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Monday, April 28, 2008


In view of the recent pronouncements of ex-president Jimmy Carter I believe it's time to review some of the history an events which lead to such warped thinking.
I recently having been reading an excellent reference book on the so-called Israeli-Arab conflict, entitled "Arab-Israel Reader"I say so-called because if one does in objective research it is fairly obvious that the conflict is Arab driven and Israel's role is to exist.
The Arab's are not nearly as subtle as most anti-Jews today, the only effort they make which is fairly veiled is substituting the words anti-Zionist for anti-Jewish.
They butcher women and children by ambush and recruitment of Arab children as homicide bombers and refer to themselves in speeches as warriors.

The Arab Israeli Reader is Available by clicking the following link:

Report on Global Anti-Semitism

Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

Executive Summary

I. Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism has plagued the world for centuries. Taken to its most far-reaching and violent extreme, the Holocaust, anti-Semitism resulted in the deaths of millions of Jews and the suffering of countless others. Subtler, less vile forms of anti-Semitism have disrupted lives, decimated religious communities, created social and political cleavages, and complicated relations between countries as well as the work of international organizations. For an increasingly interdependent world, anti-Semitism is an intolerable burden.

The increasing frequency and severity of anti-Semitic incidents since the start of the 21st century, particularly in Europe, has compelled the international community to focus on anti-Semitism with renewed vigor. Attacks on individual Jews and on Jewish properties occurred in the immediate post World War II period, but decreased over time and were primarily linked to vandalism and criminal activity. In recent years, incidents have been more targeted in nature with perpetrators appearing to have the specific intent to attack Jews and Judaism. These attacks have disrupted the sense of safety and well being of Jewish communities.

The definition of anti-Semitism has been the focus of innumerable discussions and studies. While there is no universally accepted definition, there is a generally clear understanding of what the term encompasses.

For the purposes of this report, anti-Semitism is considered to be hatred toward Jews—individually and as a group—that can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity. An important issue is the distinction between legitimate criticism of policies and practices of the State of Israel, and commentary that assumes an anti-Semitic character. The demonization of Israel, or vilification of Israeli leaders, sometimes through comparisons with Nazi leaders, and through the use of Nazi symbols to caricature them, indicates an anti-Semitic bias rather than a valid criticism of policy concerning a controversial issue.

Global anti-Semitism in recent years has had four main sources:

Traditional anti-Jewish prejudice that has pervaded Europe and some countries in other parts of the world for centuries. This includes ultra-nationalists and others who assert that the Jewish community controls governments, the media, international business, and the financial world.
Strong anti-Israel sentiment that crosses the line between objective criticism of Israeli policies and anti-Semitism.
Anti-Jewish sentiment expressed by some in Europe's growing Muslim population, based on longstanding antipathy toward both Israel and Jews, as well as Muslim opposition to developments in Israel and the occupied territories, and more recently in Iraq.
Criticism of both the United States and globalization that spills over to Israel, and to Jews in general who are identified with both.
II. Harassment, Vandalism and Physical Violence

Europe and Eurasia

Anti-Semitism in Europe increased significantly in recent years. At the same time it should be noted that many European countries have comprehensive reporting systems that record incidents more completely than is possible in other countries. Because of this significant difference in reporting systems, it is not possible to make direct comparisons between countries or geographic regions. Beginning in 2000, verbal attacks directed against Jews increased while incidents of vandalism (e.g. graffiti, fire bombings of Jewish schools, desecration of synagogues and cemeteries) surged. Physical assaults including beatings, stabbings and other violence against Jews in Europe increased markedly, in a number of cases resulting in serious injury and even death. Also troubling is a bias that spills over into anti-Semitism in some of the left-of-center press and among some intellectuals.

The disturbing rise of anti-Semitic intimidation and incidents is widespread throughout Europe, although with significant variations in the number of cases and the accuracy of reporting. European governments in most countries now view anti-Semitism as a serious problem for their societies and demonstrate a greater willingness to address the issue. The Vienna-based European Union Monitoring Center (EUMC), for 2002 and 2003, identified France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and The Netherlands as EU member countries with notable increases in incidents. As these nations keep reliable and comprehensive statistics on anti-Semitic acts, and are engaged in combating anti-Semitism, their data was readily available to the EUMC. Governments and leading public figures condemned the violence, passed new legislation, and mounted positive law enforcement and educational efforts.

In Western Europe, traditional far-right groups still account for a significant proportion of the attacks against Jews and Jewish properties; disadvantaged and disaffected Muslim youths increasingly were responsible for most of the other incidents. This trend appears likely to persist as the number of Muslims in Europe continues to grow while their level of education and economic prospects remain limited.

In Eastern Europe, with a much smaller Muslim population, skinheads and others members of the radical political fringe were responsible for most anti-Semitic incidents. Anti-Semitism remained a serious problem in Russia and Belarus, and elsewhere in the former Soviet Union, with most incidents carried out by ultra-nationalist and other far-right elements. The stereotype of Jews as manipulators of the global economy continues to provide fertile ground for anti-Semitic aggression.

Holocaust and tolerance education as well as teacher training provide a potential long-term solution to anti-Semitism; however, the problem is still rapidly outpacing the solution. At the end of 2003, and continuing into this year, some Jews, especially in Europe, faced the dilemma either of hiding their identity or facing harassment and sometimes even serious bodily injury and death. The heavy psychological toll in this increasingly difficult environment should not be overlooked or underestimated.

Middle East

Jews left the countries of the Middle East and North Africa in large numbers near the mid-point of the last century as their situation became increasingly precarious. This trend continues. Today few remain, and few incidents involving the remaining members of the Jewish community have been reported. Nonetheless, Syria condoned and, in some cases, even supported through radio, television programming, news articles, and other mass media the export of a virulent domestic anti-Semitism. The official and state-supported media's anti-Zionist propaganda frequently adopts the terminology and symbols of the Holocaust to demonize Israel and its leaders. This rhetoric often crosses the line separating the legitimate criticism of Israel and its policies to become anti-Semitic vilification posing as legitimate political commentary. At the same time, Holocaust denial and Holocaust minimization efforts find increasingly overt acceptance as sanctioned historical discourse in a number of Middle Eastern countries.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


By Barry Rubin

The Middle East today is driven by five big conflicts: Among states for power; the Iran-Syria alliance’s war on everyone else; the struggle between Arab nationalists and Islamists to control each country, and the Sunni-Shia and the Arab-Israeli conflicts.No wonder there’s so much turmoil.

To many in the West, this seems a time-wasting matter of “false consciousness.” One need merely explain their true interests to the Iranian and Syrian governments, to Hamas or Hizballah, to Arabs and Muslims, so they can rise to moderation.

Western sins will be atoned by throwing out Israelis, Lebanese, and Iraqis with the bath water.How can the doctrine now dominating Western discourse possibly understand these issues, especially when the song of the siren is heard in the land?

Call it Lennonism, not the Leninism of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, known as Lenin, but of former Beatles’ member, John Lennon.

His blueprint for utopia would be a better theme song for the European Union than its current anthem:“Imagine there's no countries/It isn't hard to do/Nothing to kill or die for/And no religion too/Imagine all the people/Living life in peace....”One can only refer here to George Gershwin’s earlier lyrics: “It ain’t necessarily so.”

There are several problems with Lennonism.First, contrary to current wisdom, love of country and belief in religion can be a very productive thing, although of course that depends on specifics.Second, despite the misdeeds committed in the name of deity and country, those doing them today are rarely from Western democracies.

Ironically, those in Western societies, who are most likely to use them to good purpose are also those most eager to abandon them.

After centuries, the West developed a tolerant form of patriotism and religion. Why abandon what you’ve already tuned properly?

Having transcended the problems associated with religion and nationalism, the democratic world doesn’t need to discard them.
Third, it’s quite true that some use God to justify their own will and terrible deeds but, as Fyodor Dostoevsky reminded us in 1880, if God doesn’t exist morality is on a weak basis. Consider the case of Phil Spector, who produced the record of “Imagine.”
While he beat the charge of first-degree murder of a woman who resisted his advances, the trial brought out his likely guilt, madness, violent propensity, and massive drug and alcohol abuse. What Lennon glorified as “Living for today,” usually means mindless consumerism.
For Karl Marx, religion was merely the masses’ “opiate,” a drug keeping them from realizing they should instead be overthrowing the ruling class and installing a socialist utopia.
Marx was disagreeing with the proto-Zionist Moses Hess who called religion an opiate in the sense that it was a healing balm that reduced life’s pain.
Finally, patriotism might be the scoundrels’ last refuge, as Samuel Johnson said in 1775, but hating one’s country and religion is the first.At any rate, the Middle East is not ready for this Lennonist vision. For those confronting the real threat of radical Arab nationalism and Islamism, Lennonism is unilateral disarmament. The more Lennonist the West, the more contemptuous and certain of victory are its enemies.To make matters worse, Lennonists give the Middle East a free pass, arguing that Arabs and Muslims have such compelling grievances that they cannot be expected to indulge in this elevated philosophy.
In effect, the Lennonists accept the notion that Western civilization is an empty cart which must give way at the bridge to the full cart of those who really believe in nationalism and religion.According to this view, those who want to kill you are reacting to past oppression and so that makes it okay.
The West must destroy its own patriotism and religion while appeasing that of those who “really mean it.” And let’s not forget that if you ridicule Christianity and Judaism or slander America or other democratic states no one will cut off your head. Instead, you will become a hero to the intellectual and cultural elite.
Thus, those who worship diversity define it at home as a situation in which no one dares disagree with them, and define it abroad as supporting quaint customs like dictatorship, lies, and oppression.In Barrack Obama, America now has its first Lennonist presidential candidate. He recently accused average small-town Americans of being bitter over economic problems so that “they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."This is a version of the Marxist concept that anything other than determination to pursue economic well-being through a leftist utopian solution is “false consciousness.”
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini explained thirty years ago that anyone thinking Islamist revolution’s purpose was “to lower the price of housing or watermelons” was a fool.
Of course, Obama didn’t mind listening for 20 years to anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-middle class, and anti-white rants from his minister-mentor, who played on his congregation’s bitterness quite effectively to explain their frustrations in other terms.
Poor Lennon himself was murdered by a deranged fan who listened to all the talk of peace and love, then responded in his own way.
The real world is tough.
Conflict is real, hate effective, and there are people out there trying to kill you.
Better hope there are some on your own side motivated enough by patriotism, religion, and love of liberty that they’ll put their bodies between you and the bullets because they think there is something worth killing and dying for.
Lennonism is intoxicating: believe in change; all can be okay if we just keep apologizing and don’t offend anyone. Unfortunately, though, nowadays there are many who, to quote Lennon, “dream the world will be one.”
And the world they envision as one would be living under a caliphate.Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal.
His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).Professor Barry Rubin,Director, Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center Editor, Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal Editor, Turkish Studies

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Help Hungry Children In Israel During Pesach!

Over 400,000 families in Israel suffer from "nutritional insecurity," a euphemistic term for "hunger." 28% of Israeli citizens, or 1,600,000 people are living in poverty.

Among them are more than 600,000 hungry children.

Those experiencing "nutritional insecurity" eat smaller portions, skip meals and, in extreme cases, don't eat for a whole day.

Diets may be high in carbohydrates and lacking or almost devoid of meat, dairy products, vegetables and fruit.

In Israel, 22% of families are deemed moderately insecure and 8% suffer from severe insecurity.

A family's situation is considered moderately insecure when the parents deprive themselves of food to ensure their children get what they need.

In families whose situation is severe, the children are deprived as well.

60% of nutritionally insecure are Jewish, 20% are Arab, and 20% new immigrants.

80% of nutritionally insecure people reported a deterioration in their situation in the last 22 years, as Israel economic conditions have deteriorated.

About 24% of Israelis are forced to make choices between food and other expenses such as mortgage, rent, medicine, heating and electricity.

About half choose to get along with less food.

The 'poverty line' in Israel in 2002 was NIS 4,500 a month ($937.50) for the average Israeli family of four - mother, father and two children.Signs of how severe the problem is are all too apparent on the streets of Israel.

Nearly 1,000 people a day come to four soup kitchens at which hot meals are served. It is also commonplace to see older men and women picking through the garbage at outdoor markets in Israel's cities.

The collapse of the economy has taken a great toll on the lives of Israel's poorest families, and many children from middle-class families are now joining their ranks. Unemployment in Israel is around 20%, and the difficult economic situation has taken its toll on huge numbers of Israelis.In 2004, 1.534 million people in Israel lived below the poverty line, the report found. The figure attests to a substantial rise in poverty rates, with 100,000 more poor Israelis in 2004 than there were in 2003.

The report also shows that poor families constitute 20.3 percent of Israel's population. The number of children living in poor families has reached 700,000.· 5,000 Passover Baskets delivered to the homes of those who need it most. These baskets include: matzah, wine, meat, potatoes, eggs, and fruit. ·

2,500 Participants in Seders that Meir Panim organizes in hotels and synagogues for needy families.

These seders are conducted in a warm and friendly atmosphere. ·

1,000's of "Full Plate" Food Cards distributed to needy families, enabling them to purchase food and other necessary items for Passover.

American Friends of Meir Panim:Doing More Where It’s Needed Most

Free Restaurants

Meals on Wheels

Kiryat Gat Food Preparation and Distribution Center

Power of Giving

Communal Shelters in Kiryat Shmona

Meals for Schoolchildren Practical Guidance for Parents

Bridging the "Digital Gap"

Vocational Training for Parents

Donations are tax deductible. Tax ID # 20-1582478

Call Toll Free:1-877-7-DONATE (736.6283)

Email this to a friend

Friday, April 04, 2008

What's More Important: Blue Jeans or Being Blown Up

By Barry Rubin

It’s hard to satirize a lot of media coverage about Israel and the Arab-Israeli or Israeli-Palestinian conflicts. The truly dreadful stuff is in the details, the small stories and big assumptions on which they are based, rather than in any “scoops” or blockbuster articles.
There are basically two types of such articles. In one, the author’s basic and extreme political bias comes out clearly. The writer is consciously determined to slam Israel. This happens more often in large elements of the European press and in Reuters.
A Reuters reporter called me and told me that they were writing a story on how Israel destroyed the Palestinian economy. I suggested that perhaps they should do an article about the problems of the Palestinian economy rather than assume the answer. When the story came out, my short quote was represented fairly, but the rest of the article was totally biased, trying to prove a thesis, and even misquoted a World Bank report. In the article, the report blamed Israel for the problems but the actual text—available online—said the opposite.
Another personal experience. Australian Broadcasting Company, that country’s main and official television network interviewed me on the main events of the Middle East in 2007. I said that the most important single thing was Hamas’s takeover of the Gaza Strip, an action which set back the chances for peace by many years, even decades.
When the story was broadcast it had been edited so that I appeared to be saying that Israel policy had set back the chances for peace by many years, even decades.
I filed an official complaint and in the end they came down on my side, sort of. The decision was that the piece had been carelessly edited or something like that. In the online correction, however, they didn’t even say that but merely that I had asked that an explanation be added to make clear my point was not about Israeli policy.
Of course, the reporter had done it on purpose.
But most silliness, especially in the U.S. media, is based on the blindness of assumption: of course Hamas could become moderate, of course the Palestinians want peace, of course Fatah is moderate, of course Israel treats them unfairly.
So we get AP items like Laurie Copans, “Israeli-Palestinian Trade Suffers,” March 28. Oh dear, suffering trade. That’s bad. Wouldn’t more trade be good for everyone?
The article is very long for AP, 22 paragraphs. It tells us a touching story about how—due to the fact that “the Palestinian driver did not have a permit through an Israeli military checkpoint and the X-ray machine at a crossing was broken,” a shipment of blue jeans for the Israeli market “arrived 8 1/2 hours later.”
Silly me. I expected the reporter would then compare a delayed shipment of blue jeans with the danger of dozens of Israeli civilians being murdered. Nope. Let me explain: this is wartime, safeguarding lives is more important than expediting clothing. If the Palestinians are not happy with the delays let them crack down on terrorism so that roadblocks aren’t needed.
Does the article make this point? Hardly, and even then only in a derisive way.
Here is paragraph four. Note how it tells you about the real story in a way that says it is totally unimportant:
“Israel agreed this week to issue more permits for Palestinian laborers and merchants, but has yet to take down any of the hundreds of West Bank checkpoints it says are necessary to stop suicide bombers. With little real progress on the peace front and violence persisting, Israeli-Palestinian business ties are discouraged.”
Now is it so unproved, a mere Israeli assertion, that checkpoints are necessary to stop suicide bombers, not to mention other forms of terrorism? It is well established that past terrorists have come through checkpoints yet this is treated as some possibly wild or at least unproven Israeli allegation.
Are Israelis quoted for balance after all the quotes from Palestinians toeing the party line? Sure, but only if the Israelis say what the author wants: "`Israel has an interest in not having hungry neighbors,’ [economist Ephraim] Kleiman said. `Israel has a vested interest in the economic well-being of the Palestinians. It's much more important than any moral obligation.’"
Not Kleiman’s fault. What he said is right in context. But the reporter didn’t put it into context. Instead the message is: Trade is vital for peace and human needs. The Palestinians are hungry, if the Israelis hold up the jean deliveries it verges on being a crime against humanity, and security is either an illusory factor or an outright excuse.
Oh, and there is also the big ending. Here it is:
“A harrowing incident made [Israeli designer Irit] Levzohar…thankful for the Israeli security.
“Once, when she made the trip to the West Bank herself, she discovered a stack of guns after she pulled her bags of clothing out of a Palestinian driver's truck.
"`I began to shake all over and I dropped the bags,’" Levzohar said. "`All I could think about was my children.’"
“She confronted her Palestinian supplier, who promised never to work with that driver again, and reported the incident to the Israeli military. Now Levzohar says she only picks up clothes at authorized crossings.
"`You can't gamble for business,’" Levzohar said.”
Yeah, that seems a relevant consideration, doesn’t it? Perhaps it isn’t just an Israeli claim about the need for roadblocks to stop terrorists and weapons from getting into Israel. But that’s stuck in at the end (the part most likely, as AP editors know, to be cut by newspapers to make a piece fit) rather than made part of the lead. And probably it got in only because it was a colorful anecdote that spiced up the article.
In many cases, pieces like this don’t even have that ending but stick to the usual framework. Trade is good; Palestinians are hungry; Israel is bad. The key elements involved here—terrorism is central, extremism among Palestinian leaders incites and organizes it, Israel wants piece while Palestinian groups don’t—is absent from most of the articles written on these issues.
No wonder so many in the West find the Middle East incomprehensible. A lot of the coverage makes it seem that way precisely because the reporting ensures that viewers don’t understand what is going on or how things work.
Reminds me of what a very cynical Washington Post reporter once told me: “That’s why they’re called stories”

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur; The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan) and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley).

Professor Barry Rubin,Director, Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center <>Editor, Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal <> Editor, Turkish Studies

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A couple of years ago I had the privilege of working with a Shoah survivor named Jack Wohl, at a retirement community.Sometimes I would say, "Let's go visit some of the Jewish residents, Jack.Do a Mitzvah."Jack would invariably look at me from his wheelchair and say, "A Mitzvah, Yeah."
Operating IsraelAmerica and Earl Krugel Chai! is a Mitzvah I perform.
I try to write as much of the material as I can myself, but frequently the items I receive via email are so powerful and informative that there is little for me to add.
The articles by Professor Rubin are in that category.

Many years after September 11, despite more than 10,000 terrorist attacks by radical Islamist groups alone, there is still an amazing amount of confusion and falsehood over what should be a very simple point: What is terrorism all about?
The answer is politics and, to be specific, revolutionary politics.
Most obviously, terrorism is a tactic used by political groups but, most importantly, it is a strategy.
Defining who and what is "terrorist" should be neither a moral judgment nor a propaganda exercise.
It is a simple use of political analysis.There are many incomplete or misleading concepts of terrorism. Often, terrorism is conceived as evil and its perpetrators as irrational criminals. While, of course, terrorism is evil in moral terms the problem with this approach is that it feels no need to go further in understanding what is going on.Partly as a reaction to that concept, terrorism is presented as a matter of opinion. In today's world, of course, repressing women, denying freedom, and murdering dissenters are often presented in democratic countries as a mere cultural choice, an aspect of local color. It should be remembered that when the Communist USSR made an alliance with Nazi Germany the Soviet foreign minister explained that fascism was merely a matter of taste.Leaving all that aside, though, once the issue is defined in moral terms then it is being depoliticized. The media thinks of itself as neutral. Consequently, the English-language Western media often calls people who commit terrorist actions "militants" or "extremists." That may be a good thing since it indicates a radical and implies a violent orientation. But it only educates up to a point.Here's what you need to know: There are arguably good reasons for having a terrorist strategy, not as a reaction to poverty or oppression but as a way to seize state power and transform societies.Why does an ideology or movement decide that its best course is deliberately murdering the maximum number of civilians? The choice of terrorist strategy is a judgment particularly about one's goals, enemy, and constituency.Only a despotic goal pursued by a totalitarian movement can sustain a terrorist strategy which, in turn, further reinforces an anti-democratic, intolerant orientation. A radical Islamist dictatorship in which the ruling elite's whim is rationalized as divine will is the shining hell that is the movement's utopian dream. This replaces the Marxist dictatorship of those claiming to embody the proletariat's needs with that of those pretending to interpret divine desires.To be deserving of mass murder or even genocide, the enemy must be defined as simultaneously demonic and weak. Pure evil, so to justify its being massacred but also cowardly to explain why the revolutionaries will triumph. We have reached the point where many non-radical Muslims agree that criticizing radical Islamism is punishable by death.Unfortunately, a large part of the West seems to be acting in a way that seems to embody the predicted weakness but that, too, is another story.
More relevant here, though, is the fact that the terrorist strategist may make a tactical adjustment in the face of a tough opponent. The reason that Muslim Brotherhoods in Egypt and Jordan do not presently engage in terrorism has nothing to do with their worldview and everything to do with fear of repression.
In contrast, Hamas and Hizballah--very parallel movements in every way--can go all-out because there is no government of their peers that is going to flatten them for doing so.
Especially important is the terrorist strategist's assessment of his constituents.
He must believe that terrorism will be relatively popular among those he wants to win over.
Terrorism appeals as a revolutionary strategy largely because the violence used against Israel, Iraq, Lebanon, and Western targets is largely cheered among Arabs. Only a minority are radical Islamists but a majority is pleased, at least at their work in nearby places.
The fault lies with the fans in the stands rather than the victims in the arena.This is the problem presented by terrorism and radical Islamism. Crazy people can be given therapy, misunderstandings can be cleared up with dialogue; honest grievances can be resolved by mutual concessions. With determined, ideologically clear, mass-based revolutionary movements you can only defeated them or surrender.
Holding them off, that is preventing them from winning for a very long time until they are truly worn down, is another option. Refer here to the history of Communism.
Finally, a new twist is added, not for the folks at home but for the suckers out there. "The communists disdain to conceal their aims," wrote Karl Marx in 1848.
Since then, the public relations' industry has flourished.
Terrorist movements and supporters learned to feign innocence (and moderation), accusing their victims of being terrorists. With a lot of help from prestigious Western news organs they have turned the tables.Arab leaders spoke in 1948 and 1967 of repeating the Mongol massacres and driving the Jews into the sea.
This has not completely changed. Hizballah chief Hasan Nasrallah said recently, "The Zionist entity can be wiped out of existence."
But there is no end of commentators around to explain that he doesn't really mean it seriously.Instead, the sophisticated talk is of "collective punishment" and "excessive force."
Even a young gentleman of the old school like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has many saying he was misquoted about seeking to wipe Israel off the map.Consider this 1993 exchange between two founders of the U.S.-based, Hizballah-supporting Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR):Omar Ahmad: "There is a difference between you saying, 'I want to restore the '48 land' and when you say 'I want to destroy Israel..."Nihad Awad: "Yes, there are different but parallel types of address. There shouldn't be contradiction.
Address people according to their minds. When I speak with the American, I speak with someone who doesn't know anything. As for the Palestinian who has a martyr brother or something, I know how to address him, you see?"
"Yes, I see."
But I wish everyone else did, too.
Barry Rubin is Director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, Interdisciplinary Center university. His latest book, The Truth about Syria was published by Palgrave-Macmillan in May 2007. Prof. Rubin's columns can be read online at:

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Hamas Killers Deride Shoah

Hamas believes the Holocaust was "exaggerated," its supreme leader said.

Khaled Meshaal Hamas Chief said in a TV interview Monday that the numbers were exaggerated to justify the existence and actions of Israel.

"We don't deny the Holocaust, but we believe the Holocaust was exaggerated by the Zionist movement to use as a whip," the Palestinian gangster was quatoed as saying.

"We don't deny the fact but we don't accept two issues. We don't accept the exaggeration of numbers and we don't accept that Israel uses this to do what it wants."

Hamas' charter calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, by any means, including the murder of unarmed civilians.

Asked about Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier abducted to Gaza by Hamas in June 2006, Meshaal said he is alive and well and that negotiations on his return are "being held up by Israel."

The Israeli government has balked at Hamas' demand for the release of hundreds of jailed Palestinians, including hard-core killers, in exchange for Shalit.

Irv Rubin and Earl Krugel