Wednesday, March 29, 2006

[UrukNet] - [Daily Information from Occupied Iraq] - [newsletter 28 Mar 2006 - Part One]
:: information from occupied iraq
:: informazione dall'iraq occupato

Riverbend, Baghdad Burning
I sat late last night switching between Iraqi channels (the half dozen or so I sometimes try to watch). It’s a late-night tradition for me when there’s electricity- to see what the Iraqi channels are showing (...) I was reading the little scrolling news headlines on the bottom of the page. The usual- mortar fire on an area in Baghdad, an American soldier killed here, another one wounded there… 12 Iraqi corpses found in an area in Baghdad, etc. Suddenly, one of them caught my attention and I sat up straight on the sofa, wondering if I had read it correctly. (...) The line said: "The Ministry of Defense requests that civilians do not comply with the orders of the army or police on nightly patrols unless they are accompanied by coalition forces working in that area." That’s how messed up the country is at this point....

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The Media and Iraq: What's Wrong With This Picture?
Gabriel Rotello
Mr. Bush wants to know why the media don't publish more "success stories" about Iraq. I want to know the opposite: why the media don't publish photos and videos that -- in no uncertain terms -- show the blood-drenched truth. Watching TV news or reading the papers, you'd think this was a war without human faces. There are no victims, only numbers. "39 Killed." "50 Dead." But where are the bodies? That's right, the mangled, gouged, decapitated, amputated, burned bodies? I'll tell you where: On File. Locked away in the photo and video archives of the major news organizations. The supposedly "negative" media are deliberately holding back from actually showing us the negative human costs of Bush's war, and that puts the lie to any blather about how negative they really are...

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Video exposes cold-blooded murders
Massacred by the Marines

Nicole Colson , Socialist Workers
"IT WAS a massacre in every sense of the word." That’s how Khaled Ahmed Rsayef described the murder of 15 Iraqi civilians--including his brother and six other relatives--by U.S. Marines last November. The full horror of what the victims faced in their final minutes was made public last week in a Time magazine report detailing what witnesses say was a calculated mass killing by Marines on a rampage...

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ACLU: Pentagon concedes Abu Ghraib photo, video case
The American Civil Liberties Union today announced that the Department of Defense has withdrawn its appeal of a district court order compelling it to turn over images depicting detainee abuse by U.S. forces at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The Defense Department will identify which public images come from the contested trove and release any additional images in its possession...

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Tomgram: Michael Schwartz on Why the Media Gets the War Wrong
Tom Engelhardt & Michael Schwartz
The media loves anniversaries, the grimmer the better. On the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, our newspapers and TV news were filled to the brim with retrospectives on the origins of the Iraq war, reassessments of how it was conducted by the Bush administration, and reconsiderations of the current quagmire-cum-civil-war in that country. An amazing aspect of this sort of heavy coverage of events past is the degree of consensus that quickly develops among all mainstream outlets on certain fundamental (and fundamentally controversial) issues...

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Kurdistan: Meet the New Bosses
Aaron Glantz,
The neocons in Washington love to talk about how they're promoting freedom and democracy in Iraq. They often cite as their example the country's Kurdish population, staunch allies of Washington, who have been protected by the American military since no-fly zones were imposed after the 1991 Gulf War. But just how much freedom is there in northern Iraq? Consider the case of Dr. Kamal Sayid Qadir, a well-known Kurdish writer, lawyer, and university lecturer who holds Austrian citizenship. He was picked up by the Kurdish security service in Arbil on Oct. 26. This week, he was sentenced to a year and a half in prison for defaming Kurdish leader Massood Barzani..

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More "progress" in Iraq - gays being slaughtered
Eli Stephens, Left I on the News
...AP may think that the "status" (presumably they mean the legal status) of gays and lesbians remains unclear, but the situation of gays and lesbians is a lot clearer. That is, if you read sources other than the corporate media, which as far as I can tell have yet to breath a word about the fate of gays in Iraq, who are being systematically persecuted and killed in Iraq thanks to a death-to-gays fatwa issued by Shiite Muslim leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani last October...

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Shiites Say U.S. Is Pressuring Iraqi Leader to Step Aside
Senior Shiite politicians said today that the American ambassador has told Shiite officials to inform the Iraqi prime minister that President Bush does not want him to remain the country's leader in the next government. It is the first time the Americans have directly intervened in the furious debate over the country's top job, the politicians said, and it is inflaming tensions between the Americans and some Shiite leaders...

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Today in Iraq
Baghdad: Three groups of gunmen wearing military uniforms but arriving in civilian cars kidnap at least 24 Iraqis working at a money exchange and two electronics stores in Baghdad Tuesdady. The assaults happened separately but within the same half-hour period. Car bomb explodes as police exchanged fire with two attackers outside a police station south of Baghdad, wounding at least a dozen people. Five people wounded when roadside bomb explodes near restaurant in north Baghdad. Member of interior ministry's public order brigade injured by gunfire in the southern Dura district. Iraqi intelligence agent shot by gunmen in the southern Risala neighborhood. Iraqi police patrols find 14 dead bodies in execution-style in western Baghdad district. The bodies were blindfolded, bound and shot in the head. Civilian injured when vehicle filled with explosives detonates in northwestern Baghdad. Tikrit: Gunmen attack car carrying Iraqi contractors in Tikrit, killing two and wounding one. The men provided construction and other services to U.S. troops...

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Halabja Protesters May Face Death Penalty
Amanj Khalil in Sulaimaniyah (ICR No. 169, 23-Mar-06)
Demonstrators who last week torched a monument to the victims of a gas attack on Halabja could face the death penalty if convicted, according to a judge investigating the incident (...) Locals said they mounted the demonstration because of anger at what they said was cynical exploitation of their plight by local politicians (...) A security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said authorities have arrested about 80 people. Kurdish regional government spokesman Jamal Abdullah said 40 to 45 remain in custody, suspected of setting the monument on fire and inciting violence. Local human rights groups have not been allowed to see the detainees. All of the demonstration's organisers are now in hiding. "I'm afraid of being arrested and tortured to confess things I haven't done," said one who asked not to be named...

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Halliburton overcharged for Iraq oil work: report
Oil services company Halliburton Co. repeatedly overcharged taxpayers and provided substandard cost reports under a $1.2 billion contract to restore Iraq’s southern oil fields, according to a new report by U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (news, bio, voting record). Waxman, a California Democrat, said Democratic staff members of the House Committee on Government Reform examined a series of government audits and correspondence that criticized Halliburton’s performance under the "Restore Iraqi Oil 2″ (RIO2) contract...

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The continued madness of King George
Doug Thompson
With all the public furor over his use of the National Security Agency to spy on Americans, and the near-mutiny in the Republican party over his high-handed approach to the Presidency, you'd think George W. Bush might have learned a thing or two about the dangers of arrogance. Nah, not our despot-in-chief, King Dubya. When he signed the extension of the USA Patriot act into law, he added his own "addendum" to the law that says he doesn't have to tell Congress a damn thing about what he and his storm troopers are up to when it comes to abusing the expanded police powers included in the bill...

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Soldiers flee to Canada to avoid Iraq duty
Duncan Campbell, The Guardian
Hundreds of deserters from the US armed forces have crossed into Canada and are now seeking political refugee status there, arguing that violations of the rules of war in Iraq by the US entitle them to asylum. decision on a test case involving two US servicemen is due shortly and is being watched with interest by fellow servicemen on both sides of the border. At least 20 others have already applied for asylum and there are an estimated 400 in Canada out of more than 9,000 who have deserted since the conflict started in 2003...

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Fitzgerald Will Seek New White House Indictments
Jason Leopold
It may seem as though it's been moving along at a snail's pace, but the second part of the federal investigation into the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson is nearly complete, with attorneys and government officials who have remained close to the probe saying that a grand jury will likely return an indictment against one or two senior Bush administration officials. These sources work or worked at the State Department, the CIA and the National Security Council. Some of these sources are attorneys close to the case. They requested anonymity because they were not permitted to speak publicly about the details of the investigation...

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U.S. appeals to Iraq's top cleric to help end political impasse
Nancy A. Youssef and Warren P. Strobel, Knight Ridder Newspapers
U.S. officials sent a message this week to Iraq's senior religious cleric asking that he help end the impasse over forming a new Iraqi government and strongly implying that the prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jafaari, should withdraw his candidacy for re-election, according to American officials. The unusual decision by the White House to reach out to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani suggested how eager the Bush administration is to jump-start negotiations that have failed to produce Iraq's first permanent postwar government more than three months after national elections...

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The Cowards Path
An open letter to Ralph Nader

Linda H Riegler
Dear Mr. Nader, Sir, I owe you an apology… (...) In the 2000 elections even as I was impassioned by your words, and although inspired by your courage in a way that has alluded me since my youth. I sat silently applauding you (I even considered "vote-swapping"), but in the end, I cast my vote for Al Gore. I was completely secure in my convictions. As desperately, as we needed you, it was far more critical to elect Al Gore than to risk (I’d been doing my homework over the last twenty years) allowing America to fall into the hands of George Bush and Dick Cheney (...) I understand now, that I am a war criminal. I am responsible. I am complicit in disseminating depleted uranium throughout the Middle East. I am responsible for the renditions, for Abu Ghraib, for the torture, for the illegal spying, etc. I am responsible. I am responsible for it all...

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A Man’s Word
Monica Benderman
... My husband, Sgt. Kevin Benderman, chose to no longer participate in war. He followed the Army regulations, filed a Conscientious Objector application, and acted honorably every step of the way. His unit commanders chose to punish him for not allowing them to control him with their threats, and my husband went to jail simply because his commanders had no integrity, no honor and no respect for the very constitution they had given a sworn oath to uphold. Sadly -- the military administration has sided with my husband’s commanders to this point...

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Iraq has not fallen
Truth About Iraqis
It is a rarity these days to see good news coming out of Iraq. Sure, I am not talking about the planted US military version of events or the bloggers on "assignment in Iraq" embedded with some military unit. Nor am I talking about the so-called valor and bravery of the Iraqi Army as it storms the hideouts of "insurgents" and scores kills against women and children. No, I am indeed talking about the voice of one woman, who has in nearly three years saved the writing of history from those who seek to enslave it, refashion it to their own whims and manipulate it for generations to come...

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It's the Media, Stupid
Ramzy Baroud
There is little disagreement on the indispensable role of the media in influencing political debate and narrative, thus shaping public discourse. Among progressives, liberals and most political minorities in the United States and Europe, there is an equal consensus regarding the troubling alliance that is bringing warmongering politicians, ideologues, religious zealots and media moguls together. They alone possess the capabilities to sway the public in any way they wish, or so it seems; they stack a nation's priorities in the way they find most fit; they concoct wars and justify them when they go awry. In short, they manipulate democracy by manipulating the public, using whatever means necessary: fear, misinformation and all the familiar rest...

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Iraq: Prosecutions threaten freedom of expression in northern Iraq
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is greatly concerned by the prosecutions of two critics of the Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq and the threat these pose to freedom of expression in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region. Kamal Sayid Qadir, an Austrian national of Kurdish origin, has been imprisoned since October 2005 for allegedly defaming Kurdish political leaders, while high school teacher and journalist Hawez Hawezi is facing prosecution, also on defamation charges...

Read the full article / Leggi l'articolo completo: a site gathering daily information concerning occupied Iraq: news, analysis, documents and texts of iraqi resistance available in Italian and English.



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[political-research] Bloglines - Neocons Blocked 2003 Nuclear Talks With Iran

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[political-research] Bloglines - Fasten Your Seat Belt

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[political-research] Bloglines - member discusses 9/11 hijackers

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via 911 Blogger : "Think about it. You get on a flight. You have to present a valid ID to check in, which matches the name on your ticket, which matches the name on the manifest. In the first days of 9/11 all they had to go on was the names on the manifest. Right? That and the description given by security, ticket counter, baggage handling/check-in desk and other airline employees. So how did


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[imra] Daily digest - Volume: 2 Issue: 1358 (15 messages)

imra Wed Mar 29 00:22:02 2006 Volume 2 : Issue 1358

In this issue of the imra daily Digest:

Kadima: We have no ideology
Terror Attack Thwarted As Islamic Jihad Increases Activity Against
IDF Aerial Attack Against Terrorists
in Northern Gaza Strip
Text: Haaretz's Ari Shavit debates
Chaim Ramon on Olmert's Retreat Plan
Excerpts: Quartet road map obsolete.
Hizbollah to join Lebanese army ? 27 March 2006
Last Pre-Election Polls: Kadima 34-36 Labor 17-21
Likud 12-14 Yisrael Beiteinu 7-15 NRP/Nat'l Union 8-12
2 Reports on Security Chaos and
Proliferation of Small Arms
Excerpts: Arab lag.Cartoon fracas revisited. 28 March 2006
Magen David Adom: 2 killed following Qassam strike
Haniya Says Government Ready to Talk with Quartet
President Abbas; Political Affairs Is the
Business of President and PLO Negotiation Affair
Arab League Foreign Ministers Adopt Draft
Resolution Rejecting Israeli Acting PM's
Unilateral Plan for West Bank
Palestinians kidnap Palestinian officials, hand grenade
[Wishful thinking]U.S. TO SHIP
Secrecy News: THE AIPAC CASE:


Subject: Kadima: We have no ideology

Kadima: We have no ideology

Speaking at a Kadima conference, Education Minister Meir Sheetrit says, 'we
don't have the baggage of the heritage of Zeev Jabotinsky or Berl
Katzenelson on our back.' Peres: No prime minister can make a bold move if
he doesn't have at least 40 mandates

Ahiya Raved YNET 26 March 2006,7340,L-3232567,00.html

Education Minister Meir Sheetrit, speaking at a Kadima party conference,
said that Kadima had disengaged itself from all ideologies.

"That is Kadima's uniqueness," he said.

"Former Labor party members sit here, former Likud members, and friends who
have not been in any other parties before this. We don't have the baggage of
the heritage of Zeev Jabotinsky, or Berl Katzenelson, on our back. We are
looking only to the future."

Meanwhile, Shimon Peres addressed the apparent threat posed to Israel by

"We know there is nothing to be afraid of; the IDF has never been more
advanced, stronger, and more able to protect than today," he said.

'It's good to live in our country'

Peres called on Kadima voters not to be apathetic, and to bring the party as
many mandates as possible. "No prime minister can make

a bold move if he doesn't have at least 40 mandates. (David) Ben-Gurion
established the State with 50 mandates. (Menachem) Begin had over 40
mandates. Yitzhak Rabin, and (Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon had them too, but
their mandates were comprised of a number of party lists. The fewer mandates
a party has, the smaller the chance that it will make important steps, and
its term will be shorter," he said.

The conference, organized by the Kadima's northern elections headquarters,
headed by Kiryat Motzkin Mayor Haim Zuri, was aimed at concluding Kadima's
northern elections campaign.

Some 1,300 people attended, and heard speeches by Peres, Sheetrit, and
Gideon Ezra, among others.

Sheetrit added: "We (in Kadima) don't say, 'its good to die for our country,'
but rather, 'it's good to live in our country'."

(03.26.06, 22:28)


Subject: Terror Attack Thwarted As Islamic Jihad Increases Activity Against

March 26th, 2006
Attributed to "security sources" [Distribuited by the IDF Spokesperson's

Terror attack thwarted and two terrorists arrested as Islamic Jihad
increases its activity against Israel

On March 7th 2006, security forces at the Erez crossing arrested Samih
Haddad, an Islamic Jihad terrorist who intended to carry out a terror attack
inside Israel. Six days earlier, security forces arrested Islamic Jihad
terrorist Ihab Tity, who was sent to develop the organization's terror
infrastructure in the West Bank in order to carry out attacks against Israel

On March 7th 2006, ISA forces arrested Samih Maher Salameh Haddad, 21, a
resident of the Gaza Strip. Haddad arrived at the Erez crossing with false
medical documents with which he had managed to obtain an entry permit into
Israel. During his questioning Haddad admitted to being a member of the
Islamic Jihad terror organization. Haddad had undergone training in the
organization and had participated in projectile rocket attacks against

In January of 2006, Haddad was informed by his operators that they intended
to smuggle him into Israel through Erez with false medical documents, which
stated that Haddad was in need of urgent medical treatment in Israel. Once
inside Israel, Haddad would receive an automatic weapon which he would use
to carry out a terror attack against Israeli civilians. Haddad had attempted
to smuggle into Israel several months earlier by infiltrating the
Israeli-Egyptian border, but had not succeeded.

On March 7th 2006, Haddad was given the forged documents by his operators
and met with Mahjed Harazin, head of Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, who
gave him his blessing to carry out the terror attack. Haddad was then taken
to the Erez security crossing, and was arrested by Israeli security forces
while attempting to pass through.

This thwarted attack is an example of a recent upsurge in Islamic Jihad's
efforts to carry out attacks against Israel. As part of this effort Islamic
Jihad has also
accelerated the development of terror cells in the West Bank:

On March 1st 2006, security forces arrested Ihab Tity, an Islamic Jihad
terrorist and explosives instructor who had been sent to the West Bank on
February 2006 in order to establish a terror infrastructure which would
carry out attacks against Israel. Tity, 25, a resident of Al Aroub (in the
Hebron region), moved to the Gaza Strip in the year 2000 and enrolled in a
university there. In 2004 Tity was drafted to the Islamic Jihad, and in 2005
underwent several training sessions aimed to qualify him as an explosives
instructor. During this training period Tity was instructed on explosives
production and the construction of detonators, explosive devices, explosive
belts and methods of use. Tity was also trained in the use of automatic
weapons and anti-tank missiles.

Upon finishing his training in February 2006, Tity was instructed by his
operators to return to the West Bank in order to establish an Islamic Jihad
terror infrastructure, consisting of several sub-cells, which would carry
out terror attacks against Israeli targets- primarily military targets.
These attacks would be funded by the Islamic Jihad terror infrastructure in
the Gaza Strip, and would possibly be conducted in cooperation with other

Tity was instructed to build an explosives lab and to draft new recruits who
would be trained in the production of explosives, bombs and explosive belts.
Among the attacks planned by the new infrastructure were suicide bombings,
the detonation of roadside bombs against IDF forces, shooting attacks
against civilian and military vehicles, and possibly the kidnapping of
soldiers or civilians in order to negotiate the release of Palestinian
prisoners held by Israel (for this Tity's operators suggested that he enlist
a female collaborator to seduce and kidnap the designated target, or that he
alternatively set up a false meeting with an Israeli drug dealer in order to
kidnap him). In addition, the infrastructure was to collect information on
security measures-specifically security vehicles-used to protect Israeli
communities in the West Bank.

Tity arrived in the West Bank near the end of February 2006. By the time of
his arrest on March 1st, he had already managed to mark a number of targets
for terror attacks, among them IDF vehicles near Al Aroub and a bus stop
near Gush Etzion, and had also collected information on security measures in
a nearby community.

As part of its efforts to increase terror activity against Israel, Islamic
Jihad has been implementing three major methods in order to smuggle
terrorists into Israel:

1. Exploitation of Israel's humanitarian policy on medical cases:

This method of operation is exemplified in the case of Samih Haddad which is
detailed above. The past few years have shown a major increase in attempts
to smuggle terrorists into Israel in the cover of patients in need of
medical treatment. Another example of this is the incident of Wafa Bas, who
was arrested in the Erez crossing on June 2005 while wearing an explosive
belt. Bas, carrying legitimate medical documents, was scheduled for a
medical examination in an Israeli hospital. Under the pretense of a genuine
need, Bas, who had been recruited by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades
organization, was planning to execute a suicide bombing at the hospital
which had treated her.

2. Infiltration into Israel through Egypt:

Since October 2000, and at a highly increased rate following the IDF's
pullout from the Gaza Strip, there have been many efforts by all terrorist
groups in the Gaza Strip, among them Islamic Jihad, to smuggle terrorists
into Israel by sending them over the Gaza-Egypt border and then over the
Israeli-Egyptian border, while exploiting the lack of a contiguous physical
obstacle along this border. On the 8th of February, a 17 year old
Palestinian terrorist carrying an explosive belt, and an additional
collaborator assigned to drive him to the site of the planned attack, both
of them Islamic Jihad terrorists, were arrested after trying to infiltrate
Israel via Egypt. Their plan was to carry out a suicide bombing in the city
of Jerusalem.

As previously mentioned, Samih Haddad had also attempted to enter Israel in
this method.

3. Exploitation of Israel's policy towards residents of the West Bank
wishing to leave the Gaza Strip:

This method of operation is exemplified in the case of Ihab Tity. Tity,
originally of the West Bank, came to the Gaza Strip for the purpose of
studies and rather easily received authorization to return to the West bank
thanks to his West Bank ID. Islamic Jihad took advantage of Tity's special
status in order to train him and send him to the West Bank to establish an
Islamic Jihad terror infrastructure there.

An additional example is the arrest of Mahmad Bahitzi in March 2005.
Bahitzi, a Hamas terrorist and a resident of the Gaza Strip, planned to
carry out a suicide bombing after having left the Gaza Strip in the cover of
a potential kidney donor. Because of these medical considerations, and in
light of being registered as a resident of Kalandiya, Bahitzi received an
entry permit.


Subject: IDF Aerial Attack Against Terrorists
in Northern Gaza Strip

March 26th, 2006

IDF aerial attack against a vehicle carrying terrorists in the northern Gaza

In a security forces activity tonight in the northern Gaza Strip, the IDF
carried out an aerial attack against a vehicle in the city of Gaza carrying
terrorists involved in the firing of projectile rockets at Israel.


Subject: Text: Haaretz's Ari Shavit debates
Chaim Ramon on Olmert's Retreat Plan

On life and death

By Ari Shavit Haaretz 27 March 2006

[Appeared in the Hebrew edition on 24 March 2006]

Haim Ramon called. He really didn't like the op-ed in which I severely
criticized the Olmert plan. He was surprised - he thought we were on the
same wavelength. He thought I understood that Yossi Beilin and Benjamin
Netanyahu were wrong. And, of course, he didn't agree with a single word in
the piece. But perhaps it would be right to hold a serious debate on the
pages of Haaretz. Perhaps it would be right to present each arguments, ahead
of the elections, to the voting readers.

We sat across the table from each other and roared at the tops of our lungs.
It's a pleasure to quarrel with Ramon. He's quick and sharp and driven by
instinct. Neither refined, nor always methodical, he has a wild cat's feel
for reality. The man who formulated the concept of the big fence and
predicted the big bang now wholly believes in the big disengagement. He has
no doubt that he is right - not even the slightest shadow of a doubt.

Shavit: "These elections are important because they are about the division
of the land. I want a division of the land. But I hold that Ehud Olmert's
and your unilateral division plan is dangerous. It will lead to the
establishment of an armed and hostile Hamas state that will undercut the
stability of Israel, Jordan and the Middle East. How am I wrong?"

Ramon: "The dangers you point to do exist. But the danger of continuing the
status quo is greater still. We are sitting on a volcanic crater, and we
know exactly when it will erupt. We know that within 5-10 years our time as
a Jewish and democratic state will come to an end. As soon as the
Palestinians become the majority between the sea and the river - within less
than a decade - they will demand one man, one vote, one state. They will ask
why what is good for South Africa is not good for us. This danger is
terrible. We are talking about an end to the Jewish-democratic state. That's
why continued control of the West Bank is the immediate existential threat
that Israel must attend to now. This threat is more dangerous than the
dangers you're talking about.

Shavit: "We both agree that a two-state solution is essential. But I hold
that in the present situation, with Hamas in power, a two-state solution is
also very dangerous. That's why we have to build a supervised and organized
process that will minimize the danger in the new situation. Your plan
doesn't do this. It establishes Hamastan, which will be belligerent and will
not stop at the fence line. Therefore, the two-state solution that you will
create will be unstable. It will inevitably lead to war."

Ramon: "I think there won't be a war. The Palestinians will have something
to lose. Their quality of life will be far better. There will be major
pressure on leadership not to take steps that will turn the clock back and
bring back occupation. True, it is not an eternal situation. It's a phase
ahead of talks about a final-status under more comfortable conditions. I
believe if there is movement, there will be quiet. If there'll be five or
six years of quiet during the convergence, there is a chance of extending

"But let's say there is a war. What kind of war would it be? The Israel
Defense Forces, with all its capability, facing 3,000-4,000 Hamas people
armed with nothing? If the Palestinians pose any kind of threat to me, I
will conquer the West Bank in 24 hours. And how do I know this? I know this
because that's what I did in Operation Defensive Shield. When I had 120
fatalities in a month due to terror, I recaptured the entire area and I
destroyed the Palestinian Authority in a day."

Shavit: "You don't understand the meaning of sovereignty. You don't
understand that when you are faced with a sovereign and legitimate Hamas
state that is a member of the United Nations, its right of self-defense will
be no less important than your right of self-defense. You won't be able to
go into Jenin and Nablus like you do now. And you won't be able to prevent
Hamastan from arming itself. It will have the full right to set up an
anti-aircraft missile system that will paralyze all your air power without a
single shot."

Ramon: "What are you talking about? It's clear to Jordan that if a foreign
Syrian army enters it, I will also enter it. And I maintain deterrence
against countries far stronger than Palestine. And here it's unilateral.
There is no agreement. So I will sit on the Jordan River and I won't let
Palestinians bring in any planes or any missiles or any tanks."

Shavit: "But on what authority will you do that? After all, you are about to
withdraw without an agreement and without any political context. In the
absence of an agreement and in the absence of a political context, there is
no demilitarization. In the absence of an agreement and in the absence of a
political context, there is no legitimate restriction on the sovereignty of
the Hamas state. Your attempt to use your military might to impinge on the
sovereignty of the neighboring state will be considered illegitimate.

"We must withdraw. But we need to be aware of the dangers concealed in the
withdrawal and we must deal with them before withdrawing. We must make sure
there will be solid international recognition of the line to which we
withdraw and of the legitimacy of the State of Israel as a Jewish state. And
we must make sure that alongside the establishment of the Palestinian state,
the demand of return is removed from the international agenda. And we must
make sure the international community recognizes that the West Bank and Gaza
will remain demilitarized."

Ramon: "The difference between me and you is that I think the territories
are a burden and you think they're an asset. That's why you think that when
you give them up you deserve something in exchange. If possible, something
from the Palestinians, and if not, something from the international
community. Now I am in favor. What intelligent person wouldn't be in favor?
And that's why I am set to give a year for negotiations based on the
roadmap. And I am going to try to get the most international support I can.
But I want it to be clear that in the end, I am not prepared to leave my
fate in the hands of the Palestinians or the international community.
Because I have cancer. Ruling the territories is cancer. And therefore I
will not let my enemy decide whether or not to undergo the operation to
remove the cancer. I also won't let my enemy be my surgeon. I stand firm in
my decision to take my fate in my own hands."

Shavit: "My argument is that you see only the danger of the cancer of
occupation. You are ignoring the dangers involved in the process of ending
the occupation. And so the operation you are about to carry out is a field
operation that will end in disaster."

Ramon: "That's absurd. By virtue of my position in the Knesset, I have come
to learn all the secrets of the State of Israel. I am therefore aware of our
awesome powers. I know that we can cope with any military threat. The one
threat that we don't know how to deal with is the threat of the loss of the
Jewish-democratic state. The convergence plan is the only practical answer
to this threat."

Shavit: "But in order to make the withdrawal into a stable two-state
situation, Palestinian society must undergo a positive change that runs
deep. What you are ignoring is that what you see as taking your fate into
your own hands is seen by the Palestinians as defeat. Such a defeat
generates negative, not positive, change. You are ignoring the connection
between the disengagement and the Hamas victory, and you are ignoring the
capability of a mega-disengagement to perpetuate Hamas rule."

Ramon: "I have been waiting for a Palestinian change for 20 years. And I'm
not some Likudnik who has never seen a Palestinian in his life. I sat with
Abu Mazen and with Abu Ala and with [Mohammed] Dahlan. Dahlan is a friend of
mine. And so I'm telling you from experience that they can't give up on the
right of return. And they are not capable of reaching a compromise on
Jerusalem. So there will not be a final-status agreement. Any attempt to
reach a final-status agreement will lead to a thousand more fatalities, like
Camp David. But they are also not ready for an interim agreement. Therefore,
the choice is between the status quo and a unilateral process. To die or to
have surgery.

"More than that: There will be no Palestinian change as long as I am in the
field. Only when I get out and they see the settlements and the roadblocks
disappearing and they won't be living like animals - only then will the
hoped-for change begin to take place. The Palestinian change will not be
realized before the evacuation, only afterward."

Shavit: "There are two diseases here. The Israeli disease is the occupation
and the settlements. The Palestinian disease is the lack of recognition of
Israel and the instability. In order to reach a reasonable situation in
Israel-Palestine, we have to treat both diseases at the same time. We need
two unilateral treatment processes that might, over time, lead to an
agreement. And perhaps what you are doing is treating only the Israeli
disease. You are freeing the Palestinians from all responsibility.

"The house is indeed on fire, but instead of putting out the blaze you are
jumping out of the burning house, into the abyss."

Ramon: "You are Beilin. Ultimately, you are Beilin. Only you're not
comfortable being Beilin, so you're not demanding a peace agreement but
another agreement. But in the end, just like Beilin, you are saying that the
Palestinians are the ones who will determine whether there will be a Jewish
and democratic state here.

"I am not ignoring the Hamas victory. On the contrary. This victory simply
clarifies for me that there is virtually no practical chance of reaching an
agreement. I will try so that Ari Shavit and Yossi Beilin and the settlers
and the world will know that I tried. And maybe I will send you to reach
these agreements. But when you return and say that you have failed, I will
do what I did in Lebanon. Then too, they warned me that I was strengthening
Hezbollah, just as you are warning me [about Hamas]. And then too, they told
me there would be buses in Avivim [a reference to the deadly 1970 attack on
a school bus in Avivim, near the Lebanon border] just as you're telling me
there will be shoulder-fired missiles in the West Bank. But it's quiet on
the northern border. [Hezbollah head Sheikh Hassan] Nasrallah doesn't dare
attack Israel."

Shavit: "In Lebanon, [Ehud] Barak built the invisible wall of international
legitimacy that you are not building in the West Bank. That is exactly the
major mistake you made when you put the big withdrawal card on the table
without getting anything in exchange. Now there is no chance that the world
will fund the NIS 80 billion the evacuation will cost, and there is no
chance it will fully recognize the withdrawal line. This wouldn't have
happened to [Ariel] Sharon. Sharon, would not have been so hasty. Once we
had a war and that was it, then peace and that was it, and now you're
proposing a fence and that's it. It doesn't work like that."

Ramon: "I will tell you about myself. A few months ago, when I had a heart
attack, it took me half an hour to realize I had a problem. That is the most
dangerous thing. People who ignore the fact that they have a problem cause a
disaster for themselves.

"When I listen to you I say: You don't understand that you have a problem.
Like Beilin and Peretz and Netanyahu, you are demanding something in
exchange that you will not receive, for territory that is a burden and not
an asset. And so you too, like Beilin and Peretz and Netanyahu, are placing
your fate in the hands of your enemy. And I am not prepared to do this
anymore. I want to reach the stage where I will not be dependent on anyone.
So I will go to the international community, and I will go to Abu Mazen. But
in the end, I will act in accordance with my existential interest. And my
existential interest requires me to free myself of this 90 percent of the
West Bank that endangers me. Because unlike you, I understand that I have
cancer. And I am not prepared to say that this cancerous growth is a gem.

So you can tell me that I don't have an operating room here and I don't have
anesthesia and I don't have a sterile scalpel. But I am telling you that if
I don't do the surgery I won't live. That's why I am getting the operation
done. I am cutting. Because if I wait until all your demands are fulfilled,
I will simply die."


Subject: Excerpts: Quartet road map obsolete.
Hizbollah to join Lebanese army ? 27 March 2006

Excerpts: Quartet road map obsolete.Hizbollah to join Lebanese army ? 27
March 2006

" 'Quartet' ... 'Road Map to a Permanent Two-State Solution...'

"It is time to junk the road map ...the road map is dead"

"New conditions ... make clear that the steps specified in the road map are
no longer .. plausible"

"final settlement mus be negotiated directly between the parties"


Less than three years ago, the self-styled "Quartet" of the United States,
the European Union, United Nations and Russia promulgated "A
Performance-based Road Map to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict." In recent statements, President George W.
Bush has reiterated America's support for the "road map," which was supposed
to have issued in a final resolution of the conflict by now.
It is no coincidence that the plan was formally presented within weeks of
the American invasion of Iraq, ... They believed that if victory in Iraq
could be followed by a resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the entire
region would be transformed. ... .It is time to junk the road map. More
precisely, the road map is dead, and it is time to acknowledge that fact.
One easily could argue that, in point of fact, it never lived. Neither side
fulfilled even its first conditions - for the Palestinians, a definitive end
to terrorism; for the Israelis, a freeze on settlements, both their
construction and their expansion. Indeed, recently leaders of both Kadima
and Hamas have acknowledged its death, leaving the Quartet and Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbasas its only defenders.
Moreover, the new conditions that prevail in the region at large and in the
conflict itself already make clear that the steps specified in the road map
are no longer in the slightest bit plausible - ... .
But neither is the status quo acceptable. A truce of the sort Hamas has
"offered" is a timeout that will enable Hamas to consolidate its control
over the Palestinian security forces and prepare for a resumption of
hostilities. It also might use the time to rein in Islamic Jihad and other
rump terrorist groups, in an effort to gain ...f world opinion for its
perceived "moderation."
But there is no basis ... for assuming that the Islamist movement is in any
way ready to meet the minimal conditions that Israel and the world community
have laid down: recognition of Israel, an end to terrorism, acceptance of
all earlier agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. ... .
... even in the wake of the Hamas victory, a majority of Palestinians
expressed support for a two-state solution. A response to that support is
urgently needed, lest it sour and Hamas rejectionism become the popular
Palestinian view.
Yet the parties to the conflict can no longer, if ever they could, be
depended on to negotiate a comprehensive agreement. Indeed, under current
circumstances, they cannot even negotiate limited agreements.
So it is time for the Quartet to sing a new song, issue a new road map - ...
In consultation with Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, the Quartet
should lay down the elements of a comprehensive final agreement, indicating
clearly that Hamas will be frozen out of both financial aid and diplomatic
acceptance so long as it does not cooperate; indicating just as clearly that
Israel will be expected to accept and implement those terms of the agreement
that affect its behavior. ... ..
Basically, Hamas must be put on notice that the international community will
not bide its time while Hamas decides whether to moderate its views. And
Israel must be told that the status quo no longer will do.
. . .
For years, it has been accepted that a final settlement must be negotiated
directly between the parties, with others - principally, the American
government - acting as facilitators. But that is now, and for the
foreseeable future, a chimera. The purpose here is not to replace that
fantasy with an imposed solution; it is, at long and bloody last, to enable
a solution.
Leonard Fein is a writer and teacher. In 1974, he founded Moment magazine,
in 1985, he founded Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, and in 1996, he
founded the National Jewish Coalition for Literacy. THE DAILY STAR publishes
this commentary in collaboration with the Common Ground News Service.

+++JORDAN TIMES 27 Mar.'06:"UN does not expect Hizbollah to be disarmed by
"United Nations ... hoped they [Hizbollah] would join the Lebanese army"
" 'Our goal is to integrate Hizbollah into the Lebanese army' "
BEIRUT (Reuters) - The United Nations said on Sunday it did not expect
Lebanon to disarm Hibzollah fighters by force but hoped they would join the
Lebanese army.
"We don't believe that it is indeed possible to go down south or into the
Bekaa Valley and take away the weapons of Hizbollah," ... .
"Our goal is to integrate Hizbollah into the Lebanese army." Roed-Larsen
will present a report in April on progress in the implementation of Security
Council Resolution 1559, which demands foreign troops leave Lebanon and
militias there disarm.
. . .
Hizbollah has argued in the past against joining the Lebanese army, saying
that would undermine its effectiveness as a resistance force and increase
the risk that the army get entangled in a confrontation with Israel. Syria and Iran, the Shiite Muslim group has vowed to keep those
arms as a deterrent against Israel and to liberate the Shebaa Farms, a strip
on the border between Lebanon, Israel and Syria's Israeli-occupied Golan
. . .
The United Nations considers the Shebaa Farms Syrian land occupied by Israel
in the 1967 Middle East war and has certified Israel's withdrawal from
Lebanon as complete.
But Roed-Larsen said that the Blue Line, drawn by the United Nations to mark
the extent of Israel's withdrawal, was not final and could change if Syria
and Lebanon drew their border. He also encouraged the two countries to
establish full diplomatic ties. . . .

Sue Lerner, Associate - IMRA


Subject: Last Pre-Election Polls: Kadima 34-36 Labor 17-21
Likud 12-14 Yisrael Beiteinu 7-15 NRP/Nat'l Union 8-12

Last Pre-Election Polls: Kadima 34-36 Labor 17-21 Likud 12-14 Yisrael
Beiteinu 7-15 NRP/Nat'l
Union 8-12

Aaron Lerner Date:27 March 2006

Dialogue found 28 seat for "undecided"

#1 Telephone poll of a representative sample of 503 adult Israelis
(including Arab Israelis) carried out by Maagar Mochot on 25 March after the
end of the Sabbath for the Mishal Cham television program..

#2 Telephone poll of a representative sample of adult Israelis (including
Arab Israelis) carried out by Dialogue for Channel 10 and Haaretz on 26
March 2006 (poll completed early afternoon)..

#3 Telephone poll of a representative sample of adult Israelis (including
Arab Israelis) carried out by Dahaf for Yediot Ahronot on 26 March 2006

#4 Telephone poll of a representative sample of adult Israelis (including
Arab Israelis) carried out by Teleseker for Maariv on 26 March 2006

Knesset election vote expressed in mandates[current in brackets]
#1 #2 #3 #4
34 36 34 34 [00] Kadima
12 14 13 14 [40] Likud
19 18 21 17 [22] Labor
00 00 00 00 [15] Shinui (both the party and the break-away "Secular Zionist
08 11 11 12 [11] Shas
07 08 07 07 [08] Arab parties
06 06 05 05 [06] Yachad [Meretz]
08 12 09 11 [07* & 6] National Union & NRP
15 07 12 12 [07*] Yisrael Beiteinu [Lieberman]
07 06 06 06 [05] Yahadut Hatorah
02 02 02 02 [00] Gil [retired people's party headed by Rafi Eitan]
01 ----------[00] Green Party (environment)
01 ----------[00] Green Leaf (hashis)
* National Union & Yisrael Beiteinu together have 7 seats
* at least two seats are required - 2.5% of the vote - to pass teh

Maagar Mochot also aksed:

Who would you prefer as treasury miniser?
Netanyahu 37% Peretz 11% Shitreet 29% Other replies 23%

Who would you prefer as minister of education?
Livnat 7% Tamir 41% Reichman 13% Other replies 39%

Who would you prefer as minister of defense?
Mofaz 42% Ayalon 25% Landau 16% Other replies 17%

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


Subject: 2 Reports on Security Chaos and
Proliferation of Small Arms

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

#1 Security Chaos and Proliferation of Small Arms
Misuse of Weapons by Armed Groups and Security Personnel

Field Update
27 March 2006

4 Citizens Injured As result of the Misuse of Weapons

Two citizens, including a child, were injured in two separate incidents
involving the misuse of weapons in Khan Yunis. Militants in Nablus also
fired at two citizens for alleged collaboration with Israeli Occupation
Forces (IOF).

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 20:00 on
Sunday, 26 March 2006, Nabeel Subhi Mohammed al-Bayouk, 19, from Khan Yunis,
was injured by a live bullet to left foot from an unknown source, while he
was walking in the al-Sikka area of Khan Yunis.

Earlier on Sunday, at approximately 15:40, a number of militants from the
al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Fatah, fired at Yasser Ahmed
Yassin, 40, and Ibrahim Ahmed Saber Yassin, 27, at the northern entrance of
Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus. The two brothers, from Northern
'Assira village to the north of Nablus, were injured by several live bullets
to the legs. The militants left the two brothers bleeding at the location
of the attack and placed a leaflet near them, accusing them of collaboration
with IOF. The two brothers were later evacuated to Rafidya Hospital in

At approximately 20:30 on Thursday, 23 March 2006, Ayman Mahmoud Tabasi, 14,
from Khan Yunis, was accidentally injured by a live bullet to the right leg,
when an armed man fired gunshots during a wedding party in the Baten
al-Samin area, south of Khan Yunis. He was evacuated to Nasser Hospital in
Khan Yunis.

PCHR expresses grave concern over the misuse of weapons by armed groups and
individuals, which has become an increasingly common feature of the ongoing
security chaos in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. PCHR emphasizes that
it is the right and duty of the Palestinian National Authority to take legal
measures against those suspected of collaboration with IOF and this must be
done in a manner that ensures suspects enjoy their full legal rights, as
protected by law.

#2 Security Chaos and Proliferation of Small Arms
Attacks on Public Institutions and Officials

Field Update
27 March 2006

Transportation Bureau in Nablus Attacked

On Sunday evening, 26 March 2006, militants from the al-Aqsa Martyrs
Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah movement, opened fire at the
offices of the Public Transportation Bureau in Nablus and forced the offices
to close.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 17:00 on
Sunday, 26 March 2006, militants from the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades opened
fire at the offices of the Public Transportation Bureau, which are located
in the Palestinian governmental compound in Amman Street, in the east of
Nablus. They also detonated sound bombs in the area and forced the offices
to close. The militants accused the Public Transportation Bureau of not
delivering monthly payments to families of Palestinians killed by Israeli
Occupation Forces and also of not issuing taxi registration plates to these

PCHR is concerned about the continuation of violent attacks such as this,
which only serve to aggravate the current state of security chaos in the
Occupied Palestinian Territory. PCHR calls upon the Palestinian National
Authority, represented by the Attorney-General, to investigate these attacks
and bring the perpetrators to justice.

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
If you got this forwarded and you want to subscribe, send mail to
and write "subscribe" in the subject line.


Subject: Excerpts: Arab lag.Cartoon fracas revisited. 28 March 2006

Excerpts: Arab lag.Cartoon fracas revisited. 28 March 2006

+++THE DAILY STAR (Lebanon) 28 Mar.'06
"Another year in the Arab world and another predictable summit"
"while the rest of the world has been making great strides ...the Arab
world has been lagging

"Arab League summits ... a platform for the world's most autocratic
leaders to issue rhetorical statements and offer no real solutions"
"the Arab League has been institutionalizing its own insignificance"

Each year, the Arab League summits look more and more folkloric. It is
widely acknowledged that while the rest of the world has been making great
strides toward development and democracy, the Arab world has been lagging
behind. In fact, three consecutive reports from the United Nations
Development Program have criticized Arab governments for their lack of
progress on these fronts. The Arab League summits, which could serve as a
venue for Arab leaders to address these issues, have instead served as
little more than a platform for the world's most autocratic leaders to issue
rhetorical statements and offer no real solutions to the pressing problems
in the region. At year after year of fruitless summits, the Arab League has
been institutionalizing its own insignificance.
At the summit in Tunis two years ago, Arab leaders promised to show a
greater commitment to democratic reform, but this pledge has ushered in few
changes. Many of the heads of state who are gathered for this year's summit
in Khartoum are the same leaders who have been attending Arab League summits
for decades. Moammar Gadhafi, who was the first president to arrive in
Khartoum for this year's gathering, has been attending the summits for the
past 36 years of his presidency. Four other presidents invited to the summit
have attended meetings since they came to the helm of power in the 1980s.
Even those who are new to power have mostly inherited their rule from family
members whose faces we grew accustomed to seeing at every summit.
These same leaders have been addressing the same issues with little show of
progress. The question of Palestine, which has been on the agenda since the
earliest meetings of the Arab League, is still an urgent and unresolved
concern. Iraq has been on the summit's agenda since Saddam Hussein's
invasion of Kuwait in 1991, but the League's languid approach to the issue
has changed very little, despite the recent escalation in violence there.
The conflict in Darfur, where militias allied with the government of Sudan
have waged a campaign of genocide against civilians for the past three
years, has gone uncriticized. The meetings have become so predictable and
irrelevant that this year, nine heads of state won't even bother to show up.
The League's charter says that the organization will serve as a means
through which member states can coordinate their political activities. But
it also says the League will serve as a means for states to cooperate on
economic and financial matters, including communications, visas, health
services and social welfare. In the modern world, it is these issues that
are of paramount concern to citizens. But unelected Arab leaders have shown
little interest in discussing issues that are important to ordinary
citizens, such as facilitating employment opportunitiesor making it easier
to obtain work permits. Rather, the Arab League makes itself insignificant
by repeatedly addressing things over which it has little or no influence.
And until we can hold these leaders accountable, it is very unlikely that
this pattern will change.

+++AL-AHRAM WEEKLY 23-29 Mar.'06:" 'Now Danes respect Muslims' "

HEADING:"In an interview with Al-Ahram Weekly, Islamic preacher Amr Khaled
tells Gihan Shahine about the results of the controversial Copenhagen

" 'We have to ask ourselves what we want:co-existence or conflict' What
is in Muslims' best interest? ' "

" 'awakening of the Muslim nation does not occur except in the pattern of
conflict' "
Amr Khaled, the 38-year-old superstar Islamic preacher, ...smiles
confidently at the criticism over the recent Copenhagen interfaith "Know-
Prophet" conference, which he launched in the wake of the cartoons that
lampooned Prophet Mohamed. ... .
The Danish conference, Khaled's latest effort at co-existence with the West,
sparked a storm of controversy among scholars, with many lambasting it as an
unnecessary compromise that would potentially put an end to Muslim protests
and boycotts.
We found the cartoon crisis to be a golden opportunity
Some critics argued that the conference would compromise the rights of
Muslims, put an end to public protests and boycotts, and abort other,
perhaps more sophisticated efforts in that respect.
Without protests, we would not have had the chance to initiate dialogue ....
. freedom of speech does not mean insulting religions.
... we targeted youths, the media, Danish intellectuals and political
... the conference was hosted by the non-governmental Danish Youths Council,
which involves universities and clubs including 800,000 Danish youths, and
the Danish Institute for International Dialogue. Arab businessmen
volunteered to finance the effort, including [the pan-Arab] ART satellite
. . .
... we were able to introduce Islam in a positive way that made us win 'the
other' to our side.
Now I can attest to a friendly, peace-loving Danish nation which respects
Muslims and is ashamed of what happened.
We managed to use modern technology to liaise with at least 800,000 youths
via the Internet and get them engaged in the conference discussions while
having 60 satellite channels covering the conference and having interviews
with us. The conference was the first news item on Danish TV Channel 1, and
I had some 35 to 40 interviews with the international press, including The
New York Times, Financial Times and the BBC.
[ It was enough for us to see the Danish daily Politican describing Islam as
a religion that fosters ethics of tolerance, peaceful co-existence and
respect for human diversity. The same newspaper described Prophet Mohamed as
a great man and said the Danish government should do something about the
cartoon crisis.
At least 800,000 young Danes heard about Prophet Mohamed from a true Islamic
perspective and tuned into a debate we had with 3,000 members from the
extreme Danish right- wing. The debate did not reach a certain conclusion,
but I would say that the Danish participants positively interacted in the
dialogue, applauded our addresses and were ashamed of what happened.
. . .I
But did the Danish government react positively or take any steps?
It is too early to tell because governments are usually slow in moving. But
we sent the Danish government the recommendations which youths themselves
agreed upon in the conference.
. . .
It is very unlikely that the Danish government will apologise. ... .
. . .
We have to ask ourselves what we want: co- existence or conflict? What is in
Muslims' best interest? ... .
Co-existence does not mean that we do not confront attacks. But the danger
lies in the fact that the awakening of the Muslim nation does not occur
except in the pattern of conflict. ... .
. . .
Many agree that a serious absence of leadership opened the door wide for
some extremists to turn the cartoon row into violent attacks that further
tarnished the image of Muslims. Why didn't you step earlier into the fray?
... In my view, the protests were an essential factor that led to dialogue
that otherwise would not have existed. Protests had to remain alive for two
or three weeks to ring alarm bells that danger was around the corner. ... .
. . .
Our Islamic world has been suffering from an accumulation of weakness,
oppression, and humiliation which all blew up in the Denmark ... . . .

Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA


Subject: Magen David Adom: 2 killed following Qassam strike

Magen David Adom: 2 killed following Qassam strike
Hanan Greenberg and Shmulik Hadad YNET 28 March 2006,2297,L-3233163_3089,00.html

[IMRA: South correspondent Nissim Keinan of Israel Radio reports that the
daughter of the murdered man was also there and was able to report that she
heard the shriek of an incoming rocket or mortar shell before the explosion.
The media team covering Amir Peretz was nearby and rushed to the scene to
cover the story. Keinan reports that Israel is responding with artillery
fire in the direction of the assumed source in Gaza. ]

The Magen David Adom emergency services reported that two people, a man and
a child, were killed after being hit by a Qassam rocket in an open area
between the Karni crossing and Kibbutz Nahal Oz.

The IDF is checking whether the people were hit by a Qassam or were killed
after an old rocket dud exploded.


Subject: Haniya Says Government Ready to Talk with Quartet

Haniya Says Government Ready to Talk with Quartet

GAZA, Palestine, March 28, 2006 (IPC + Agencies) [Official PA website]- -
The Prime Minister-designate Ismail Haniya said on Monday that his coming
government awaits the international community, especially the Quartet
Committee, to choose justice and integrity in order to realize peace in the
region, adding that it should stop threatening to punish the Palestinian
people for their democratic choice.

In his speech before the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Haniya
highly valued the position of Russia, which chose the path of dialogue
rather than threats. "Our government will be ready for a dialogue with the
international Quartet Committee and explore every way to end the state of
conflict and promote peace in the region," Haniya said.

On its part, the United States refused Hamas proposition to talk with it and
the Quartet, as State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, "I think
what the Hamas government needs to do is meet the conditions laid out by the
international community. The Quartet was very clear in what those conditions
are. The onus is now on Hamas."

Furthermore, a senior Israeli official said that Israel will impose
unilateral steps on the Palestinians if the Hamas-led government did not
change its platform.

Raanan Geissin, the spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister's office, told
AFP, "If we saw that the platform of Hamas will be the government's
long-term platform, then we will decide our own fates."

"We will have to move alone as we did in the past," he added, referring to
the unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza Strip and northern West Bank
last September.

Israel has described the speech of Haniya before the PLC as "talk in vain",
as Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said that Hamas "continues
to refuse the conditions set out by the international community," in
reference to the international community's demands for Hamas to renounce
violence, recognize Israel and accept the agreements signed between Israel
and the Palestinian Authority.

"Instead of declaring his position towards these conditions, Haniya speaks
in vain, and as long as Hamas did not accept these conditions, then it will
not be a legitimate partner in dialogue," Regev added.

In the meantime, the former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov harshly
criticized the US policy in the Middle East, and held it fully responsible
for the prevalence of terrorism.

"The positions of the Israeli government are an obstacle to peace," Primakov
said, criticizing the Western attitude towards Hamas movement, and pointing
out that two Israeli premieres were terrorists before they rose to office.

The Russian official added, during a speech at a seminar entitled "Russia
and the Islamic world: a strategic vision", that the negative statements
made by the Israeli acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert regarding the Road Map
and his stances that are detached from that of this international plan, risk
the entire peace process.

Primakov expressed amazement of the declared positions towards Hamas. "It is
only natural that the movement would announce it will renounce violence and
become more involved in the peace process, and what is certain is that Hamas
will make important steps, in case no one put obstacles in its way," he

He further noted that he is convinced that Hamas' rise to power in Palestine
will not be catastrophic or a justification for these who seek to inflate
matters, adding that the change into a political party and involvement in
negotiations is very possible for Hamas.

He reminded also that both Isaac Shamir and Menachem Begen were both
terrorists who led terrorist attacks against the British forces and
Palestinian residents, before becoming involved in politics and rising to
office as Prime Ministers of Israel.

In another development, the European Union Commissioner for External
Relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said on Monday that the Union will not
turn its back to the Palestinian people.

Waldner added that the new Palestinian leadership should "seek to reach
peace in peaceful methods."

The Commissioner, who was commenting on Haniya's call to the world not to
punish the Palestinian people for its democratic choice of Hamas, stated in
a statement at the Arab Summit in Sudan on Tuesday that the EU will not
disregard the Palestinian people, whose majority are living in dire poverty.

"The European Union respects democratic choices [of the Palestinian people],
but it cannot work except with those who seek peace through peaceful means.
those who will form the new Palestinian Authority have the responsibility of
choosing new options that are in the interest of their peoples," Waldner


Subject: President Abbas; Political Affairs Is the
Business of President and PLO Negotiation Affair

President Abbas; Political Affairs Is the Business of President and PLO
Negotiation Affair

GAZA, Palestine, March 28, 2006 (IPC+ MENA) - [Official PA website]-The
President Mahmoud Abbas said that the political affair is the job of the
President and PLO negotiation affair. He also told Egyptian Middle East News
Agency (MENA) that the President has the authorities to dispatch the one he
willing of and task him the relative political issue of negotiations.

Questioned about his demand from the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, to
recognize Israel, Abbas elaborated" I did not ask Hamas in any of my remarks
to recognize Israel but there are daily life matters which should be run by
the government and its unbelievable that officials in the government do not
contacts with their Israeli counterparts to coordinate such daily concerns."

" How Hamas could deal with the Israeli government with no preceding of
knowledge and recognition I did not demand Hamas or speak about recognition
but what I said that there has been commitments since 1988 and the new
government should abide by,' Abbas added.

Underling such commitments, President Abbas said "we recognize the UN
Security Council resolutions 242, 338, Independence Declaration and Oslo
Accord and this government entails to keep up such undertakings so as to
smoothly run its works."

About his sustenance to Hamas Movement and giving it full chance to assume
its responsibilities even d its agenda run counter to his agenda, the
President said " I do not want to use my authorities as a president that
outlined by the Basic law of the Palestinian authority but at the same time
it is my duty to show Hamas, tasked with forming government, the right track
and give them opportunity."

"We just want to do what is the best for the Palestinian people," he said.

"The new government must be given a chance even if its program is different
from ours," he said. "We should not put bumps on their way. We should help
them with our advice."

As for the integration of Hamas in the Palestine Liberation Organization
(PLO) despite of the movement's reservations about its current situation,
Abbas said " the Liberation Organization is in imperative need to reactivate
and restructure, " underscoring the Cairo talks in which the Palestinian
faction agreed to reactivate the organization to include all-encompassing
Palestinian factions as its is the sole representative of the Palestinian

In his interview with MENA Abbas welcomed the prime minister designate
Ismael Hanyia in which he declared his stick with the PLO and the willing to
reactivate it.

Questioned about the likelihood of foreseeable collision due to the
interference of authorities between the presidency office and Minister Of
Council, H.E Abbas said " the government will pay its designated role in
accordance to the PNA basic law and the president's business also mandated
by the law so it would not be ant differences as long as the law is the


Subject: Arab League Foreign Ministers Adopt Draft
Resolution Rejecting Israeli Acting PM's
Unilateral Plan for West Bank

Arab League Foreign Ministers Adopt Draft Resolution Rejecting Israeli
Acting PM's Unilateral Plan for West Bank

International Press Center [Official PA website]
Monday, March 27, 2006

Arab League foreign ministers meeting in Khartoum on Sunday adopted a draft
resolution rejecting Israeli Acting PM's plan for a unilateral withdrawal
from the West Bank.

Foreign ministers from Arab League nations convened Saturday, March 25, 2006
in Friends Hall, Khartoum, Sudan to lay the groundwork for Tuesday's two-
day summit of Arab leaders.

The foreign ministers of Arab states convened at the Sudanese capital city
Khartoum asserted in their final communiqu� that their governments will
continue supporting the Palestinian people and its national authority, and
condemned the latest Israeli measures and closure of crossing points in Gaza

According to the communiqu�, the Arab foreign ministers approved a
resolution concerning the Palestinian issue, which will be submitted to the
Arab Summit, which calls to funding the budget of the Palestinian National
Authority (PNA) for another period starting in the beginning of April, and
inviting the international community and the Quartet Committee to resume
their efforts regarding the Middle East peace process.

The resolution also highly values and praises the Arab states that have
fulfilled its financial commitments to the PNA, in accordance with the
resolutions of former Arab summits, and tasks the Secretariat General of the
Summit to issue a monthly report to follow-up the commitment of member

Also, the resolution calls on the international community to continue its
financial support to the PNA and respect the Palestinians' democratic
choice, warning that cutting off the assistance would reflect seriously on
the Palestinian people's economic and social conditions, not to mention
affecting security and stability in the entire region.

Arab foreign ministers demanded the PNA, in their resolution, prepare a
report on the size of assistance and funding it can lose in case donor
countries insisted on imposing political conditions on the new Palestinian
government that do not conform with the Palestinian goals and interests.
This report will be submitted to the League of Arab States on the
ministerial level in its next round.

Moreover, the resolution condemned the Israeli measures against the PNA,
mainly freezing the transfer of the monthly Palestinian customs and tax
revenues, as well as the closures of crossing points between Israel and Gaza
Strip, which further hurts the daily life of the civilian population there.

In addition to Arab and world governments, the resolution also called on
Arab financial and economic funds and institutions to contribute to
supporting the Palestinian people, and intensify their programs of financial
and technical aid, in order to enhance the economic abilities of the
Palestinian people.

On the trade exchange level, the resolution called on all Arab states to
exempt Palestinian products and goods from customs fees and taxes when
entering their markets, in order to further boost the Palestinian economy,
praising the countries that already gave such instructions to their border
crossings and customs offices.

Furthermore, the resolution called on the Qaurtet to resume its active work
in bringing about a just and everlasting peace to the region, based on the
United Nations resolutions of relevance and the principle of land for peace.
It also stressed the Arab states' refusal of Israel's unilateral steps and
solution that aim to annex more Palestinian lands and prevent a viable and
independent Palestinian state.

In this regard, the resolution called on international organizations and
world governments not to recognize Israel's unilateral solutions or
measures, or deal with any guarantees or promises that would undermine the
Palestinian people's legitimate rights, and reward the Israeli occupation
for expanding illegal settlements and constructing the Apartheid Wall in the
occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.


Subject: Palestinians kidnap Palestinian officials, hand grenade

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

#1 Security Chaos and Proliferation of Small Arms
Attacking Public Institutions and Officials

Field Update
28 March 2006

Director of the Agricultural Bureau in the Central Gaza Strip and a Security
Official Kidnapped in Two Separate Incidents in Deir al-Balah and Beit

On Monday morning, 27 March 2006, unknown armed persons kidnapped and
violently beat Nasser Yousef D'ib, 43, director of the agricultural bureau
in the central Gaza Strip, and stole his car. In the evening, militants
from the Salah al-Din Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Resistance
Committees, kidnapped a member of the Palestinian Military Intelligence
Services in Beit Hanoun.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 08:00 on
Monday, 27 March 2006, 6 unknown armed persons intercepted D'ib's car near
his house, while he was on his way to the agricultural bureau in al-Zawaida
village in the central Gaza Strip. They forced him out of his car and
handcuffed and blindfolded him. They then violently beat him and pushed him
into their car. Nearly an hour later, they dumped him in an area to the
east of Khan Yunis. Official documents and keys from the agriculture bureau
had been in D'ib's car, when it was taken.

At approximately 21:00 on Monday, militants from the Salah al-Din Brigades,
the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, kidnapped Ahmed
Mahmoud Sha'ban al-Za'anin, 25, a member of the Palestinian Military
Intelligence Services from Beit Hanoun, and took him to an unknown

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, a civilian car, in which 4
militants were traveling, stopped near al-Za'anin as he was walking in
al-Sikka Street in Beit Hanoun. They forced him to get into the car and
took him to an unknown destination. At approximately 23:00, the kidnappers
handed al-Za'anin to the Military Intelligence Services in Beit Hanoun.

PCHR is concerned about the continuation of such attacks, which serve to
perpetuate the state of security chaos in the Occupied Palestinian
Territory. PCHR calls upon the Palestinian National Authority, represented
by the Attorney-General, to investigate these attacks and to bring the
perpetrators to justice.

#2 Security Chaos and Proliferation of Weapons
Using Weapons in Personal and Family Disputes

Field Update
28 March 2006

10 Students Injured as a Result of the Explosion of a Home-Made Hand Grenade
in Beit Hanoun

On Tuesday morning, 28 March 2006, 10 students were injured when another
student threw a home-made hand grenade at them in a quarrel related to a
family dispute in Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 09:30, a
quarrel erupted inside Hayel 'Abdul Hamid Secondary School in Beit Hanoun,
with relation to a dispute between the families of al-Masri and al-Kafrna in
the town. The quarrel escalated and students used stones in it. Later, a
student threw a home-made grenade at other students, injuring 10 of them:

1. Mohammed Ayman al-Kafarna, 15, injured by shrapnel to the right
2. Mohammed Eyad al-Kafarna, 17, injured by shrapnel to the back;
3. Tayseer Basim al-Kafarna, 17, injured by shrapnel to the right
4. Ahmed 'Othman al-Kafarna, 15, injured by shrapnel to the right
5. Ahmed 'Abdul Rahman al-Kafarna, 17, injured by shrapnel to the
6. Mohammed Hatem al-Kafarna, 17, injured by shrapnel to the right
7. Ahmed Jalal al-Kafrana, 17, injured by shrapnel to the hands;
8. Ghazi Marwan al-Kafarna, 18, injured bys shrapnel to the chest;
9. 'Ali Subhi al-Kafarna, 18, injured by shrapnel throughout the
body; and
10. Ibrahim Hassan al-Masri, injured by shrapnel to the right hand.

A police officer was also injured in the head by a stone, when the police
intervened to stop the quarrel.

It is worth noting that 7 persons were killed and 40 others, including 5
children, were injured during an armed dispute between the families of
al-Kafarna and al-Masri in Beit Hanoun in December 2005.

PCHR is concerned about the continuation of internal violence, including the
use of weapons in personal and family disputes, which constitute a continuum
of the state of security chaos in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. PCHR
calls upon the Palestinian National Authorities, represented by the
Attorney-General, to investigate such attacks, and to bring the perpetrators
to justice.

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
If you got this forwarded and you want to subscribe, send mail to
and write "subscribe" in the subject line.


Subject: [Wishful thinking]U.S. TO SHIP

[IMRA: Under the arrangement that Secy. Rice forced on Israel, the PA not
only carries out the inspections but also has the final say at the Rafah
border terminal. So if Hamas wants to smuggle in weapons giving it all the
sensor technology in the world won't stop them.]

WASHINGTON [MENL] -- The United States has pledged to ship advanced security
systems to ensure passage of Palestinians and cargo between the Gaza Strip
and West Bank.

Officials said the State Department would review security systems required
to monitor cargo from the Gaza Strip. They said the systems would be capable
of detecting explosives and dangerous material in trucks and vehicles
without intrusion.
"The systems would be provided to both Israel and the PA," an official said.
"This would involve training in operations and maintenance."

At the Rafah border terminal, the United States would provide equipment for
the inspection of cars. They would include black lights, technology, mirrors
and bore scope equipment to search hard to reach places. Cameras would be
installed to monitor the search process.
NOTE: The above is not the full item.
This service contains only a small portion of the information produced daily
by Middle East Newsline. For a subscription to the full service, please
contact Middle East Newsline at: for further details.


Subject: Secrecy News: THE AIPAC CASE:

from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2006, Issue No. 40
March 28, 2006


The prosecution of two former officials of the American Israel Public
Affairs Committee (AIPAC) for allegedly receiving and communicating
classified information without authorization poses novel legal issues, the
presiding judge in the case said last week.

"We are a bit in new, uncharted waters, and that's why I'm going to consider
this matter extremely carefully," said Judge T.S. Ellis III at a March 24
hearing on defense motions to dismiss the case.

This is the first case in which the government has sought to criminalize the
unauthorized receipt of classified information by non-governmental persons
who do not hold security clearances.

Anything other than a dismissal of the charges would mark a dramatic shift
in national security law and a significant reduction in First Amendment

At the hearing last week, defense attorneys reiterated their arguments that
the underlying statutes are overbroad, unconstitutionally vague, and do not
apply to speech but only to the unauthorized transfer of tangible materials
such as classified documents.

Unlike documents that bear classification markings, the defense pointed out,
oral communications do not provide the recipient with notice that their
contents are restricted.

"It's not a coincidence that the words of the statute speak in [terms of]
tangible items, and the conduct here is oral," said defense attorney Abbe

Under such circumstances, "How can a defendant, a potential defendant,
trying to decide whether or not he's stepping across the line, determine
when -- what information is national defense information, and when it
isn't?" Judge Ellis asked the prosecution.

"It all depends upon the facts, your Honor," replied Assistant U.S. Attorney
Kevin DiGregory vaguely.

Furthermore, documents can be returned to their rightful owners. But oral
information once received into conscious awareness is difficult not to
retain. Yet according to the government, retention of such information by
unauthorized recipients is illegal too.

"Well, what are they supposed to do," asked Judge Ellis, "have a lobotomy?"

Prosecutors argued that this is not a First Amendment case involving
protected speech.

"What we have alleged in our indictment, your Honor, is not First Amendment
protected activity," said Mr. DiGregory.

"What we have alleged is that these two men conspired with persons, known
and unknown, they conspired to gather and disseminate national defense
information. And we have alleged that they have done so, and communicated
that information to persons not entitled to receive it."

"What we're talking about here, your Honor, in the first instance, is
conduct. We're not talking about speech," he said.

"Do you think that you can transform speech into conduct?" Judge Ellis
replied. "You can't do it just by labeling it conduct."

"All speech is a type of conduct," the Judge continued, "but it's a type of
conduct which [defense attorney] Lowell would quickly say falls within the
First Amendment. But he would have to be quick to concede that conduct in
terms of giving someone a document is not speech, under the First

None of these disputed issues were resolved, and the Court's aggressive
questioning does not reliably indicate the Judge's own predilections. The
parties were ordered to further brief the First Amendment issues by Friday,
March 31.

A copy of the transcript of the March 24 hearing in U.S.A. v. Rosen and
Weissman was obtained by Secrecy News and may be found here:

"I am not sure why FAS and other outlets are trying make AIPAC into some
kind of martyr of freedom," wrote one commenter on the Secrecy News blog
last week. "Its activities were clearly illegal and in violation of US law.
Let's be careful not to confound the defense of freedom with a defense of
illicit activity."

AIPAC, however, is not on trial and is not accused of wrongdoing. Whether or
not the defendants' activities were illegal is the question that is now
before the Court.

As for Secrecy News' interest in the case, it stems from the fact that we
also gather and disseminate "national defense information," a term that
encompasses both classified and unclassified defense information.

We have "unauthorized" conversations with government officials. Sometimes we
deliberately pose questions about matters that we know to be classified
("Psst...How big was the total intelligence budget 50 years ago?").

If the government's unbounded new interpretation of the espionage statutes
were to prevail, much of our research and publication activity could
arguably be considered illegal.

"Under the government's theory, in fact, countless conversations and
publications that take place every day are criminal acts," the Washington
Post editorialized last week.

See "Dangerous Prosecution," Washington Post, March 23:

Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the
Federation of American Scientists.

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, send email to
with "subscribe" in the body of the message.

Secrecy News is archived at:

Secrecy News is available in blog format at:
Steven Aftergood
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
voice: (202) 454-4691


Subject: IMRA Subscription Info

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End of [imra] Daily digest - Volume: 2 Issue: 1358 (15 messages)