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Israel's New Labor Party Chief Threatens Early Elections
By VOA News
The new leader of Israel's main opposition Labor Party is threatening to back a plan to
topple Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government and force early elections. Amir Peretz
says he wants to meet with Sharon by Wednesday when a bill will be introduced by a smaller
opposition party, National Religious Party, calling for parliament to be dissolved. Peretz
says he will back the measure if he does not meet with Sharon before then. Peretz made the
comments after the prime minister postponed a meeting planned for Sunday. Israel is not
scheduled to hold parliamentary elections until next November, but Peretz is proposing
they be held by March.
Rice Says MidEast Peace Is 'Realistic' Hope
By David Gollust (VOA-Jerusalem)
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in Jerusalem for talks with Israeli and
Palestinian leaders, said the advance of democracy and growing opposition to terrorism is
making Middle East peace a realistic hope. In a policy address late Sunday, she urged the
Palestinian Authority to dismantle terrorist groups and Israel to allow freedom of
movement for Palestinians.
Rice came to the Middle East at a grim moment, with Jordan reeling from last week's
terrorist attacks in Amman and efforts to negotiate an international gateway between Gaza
and Egypt stalled.
But in a policy speech to Israeli and American dignitaries sponsored by the U.S.-based
MidEast policy group, the Saban Center, Rice said the region may be at a historic
threshold, propelled by the trend toward democratic reform in the Muslim world and a
growing rejection of the use of terror as a political tactic, as seen in the response to
last Wednesday's Jordanian hotel attacks:
"Fortunately now, leaders and clerics and private citizens are stepping forward, and
taking to the streets, and calling this evil by its name," Rice said. "This is a profound
change, and there are others. We have hope for peace today because people no longer accept
that despotism is the eternal political condition of the Middle East."
Rice, due to meet separately with top Israeli and Palestinian leaders Monday, said the
possibility of peace now "is both hopeful and realistic, provided that Israel takes no
actions that prejudge a final settlement and works to improve the daily lives of the
Palestinians. The Palestinians in turn, she said should advance democratic reform and
fight terrorism and lawless violence:
"Greater freedom of movement is a key for Palestinians, from shopkeepers to farmers to
restaurant owners and for all seeking early, easier access to their economic livelihood,"
Ms. Rice said. "And let us be very clear about one other matter. Dismantling the
infrastructure of terrorism is essential for peace, because in the final analysis, no
democratic government can tolerate armed parties with one foot in the realm of politics,
and one foot in the camp of terrorism."
Rice paid tribute to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for his courage and leadership
in carrying out the Israeli disengagement from Gaza and parts of the West Bank. The
Israeli leader preceded Rice to the podium with a toughly worded speech, saying that
Israel has proven the seriousness of its intentions for peace with "painful compromises"
that must be matched by the Palestinian Authority.
Heard through an interpreter, Sharon said the administration of Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas is at a crossroads, and must decide if it chooses a path of peace, or one of
radical terror, that allows groups like Hamas to take part in the political process before
"Advancing to the second phase of the road map will be done only after the Palestinian
authority implements the first phase of the plan, by dismantling the terrorist
organizations and implementing the comprehensive reforms to which they are committed. We
cannot accept a situation in which terrorist organizations do not disarm, yet gain
legitimacy for their existence under the cloak of democracy." Sharon said he was hopeful
of agreements within the next few days on unresolved issues from the disengagement plan.
PA Demands Polling Stations in Jerusalem
The Palestinian Authority is lobbying the U.S. to pressure Israel into allowing PA
polling stations and campaigning in Jerusalem - enabling the Hamas terrorist organization
to campaign in Israel's capital.
Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz said the issue of how the PA's January elections would be
conducted has not been discussed by the Israeli government, according to The Forward, a
New York Jewish daily. "We will formulate a position on the issue shortly, but what our
position could be is obvious, given that we oppose Hamas participation in the
The Palestinian Authority is claiming to American officials that Israel is not allowing
unrestricted election participation by 120,000 non-Israelis who reside in the city. The PA
wants to place polling stations in the city, a move that Israel fears would appear as a
symbol of PA sovereignty over the capital.
In previous municipal elections, Israel unofficially allowed only limited campaigning,
but the PA wants all candidates - including those of terrorist organizations - to be able
to electioneer. Approving the demand would allow Hamas and other terrorist groups to place
posters for their candidates.
Hind Khoury, the PA minister for Jerusalem affairs, was in Washington last week to
lobby on the issue. "We hope that the United States will support the right of [Arab]
Jerusalemites to practice democracy," she told the Forward. The PA legislative elections
are scheduled for late January. Hamas has announced it will field candidates. It support
in polls has ranged from 20-25 percent.
The Wars Within
By Ed Ziegler (Commentary)
Acknowledge it or not, there is a World War going on. Yes it is true, another World
War, but it is different than any war we have ever experienced.
Although there is evidence that countries such as Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia are
providing support to the terrorists and allowing them a safe haven to operate from, it is
assorted sized fanatic organizations that are causing the war. You have heard of only a
small percent of these groups such as Hamas, al Qaeda, Islamic Brotherhood and Islamic
Jihad. In this war the perpetuators seem to be the Arab world itself and not just the
What makes this war so different is that so many of these groups function autonomously.
And, are also warring against each other, in addition to warring against forces that do
not agree with their ideology. This is going on in countries worldwide. There are also
groups led by Islamic religious clerics such as Muqtada al Sadr. He is a fundamentalist
Shiite cleric who has opposed U.S. and British operations in Iraq since the fall of Saddam
Hussein in 2003. Al-Sadr quickly became vocal and formed his personal militia, called Imam
In Iraq the Sunnis and Shi'ites seem unable to agree on the role each is to play in the
new government. One-night, men in police uniforms rounded up 22 Sunni Arabs from their
homes in Baghdad. All 22 bodies were found, bound, bullet-ridden and dumped in a field.
Then we have armed men, also dressed as police officers, who burst into a primary school
in a town south of Baghdad. They rounded up five Shiite teachers and their driver, marched
them to an empty classroom and killed them, a police official said.
In the Sudan in Darfur, the Islamic government enlisted the aid of Darfur's Arab tribes
to root out two rebel groups. In their search the government's Janjaweed militia destroyed
hundreds of villages while raping and pillaging. What makes this so interesting is the
government armed and trained the militia, which now has turned against the Islamic
government. Interesting but not unusual.
Then we have the question, who is to control Lebanon? Lebanon or Syria? According to
the Middle East Forum Syria's nearly three-decade occupation of Lebanon may have ended,
but the country remains susceptible to Syrian domination. Syrian intelligence operatives
continue to permeate Lebanon, killing and intimidating dissidents and independent-minded
On October 12th Syria's news agency SANA reported that Ghazi Kanaan, Syria's head of
intelligence in Lebanon, supposedly, committed suicide. The United Nations was questioning
Kanaan, about the assassination of Lebanon's former prime minister, Rafik Hariri. The UN's
main suspect is Syria's military intelligence chief, Asef Shawkat who just happens to be
the brother-in-law of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. Is this a spy thriller, or is it
just business as usual?
On Oct. 18, 2005 the New York Times reported that the Palestinian government stated
that more Palestinians have been killed by fellow Palestinians than by Israeli soldiers.
The Palestinian Authority's Interior Ministry said 219 Palestinians died in internal
clashes during the first nine months of 2005,
On September 14th the Palestinians got off to a quick start when terrorists, loyal to
al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for a wave of deadly attacks across Iraq that left more
than 100 people dead. The attacks began in Kadhimiya, a Shiite neighborhood when a suicide
bomber lured a crowd of day laborers gathering for work to his minivan and then blew it
up. al Qaeda is working towards Iraq's becoming a strict Islamic state.
Ethnic tensions within Iraq were heightened when the Kurdish president called on the
Shiite prime minister to step down. Then tension was further heightened when Prince Saud
al-Faisal, foreign minister of Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia, expressed concern about growing
Iranian and Shiite influence in Iraq. To which, the Iraqi Interior Minister, Bayan Jabr, a
member of the Shiite Islamist Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, fired back
"This Iraq is the cradle of civilization that taught humanity reading and writing, and
some Bedouin riding a camel wants to teach us."
If the Arab communities can't get along with each other what is the likelihood that
they would even try to co-exist with infidels, Christians, Jews, and Buddhists etc? It is
because of this that the world needs to be prepared to ward off the murderous antics of
these fanatics. It is important that the world "Never Forget" the Holocaust, what one
group of people can do to another group.
(Ed Ziegler is a board member of the New Jewish Congregation in The Villages, Florida and president of its Brotherhood. He can be reached at email@example.com)
Islamic Radicals Plan World Revolution from Temple Mount
Islamic radicals have been using the Temple Mount as a focal point for planning and
preaching the establishment of a world Islamic state with Jerusalem as its capital.
One of the radical groups operating on the Temple Mount is Hizab Altahrir (The Islamic
Liberation Party), which espouses an ideology similar to Al Qaeda. Hizab Altahrir's
network spans most Western European countries. The party puts Islamic revolution and an
uncompromising form of Jihad (holy war) at the top of its political agenda. The group
advocates subjecting the entire world to Islamic law (Shariya), and destroying
non-believing nations and religions.
Hizab Altahrir's activity, however, is not limited to the Temple Mount. The group is
sending out charismatic Islamic preachers to spread its radical ideology to mosques in
villages near Jerusalem, Hebron, Kalkilya and Tulkarem.
Last October, during Ramadan, when large numbers of Moslems visit mosques, the party
expanded its efforts to recruit new members and activists. Thousands of young Arabs living
in the Palestinian Authority have been participating in the party's youth movement under
the slogan, "Campaigning to Preach Revolution."
On the Temple Mount, near the Dome of the Rock, Altahrir's youth recently put up a
giant banner declaring, "Revolution is a Divine Command." The party's flag appears on the
right and left hand side of the banner. Party members who shouted, "Next year in
Jerusalem, under the rule of the Islamic revolution", greeted the youth.
The party has targeted Europe, specifically Denmark, for spreading its revolutionary
ideology, and providing a springboard for renewing Islamic conquests in Europe. A senior
party activist in Jerusalem, Sheikh Issam Amira, expressed this philosophy in a recent
speech, which he made on the Temple Mount:
"Listeners! The Muslims in Denmark make up three percent [of the population]; yet
constitute a threat to the future of the Danish kingdom. It's no surprise that in Bitrab
(the ancient name of Medina, a city in Arabia to which Mohammed immigrated) they were
fewer than three percent of the general population, but succeeded changing the regime in
"It's no surprise that our brothers in Denmark have succeeded in bringing Islam to
every home in that country. Allah will grant us victory in their land to establish the
[Islamic] revolution in Denmark."
After Denmark, the Sheikh said, the party will carry the revolution to Oslo and change
its name to Medina. "They will fight against their Scandinavian neighbors in order to
bring the country into the territory of the revolution," he said. "In the next stage, they
will fight a holy jihad to spread Islam to the rest of Europe, until it spreads to the
original city of Medina where the two cities will unite under the Islamic flag."
Sheikh Riyad Salah, head of the Islamic movement in Israel has also been active teaching the tenets of "Islamic revolution." "We are at the gates of the Islamic revolution," he proclaimed in one of his sermons to Arab citizens of Israel. "The global forces of evil will be eliminated from the world and the Islamic nation will remain in place in order to bring about the world Islamic revolution, with its capital, Jerusalem."
Salah, who until a few months ago was under arrest for allegedly assisting an organization connected to the Hamas terror group, has for a number of years been attempting to organize Israel's Arab citizens into an "independent Palestinian society," disconnected from the State of Israel and its institutions. Salah's organization has also contributed to efforts to repair Arab mosques on the Temple Mount, and attempts to erase the remains of Jewish antiquities on the Mount.
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