Wednesday, 20 January 2010

The Torah Revolution: Mr. Obama, Sir..

Mr. Obama, Sir..

Ah, sorry to bother you Mr. Obama, Sir,.......
Lt. Detective Columbo

Excuse me Mr. Obama, I mean President Obama, Sir. Um . . I know you're busy, and important and stuff. I mean, running the country is very important and -- ah -- I hate to bother you, Sir. I will only take a minute. Ok, Sir?

See, I have these missing pieces that are holding me up, and I was wondering, Sir, if you could take time out of your busy schedule and help me out. You know, no big deal, just some loose ends and things.

Hey, you have a nice place here! The wife sees houses like this on TV all the time and says, boy, she wishes she had digs like this, you know? Is that painting real? Really? Wow!
I saw something like that in a museum once.
Oh, sorry Sir. I didn't mean to get off the track.

So if you could just help me out a minute and give me some details, I will get right out of your way. I want to close this case and maybe take the wife to Coney Island or something. Ever been to Coney Island Sir? No? I didn't think so....

Well, listen, anyway, I can't seem to get some information I need to wrap this up. These things seem to either be "Not released" or "Not available." I'm sure it's just an oversight or glitch or something, so if you could you tell me where these things are I have them written down here somewhere -- oh wait. I'll just read them to you.

Could you please help me find these things, Sir?

1. Occidental College records -- Not released
2. Columbia College records -- Not released
3. Columbia Thesis paper -- "Not available"
4. Harvard College records -- Not released
5. Selective Service Registration -- Not released
6. Medical records -- Not released
7. Illinois State Senate schedule -- Not available
8. Your Illinois State Senate records -- Not available
9. Law practice client list -- Not released
10. Certified Copy of original Birth certificate -- Not released
11. Embossed, signed paper Certification of Live Birth -- Not released
12. Record of your baptism -- Not available
13. Why your wife, Michelle, can no longer practice law as an attorney in Illinois ( engaged in fraudulent activity?)
14. Why your wife has 22 assistants, when other First Ladies had one, or just a few?
15. Why were you getting "foreign student aid" as a college student?
16. Which countries' "passport" did you have when you visited Pakistan in 1981?

Oh and one more thing Mr. President, I can't seem to find any articles you published as editor of the Harvard Law Review, or as a Professor at the University of Chicago. Can you explain that to me, Sir?

Oh, but hey -- listen! I know you're busy! If this is too much for you right now -- I mean -- tell you what. I'll come back tomorrow. Give you some time to get these things together, you know? I mean, I know you're busy. I'll just let myself out. I'll be back tomorrow. And the day after. . ....
What's that Mr. President? Who wants to know these things?
We the People of the United States of America ! You know, the ones that vote.

The Torah Revolution: Mr. Obama, Sir..

Love of the Land: Why Has Israel's Press Freedom Ranking Taken a Crash Dive?

Why Has Israel's Press Freedom Ranking Taken a Crash Dive?

Benjamin Joffe-Walt
The Media Line
18 January '10

(Not a surprise but still bizzare. Y.)

Israel has lost its top spot in the Middle East for first time in decades. Analysts discuss why.

For decades it has been a source of honor and dignity for Israel's defenders: the nascent democracy has consistently been ranked well above all other Middle Eastern nations in its level of press freedom.

Israel's free press status, confirmed each year by a number of international organizations from the US-based Freedom House to Reporters Without Borders, has withstood a number of wars, political revolts and Palestinian Intifadas.

The Gaza War changed all that, as Israel received extensive criticism for severely limiting journalists' access to the Gaza Strip during the heightened military conflict in the coastal strip in December 2008 and January 2009.

In a dramatic realignment in the annual rankings, Reporters Without Borders not only demoted Israel from its long-held spot as the top dog of Middle Eastern media freedom, but relegated the Jewish state to the 93rd most free media environment on earth, 47 spots below its 2008 ranking and well behind Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. The Reporters Without Borders annual index is based on questionnaires sent to hundreds of journalists around the world.

The US-based Freedom House, however, retained Israel's rank as the kingpin of MidEast press freedom in its annual report, well over 20 spots above all other Middle Eastern and North African nations.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Why Has Israel's Press Freedom Ranking Taken a Crash Dive?

Israel Matzav: Why Jordan should be worried about Iran

Why Jordan should be worried about Iran

On Tuesday, I reported that Jordanian intelligence deemed it likely that Iran had ordered last Thursday night's roadside bomb attack on a convoy transporting employees of the Israeli embassy in Amman home for the weekend. In an analysis in Wednesday's JPost, Jonathan Spyer explains why the Jordanians ought to be seriously concerned about Iranian subversion and terror attacks taking place in the 'Kingdom.'

The small and fragile kingdom is separated from Iran only by Iraq - a particular focus of interest for the Revolutionary Guard.

According to Iranian opposition sources, the staff at the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad includes at least five senior Revolutionary Guard officers. The embassy is considered to constitute an important center for coordinating intelligence and military activity against coalition forces in Iraq.

The US will, of course, soon be withdrawing from Iraq. A weak, chaotic, Shi'ite-dominated Iraq, heavily penetrated by the Revolutionary Guard, would be a nightmare scenario for Jordan. It would bring Iran, its influence, its ambitions and its methods right up to the borders of the kingdom.

The means used for last week's attack - a roadside bomb - carried disturbing echoes of Iraq.

Against this background, King Abdullah has been among the regional leaders most vociferously seeking to warn the world of the dangers of Iran's drive for regional hegemony.

Yet another reason why the 'moderate Arab states' want Iran's nuclear capability removed.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Why Jordan should be worried about Iran

Israel Matzav: The Vatican blames the Jooos for declining numbers of Christians

The Vatican blames the Jooos for declining numbers of Christians

The Vatican has issued a document that blames the Israeli-'Palestinian' conflict and the 'occupation of lands' for driving Christians out of the Middle East.

The document is a guide for discussions for an Oct. 10-24 meeting of Mideast bishops convened by Pope Benedict XVI to discuss the plight of the Christian minority in the overwhelmingly Muslim region. The exodus of Christians from the region and religious discrimination faced by those who remain are main issues on the table.


The meeting document made clear that bishops in the Middle East believe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be the root cause of several conflicts in the region. But it also singled out the growth of political Islam in countries like Egypt, and said the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict had been exploited by radical terrorism in recent years.


It criticized the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, saying it had made life difficult both for daily life and religious life since access to holy places are restricted.

Citing both the Israeli-Palestinian and Iraqi conflicts, it said: "The solution to conflicts rests in the hands of the stronger country in its occupying and inflicting wars on another country."

"Violence is in the hands of the strong and weak alike, the latter resorting to whatever violence is within reach in order to be free," it said.

Asked at a news conference if the document was referring specifically to Israeli settlements in the West Bank and construction in East Jerusalem, Eterovic said the Vatican wasn't making policy decisions or recommendations in the document.

But he noted that the paper was drafted by the bishops of the region, who know the situation well and that regardless the Vatican adheres to UN Security Council resolutions on the matter.

Arutz Sheva notes:

During a visit of former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to Israel, a very senior figure in one of the main Churches in Israel told her privately that the members of his community are well aware that freedom of religion will only be provided by Israel, and that therefore she should not promote the division of Jerusalem. He further told her of the struggles he and his flock were forced to wage against the PA wherever it received control.

The problem is that you can't get 'very senior figures' like that to come out and say it in the open.

The Vatican document totally ignores the role of the 'Palestinian Authority' in the declining Christian population in Judea and Samaria. The decline has accelerated drastically since the 'Palestinian Authority' was established in 1994. Nor does the Vatican document note the fact that there is one country in the Middle East where the Christian population is increasing: Israel.

In 2005, Human Rights lawyer Justus Reid Weiner did a study on the persecution of Christians in the 'Palestinian Authority.' Here's what he has to say about Christian emigration from the 'Palestinian Authority.'

Both the demographic tendencies of Christians as compared to Muslims, as well as the rate of emigration, have drastically reduced the Christian population in the Middle East. While in 1914 they represented 26.4 percent of the population in the whole of the Near East (what today is known as Israel, the PA, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria), today they are estimated at no more than 9.2 percent. (Fargues 1998)

There are conflicting statistics regarding the extent to which Palestinian Christians are leaving and have left their ancestral residences in what is now PA-administered territory. One reason for differing figures is that some provide overly optimistic estimates of the remaining Christian population in order to retain whatever residual political and economic clout the various communities enjoy. All informed opinion, however, accepts that the Christian population has declined precipitously, both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the total population of Palestinians.

Palestinian Christian emigration peaked during the first intifada and has once again increased rapidly since the onset of the second. Between October 2000 and November 2001, 2,766 Palestinian Christians left the West Bank, of which 1,640 left the Bethlehem area and another 880 left Ramallah. (Gutman 2002)

Because there have been no opinion polls taken of departing Palestinian Christians, it is possible to claim that the recent wave of massive Christian emigration is a result of the Israeli occupation and the resulting political and economic instability. As one Catholic leader commented, “The principal reason for the dramatic rise in Christian emigration has been the continuing military occupation and the denial of the sovereignty of a Palestinian state wherein Christian Arabs could feel at home economically, politically, culturally and spiritually.” (Shavit and Bana 2001) The stated “dramatic rise” in Christian emigration, however, could not have resulted from a “continuing” condition. An explanation of the dramatic rise in Christian emigration from PA-controlled territories should therefore include a phenomenon that has only recently emerged in order to account for the rise in emigration patterns that does not reflect the normative political timeline.

According to the Christian Information Center, in 1994, the year the PA took control of Bethlehem and its surroundings, this was the most populous Christian town in the Holy Land. Since then, however, Bethlehem’s Christian population has dwindled to just one-third of the city’s overall population. For centuries the majority in the Bethlehem district, Christians currently make up only 30,000 of the district’s 130,000 residents.3

French journalist Pierre Rehov filmed a documentary addressing the exodus of the Palestinian Christian community from areas under PA administration entitled, Holy Land: Christians in Peril. According to the website for the documentary, “This Christian exodus is a result of many factors, including fighting between Israelis and Palestinians, the related decline of the economy, but perhaps most significantly, the religious persecution these Christians encounter from their Muslim neighbors.” Former U.S. Congressman J.C. Watts attributes the departure of Palestinian Christians to being “driven [out] by the steady persecution of the PA and the realization that they will face worse treatment under a possible future Palestinian state.” (Watts 1997)

In recent years, religious persecution has been an increasingly important contributory factor in Christian emigration from PA areas. In the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Sahour, an 80 percent Christian town near Bethlehem, a survey found that 51.2 percent of respondents are considering emigration due to “the difficult political conditions.” (Latin Patriarchate 2001) According to Bernard Sabella, 41 percent of Palestinian Christians in the territories perceive emigration as the most important threat to Christians living under PA control. Next amongst the concerns of the Christians is economic deterioration (24 percent) and Islamization (17 percent). (Sabella 2001)

Due to their exceptional vulnerability to economic and political instability, many Christians are forfeiting their place in the Holy Land. According to Shafik, a Protestant clergyman in the territories, one of many Christian Palestinians whose name and other identifying details are concealed at their insistence, the Palestinian Christians live in fear of their future under the PA. Additionally, the growing hostility felt by Palestinian Christians has led many of them to conclude that Muslims are trying to “kick [the] Christians out.”

The explanations that exclusively concentrate on the hardships experienced by the Palestinian population as a whole cannot account for the much higher rate of emigration among the Christian minority than among the Muslim majority. There must be a factor that has been omitted from these explanations of the Christian exodus from the PA-controlled territories. While traditional Islamic doctrines explain the status of Christian residents of Muslim societies as second-class citizens, this factor alone does not explain the accentuated hostility expressed toward them in recent years, which must be read as a sign of religious radicalization – more specifically, the rise of Islamic extremism in the PA-controlled territories.

The picture at the beginning of this section is a screen capture from the back cover of Weiner's study. You cannot see the entire picture. The man in the picture is an Armenian priest. The picture was taken in April 2002, during the 'Palestinian' terrorist seizure of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity. The sign he is holding in his hands says "please help."

The Vatican is disseminating a lie. The 'Mideast bishops' who wrote the report are lying - either maliciously or out of fear for their own lives.

The scurrilous notion that any 'occupation' going on in Israel has anything to do with the persecution of Christians in Egypt and Iraq (to take two prominent examples in this region) doesn't even deserve a response. But Weiner's monogram deserves to be read and updated (yes, I contacted JCPA today to ask if it would be).

Israel Matzav: The Vatican blames the Jooos for declining numbers of Christians

Life in Israel: Shlock Rock - Leah's Song (video)#links#links

Shlock Rock - Leah's Song (video)

Life in Israel: Shlock Rock - Leah's Song (video)

Israel Matzav: Too good to check: Online news site calls runner named Gay "Homosexual"

Too good to check: Online news site calls runner named Gay "Homosexual"

This is off topic, but if Haaretz could publish it, so can I.

The news site at operates an automatic filter to change words that "do not suit" its ideological line. So its report on the victory at the Olympics of sprinter Tyson Gay looked like this: "Tyson Homosexual was a blur in blue, sprinting 100 meters faster than anyone ever has. "His time of 9.68 seconds at the U.S. Olympic trials Sunday doesn't count as a world record, because it was run with the help of a too-strong tailwind. Here's what does matter: Homosexual qualified for his first Summer Games and served notice he's certainly someone to watch in Beijing. "It means a lot to me," the 25-year-old Homosexual said. "I'm glad my body could do it, because now I know I have it in me." Every time sprinter's surname appeared, the conservative filter changed it to "Homosexual." If you are talking gays, that's the proper term in the editors' opinion. In "The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009," edited by Dave Eggers, this text took first place in the category Best American Censorship Blunder.

Where is William Safire when we need him?

Israel Matzav: Too good to check: Online news site calls runner named Gay "Homosexual"

Israel Matzav: Scott Brown on Israel

Scott Brown on Israel

Scott Brown was elected to the US Senate by the people of Massachusetts on Tuesday. He is the first Republican to be elected to the Senate from Massachusetts since Edward Brooke was elected the country's first Black Senator the same year as Rahm Emanuel's Bar Mitzva (which was before mine).

There's been a lot of traffic during the night looking for information about Scott Brown's positions on Israel and the 'Palestinians' (which are far more pro-Israel than his opponent Marcia Martha Coakley's positions). I discussed that issue at length in my endorsement of Scott Brown, which is here.

Israel Matzav: Scott Brown on Israel

Israel Matzav: Norway does it again

Norway does it again

On Sunday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met with Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Storr (pictured). During the meeting, Storr insisted that his country was not anti-Israel.

On Tuesday, Storr violated a longstanding Israeli prohibition against foreign dignitaries conducting official meetings with 'Palestinian' representatives in Jerusalem.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Storr met Tuesday with the head of Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas' staff, Rafik al-Husseini, and PA Jerusalem Affairs minister Ahmed al-Rawidi, at the Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Mount of Olives. Observers said it was the first time a foreign dignitary had met a PA government official in Jerusalem since the closure of the Orient House in 2001.

Al-Rawidi said that the fact that the meeting took place in Jerusalem was "important." Husseini said that "a Palestinian state without Jerusalem has no meaning."

The reaction to this (which broke Tuesday night) ought to make the spat with Turkey last week look like a walk in the part.

Israel Matzav: Norway does it again

Love of the Land: Israel in the Teeth of the Storm

Israel in the Teeth of the Storm

Daniel Greenfield
Sultan Knish
19 January '10

Gaza has become the cause celebre of the European left, and there are no shortage of activists, left wing celebrities and politicians eager to get their own Jane Fonda photo op with the Muslim Brotherhood derived terrorists of Hamas, who in any other forum would be chopping their heads off.

In the name of "human rights" the presses churn out cartoons that recall the best work of Nazi Germany's Der Sturmer and the USSR's Krokodil, in all the splendid pornographic iconography of anti-semitism mingling the Star of David with the Swastika, greedy Jews controlling the government, monstrous Jews devouring Arab children, when they aren't crucifying them.

To go by all this torrent of hate, this sewer flow of bile and boiling cauldron of rage, one might imagine that Israel was conducting a non-stop military invasion of Gaza, complete with ruined buildings and charred rubble. You might picture a Sharon style bulldozing of Hamas compounds and squads of Israeli paratroopers firing in all directions. And you would be wrong.

The simple summary of the situation is that in response to the Hamas takeover of Gaza, Israel closed its border with Gaza. Yes, all the lamenting shrieks, the mangled carols and the Red and Brownshirts screaming madly about the Zionist cancer is in response to Israel exercising its most basic right of self-defense by building a wall and getting behind it.

Naturally in the eyes of the left, this refusal by Israel to have open borders with a blatantly terrorist entity that was trying to bring back crucifixion, was considered the worst Zionist war crime yet. And the European left developed an all encompassing concern for what they called, "The People of Gaza", by which like "The Russian People" in 1928 and "The People of Iraq" in 2003, they really meant the murdering thugs at the top whom they supported. Calling them "The People" is always safer, particularly when really you mean the Muslim Brotherhood, the Bolsheviks or Saddam Hussein, and by the twisted progressive logic of the left, homicidal mania directed at the forces of capitalism makes one a genuine representative of the workers and peasants, e.g. the People.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Israel in the Teeth of the Storm

Love of the Land: A clash of cultures or ideologies?

A clash of cultures or ideologies?

Seth Frantzman
Terra Incognita/JPost
19 January '10

In the waning months of 1775 an elderly imam named Sayf ibn Ahmed al-Atiqi lay dying in Sudayr, a region north of Riyadh. Atiqi was a well known imam of the Nejd and he had spent his dying days opposing a new religious movement named Wahhabism. Two years before his death, this movement, led by the tribal sheikh Muhammad Ibn Saud, had conquered Riyadh, a sleepy desert oasis, and turned it into the capital of a new Islamic fundamentalist state.

In April 1775, on the other side of the world, American colonists were rousted from their beds in communities west of Boston by the cries of Paul Revere. The lonely rider warned them that the British had set out that very night to destroy their stockpiles of arms. The resulting conflagration was known as the "shot heard round the world" and would result in creation of the United States.

Although many have written about American involvement in the Middle East, few have realized that the eruption of Wahhabism and the founding of America were contemporary events. Those who cover US-Saudi relations usually date their beginnings to 1931 when the US recognized the government of King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud. Further important events occurred when Standard Oil was given a concession in the kingdom in 1933 and when Franklin D. Roosevelt met the king in 1945. However that meeting merely represents one milestone in the history of two states whose ideologies have come to dominate the modern world.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: A clash of cultures or ideologies?

Love of the Land: Rachel’s tomb and the protection of Jewish holy sites

Rachel’s tomb and the protection of Jewish holy sites

Meryl Yourish
19 January '10

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977.

Part IV : Civilian population #Section I — General protection against effects of hostilities #Chapter III — Civilian objects

Article 53 — Protection of cultural objects and of places of worship
Without prejudice to the provisions of the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 14 May 1954, and of other relevant international instruments, it is prohibited:

(a) to commit any acts of hostility directed against the historic monuments, works of art or places of worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples;

(b) to use such objects in support of the military effort;

(c) to make such objects the object of reprisals.

If, as Dickens wrote, “The law is a ass …” then, pardon the crudity, international law is donkey crap. Once upon a time, Rachel’s Tomb – where, according to tradition, the Matriarch, Rachel is buried in Bethlehem – was, as depicted in the mural below, located in an open area.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Rachel’s tomb and the protection of Jewish holy sites

Love of the Land: Defrosted


Marc Prowisor
Yesha Views
19 January '10

The freeze is on, new construction throughout Yehuda and Shomron has come to a virtual standstill. For accuracy sake, buildings that were started or pre approved for the most part are going up, depending on the whim of the Defense Minister and his understanding or lack of understanding of this biased policy.

This ethnic icebox runs true with its allies, apartheid and racism. You see this is all one-sided, my Arab neighbors across the valley have jumped on the building band wagon and have increased all of their building efforts, full throttle ahead. Increases in budgets from abroad for the Arab residents of Yehuda and Shomron, both from foreign Governments and individuals flow fast like white water rapids. They are not stupid, they realize the Jews have slowed down, now is the time to move, and that is exactly what they are doing.

I don’t have a problem with their building - I have a problem with the clear cut limits and prejudice against the Jewish population of this region. It is quite obvious there are “witch” hunts going on against the “National Religious” community of Yehuda, Shomron and Jerusalem. Property deeds that we sign on apparently are not worth the paper they are written on. Property deeds that Jews have held for years are questioned while Arab squatters are treated like dignitaries, sometimes I wonder where we are living, in which century and… under whose rule? Our basic rights are being violated by our own people, but you know what, I know why. Despite the frustration and anger that I share with millions of Jews around the world about how we are being trounced upon, and how we are being backed into a corner, (mind you, only we are to blame), there is a good side to this also, even though it is hard to see.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Defrosted

Parashat Bo: This is the Bread of Affliction

Parashat Bo: This is the Bread of Affliction


Question: It seems that this entire section was assembled during the time of the Exile as indicated by the famous declaration at the end, "Next year in the Land of Israel." If so, we can ask, why didn't they establish it before the destruction of the Temple in order to remind us that our ancestors ate this bread in Egypt?
Answer: Rav Kook explained that this statement was not created to remind us so much of the past, but to provide us with faith and hope for the future. It is to ensure that our spirit will not fall when we mention our liberation from slavery, when we ourselves, at this very moment, are in an exile of slavery, a bitter exile. When then is the benefit of the Exodus to us? We therefore remember that we ate the bread of affliction in the past, but we were redeemed, and we will be redeemed in the end. We must eat the matzah joyously, because we believe and trust that even though we are slaves now, we will be free people in the Land of Israel speedily in our days (Olay Re'eiyah vol. 2, pp. 261-262).
Originally posted by Torat HaRav Aviner

Israel Matzav: 'In a terror war, to hell with international law'

'In a terror war, to hell with international law'

An important ruling has come down from the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. If it stands, I hope that Israel will implement it too.

The 2-1 ruling was handed down in the case of a Guantanamo detainee seeking release through a constitutional, or habeas, review of his case. But instead of being a paean to the power of the writ of habeas corpus, language in the opinions supporting the ruling may instead serve as a rallying cry for those who say it is time for the president and Congress to face reality and recognize the old rules no longer apply.

U.S. Circuit Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote the majority opinion, and a separate concurrent opinion agreeing with the majority document. In that second opinion, in a highly unusual departure from judicial custom, Brown sets out a chilling vision of the stakes and new tactics in the war against terror.

"War is a challenge to law, and the law must adjust," Brown wrote. "It must recognize that the old wine skins of international law, domestic criminal procedure or other prior frameworks are ill-suited to the bitter wine of this new warfare. We can no longer afford diffidence. This war has placed us not just at, but already past the leading edge of a new and frightening paradigm, one that demands new rules be written. Falling back on the comfort of prior practices supplies only illusory comfort."

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is sometimes called the second highest court in the land. It reviews all cases arising from Guantanamo claims, and its decisions in that venue must be followed by the other U.S. circuit courts of appeal.

The case before it was brought by Ghaleb Nassar al-Bihani, a Yemeni citizen, who has been held at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since 2002.


The opinion said all of al-Bihani's arguments "rely heavily on the premise that the war powers granted by the (congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force) and other statutes are limited by the international laws of war. This premise is mistaken. There is no indication in the AUMF, the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 ... or the MCA of 2006 or 2009, that Congress intended the international laws of war to act as extra-textual limiting principles for the president's war powers under the AUMF. The international laws of war as a whole have not been implemented domestically by Congress and are therefore not a source of authority for U.S. courts. ...

"Therefore, putting aside that we find al-Bihani's reading of international law to be unpersuasive, we have no occasion here to quibble over the intricate application of vague treaty provisions and amorphous customary principles," the opinion added. "The sources we look to for resolution of al-Bihani's case are the sources courts always look to: The text of relevant statutes and controlling domestic case law. Under those sources, al-Bihani is lawfully detained."

All three judges on the appellate panel agreed al-Bihani's release should be denied, but one dissenter said international law does apply to the case. The ruling will apply to all Guantanamo detention cases, unless overruled by the full circuit court or the Supreme Court.

What this case means is that the United States will ignore 'international law' in determining how to fight the war on terror. Forget the Geneva Convention. Forget laws of war that depend on what's known as 'customary international law.' In this war, none of that applies.

If this stands, it's earth shattering (and yes, I agree with them).

Israel Matzav: 'In a terror war, to hell with international law'

Israel Matzav: Iran thumbs its nose at the P5 1

Iran thumbs its nose at the P5+1

Iran has formally rejected a P5+1 proposal that would have required it to ship most of its low enriched uranium out of the country in exchange for higher enriched uranium that would not have been capable of weaponization.

Iran has formally responded to a nuclear fuel swap proposal backed by the world's major powers with a counteroffer effectively rejecting their demand that Teheran quickly export most of the material it would need to make a warhead, diplomats said Tuesday.

For months, Iranian officials have used the media to criticize the plan and offer alternatives to one of its main conditions - that the Islamic republic ship out most of its stock of enriched uranium and then wait for up to a year for its return in the form of fuel rods for its Teheran research reactor.

While critical of such statements, the United States and its allies said they did not constitute a formal response to the plan, first drawn up in early October in a landmark meeting in Geneva between Iran and the six world powers, and then refined later that month in Vienna talks among Iran, the US, Russia and France.

The diplomats told The Associated Press that Iran first submitted such a formal response to the International Atomic Energy Agency earlier this month in a Jan. 6 meeting between Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's chief representative to the IAEA, and agency chief Yukiya Amano. They disagreed on whether the response was oral or written.

Let's go to the videotape.


Israel Matzav: Iran thumbs its nose at the P5 1

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Overnight music video

My grandson's circumcision took place on Tuesday on schedule. He was named after a great rabbi whose yahrtzeit (anniversary of his death) was on Tuesday.

Here's Yaakov Shwekey singing tzadikim (righteous ones) from his most recent album. As I understand it, the little drummer in the video is Shwekey's son.

Let's go to the videotape.

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Israel Matzav: Hmmm....


Iran has blocked a Russian SU-27 fighter from passing through its airspace on its way to a show in Bahrain.

Russia may not be able to showcase its Su-27 fighter to potential buyers at the Bahrain air show after Iranian authorities barred it from entering the nation's air space, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

An Su-27 bound for Bahrain was denied passage over Iran as it neared the border even though its flight plan had been cleared in advance by Iran's Foreign Ministry, the Russian ministry said.

Iran angry at slow pace of Bushehr nuke plant startup? Iran angry at lack of SU-300 anti-missile system? Iran just trying to flex some muscle?


Israel Matzav: Hmmm....

Israel Matzav: Video: US Air Force drops water and food over Haiti

Video: US Air Force drops water and food over Haiti

The crew of a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III delivers tons of water and food to earthquake survivors in Haiti Jan 18, 2010. International aid has been pouring into the country that was devastated by the 7.4 magnitude earthquake that struck Jan 12, 2010. The water and food are packaged in the padded boxes you see leaving the aircraft, that cushion & protect the supplies from breaking when they hit the ground. Once on the ground, the team opens the boxes & provides the water and food to the survivors. (Video by U. S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Justin Suddeth).

Let's go to the videotape.

Israel Matzav: Video: US Air Force drops water and food over Haiti

Israel Matzav: Everything's coming up Brown

Everything's coming up Brown

The Boston Herald is a conservative newspaper. But two hours before the polls close in Massachusetts, this prediction is stunning:


Israel Matzav: Everything's coming up Brown

Israel Matzav: Good news: Muslims and scientologists trying to proselytize in Haiti

Good news: Muslims and scientologists trying to proselytize in Haiti

Debbie Schlussel reports that Muslims and scientologists are attempting to proselytize among the desperate people in Haiti.

It’s a religious race and an apparent attempt to convert people by two cults (Muslims and Scientologists–one with a moongod at its center and the other with a failed science fiction writer as its founder and idol) at a time when people in Haiti are at their most desperate and looking for something to cling to. And although the efforts by Muslims (and the Scientologists) are weak in comparison to Israeli and American efforts to help these people, the religious groups’ efforts are clearly designed to get converts when they have nothing but faith to turn to. These are poor, uneducated people, and the last thing they need in this time of disaster is to be taken advantage of, er . . . “helped,” by Islamic proselytizers.

Islamic Relief Worldwide a/k/a Islamic Relief–which is heading up the paltry but proselytizing-focused efforts of Muslim charity to Haitians–is a group I’ve detailed on this site extensively and whose events I attended undercover. As I’ve noted, the group was founded by an immediate relative of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group. The charity is not only tied to Al-Qaeda, but it employed HAMAS operatives to head up and run its operations in the so-called Palestinian areas. Islamic Relief’s US registered agent and lawyer is the son of a Nazi Waffen SS officer, and he represented Islamic terrorists.


And, FYI, if you give to UNICEF, which is also raising money for relief efforts in Haiti, it’s the same as sending money to Islamic Relief. UNICEF sends a good deal of money to summer camps and youth programs run by HAMAS, and at which Palestinian kids are trained to support Islamic terrorism and anti-Semitism. You cannot be sure that a single dollar you send to UNICEF will actually go to Haiti, instead of those efforts. And even if it does, money is a fungible good. Any dollar you send to UNICEF helps free a dollar from Haiti relief to go to the Palestinian extremist indoctrination programs for kids.

And then there is the Church of Scientology.

Read the whole thing.

As far as I know, the picture is not from Haiti.

Israel Matzav: Good news: Muslims and scientologists trying to proselytize in Haiti

Israel Matzav: Hoekstra: 2007 NIE was a political piece of trash

Hoekstra: 2007 NIE was a political piece of trash

From a Washington Times article on the updated National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, which is due out as soon as next month.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra, Michigan Republican and ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said in an interview that "they wrote a political document in 2007 to embarrass President Bush which everyone uniformly agrees was a piece of trash."

The congressman added, "I am glad the intelligence community is redoing it. They were wrong in 2007 when they were doing it, they were wrong by a significant degree. Why would I take the one in 2010 they are doing any more seriously, just because I like the outcome?"


Here's hoping that Hoekstra will get his committee look into how such a politicized document could have been released in the first place.

Israel Matzav: Hoekstra: 2007 NIE was a political piece of trash

Israel Matzav: Israel loses top press freedom ranking

Israel loses top press freedom ranking

The Media Line reports that Israel lost its top ranking for freedom of the press in the Middle East as determined by Reporters without Borders.

In a dramatic realignment in the annual rankings, Reporters Without Borders not only demoted Israel from its long-held spot as the top dog of Middle Eastern media freedom, but relegated the Jewish state to the 93rd most free media environment on earth, 47 spots below its 2008 ranking and well behind Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. The Reporters Without Borders annual index is based on questionnaires sent to hundreds of journalists around the world.


"Israel was on the top since the press index was created and we never said that the press in Israel is not free," Soazig Dollet, head of the Middle East desk at Reporters Without Borders, told The Media Line. "But what we are condemning is the violation of press freedom by Israeli forces and the Gaza War explains everything."

"Palestinian journalists were killed, at least three media buildings were targeted by the Israeli army, Israeli journalists were arrested trying to cover the Gaza operation and two journalists were arrested and charged with spying on behalf of Iran," she said. "All of this explains Israel's drop in the press freedom index."

As to media buildings being targeted, perhaps this story, which broke one year ago tonight, had something to do with it.

Let's go to the videotape.

As to journalists, that might have been a reaction to IDF soldiers being cleared in the death of Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana in 2008. If you follow that link, you will find several pictures that will show you why they deserved to be cleared. More on Shana here and here.

Israel Matzav: Israel loses top press freedom ranking

Israel Matzav: Huh? MI Chief: World against us because we beat terror

Huh? MI Chief: World against us because we beat terror

Military Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday that the world has turned against Israel because we have been so successful in fighting terror.

"The Palestinian Authority is encouraging the international arena to challenge Israel's legitimacy and its activities," Yadlin told members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

"The paradox of the current situation is that one of the primary sources that has led to the discussion on Israel's legitimacy is precisely its success against terror," Yadlin said.

The fact that Israel is no longer suffering from terror or from an immediate military threat has made it easier for the international community to accept claims against Israel's security activities," he added.

The idea that the World only loves us when we are going like sheep to the slaughter R"L (God should save us) is an old, tried and true meme in Jewish history. But if Yadlin is correct, the (Western) World is a bunch of fools. If we're so successful at defeating terror, shouldn't they want to learn from us?

Israel Matzav: Huh? MI Chief: World against us because we beat terror

Israel Matzav: Like thieves in the night: Government destroys buildings violating 'settlement freeze'

Like thieves in the night: Government destroys buildings violating 'settlement freeze'

In the dead of night on Monday night, Israeli security forces dismantled structures in at least three Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria that had been built in violation of the 'settlement freeze.' And there's a fight shaping up over how many classrooms the government is going to allow to be built for the 2010-11 school year.

Israeli security forces on Tuesday dismantled a caravan set up in the West Bank settlement of Elon Moreh, despite the government's declaration last year of a 10-month construction freeze.

This was the first time a structure built to contravene the settlement freeze has been razed.


Security forces arrived before dawn on Tuesday and dismantled the caravan. They also destroyed the foundations of structures in the Kochav Yaakov and Kochav Hashahar settlements which were built in contradiction of the freeze order.

The security forces operated undisturbed, despite the expectation that the dismantling would lead to renewed protests against the freeze.

In response to actions carried out by the security forces, a committee of residents from the northern West Bank settlements released a statement saying: "The activities over recent days prove that [Defense Minister Ehud] Barak and Netanyahu understand that the resistance of the residents will not allow them to implement the freeze unless they sneak up like thieves in the night. That is the only time to fight wars, to disrupt actions being taken out against terror organizations."


According to Ministry of Education projections, Jewish students in the West Bank will need 116 new classrooms when the school year starts in September 2010 if schools are to cope with the growing settler population.

Instead the defense ministry will allow only 28, to be built to strict guidelines, which settlers say are a result of commitments made by Defense Minister Ehud Barak to the United States.

News of the restrictions has reinflamed tensions between the settler movement and Barak's ministry, just as the two sides seemed to be reaching an accommodation. In the past few days settler leaders have begun lobbying Barak and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intensively in an attempt to overturn the decision.

Each classroom serves 40 students. Disgraceful.


Get a load of how the destruction of the caravan (mobile home) in Elon Moreh was carried out.

One resident recounted how it happened:

“Two policemen arrived at the guard post at the entrance to the community at 3 a.m., presenting themselves as having come to conduct a routine check of how the community is protected. They were welcomed in, and received explanations as to how security is carried out. They then asked the guard to give them his radio transmitter so they could check it – and suddenly announced that it was confiscated and that he was being detained. He was thus unable to use it to raise an alarm in the town about the impending arrival of the large special-unit Yassam forces that came very shortly afterwards. A large bulldozer/tractor was also brought in – once again, with no way for the guard to inform his neighbors.”

The caravan, a mobile home without wheels, was planned to house a large family, residents said.

“The forces came in like thieves in the night and cleared the way to destroying a caravan,” town spokesman and founder Benny Katzover told Israel National News, “while neutralizing the town’s security at the same time. For a half-hour, Elon Moreh was open to terrorist infiltration... But even worse was that the force endangered the residents and themselves, because the security coordinator called the guard and received no answer. He was about to alert the town’s emergency force, which could easily have opened fire on the ‘infiltrators.’ Fortunately, he came out and saw that it was an army force before anything dangerous actually developed.”

That ought to do wonders the next time the IDF needs to cooperate with a guard in a Jewish town about something.

Israel Matzav: Like thieves in the night: Government destroys buildings violating 'settlement freeze'

Israel Matzav: J Street coming to Penn Hillel

J Street coming to Penn Hillel

The pro-Israel pro-'peace' J Street organization will be having a kickoff event at the University of Pennsylvania Hillel on February 4. Jennifer Rubin quips:

Does Hillel not know that J Street doesn’t like to be known as a “pro-Israel” organization? One wonders what those who support Hillel must be thinking.

Personally, a look at some of the names on the sponsor list would be enough for me to wonder why anyone is supporting Hillel at Penn.

But we know that Penn isn't adverse to suicide bombers anyway.

Israel Matzav: J Street coming to Penn Hillel

Israel Matzav: Livni tells Amanpour she's willing to be arrested to answer 'war crimes' charges

Livni tells Amanpour she's willing to be arrested to answer 'war crimes' charges

Talk about opening Pandora's box.

Former Foreign Minister and current opposition leader Tzipi Livni tells CNN's Christiane Amanpour that she is willing to go to England and be arrested in order to answer 'war crimes' charges against her for Operation Cast Lead. The question comes up at the 6:30 mark.

Let's go to the videotape.

Absurd, no? I'll tell you what. We'll let the Brits arrest her if they promise to keep her. Heh.

Israel Matzav: Livni tells Amanpour she's willing to be arrested to answer 'war crimes' charges

Israel Matzav: Iran ordered attack on Israeli convoy, smuggled explosives with diplomats

Iran ordered attack on Israeli convoy, smuggled explosives with diplomats

In the wee hours of last Friday morning, I posted about a roadside bomb attack on a convoy taking Israeli embassy employees home for the weekend from Amman, Jordan. Sources close to Jordan's General Intelligence Department are now reporting that the attack was ordered by Iran.

But then it gets even better.

The sources said the GID was investigating the possibility that the explosives used in the attack had been smuggled into the kingdom by Iranian diplomats.

The attack itself was apparently carried out by local al-Qaida supporters who received money and explosives from Iran, the sources said.

On Monday, Al-Arabiya reported that an Amman taxi driver was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the bombing.

According to the sources, the GID believes that the attack came in response to the killing of Iranian scientist Prof. Massoud Ali Muhammadi in Teheran last week. Ali Muhammadi was killed by a remote-controlled bomb on a motorcycle.


The sources in Amman pointed out that the attack on the Israeli diplomatic convoy had been carried out in a way similar to the assault on the slain Iranian professor.

"We can see Iran's fingerprints on the roadside bombing," the sources said. "The investigation is continuing in various directions."


Last year three Hamas activists were sentenced in Jordan to five years in prison for conducting surveillance of the Israeli Embassy in Amman.


Israel Matzav: Iran ordered attack on Israeli convoy, smuggled explosives with diplomats

Israel Matzav: Video: IDF rescue of Haitian girl from collapsed building

Video: IDF rescue of Haitian girl from collapsed building

IDF search and rescue forces continued their search for survivors of the earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, last night. During the searches, teams from Nicaragua, Russia, and Venezuela were able to locate two girls who had been trapped in a collapsed building for more than five days.

The girls were evacuated to the Israeli Field Hospital, where they were treated. The first girl to be evacuated had serious injuries, and CNN Reporter Chris Lawrence took her in his truck to the hospital where she recieved life saving treatment. The second girl was in much better condition, with only minor injuries. Both are now in stable-good condition.

Let's go to the videotape.

Israel Matzav: Video: IDF rescue of Haitian girl from collapsed building

Israel Matzav: Go tell it to Assad: Syrian Mufti calls for protecting Jews

Go tell it to Assad: Syrian Mufti calls for protecting Jews

There's a lot of talk around the blogosphere about a statement made by Syrian Grand Mufti Ahmed Hassoun to a group of American academics on Tuesday.

"If the Prophet Mohammed had asked me to deem Christians or Jews heretics, I would have deemed Mohammed himself a heretic," Sheikh Ahmed Hassoun, the Mufti of Syria, was quoted as telling a delegation of American academics visiting Damascus.

Hassoun, the leader of Syria's majority Sunni Muslim community, also told the delegates that Islam was a religion of peace, adding: "If Mohammed had commanded us to kill people, I would have told him he was not a prophet."

Religious wars were the result of politics infiltrating systems of faith, he said, asking:

"Was Moses of Middle Eastern or European descent? Was Jesus a Protestant or a Catholic? Was Mohammed Shi'ite or Sunni?"

According to the Mufti, the conflict between Israel and its Arabs neighbors has nothing to do with an Islamic war against Judaism.

"Before you got American citizenship, and I got Syrian citizenship, we were all brothers under the dome of God," he said.

Jews had once lived in Syria peacefully and with fair treatment, he added, explaining that his own grandfather had a Jewish partner.

Hassoun was the Grand Mufti of Aleppo and was made the Grand Mufti of Syria by Bashar al-Assad in late 2005, nearly two years after his predecessor's death. He is actually quite well known as a supporter of religious tolerance.

In the West, A Mufti, a Christian and a Rabbi is often how a good interfaith joke begins. But I live inside this reality. I am a rabbi and my Syrian colleague, Hind Kabawat, is a Christian Arab. We have worked for four years with the Grand Mufti of Syria, Sheikh Ahmed Hassoun, in both Damascus and Aleppo. [Note: this has been moved down.] The three of us, along with many others of courage, have put on public events in Syria for four years that no one thought possible. No one believed Protestant, Catholic, Sunni, Shiâa, and Jewish clerics would sit together at a table, in front of cameras, working out the foundations of a tolerant civil society and making commitments to peace in the heart of Syria.... We love the Mufti because he inspires us with hope, reminding us by his words and deeds that peace is possible. Sheikh Hassoun is beloved by thousands in Syria because he works tirelessly to provide for poor people. He also insists upon apologies and forgiveness between civilizations and among Muslims. The Mufti champions those who are in a vulnerable position in the Middle East, from women to Ismailis, which angers the extremists. He told us on this trip that he increasingly embraces the secular state as the proper vehicle in which decent religion should operate, a point he also explicitly made before the European Parliament last month.

I have no real indication of where Hassoun stands on Israel. Usually, people with his political views believe Israel should just give the 'Palestinians' whatever they want. I did find this story which has him expressing 'cautious optimism' about President Obama's Cairo speech.

In any event, given Hassoun's past history, his comments are not all that surprising.

Israel Matzav: Go tell it to Assad: Syrian Mufti calls for protecting Jews

Israel Matzav: Fatah terrorist skips mother's funeral to avoid Hamas terrorists

Fatah terrorist skips mother's funeral to avoid Hamas terrorists

Former Gaza 'strongman' Muhammad Dahlan, who was responsible for several of Gaza's most heinous terror attacks (including the Kfar Darom school bus attack and the murder of three Americans on their way to hand out Fulbright scholarships) stayed away from his mother's funeral in Gaza on Tuesday rather than risk being attacked or arrested by Hamas.

Formerly dubbed the faction’s “strongman” due to his performance as head of security, Dahlan was reportedly invited by Hamas to participate in his mother’s funeral, but only under specific restrictions, according to Ma’an. He rejected the conditions, which included a requirement to file a formal request with the de facto Hamas government for permission to enter Gaza, and to remain in the terrorist group’s custody for the duration of his stay.

Other media reports alleged that a number of Dahlan’s enemies in Gaza had called for his arrest, and some had vowed to physically attack him if he returned to the region, even to attend his mother’s funeral.

In a statement issued to the media, Dahlan explained that he did not want to “provoke events or confrontations, or injury to members of Fatah who may be abused, as was the case during the commemoration ceremony for Yasser Arafat when more than 10 Palestinians were killed and 100 injured.” He expressed his thanks to Gaza residents who sent condolences and who were present at his mother’s funeral.

“Despite this great sadness that arises from not participating in the funeral, I will not enter Gaza until Palestinian legitimacy is restored,” Dahlan wrote, and charged Hamas with exploiting his mother’s death for political purposes.

Reports indicate that both the Americans and the Israelis advised Dahlan to stay away. Why either of them is concerned with this scumball murderer's well-being is simply beyond me.

Israel Matzav: Fatah terrorist skips mother's funeral to avoid Hamas terrorists

Israel Matzav: How to find the IDF field hospital in Haiti

How to find the IDF field hospital in Haiti

For those of you trying to find the IDF field hospital in Haiti (pictured above), there's a larger Google maps link here.
Israel Matzav: How to find the IDF field hospital in Haiti

Israel Matzav: Israelis to stay in Haiti for another month

Israelis to stay in Haiti for another month

The IDF announced Tuesday that troops running a field hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti would stay there for another month. There has also been another rescue and Zaka is looking for a Canadian Jew.

The Israel-based ZAKA rescue and recovery organization is currently searching for a Canadian Jew missing since the earthquake shook the on Tuesday.

Zaka received a request for help late Monday from the Canadian family of Alexander (Shmuel) Bitton, who had just arrived at the Montana Hotel in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake struck.


According to Channel 10, the international teams knew of two people trapped in the wreckage of the university building, and managed to rescue one of them. The Israeli team was asked to aid with pulling out the other - a female student at the university.

The Israeli team used special equipment to begin lifting parts of the rubble and carefully but quickly managed to create an opening, preventing the whole structure from collapsing. The team was able to see the woman through the opening and successfully rescue her.

Both survivors were trapped under the rubble for six days. Fortunately, air pockets were formed around them and rescue teams found them before they ran out of oxygen.

"The survivors looked completely beaten and covered in dust," Channel 10 quoted Major Amir Ben-David as saying.

"The woman was able to talk, and she told us her name and explained that she was a student at the university. We gave her some primary treatment and then transferred her to the Israeli field hospital. Her condition is stable but I'm not sure if her left leg will survive. I really hope the doctors will save her," said Ben-David.

Who is like thy people Israel?

Israel Matzav: Israelis to stay in Haiti for another month

Israel Matzav: It's morning again in America

It's morning again in America

Anyone else remember this? (Hat Tip: K Lo via Twitter).

Let's go to the videotape.

Israel Matzav: It's morning again in America

Israel Matzav: Haiti: 'Our patients are dying and no one but the Israelis has come to help'

Haiti: 'Our patients are dying and no one but the Israelis has come to help'


CNN Elizabeth Cohen interviews makeshift medical tent personnel on January 18, 2010.

Asking Harvard Medical Dr. Jennifer Furin, "Have the American's set up a field hosptial?"

"Currently, not yet."

Cohen: "The Israeli's came from the other side of the world..."

Furin: "It's a frustrating thing that I really can't explain..."

Cheer up Americans. Furin is from Harvard.

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: NY Nana).

If God forbid Ahmadinejad nukes Israel, an awful lot of other people outside Israel are going to die the next time there is a natural disaster.

And this is CNN yet - which is known to be anti-Israel....

Israel Matzav: Haiti: 'Our patients are dying and no one but the Israelis has come to help'

Israel Matzav: Important advice on airport security from an Israeli agent

Important advice on airport security from an Israeli agent

I got this by email, but when I started reading it, it made sense, so I thought I would post it (Hat Tip: Moshe I). I have not checked whether it's authentic. I have thrown in some comments based on my experiences in Israel.

Juval Aviv was the Israeli Agent upon whom the movie ' Munich ' was based. He was Golda Meir's bodyguard, and she appointed him to track down and bring to justice the Palestinian terrorists who took the Israeli athletes hostage and killed them during the Munich Olympic Games.

In a lecture in New York City he shared information that EVERY American needs to know -- but that our government has not yet shared with us.

He predicted the London subway bombing on the Bill O'Reilly show on Fox News stating publicly that it would happen within a week. At the time, O'Reilly laughed, and mocked him saying that in a week he wanted him back on the show. Unfortunately, within a week the terrorist attack had occurred.

Juval Aviv gave intelligence (via what he had gathered in Israel and the Middle East) to the Bush Administration about 9/11, a month before it occurred.. His report specifically said they would use planes as bombs and target high profile buildings and monuments. Congress has since hired him as a security consultant.

Now for his future predictions. He predicts the next terrorist attack on the U.S. will occur within the next few months.

Forget hijacking airplanes, because he says terrorists will NEVER try and hijack a plane again as they know the people onboard will never go down quietly again [I'm not sure he's entirely right about that. Bombs on board are certainly still possible. CiJ]. Aviv believes our airport security is a joke -- that we have been reactionary rather than proactive in developing strategies that are truly effective.

For example:

1) Our airport technology is outdated. We look for metal, and the new explosives are made of plastic.

2) He talked about how some idiot tried to light his shoe on fire. Because of that, now everyone has to take off their shoes. A group of idiots tried to bring aboard liquid explosives. Now we can't bring liquids on board. He says he's waiting for some suicidal maniac to pour liquid explosive on his underwear; at which point, security will have us all traveling naked! [I don't know when this was written. CiJ].

Every strategy we have is reactionary.

3) We only focus on security when people are heading to the gates.

Aviv says that if a terrorist attack targets airports in the future, they will target busy times on the front end of the airport when/where people are checking in. It would be easy for someone to take two suitcases of explosives, walk up to a busy check-in line, ask a person next to them to watch their bags for a minute while they run to the restroom or get a drink, and then detonate the bags BEFORE security even gets involved. In Israel , security checks bags BEFORE people can even ENTER the airport. [Sort of. Your car and passengers get checked at the entrance. There is a guard who will pull you over at the door if you look suspicious when you enter the terminal. And they start questioning you in the first check-in line. But they don't actually screen your bag until before you get in line to present your ticket and passport, check your bags and get your boarding pass. CiJ].

Aviv says the next terrorist attack here in America is imminent and will involve suicide bombers and non-suicide bombers in places where large groups of people congregate. (i.e., Disneyland, Las Vegas casinos, big cities (New York, San Francisco, Chicago, etc.) and that it will also include shopping malls, subways in rush hour, train stations, etc., as well as, rural America this time. The interlands ( Wyoming , Montana, etc.). [This could very well be. I've mentioned on this blog before that I'm still amazed that you can walk into a shopping mall or movie theater in the US without being searched. Not here. CiJ].

The attack will be characterized by simultaneous detonations around the country (terrorists like big impact), involving at least 5-8 cities, including rural areas.

Aviv says terrorists won't need to use suicide bombers in many of the larger cities, because at places like the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, they can simply valet park a car loaded with explosives and walk away.

Aviv says all of the above is well known in intelligence circles, but that our U. S. Government does not want to 'alarm American citizens' with the facts. The world is quickly going to become 'a different place', and issues like 'global warming' and political correctness will become totally irrelevant.

On an encouraging note, he says that Americans don't have to be concerned about being nuked. Aviv says the terrorists who want to destroy America will not use sophisticated weapons. They like to use suicide as a front-line approach. It's cheap, it's easy, it's effective; and they have an infinite abundance of young militants more than willing to 'meet their destiny'.

He also says the next level of terrorists, over which America should be most concerned, will not be coming from abroad. But will be, instead, 'homegrown', having attended and been educated in our own schools and universities right here in the U.S. He says to look for 'students' who frequently travel back and forth to the Middle East. These young terrorists will be most dangerous because they will know our language and will fully understand the habits of Americans; but that we Americans won't know/ understand a thing about them.

Aviv says that, as a people, Americans are unaware and uneducated about the terrorist threats we will inevitably face. America still has only a handful of Arabic and Farsi speaking people in our intelligence networks, and Aviv says it is critical that we change that fact SOON. [The problem is that the intelligence services in the US aren't willing to hire Arabic and Farsi speaking Jews. CiJ].
So, what can America do to protect itself? From an intelligence perspective, Aviv says the U.S. needs to stop relying on satellites and technology for intelligence. We need to, instead, follow Israel's, Ireland's and England's hands-on examples of human intelligence, both from an infiltration perspective as well as to pay attention to, and trust 'aware' citizens to help. We need to engage and educate ourselves as citizens; however, our U. S. government continues to treat us, its citizens, 'like babies'. Our government thinks we 'can't handle the truth' and are concerned that we'll panic if we understand the realities of terrorism. Aviv says this is a deadly mistake.

Aviv recently created/executed a security test for our Congress, by placing an empty briefcase in five well-traveled spots in five major cities. The results? Not one person called 911 or sought a policeman to check it out.

In fact, in Chicago, someone tried to steal the briefcase! [That's the Chicago way. CiJ].

In comparison, Aviv says that citizens of Israel are so well 'trained' that an unattended bag or package would be reported in seconds by citizen(s) who know to publicly shout, 'Unattended Bag!' The area would be quickly & calmly cleared by the citizens themselves.

Unfortunately, America hasn't been yet 'hurt enough' by terrorism for their government to fully understand the need to educate its citizens or for the government to understand that it's their citizens who are, inevitably, the best first-line of defense against terrorism.

Aviv also was concerned about the high number of children here in America who were in preschool and kindergarten after 9/11, who were 'lost' without parents being able to pick them up, and about our schools that had no plan in place to best care for the students until parents could get there. (In New York City , this was days, in some cases!)

He stresses the importance of having a plan, that's agreed upon within your family, of how to respond in the event of a terrorist emergency. He urges parents to contact their children's schools and demand that the schools too, develop plans of actions, just as they do in Israel .

Does your family know what to do if you can't contact one another by phone? Where would you gather in an emergency? He says we should all have a plan that is easy enough for even our youngest children to remember and follow. [I don't think most Israelis have such a plan either, although it is well known that every time there's a terror attack - God forbid - the cell phone networks go down. CiJ].

Aviv says that the U. S. government has in force a plan, that in the event of another terrorist attack, EVERYONE's ability to use cell phones, blackberries, etc., will immediately be cut-off, as this is the preferred communication source used by terrorists and is often the way that their bombs are detonated.

How will you communicate with your loved ones in the event you cannot speak to each other? You need to have a plan.

If you understand, and believe what you have just read, then you must feel compelled to send this to every concerned parent, guardian, grandparents, uncles, aunts, whomever. Don't stop there. In addition to sharing this via e-mail, contact and discuss this information with whomever it makes sense to. Make contingency plans with those you care about. Better that you have plans in place, and never have to use them, then to have no plans in place, and find you needed them.

Hmmm. A lot of this rings true.

Israel Matzav: Important advice on airport security from an Israeli agent
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