Israel in the News Jan/Feb 2006
Arab ‘Nerve’ Never Ends
ARUTZ-7—The Palestinian Authority (PA) wants the United States to pressure Israel into allowing PA polling stations and campaigning in Jerusalem, enabling the Hamas terrorist organization pledged to Israel’s destruction to campaign in Israel’s capital.
In previous municipal elections, Israel unofficially allowed only limited campaigning, but the PA wants all candidates, including terrorists, to electioneer and place posters on Israel’s streets.
When Hind Khoury, PA minister for Jerusalem affairs, was in Washington, D.C., in November 2005, she said, “We hope that the United States will support the right of [Arab] Jerusalemites to practice democracy.”
Meanwhile, the armed wing of Fatah, the ruling party of the PA and its chief, Mahmoud Abbas, has called for wiping the State of Israel off the map.
Fatah’s military wing, the al-Aqsa Brigades, said in a pamphlet distributed in the Gaza district, “Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury. Any [Islamic leader] who recognizes the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world.”
Under a plan supported by the United States and Israel, hundreds of Brigade terrorists have been recruited into the PA’s “security” forces.
Terrorist Planned to Poison Water
ARUTZ-7—Abbas al-Sayed, convicted of planning the bombing of Netanya’s Park Hotel that killed 30 Jews in April 2001 on the first night of Passover, also planned mass murder using cyanide.
After the bombing, al-Sayed’s nephew, Tarik Zeidan, a pharmacist, provided his uncle with four kilograms of cyanide, which he purchased in Jordan, according to a verdict issued by Tel Aviv’s District Court.
Al-Sayed planned to use the cyanide to mass murder Jews in various parts of the country. Exposure to only a small quantity of the deadly material in one location could have potentially killed dozens of people.
According to reports, al-Sayed was paid thousands of dollars for his terrorist activity against Israel. A number of Hamas terrorists who worked with al-Sayed have still evaded capture by Israel’s security services.
Feiglin: Iran Must be Stopped
ARUTZ-7—Moshe Feiglin believes a Muslim country that obtains a nuclear weapon will not hesitate to use it against the Jewish state.
“We are into fences,” Feiglin said on a radio show. “And, just as effectively as the separation fence prevented a bombing in Hadera, the Arrow Missile will be effective against missiles from Iran with nuclear warheads—by taking down two out of three missiles. Yet the Israeli military industry comes up with ideas based on fences and more fences and more fences.”
Feiglin believes there must be a return to the paradigm originally adopted by Menachem Begin. “One of the good things Begin did was the attack on Iraq’s nuclear reactor,” he said. “This showed the entire world the way to deal with countries threatening to develop nuclear weapons.
“We must make them pay a price that will make it not worth it for them to continue with the process. The only way to do this is to make the ruling regime fearful that it will lose power. They won’t care if a million Iranian children die, but they care about staying in power. Any Islamic dictator who destroys Israel will become the king of the Muslim world. He doesn’t care if he loses a few cities. Look what happened on September 11. Bin Laden became the hero of the entire Islamic world.”
Mt. Zion to Go to Catholics?
A dispute has erupted over Israel’s apparent plans to hand over parts of Mount Zion to the Catholic Church for tourism in exchange for a synagogue in a non-Jewish area of Spain.
Arutz-7 reported that President Moshe Katzav’s office “categorically denies” any intention of doing so, but “Arutz-7 has received a copy of the alleged agreement,” which it published in its e-mail to subscribers. Hillel Fendel reported, “The proposed agreement stipulates that the Holy See will preserve the historic character of the site and keep it open to pilgrims and tourists, and that Israel will provide for the safety of the site.”
The Diaspora Yeshiva is located on Mt. Zion, a few hundred yards from the Temple Mount and adjacent to the Old City walls.
Said Yeshiva Director Rabbi Shabtai Herman, “It is certainly one of the holiest spots in the Land of Israel. We’ve already given away the Temple Mount and the Machpelah Cave, except for here and there when we’re allowed in; now they want to give Mt. Zion away as well? For thousands of years, this area was almost always totally closed off to Jews. G-d gave it back to us in 1948, but parts of it were still in range and sight of Jordanian snipers and were not in full use.”
Fendel reported that newspapers in Italy and around the world “are replete with reports that such a deal is in the works. According to the reports, Israel will receive control of an 800-year-old synagogue in Toledo, Spain, known now as Santa Maria, in exchange for David’s Tomb.”
In an open letter to Katzav, Shlomo Alfassa, executive director of the International Society for Sephardic Progress, ridiculed this idea: “When the Jews of Toledo prayed each morning, they faced east towards Jerusalem. It was not Toledo that they desired, but the Land of Israel, which was still unobtainable. Now, we have Jerusalem, we can go to the holy sites and we can live in the land. If those who built that synagogue knew that this abandoned building in Christian Spain was being traded for a piece of real estate in the Land of Israel, they would roll over in their graves.”
Now That’s Chutzpah!
The Palestinians have raised the bar on chutzpah. In an attempt to get its hands on the fortune that its late terrorist chieftain, Yasser Arafat, stole and invested in his personal portfolio, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has asked Israel to help it find the loot!
PA financial official, Salam Fayid, has asked Israeli intelligence to help search for Arafat’s secret investments, estimated at more than $1 billion. The PA wants the money to turn the Jewish lands of Samaria, Judea, plus Gaza, into an anti-Israel Palestinian state.
Arafat, who died in November 2004, had amassed a fortune that ranked him as the sixth richest leader in the world, while his people languished in poverty. Some analysts placed his stash at close to $3 billion.
So where’s the money? That’s what the PA wants to know. And although it usually has no use for Israel, apparently it now thinks the Jewish state may come in handy. Wrote Scott Shiloh, with Arutz-7:
“Most of the efforts to find the money are focusing on locating a web of complex investments spread around the world by Arafat’s financial advisor and personal confidante, Mohammed Rashid. Rashid has so far been unwilling to volunteer detailed information regarding those investments.
“A number of investments were purportedly made in various tourist sites in Africa, with others in communications and other international high-tech companies. Rashid, considered an expert at moving and hiding money, so far has not left any significant leads.
“Arafat’s wife, Suha, who lives in Tunisia, is also apparently a party to the money’s disappearance. Suha’s expense account in Paris has led investigators to open a file into suspicions of her involvement in laundering money in Swiss bank accounts, according to Israeli newspaper Yediot Acharonot.
Five years ago, at the onset of the Oslo War, Suha and her daughter moved to Paris, where she received a stipend from Arafat that ballooned to a quarter-million euros per month. Suha began investing in international companies through the help of financial advisors like Rashid, who made it difficult to follow the money.
Suha did not attend Arafat’s funeral out of fear the PA was after her money. An intelligence source has said that it is possible the location of Arafat’s millions may never be known.