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Arab American Activist: Muslim Riots May Rock Middle East


Arab American activist James Zogby warned Arab leaders in Bahrain Monday night that the Muslim riots in France may spread to the Middle East. He said that foreign Arab workers in oil-rich Arab countries are working in slave conditions. Several protests have erupted the past few months in Kuwait and other Arab countries. Zogby said that Europe is learning that foreign Muslim workers "are trapped in horrible conditions, denied justice and their basic humanity." He compared the riots in France, which started almost two week ago, with the black American riots in the 1960s.

Israel's Sharon Suffers Defeat in Parliament

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem) & Ha'aretz

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has suffered a humiliating defeat in parliament and is facing a rebellion in his own party. The Knesset, Israel's parliament, gave l Sharon an embarrassing slap in the face, by voting down his nomination of two new Cabinet ministers.

Rebels from the Prime Minister's ruling Likud Party led the charge. They want to punish him for pulling out of the Gaza Strip last summer and dismantling 21 Jewish settlements there. The rebels accuse Sharon of betraying traditional Likud ideology, which supports settlement in all the biblical land of Israel.

Likud parliamentarian Uzi Landau is one of the most vocal opponents of the Gaza pullout and the Cabinet nominations. "Today, simply we have to block this continued attempt by the prime minister to go into those appointments, which are yet a further step towards corrupting the political system of Israel."

Sharon is promising revenge. He has warned the rebels that if they make it impossible for him to govern, he could call early elections that would topple the Likud from power. Riding a wave of popular support from the Gaza pullout, the prime minister has hinted that he could leave the Likud and form a moderate centrist party. Polls show that such a party would win big in elections.

But bolting the Likud is not a good option, says Israel Television commentator Dan Dyker. "Sharon's power comes from the Likud," he said. "It is a very big risk for him to leave the Likud." That gives the Likud rebels leverage to achieve their goals. They want the Gaza pullout to haunt Sharon for his remaining year in office.

However, the Prime Minister's Office denied on Tuesday a Channel 1 report that Sharon has made a final decision to leave the Likud and form a new party to be named, "I Have No Other Land." Sharon's associates said the broadcast was based on completely false information.

The prime minister's publicist Assi Shariv said, "There is no such decision and no such party." An unidentified associate added: "Arik has still not made a decision to create a new party. He has not given up yet on Likud. Aril has a staff, but at the end of the day, he is a prime minister who knows what he wants - and what he wants is to be prime minister for another term."

Sharon's close associates, who have accompanied him throughout the last two and a half years, insist he has not informed them of any final decision on the matter - an indication that the prime minister has still not made his decision.

But discussion on the subject is already underway, and the creation of a new party seems more relevant now than ever - certainly after Sharon's defeat to Likud "rebels" on Monday night in the Knesset, and considering Sharon's statement following the vote that with things as they are, it is impossible to continue leading a nation.

Sharon's adviser Lior Horev told reporters Monday night that Sharon has decided to support holding early elections, an indication that the prime minister has reached a point of no return in Likud, something nobody in Sharon's office has denied or confirmed.

Petty Revenge

By Emanuel A. Winston (Commentary)

The difference between a great and a petty leader is the petty leader's need for personal vengeance. Where Prime Minister Menachem Begin cut a deal for the Sinai, it was done with regret and no vendetta against the pioneering settlers. Begin's advisors at the time were Ezer Weizmann, Moshe Dayan and finally Ariel Sharon. All of who pushed hard for the quick divestment of the Sinai Desert.

It was left for Arik Sharon to do the dirty work of forcing the Jews of Yamit and the surrounding farming communities from their homes. As in the 25 communities of Gaza/Gush Katif and the Northern Samaria, the Jews resisted and were hauled away. Here too Sharon destroyed all that the pioneering Jews had built.

Fortunately, Sharon could only indulge his penchant for "getting even" with the resisting settlers - only so far. Those who were arrested for trying to save their homes and businesses, farms and synagogues, schools and cemeteries were released and their files were closed on Begin's orders. Here one separates a great leader from a petty, vengeful leader. One is decent and the other is vicious and calculating.

Such negative talents perhaps fit the profile of a great general that fights vicious, unprincipled adversaries - often needing to become like them in order to successfully defeat them.

But, the true leader of a nation does not lower himself to use vicious tricks against his own people. He does not harbor a deep grudge when they defy his orders. He does not use the judges in the courts as his own personal inquisitors to exact vengeance for assembling 40-50,000 soldiers and policemen and women to force people out of their homes as if they were his personal enemies. He does not encourage the police to beat protestors (even minors) and then encourage them to lie in court, claiming the settlers attacked the police. He does not encourage judges to ignore video evidence showing the police holding a victim in a choke hold and then have those police testify that the victim endangered them.'

When Sharon should have shown leniency, he instead insisted on show trials to exact his "Pound of Flesh." He could have issued an amnesty but instead he urged the police and the courts to pound unmercifully on the resistors to his expulsion. No one was exempt from Sharon's heavy hand - not 15-year-olds, not the elderly.

While Sharon set the policy for the police and the courts, he had a large cheering section of leftists and the leftist media in print, video and radio. While Sharon, in his dictatorial role, plays the generous benefactor in releasing thousands of convicted Arab Muslim terrorists, he has only vicious enmity for those who dared to defy his orders of expulsion. He planned the lie of taking care of all the Jews he drove out of their homes. We now see those Jews scattered around Israel, living like what are called 'street people' in America. These were once hard-working, self-sustaining home builders and owners who were bodily thrown out of these beautiful homes on a theory that the Palestinians would be satisfied and President Bush could claim a fragmentation of victory out of cascading failing policies.

There have been many great leaders in Israel but you will have to look hard to find them in present-day Israel. Even the people following these petty role models seem not to care about the corruption in the Israeli government, courts, the police, and even the once admired military officers' corps.

In the meantime, Sharon and his gaggle of party hacks and thugs demonizing the most decent and hard working Israelis and calls them settlers with a nasty smirk on his face. Hopefully, one day a peoples' court will gather in this gang of uglies and will indict them on charges of crimes against the Jewish people.

As I was proofreading this article at 6 a.m. on November 8th, I looked at the headlines of the morning's Jerusalem Post. It read "PM Vows Consequences Against Rebels." This referred to the November 7th vote on Sharon's attempt to appoint two party hacks, Roni Bar-On and Ze'ev Boim as a reward for prior votes they cast in his favor. This time he lost the vote 60 to 54 and then vowed vengeance against those who voted against him.

MK Uzi Landau said that Sharon's defeat in the vote marked "the curbing of the culture of political aggression" and "boosted clean politics". (1) As we have often said, Uzi Landau is "One Honest Man" who should lead the Likud Party in the next elections.

IDF Builds Fake Arab City to Practice Urban Warfare


The IDF is building a fake Arab city at its Ze'elim base in the Negev in order to train troops in the art of urban warfare. The city is designed to be a replica of one administered by the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria, complete with mosques, crowded streets, overcrowded buildings, and Kasbah (old city).

Troops will train using high-tech laser devises that show how well they are aiming at terrorist infiltrators. The IDF's technological and logistics division says that the facility is unique and promises to save the IDF money on ammunition without compromising on solders' training. Shots fired by laser, as well as soldiers' movements will be analyzed by computers which will send back a complete depiction of the battleground to commanders. Video cameras will also give commanders the ability to view the action live. The facility is expected to be ready by the end of 2006 at the cost of $41 million.

Third emblem Seen Likely for Red Cross/Red Crescent

By Reuters

The global Red Cross/Red Crescent movement looks set to add a new emblem to its familiar symbols in a move that could change the way many national societies identify themselves, diplomats and officials said on Tuesday. Although they officially have no religious significance, members according to their religious traditions choose the current symbols --a cross or a crescent --. The crescent is generally used in predominantly Muslim countries and the cross in those with a strong Christian tradition.

A decision on a third, non-denominational emblem -- an equilateral diamond-shaped red crystal on a white background -- is expected at a conference called by Switzerland for Dec. 5 and 6 of diplomats from the movement's 192 countries. "Although this has been billed as allowing Israel to join, it may well open the way to quite a lot of changes in the symbols that individual Red Cross and Red Crescent societies use," said one official close to the issue, who declined to be named.

Israel, much of whose population professes the Jewish faith, says it can use neither the cross nor the crescent, and so its Magen David Adom (Star of David) ambulance service is excluded from the movement. The new plan as drawn up by Swiss officials would allow the use of both symbols -- and for Israel the Red Star of David -- inside the crystal.

At present, members may use only one of the symbols, presenting difficulties for countries with mixed religious traditions. The first to benefit is likely to be Eritrea in eastern Africa, which has a mixed Muslim and Christian population and has been kept out of full membership in the movement because it insists it must use both symbols. Officials say the change could help some national societies which inherited symbols from past rulers to attract new staff whose religious beliefs would bar them from working exclusively under cross or crescent.

The Geneva Conventions, which underpin the movement, allow national societies to use either the cross or the crescent as identification for their staff or vehicles, whether working at home or on aid missions abroad. The global movement, which had its origins at the bloody Battle of Solferino in Italy in 1859, has been struggling for years to agree on a formula, which would allow Magen David Adom to come in as a full member.

Earlier attempts to find a solution have stalled as Islamic countries -- whose Red Crescent societies were formally linked in one movement with Red Cross bodies in 1983 -- baulked at any action that would allow Israel in. However, diplomats say, the mood has changed and a tour of the Middle East at the end of last month by Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey left little doubt that the red crystal solution would be accepted.

Switzerland is the depository for the Geneva Conventions, and Swiss national Henri Dunant set up the first society after seeing 40,000 soldiers from Austrian and French armies left dead or dying without medical attention at Solferino. Geneva is also home to the movement's two main arms -- the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which both back the red crystal. Only official government representatives will be able to vote for the change at the December conference.

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