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Saturday, September 23rd

What is dialogue?

"The Palestinians are not our enemies, the occupation is. Israel is not in danger so much because of the primitive Kathyusha rockets of Hezbollah, but because of the occupation. Not the Palestinians, but the occupation killed my sister; occupation leads to resistance."

Thus spoke the Israeli representative of the Families Forum (formerly the Parents Circle), an organization of Israelis and Palestinians who have lost a dear one in the struggle between the two peoples, and who decided to strive for peace together instead of avenging their dead. The Palestinian representative agreed wholeheartedly: the occupation is the problem. Israel must end the occupation, and can do so without running a risk, as it has one of the most powerful armies in the world, he argued.

He called for peace, and denounced violence on both sides, but he also felt that it would be 'asking too much to accuse my own people as long as they have to live under the occupation', and that 'the Palestinians cannot be expected to empathize with Jewish suffering as long as their own suffering is not acknowledged'.


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Ratna Pelle on 09.23.06 @ 08:46 PM CST [link]

Their ignorance is our enemy

A recent Israel Project Poll has good news and bad news about support for Israel in the USA, and many important lessons. The most important lessons:

  • Overwhelming support for Israel

  • Grass roots support for the Arab cause is a myth

  • "Leftists" support Israel too

  • Disengagement was very helpful in recruiting support for Israel

  • Ignorance is out there, and it is our biggest enemy. Ignorance is the bliss of the bad guys.

Overwhelming support for Israel - The overwhelming majority of American voters support the position of the US and Israel that sanctions should be enacted against Iran for its nuclear policy - 78%. According to a rating system used in the poll, Americans are overwhelmingly "warm" toward Israel, and "cool" toward Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinians. 53% identified themselves as supporters of Israel, while only 5% identified themselves as supporters of the Palestinians. 80% of respondents agreed that Jews deserve a homeland, and only 12% said that it would be better if Jews left Israel to satisfy demands of extremists. 63% believe Israel was justified in its response to the Hezbollah in Lebanon, while only 20% said it was not justified. 63% believe that Islamic extremism is responsible for the conflict, while only 15% blame it on Israel.


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Ami Isseroff on 09.23.06 @ 03:48 PM CST [link]

Terrorism and us

Bradley Burston has written some uncommon common sense about terrorism. Here is a "condensed" version. The entire article is below (at the Web site):

The 10 most useful lies about terrorism

By Bradley Burston

1. 'Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.'

A few examples of non-Islamic terrorist groups of the present and recent past:

The Irish Republican Army


ETA, or Basque Homeland and Freedom

Babbar Khalsa (Sikh)

Ulster Defense Association

Tamil Tigers, Sri Lanka

Aryan Nations, United States

2. 'One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.'

More of a half-truth than an out and out lie, given the propensity of supporters of one side to explain and forgive atrocities committed by that side, while condemning and often exaggerating atrocities committed by the other.


3. All resistance to illegal occupation is legitimate.

Intentional attacks on innocents are inherently illegitimate.

4. 'Terrorists are generally drawn from the disadvantaged sectors of a population, those who have suffered the worst oppression.'

There have been few common denominators found to characterize suicide terrorists. Many were model students and professionals, raised in relatively well-off home environments.

There is, before all else, the case of Osama Bin Laden, son of a multi-millionaire building contractor who made a fortune through his close ties with the Saudi royal family.

Many prominent leaders of Palestinian organizations which engage in terrorism have been physicians by profession, among them George Habash, founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Hamas founders Abdel-Aziz Rantisi, a pediatrician, and Mahmoud Zahar, a surgeon.

5. 'Profiling works.'

Terrorism, as shown by the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks and Hezbollah rocketry, has proven to be highly adaptive and relentlessly creative.

There is evidence that Islamic terror organizations are seeking out white European converts to Islam as terrorists who could easily slip through a profiling dragnet.
6. 'We don't negotiate with terrorists'

Of course we do. Sooner or later everyone does. The underlying translation of this statement is, "At first, we say no. Then we say no again, even as we initiate indirect, behind-the-scenes contacts. Then we hem, haw, launch trial balloons, plant leaks.

"And then we go ahead and make the deal."

7. 'There will be no compromise or accommodation with terrorists.'

8. 'The objective of the [(check one) war / incursion bombing campaign / liquidation raid] in [Lebanon / Gaza / northern Samaria] is the swift release of the kidnapped soldier/s.'

There is little persuasive evidence that the kidnappers of IDF soldiers can be bombed, assassinated, or otherwise militarily pressured into agreeing to release the captives they hold.


9. 'If there were no occupation, there would be no terrorism.'

It is debatable whether this statement fits better into the status of a lie or a contention. It is, in any event, an argument which has lost much of its power in the wake of the pull-out from the Gaza Strip. Within days, evacuated settlements were used as launching pads for rocket attacks that markedly increased terrorist attacks against southern Israel.

10. 'Terrorism is the only defense of oppressed peoples against the vastly better equipped oppressor.'

... in the case of the Gaza withdrawal, hailed by Hamas as the Great Victory of Resistance, it may be persuasively argued that Israel would have withdrawn from the Strip years, perhaps even decades before, had terror groups not worked to foil every attempt at a peace agreement.

Terror attacks following the disengagement have persuaded most Israelis that further withdrawals would be mistaken.

Simply Jews joins a commenter from Lebanon in remarking "God Bless You." It is an important and thoughtful article. It will not please everyone, because it tramples on lies of all persuasions. However, to Burston's list, we need to add some commentary.

First, occupations are not in themselves "illegal." Suppose German Nazi terrorist groups (there were supposed to be such groups, but they never got off the ground) had shot at American soldiers in occupied Germany. Would that have been "legitimate resistance?"

Second, while it is true that not all terrorists are Muslim, we cannot deny the extraordinary rise in Muslim terrorism or fail to note that a large number of terrorist acts are committed by Muslims, and that in fact they have nothing to do with occupation. This is true despite the protestations of Robert Pape, who tried so hard to show that the Tamil Tigers commit more suicide bombings than anyone else. This gives the impression that they are champion terrorists, but it is not really the case. Different and sometimes unidentified Muslim groups have committed far more terrorist acts in the Israel, Iraq, Bali and elsewhere, including many suicide bombings, than the Tamil Tigers. The size of the act counts too. How many "regular" terrorist acts are equivalent to one 9-11 bombing, or one bombing of the London underground?

Third, Burston does not really offer evidence that profiling does not work. We may dislike profiling for other reasons, but the fact is that to date, most of the perpetrators of Muslim terror attacks in the West have been recognizable as non-oriental Asians. It would be stupid to ignore the possibility that blond Aryan types could be recruited for terror missions, as this has happened. It would also be cruel, grossly unfair and counter-productive to stigmatize everyone from the Middle East or all Muslims as potential terrorists. However it is certainly wise to focus somewhat more than proportionate shares of scarce security resources on travelers and immigrants from Muslim countries and to investigate individuals who might be politically active. That could have prevented the attacks of 9-11 for example. Islamists declared war on the West, with Osama Bin Laden at their head. It is reckless endangerment when considerations of "political correctness" cause authorities ignore the threats of London "Sheikhs" to kill anyone whom they think insults Islam. It is equally foolhardy to insist that every Muslim, or even most Muslims, are terrorists and to try to cast them all out of decent society.

Despite reservations, it is well to keep Burston's list in mind when thinking about terrorism. The truth is not always pleasant, but lying to ourselves will not help us understand and fight terrorism, and it can make matters worse, by generating unnecessary racism and enmity.

Ami Isseroff


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Ami Isseroff on 09.23.06 @ 01:36 PM CST [link]

Friday, September 22nd

Comedians can never be cynical enough for the Middle East

You can never be cynical enough to keep up with Middle East developments. Next to our standup comedians, Jerry Seinfeld and his crew were rank amateurs. They had a soup Nazi. We have real ones here.

French FM Douste-Blazy was able to say with a straight face that Iran is a great force for stability in the Middle East. That one surely brought down the house, especially when President Ahmadinejad, our answer to the "soup Nazi," said (again) that Israel should be destroyed. Not to be outdone, his boss, President Chirac, said that Iran is a great country and recommended negotiations rather than sanctions to solve the crisis with that country. Perhaps it is so, but then why did France support UN Security Council Resolution 1696??


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Ami Isseroff on 09.22.06 @ 01:09 PM CST [link]

Tuesday, September 19th

Please sign the Fair Play for Israel at the UN Petition

We (moderators and friends of the ZNN Group) are fed up with unequal and unfair treatment of Israel at the UN. For those of us who want to be able to respect the United Nations, it hurts to have to apologize for blatantly racist treatment of Israel by an organization that should be dedicated to equality of nations and peoples.

Aren't you fed up? Please help us build support for fair play for Israel at the UN. Sign the petition for fair play, and help us spread the word and the UN into the postive force for peace it was supposed to be.


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Ami Isseroff on 09.19.06 @ 05:10 PM CST [link]

Anti-Semitism in Britain: Maybe they did win, after all!

Who won the war? Surely you think I mean the recent Israeli-Lebanese war. Actually, I was referring to World War II. In Len Deighton's SS-GB, the Nazis have won the war in Britain. If that happened, we can imagine what the press would be forced to write about the Jews.

Three of the magazine covers below are from recent issues of British Journals. The fourth one is from a real Nazi publication.


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Ami Isseroff on 09.19.06 @ 01:52 PM CST [link]

Monday, September 18th

Iranian activists demand the arrest of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the violation of human rights in Iran

The Iranian regime is well liked by everyone. In Cuba and Senegal and some other places, President Ahmadinejad has won support for his program of Holocaust denial, wiping out Zionism and America and developing nuclear weapons. Now he is in New York to spread his message of peace and light. Jews are going to protest against Ahmadinejad on Wednesday, September 20, at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. Iranians are going to protest on September 19, as detailed below.

Sunday, September, 17th, 2006


Iranian activists demand the arrest of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the violation of human rights in Iran

Homa Arjomand calls Press Conference at Queen's Park, Toronto, on Monday September 18, 2:00 pm

Homa Arjomand, Coordinator of the International Campaign Against Sharia Court in Canada is calling a press conference where she and other Iranian activists will demand the arrest of President Ahmadinejad for crimes against humanity.


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Ami Isseroff on 09.18.06 @ 11:15 AM CST [link]

Sunday, September 17th

Farewell Oriana Fallaci, foe of tyranny and friend of decency and Israel

The world, and the Jewish people in particular, should be saddened by the death of Oriana Fallaci at 77, of breast cancer, in Florence, Italy, on September 15.

Fallaci was a tireless foe of pretence and evil and spoke out against fascism and anti-Semitism. Her youthful career as a glamorous resistance heroine reads like the plot of one of those tear-jerker World War II war movies, but it really happened. Fallaci was born June 29, 1929, in Florence. Her father, Eduardo, was imprisoned for his activities in the anti-fascist Justice and Liberty group. Oriana, joined the underground resistance as well, guiding escaping Allied soldiers to safety.

A friend of the Palestinian cause and an opponent of the Vietnam war, she surprised many when in 2002 she stood almost alone against the revolting wave of race hatred that was catalyzed in part by European media and directed at "Zionists." She wrote:

I find it shameful that in Italy there should be a procession of individuals dressed as suicide bombers who spew vile abuse at Israel, hold up photographs of Israeli leaders on whose foreheads they have drawn the swasitka, incite people to hate the Jews...

I find it shameful that the Catholic Church should permit a bishop, one with lodgings in the Vatican no less, a saintly man who was found in Jerusalem with an arsenal of arms and explosives hidden in the secret compartments of his sacred Mercedes, to participate in that procession and plant himself in front of a microphone to thank in the name of God the suicide bombers who massacre the Jews in pizzerias and supermarkets. To call them “martyrs who go to their deaths as to a party.”

...I have never been tender with the tragic and Shakespearean figure Sharon. (“I know you’ve come to add another scalp to your necklace,” he murmured almost with sadness when I went to interview him in 1982.). I have often had disagreements with the Israelis, ugly ones, and in the past I have defended the Palestinians a great deal. Maybe more than they deserved. But I stand with Israel, I stand with the Jews. I stand just as I stood as a young girl during the time when I fought with them, and when the Anna Marias were shot. I defend their right to exist, to defend themselves, to not let themselves be exterminated a second time. And disgusted by the antisemitism of many Italians, of many Europeans, I am ashamed of this shame that dishonors my Country and Europe. At best, it is not a community of States, but a pit of Pontius Pilates. And even if all the inhabitants of this planet were to think otherwise, I would continue to think so.


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Ami Isseroff on 09.17.06 @ 02:07 PM CST [link]


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