Southeastern University President Mark Rutland makes the big announcement.
THERE IS HOPE!
Olmert and the Manchurian Cabinet have forgotten Jerusalem, but a whole university of Christians in the heart of Florida remembers her, and loves her. Oh, and check out the comments from these young Christians...I guess these are the "bitter" people Hussein Obama was condemning...
Published: Saturday, April 26, 2008
University Opens Center in Jerusalem
By Robin Williams Adams
LAKELAND | To live and study in Israel would be a dream come true for many religious people.
Southeastern University is making it possible for some students to fulfill that dream by opening a Jerusalem Studies Center in West Jerusalem. Southeastern has a long-term lease on a five-story facility that it will use for dorms and minimal classroom space, with much of the studying done in the surrounding countryside.
'It's probably one of the most exciting things we've done at this university,' President Mark Rutland told students Friday morning after briefing faculty members earlier in the week. A ceremonial lease signing took place that afternoon in the school's Bush Chapel.
Southeastern, which is affiliated with the Assemblies of God, is paying $360,000 a year to lease the brand-new building that's still in the final stages of preparation. Although a rendering of the building makes it appear to stand alone, Rutland assured students and faculty it's in an urban neighborhood surrounded by shops and restaurants.
He and others from Southeastern looked at real estate throughout Israel, including apartment blocks owned by a Bedouin chieftain, before deciding Jerusalem was the best location. Planning has been going on for almost two years.
He didn't try to contain his enthusiasm as he described how the program will work.
'Our whole goal is to provide these students with a life-changing experience,' said Rutland, who has been in Israel 26 times.
'I want their world view broadened. One can see the whole world from Jerusalem. It's the center of the world.'
Three students interviewed said they're eager to go.
'This is the land where our God became incarnate,' said Kevin Kurian, 18, a sophomore from East Hanover, N.J. 'The prospect of seeing it with my own eyes is a very exciting proposition.'
Sharing that experience with other Southeastern students, under the direction of Southeastern religion professors, will make it more meaningful, he said.
Megan Epler, 21, a junior, said she would be 'ecstatic to get away from the American college experience and step onto the exact land our Lord Jesus Christ lived and studied in.'
Kurian and Epler, who is from Fayetteville, N.C., both are majoring in practical theology.
Rebekah Bailey of Atlanta, 21, a junior majoring in Christian ministries, said her love of Old Testament history and archeological studies makes the opportunity 'right up my alley.'
The Israel experience is a study-abroad program, not a branch campus in Israel, Rutland said.
Four sessions a year, each lasting five weeks, are planned, beginning in the fall. Religion majors will be expected to take one of those sessions, with other Southeastern students also able to go. In the other 32 weeks, Southeastern has the option of arranging shorter stays for students and letting other education programs use its leased building.
'We want to get more students, not fewer,' Rutland said, encouraging 'the whole creative team of the university' to design the best experience possible for students in that short time period.
'I want you to come home from these five weeks utterly exhausted,' he told students.
Those who go for a five-week session will be away from the regular campus routine for a full semester, spending the time they aren't in Israel doing online, directed study or other methods of completing the course work. They can earn 15 hours of credit.
That gives Southeastern, which had been turning students away because of lack of boarding space, the flexibility of having more beds available this fall, Rutland said.
Forty-eight students will take part in each five-week program, which translates into 96 in the fall semester who CPUIRTwould be students but not in need of dorm space at Southeastern. Another 96 would take part in the spring.
The cost for the term in Jerusalem is $11,935. This includes a $2,755 program fee, which covers air fare, tours and museum admission as well as lodging and food. That's $1,200 more than the cost of a semester on campus in 2008-09.
Some course topics will include the life of Christ, biblical archeology and
'Where Jesus walked is where we want to be,' said Robert Houlihan, dean of Southeastern's College of Christian Ministries. 'You can't imagine (what it's like) for a person who studies the Scriptures to be there.'
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
But if that were true, then how could we see this AP story?:
Muhanad Jawad, owner of a CD shop, said that before the crackdown, bearded men wearing black clothes frequently raided his shop to look for banned love songs or romantic Western or Egyptian movies. Gunmen would order him to sell only CDs with songs or video mourning Imam al-Hussein, a revered Shiite martyr in the 7th century.
"Now, the situation is better. The fanatic gunmen have vanished and a lot of young people are visiting my shop to buy songs, pop music and romantic movies," he said.
In the city's main street, Al-Jazir, several CD shops have been opened and music is played loudly outside the stores while unveiled young women pass by. Although not fully covered by a traditional veil, most women nonetheless wear head scarves over their hair.
Mohammed Abdul-Amir, a government employee, dared to hire a singer and a band for his wedding four days ago.
"I am happy to have a real wedding party," he said. "A few weeks ago, doing such a thing would have meant death."
And look at this other story from Basra today--check out who's surrounding who:
"The police and the army have laid siege to Sadr's office in Basra," office head Sheikh Harith al-Athari told AFP. "They have also stopped people from attending Friday prayers.
"The forces, backed by armoured vehicles, have asked us to leave the building," he added.
Journalists reported Sadr supporters had refused to leave the office block in the oil city, which lies about 550 kilometres (340 miles) south of the capital.
Interior ministry spokesman General Abdel Karim Khalaf told AFP the operation had been approved by Maliki and aimed to "recover official buildings that were being occupied."
So you tell me who won?
Posted by Jewish Odysseus at 7:36 PM
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
"Arab historiography after the advent of Islam contains such oddities as giving a horse the prerogative of making a wall weighing more than 2,000 tons into Muslim property." [see below]
Well, those Nobel Prize caliber researchers at MEMRI never sleep, and here they bring to light a fantastic essay by Iraqi writer 'Aref 'Alwan. Why are courageous thinkers such as this never interviewed in the lamestream media? Oh, silly me for asking...
Iraqi Author 'Aref 'Alwan: The Jews Have an Historic Right to Palestine
The Nakba: A Great Lie
"When the Salafi mob in Gaza tied the hands and feet of a senior Palestinian official and hurled him, alive, from the 14th floor, I asked myself: What political or religious precepts must have been inculcated into the minds of these young people to make them treat a human life with such shocking cruelty?
"Earlier, I had watched on TV as the bodies of two Israeli soldiers were thrown from the second floor [of a building] in a Palestinian city. Whether or not it was the same Salafi mob behind that incident, [one asks oneself]: What language, [or rather,] what historic linguistic distortion could have erased from the human heart [all] moral sensibilities when dealing with a living and helpless human being?
"Arabs who are averse to such inhuman behavior must help me expose and eliminate the enormous lie that has for 60 years justified, extolled, and supported brutality. [Such behavior] is no longer limited to the expression of unconscious [impulses] by individuals, but constitutes a broad cultural phenomenon, which began in Lebanon, [spread to] Iraq and Palestine, and then [spread] - slowly but surely - to other Arab states as well.
"This enormous lie is what the Arabs called the Nakba - that is, the establishment of two states in Palestine: the state of Israel, which the Jews agreed to accept, and the state of Palestine, which the Arabs rejected.
"In our times, when science, with its accurate instruments, can predict climatic changes that will lead to drought or the movement of tectonic plates that causes earthquakes, it is inconceivable that a modern man can, without making a laughingstock of himself, attribute the destruction of cities ancient or modern to the wrath of Allah. Nevertheless, today, 80% of Arabs claim this to be the case. They are neither embarrassed nor afraid of being laughed at.
"This high percentage includes not only the illiterates who densely populate rural areas, villages, and small and large cities, but also students, teachers, lecturers, graduates of institutions of higher education, scientists, technology experts, physicians, graduates of religious universities such as Al-Azhar, historians, and politicians who have held or are currently holding public office.
"It is those numerous educated elites who have forced the Arab mentality into a narrow, restrictive, and deficient cultural mold, spewing violence, terrorism, and zealotry, and prohibiting innovative thought... All this was done to instill a false sense of oppression in the hearts of the Arabs, and to destroy them with the infectious disease of despair and confusion.
"[This attitude] is rooted in the 1947 Arab League resolution stating that Palestine is a 'stolen' land and that none but a Muslim Arab is entitled to benefit from it as an autonomous [political entity], even if another's historic roots there predate those of the Muslims or the Arabs."
The Nakba Boomerang
"[The upshot] of this confusion in [Arab] mentality is that the lie has boomeranged on the Arabs. [Thus] appeared [on the scene] Saddam Hussein, Hafez Al-Assad, Bashar Al-Assad, Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi, Hassan Nasrallah, Nabih Berri, Khaled Mash'al, Isma'il Haniya, and Mahmoud Al-Zahar, whose young [thugs] threw the senior Palestinian official from the 14th floor. Finally, from the foot of the eastern mountains bordering the Middle East came Ahmadinejad, who is committed to preparing the way for the anarchy and destruction that accompanies the advent of the long-awaited Mahdi, who will resolve the Palestinian problem.
"Today, owing to the ideological distortions that have afflicted the Arab popular consciousness since the so-called Nakba, and [also owing] to the lies that have accumulated around this notion, [the label of] 'terrorism' has become attached to Arabs, wherever they are.
"Despite the great political and cultural efforts by large and important Arab states such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and some Gulf states to restore Arab ties with the rest of the world, and to curb the culture of terrorism in Arab societies, they have all failed. This is because these attempts to rectify [the situation], from both within and without [the Arab countries], both stemmed from and were a logical extension of the concept of the Nakba.
"This proves that the Arabs have no hope of extricating themselves from the cultural and political challenge of terrorism unless they come up with [new] and different [fundamental] premises, and with an outlook completely free of the fetters of the religious ritual that they have devised in modern times and called the Nakba.
"Although Palestinian senior officials, leaders, educated circles, and public figures, whose patriotism is beyond doubt, have come to terms with the existence of the State of Israel, the aforementioned 80% of Arabs... do not accept this view, and consider it religious apostasy. Leaders of the [Arab] states in the region, and party leaders, inflame sentiment, entrancing them with the drumbeat of extremism.
"With the strident chorus of its secretaries, the Arab League ensures that every car crash in Gaza or the West Bank is interpreted as an Israeli conspiracy against the Arab future. This is because the Arab League... was established as a pan-Arab entity whose main function was to write reports and studies rife with distortions of fact so as to quell the conscience of any Arab who dared think independently and expunge [the concept of] the Nakba from his consciousness. [It has done] this instead of devising creative strategies for cultural and economic development, so as to improve the deteriorating standard of living in the Arab societies."
The Nakba is Rooted in a Culture that Does Not Recognize the Right of the Other
"Why did the partition resolution, which gave a state in Palestine to the Jews and one to the Arabs next to it, become the Nakba - [the star] that rises and sets daily over the Arab lands without emitting even the tiniest ray of light to illuminate the path for their peoples?
"Did the Jews have any less right to Palestine than the Arabs? What historic criteria can be used to determine the precedence of one [nation's] right over that of the other?
"Refusing to recognize the right of the other so as to usurp his rights was a governing principle of the Islamic conquests from the time of 'Omar bin Al-Khattab; during that historical period it was the norm. [But] at the turn of the [20th] century, this principle was abandoned and prohibited, because it sparked wars and [violent] conflict. The international community passed laws restricting the principle of non-acceptance of the other, in the founding principles of the League of Nations in 1919. Subsequently, with the U.N.'s establishment, these laws were developed [further], with appendices and commentary, to adapt them to the current historical era and to express the commonly accepted values of national sovereignty and peoples' right to self-determination.
"But because of their sentimental yearning for the past and zealous adherence to [old] criteria, the Arabs purged their hearts of any inclination to adjust to the spirit of the age. They thus became captives of the principle of non-acceptance of the other and of denying the other [the right] to live, [among] other rights.
"As a result, damage was done to the rights and interests of non-Arab nations and ethnic groups in the Arab lands - among them the Kurds, the Copts, and the Jews. [Thus,] the Arabs still treat the numerous minorities that came under their dominion 1,400 years ago in accordance with the laws from the era of Arab conquest.
"Despite the consequences of denying the other the right to exist, not to mention other rights - that is, [despite] the oppression, conflicts, wars, and instability [resulting from this]... the Arabs have steadfastly clung to their clearly chauvinist position. All problems in the region arising from minorities' increasing awareness of their rights have been dealt with by the Arabs in accordance with [the principle of non-acceptance]... [even] after the emergence of international institutions giving these rights legal validity, in keeping with the mentality and rationale of our time."
Refusing to Accept the Other: The Kurds in Iraq; the Christians in Egypt and Lebanon
"The denial of the Kurds' national rights by the Iraqi government, and the Arab League's support for it, has brought on wars lasting 50 years - that is, three-quarters of the life span of the state that arose in Iraq...
"After fabricating arguments to justify the  combining of the Basra region with the Baghdad region in order to establish a new state in Iraq, British colonialist interests demanded that a large area historically populated by Kurds be added to the new state. [This was done] to satisfy the aspirations of King Faisal bin Al-Hussein [bin Ali Al-Hashemi], who had been proposed as head of state in return for protecting British interests in the region.
"In his persistent refusal to grant the Kurds their rights, from 1988 through 1989 Saddam Hussein murdered approximately 180,000 Kurds, in an organized [genocidal] campaign he called 'Al-Anfal.' He then used mustard gas against one [Kurdish] city (Halabja), killing its residents (5,000 people). The Arab conscience silently acquiesced to this human slaughterhouse, while Arab League secretary-general (Shadhli Al-Qalibi) called the international press coverage of these events 'a colonialist conspiracy against the Arabs and the Iraqi regime.'
"Syrian Kurds are considered second-class citizens, and are banned from using their language or [practicing] their culture in public."
The Christians in Egypt and Lebanon
"The ethnic oppression of the Kurds [in Iraq] was echoed by sectarian extremism against the Copts [in Egypt]. In both cases, the Arabs used the principle of denying the existence of the other so as to strip him of his rights.
"The Copts, who [initially] assimilated Arabs into their society, but who have over time themselves assimilated into Arab society, discover time and again that this assimilated state is but a surface shell, which quickly cracks whenever they demand equality... As a result, Egypt, as a state, is gripped by constant social tensions that keep rising to the surface and threatening to undermine its stability...
"Sectarian extremism in Egypt took the form of an organized party with the 1928 emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood, with the aim of splitting Egyptian society into two mutually hostile and conflicting parts. This was in line with the Arab religious and political principle of denying legitimacy to all non-Muslims or non-Arabs, [a principle practiced] since the Muslim armies reached Egypt in 639 [CE]...
"In Lebanon, the presence of armed Palestinian militias - which was in accordance with the decision of the Arab states - encouraged the formation of Lebanese militias, both Sunni and Shi'ite. Chanting slogans proclaiming Palestinian liberation, they frightened Christians by appearing armed in streets swarming with Lebanese [citizens] and tourists.
"This eventually led to a confrontation with Christian militias, which had also armed themselves out of fear of the pan-Arab slogans and fear for the [preservation of] the rights of the Christian sects.
"Lebanon was engulfed by an ugly 15-year civil war, that ended only after Syria, which had played an ignominious role as instigator [of the hostilities], attained full protectorate status over Lebanese affairs and the Lebanese people - [and this] took on the nature of colonialist hegemony...
"After the Lebanese were liberated from this [Syrian] control, in 2005 the clouds of civil war - albeit of a different kind - reappeared on the Lebanese horizon. The Arab League is making no effort to prevent the eruption [of this civil war] for two main reasons. First, the Syrian regime still supports ethnic tension, in order to regain control of Lebanon; and second, the current majority government, which opposes the renewed Syrian influence, is predominantly Christian...
"We had hoped that the Arab national conscience would recover from the illness afflicting it since the time of the Nakba, and that it would adopt [views] which, if not ahead of their time, would at least be appropriate to our time. But a group of journalists, writers, and several Arab historians guided by the principle of non-acceptance of the other has twisted the facts and concocted a false and gloomy history of the region - thereby trampling these dreams to the ground."
Jews Have a Rich and Ancient History in Palestine
"The Arabs see the Palestinian problem as exceedingly complicated, while it actually appears so only to them - [that is], from the point of view of the Arabs' emotional attitudes and their national and religious philosophy. The Arabs have amassed false claims regarding their exclusive right to the Palestinian land, [and] these are based on phony arguments and on several axioms taken from written and oral sources - most of which they [themselves] created after the Islamic [conquest?--J.O.], and which they forbade anyone, Arab or foreigner, from questioning.
"When the Arabs agreed to U.N. arbitration... to resolve the Palestinian problem, it transpired that their axioms clearly contradicted reliable historical documents [that] this new international organization [had in its possession]. As a result, they wasted decades stubbornly defending the validity of their documents, which do not correspond to the officially accepted version of the region's history - which is based on concrete and solid evidence [such as] archaeological findings in the land of Palestine, the holy books of the three monotheistic religions, accounts by Roman, Greek, and Jewish historians... and modern historical research..."
Jewish and Christian Ritual Sites in Jerusalem Predate Muslim Sites
"[A look at] the story of Al-Aqsa is now in order - a site considered holy by Muslim Arabs, who call it 'Al-Haram al-Qudsi al-Sharif' [The Noble Sanctuary] and [believe that] it was set aside for them by Allah since the time of Adam.
"[This site] contains several places of worship, including the Dome of the Rock, built by the [Umayyad Caliph] 'Abd Al-Malik bin Marwan in the seventh century CE - that is, 72 years after the Muslim conquests. This religious public gathering place was erected over a prominent [foundation] stone at the peak of 'Mount Moriah.' [Mount Moriah] contains three ancient Jewish public worship sites, as well as [some] Christian sites... The octagonal structure of the Dome of the Rock Mosque was constructed on the site of an ancient Byzantine church, adjoining Solomon's Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
"Since the majority of Muslims claim that the Temple Mount is an Islamic site to which no one else is entitled, they do not acknowledge the presence of Jewish and Christian places of worship predating the Dome of the Rock within its walls...
"The Arabs take great pride in their tolerance of and benign treatment of the Jews and Christians who lived under the Muslim rule since the Muslim conquests. This account is part of the distortions underpinning the edifice of the Arabs' religious and national culture. [Arab] writers and historians keep eulogizing this epoch... while the truth is the opposite of what they claim. [Indeed,] the Pact of 'Omar [compelled] the Jews and the Christians to choose between either abandoning their religion and embracing Islam, or paying the [poll] tax in return for being permitted to reside... and receive protection of life and property in their homeland. [The Pact of 'Omar] allowed them to practice their religion, build new houses of worship, and repair the old ones [only] with the permission of a Muslim ruler, and subject to numerous conditions.
"In subsequent historical periods, the Muslims imposed [additional restrictions] on the members of [these] two religions: They forbade them to raise their voices during prayer; [they forced them] to conduct their prayers and religious ceremonies in closed areas so as not [to disturb] passersby; they forbade them to carry weapons, ride saddled horses, or build houses taller than those of the Muslims. [Christians and Jews] were required to show respect for the Muslims, e.g. by giving up their seat to a Muslim if he wanted it. They were banned from holding government posts or from working in 'sensitive' public places.
"The Koranic verses cursing the Jews and casting doubt on [the veracity of] their Holy Book [the Torah] promulgated a desire among Arabs to set themselves above the Jews who lived in their midst, humiliating and persecuting them even without pretext. In time, this treatment made large numbers of Jews abandon their cities and their land and emigrate... while those who stayed [in Palestine] until the 19th century remained marginalized, living among the Arabs like criminals in a foreign land...
"The Arabs claim that the 'Wailing Wall' has been their property since the Prophet Muhammad tied his horse Al-Buraq to one of its supports when Allah transported him by night from the Holy Mosque in Mecca to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem... Although this night-journey story seems dubious, Arab historiography after the advent of Islam contains such oddities as giving a horse the prerogative of making a wall weighing more than 2,000 tons into Muslim property. This is only one of thousands of examples of tales concocted by zealots, with which they swept away the Arab imagination.
"...When the U.N. resolution on the partition of Palestine was issued on November 29, 1947... the Arabs refused to recognize it. They thereby rejected the state set out by the resolution as the right of the Palestinians and the Arabs, with the aim of establishing legal and historical equity. The Arabs called this resolution the Nakba, while their new states, formed several years before the State of Israel, launched the first war against Israel, in which regular military operations were combined with local attacks by gangs comprising Palestinians and Arabs from Arab regions near and far. [That war] ended in [the Arabs'] defeat. Persisting in their error, the Arabs established refugee camps for the Palestinians who had fled during and after the war...
"Chairman Mahmoud 'Abbas... was the first Palestinian leader to acknowledge that the Christian church in Gaza plundered by Hamas gangs had stood there 'before [we] came to Gaza.' By this he meant 'we the Palestinians' - particularly the current Gaza residents, [the descendants of] Bedouins from the Sinai and the Arabian Peninsula and of others, of unknown origin. [These people were] attracted by the wealth of the new Islamic state that extended from Persia to Southern Ethiopia, and came after the Muslim conquests and set themselves up over the local population - Christians, Jews, Phoenicians, Byzantines, and the remnants of the Sumerians...
Arabs Must Recognize the Jews' Right to Palestine
"In order to prevent more bloodshed among the innocent [population]... and in order to keep the deteriorating situation in Lebanon, Iraq, Gaza, and the West Bank from making [these regions into] a quagmire that will spread to engulf all Arab states and societies, the Arabs must reassess the question of the Nakba and come up with a new, courageous vision for the region and for the future of its residents.
"[This vision] must involve public recognition of the Jews' legitimate right to their state - which is based on historical fact - instead of [recognition] of the writings filled with anger and demagogy produced and formed into an ideology by the confused [Arab] consciousness - a consciousness built upon lies, myths, and distortions stemming from the principle of non-acceptance of the other.
"The most important factor in strengthening such a new vision is [the adoption of] a principle [requiring] official condemnation of all individuals, groups, companies, religious and political parties, and totalitarian regimes that built their glory and hollow leaderships upon the notion of the Nakba, and which are always ready to absorb other false claims and fabrications.
"This must be done, so that a modern Arab face is turned to the world - [a face reflecting] ethical values that will not allow any Arab, under any pretext, to oppress his son or his brother who differs from him in religion, ethnicity, or ideology."
Posted by Jewish Odysseus at 8:13 PM
Friday, April 11, 2008
So you've been a little under the weather...Got the flu (like me), appetite down, just feeling weak and listless...
Dr. Odysseus has the cure, folks. Take a few minutes and watch these inspirational fresh vids of filthy rabid jihadis being sent to Satan--you'll feel much better immediately! ENJOY!!
Posted by Jewish Odysseus at 4:19 PM
Thanks to our bloods at MEMRI:
Khudayr Taher: An Apology to the Valiant American Soldier
In an April 8, 2008 article titled "Apology to the Valiant American Soldier," Iraqi liberal Khudayr Taher bemoaned the ill treatment the U.S. army received from those it liberated:
"We forsook you and betrayed you – we, whose history is an expression of massacres, conflagrations, and ruin. We killed you, and we killed our dream and aspiration of reaching the sun, the moon, and the stars – [we killed our dream] of availing ourselves of the opportunity to live as true humans, thanks to your presence.
"My dear, brave American soldier, you noble individual who traversed land and sea in order to write the story of Iraqi freedom for the first time in its modern history – you believed, in accordance with logic, self-evident truths, and rational thought, that a people who had been subjected to repression, starvation, and killing would dance for joy, and would thank Allah who sent you to them as a liberating angel. [You believed that] they would strew flowers and break out in songs of joy that would smash the chains of slavery, ignominy, and humiliation.
"Not even a writer of surrealistic [literature] or [theater of] the absurd would have imagined that the Iraqi people would revolt against their liberator and would rush ardently back to a new bondage of a different kind – that of the religious cleric, the tribal sheikh, and the gang leader. It was unthinkable that the people would go against logic, rational thought, and self-evident truths, in a mad rush towards the abyss and total ruin.
"My beloved, brave American soldier, we apologize to you, and we are saddened at our wretched and miserable selves. Since we are a people that slaughters itself, and kills one another, cutting off heads, what can you expect from us other than ingratitude, perfidy, and stabbing you in the back for the benefit of Iranian and Syrian intelligence and Al-Qaeda?..."
[NOTE--To be fair, the great bulk of the people killed by the Islamo-Satanists have been Iraqis, which would tend to indicate that A LOT of Iraqis have actually risked--or paid-- the ultimate sacrifice to live in freedom. What about all those Iraqi Army volunteers blown up by the thousands in 2004-2006, AS THEY WAITED IN LINE TO SIGN UP...Yet the lines were just as long when the blood and body parts had been mopped up the next day. We must not forget those people, along with the election officials, journalists, interpreters, doctors, teachers, merchants, and countless thousands of others who have endured through a kind of bone-chilling terror that we Americans can really never grasp, and are finally gaining the upper hand.--J.O.]
Egyptian Journalist Ashraf Radi: "Progress, Liberty, and Democracy Demand a Price"
Liberal Egyptian journalist and Reuters correspondent in Cairo Ashraf Radi told Elaph: "No one in the Arab world wrote a single word about [Saddam's] tyrannical crimes, for which he was brought down, whereas the [Arab] pens unceasingly criticize the Iraqi governments that came afterwards… I find no answer to those who willfully ignore the causes behind the violence and the bloody conflicts in Iraq today other than that progress, liberty, and democracy demand a price, and this price must be paid by the current generations, so that the coming generations will not have to pay double.
"There is no doubt but that Operation Iraqi Freedom has many enemies, both within Iraq and in the neighboring countries… There is no future for Iraq without democracy. Those who sacrificed, and continue to sacrifice, are worthy of liberty, and they will never accept any prize less than this..."
Posted by Jewish Odysseus at 3:37 PM
Monday, April 7, 2008
Just a few nuggets from the "heroic" boss of the Al-Aksa Brigades in the "heroic" Jenin refugee camp:
"We failed entirely in the intifada... We achieved nothing. It's a crushing failure....Our politicians are whores...Our leadership is garbage...Do you understand? We have been defeated. The political splits and schisms have destroyed us not only politically - they have destroyed our national identity. Today there is no Palestinian identity...The Palestinian people is finished. Done for. Hamas comes on the air on its television station and says 'Fatah is a traitor.' That is to say, 40 percent of the nation are traitors. And then Fatah does the same thing and you already have 80 percent traitors."
The intifadah's essence: sending out a retarded 14-year-old, Hussam Abdo, with a bomb-vest to kill Jews and gain 72 virgins.
Enjoy the whole thing:
Ha'aretz--Last update - 10:47 04/04/2008
'Marching toward total ruin'
By Avi Issacharoff
JENIN - "When you see Zakariya, maybe you'll be surprised, but he looks like just any other Palestinian man now. Without armed men, without a weapon, just an ordinary guy," related an acquaintance of Zakariya Zubeidi, until not long ago the commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in Jenin.
Though Zubeidi is no longer hiding from the Israel Defense Forces, for a number of hours the people at the theater where he works tried to find him. Zubeidi didn't answer his mobile phone even when the commander of the Palestinian security forces in Jenin, Suleiman Umran, called him. In the end, a woman who works at the theater explained that he usually sleeps late and maybe that's what he was doing.
In the past, Zubeidi used to show up briefly at his house, in the Jenin refugee camp, together with his wanted colleagues, before disappearing for fear that Israelis would ambush him. The only reminder of those days are the framed pictures of the "martyrs" killed recently in the camp, and the huge poster of Saddam Hussein posted in one of the alleys leading to Zubeidi's home. The door is opened by his son Mohammed, who immediately summons his father. He comes down in sandals and a black T-shirt, and promises that in a few minutes he will come to the theater offices. Zubeidi arrives in his officer's "battle" jacket and mountaineering shoes, but without a weapon and without his erstwhile colleagues from the brigades.
What are you doing these days?
Zubeidi: "Nothing special. We've shut down the Al-Aqsa brigades and I haven't yet received a full pardon from Israel. I'm at home a bit, at the theater a bit."
Why haven't you received a pardon?
"They lied to us, Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The PA promised us that after we spent three months in PA facilities and if we didn't get involved in actions, we would receive a pardon. The three months ended and nothing happened. We still need to sleep at the headquarters of the security organizations. They promised us jobs and they haven't materialized either. Some of us are getting a salary of NIS 1,050 a month. What can you do with that? Buy Bamba for your children? They lied to everyone, they made a distinction between those who were really in the Al-Aqsa Brigades, whom they screwed, and groups that called themselves by that name, but in fact were working on behalf of the PA."
So why have you stopped?
"In part because of the conflict between Fatah and Hamas. Look, it's perfectly clear to me that we won't be able to defeat Israel. My aim was for us, by means of the 'resistance' [code for terror attacks], to get a message out to the world. Back in Abu Amar's day [the nom de guerre of Yasser Arafat], we had a plan, there was a strategy, and we would carry his orders."
In effect, are you saying what Amos Gilad and intelligence always said, that Arafat planned everything?
"Right. Everything that was done in the intifada was done according to Arafat's instructions, but he didn't need to tell us the things explicitly. We understood his message."
And today there is no leadership?
"Today I can say explicitly: We failed entirely in the intifada. We haven't seen any benefit or positive result from it. We achieved nothing. It's a crushing failure. We failed at the political level - we didn't succeed in translating the military actions into political achievements. The current leadership does not want armed actions, and since the death of Abu Amar, there's no one who is capable of using our actions to bring about such achievements. When Abu Amar died, the armed intifada died with him."
What happened? Why did it die?
"Why? Because our politicians are whores. Our leadership is garbage. Look at Ruhi Fatouh, who was president of the PA for 60 days, as Yasser Arafat's replacement. He smuggled mobile phones. Do you understand? We have been defeated. The political splits and schisms have destroyed us not only politically - they have destroyed our national identity. Today there is no Palestinian identity. Go up to anyone in the street and ask him, 'Who are you?' He'll answer you, 'I'm a Fatah activist,' 'I'm a Hamas activist,' or an activist of some other organization, but he won't say to you, 'I am a Palestinian.' Every organization flies its own flag, but no one is raising the flag of Palestine."
Are you, who used to be a symbol of the intifada, saying, "We have been defeated, we have failed, the intifada is dead?"
"Even Gamal Abdel Nasser admitted his defeat, so why not me? Come on, I'll tell you something. On Saturday there was a ceremony to mark the killing of one of our martyrs. They asked me to say a few words. What could I say? I can no longer promise that we will follow in the martyr's footsteps, as is customary, because I would be lying. So then one of the heads of Fatah came over to me and said, 'We are following in the footsteps of the martyrs, we are continuing the resistance.' And I told him that he is a liar.
"I feel that they have abandoned us, the Al-Aqsa activists. They have left us behind and forgotten us. We are marching in the direction of nowhere, toward total ruin. The Palestinian people is finished. Done for. Hamas comes on the air on its television station and says 'Fatah is a traitor.' That is to say, 40 percent of the nation are traitors. And then Fatah does the same thing and you already have 80 percent traitors."
Is that why you are at home?
"I got tired. When you lose, what can you do? We, the activists, paid the heavy price. We've had family members killed, friends. They demolished our homes and we have no way of earning a living. And what is the result? Zero. Simply zero. And when that's the result, you don't want to be a part of it any more. Lots of other people, as a result of the frustration, and because Fatah doesn't have a military wing any more, have joined the Islamic Jihad. Those activists are still willing to pay the price.
"And look at what the PA does to those who are keeping at it. If a PA person is killed in a battle with the Israelis, the stipend paid to his family will amount to NIS 250 a month, even though he had been earning about NIS 2,000. Why? So that he won't even think about carrying out terror attacks. This is the only plan that the PA has these days: Israeli security. The security of the occupation before the security of [Palestinian] citizens.
"When an occupation jeep comes into a refugee camp, the PA doesn't do anything, and if someone shoots at the jeep, they'll go and arrest him immediately. Today the president of the Palestinian people is General Dayton [Keith Dayton, the U.S. security coordinator]. They're all working for him, he is the boss. A PA no longer exists."
Zubeidi relates that for him, the theater is a refuge from the bleak political reality that the Palestinians are facing. "Here there's no politics, no religion. I still feel free here." From time to time he talks with Tali Fahima [the Israeli woman who spent time in prison for her contacts with Zubeidi], and Jewish friends come to visit him at the theater. As to the future of the region, Zubeidi's forecast is very grim.
"Abu Mazen's mistake," he says, referring to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, "is that he is gambling everything on the negotiations. And what happens if the talks fail? What is his plan then? I'm telling you that if by the end of 2008 a Palestinian state isn't established, there is going to be a war here. Not against Israel, or between Hamas and Fatah, but against the PA. The citizens are going to throw the PA out of here. Today the PA is doing what Dayton and Israel are telling it to do, but at the end of the year, when Israel doesn't give the Palestinians a state, the PA is going to be thrown out. There's going to be an all-out war here, for control of the West Bank."
Zubeidi is not the only one who's feeling pessimistic about the future of the PA. Similar remarks can be heard everywhere in the West Bank these days. Senior American and Israeli officials who have spoken recently with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad are saying that his despair is obvious. Some of Fayyad's bitterness derives from Israel's scornful attitude toward the PA. However, it appears that Fayyad is frustrated to the same extent by the endless conflict with Fatah people, who urge him to appoint cabinet ministers from their movement and at the same time are lying in wait for him to fail.
Some of the criticism of Fayyad's government, which has no Fatah people, is justified. The Palestinian prime minister, his many successes notwithstanding, is by no means a miracle worker, nor can he by himself change the face of the reality. The group of cabinet ministers he has appointed are considered technocrats, for better or worse, and they are not succeeding in implementing a substantial change in the government sector.
The heads of the Tanzim, the senior Fatah people who were supposed to have become the organization's leaders of the future, are also making little effort to conceal their despair. They watch as their movement marches toward annihilation: without real reforms, without substantive change, but with endless talk about elections in Fatah and a war on corruption. Even the heads of some of the security organizations are critical of the stuttering actions of the PA against Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in the West Bank. And while Hamas indirectly conducts indirect negotiations with Israel on a cease-fire, the PA, as Zubeidi says, has "zero achievements" to show: limping negotiations, Israeli unwillingness to help, corruption and the absence of reforms. In the view of some Tanzim people, the PA is on a sure path to disintegration. Not in a swift and sharp way, but rather in a prolonged process, at the end of which it will disappear from the West Bank and will be replaced by the Israeli occupation and Hamas. Nearly the only scenario that could change the face of things is, of course, a political agreement or a framework agreement between the PA and Israel. But who can trust the Israelis?
Posted by Jewish Odysseus at 6:37 AM
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Charlton Heston, 1923-2008
What a loss. He was a great American, and a great old guy.
I'll never forget the time he called Rush Limbaugh's show to read a great excerpt from "Jurassic Park," that STILL had more common sense on climate change than a thousand NY Times editorials...His majestic voice laying out those arguments over the airwaves was just fabulous!
[UPDATE--Thanks to Mike at PatDollard, here is the Jurassic Park reading!]
Not to mention Moses and Ben-Hur...And three times prez of the NRA...And marching in the streets with the civil rights movement in the 1960s, when other Hollywood stars kept quiet to avoid offending people...
What a loss.
Posted by Jewish Odysseus at 10:10 PM