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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Claiming that Arabs might soon outnumber Jews and threaten Israel’s Jewish character unless the Palestinians are quickly offered a state of their own, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced last week that his administration would push for a Palestinian state and Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.

But a new study presented this week by an American research team contends that Olmert’s withdrawal policy is based on erroneous data – and predicts that in 20 years Jews will in fact outnumber Arabs two to one.

The study, led by researchers Bennet Zimmerman, Roberta Seid and Michael Wise, documented the fact that Palestinians have inflated their population by as much as 1.5 million. It also found Jewish birthrates to be outstripping Palestinian rates, and points out that Israel’s own statistics fail to account for even low levels of Jewish immigration when calculating national demographic trends.

Zimmerman’s team found faults in the methods used by the Palestinian Authority to determine its population, including counting the 230,000 Arab residents of Jerusalem twice, retroactively raising birthrates, and failing to report cases of mass emigration away from Palestinian areas.

“It is ironic that just as we now find Israel is in the best position ever with regard to population, Olmert announces a plan to run away and give up the West Bank, claiming Israel’s Jewish character is threatened,” said Zimmerman.

*******

Hamas, which catapulted to power in last week’s Palestinian elections, will soon make public a “peace initiative” in which it will offer to trade strategic land with Israel, cease attempts to capture parts of Jerusalem, and sign a 10-year renewable cease-fire with the Jewish state, a top Hamas leader told WorldNetDaily during an exclusive interview.

“We will be ready for a long interim agreement based on a period of cease-fire that can go to 10 or even 15 years like it was done by the prophet Muhammad with the enemies of the Muslims,” said the senior Hamas official, who spoke on condition his name be withheld since, he said, he was “revealing confidential operative information.”

The leader said Hamas would be willing to allow Israel to “keep three main settlements” in exchange for eastern sections of Jerusalem, parts of the Israeli Negev that border Gaza, and the Jordan Valley, which extends from outside Jerusalem toward Jordan and encompasses most of Israel’s major water supplies.

The Hamas leader said the “three settlements” he was referring to are Ariel and Gush Etzion, two large regions in the West Bank that contain many of the area’s major Jewish communities, and western and peripheral sections of Jerusalem, which he said Hamas considers “Israeli settlements.”

The leader then justified the Hamas plan as using Islamic tradition, and called it a temporary machination to ease international and U.S. hostility toward his group in hopes of receiving financial assistance.

“The Muslim hero Saladin gave up land when he gave Acco to the Crusaders in order to keep Jerusalem. Therefore, I say that the possibility of the exchange of territories existed already in the histor of Islam and it cohabitates [sic] with our principle that all of Palestine is a dedicated land from Allah, may he be blessed to the Muslims, and no one has the right to give up any part of it.”

He went on to acknowledge that the ultimate goal of the plan was to buy time in order to eventually destroy the Jewish state.

*******

Moments after official election results certified a large Hamas victory in Palestinian ballots, members of the terror group planted their green flags on the main parliament building in Ramallah. Some Hamas gunmen declared that hard-line Islamic law would soon be imposed in the West Bank and Gaza, raising fears that a Hamas-led government will use its gains to create a Taliban-like Islamist regime neighboring Israel.

A Hamas-run council in the West Bank recently barred an open-air music and dance festival, declaring it was against Islam. In response to the incident Hamas chief Mahmoud al-Zahar said: “I hardly understand the point of view of the West concerning these issues. The West brought all this freedom to its people but it is that freedom that has brought about the death of morality in the West. It’s what led to phenomena like homosexuality, homelessness and AIDS.”

Israeli officials say Hamas in the Gaza Strip has established hard-line Islamic courts and created the Hamas Anti-Corruption Group, which is described as a kind of “morality police” operating within Hamas’s organization.

It has reportedly murdered several Palestinian women suspected of adultery. Al-Zahar, though, said his terror group respects women’s rights.

“It is wrong to think that in our Islamic society there is a lack of rights for women. Women enjoy their rights. What we have, unlike the West, is that young women cannot be with men and have relations outside marriage. Sometimes with tens of men. This causes the destruction of the family institution and the fact that many kids come to the world without knowing who are their fathers or who are their mothers. This is not a modern and progressed society.”

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He is a co-host of ABC Radio’s nationally syndicated John Batchelor Show and can be heard regularly on several top American radio programs.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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