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Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

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During U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s trip to the Middle East, media outlets controlled by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party have been using racist rhetoric in their reports, referring to the American representative as the “black woman,” “raven,” “colored dark skinned black lady” and “black spinster.”

According to a translation by Palestinian Media Watch, the slurs were used by the PA-controlled daily Al Hayat Al Jadida and Al-Quds. The latter featured racist cartoons – in one instance depicting Rice pregnant with a monkey.

In a previous Al Hayat Al Jadida article, Rice is described three times as the “black woman,” and her father, who was an ordained Presbyterian minister, was called the “black clergyman [who filled Rice's head with Bible stories].” The article warned, “Beware of this ‘black spinster,’ we don’t want to say ‘the black widow’ out of respect for her femininity and her intelligence.”

Fatah Protests Rice Visit

While Rice traveled last week to Ramallah to meet Abbas, senior members of Abbas’s own Fatah party staged a protest outside the main government building in the city. After the meeting, Rice pledged to work with Abbas in forming a Palestinian state.

Most media coverage of the Ramallah protests claimed rally participants were affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad. But the main protest organizer, who was leading the crowd outside the Rice-Abbas meeting was Zyad Abu Ein, a senior Fatah official and general manager of the PA̓s Ministry of Prisoners. Ein is well known to be a close Abbas confidante and is considered one of the most important members of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council.

This reporter filed a story from the scene in which hundreds of protesters chanted, “Down with America,” and “[Hizbullah leader Hassan] Nasrallah hit America.”

Ein also asked Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails to stage what he called a “day of rage” against Rice’s visit by not cooperating with prison wardens.

Iran Testing its Weapons on Israel

Tehran is using Hizbullah’s confrontation with the Jewish state to test the abilities of Iranian weapons and to observe Israeli military capabilities, according to Lebanon’s Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt. “Iran is bringing in [to Lebanon] sophisticated weaponry,” Jumblatt told WorldNet Daily.

“The Iranians are actually experimenting with different kinds of missiles in Lebanon by shooting them at the Israelis. Iran is using this violence to test certain of [Israel's] abilities,” Jumblatt said.

He said he fears Syria will take advantage of the growing crisis in Lebanon to reassert its influence in the country and convince the international community that Syrian domination of Lebanon is crucial to the stability of the Middle East.

Jumblatt warned that Syria might initiate a wave of terror in Lebanon following Israel’s military campaign there to further destabilize the country, including by assassinating the Lebanese prim minister.

“Now Assad can send into our country the same extremists he has been sending into Iraq to blow themselves up and wreak havoc here and blame it on al Qaeda. No one can prevent him from doing this.”

Asked if he feared another full-scale Syrian military occupation of Lebanon, Jumblatt said, “Another? In truth the Syrians never left Lebanon. They triggered this war through their proxy Hizbullah. They continue to hold us hostage.”

New Syrian Terrorist Group

A group claiming to operate out of Syria took credit Tuesday for what it said was an attack against Israeli troops near the Syria-Israel border, according to a source in Syrian President Bashar Assad’s Ba’ath party. The claim preceded statements from Assad warning that Syria would “not be deterred” from helping Lebanon.

The group, calling itself the Popular Committee for the Liberation of the Golan, faxed a letter to Ba’ath party officials stating it planted a roadside bomb that targeted an Israeli army jeep today, killing one Israeli soldier.

A spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces said no soldiers were killed or injured Tuesday near the Israel-Syrian border. A mine did reportedly explode on the Syrian side of the border near Israeli military patrol units, but no injuries were reported among Israeli troops.

Israeli security officials said they had no information about the Popular Committee for the Liberation of the Golan.

The Ba’ath party official said the Popular Committee was formed last month in order to attack Israelis. The official said the group claims to consist of “hundreds” of Syrian volunteers, many from the Syrian border with Turkey.

Syria, along with Iran, is a primary sponsor of Hizbullah. Israel says Syria has been allowing weaponry, including thousands of rockets, to be transported from its borders to Hizbullah in Lebanon.

The leaders of Palestinian terror groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, operate openly from Damascus. Syria is also accused by the U.S. of allowing insurgents to cross through its borders to attack American troops in Iraq. There have been reports of Syria providing weapons and intelligence information to the insurgents.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz have stated repeatedly since the inception of Israel’s military campaign against Hizbullah on July 12 that Israel has no intention of attacking Syria.

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 other top American radio programs. Klein is editor of the Galil Report, an e-mail intelligence newsletter focused on news about Israel. Subscriptions are available at www.g2bulletin.com.

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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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