|All Rise For Her Ethicalness|
|By Peter Hannaford|
|Published 11/22/2006 12:06:49 AM|
‘More of the same’ expected in Gaza
Ministers participating in the meeting said the ideas raised in the meeting were “more of the same,” Israel Radio reported.
The security cabinet instructed the IDF to draw up plans for a large-scale operation in Gaza and present it for approval at a future date.
“If a rocket falls in a school or a residential neighborhood, we have to respond in kind,” he said.
Fearing a further escalation in Kassam rocket fire, the defense establishment has begun putting the finishing touches on plans to launch a massive Defensive Shield-like operation into the Gaza Strip.
Doubtful that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will succeed in convincing terror factions to accept a cease-fire, defense officials are seriously considering reoccupying the Gaza Strip in an effort to stop Kassam rocket attacks. “We are not left with many options,” a high-ranking defense official told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. “What we know can work at stopping the Kassams is a major operation and the reoccupation of the Gaza Strip.”
The plans that have been drawn up for the major operation in the Gaza Strip include the calling up of reserve units, as well as the possibility of implementing military rule of law in the Palestinian territory.
Before the meeting, officials in the Prime Minister’s Office said the two main issues on the agenda would be the firing of Kassam rockets from the Gaza Strip and the arms smuggling and buildup of terrorist infrastructure inside the region.
While Olmert and Vice Premier Shimon Peres have come out in recent days against a widespread military action in Gaza, other voices in the security cabinet – foremost those of ministers Avigdor Lieberman and Avi Dichter – have called for more aggressive action.
At Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, the ministers also heard assessments of the affect of Tuesday’s assassination in Beirut of Pierre Gemayel on Lebanon and Syria.
Olmert, in the wake of the assassination, spoke Tuesday with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and expressed his hope that the assassination would not destabilize the region. Olmert’s office announced that he would meet Prodi in Rome on December 13.
Olmert told Prodi that “there is progress in contacts” with Abbas, and that European initiatives – such as the one that Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Spain, France and Italy would sponsor – only made things more difficult.
Regarding the contacts with Abbas, Olmert’s chief of staff Yoram Turbowicz and his foreign policy adviser Shalom Turgeman was scheduled to meet Wednesday with Abbas confidants Sa’eb Erekat and Rafik Husseini.
The meeting comes three days after Peretz infuriated Olmert and set off a political maelstrom by independently talking with Abbas about a cease-fire. Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office said Wednesday’s talks between the Israeli and Palestinian officials would likely focus on trying to set up a meeting between Olmert and Abbas.
While Olmert has said he was interested in meeting Abbas at the earliest opportunity, his office said Abbas was conditioning such a meeting on the release of Palestinian prisoners, something Olmert has made clear would not be done until kidnapped Cpl. Gilad Shalit was released. While a possible cease-fire was also likely to be discussed, there is a great deal of skepticism in the security establishment about whether Abbas can impose a cease-fire.
Turbowicz and Turgeman have met Husseini and Erekat a number of times in the past, and Olmert and Abbas’s offices continue to maintain regular contact.
YouTube, MySpace and jihad
Via our frequent contributor Noel Sheppard writing on Newsbusters, we learn that YouTube and MySpace are being used to recruit and train jihadis.
First Coast News in Jacksonville, Florida, did a fabulous piece Tuesday on how terrorists are using websites like YouTube and MySpace to recruit, train, and send messages to their cadre (hat tip to our friend Joe Myers). Some of the transcript was posted at FirstCoastNews.com, and the absolutely must-see video is here:
It’s a video showing a room full of children sharing their dreams. They are not excited about being doctors, lawyers or teachers. Instead, the children shout, “We are the nation of Hezbollah. I shall sacrifice my life for Allah.”
A group of children in training to be a mujahideen, or holy warrior.
Online there are videos of those warriors. One suicide bomber announces he is readying himself to blow up a group of American soldiers.
The parent companies News Corp. and Google must now be aware of this. We await news of their response.
Thomas Lifson 11 22 06
Where did Nabeel Ahmed Issa al-Jaourah get that idea? Could it be from Qur’an passages such as 9:111, which guarantees Paradise to those who kill for Allah? It says: “Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain”? And there are many more where that one came from. We are always told these passages do not mean what they clearly do mean, and that no Muslims take them literally, and yet again and again we see that they do.
“Jordanian: British are enemies of Islam,” by Shafika Mattar for AP, with thanks to DP:
AMMAN, Jordan — A Jordanian accused of opening fire on Western tourists in Amman’s Roman amphitheater, killing a Briton and wounding six others, insisted in court Wednesday that God “blessed” him for the attack and said the British are enemies of Islam.Prosecutors say Nabeel Ahmed Issa al-Jaourah fired a pistol at Westerners visiting the historic site in September, killing British accountant Christopher Stokes. Five other tourists from Australia, Britain, the Netherlands and New Zealand were wounded, along with a Jordanian police officer.
“God blessed me when I killed a British man and hurt others, because they are fighting the Prophet and his soldiers since (the) Balfour Declaration,” al-Jaourah told the military court. In the 1917 document, the British government promised to support the creation of Israel.
“The British people … insulted the honorable Quran and women who wear the head cover,” said al-Jaourah, who is a Jordanian citizen of Palestinian origin. He was apparently referring to comments by British House of Commons leader Jack Straw, who said in October that face-covering Muslim veils inhibit communication.
Al-Jaourah has pleaded innocent to murder charges. But after his comments, the prosecutor said he had confessed and urged the court “to hand him the harshest punishment.”
Al-Jaourah faces a possible sentence of death by hanging if convicted. The trial resumes in a week.
The Sept. 4 shooting was a rare attack on tourists in Jordan. Prosecutors have said al-Jaourah acted alone and had no links to terrorist groups….
In a separate case Wednesday, Jordan’s military court sentenced two Jordanians of Palestinian origin to 10 years in prison for trying to infiltrate Israel with automatic weapons to carry out attacks.
Another defendant in the case, Osama Taleb al-Mahdawi, 25, from the West Bank town of Tulkarem, was sentenced to a year in prison, and two other defendants were acquitted. The five defendants, arrested Jan. 8, lived in the northern refugee camp of Irbid.
After the judge read the verdict, the militants shouted, “God is great,” knelt on the floor, and started to pray.
In another trial, an Iraqi accused of being a member of al-Qaida in Iraq railed at the presiding judge, praised Osama Bin Laden and called Jordan’s King Abdullah II an infidel.
“Jordan is one of the bases for the American attacks on Iraq and trains the Iraqi police who, with the Shiites, want to destroy Iraq,” Ziad Khalaf Raja al-Karbouly said. “I accuse all the rulers of this era of being infidels, including (King) Abdullah bin al-Hussein.”
He told the court that he is “proud of being a member of al-Qaida and a soldier for Osama Bin Laden,” adding that, “We in al-Qaida, will continue our holy war and our reward will be the dear virgins of heaven.”
Good luck with that, Ziad.
Wal-Mart relents, boycott called off
Family advocates claim victory as retailer says
it won’t give to controversial issues like ‘gays’
By Bob Unruh
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
The American Family Association is dropping its planned boycott of Wal-Mart for Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, after the corporation said it would clean up its corporate relationships.
“Respect for the individual is one of the core values that have made us into the company we are today. We take pride in the fact that we treat every customer, every supplier and every member of our individual communities fairly and equally,” the company said in a statement on its Wal-Mart Facts website late today.
“Wal-Mart will not make corporate contributions to support or oppose highly controversial issues unless they directly relate to our ability to serve our customers,” the company said.
The AFA immediately suggested to its constituents, who had been asked to boycott the retailer on what often is the single-most important day for retailers in their fiscal year, that they send the company a ‘Thank you.’
“You have made a difference!” the AFA said. “(We) are pleased with this announcement.”
The family-friendly association, along with other groups, had launched the protest campaign because of Wal-Mart’s new affiliation with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and several other actions families viewed as less-than-friendly.
“Wal-Mart does not have a position on same sex marriage and we do not give preference to gay or lesbian suppliers. Wal-Mart does have a strong commitment to diversity among our associates and against discrimination everywhere,” the company said.
“We are working hard to make our corporate contributions reflect the values of our customers, communities, and associates. As Sam Walton said, ‘Each Wal-Mart store should reflect the values of its customers and support the vision they hold for their community,” the company statement said.
AFA officials said because of the company’s announcement, they would no longer encourage people to not shop at Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club Friday and Saturday. Those days immediately after Thanksgiving often mean the difference between a good year or bad for a retailer.
“We believe that Wal-Mart will remain neutral in cultural battles,” the AFA statement said.
The association, as WND reported, was among the first of several to issue calls intended to get the attention of the retail chain.
Just in the past few days, another group decided to launching an “information explosion” intended to tell the tens of millions of customers at Wal-Mart Friday that some of their dollars will be going to support a group that works to discriminate against Christians with “hate crimes” legislation and wants marriage expanded to involve same-sex couples.
“We’re out to help an old friend. Wal-Mart has been a friend of ours for a long, long time,” said Flip Benham, the director of Operation Save America who is working to help coordinate the new efforts by the www.SaveWalMart.com outreach.
The AFA had said its boycott effort was to wake Wal-Mart up.
“Wal-Mart should remember that the majority of people in this country do not support things like same-sex marriage, and don’t want the company giving money to groups that do support it,” American Family Association Chairman Donald E. Wildmon said earlier. “Shopping at retailers other than Wal-Mart might remind the company of that fact.”
The SaveWalMart.com plan was launched with a different agenda. It is to approach customers directly, to let them know about the company’s moral agenda, and to bring people together in a series of events that will convince the company to return to the values of founder Sam Walton.
Those were described in a recent WND column by Pat Boone, who knew Walton personally.
In his commentary, Boone told how he met with Walton, and at Walton’s request offered ideas on how to feature gospel music in his stores.
“Already at more than 4,000 stores, his music department offered most everything, and he was personally concerned that some of it was anything but family friendly. Increasingly, he would be informed by customers that a number of albums contained profanity, strong and explicit sexual material, angry and violent imagery, all kinds of stuff he didn’t want to sell anybody – but he didn’t know what to do about it, since neither he nor his employees had time to listen to all the records the national distributors would place in his racks,” Boone wrote.
He than told Walton about the Parents Music Resource Committee, which checked lyric contents and lobbied to have recording companies print the lyrics on the outside of the records or put advisories on the packaging.
Walton loved it, Boone reported. “It was responsible; it was family friendly. It was right – simply the right thing to do.”
“We are not protesting. We are proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ,” says the SaveWalMart organization website about Friday’s plans.
The plans are to have people choose the Wal-Mart nearest either their home or church on Friday, and be there all day to hand out information about the developments involving the company.
“If you have a portable sound system, let the preacher boys proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ on it! We are a Gospel people! As always, we are going out because we love Wal-Mart and want to see the corporation turn back to the Christian ethic of its founder, Sam Walton,” the website instructs.
Benham said so far there are plans to demonstrate against the “satan-inspired” agenda at “hundreds” of the stores across the nation. He said it is “foolish” for a company even such as Wal-Mart to drive away an entire classification of customers.
However, he said it’s a situation almost like blackmail or extortion. He called it “demonic” for its reach well beyond what logic could allow.
In one city, for example, Benham’s workers offered a regional newspaper nearly $17,000 for an ad about its campaign, nearly double the routine $8,500 for such an ad, he said. The newspaper turned down the ad, which included statements such as, “God blessed Wal-Mart because founder Sam Walton chose to honor Jesus Christ and run his business according to biblical principles!”
The ad, which also has been prepared as a handout for people to give away on Friday, also said customers should “ask your local Wal-Mart Store Manager” about the changing moral values, and either call Wal-Mart or e-mail the company about the concerns.
“Wal-Mart is changing! It is departing from the rock from which it was hewn. The faith and love for Jesus Christ and His Word by Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, is being trashed before our very eyes,” the ad says.
The facts it cites are basic. Wal-Mart recently joined the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, contributing at least $25,000 to the cause with promises to sponsor various homosexual events.
Benham told WND that the information campaign was a beginning.
“Our hope is that thousands and thousands and thousands of people will be put on notice as to what is happening in Wal-Mart,” he said.
Boone noted that he was shocked when the company agreed to donate a percentage of its online sales directly to a Washington, D.C., community for homosexuals.
“The man I knew was a conscientious deacon at the Methodist church, and his own family are wonderful people, still honoring their mom, Helen,” Boone wrote. “He was a rock ribbed ‘traditional values’ guy…”
“The devil is forcing our schools, businesses, government, and churches to honor those things which are an abomination to God. Christians must take a stand! It’s time for our theology to become biography in the streets! It’s time for us to come out of the closet!” the information campaign website says.
“We are not a protest. We are a proclamation that Jesus Christ is Lord! Wal-Mart can be saved and so can America. It begins with God’s Church!” the website said.
Wal-Mart, after confirming to WND that it did establish a relationship with the homosexual business group, has been focusing on “diversity” in responses to people concerned about the company’s moral drift.
To Pastor Rick Barnard’s note that he couldn’t support such a company, Wal-Mart said, “Working with the NGLCC, as we do with other minority enterprise leaders, is our way to help educate corporate America and the public as to the economic benefits of a diverse workplace and the power of creating mutually beneficial relationships with the LGBT and the LGBT-friendly business community.”
Florida customer Lawrence Reves said he supported Wal-Mart “when the Democrats targeted you, but THIS is something I can not consciously continue to do.”
“Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.’s commitment to nondiscrimination underscores our understanding of and appreciation for diversity, as well as the growth and influence of emerging consumer markets in the United States, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community,”‘ the company responded.
“American businesses … are being blackmailed by the devil himself. They are being forced by the ‘politically correct’ dogma (abortion, homosexuality, etc) of our day to accept his terms. If one chooses to defy this dogma, he will be forever branded as a right-wing, bigoted fascist, bent on forcing his own religion (Christianity) down everyone else’s throat. If the Church or any business will not accept these terms, or truly honors God, there will be hell to pay!” said the SaveWalMart site. “Now Satan has Wal-Mart in his line of fire!”
The company also recently offered for sale online a book promoting lesbian sex to girls still young enough to be playing with Barbies, and as WND reported, pulled it when the offering was publicized.
Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., said the problem is that the homosexual business group isn’t just that. While the NGLCC “professes to promote the ‘interests of the LGBT business community,’ this is not all they have done,” he said.
He said the group recently described efforts to defend traditional marriage as an attempt to “write discrimination into the Constitution …” and it has advocated attaching a pro-homosexual “hate crimes” amendment to legislation intended to protect children from violent sex offenders.
AFA boycotts in the past have proven effective, even though the organization doesn’t take credit for all of the impacts. An example is the Ford Motor Company which more than a year ago embraced the “gay” community in its advertising and programs.
The AFA and dozens of other Christian groups joined in a boycott, and since then Ford has lost hundreds of millions of dollars, laid off tens of thousands of workers and is trying to regroup and stabilize.
UN Envoy Shrugs Off Rocket Attacks on Israel
By Julie Stahl
CNSNews.com Jerusalem Bureau Chief
November 21, 2006
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) – The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights got a firsthand look at life in an Israeli city under siege on Tuesday when Palestinians launched Kassam rockets at the city of Sderot while Louise Arbour was visiting there.
But an Israeli official said Arbour’s reaction to the attack was “extremely disturbing.”
U.N. spokesman in Jerusalem Christopher Gunnes said Arbour had just arrived in Sderot, which has been under daily rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip, when two Kassam rockets hit the city.
A rocket — one of five launched at Israel Tuesday morning — hit a frozen chicken packing plant, critically injuring one man.
Arbour visited the site of the attack and expressed shock, said Gunnes. But Arbour’s position is that “Kassam rockets are illegal because they are too inaccurate to distinguish between combatants and civilians,” Gunnes said by telephone.
According to Gunnes, Arbour’s view is that since the beginning of July, nearly 400 Palestinians have been killed and only four Israelis — so “the Israeli army [is acting] with almost total impunity.”
The Israeli government had no official response to Arbour’s comments, but one Israeli official told Cybercast News Service that Arbour’s reaction while standing in a place that was being targeted by Palestinian rockets was “extremely disturbing.”
She “wholeheartedly” expressed her sympathy about the death of Palestinians in an unintentional Israeli attack but did not even find it in her heart to express the same for Israeli civilians who are being targeted by Palestinians, said the official, who asked not to be named.
Arbour’s spokesman Jose Diaz said that Israel has the responsibility to protect its citizens but must do so “within the human rights and humanitarian law.”
The Israeli official said that Arbour’s comments sounded as if she were encouraging the rocket fire to continue — as long as Palestinian militants could manage to hit military targets. “It’s very unbalanced,” the official said.
Arbour, a former Canadian Supreme Court Justice and prosecutor for war crimes trials in Rwanda and Yugoslavia, is on a five-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.
She also visited Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, where a home was hit by errant Israeli artillery fire.
The newly formed Human Rights Council met last week and condemned Israel for the third time since it was newly revamped five months ago. Israel has long complained of unfair treatment at the hands of U.N. bodies.
The U.N. General Assembly on Friday passed a resolution condemning Israel and calling for an international investigation into the incident in Beit Hanoun several weeks ago when Israeli artillery shells — aiming at rocket launching sites — instead hit a residential area. The unintended attack on civilians killed 18 Palestinians, mostly women and children. Israel blamed the mishap on a technical failure.
Meanwhile, Hamas threatened on Tuesday to continue to launch rockets at Sderot until all its residents have fled.
Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida, said there was no limit to the firing of rockets, as Hamas would prove this in the coming days. Abu Obeida advised the residents of Sderot to leave even though the Israeli government is trying to convince them that it can stop the daily attacks from Gaza. “But we say we will continue to launch rockets,” radio reports quoted Abu Obeida as saying.
Israeli special forces and armored vehicles pushed deep into Gaza City overnight in an operation that was intended to arrest a Hamas militant, the Israeli army said.
A top Hamas local commander was shot and killed when exchanges of fire erupted between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen.