recruited for the vote, and made notes on the steps needed
to win their backing. These included finding "a directorship for Shlomo Ben
Amra" and checking whether a similar appointment for Rahamim Eden "has
already been signed."
According to the Channel 10 report, Eden, who heads the Likud branch in Kfar
Sava, was indeed appointed to the board of a government agency shortly
The younger Sharon also reminded himself to "meet with Ehud [Olmert] about
Yigal Yosef," as well as with Olmert's advisor, Oved Yehezkel, on the same
subject. Yosef, according to Channel 10, was eventually given the job of
regional director for industrial development in Olmert's Industry Ministry.
Subject: Haneya: Formation of New Government
within Three Weeks [before Israeli elections]
Haneya: Formation of New Government within Three Weeks
GAZA, Palestine, March 6,2006 (IPC) - [Official PA website]- The PNA
premier-designate, MP Sheikh Ismail Haneyya and Hamas Movement's prominent
political leader said that Hamas will set forth the new government to the
President Mahmoud Abbas within three weeks according to the PNA basic law.
Haneya made clear that the platform of the next government " is a response
to the to the official nomination letter."
He added "once the new government is given confidence, its platform will be
in effect and no one could impose another platform."
" I do not want to raise the point of dispute regarding the recognition of
Israel as the next government will table its before the legislative council
and if it does not win approval , the platform would be re-amended," Haneya
told a group of senior intellectual and media practitioners in Grand Palace
Hotel in Gaza city Saturday.
Questioned about a trap placed by Israel and USA for Hamas movement as to
put it into squeeze Hanyia said" Hamas has its own obvious outlook of the
current stage and firmly adhere to the Palestinian unalienable rights and
will not give up such rights. "
Speaking about the intra-situation, Hanyia said "we are fully aware that
there have been attempts to create parallel governments and to retract the
authorities of the government and thus so far drowning the institution."
Hams deputy underlined that the ties with President Mahmoud Abbas will be
cordial and co-existence avoid any collision" we are looking carefully to
make good contacts with President Abu Mazen (Abbas) and manipulate all
issues through talks and understandings."
He added "who refuse joining the government, this is his own business, and
we will do our best and will continue talks with other factions for making
up a broad coalition government.
Hanyia elaborated that in case the talks with other factions fall short, the
movement will seek to form a technocrat government.
"We are able to form a government won the parliament confidence and take
into account the Palestinian and international situation."
Subject: Hamas between Clashing With Abbas's Speech
and Adapting Mutual Platform
Hamas between Clashing With Abbas's Speech and Adapting Mutual Platform
Prepared by IPC
After the announcement of the parliamentary results on last January 25, and
the consequences of such democratic parliamentary elections that made Hamas
movement ascend to power and the participation of other factions in this new
Palestinian system that put Fatah movement, which ruled for more than 10
years, for the first time in the opposition seats as an opposition party.
This announcement of this political change in the Palestinian case ushered
in a new era in the Palestinian political system, and other stages towards
formulating the necessary changes for this political change. Scenarios such
as a possible clashes between the PA institutions and the government
institutions or to cope with the current situation depending on the
influences of the regional, local and international circumstances either in
policies or platforms.
As regards this change, Abbas' speech before the newly elected PLC members
on February 18, 2006 made it clear for all concerning the general policy
towards Israel and the international community that was based according to
the PLO platform and was under the PNA umbrella. This speech asserted its
openness to the relation with Israel that is contrary to Hamas political
platform that regards Israel as an unrecognized enemy.
However, Hamas may agree or disagree to this political platform in its new
vision, especially when the movement changed its position to embrace
platforms in its view of social and political stances.
According to these drastic changes in the Palestinian political stage, the
International Press Center conducted a survey by interviewing some of the
local leaders and politicians in an effort to predict the future Palestinian
situation concerning the international pressure that resulted in a financial
crisis because of Hamas accession to power as well as the Israeli ongoing
aggression and military escalation aiming to show that there is no
Palestinian partner in the region.
Two different or agreed speeches
PFLP member and deputy of Abu Ali Mustafa bloc Jamil Al Majdalawi, as
regards Abbas's speech whether it may clash with that of Hamas or not, said
that Abbas's speech included many things we agree on but the second section
of the speech that tackled the roadmap plan for peace, this section is not
agreed upon by all factions in the certain stage because that plan does not
satisfy the Palestinians' rights.
In addition, Al Majdalawi said that the mutual agreement by all factions
will be the resolutions of the international legacy that satisfy the
Palestinians' rights of the return of the refugees and the independent
Palestinian state on the 1967 land which can form a unified platform on this
In the same connection, Fatah PLC member in the middle of the Gaza Strip Dr.
Ahmed Abu Holi said that Abbas's speech is realistic and it is the vision of
all Palestinians not Abbas only as well as it is part of Fatah platform.
Dr. Abu Holi asserted that Abbas's speech is different from that of Hamas.
He also said that Hamas PM-designate Ismail Hanyyeh, by receiving the
appointment letter to form a government, said that the third section
contradicts with Hamas policy and then he responded positively to this
section. Dr. Abu Holi said," Hamas agreed on the letter of appointment that
means the movement's approval of what was mentioned in Abbas's speech in the
ceremonial session of the newly elected parliament on February 18, 2006.
This means that there is a change within the movement.
As for Hamas senior official and El Resalah editor Dr. Ghazi Hamad pointed
out that President Abbas's stances are good and balanced and that Abbas
trusted the movement, and this allows both the President's vision and Hamas
political platform to meet, especially Hamas has a serious intention for
Dr. Hamad said as long as the political file is transferred to the PLO, this
will facilitate Hamas task and the movement can get rid of the problem of
negotiating with the Israeli side. In addition, Hamas has no objection about
accepting a Palestinian state on 1967 borders because all factions and
President Abbas's political platform agree this on.
Meanwhile, journalist Ashraf Al Ajrami did not agree with Dr. Hamad, and he
asserted that the Palestinian law gives President Abbas the full powers to
determine the general political administration of the government. Moreover,
according to Al Ajrami, during this inclination it is necessary to form a
government, and if the new PM does not accept the president's dictations
stated in his speech, there will be a crisis that must be solved. This
crisis, he said, must be solved either by agreeing on one platform, holding
another elections to change the parliamentary structure of the PLC or
President Abbas should resign.
Al Ajrami expressed his optimism about the possibility of agreement between
Hamas platform and President Abbas's speech, especially in the light of the
new developments in the local, regional and international arena.
A government of what.
As regards Hamas ability to form an effective Palestinian policy based on
mutual participation of all different factions, Abu Holi said that Hamas
leaders should understand that there is a big difference between their
speech as an organization bearing inflammatory slogans in their political
platform and their speech as a Palestinian government that represents all of
the Palestinian people.
He pointed out that the success of Hamas movement is judged by its adherence
to the political speech of the PLO that makes it thrive to form a coalition
government if the movement could reach a speech based on compromised
participation of all factions' visions.
As for the participation of Fatah members in the next government, Abu Holi
said that the majority of Fatah members refuse to participate in the next
Hamas government on the grounds of differences between the two platforms and
the Fatah's intention to exercise the constructive opposition besides
bridging the gaps within Fatah movement.
Al Majdalawi said that Hamas differentiate between its own platform and the
one to adopt in the next government, asserting that the necessity of mutual
participation force Hamas not to be adhere to its platform as the official
platform of the next government.
" this issue gives the person a room to form a mutual platform that does not
emerge only from Hamas platform but it should take all other platforms
submitted by all parliamentary blocs in the PLC into consideration.", he
In this context, Al Majdalawi said that the PFLP might take part in the next
government only if there was a mutual platform agreed on by all parties that
achieve the Palestinian interests in the first position.
This also assures what Dr. Hamad said," I think that there is a consensus
within Hamas movement that the movement does not want to form a government
alone. It wants to form a broad-based government and I think this government
will be a mutual participation by all because Hamas keeps in mind the
international and regional pressure and interference. So we are very
concerned that the next government should be a broad-based government."
"I think that all stances are positive and encouraging for Hamas either the
stances on the part of Fatah movement, PFLP, DFLP or the Islamic Jihad in
spite of its refusal to join the next government but they have full
preparation to deal with and support the next government.", he added.
In the same context, Dr. Hamad asserted that Hamas has clear political
prospects that do not contradict with political solution and it supports the
Palestinian state on the 67 borders, besides; it does not refuse the PLO
control of the political file. He regarded these three factors as a mutual
understanding by all including Fatah and PFLP... etc.
Al Ajrami agrees with the above-mentioned comments and he asserted that the
best government for Hamas is the coalition one because the next
responsibilities are great and huge including imposing law and order as well
In addition, he said," there are issues that has something to do with
foreign financial aid, administering negotiations, communications with the
Israeli side, and also issues related to fighting corruption as well as
enforcing law, order, and security in the Palestinian territories by
rebuilding new institutions which is very difficult for Hamas to accomplish
alone when there is no partner and cooperation especially from Fatah
movement that has the past experience.
As for the change occurred in the Hamas speech and political and social
platform after its arrival to the parliament, Dr. Hamad said that Hamas is
undergoing a positive change towards national understanding and political
realism as well as cooperating with the international community in order to
be engaged in the international relations.
Dr. Hamad said," Hamas refused to participate in the PA and its government
but now it is in office and it will reconsider the previous agreements and
accords signed with the Israeli side to make it meet with the Palestinian
As for political solution, Dr. Hamad pointed out that Hamas believed in
resistance as the only choice but now the movement is adopting both choices
resistance and political activity that is a big change in Hamas policies and
stances by being open to cooperation along with all factions in the
Palestinian political activity.
He also said that Hamas believes in moderate Islam and realistic thoughts
asserting that the movement did not force any woman to wear Hijab from its
early beginning. He said that Hamas will call for change by peaceful means
apart from obligation.
Al Majdalawi said that it is a mistake to judge Hamas now because it is
political speech that Hamas is delivering which might be replete with new
words that show new Hamas stances to certain issues and he said that it is
very hard to talk about change in platform yet. He added that there is
nothing fixed in Hamas unless the movement but the ideas and thoughts can be
Abu Holi asserted Al Majdalawi comment by saying," Hamas is the only one
that can answer this subject. And it should take into consideration that
when the Palestinian people granted it their confidence, they waiting for
the movement to be adhere to its slogan the change and reform towards a
As for the council of ministers and the next government, Abu Holi said that
Fatah will respect any Hamas decision that takes into consideration the
service and interest of the Palestinian people by enforcing law and order,
fighting corruption and lawlessness and adhering to the Palestinian
standpoints and rights.
However, Ashraf Al Ajrami has another idea that Hamas could not carry out
its platform at once by differentiating between the Hamas platform and its
accomplishment on the ground. He said that Hamas wants to Islamize the
Palestinian society gradually by direct contact with the people and by
creating the atmosphere to make it applicable.
The financial crisis: a crisis of whom?
A question posed about the Palestinian future situation, especially the
international pressures by cutting off financial aids and in the light of
the Palestinian economic crisis and the shortage of budget which is
estimated by 800 US$, Al Ajrami was optimistic about this situation and said
that there will be no economic pressures either from the US administration
or the EU against the PA. He pointed out there might be kind of pressures
only to gain concessions but they do not want to make all Palestinians be
extremists who may affect the stability of the region.
There are other ways to continue this financial aid by directing this
support for President Abbas or by financing projects for the Palestinians as
a humanitarian assistance.
Al Ajrami said that Hamas will be flexible in its stances to solve the
crisis of financial aids.
But Al Majdalawi said that the economic breakthrough might come from the
support from the Arab and Islamic countries through the Arab League.
Dr. Hamad said that not only Hamas that is threatened by cutting off
economic assistance but all of the Palestinian people and Hamas is much
concerned with its relation with the Europeans to exist.
In this connection, Dr. Hamad said," I think if we improve the performance
of the PNA and fight corruption, we will ensure millions of dollars that we
will not need the international assistance, so Hamas is much concerned with
reforming the economic situation in the Palestinian territories. And the
Arab and Islamic countries could support and fill this gap and this what we
promised to do because the Arab and Islamic money has no preconditions as
the foreign one.", he added
The Israeli occupation between military escalation and blackmailing
As regards the Israeli escalation, Al Majdalawi said that this military
escalation that presented itself by using modern shapes and which does not
stop for one day until now is to blackmail the Palestinians as well as its
being a message to terrorize the Palestinian people.
Dr. Hamad agreed with Al Majdalawi by saying," Israel's top priority is
security, killing Palestinian activists and assassinations".
He said that this Israeli escalation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is
to undermine the next government to show that it is weak and in order to
make it react to drag the region to a state of conflict and war,
consequently the next government will find itself in a difficult situation
so it can even accomplish its reformation platform.
Nevertheless, Abu Holi said that this grave Israeli military escalation has
two reasons because of the results of the Palestinian parliamentary
elections on one hand, and the upcoming Israeli elections on the other.
He pointed out that everyone knows that the Palestinian blood and the
military escalation against us are the sole slogans of the Israeli radical
parties namely "Kadima" that wants to asserts to the settlers and Jewish
extremists as well as the Likud party is the only party that can protect
Israel and the Israeli citizen. Moreover, Abu Holi said that the Palestinian
people are the only sacrifice of such electoral trials of the Israeli
Furthermore, Al Ajrami said," Israel wants to pull the Palestinian situation
back to the previous circle of violence because this serves it well.
" there are parties that want Hamas to be awkward in front of the
Palestinian people, because the movement stopped resistance and etc. and in
the same time, Israel commits military operations, assassinations and
incursions to pull Hamas back to react and which will damage the Palestinian
Authority and makes Israel the only winner of this escalation, especially
when it can allege that there is no partner to talk to in the PA as a
rejected authority initially so what will happen if Hamas goes to armed
Subject: IDF Aerial Attack Against a Vehicle Carrying an
Islamic Jihad Terrorist in the Northern Gaza Strip
IDF Aerial Attack Against a Vehicle Carrying an Islamic Jihad Terrorist in
the Northern Gaza Strip
March 6th , 2006
IDF SPOKESPERSON ANNOUNCEMENT
IDF aerial attack against a vehicle carrying an Islamic Jihad terrorist in
the northern Gaza Strip
In a security forces activity this afternoon in Gaza City, the IDF carried
out an aerial attack against a vehicle carrying an Islamic Jihad terrorist.
Subject: BACKGROUND INFO: Islamic Jihad Terrorist Involved in Terror
Attacks Against Israel Targeted in an IDF Aerial Attack in Gaza City
March 6th, 2006
Attributed to "security sources" [Provided by the IDF Spokesperson]
IDF aerial attack against an Islamic Jihad terrorist involved in terror
attacks against Israel
This afternoon, March 6th 2006, the IDF carried out an aerial attack on a
vehicle in which Islamic Jihad terrorist Munir Mahmed Mahmed Sukhar, 30, a
resident of Sajaiya Jadida, was traveling. The activity was carried out
within the framework of IDF activity against the launching of projectile
rockets from the Northern Gaza Strip.
Sukhar was involved in projectile rocket attacks against Israeli civilians
and civilian infrastructures. Furthermore, Sukhar was involved in the
transfer of weaponry to other Islamic Jihad terrorists for the purpose of
carrying out terror attacks against Israelis, and in the detonation of
explosive devices at IDF forces in the area of the Gaza Strip.
Sukhar was also directly involved in attempts to smuggle terrorists armed
with explosive belts from the Gaza Strip into Israel via the Sinai Peninsula
with the purpose of carrying out terror attacks against Israeli civilians.
Subject: Hamas votes to revoke Abbas powers
Hamas votes to revoke Abbas powers
The quarrel dimmed the option of Fatah joining the government
Monday 06 March 2006, 20:56 Makka Time, 17:56 GMT
Hamas has signalled that it will take a confrontational approach in dealing
with rival Fatah whom they defeated in January's Palestinian parliament
At the first working session of the parliament, Hamas voted to cancel all
decisions made in the last session of the outgoing legislature. This
includes additional powers given to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian
Fatah legislators walked out in protest before Monday's vote was held. They
had argued that Hamas was twisting the rules by holding the vote, and that
the last session of the Fatah-controlled parliament was legal.
The vote set the tone for what legislators say will be a tension-fraught
term, further dimming the possibility of the Fatah movement joining the
Fatah lawmakers insisted Hamas did not have the right to review the
decisions. They were overruled by Hamas which controls an absolute majority
in the 132-seat legislature.
Azzam al-Ahmad, a Fatah member of parliament, said his party would ask the
Palestinian Supreme Court to overturn the decision.
"They (Hamas) are thirsty for power, and they can do what they want since
they have a majority, but must do it according to the law"
During the debate, Abd al-Aziz Duaik, the parliament speaker from Hamas,
repeatedly called al-Ahmad to order.
Mahmud al-Zahar, of Hamas, complained that "every time we present an
important point, Azzam al-Ahmed would stand up and try to disrupt our work".
Al-Ahmad, who kept quoting from the Basic Law, the precursor to a
Palestinian constitution, said: "I'm not disrupting your work. I am just
presenting a legal point of view, and it's not my fault if you don't read."
Al-Zahar said coalition talks would wrap up this week, and that Hamas would
then decide on the composition of its government.
Hamas had wanted to include Fatah, apparently in the hope of making the new
government more palatable to the international community.
However, many in Fatah advocated staying in the opposition, with the
expectation that a Hamas government faced with an international boycott and
financial difficulties would quickly fail.
Subject: Excerpts: Journalism of Al Ahram Weekly.
The British versus Begin. Egypt confused.6 March 2006
Excerpts: Journalism of Al Ahram Weekly. The British versus Begin. Egypt
confused.6 March 2006
+++Journalism of Al Ahram Weekly
by Dr. Joseph Lerner
The purpose of the paper stated in the article that follows was to
enable non-Arabs to understand Arabs. The Weekly's first issue (January 17,
1991) featured a front page photo of a Washington anti-war rally opposing
the first Gulf War. Routinely, the paper features ardent anti-US opinion
pieces from American and British sources as well as anti-Israel articles,
especially by Israelis. There is no pretense of balance. Surely the
continuing appearance of such articles in a paper to foster understanding of
the Arab world illustrates "Arab reasoning and psychology which non-Arabs
find so hard to understand within its proper context".
Similarly, until his death, the steady flow of Edward Said's articles hardly
contributed to the Weekly's stated objectives.
AL AHRAM WEEKLY 2-8 Mar.'06:"A time to remember", by Mona Anis
Fifteen years ago, on 28 February 1991, Al-Ahram Weekly hit the newsstands
for the first time. The Weekly 's stated aim was to act as a "bridge to
understanding" --the title of the editorial of our first issue -- between
the Arabic- speaking world and the West. The editorial, drafted by the
Weekly 's founding editor, the late Hosny Guindy, and signed by the then
chairman of the board, Ibrahim Nafie, explained that those producing the new
publication were "aware of the problematic relationship between the Middle
East and the West, which has been due in part to the inaccurate perceptions
we have of each other."
Arabic, the editorial further explained, was "the basic component of Arab
culture, interacting with Arab reasoning and psychology, which non-Arabs
find hard to understand within its proper context". With this in view, it
continued, the Weekly would seek "to reflect and to interpret events --
through the medium of English -- from an Egyptian perspective," adding that
the success of the venture "will greatly depend on the feedback from the
newspaper's readership. ..."
These words, written 15 years ago, represent current reality and needs as
much as they reflected those in place a decade and a half ago -- certainly
during the hectic few months before the paper first appeared. Then the
clouds of war were gathering over the region: in August 1990 Iraq had
invaded Kuwait, following which events began to unfold rapidly. The UN
Security Council set a deadline of 15 January for Iraq to leave Kuwait and
during the first two weeks of 1991 international parties were engaged in
last-ditch attempts to avert an international crisis the ramifications of
which have continued to the present day, and will continue well beyond.
. . .
The Weekly 's first zero issue carried a front- page photo of an anti-war
rally in Washington DC at which demonstrators held banners reading "remember
Vietnam ... ". Their pleas fell on deaf ears, as did the warnings of the
Middle East's leading political analyst Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, who was
quoted in the inside pages saying "if war breaks out the scene would be
reminiscent of the world after Noah's flood."
By the time the first issue of the Weekly was on the newsstands Iraqis had
suffered almost six weeks of relentless air bombardment which had finally
given way to a no less brutal land and sea offensive. The first issue
contained a comment by the late Philip Gallab, who was quoted as saying
"Bush's concession to anything Arab is destruction and subjugation for a
hundred years to come." ... ...
. . ..
Of ... outside contributors no one supported the paper and helped in raising
its international profile more than Edward Said, who turned to the Weekly to
publish his denunciation of the Oslo deal before it was concluded and was
impressed by Hosny's acceptance of an opinion piece that starkly opposed
Egypt's official stance, which he believed an Ahram publication would not
do. Said rewarded the Weekly by making it the vantage point from which he
addressed world opinion until the last month of his life, ... . In
September 2003 Said himself passed away, having been too ill to write that
month. ... .. . . .
+++THE DAILY STAR (Lebanon) 6 Mar.'06:"Terrorist Begin had plastic surgery
to avoid capture" Agence france Presse
QUOTES FROM TEXT:
" 'Both the State Department and the FBI have been kept thoroughly
informed of this man's past. If he causes any trouble it will be on their
own heads.' "
" ' We do not believe in his late conversion into a 'politician' '. 'We
continue to regard him as a gangster and would not allow him into this
country even in transit.' ", the list of objections concluded."
LONDON: The British security services viewed ...Menachem Begin as a
terrorist and were told he had undergone cosmetic surgery to change his
appearance, secret files from the 1940s released Sunday show. Declassified
documents show the country's domestic intelligence agency MI5 was told that
Begin, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 with ... Sadat, was said to
have gone under the knife in the 1940s.
At the time, Begin strenously opposed Britain's role in Palestine, heading
the militant Irgun Zvati Leumi that was waging a campaign of violent
resistance to the post-World War I British Mandate.
At the time, MI5 and its overseas intelligence counterpart MI6 were involved
in monitoring armed opponents in the Middle Eastern territories.
A February 1947 note reported to MI5 that "the head of IZL (Begin) has
undergone a plastic facial operation and that his appearance is totally
[different] from that displayed on police photographs.
"I pass this to you for what it may be worth. We have no description of the
[IMRA: He raised a beard.]
. . .
The files reveal how bitterly the British viewed Polish-born Begin, who
viewed London's policies in the region as pro-Arab.
Following debate about Begin's planned visit to the United States in 1948,
the British Embassy in Washington told the director general of the security
service in London: "Both the State Department and the FBI have been kept
thoroughly informed of this man's past - if he causes any trouble it will
be on their own heads."
[IMRA: Many U.S. Jewish "greats" sent a strong anti-Begin letter to the
New York Times.]
Objections brought to the State Department's attention included the fear
that "he may be a Soviet agent," that he was a deserter from the Polish Army
and that he was a terrorist responsible for British deaths.
"We do not believe in his late conversion into a 'politician,'" the list of
objections concluded. "We continue to regard him as a gangster and would not
allow him into this country even in transit."
Another minute from 1953 reminds an officer of Begin's "career as a
terrorist and his subsequent history as an anti-British politician."
The former chief secretary for the government of Palestine refers to the IZL
bombing of the King David Hotel - the British military and administrative
headquarters - in Jerusalem in 1946.
[IMRA: Not a terrorist act because of the British official functions in
the King David Hotel. Also, timely warnings were given to get out. British
should not have put military/administrative headquarters in a civilian
Sir John Shaw said he considered suing Begin for libel over his account of
the attack, which killed 91, but he was advised not to do so "for technical
Begin founded the Herut Movement, later to become the Likud Party, following
the creation of the state of Israel in May 1948 and became prime minister in
1977. . . .
+++AL-AHRAM WEEKLY 2-8 Mar.'06:"In Focus: Much behind and much still to do"
HEADING:"Fifteen years after the launching of Al-Ahram Weekly, Galal Nassar
[AAW Maaging editor] takes a lateral look at the regional scene, its
challenges and promises"
QUOTES FROM TEXT:
" Al-Ahram Weekly celebrated its 15th birthday ...; with the start of the
16th year one finds that much of the scene
around in the Middle East region, Egypt included, has not changed."
"the violent brand of political Islam has been increasing since they got
off to a strong start in the Arab Maghreb"
"Oil is turning our region into a vast market for increased investment,
whether through new petrodollar profits... or
anticipated returns of Arab capital in the Gulf"
"This spiritual heritage, in addition to the region's central location
and oil and gas reserves serving as the fuel of
human civilisation create an important fact"
Al-Ahram Weekly celebrated its 15th anniversary yesterday; with the start of
the Weekly' s 16th year one finds that much of the scene around in the
Middle East region, Egypt included, has not changed. ??? ? When the Weekly
published its first issue in 1991, the repercussions of "Operation Desert
Storm" were still ravaging the Gulf region, and both Iraq and Iran were in a
face-off with the West.
... the violent brand of political Islam has been increasing since they got
off to a strong start in the Arab Maghreb. The region has continued to be
characterised by curtailed freedoms and false democracies, while
impoverished development rates persist.
.. these facts lead us to ponder the reasons behind this stagnancy, despite
claims that there is progress towards change. ...
... analysis must begin with observation of three fundamental elements that
distinguish the Arab region. The first is its geographic location, which has
always made of it a central focal point between East and West. Despite
advancements in communications technology, this location continues to be of
The second element is the immense reserves of oil and gas in the region. ...
Oil is turning our region to a vast market for increased investment, whether
through new petrodollar profits ... or anticipated returns of Arab capital
in the Gulf.
[IMRA: Forgets the oil belongs to a few countries.]
The third and final element that distinguishes the Arab region is its
historical spiritual symbolism, particularly of the Semitic religions.
Although international political analysts do not address this issue, the
region is the cradle of the three monotheistic religions, making it the
locus of attention for tens of millions worldwide. The future of Jerusalem,
for example, not only concerns the Palestinians but also millions of
Muslims, Christians and Jews the world over. It is the same case in Iraq,
where holy sites do not concern only the Shias of Iraq but Shias throughout
the world. The same situation applies to the two holy sites of Islam in
Mecca and Medina ... .
This spiritual heritage, in addition to the region's central location and
oil and gas reserves serving as the fuel of human civilisation, create an
important fact: our region means much more to the world than we realise.
Since our ability to protect this region is weak, its positive points lose
their value and become neutral, or even points of weakness. ... the
imbalance between the importance of our region and our own failures are
behind much of the foreign intervention with the aim of controlling our
symbolic capital and oil reserves.
[IMRA: Its OPEC power, not Western power.]
This moment in history is characterised by the region's weakness and its
submission to future scenarios drawn out by foreign powers. And at present
there seems to be a new polarisation of powers between those seeking to
change the status quo and those seeking to maintain it. The forces of change
include the United States and Iran, while the forces of inertia include Arab
regimes, Turkey and Israel.
... the United States remained guarantor of stability and security in the
region for about 60 years, yet since 11 September 2001 it has sought change
in the region, its maps, and its balance of power, although the actual
intent of this change remains clouded in ambiguity, contradiction and
Second, the turning of America and Iran from powers supporting stability in
the region to ones seeking change places us before a truth that cannot be
overlooked ... . The status quo is no longer fit to withstand outside
pressure. A transformation in our ability to understand change and deal with
it, equipped with a strategic vision, has become prerequisite for our
survival. Otherwise, what is currently taking place in Iraq in terms of
atomisation and sectarian strife will recur in most countries of the region.
. . .
Now that the world has grown more complex, issues of journalistic
orientation and the necessity of development while coping with the many
variables on the world arena represent challenges that the Weekly must take
head on or else risk disintegration. It is a challenge that necessitates the
pooling of all available resources in order to understand more the reality
of what is taking place around us and its impact on us. The mission of the
Weekly in the coming stage is even more pertinent than ever; at the very
least in terms of continuing to present our issues from our own perspective
using English as a kind of international lingua franca that the world around
us understands, with increased professionalism, specialisation, and
Dr. Joseph Lerner, Co-Director IMRA
Subject: President al-Assad Speech At the Arab Parties General
Conference (very important to concentrate on the right to return)
President Bashar al-Assad Delivers a comprehensive Speech At the Arab
Parties General Conference
Sunday, March 5, 2006 - 12:15 PM
Under the mottos
We want resistance for peace
Challenges growing, Syria's position strong
Re-mapping the region is their target
Unity of Iraq basis for independence
US facing complete failure in Iraq
President addressed Arab Parties Conference
DAMASCUS, (SANA - Syrian News Agency)
In a comprehensive political speech at the opening session of the Arab
Parties General Conference yesterday, President Bashar al-Assad said that
the Arabs derived their strength from two main sources, the first of which
is Islam which is strongly connected with Arabism, and the second is
Christianity which emerged among the Arabs in Arabic language which is
President al-Assad expressed appreciation for the decision of the Arab
parties to hold their general conference which he described as very
important in Damascus for extending support for Syria and Lebanon, pointing
out that such a decision reflects the consciousness and awareness of the
Arab political trends and forces of the conspiracies being hatched.
The President added that the title of the conference supporting Syria and
Lebanon's consolidates a deeply-rooted fact in which Syria and the Arabs
believe, that Syria and Lebanon are two inseparable sisterly countries.
The President pointed out that what happens against an Arab country can't be
isolated from the rest of the Arab countries, stressing that what is
happening now to
Syria and Lebanon and before to Iraq, Palestine are interrelated.
The president said that the challenges have grown and by the time they have
become chronic and turned into a pain and the Arab nation is living in a
He added that such a pain is being felt on the official and popular levels,
and the Arab general weakness is an outcome of foreign conspiracies and self
shortcomings which can be attributed to short sightedness which is a
dangerous indication that the societies are not developing and history
repeats itself when we fall in the same trap more than once and every time
the trap becomes deeper and the price gets higher.
The President added that some have called Syria ?an opposition state? which
means a static defensive state but this doesn't express Syria's position,
because Syria has always been moving with the events and has been wrongly
understood, because those who called Syria an opposition state were not able
to understand these events.
He pointed out that pressure on Syria is being put because Syria is acting
to prevent the Zionist hegemony and other international powers that are
targeting the Arab
nation.The President said that Syria and Lebanon are only a link in a chain
which was plotted against the Arab nation and the talk about the theory of
conspiracy is not an Arab invention but was clearly written in the
literature of the West.The President indicated that Syria warned the
Americans that they would sink in the Iraqi quagmire although you would win
the war, pointing out that Syria warned the British and the European
countries and the Arabs who didnt take firm stance regarding this war.The
President said that some of the Arabs thought that the war is targeting the
regime and if the regime is ousted the other regime can be saved, but the
real issue is not regimes, and the issue is countries and the target is to
re-map the region and oil remains a temptation of the war.President al-Assad
said that Israel remains a fundamental factor in all what is happening in
the Middle East, pointing out that Iraq is the target which has very big
potentials.Regarding Syria, it may differ a little through Syria's
suffering. Like any country, it will be as a spearhead through its
geographic position and its historic role. I want to talk about a point
concerning Syria. I say this point is not a suffering, rather it is a pain.
We always talk about it with sorrow, namely the misunderstanding of the
Syrian stand by many of the countries of the world. What concerns us
specifically is the Arab states and Arab peoples sometimes and the political
forces particularly. Now I want to go through the examples directly in order
to talk about reality.As I said, the pain which we suffer from in Syria is
always the understanding of the Syrian stand though it is understood later
but late, i.e. after it is too late and after we pay the price. I will give
example: Syria's stand regarding the Iraqi-Iranian war. We have paid the
price for ten years of blockade, criticism and Arab fierce attack. Eight
years of war and two years until the occurrence of the Iraqi invasion of
Kuwait.He said that after the invasion, I heard from the Arab officials,
though later, that Syria was right. President Hafez al-Assad was always
saying that a similar thing will happen and we did not believe. We were
mistaken. We appreciate this frankness which is not always available in the
Arab world. We don't feel happy because it is too late.The President added,
you all know that we have been exposed to pressures over the past years. We
believed that we side with the Palestinian people. We have conviction in
this subject. Regrettably, the pressure came from the Arab states on this
subject. The West does not concern us in this subject. What is important for
us is the Arab homeland.About the invasion of Iraq, the President added that
we had exerted great efforts to explain the dangers of this war for two
years before it and two years after it. But some Arab states were talking in
a different language, the same language which Syria is talking.We were
accused of being unrealistic... hardliner, that we don't read the political
map, don't know that the world has changed and that there is one pole. Under
these difficult circumstances, we have had to fight the many political
battles in the past years, facing two trends. The first exists in the West.
It could be governments, intellectual strata...etc. Some of them exist in
friendly and unfriendly countries. They despise the other, especially Arabs.
This trend believes that it is an absolute power that cannot be confronted,
so we have to submit to it and agree on whatever it says and orders even if
it was against our interests.The second is represented in some in our
region, especially the Arab world, who don't respect their identity and
culture, but admire unlimitedly and non objectively the West. If we want to
admire something let it be with reasonable limits. This admiration caused
some circles blindness.Concerning the ground on which we were advancing at
this stage, first of all, there is an eroding Arab situation, or rather
there is no an Arab situation at all, at least at the official level. I
distinguish between the official and popular levels. There is an identity
that is lost between the West and the East, past and present.There is also
the short-sighted vision, which is one of the difficult points we suffered
from in Syria. I mean that there is a principle adopted by some in our
region that says let us win today and lose tomorrow.For us, the reasonable
matter is to think that let us win today and tomorrow, and at worst let us
lose today and win tomorrow. In other words, let us win on the long term
since it is inadmissible to lose on the long run.This ground and different
trends combined together to constitute a state of siege against Syria with
the aim of subjugating it in order to become a part of the providing state
in our region. In this case, we will not be an obstacle to any foreign
scheme, and embarrass any of the forces existing in the region, which want
to go with the West. This is what we have constantly rejected.No doubt the
war of Iraq has drawn the attention on what is taking place in the
Palestinian lands, continued acts of killing of the Palestinian brothers.He
said that maybe there is another target as to draw the attention for the
future like the demolishing of Al-Agsa Mosque with the aim of creating a
temple similar to that of the foundation of Israel in 1948. Striking Iraq is
a striking the Arab nation because Iraq has big economic, scientific and
human potentials and a big national and Islamic castle to the Arab nation.
All these reasons pushed for the war. But what are the methods? The methods
started after the invasion of Kuwait and is continuing until now. The
blockade caused the death of hundred thousands of Iraqi children.The
President added that starvation and instability were the method adopted
before the war.The second method which started directly after the war was
the killing of Iraqi scientists. Assassination was carried out deliberately.
We should not have brains, should not develop.He continued to say that the
other side is to create a sedition among the Iraqis in order to obliterate
the Iraqi identity. To begin with was the theft of national museum. The
theft process was carried out within a deliberate plan and not a matter of
law or outlaws. It was an organized work. The pictures were cut by experts,
some say that there were Israeli elements who entered with the American
troops.Of course, we all know what Iraq's history means as one of the
richest and oldest countries in the world with regard to history.Later, many
things happened in relation to Iraq's Arab identity, through attacking the
national structure and consequently turning the Iraqi citizen's belongings
from the national and pan-Arab ones into narrow tribal, sectarian and
religious belongings, and so on. But the most dangerous is what happened
recently when the tombs were attacked. The aim is to destroy the national
and pan-Arab identity, since as long as there is an identity gathering the
Iraqi people, Iraq will remain united. Attacking this identity paves the way
for other identities, and consequently Iraq will be divided.We must remember
that there were acts occurred in Iraq at the hands of the occupation forces
who were disguised in Arab uniforms. US officials claim that they have
nothing to do with such acts. It is known that legally the occupation forces
are responsible for everything, security, economy and services. Therefore,
it is natural for them to bear the responsibility.The aim of this attack is
to create a sedition. They adopt in their dealing with the Arabs a
step-by-step approach. When Israel killed Mohammad Durra in Palestine, there
was a great protest.Today, when we hear from time to time that Israel killed
two Palestinians, we say poor Israel, it did only kill two Palestinians. The
issue becomes like a habitual act. When they destroy in the future Al-Aqsa
Mosque, we will be exceeding the stages of preparation. It is a question of
doses that are given step-by-step. The President added the funny thing
was that the Americans convinced the whole world they would not withdraw
from Iraq in view of the confusion which would be incurred as a result,
while in fact the US occupation troops are the real reason behind the actual
confusion taking place on the ground.The President expressed his belief that
withdrawal of the US troops has become urgent. He called on the Iraqi people
to unite on this issue.The President also expressed his belief that the
solution lies in awareness, wisdom and dialogue amongst the Iraqi people as
a way out of the crisis. The President outlined the priorities as the unity
of Iraq which comes in the first place, and its national Arab identity that
comes second, as well as, Iraq's independence which comes in the third place
indicating withdrawal of the occupation troops.The President highlighted the
fact that the unity of Iraq is the basis for the achievement of the other
goals of independence and national identity which is the denominator for all
Iraqis. The President further highlighted that the Iraqi constitution would
be a factor for settlement in Iraq if it were subject to approval by all
Iraqis. On the other hand, this constitution would lead to conflict and
civil war if it were subject to dispute by the Iraqi people. An agreed-upon
constitution would result in national establishments which in turn would
guarantee Iraq's independence following withdrawal by the occupation forces,
the President added.Security and stability, the President added, would come
as a result to a political process. Absence of security and stability would
lead to catastrophic consequences in Iraq.The President explained how Syria
supported the political process in Iraq away from any viewpoints.In this
framework, the President talked about Syria's support for the Iraqi
electoral process when she provided the Iraqi electorate, residing in Syria,
with all possible facilities.Syria tried hard to promote relations with the
Iraqi government, the President said. Nevertheless, Syrian success, in this
respect, had been limited in view of American pressure. This Syrian
endeavour was manifested in the Syrian attempt to open the Syrian embassy in
Baghdad last summer. However, the US administration did not allow the Iraqi
officials to receive the Syrian delegation which stayed in Baghdad for seven
days.While receiving Moqtada al-Sadr here in Syria, the President said that
Syria announced she would re-open the Syrian embassy following the formation
of the Iraqi government.The President highlighted the issue of sending an
Arab peace keeping force to Iraq making clear that he had put a question
forward to an Iraqi delegation, that visited Syria once, on how the Iraqi
factions would deal with an Arab peace-keeping force entering Iraq under the
American flag. The President highlighted that the Iraqi delegation told him
they would deal with such a force as if it were American forces. He said
that when security pretexts continued, army, soldiers, security; this means
that these pretexts were made within the framework of the picture drawn up
by Israel in the 90's when it wanted to escape peace requirements and
forwarded a substitute to land for peace, security for peace.The President
added that this was forwarded by Netanyaho in 1996, security for peace. Of
course, this theory failed in Lebanon when Israel was occupying south
Lebanon from 1982 to 2000. Israel failed to realize security for itself, its
agents and allies in Lebanon. Also the multinational forces failed. Israel
failed in Palestine also. The withdrawal from Gaza is an evidence for the
failure of this theory. Hamas' victory is another failure. The US failed in
carrying out this theory in Afghanistan, and now we see a complete failure
in Iraq. The President said that following resolution 1559, blackmailing
Syria has started and foreign and European officials generally came to Syria
for bargaining and to say do not withdraw immediately, you can take some
steps, and we in Syria had been withdrawing from Lebanon within the
framework of our convictions and interests.The bargaining continued until
few days, before the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri which
created a shock, particularly with emotional and sectarian provocation of
some Lebanese officials.The President said that the decision was taken to
withdraw from Lebanon, and Syria completed its withdrawal from Lebanon in
less than two months.Nations of the West thought that the resolution 1559
could not force Syria to pull out of Lebanon, then the resolution can be
used to weaken Syria through weakening the resistance and the Palestinian
situation through the camps, in addition, the quick withdrawal will have
internal repercussions which may lead to the fall of the regime, but things
were very clear to us and we dealt with the situation with remarkable
calm.The President pointed out that the first international investigation
was openly disclosed at the Arab and international levels as
politically-motivated and on-professional.The UN resolution No. 1636 was
based on an incomplete report having no evidence or clear accusations and
allegations that Syria is responsible for any event taking place in Lebanon.
Such bases are illogical and constitute a grave precedent on the entire
world, not only on Syria.
The course of the commission activities ran into three stages of attack. The
first phase started with accusing Lebanese resistance of the assassination
attempt but the idea totally failed and could not be marketed. The second
phase began with attacking Syria and imprisoning some Lebanese officers on a
testimony of a false witness. The third stage ran a vicious drive aimed at
toppling the regime in Syria in terms of putting tough and incessant
pressure on the country. The three manipulated drives eventually failed
owing to scandals that brought investigation to a collapse due to open
incredibility.What was achieved is contrary to what they planned as the
Syrians were united in unprecedented way against the attacks and were well
aware of the entire state of affairs.Thereupon, they started to re-launch
new attacks through the Feb. 14 hysteria which is an expression of utmost
failure of anti-Syrian forces.They will resort to a new attack under another
banner -which is to unveil the truth - that has proven to be a stupidity by
the forces moving from a failure to another. They are now launching attacks
against President Lahoud because he is a staunch defender of resistance and
the plot aims to get Lebanon away from Syria.Sometimes we commit a mistake
by thinking that the entire issue started with Resolution 1559 or with
extension of the Presidency or with the post-Iraq war era. But the issue is
in fact long stages each with a certain step pending new circumstances and
paving the way for new stage to follow.However, the problem is not between
Syria and Lebanon. It lies in a Lebanese political bloc which has a problem
with Syria and is working under the command of others who are concocting
plots against Syria. Our battle is not with this bloc because it is only a
tool and states do not fight tools. Our battle is with the causes that have
led to such a circumstance.The causes are the repercussions of the failure
in Iraq and Palestine and a reflection of a certain international
situation.It is not a Syrian issue but is an Arab one that should be
confronted through a joint Arab action and through facing, the others in
true battle fields and not against this Lebanese bloc which claimed itself
to be a majority. The so-called majority is not a plentiful of money, the
number of seats in parliament and an intrigue on the street.The majority is
the national forces that back resistance and support ties with Syria.What is
going meantime is temporary and transitional as elements of the political
current are before two options: either to resort to reason and logic and
then maintain dialogue or to reap utmost failure.As regards peace, it is not
opted for in the foreseeable future since Israel is day after day
demonstrating itself to be far from peace - and as the US is now seen away
from this peace because peace can empower some Arab countries - and because
some other countries made peace initiatives in a bid to get out of their
internal, regional or international crises.Nevertheless, all Arab peace
initiatives were dealt with in a despicable way because they were an
expression of weakness, and that is why talk about peace in Syria is no more
frequent lest it should be interpreted as a point of weakness. And as Arab
peace tracks were contradictory and not united, the outcome was further
political losses and more killings on behalf of the Palestinians.We are with
peace, but the drive run by the Arabs and their political vision was
wrong.The reaction came at the popular level. The Palestinian Intifada of
2000 did not break out owing to Sharon's provocative visit to al-Aqsa
Mosque, but it was a reaction to the Oslo accord which the Palestinian
people thought it would lead to the establishment of an independent state
and the recognition of national rights.The other reaction is the Hamas
election win. Hamas victory is not a triumph for a certain group, but is
understood to be an election for resistance.Hamas'victory is an internal
issue. We don't distinguish between this and that group. We want a good
relation with all the Palestinian trends. Our relationship with President
Mahmoud Abbas is good. We told him that what concerns us is the unity of the
Palestinians.But what concerns us with regard to Hamas' victory is the great
pressures put on us in the last few years for the presence of Palestinian
groups in Syria. The election of Hamas proves the correctness of the Syrian
position. This means that we were aware and confirmed that the path of
resistance expresses the option of the Palestinian public. We believed at
that time that this is what the Palestinian people want, we didn't know that
Hamas will enter the elections or not, and we didn't know that it is going
to win or not. But we were aware of this direction. The Palestinian people
expressed this direction and the correctness of our position towards these
elections.We have been criticized for such position. Colin Powell was the
first to ask us to expel Hamas and Jihad, when he visited Syria three weeks
following the Iraq war. Before the visit, we talked with brothers in Hamas
and Jihad and told them that we expect that we will be asked to close the
offices. In fact, they willingly said that they want to ease pressures on
Syria and that they will close the offices. We told Secretary Powell about
the agreement reached with the Palestinian factions. The surprise was that
the required was not the closure of the offices, they asked to expel the
organizations. Some Arab countries began pressing in this direction. I told
them when you expel a person, we send him away to his country, where can we
expel them, since they are not allowed to go home to their country? I asked
them if they accept them in their countries, but they refused. Then I asked
them to find a solution for them.Now, they found the solution through the
elections. The second point which concerns us is that the elections are the
true standard for the European advices on democracy. Foreign officials like
to assume the role of teacher when they come to us. They offer us advices
about democracy, my love to my Syrian people, the Arab's love to the Arab,
and how to move towards peace.Now, we see the great contradiction they are
in, and how their calls drive them to deal with ?a terrorist organization.
They are confused, cut the aid, threaten to cut the aid, agree on aid, ask
Hamas to recognize Israel...etc.The third point is what we always discuss
with President Abbas and brothers in the Palestinian organizations. This
point is to unify the Palestinians. I said to brothers in Hamas following
their victory that the first aim must be unity with all the different
trends. I mean by unity, inside and outside.The other aspect which concerns
us is the issue of Palestinian refugees. We have in Syria about a half
million Palestinians for whom and for whose rights regard ourselves
responsible until they regain these rights and decide by themselves if they
are going to keep on defending them. Some say that this argument is
unreasonable. We say it is not us who determine, but the owner of the right,
if it is reasonable or not. It is very important to concentrate on the right
to return.The other aspect is the game of tracks. If the Palestinian
Authority decided to move towards peace, they will not find the party that
accept to play with them the game of tracks. All of us speak one logic, that
is the return of all Arab rights without any concession.
Subject: Jordanian Government: Won't interfere with Israeli
unilateral evacuations, concerned with Israeli election results
Government Spokesman press briefing
Amman, Mar. 6, (Petra- Jordan News Agency)-- No specific date has been set
yet by the government to lift up subsidies on fuel prices, Government
Spokesperson Nasser stated Monday. ...
Asked about Jordan's stance regarding Israeli Acting Prime Minister recent
remarks that he would act unilaterally to evacuate some Jewish settlements
in the West Bank in case he wins the upcoming elections, Judeh said "we
should not stop to talk about presumable things that haven't happened yet."
However, he said "Jordan will not interfere in others' affairs." " We are
just watching closely the situation inside Israel with the elections
approaching and we are concerned with the elections result," said Judeh
reiterating Jordan firm stand which calls for the return to the table of
negotiation and the roadmap peace plan that should lead to establishing a
Palestinian state on the Palestinian soil. In reply to a question on recent
remarks by Israeli army general against Jordan, Judeh said "such statements
can not shake our confidence in ourselves nor in our political future."
Jordan sharply renounced these remarks and received apology from top Israeli
leaders, he added. ...
Subject: MEMRI: Saudi Cleric: Denmark Apology
Too Late & Jews are a Cancerous Tumor
The following are excerpts from an interview with Saudi cleric Sheikh Muhsen
Al-'Awaji, aired on Ein TV on February 26, 2006. It is followed by another
appearance, in 2004 on Al-Manar TV, in which Sheikh Al-'Awaji said Jews
were like "a cancerous tumor in the center of the Arab Islamic body."
*Clip # 1059 - Saudi Cleric Muhsen Al-'Awaji: Too Late for Denmark's
Apology - You Cannot Put Back a Decapitated Head after It Decomposes. The
Arabs Fought 40 Years to Defend the Honor of a Female Camel
Sheikh Muhsen Al-'Awaji: Before Islam, the Arabs fought for 40 years to
defend the honor of a female camel. This was in the Busous War. A female
camel was humiliated, and a 40-year war ensued to defend its honor. So what
about the honor of the Prophet?
Interviewer: Are you proud of this?!
Sheikh Muhsen Al-'Awaji: I am proud that honor and nobility always
characterized the Arabs, and then came Islam to reinforce these traits. I'm
not saying I'm proud of a war over a female camel's honor, or that I would
call to wage a war to defend the honor of a female camel... But since this
was done for the honor of a female camel, do not rebuke someone who would do
anything to defend our beloved Prophet Muhammad.
Interviewer: Let us agree that we Muslims, in general, are remiss in
conveying our message...
Sheikh Muhsen Al-'Awaji: But what happened was not because we were remiss.
Interviewer: No, but it was one of the causes. In Denmark, in Europe, or
anywhere in the world, they know full well that they cannot offend the
Holocaust, because the Jews managed to convey their message powerfully to
the entire world, whereas we...
Sheikh Muhsen Al-'Awaji: When all this began, the people of Denmark
insisted, in a premeditated and unprecedented way, on humiliating our
Imagine that someone is beheaded, and then he is told: "Put it back on,
while the blood is still flowing." But he behaves arrogantly and stubbornly,
until the head decomposes - and only then does he want to put it back on.
Similarly, an apology today - if it is even offered - is unacceptable,
because the whole issue has begun to rot. Incidently, the Americans did
worse things than the Danish, but they were smarter. The British were also
smarter. The Americans degraded the Holy Koran, the word of God.
TO VIEW THIS CLIP: http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=1059
*Clip # 89 - Jordanian Professor and Saudi Islamist Discuss President
Dr. Muhsen Al-Awaji: [Today, we face] a group of people, a gang, which
gathered, or more accurately, which were purged from all the countries of
the world. They have become loathsome in European eyes and that is why the
Europeans vomited them onto our occupied land. They have become loathsome in
the eyes of America and a moment ago the Doctor reminded us of the American
president who advised the American nation to rid itself of the Jews so they
will not enslave them. So did the English and French who purged society
Excuse me for saying this but it's their documented world view...
Dr. Ghazi Rabab'a: Yes, the Ghettos.
Dr. Muhsen Al-'Awaji:.Saving their societies from the quote unquote Jewish
"plague" amidst them. Our brothers from all over the Islamic world know that
a Jew or a Christian from their country has the right to live there, just
like the Arab Muslim has the right to live there. But, gathering those from
Poland, Holland, Russia, the North Pole, the South Pole.gathering them here
and forcing them like a cancerous tumor into the center of the Arab Islamic
body. They have no common language with those who surround them, nor do they
share their political platform with their surroundings. And then they come
with this arrogance and enslave the entire world in order to allow them to
violate these rights and commit these official assassinations, approved by
their highest ranking officials, and after all this we are told we must
discuss their legitimacy? No!
TO VIEW THIS CLIP: http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=89
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Subject: Exclusive: Saudi Arabia will host Israel boycott event
Exclusive: Saudi Arabia will host Israel boycott event
By Michael Freund The Jerusalem Post, March 7, 2006
Despite a promise made to Washington last November to drop its economic
boycott of Israel, Saudi Arabia plans to host a major international
conference next week aimed at promoting a continued trade embargo on the
Jewish state, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
The Post also found that the kingdom continues to prohibit entry to products
made in Israel or to foreign-made goods containing Israeli components, in
violation of pledges made by senior Saudi officials to the Bush
administration last year.
"Next week, we will hold the ninth annual meeting for the boycott of Israel
here in Jidda," Ambassador Salem el-Honi, high commissioner of the
Organization for the Islamic Conference's (OIC) Islamic Office for the
Boycott of Israel, said in a telephone interview.
"All 57 OIC member states will attend, and we will discuss coordination
among the various offices to strengthen the boycott," he said, noting that
the meeting is held every March.
The OIC, consisting of 57 Muslim countries, is based in Jidda, as is its
Honi, a former Saudi diplomat, has headed the boycott office for the past
The scheduled gathering is listed on the OIC's official Web site in a
section entitled "Provisional Calendar of Meetings."
Hamed Salah a-Din, of the OIC General Secretariat, confirmed in a telephone
interview that the conference would take place from March 13 to 15,
describing it as "our regular annual meeting about the boycott."
The Saudi decision to host the parley appears to run counter to assurances
that Riyadh gave the Bush administration when Saudi Arabia was seeking entry
into the World Trade Organization (WTO).
On November 11, the WTO's ruling general council voted to grant Saudi Arabia
entry into the prestigious group, which aims to promote international free
trade, after it agreed to scrap restrictions on doing business with Israel.
Christin Baker, the assistant US trade representative for public and media
affairs, told the Post via e-mail that the US had "ensured that Saudi Arabia
in its recent accession to the WTO has taken on all rights and obligations
with respect to all WTO members, including Israel."
"Saudi Arabia," she said, "did not invoke the non-application provisions of
the WTO agreement with respect to any member," meaning that it must treat
all members equally, "including Israel."
Likewise, in hearings last month before the US Senate Finance Committee, US
trade representative Rob Portman insisted that the Saudis "have a
responsibility to treat Israel as any other member of the WTO."
"We've received assurances from Saudi Arabia," Portman said in separate
testimony before the US House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee.
"They will abide by their WTO commitments."
Nonetheless, the Post has found, Saudi customs officials continue to enforce
the boycott, asserting that no Israeli-made goods be allowed into the
"Absolutely not - if it is from Israel it is not allowed," Hamad Abdul Aziz
of the Saudi Customs Department at Jidda's Islamic seaport said by phone. "I
checked with my manager, and he said it is completely forbidden."
Similarly, a Saudi customs official at King Abdul Aziz Airport outside Jidda
also said that Israeli goods were not allowed into the kingdom. "It is
prohibited," he said. "It is not allowed to bring any goods made in Israel,
whether the whole item or only part of it was made there. That is the rule."
In December, just weeks after being allowed into the WTO, Saudi officials
were quoted in the Arab press as insisting that the boycott of Israel would
continue. This has raised concerns in Washington that the Saudis are not
planning to live up to their commitment.
Baker revealed to the Post that "a team of anti-boycott experts from the US
departments of Commerce and State has been visiting the region to discuss
efforts to eliminate the boycott."
She added that later this month, "a senior USTR official plans to visit
Saudi Arabia and will again seek assurances that Saudi Arabia understands
and remains committed to its WTO obligations."
Subject: Analysis of NGO Funding: Finland's Ministry
for Foreign Affairs Development Cooperation
March 6, 2006:
Analysis of NGO Funding: Finland's Ministry for Foreign Affairs Development
[For annotated version:
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs Development Cooperation is the
international development arm of the Finnish Foreign Ministry. Its purpose
is to provide humanitarian assistance and fund development projects in
developing countries. However some of its funds are being diverted to
promote politicized NGOs that contribute to incitement, such as the
Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG), Palestinian Center for
Human Rights (PCHR) and the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights
(JCSER). Funds also go (directly and via KIOS) to NGOs whose activities
contradict the goals of the Ministry for Development Cooperation.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs Development Cooperation (here after FDC) of
the Finnish Government distributes governmental funds for the "promotion of
global security, [a] reduction of widespread poverty [and the] promotion of
human rights and democracy" in developing countries. In 2005 FDC
disbursed over ?600 million ($735.6m) for development projects and
organizations around the world. Since 2000 the Palestinian administered
areas have been in the top sixteen recipients of Finnish development funds
and have received roughly ?28 million ($34m) in bilateral funds from Finland
At a local level, funds destined for NGO's are channeled through the Fund
for Local Cooperation, a subsection of FDC, which functions through
Finland's Embassies and Representative Offices. For the years 2003-2006,
?715,000 ($865,150) was allocated for development projects and organizations
supported by the Finnish Government in the Palestinian territories to be
disbursed through the Fund.
While a number of the NGO's supported by the FDC perform humanitarian
development work, some recipients of Finnish government funding abuse their
status for political campaigning and demonization of Israel. A notable
example is the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG). It claims
to document "human rights violations committed against
Palestinians...regardless of who is responsible" but also emphasizes "the
need to denounce Israeli human rights abuses." In implementing this
agenda, PHRMG criticizes the Palestinian Authority on issues such as freedom
of expression, internal corruption, weapons proliferation in the territories
and civil-society issues such as honor killings. However, the center also
pursues externally focused political and lobbying activities, exploiting
human rights rhetoric for incitement against Israel. For example, in a
letter sent to Kofi Annan PHRMG quotes statistics of the number of
Palestinians killed since the beginning of the intifada and accuses Israel
of "violence [sic] to the International Humanitarian Law, which constitute
war crimes". The letter does not acknowledge Palestinian terror as a
causative factor in IDF operations, disregards the military dilemmas posed
by Palestinian terrorists hiding in an urban environment, and makes no
mention of Israeli victims. In another press release, PHRMG also "laments"
the "assassination" of Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin, in part due to his
"moderation" within the movement. On this basis, the NGO then justifies
terrorism: "Assassination is an internationally condemned action, violating
several human right laws." "Violence begets more violence, and Hamas has
stated that retaliation attacks will follow. By such acts of violence,
Israel is bringing disaster to its own people."
The declared mission of another FDC supported NGO, the International Center
of Bethlehem (ICB), is to promote the building of Palestinian civil society
by "equipping the local community to assume a proactive role in shaping
their future..., cultivating artistic talents, and facilitating
intercultural encounters". In reality, the institute also engages in
political activities and promotes Sabeel, a radical NGO which supports the
"one state solution," employs classical antisemitic theological themes
and has been very active in promoting the divestment campaign. The head of
Sabeel, Rev. Naim Ateek, was on a panel of an ICB conference entitled
"Shaping Communities in Times of Crisis: Narratives of Land, Peoples and
Identities" in November 2005. ICB's activities include a letter to US
Senator Hillary Clinton, calling on her to reconsider her support for the
Israeli security fence. The letter argues that to justify the fence as a
defense against terrorism is "offensive" and it states that "the Wall is
less about security than it is about colonizing land and controlling its
[the Palestinian's] indigenous population." The NGO claims that the fence
renders Bethlehem a "big, open-air prison" and "is illegal and violates our
rights to land, jobs, family, free movement, dignity, and
self-determination," again erasing the context of terror.
World Vision-Finland, directly funded by FDC and a global partner of World
Vision International, is a Christian relief and development organization
which "through emergency relief, education, health care, economic
development and promotion of justice...helps communities help
themselves." World Vision does indeed carry out positive humanitarian
work in Palestinian society, implementing vocational training programs and
providing health care for malnourished children. However, the World
Vision regional webpage is highly politicized and blames Israel for social
problems within the West Bank and Gaza, as documented in detail by NGO
In 2006 the FDC gave ?900,000 ($1.1m) to KIOS, a Finnish foundation claiming
to "promote human rights in developing countries." KIOS supports four
NGOs in the region: the Public Committee against Torture, the Association
for Civil Rights in Israel, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
and the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER). In 2001
KIOS joined with highly politicized ICJ and EMHRN when it awarded a grant of
20,000FIM ($4,140) to PCHR to carry out a joint fact finding mission in the
Palestinian Territories "in order to make an independent, objective and
expert assessment of the human rights situation on the ground." PCHR
regularly uses the language of demonization and incitement in its
allegations of Israeli human rights abuses. For example, in a memorandum
submitted to the Consul Generals of the European Union in April 2004 PCHR
claimed that "the Israeli military has continued to commit grave breaches of
the Convention, namely war crimes, which include but are not restricted to:
willful killings; torture or inhuman treatment..." FDC's support of PCHR
is inconsistent with the proclaimed goal of using development funding to
promote "greater prosperity, promotes political stability and security,
reducing the threat of crisis and war."
KIOS also provides funding for JCSER, an NGO that uses rhetoric of apartheid
and accuses Israel of "ethnic cleansing." The example of JCSER
highlights the accountability gap when governments channel development
funding via NGOs such as KIOS. The FDC is KIOS' sole source of income, which
acts as an independent NGO and awards grants entirely at the discretion of
its board (which includes representatives from Amnesty International and
UNICEF). As a result, the ability of FDC to supervise the activities of
organizations that receive government money is very limited.
The NGO calling itself "Psychologists for Social Responsibility" based in
Washington, DC is also funded directly by the FDC. Its mission, it states,
is to "facilitate positive changes for victims and survivors of personal,
community, and civil violence" but its actions are often political. For
example, PSR has lobbied President Bush "to rethink America's stand on
missile defense and to reconsider the sale of Apache Attack helicopters to
Israel." Furthermore, this NGO has involved itself in politics by using
highly suspect medical claims to exaggerate the effect of sonic booms caused
by Israeli aircraft attempting to disrupt Palestinian missile attacks from
Another organization supported by FDC is the Palestinian Academic Society
for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA), whose work includes
lectures to international study groups presenting a revisionist history of
Jerusalem, reports on "Israeli Occupation Policies" devoid of any reference
to Palestinian terror, and support of the Boycott Israeli Goods (BIG)
campaign. These activities are outside the terms set by the Finnish
Representative Office for its development funds, which state that "aid is
directed towards improving the living conditions of the Palestinian people
and reforming the Palestinian administration."
In summary, while some of the NGO's supported by FDC do carry out valuable
development work in Palestinian society, there are a number of organizations
who receive money from Finland whose work contradicts the official goals of
Finnish development cooperation. Such NGOs also contribute to misinformation
and hostile and rejectionist attitudes towards the state of Israel, among
the international media, diplomatic and development-organization
1. Information for this report was provided by the Finnish Representative
Office in Ramallah. Following previous NGO Monitor analyses, the Finnish
Embassy in Tel Aviv was asked to confirm that they were no longer funding
politicized NGO's previously financed by the Embassy. These have included
Machsom Watch, Physicians for Human Rights - Israel, HaMoked, the
International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the World Organization Against
Torture. As of January 26 2006, no response had been received.
2. Global Finland - Ministry for Foreign Affairs Development Corporation.
3. "Finland's Official Development Assistance in Statistics," Global
4. Representative Office of Finland, Ramallah.
5. Representative Office of Finland, Ramallah.
6. "State of Human Rights in Palestine," The Palestinian Human Rights
Monitoring Group (PHRMG).
7. See "The Chaos of Corruption: Challenges for the Improvement of the
Palestinian Society," "The 'Intra'fada," and "The State of Human Rights in
8. "An Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Kofi
Annan," September 12, 2005, The Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group.
9. "PHRMG Condemns the Assassination of Hamas Spiritual Leader, Ahmed
Yassin," March 22, 2004, The Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group.
10. See "The International Center of Bethlehem," and "About the
International Center of Bethlehem."
11. NGO Monitor's Submission to the Parliamentary Comittee Against
Antisemitism, December 27, 2005 (PDF).
12. "Shaping Communities in Times of Crisis: Narratives of Land, Peoples and
Identities," November 6-12, 2005, ICB.
13. A letter to Senator Rodham Clinton from Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, ICB. Note
that Sarah Leah Whitson of HRW sent a similar letter to Senator Clinton.
14. "Who We Are," World Vision International.
15. See "Jerusalem - West Bank - Gaza - Country Profile," WorldVision
16. World Vision International, NGO Monitor Infofile.
17. "A brief history of KIOS," KIOS - The Finnish NGO Foundation for Human
18. "Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Human Rights Monitoring," Grant
awarded 2001 for "A joint fact finding mission of FIDH, the ICJ and the
EMHRN to visit Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in order to
make an independent, objective and expert assessment of the human rights
situation on the ground. Approved 20 000 FIM to a fact finding mission."
19. "The EU's Failure to Act: Israeli Violations of International Human
Rights and Humanitarian Law in the OPTs," April 2004, PCHR (PDF).
20. "Decicion (sic)-in-Principle on Finland's Development Cooperation,"
Department for International Development Cooperation.
21. "Annual Report 2000," JCSER.
22. "A brief history of KIOS," KIOS - The Finnish NGO Foundation for Human
Rights. This information was confirmed in a telephone conversation with
23. "Global Violence and Security Action Committee," Psychologists for
24. See "Psychologists for Social Responsibility Launch Campaign Against
Israel for Engaging in Psychological Warfare Against Palestinians - Protest
to White House: SPME Responds," November 16, 2005 (PDF), and NGO Monitor
Digest Vol. 4 No. 4.
25. See "The Question of Jerusalem," July 10, 2000, PASSIA, and "Israeli
Occupation Policies," PASSIA (PDF).
26. "Boycott Israeli Goods," Zaytoun Olive Oil.
27. See "Palestinian Territories," Representative Office of Finland,
Ramallah and "Boycott Israeli Goods."
NGO Monitor is published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs /
Institute for Contemporary Affairs founded jointly with the Wechsler Family
Beit Milken 13 Tel Hai St.
Jerusalem, 92107 Israel
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