Israel in the News Jan/Feb 2004

IAF pilots oppose freeing Dirani
Forty-eight veteran Israel Air Force (IAF) pilots held captive in Syria or Egypt last year have petitioned Prime Minister Ariel Sharon not to free terrorist Mustafa Dirani, who tortured IAF navigator Ron Arad, still in captivity, then sold him to the Iranians.

In a letter to Sharon, the pilots stated,

“As people who have suffered only a small portion of what our comrade-in-arms Ron Arad has gone through and is going through, we protest against any intention to free Mustafa Dirani in an exchange of captives. He was the one who held Arad for two years, abused him, tortured him, and at the end sold him to the Iranians for money.

“It is forbidden to harm even the smallest chance of returning Ron Arad back home. [Arad has been missing for 17 years.] The release of Dirani will send the negative message that capturing Israelis is a profitable business that involves no risk or punishment. Do not lend your hand to the release of the kidnapper and torturer while the one he kidnapped and tortured is still rotting in captivity.”

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, uses the kidnapped and the bodies of the murdered as bargaining chips to get Israel to free terrorists. His current plan calls for Israel to free 20 Lebanese prisoners and some 400 Palestinians in exchange for the release of four Israeli soldiers.

Hezbollah has killed 242 U.S. Marines by suicide bomber in Beirut; 58 French soldiers at about the same time; 63 people in a suicide attack on the U.S. embassy in Beirut; U.S. Marine Colonel William Higgins; and kidnapped and killed people in the attack on the Israeli embassy and the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It has also killed hundreds of Israeli soldiers and held Ron Arad, whom Hezbollah “sold” to the Iranians.

Apology demanded
Jerusalem Post Internet Edition — Palestinians marked the 86th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration by demanding an apology from Britain for promising “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip marched in the streets and held rallies to condemn the role Britain played in the establishment of Israel.

Youssef al-Kazzaz, the director of the Voice of Palestine, the Palestinian Authority’s official radio station, also demanded an apology from Britain for the “criminal” Balfour Declaration.

Kazzaz called on Palestinians and Arabs living in Britain to pressure the British government to issue a similar declaration acknowledging the Palestinians’ right to establish their own state. “Otherwise, the Palestinian people in their homeland and elsewhere would continue to hold Britain responsible for this crime in favor of Israel,” he said.

Is U.S. funding PA hate crusade?
Itamar Marcus of the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) and Morton A. Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, told a group of U.S. senators recently that the PA uses American and foreign aid to fund hate and violence.

Speaking before a Senate subcommittee, Marcus explained how the PA summer camps named for suicide bombers were funded by UNICEF. Renovation of a school named for Dalal Maghrabi, a terrorist who participated in the murder of 36 including an American, was funded by USAID.

The hearing opened with the screening of a 20-minute PMW documentary entitled Ask for Death, depicting how the PA uses music videos and other means to teach its children to kill. The video can be seen at www.pmw.org.il/new/Latest%20bulletin.html#senate1.

Marcus said incitement “is advanced by the PA through the entire social-educational structure, including sporting events and summer camps, and the media, including music videos for children and schoolbooks. Jews and Judaism are presented as inherently evil, Israel’s existence as a state is delegitimized and denied, and fighting Jews and Judaism is presented as justified and heroic.”

“Regularly broadcast PA music videos have actors depicting Israelis carrying out execution-style murders of old men, women and children, or blowing up mothers with their babies,” he said. And children who have achieved death through suicide missions have been turned into heroes and role models.

Palestinian representative Hassan Abdel Rahman told the senators the PA wants to live in peace with Israel. In response, ZOA President Klein held up a piece of Rahman’s own official PA stationery, which shows a map of all of Israel labeled “Palestine.”

And when Rahman claimed that Israel had stolen Arab lands from “Palestine,” Klein explained that there never was an independent country called Palestine and challenged Rahman to “name one Palestinian king or queen.” Rahman did not respond.

Israel ‘greatest’ threat to peace
Despite the fact that Palestinians preach hatred, indoctrinate their children to kill Israelis and now Americans, and send suicide bombers into Israel, a new poll commissioned by the European Commission shows that Europeans in 15 countries believe Israel to be the greatest threat to world peace.

The poll gave 7,500 people— 500 in each of the 15 EU member states, a list of 15 countries and asked if these countries present a threat to world peace. Israel was rated “yes” by the highest number of respondents.

Arutz-7 reported that the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international organization dedicated to combating anti-Semitism worldwide, said the poll shows that Europeans have fallen for the European leaders’ and media’s “vilification and demonization campaign” against the State of Israel and its supporters.

“These shocking results, that Israel is the greatest threat to world peace, bigger than North Korea, Iran and Afghanistan, defy logic and are a racist flight of fancy that only show that anti-Semitism is deeply embedded within European society, more now than in any other period since the end of World War II,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the center’s dean and founder. He said the obvious conclusion is that the European Union can play no role in any future Middle East peace process.

Construction workers needed
A lack of skilled construction workers is forcing Housing & Construction Holdings, Israel’s largest construction company, to lay off 430 employees.

“Its absurd,” said Housing & Construction CEO Uzi Vardi-Zer. “We are firing people because we do not have enough workers.” He claimed the government was responsible.

“If you don’t want us to use foreign workers, fine, but then you need to provide us with skilled Israeli workers, and there aren’t enough. We managed to hire only 400 workers in the past year.” 

Ford Foundation gave millions to Palestinians
Following an investigation by the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) into the Ford Foundation’s funding of Palestinian and other nongovernmental organizations, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) told a foundation that the group should stop giving grants to organizations that engage in anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activity.

The foundation insists it opposes such activity, but gave millions of dollars to Palestinian and other groups that oppose Israel. The JTA investigation revealed that the Ford Foundation was heavily involved in the Durban conference on racism in August 2001, which equated Zionism with racism.

JTA reported that a State Department official said the agency is reviewing Ford’s support for these groups for possible Justice Department action.

It is well known that Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, was a strong anti-Semite. The Ford Foundation operates independently from the Ford Motor Company.

Arabs to fight even after statehood
Giving the Palestinians a state of their own may do nothing to appease them, according to a recent poll that shows the majority want the fight to continue.

The Jerusalem Post reported that 59 percent of Palestinians believe Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad should continue their armed struggle against Israel even if Israel leaves all of the West Bank and Gaza, including East Jerusalem, and a Palestinian state is created.

Similarly, 80 percent of Palestinians say the Palestinians should not give up their so-called “right of return.”

The pole was conducted by two polling firms, the Public Opinion Research of Israel and The Palestinian Center for Public Opinion.

Also, 42 percent of Palestinians and 61 percent of Israeli-Arabs said they support the people who are attacking Americans in Iraq.

Zero percent of Israeli Jews said they did.

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