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Israel, Palestinians Announce Second Summit in Egypt

By VOA News

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has announced plans for a summit with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on June 21 in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm al-Sheikh. A statement from Sharon's office on Wednesday said officials from both sides would hold talks before the summit to discuss an ongoing truce and Israel's planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in August. Separately, Israeli police say they have arrested five members of the Islamic Jihad militant group who they said were planning to carry out a bomb attack in Jerusalem on Thursday.

Police Discover Ring of Neo-Nazi Immigrants From Former USSR


Israel's police have uncovered a group of at least 20 neo-Nazis who immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union under the Law of Return. Police are not certain how to proceed due to the lack of legal basis for prosecuting Israelis espousing anti-Semitic ideology. The neo-Nazi group was discovered following the arrest of a 20-year-old IDF soldier on drug charges. That resulted in the discovery of neo-Nazi material in his home and a swastika tattooed on his arm.

During the investigation of the arrested neo-Nazi and his mother, who also professed hatred for Jews and Israel, other members of the group were revealed. Police detective Haim Fadlon told Ma'ariv that the suspects are believed to have met each other in anti-Semitic chat rooms on the Internet. They have held meeting and performed ceremonies with swastika banners and other Nazi paraphernalia as well. "We cannot disclose details of the inquiry, but it's chilling," Fadlon said. "It appears these are people living in this country who are talking among themselves about extermination of the Jews."

Under the current 'Law of Return,' anybody with a Jewish grandparent can immigrate to Israel and receive citizenship and benefits. Immigrant groups representing Jews from the former Soviet Union have long called for reform in the law due to immigrants moving to Israel for financial reasons, bringing their enmity for Jews and Israel along with them. Interior Minister Ofir Pines-Paz has asked Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to interpret the law regarding new immigrants and citizenship to examine the legal procedure under which a new immigrant's status can be revoked.

Israeli Police Uncover Massive, Trojan Horse-Based Industrial Spy Ring


Israeli police have uncovered a massive industrial spy ring that allegedly used Trojan horse software to snoop into some of the country's leading companies. The case will have major implications for the business community in Israel--and possibly beyond--as all the companies accused of having used the software are themselves leading companies.

A report in Ha'aretz details how a wide range of businesses--including TV, mobile phone, car import, and utility companies--used a Trojan horse program, believed to have been written by two people living in the United Kingdom, to spy on their immediate business rivals with a high degree of success. The London-based pair, Michael Haephrati, and his wife Ruth Brier-Haephrati, have now been arrested pending extradition procedures on June 3; in Israel, another 21 people have been detained for questioning.

Police believe that the companies started using the software after engaging the services of any one of three private investigation agencies, which were given the task of carrying out the industrial espionage." It is hard to believe that the most senior people at a business [employing one of the agencies] did not know about the spyware," Ha'aretz quoted an Israeli police source as saying. "Even if it was ordered by some head of a security department from a private investigator, it was passed on to the CE--and it is clear to us they must have guessed how the material was gathered."

The program appears to have been extremely effective both at stealing confidential documents from target companies and at monitoring activity on infected machines. Police are said to have gained access to a number of FTP servers based in the United States and Israel and discovered "tens of thousands" of documents pillaged by the malware from target companies.

The fraudsters are believed to have used two quite simple methods of attack, both of which bypassed normal safeguards such as perimeter security or antivirus programs. The first was to send a targeted individual a disc purporting to contain a business proposal; when explored, however, the disc would load the Trojan horse on that person's PC. Alternatively, the same process could be undertaken via e-mail, again catching recipients off guard. Whether antivirus or other security software would have detected this previously unknown software depends on how they were configured and on which other types of security software were present.

The fraud only started to come to light some months ago, after Israeli author Amnon Jacont complained that passages of a book he was writing had appeared on the Internet, despite its never having left his PC. Subsequent investigations led police to believe that the Trojan horse allegedly co-written by Michael Haephrati was responsible, and so the whole scheme started to unravel. Remarkably, the breakthrough came not from company security systems in one of the world's most paranoid business communities, but from the suspicions of an ordinary member of the public. If it weren't for Jacont's complaint, the Trojan horse could still be out there, silently stealing information on a huge scale.

Prophesying the Destruction of Israel

By Ha'aretz (Editorial)

Following a too-lengthy and too-expensive farewell, which also included an aerial salute by F-15 fighter jets over his home on Kibbutz Grofit, Moshe Ya'alon took time out to give a prophetic interview on the destruction of the state to the Ha'aretz weekend magazine. Ya'alon will be remembered as a chief of staff who believed in burning into the consciousness of the Palestinians, by means of force, that terror doesn't pay.

In his farewell interview, he says that this burning was to no avail, and that we are destined to an eternal war. His claim that the Palestinians only understand force was replaced by the argument that no force in the world will overcome their hunger to retake Jaffa and Safed. His prophecy is that the combination of terror and demographics, with question marks as to the justness of the course, is a recipe for the destruction of the Jewish state.

One can treat the former chief of staff's statements as the opinion of security expert No. 1, lose hope, and sit hidden away in bomb shelters in anticipation of the next wave of terror that he predicts. Regrettably, one can also say that it is, in fact, the State of Israel - and first and foremost the former chief of staff - which has proved that it understands only force.

Israel has yet to try the only solution acceptable to the Palestinians, most Israelis and the entire world - the solution of a withdrawal from the occupied territories and the dismantling of the settlements. The Palestinians are not alone in mistakenly dreaming about a return. While they continue to dream of Jaffa, the Israelis not only dreamed of returning to Hebron, but actually settled there. These two untenable dreams have dragged the conflict down to its low point. The promise to evacuate the Gaza Strip settlements has led to a temporary security lull, out of hope for a change in direction. Ya'alon is doing his bit for the renewal of the violence by taking the wind out of the sails of the move, by saying, in fact, that there is no point to it.

It is regrettable to note that Ya'alon sang a different tune a few months ago, when he thought his term in office would be extended by another year. Then, he spoke of the disengagement as a stage on the road to determining a new border for Israel, in an attempt to divide the land in accordance with the dominant nationality in all of its parts. Today he argues that the results of the disengagement depend on whether the Palestinians see it as an "escape" or a "choice."

The disengagement must be perceived as Israel's choice to cut itself off from the ongoing attempt to flee reality. The choice of disengagement is, above all, an internal Israeli matter, and an attempt to prove that Israel is not run by settlers and officers, but by the majority within the Green Line that wants normalization of the relations with the Palestinians, in the hope that most of them want it too.

The question of what will happen the day after the pullout depends less on Mahmoud Abbas and more on whether Ya'alon's pessimistic theories continue to rule the roost and whether the captains of the disengagement see it as the end of the story.

"Israel is ready to give the Palestinians an independent Palestinian state, but the Palestinians are not ready to give us an independent Jewish state," Ya'alon says. But the reality is different: The State of Israel has already been established, and does not require Palestinian approval. On the other hand, Israel doesn't have to give the Palestinians an independent state, but to try, finally, to burn it into its consciousness.

Bad Days in Washington

By Steve Sharon (Commentary)

This past week, America sunk to a new immoral low. A Holocaust-denier, no, worse than that, a man who wrote books which blamed the Jews for purposely creating the Holocaust, and simultaneously claimed it a considerably smaller event than documented, was feted in the White House as a world leader, a president, a man of peace, a friend, an ally, and a worthy recipient of American monetary aid and political support. No American could ever foster these disgusting ideas, much less put them on paper numerous times, and ever come close to setting foot on the White House grounds much less be treated as an honored dignitary. Only an Arab could possibly pull this miracle off, for these are very strange times in America's relationship with the Arab world, thus very tenuous times for Israel.

Much of America's time is spent arguing whether or not its military treats the Koran with proper dignity and reverence. Muslims worldwide protest America's supposed callous treatment of copies of their holy book, meanwhile other Muslims stay busy blowing up fellow Muslims without ever being accused of not treating them with dignity and reverence. Seventeen people, all Muslims, killed by fellow Muslims in riots protesting the possible mishandling of Korans by American military police and the hundreds of other Muslims sent to their death by being told, sometimes forced, to blow themselves up in order to kill others with them are evidently totally unimportant. Many Democrats and most of the major media in America join in Muslim protestations seemingly gleeful in the ability to side with Muslims against the military on the Koran issue because it strikes a blow to Republicans in general, and the President in particular. Worse still, the President, countless generals and other leaders do their best to counter these ridiculous Muslim claims by sympathizing with Muslims who get riled up over the Koran issue. These same Muslims who either endorse or do not care of the murder of their own by their own.

Amidst this climate of pandering to the Arab and Muslim world, Israel is tossed aside like it was, say, Taiwan? Unfortunately for Israel, unlike Taiwan it is not actually an island, just an island of freedom and Western values in a vast ocean of Arab and Muslim hate, but unlike Taiwan, Israel still has one friend in the United States government who would take up for it in the United Nations. That man's name is John Bolton.

Yes, that John Bolton. The one constantly excoriated by Democrats, a few Republicans, and much of the media, so much so that his nomination to the post of ambassador, which should have passed easily weeks ago, is in serious jeopardy. Even in a best case scenario, if he ever wins approval from the Senate, Bolton will enter the UN a weakened man because of this fight, meaning he will end up forced to tow the usual State Department line more than originally hoped...more bad news for Israel, since Israel has as many friends in the State Department as Saudi Arabia has synagogues.

So this past week at the very same moment a fine upstanding American citizen, John Bolton, was raked over the coals in a public character assassination, another man, an Arab of multiple names, Mahmoud Abbas, Abu Mazen, or whatever else he wishes to call himself was lauded as a man of outstanding public character. Never mind that just a week earlier while in South America he spent a great portion of his visit ripping the United States and condemning the American people and their leaders for staging a worldwide hate war against Muslims, and of course for invading Iraq, and any number of other supposed offenses.

This past week Mahmoud Abbas, the leader America desires to soon call the president of Palestine was deemed a good man, and John Bolton, the would-be UN ambassador was deemed a bad one. When morality in a society is this out of focus, Jews are always in peril.

(Steve Sharon may be reached at

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