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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

PA Behind Temple Mount Attacks

 Riots near the Temple Mount that left at least 10 Israelis wounded last week were instigated and partially directed by the Palestinian Authority, according to a senior Israeli security official speaking to this column.

 The security official said elements of the Israeli government asked the PA to cease its involvement in instigating the clashes, which included Palestinians throwing rocks from the Mount aimed at Israeli worshipers at the Western Wall below.

 “The clashes are guided mostly by Fatah [PA] militants as a tool to pressure Israel on Jerusalem,” the security official said.

 The riots came just days after the U.S. administration publicly called on Israel to halt Jewish construction in the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem in line with U.S.-brokered talks aimed at creating a Palestinian state in those territories.
 

Liberal Lebanon Voices Changing Their Tune

 Pro-democracy leaders in Lebanon were threatened and intimidated into siding with Syria and the Iranian-backed Hizbullah militia, revealed Lebanese parliamentarian Samy Gemayel in an interview.

 Gemayel, whose Christian Phalange party is one of the last to criticize Hizbullah and Syria, called on the Obama administration to support the pro-Western forces vying for influence in Lebanon.

 “We are working today alone, without any back up,” stated Gemayel, speaking in an interview on this reporter’s investigative radio show on New York’s WABC Radio.

 “This is very dangerous for us because we are defending values the U.S. is defending and we don’t have the support that Hizbullah has from Iran. So we think that the U.S. has very important responsibilities toward the democratic parties in Lebanon,” he said.

 Following the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, which was widely blamed on Syria, pro-democracy forces led mass protests that prompted Syria to remove tens of thousands of its troops from Lebanon, purportedly ending nearly 30 years of Syrian occupation.

 But with the U.S. and international community seemingly unengaged with the tribunal investigating Hariri’s murder – which was reportedly set to blame Hizbullah – and with U.S. support for the pro-Democratic forces in Lebanon nearly nonexistent, the country’s traditional pro-Western leaders have been switching allegiances to the Iranian and Syrian axis.

 Last Month, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, son of Rafiq Hariri, announced to the public he had been wrong to blame Syria for his father’s death. Hariri is set to visit Damascus for a second time this month. Also, Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, previously one of the most vocal critics of Hizbullah and Syria, has also publicly changed his tune, visiting Syria and declaring the country an ally.

 Gemayel stated that Iran and Syria had threatened Jumblatt and Hariri into changing sides.

 “Jumblatt was threatened,” he said. “That’s why he backed off the fight against Hizbullah and its allies and Iran and Syria. Because he was threatened.”

 Continued Gemayel: “On the 8th of May 2008, Hizbullah used force and weapons against the Lebanese parties, like Jumblatt and Hariri. That is why Jumblatt and Hariri are afraid that Hizbullah could use force one more time to impose its views on all of the Lebanese. That’s why you can see some concessions made by Jumblatt and Hariri, just not to be threatened.”

 Earlier this month, Gemayel was the subject of a death threat from a Hizbullah website. The Hizbullah site, the Islamic Resistance Forum, described Gemayel as an Israeli spy and called for his “crucifixion on a pole in the Pride and Dignity Square in Beirut.”

 Addressing the threat, Gemayel said he is “concerned” and “very conscious” of his security.

 “But we cannot give up the fight for democracy and freedom. We are doing our best to stand up but we need support,” he said.
 
 
Delaware Democrat Audited Class
Taught By Marxist Activist

 Chris Coons, the Democrat running against Christine O’Donnell for the U.S. Senate seat from Delaware, audited a class with Marxist activist Cornel West, this column has learned.

 Coons has been defending himself after it emerged earlier this week that he wrote an opinion piece at college in 1985 strongly criticizing the U.S. and describing himself as a “bearded Marxist.”

 Responding to the controversy, Coons told CNN, “I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Marxist or an enemy of the people of the United States.”

 Coons graduated from Amherst College in 1985 after which he went to Africa for about two years. When he returned to the U.S., he worked for the Coalition for the Homeless in New York and audited a course by West at Union Theological Seminary.

 In an interview with an online Yale alumni magazine, Coons discusses his experience in West’s Union Theological class.

 “I audited one class at Union Theological with Cornel West when I was at the Coalition for the Homeless in New York and realized I strongly needed and wanted some grounding in traditions and doctrines of my own faith,” he said.

 West, an avowed Marxist, served as an adviser on Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March and is a self-described personal friend of the Nation of Islam leader.

 From a young age, West proclaimed he admired “the sincere black militancy of Malcolm X, the defiant rage of the Black Panther Party … and the livid black [liberation] theology of James Cone.”

 Cone’s theology spawned Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s controversial pastor for 20 years at the Trinity United Church. West was a strong defender of Wright when the pastor’s extreme remarks became national news during the presidential campaign.

 Meanwhile, Jeffrey Lord, writing at Spectator, points out Coons himself may have ties to Black Liberation Theology.

 Previous media profiles noted that while doing relief work in Africa, the Senate candidate worked as a volunteer for the South African Council of Churches, or SACC, at a time, Lord wrote, when that institute was aligning itself with Black Liberation Theology.
 

 Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for Internet giant 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.

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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