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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Saudi’

Israeli Pencils Touch Off Saudi Scandal

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

A scandal has led to the investigation of the Saudi Ministry of Commerce by Saudi authorities, who discovered a well-known Saudi discount store selling recycled-wood pencils made by Israel’s Kravitz office and stationary supply store chain.

The pencils were for sale with the Kravitz logo in Hebrew, and were reported on the Saudi website Jazan.  Whilte they are sold for approximately $1.30 in Israel, they are going for only 53 cents in Saudi Arabia. Kravitz is the biggest manufacturer of office supplies in Israel.

Kravitz could not explain the event, and said no pencils appeared to be missing from their supply.

Malkah Fleisher

Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

J Street Helping PA

In Its Bid For Statehood
   The left-wing Jewish lobby J Street has been aiding the Palestinian Authority in its bid to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state at the United Nations, according to PA officials speaking to WorldNetDaily.
   The officials said J Street has been helping the PA set up Capitol Hill meetings with mostly Democratic lawmakers in a search for diplomatic support for its UN statehood move. J Street did not return e-mail and phone requests for comment.
   J Street’s founder and president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, has acknowledged receiving seed money from left-wing billionaire activist George Soros. The group also has come under fire for accepting funds from numerous Arab sources as well as pro-Arab organizations.
   J Street states on its website that it seeks to “promote meaningful American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts peacefully and diplomatically.”

   The lobby group supports talks with Hamas. The group has also opposed sanctions against Iran and is harshly critical of Israeli offensive anti-terror military actions.


Weiner’s Mother-In-Law

Tied To Terrorist Charities
   The mother of Huma Abedin, Hillary’s Clinton’s chief of staff, has represented a Saudi-funded Muslim charity accused of terrorism financing and ties to al Qaeda. Huma is the wife of former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York.
   Huma’s mother is Saleha Mahmood Abedin, an associate professor of sociology at Dar Al-Hekma College in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
   Abedin has reportedly represented the Muslim World League, or MWL, a Saudi-financed charity that has spawned Islamic groups accused of terror ties. One of the groups was declared by the U.S. government to be an official al Qaeda front.
   In February 2010, Clinton spoke in Saudi Arabia at Abedin’s college, where she was first introduced by Abedin and then praised the work of the terror-tied professor:
   Saleha Abedin has been quoted in numerous press accounts as both representing the MWL and serving as a delegate for the charity.
   The MWL was founded in Mecca in 1962 and bills itself one of the largest Islamic non-governmental organizations. But according to U.S. government documents and testimony from the charity’s own officials, it is heavily financed by the Saudi government.
   The MWL has been accused of terror ties, as have its various offshoots, including the International Islamic Relief Organization, or IIRO, and Al Haramain, which was declared a terror financing front by the U.S. and UN.
   Indeed, the Treasury Department, in a September 2004 press release, alleged Al Haramain had “direct links” with Osama bin Laden. The group is now banned worldwide by United Nations Security Council Committee 1267.
   There have long been reports citing accusations that the IIRO and MWL also repeatedly funded al Qaeda. In 1993, bin Laden reportedly told an associate that the MWL was one of his three most important charity fronts.
   The MWL in 1988 founded the Al Haramain Islamic Foundation, developing chapters in about 50 countries, including for a time in Oregon until it was designated a terror organization.
   In the early 1990s, evidence began to grow that it was funding Islamist militants in Somalia and Bosnia, and a 1996 CIA report detailed its Bosnian militant ties.
   The U.S. Treasury designated Al Haramain’s offices in Kenya and Tanzania as sponsors of terrorism for their role in planning and funding the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in East Africa. The Comoros Islands office was also designated because it “was used as a staging area and exfiltration route for the perpetrators of the 1998 bombings.”
   The New York Times reported in 2003 that Al Haramain had provided funds to the Indonesian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, which was responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people. The Indonesia office was later designated a terrorist entity by the Treasury.
   In September 2004, the U.S. designated Al Haramain a terrorist organization. In June 2008, the Treasury Department applied the terrorist designation to the entire Al Haramain organization worldwide.
   In August, 2006, the Treasury Department also designated the Philippine and Indonesian branch offices of the MWL-founded IIRO as terrorist entities “for facilitating fundraising for al Qaeda and affiliated terrorist groups.”
   In the 1980s, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law, ran the Philippines offices of the IRRO. Khalifa has been linked to Manila-based plots to target the pope and U.S. airlines.
   The IRRO has also been accused of funding Hamas, Algerian radicals, Afghanistan militant bases and the Egyptian terror group Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya.
      In a court case in Canada, Arafat El-Asahi, the Canadian director of both the IIRO and the MWL, admitted the charities are near entities of the Saudi government.

   Nonetheless, despite its offshoots being implicated in terror financing, the MWL itself has never been designated as a terror-financing charity by the U.S. government. Many have speculated that the U.S. is trying not to embarrass the Saudi government.



   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.

Aaron Klein

U.S. To Sell F-15 Jets To Saudis; Israeli Edge To Be Maintained

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

The United States plans to sell F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, but made clear to an anxious Israel that it won’t include long-range weapons systems.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that the Obama administration said it would sell 84 F-15 planes to Saudi Arabia in a 10-year, $30 billion deal.

U.S. officials clarified to Israeli officials who expressed concerns that this would undermine Israel’s military advantage in the region that the deal would not include long-range weapons systems or other arms.

The officials made it clear that Washington did not make changes to the deal at Israel’s request. Haaretz reported that Israeli fears were assuaged after U.S. officials clarified the details.

Israel and Washington have held meetings over the past 18 months on maintaining Israel’s security advantage in the Middle East. The Saudi deal, which the Obama administration is expected to formally announce next month, had been a source of tension at many of the meetings, according to the Journal.

Israeli officials reportedly will not lobby Congress to stop the deal; Congress has the power to block any weapons sales it thinks might pose a threat to Israel’s military advantage.

The Obama administration wants to sell advanced weapons to Middle Eastern countries as a way to check Iranian power, and the Saudi deal would be one of the largest of its kind.

Saudi Arabia has become one of the top weapons buyers in the world.

Several weeks ago it was widely reported that Israel and the U.S. were nearing a $3 billion deal that would see Israel buying 19 advanced F-35 warplanes that would give it a significant military advantage.

The F-35, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, is a far more sophisticated plane than the F-15. Lockheed Martin has promoted the F-35 as the centerpiece for 21st century global security while strengthening international political and industrial partnerships.

The fighter plane combines advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.

And, Lockheed Martin has said, it could start delivering the F-35 as early as 2015, around the same time the Saudis would begin to get new F-15s. Thus, the Saudis would get their advanced F-15s while Israel would be provided at the same time with a much more sophisticated F-35 and retain its military advantage.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited Washington a few weeks ago in order to discuss the Saudi deal with U.S. officials.

“There are considerations in Washington about moving forward with major deals with our neighbors and we want to make sure that we are in an understanding with the [Obama] administration,” said Barak during the visit.

“We understand the American need, under the strategy of the administration, to strengthen the moderate Arab countries facing the same threat from hegemonic Iran. But, at the same time, we have a tradition of understanding with [U.S.] administrations to keep Israel’s superiority in weapons systems and munitions.”

(JTA, INN and Jewish Press staff)

Combined News Services

Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

   Israeli Mossad chief Meir Dagan paid a secret visit to Saudi Arabia in recent weeks to discuss the threat of Iran, according to informed Arab security sources.
   The security sources did not disclose specifics of the discussions except to say the topic was Iran, which is accused of building a nascent nuclear program.
   Saudi Arabia does not maintain an open diplomatic relationship with Israel. But the Sunni Muslim country, together with Egypt, Jordan and other so-called moderate countries, is threatened by the growing influence of Iran, dominated by Shiite Islam.
   There have been multiple reports of Saudi cooperation with Israel on the Iranian nuclear issue.
   In 2009, it was reported Dagan met Saudi intelligence officials to gain assurances that Saudi Arabia would turn a blind eye to Israeli jets violating Saudi airspace during any raid on Iran’s nuclear plans. Both governments denied the reports.
   In recent weeks, Internet rumors claimed Israel dropped off military equipment in Saudi Arabia. Some unsubstantiated reports even claimed Israel was building a secret military base in Saudi Arabia for use in a future conflict with Iran. Those reports are inaccurate, according to Israeli military officials speaking to this column.

   Still, Sunni Arab countries have not disguised their fear of a nuclear Iran. Earlier this month, the United Arab Emirates’s Washington ambassador publicly expressed support for a U.S. attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.


PA Prepares For Israel Strike On Iran


   The Palestinian Authority has told its intelligence and security agencies to study the consequences of an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, this column has learned.
   The PA directed its intelligence agencies to prepare a study detailing the effect an Israeli strike on Iran would have on so-called Palestinian refugees in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, according to Palestinian security sources.
   The sources said PA agencies also were told to prepare a security contingency plan for dealing with Iranian retaliation against Israel that would include Hamas and other Islamic groups launching attacks against Israel from both the Gaza Strip and the PA-patrolled West Bank.
   “Among other things, the PA is studying how to get refugees out of Lebanon if Israel retaliates there against Hizbullah,” said one security source.

   Israel has long feared that any strike on Iran would result in counterattacks against the Israeli home front by Iranian proxies, including Hizbullah in the north and Hamas in the south.


Obama’s ISNA Connection


   A religion adviser to President Obama has close ties to a radical Muslim group that was an unindicted co-conspirator in a scheme to raise money for Hamas. The group, the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA, has an extensive relationship with the Obama administration.
   In February, Obama named a Chicago Muslim, Eboo Patel, to his Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Patel is the founder and executive director of Chicago-based Interfaith Youth Core, which claims to promote pluralism by teaming people of different faiths on service projects.
   Patel is listed on ISNA’s official speakers bureauand has written columns for the Washington Post and Huffington Post that promote ISNA events. 
   From his own comments, Patel apparently is a member of ISNA. Upon the August 2007 election of the group’s president, Ingrid Mattson, Patel told USA Today, “I’m proud to have her elected as my president.”

   Patel also served last year on a panel at ISNA’s annual convention in Washington, D.C. 

   ISNA relationship with the Obama administration began even before Obama took office. One week before last year’s presidential inauguration, Sayyid Syeed, national director of ISNA’s Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances, was part of a delegation that met with the directors of Obama’s transition team. The delegation discussed a request for an executive order ending “torture.”
   ISNA President Mattson represented American Muslims at Obama’s inauguration, where she offered a prayer during the televised event. Mattson also represented ISNA at Obama’s Ramadan dinner at the White House.
   In June 2009, Obama senior aide Valerie Jarrett invited Mattson to work on the White House Council on Women and Girls, which Jarrett leads.
   One month later, the Justice Department sponsored an information booth at an ISNA bazaar in Washington, D.C.
   Also that month, Jarrett addressed ISNA’s 46th annual convention. According to the White House, Jarrett attended as part of Obama’s outreach to Muslims.
   In February, President Obama’s top adviser on counter-terrorism, John Brennan, came under fire for controversial remarks he made in a speech to Muslim law students at New York University. The event was sponsored by ISNA.

   The ISNA, meanwhile, is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case

   Discover the Networks notes ISNA, through its affiliate the North American Islamic Trust – a Saudi government-backed organization – reportedly holds the mortgages on 50 to 80 percent of all mosques in the U.S. and Canada.
   ISNA was founded in 1981 by the Saudi-funded Muslim Students’ Association. The two groups are still partners.
   ISNA was named in a May 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document as one of the Brotherhood’s likeminded “organizations of our friends” who shared the common goal of destroying America and turning it into a Muslim nation, according to Discover the Networks.
   Islam scholar Stephen Schwartz describes ISNA as “one of the chief conduits through which the radical Saudi form of Islam passes into the United States.”

   Also, ISNA has reportedly held fundraisers for terrorists. After Hamas leader Mousa Marzook was arrested and eventually deported in 1997, ISNA raised money for his defense. The group also has condemned the U.S. government’s post-9/11 seizure of Hamas’s and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s financial assets.


   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.

Aaron Klein

The United States And Saudi Arabia: A Foolish Alliance

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

First Published Under This Same Title By The Jewish Press On July 12, 1996

In view of major current developments concerning Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States (especially the recently-announced sale of billions of dollars of new advanced weapon systems to Saudi Arabia), this very early article by Professor Beres warrants another close look. One must wonder, as all of Professor Beres’ prior warnings on Saudi Arabia have now proved correct, why President Bush insists upon further arms for Riyadh. At a minimum, the president should be concerned that the monarchy could soon be overthrown by al-Qaeda and kindred Jihadist elements, a transfer of power that would give Islamist insurgents control over all of the latest advanced American weapons.

*July 12, 1996:

When Americans were killed in a cowardly terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia, their deaths were the inevitable result of Washington’s sustained obsequiousness to the Arab Kingdom. When the Saudis refused to extend perimeter security in the American housing complex, the Department of Defense quietly acquiesced. Now, even when it is already too late for our murdered countrymen and women, Saudi leaders remain effectively hostile to the United States and, of course, to Israel.

Contrary to widespread public perceptions, Saudi Arabia is not a “moderate” Arab state or a reliable American ally. Although it is certainly true that we need Saudi oil and Saudi purchases of American weapons, it is a need that has already begun to backfire. Over time, the misconceived relationship between Washington and Riyadh will encourage not only additional anti-American terrorism, but also far-reaching instability in the Middle East – instability leading to intermittent war.

A principal problem is Saudi Arabia’s irreversible and existential opposition to Israel. Make no mistake about it; “moderate” Riyadh wants Israel off the map. From the beginning, appearances notwithstanding (appearances encouraged by the Department of State), Saudi Arabia has effectively been a frontline enemy of the Jewish State. During Israel’s 1948-49 War of Independence, Saudi units fought against the Israel Defense Forces under Egyptian command. During the 1967 War, the Saudis deployed a brigade in eastern Jordan. In the Yom Kippur War of 1973, the Saudi Kingdom quickly dispatched a brigade of troops to Syria. Although this history of active Saudi warfare against Israel is far less substantial than that undertaken by other Arab states, it is not insignificant. What is more, it is a history augmented by ongoing indirect warfare against the Jewish State.

After the 1991 Gulf War, Saudi Arabia supplied billions of dollars to Damascus, money used by Syria to fuel a superheated military buildup of both conventional and unconventional weapons. To date, this money, transferred with the blessings of Washington for Syrian “cooperation” in the 1991 war against Saddam Hussein, has purchased tactical ballistic missile launchers, SS-21 tactical ballistic missiles, improved versions of the SAM-6 and SAM-8 missiles, tactical C3I and electronic warfare systems, chemical warfare delivery systems and chemical warheads.

Saudi Arabia has also transferred weapons to Syria directly. These unauthorized transfers of U.S.-manufactured military equipment, which were directed as well to Iraq and to Bangladesh, were described by the Saudi authorities as “inadvertent.” Among the “inadvertent” transfers were an undisclosed number of 2,000-pound bombs. The inadvertence of this transfer would offer little comfort to those tens of thousands of Israeli citizens who may one day be targeted by these weapons.

Now, as for those U.S. weapons that remain in Saudi arsenals, an important question arises: What would Riyadh actually do with them? Clearly, despite its great wealth and potential, Saudi Arabia has never seriously prepared for its own defense. Unlike Israel – which, despite a chronic shortage of funds, usually stands up to its own enemies – Saudi Arabia depends entirely upon American soldiers, upon our blood. It is hardly a surprise, therefore, that U.S. arms sales to the Saudi Kingdom are generally about jobs in this country, and not about Saudi self-defense (the term is little better than an oxymoron).

Finally, it should be more generally understood in the United States that Saudi Arabia is theologically and doctrinally committed to the complete annihilation of Israel. Even before World War II, King Abd al Aziz ibn Sa’ud deplored “the strange hypnotic influence of the Jews, a race (sic) accursed by God according to His Holy Book, and destined to final destruction and eternal damnation.” Later, King Sa’ud informed a British visitor to his Court: “Verily, the word of God teaches us, and we implicitly believe it, that for a Muslim to kill a Jew, or for him to be killed by a Jew, ensures him an immediate entry into Heaven and into the august presence of God Almighty.”

King Feisal, in the tradition of his father, was known for his giving notorious anti-Semitic tracts, including a forgery called The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion, to all visiting dignitaries. Presently, it is “moderate” Saudi Arabia that finances the bulk of Holocaust denial literature, much of which is written by American neo-Nazis.

Saudi Arabia is not a moderate Arab state. Although under continuous threat from regional Islamic fundamentalists, the Kingdom is already animated by the view that peace with Israel is impossible, and by close ties with Israel’s most unrelenting enemies. Moreover, these ties – over the next several years – will likely nurture various Islamic terror attacks against the United States.

Riyadh should not be discounted as a major source of regional aggression. While the Kingdom is assuredly not inclined to initiate war against Israel, it is inclined to do a great many things that would make such belligerency possible. And it will surely continue to clandestinely foment harms against its “dearly beloved” American allies.

Copyright The Jewish Press© July 12, 1996* and August 24, 2007.

LOUIS RENE BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is the author of many books and articles dealing with Middle East security matters, including Security Or Armageddon: Israel’s Nuclear Strategy. He is Strategic and Military Affairs Analyst for The Jewish Press.

Louis Rene Beres

Letters To The Editor

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

Hurray For Hagee (I)
   I had tears in my eyes as I read Pastor John Hagee’s speech to AIPAC (front-page essay, March 30). Why is it that Bible-believing Christians seem to shine with such faith and certainty while even Orthodox rabbis (forget about Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist) tend to speak in muted tones, full of nuance and shades of gray?
   I’ve often said that if it were possible to hook people up to a machine that gauged true faith and religious sincerity, fundamentalist Christians would put Orthodox Jews to shame. Most of us talk a good game, and we’ve got the rituals down pat, but in the face of adversity and trial we tend to become as anxiety-ridden and fearful as any atheist or agnostic. Our faith in Hashem suddenly is revealed for what it is – so much lip service, a necessary prelude to the gossip, schnapps and herring so many of us really come to shul for.

Harold Diamondstein

(Via E-mail)


Hurray For Hagee (II)

   I’m tempted to say that Rev. Hagee’s unabashed, unapologetic, full-throated defense of Israel should be required reading by every pulpit rabbi and Jewish organizational official in America. But then I recall reading in several news accounts of the AIPAC convention that while Rev. Hagee’s speech was generally well received, and at several points drew sustained ovations, his references to Torah and religion were met with mere scattered light applause and even awkward silence.
   Whether it’s an AIPAC conference or any other organizational event dedicated to Jewish or Israel causes, you can be sure the machers gathered there will be the types who are uncomfortable with, if not actually hostile to, religious belief. (I wonder how many of those who attended the AIPAC forum are intermarried.)
   As long as American Jewry remains the most secular religious/ethnic group in the country, devoted to every liberal cause under the sun and proudly disdainful of Orthodox Jews and believing Christians, all the AIPAC conferences in the world won’t help us as we intermarry and assimilate ourselves out of existence.

Miriam Schulweiss

New York, NY


Hurray For Hagee (III)
   Pastor Hagee should be lauded for his speech at the recent AIPAC policy conference. His fervent support for Israel and the Jewish people is most reassuring and appreciated.
   Despite the fact that Pastor Hagee’s speech was met with an enthusiastic reception by the AIPAC membership, when he said there is “the Torah way and then the wrong way,” the remark drew only a lukewarm response from the audience. It appears Pastor Hagee was one of the few people at the conference who actually embraces the teachings of the Torah.
   It’s clear that Pastor Hagee was the shining star at the AIPAC conference. This is a man who is not afraid to intone the name of God, to boldly and courageously call the enemies of the Jewish people evil perpetrators. This is a man who embraces God’s word and reveres the Torah. The AIPAC membership and the Jewish people can learn a valuable and important lesson from him.

Fern Sidman

Brooklyn, NY


Saudi Plan Spells Israel’s Demise


   Re Caroline Glick’s March 30 column (“The Saudi Plan To Destroy Israel”):

   Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saudi al-Faisal has declared that the “Lords of War” will decide Israel’s future if Israel does not accept the Saudi proposal that Israel return to its 1967 borders and that East Jerusalem will become the capital of a Palestinian State. It is reasonable to assume that Saudi Arabia intends “1967 borders” to mean that the Golan would be returned to Syria. The Saudi also said that every Arab country will formally recognize Israel if Israel accepts his offer.
   Sixty-nine years ago (1938), Hitler uttered almost the same words when he said that unless Germany were given the Sudetenland, Europe would face war. After the Munich pact was signed, Hitler’s said there would be decades of peace. Several months later, he started World War II by attacking Poland.
   The Saudi plan will have Hizbullah in its tunnels facing Israel from Lebanon, Syria in the Golan from where it fired artillery into Israel from 1948 until 1967, and the new State of Palestine with a government controlled by Hamas which has promised to destroy Israel.
   We should remember that the Palestine Liberation Organization’s constitution calling for the destruction of Israel was created three years before Israel had the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. In addition, non-Arab Iran has publicly declared on many occasions that Israel must be destroyed.
   If any Israeli government agrees to the Saudi plan, it might as well negotiate Israel’s demise, because the implementation of the Saudi plan is tantamount to Israel’s destruction.

William K. Langfan

Palm Beach, FL


Thrilled With Glick

   I love the addition of Caroline Glick’s monthly column. I read her Jerusalem Post columns all the time, and was thrilled when she began writing columns especially for The Jewish Press. Her latest was carefully argued and, unfortunately, all too accurate in its assessment.
   One would have thought that after Oslo and the second Intifada, Jews, in Israel and elsewhere, would no longer be such suckers for Arab double talk and false promises of peace. Sadly, we are proving that the idea that Jews are smarter than other people is just a myth. For every Einstein, Freud and Salk, we have a thousand Olmerts, Beilins and Foxmans.

Paul Steinemann

(Via E-Mail)


Recognizing Mistakes
   I know it’s very difficult for both governments and people to admit they’ve made mistakes. So while a public admission by Israel that it made a mistake in Gaza is still not forthcoming, everyone now realizes that the forcible removal of thousands of Jews from Gush Katif and the four settlements in Samaria was a horrible error.
   The government itself now is trying to do things differently. The organizers of the recent march on Homesh succeeded in demonstrating to the good people of Tel Aviv, Hadera and all the areas in between how vulnerable they would be even to a non-nuclear rocket attack from Homesh – which dominates the area so completely that any rocket launching from the area could perhaps annihilate the entire coastal plain.
   Things have changed in Israel. What people could not comprehend two years ago they now seem to fully understand. There can be no peace at any price. The people of Israel are brothers. The divisions that separate us are not as important as the fact that we are all marching together in this great historical journey of the Jewish people.

   Our destiny is to be together, even if we march under our own separate banners as the Tribes of Israel did. We must never separate. We are the children of Israel and both this season of freedom and the hope of Eretz Yisrael should unite us as never before.

Toby Willig




Moment Of Silence


   I was impressed with Rabbi Shea Hecht’s article on the importance of a moment of silence being implemented in public schools (“A Silent But Effective Crimebuster,” op-ed, March 23). Aside from the halachic directive to promote fulfillment of the Seven Noahide Laws, Rabbi Hecht quotes evidence that this indeed seems to have made a difference in juvenile behavior in the states where it is mandated.
   I would like to congratulate The Jewish Press for carrying the article, and for covering this issue.

Rabbi Shmuel Lew

London, UK



Torah Without Derech Eretz


      There’s an Orthodox shul two houses from my home. When congregants enter the shul, their parked cars occasionally block access to my driveway or the driveways of my Jewish and gentile neighbors. The halachas that are trampled on by such behavior are too numerous to mention in this short letter, but here are a few that come to mind: breaking the law of the land; committing a chillul Hashem; and causing a sakanah because injury or even death can occur if someone can’t get his car out in an emergency.
      What if a driveway is that of a Hatzolah member who has to rush to an emergency, or a man who has to rush his child to the hospital, or just a person needing to drive to work to earn his parnassah? Do these congregants want to wait until someone dies before they repent?
      Additionally, the mitzvah of prayer that they are so eager to pursue is nullified, since a mitzvah cannot be obtained though an aveirah. Halachically, they would be better off if they both didn’t daven and didn’t block people’s driveways.
      When illegal parking occurs, I contact the police. I also perform the mitzvah of rebuke by telling congregants how sinful it is to illegally park their cars this way. They respond by mocking me, laughing at me, and even accusing me of not having a Jewish heart because I called the police.
      This is not just an issue between a congregant and God, it’s also an issue between people. This is not just an aveirah that can be forgiven by prayer on Kol Nidre night, as a sin against one’s fellow man must first be forgiven by the aggrieved party before it is forgiven by Hashem.

      These congregants not only lack the decency to speak up to fellow congregants to stop this illegal parking, they don’t have the fiber to defend the halacha they profess to follow.

      So what is one to do? I can only speak for myself – to stay close to Hashem I must stay away from shuls like this (which, unfortunately, are quite numerous) and from the people in them.

Harvey Bookman

Brooklyn, NY

Letters to the Editor

The Saudi Plan For Israel’s Destruction

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

      Is peace breaking out in the Middle East?


      The past week has been characterized by feverish diplomacy regarding the Arab-Israel conflict. The sheer scope of the meetings that have taken place – from the shuttle diplomacy of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, to the conference of Arab League foreign ministers in Egypt last weekend to the summit of Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday – one would think that peace is just a stone’s throw away.


      All the various meetings have centered on the so-called Arab Peace Plan, or as it is more commonly known, the Saudi initiative.


      Earlier this month Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced, “The Saudi initiative must be taken seriously,” and then claimed that it had “positive aspects.” Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni also warmly praised the plan. Rice has led the Bush administration in embracing the plan and applauding the Saudis for their “moderation” and their positive role in advancing the cause of peace in the region. In talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ghreit on Sunday, Rice went so far as to intimate that the U.S. now views the plan as the basis for peace making between Israel and the Palestinians.


      But frenetic discussions aside, there is no chance whatsoever that the Saudi initiative will bring peace to the region or end the Arab world’s conflict with Israel.


      The Saudi initiative was concocted in February 2002 as a public relations stunt on the part of then-crown prince and now King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. At the time, Saudi-U.S. relations were at an all-time low. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on September 11, 2001 were Saudi citizens and in the months following that act of war against America, the media exposed Saudi Arabia’s massive role in financing the global jihad through direct aid to terror groups and the establishment of jihadist mosques and schools from Pakistan to Peoria to Paris.


      Attempting to reassert their importance as an ally to Washington, the Saudi government wanted badly to change the subject. What better way to divert attention from their central role in the global jihad, whose forces openly called for the destruction of the U.S. and of the Western world, than by taking on the role of peacemaker in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians?


      Here too, it is important to remember the context of events.


      In February 2002, the Saudi-financed Palestinian jihad against Israel was reaching a fever pitch. Suicide bombings had become a daily occurrence. Indeed, in March 2002, some 130 Israeli citizens were murdered in terror attacks that culminated with the Passover massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya where 30 Israelis celebrating the seder were murdered by a suicide bomber.


      It was at this time that Abdullah (breaking his monarchy’s law that bars Jews from entering the kingdom) invited New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman for a visit to Riyadh. During their meeting, Abdullah suggested that were Israel to return all the land it took control over in the 1967 Six-Day War, including Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Judea, Samaria and Gaza, the Arab world would consider normalizing its relations with Israel.


      The next month, the Arab League convened in Beirut. The meeting took place the day after the Passover massacre (and on the same day that a conference of international terror chiefs was convening in the city). At the summit, the Arab heads of state made a number of changes to Abdullah’s offer to Friedman and then adopted it as the Arab peace plan.


      The plan that was announced at the time – and it has not changed in the intervening five years – involves more than Israel’s surrender of all the lands it liberated in 1967.The plan also demands that Israel accept some 4-5 million foreign-born Arabs, (otherwise known as Palestinian “refugees”) as immigrants. The Arab League’s plan stipulates that after Israel completes the withdrawals and enables these foreign, overwhelmingly hostile Arabs to immigrate, the Arab world will agree to have “regular” relations with it.


      Five years ago, Israel rejected the plan completely, and reasonably so. Far from a “peace plan,” it is a recipe for Israel’s destruction. Without the lands that the plan requires Israel to surrender to the Palestinians and the Syrians, Israel is incapable of defending itself from invasion. The Arab peace plan, in other words, requires that Israel render itself indefensible.


      Moreover, the demand that Israel allow the unimpeded immigration of millions of hostile Arabs is simply another way of saying that Israel must agree to allow itself to be overrun and so demographically destroyed.


      Finally, the plan’s statement that in response to these suicidal steps by Israel the Arab world will agree to have “regular” relations with it is itself meaningless because the term “regular” is an empty one.


      All in all, the Arab “peace” plan is nothing but a blueprint for Israel’s destruction.


      Given its content, it should surprise no one that the plan makes no mention of terrorism and places no demand on the Palestinians to end their terror war against Israel or on the Arab world to end its financial and other support for the Palestinian war.


      Then too, the plan makes no mention of holding negotiations with Israel; of ending the Arab economic boycott of Israel; or of ending the jihadist incitement that has indoctrinated the current generation of Palestinians and Muslims worldwide to seek Israel’s violent destruction.


      And the “peace” plan makes no mention of the possibility that the Arab world would recognize the Jewish people’s right to a state in the Land of Israel and thereupon open diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.


      The main question is why the Americans and Israelis are participating in this dangerous farce. As former U.S. Middle East negotiator Aaron Miller commented to The New York Times regarding Rice’s embrace of the plan, “She really has tied her personal credibility to this issue in a way that most normal political observers would say, ‘Is she nuts?


      The sanity of Rice and Olmert and Livni is not the issue. Rather, it is their strategic wisdom that seems to be sorely lacking. Perhaps they believe that if they are perceived as advancing the prospects of peace by clinging to the Arab plan for Israel’s destruction they will receive a needed, if momentary, boost in their popularity ratings. If that’s what’s moving them to act, it is a shame.


      For the simple truth is that this plan, as was the case with all the previous failed “peace” initiatives between Israel and its neighbors, places the burden for solving the Middle East’s problems on the principal victim of those problems – Israel – rather than on the Arab governments, like Saudi Arabia, that are responsible for them.


      Not only is the plan doomed to fail, it will cause the deaths of untold numbers of Israelis who will be killed because neither Rice nor Olmert nor Livni is honest enough to admit that Saudi Arabia is neither a moderate nor a peaceful nation.


      Caroline Glick is deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. Her Jewish Press-exclusive column appears the last week of each month. 

Caroline B. Glick

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/the-saudi-plan-for-israels-destruction/2007/03/28/

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