Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well.
Peace between Israel and its neighbors ranks high in John Kerry’s newly released book, “Our Plan for America,” but many Israeli politicians are still voicing concerns that a Kerry presidency could damage the Jewish State.
Kerry discusses Israel in the first chapter: “We will ensure that under all circumstances Israel retains the qualitative edge for its national security and its right to self-defense,” the book says.
The Democratic nominee promises ‘genuine resolve and direct personal involvement to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,’ a dig at President Bush, whom the Democrats have accused of neglecting Middle East peace efforts.
Kerry reiterates recognition of some Israeli claims to the West Bank and rejection of a ‘right of return’ for Palestinian refugees, and writes he will work to end Palestinian incitement against Israel.
But many Israeli leaders are continuing to express concern that a Kerry administration will cause more violence in the Middle East. This week they blasted Kerry’s recent appointment of former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk as Middle East adviser.
Indyk has been campaigning to dispatch U.S. troops to intervene in the Middle East conflict, worrying many of Israel’s leaders, who don’t want to see the IDF having to confront U.S. troops.
“The very mention of Indyk sends shudders down the spines of senior members of Israel’s defense and foreign policy establishment,” said David Bedein, bureau chief of the Israel Resource News Agency.
In a rare condemnation for a Palestinian official, former Gaza security chief Muhammad Dahlan accused Yasir Arafat of ‘sitting on corpses of Palestinians,’ and said if Arafat doesn’t reform his security forces, Dahlan will lead a revolt against the PLO chairman.
“Arafat is sitting on the corpses and destruction of the Palestinians … at a time when they’re desperately in need of a new mentality,” Dahlan told the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Watan.
Dahlan said he wasn’t trying to taint Arafat’s image, but to ‘correct it so that it will stay beautiful.’ If Arafat doesn’t move toward security reform by Aug. 10, Dahlan warned, a ’30,000-strong protest movement would demonstrate’ in Gaza and ‘demand reforms.’
David Satterfield of the State Department’s Near East desk did not attribute much significance to such Palestinian shows of defiance against Arafat. “Our judgment is this represents more of an internal clash between personalities than it does a fundamental shift on the critical structural and leadership issues,” he said.
Israel has been trying to recruit Palestinian agents to assassinate Yasir Arafat, said Hani Al-Hassan, a former security minister and longtime Arafat loyalist, in an interview. He claimed Israel recruited two Palestinian collaborators to carry out the assassination, but they changed their minds when they were told the target was Arafat.
“The two ran back to us and informed us about the Israeli scheme,” Hassan claimed.
Hassan also says a number of ‘friendly’ countries have warned Arafat and several senior PA officials to take precautionary measures because Israel has decided to assassinate them.
“Israel wants to kill all the Arafat loyalists, including myself, in addition to the leaders of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine,” he said.
Israel may have more to lose than to gain in killing Arafat, Israel’s former foreign minister, Shlomo Ben Ami, told WorldNetDaily. “If it becomes clear that Israel had a hand in [Arafat's] death, this will make him into a martyr,” said Ben Ami.
Meanwhile Egypt’s main newspaper backpedaled last week after receiving complaints following a WorldNetDaily article exposing the publication of a two-part series that denied the Holocaust and claimed Jews invented ‘lies of genocide’ to extort the West and make possible the establishment of the Jewish state.
Al-Liwaa al-Islami issued a statement, one of the first responses for an Egyptian media outlet which disseminated anti-Semitic material, that the Holocaust series it published expressed only ‘the opinion of the writer, which is subject to discussion, agreement or rejection.’
The article in question, ‘The Lie About the Burning of the Jews,’ was written by Dr. Rif’at Sayyed Ahmad, director of the Jaffa Research Center in Cairo and columnist for the paper.
Ahmad wrote that to justify the founding of Israel, ‘the Zionist movement … resorted to means that are closer to lies and myths more than reality and truth.’ Among them, he wrote, was ‘the lie of burning the Jews in the Nazi gas chambers during World War II,’ according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Several Christian and Jewish leaders who read the article and contacted WorldNetDaily were put in touch with Al-Liwaa Al-Islami and demanded the newspaper print an immediate retraction.
Aaron Klein is chief of WorldNetDaily.com’supcoming Jerusalem Bureau.
About the Author: Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for WorldNetDaily.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 770-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the U.S., every Sunday between 2-4 p.m (CHANGE TO 7-9 p.m.). His website is KleinOnline.com
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