Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bereaved families united by loss want to live together

Seven members of Yad Lebanim Jerusalem submit a proposal to the Israel Lands Authority to establish a community together near Mount Herzl • "We are a support group," says Shlomo Sharon, a bereaved father. "We want to live together 24 hours a day because we have an intimate connection."
Bat-Chen Epstein Elias

A village of pain. From right: Eli Dahan, Shlomo Sharon, Moshe Mizrahi, Moshe Mamman, Ami Yifrach and Beerey Shmuel. (Missing from the picture: Yaron Baskind) 
 Photo credit: Liron Almog

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lion's Den: Trust the Palestinian Authority?

Israelis, Americans and others too often accept the dulcet tones they hear directly from the PA and dismiss reports of harsh words they only learn about second-hand.
Under Yasser Arafat, the Palestine Liberation Organization notoriously said one thing to Arab/Muslim audiences and the opposite to Israeli/Western ones, speaking venomously to the former and in dulcet tones to the latter. What about Arafat’s mild-mannered successor, Mahmoud Abbas? Did he break from this pattern of duplicity or continue it? This question has renewed relevance because reports suggest Abbas is ready to offer Israel various territorial compromises, plus he took unprecedented steps in granting an interview to Israeli journalists and meeting with American Jewish leaders at the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace.

With unprecedented specificity, the Arabic daily Al-Hayat indicates, Abbas informed the Obama administration about his willingness to reach a deal on the West Bank and even Jerusalem (although the PA immediately denied these terms).

In the interview, Abbas presented himself as genuinely intent on reaching a peace agreement and accepting the idea of international troops. An aide to Abbas characterized this effort as his “trying to reach out to the Israeli public...

we want an Israeli partner for the end game, a partner that chose peace, not settlement, peace, not occupation.” Abbas himself warned Israelis, “Don’t let me lose hope.”

Finally, a transcript of the Abraham Center meeting reveals Abbas telling his audience precisely what it wanted to hear: that he condemns violence, recognizes historic Jewish connections to the land Israel controls, accepts Israeli security concerns and promises to remove incitement from Palestinian Authority media and school materials. On the delicate issue of the Holocaust – a subject on which Abbas himself wrote a PhD “dissertation” in the USSR in which he accused Zionists of inflating the number of murdered Jews for political purposes – Abbas acknowledged that Jews had suffered and he rejected Holocaust denial.

WHAT TO make of all this? Abbas claimed that he talked to the American Jewish leaders “in the same language” that he uses to speak to the Palestinian street.


In fact, PA media churned out statements intended for the Palestinian “street” that, to put it mildly, contradicted the sweet words directed at Israelis and Americans. As news of Abbas reaching out to the other side came out, so too did reports from Palestinian Media Watch of precisely the opposite messages being conveyed to Palestinians.

For example, Palestinian Authority TV, which is directly controlled by Mahmoud Abbas’s office, offers a weekly game show, The Stars, in which representatives of Palestinian universities compete to answer questions. In a recent show, two geography questions (simplified here) implicitly denied the existence of the State of Israel.

• How long is the coastline of “Palestine”? The answer, 235 kilometers, adds Gaza’s coast (45 km.) to that of Israel’s Mediterranean coast (about 190 km.).

• How large is Palestine? The answer of 27,000 square kilometers includes the West Bank and Gaza Strip (6,000 sq. km.) with that of Israel (21,000 sq. km.).

In a parallel example of duplicity, Salam Fayyad, who calls himself the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, announced in English in Aspen, Colorado, a year ago that Jews are welcome to live in a future state of Palestine where they “will enjoy [full] rights and certainly will not enjoy any less rights than Israeli Arabs enjoy now in the State of Israel.”

Lovely words, indeed. Just days earlier, however, Saeb Erekat, head of the PA’s negotiations department, said just the opposite in Arabic (as made available by MEMRI): “Nobody should agree to Israeli settlers remaining in the Palestinian [state]... Some say that we will [be willing to] grant the settlers citizenship. We reject [this idea] out of hand.”

Abbas and Fayyad spoke in English to Americans and Israelis, Erekat spoke in Arabic to Palestinians. Both statements cannot be true; one must be a lie. Which one, I wonder? Palestinians play this transparent and simple-minded double game because it works. Israelis, Americans and others too often accept the dulcet tones they hear directly and dismiss reports of harsh words they only learn about second-hand. The PA will blithely continue to spew its lies until the world heeds and rejects, for rewarding bad behavior invariably brings on more bad behavior.

When will we stop deluding ourselves that Abbas and the PA seek anything less than the total elimination of the Jewish state? What disaster must occur before we open our eyes to reality? The writer ( is director of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.

Preparing for 3rd Intifada Disturbing book drafted by top Hamas prisoner outlines plan for future war on Israel,7340,L-3917152,00.html

Ronen Bergman

Published: 07.08.10, 17:51 / Israel News

"We must carefully examine the hostage's 'quality' – there is a difference between a married man and single man and between a father to children and a childless man. It's also important whether his parents are alive and there is a difference between Ashkenazim and Sephardim. …we saw that Ehud Goldwasser's wife managed to stir great empathy because of her status under Jewish law: A married woman whose husband is missing and whose fate is unknown….Goldwasser gained more media coverage at Eldad Regev's expensive, even though both of them were captured at the same time, because the media always looks for stories that can stir public emotions…"

The above quote is taken from a book titled "Resistance – A View from the Inside." The secret 200-page document was drafted by Mohammed Arman, a senior Hamas man jailed in Israel. The research work, referred to as "Hamas' war plan," was smuggled out of the Hadarim prison's most guarded wing and distributed among senior Hamas leaders, in order to prepare the ground for the "next phase" of Palestinian resistance.

In his document, Arman combined through analysis of terror activities in the Gaza Strip and West Bank with analysis of Israeli media's nature add Hamas' strengths and weaknesses in the West Bank. He demonstrated his arguments using hundreds of examples and quotes about issues ranging from the technology of tracking cell phones to words uttered by Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, and Ehud Barak, among others.

Hamas men preparing for war? (Photo: AFP)

Yet Arman is no military theorist. He is very much a "field activist" who was among Hamas' most active West Bank commanders until his 2002 arrest. As such, his book is written as a practical guide for field activists. The document he produced is impressive, detailed, and mostly frightening, showing deep understanding of Israeli society's nature and its leadership.

The key points and innovations in the text include the following:

Rocket fire from the West Bank – Arman calls for existing combat methods to be exported from Gaza to the West Bank, while using collaborators among Arab Israelis. "We must acquire rockets, which will be a vital means for the next stage, in order to change the rules of play in the West Bank and mostly in areas bordering on 1948 land…even one person can acquire the needed materials for a rocket without raising suspicions and at very low cost, if we provide him with information on manufacturing methods. This is the role of resistance organizations," he wrote.

Throughout the book, Arman disparages what he views as the low endurance of Israel's home front.

Will rockets reach West Bank? (Photo: Tsafrir Abayov)

"As we know, every person is scared of death, yet our enemy fears death more than anyone else…this prompts it to constantly consider abandoning the areas where rockets land," he wrote. "The occupation's political leadership can tolerate the rockets to a greater extent than civilians…many Zionists have alternate homes and passports in the countries of their origin."

Recruiting Arab Israelis – Arman devotes great attention to the role of Arab Israelis in the Palestinian struggle, with an emphasis on Jerusalem Arabs. However, he also says that the connection of Israeli Arabs to terror acts and groups should be blurred.

"The objective of the resistance within the 1948 areas and in Jerusalem is to harass the occupiers, disrupt their daily routine, and undermine their confidence," he wrote, adding that this should be done "in order to encourage migration and discourage immigration by harming the economy, scaring off wealthy individuals and cowards – without prompting international reaction that would support the occupation's acts against residents of these areas (Arab Israelis.)"

"We need those residents in the near feature, and therefore we cannot take this issue lightly and get them in trouble," he wrote. "The most effective means is popular war of road sabotage, arson, disrupting vital communications, and sowing fear among the Zionists without killing or even wounding them, with the exception of unusual cases."

The technological front – The impressive sources of information possessed by Arman include debriefings among prisoners. He notes that many terror cells were detained via the Internet.

"One activist who spoke with Gaza via a messenger program in Internet cafes was surprised when the intelligence services presented him with documentation of all the conversations he held in two months," Arman wrote. "The Internet is being monitored just like the phone, and even more thoroughly, because the intelligence services can easily gain access into any e-mail account and impersonate the other party to the conversation. Many cells were exposed that way."

Hamas fears Israel's tech whizzes (Photo: Dana Kopel)

Arman says that based on his inquiries, Israel's intelligence service are able to listen to any network, read any text message, and break into any computer or instant messaging program.

More abduction operations – Much of the text is dedicated to analyzing abductions as a means for securing the release of Palestinian prisoners. Although Arman does not mention himself and members of his cell – who are candidates for release in the Shalit deal – he notes that resolving the prisoner issue via abductions is at the top of Hamas' agenda.

In these sections Arman harshly criticizes Israeli society, yet it appears he fails to understand its nature.

"Zionist society is a society of immigrants from all over the world who do not know each other, or even themselves," he wrote. "Every Zionist only thinks of himself…the view of the average Zionist in respect to prisoner swaps has nothing to do with morality, nationalistic feelings, or humanity, but rather, is based on fear that he too may be abducted one day. So he worries about himself first. This is the Zionist mentality."

Meanwhile, Arman stresses that Gilad Shalit is an "insufficient" bargaining chip for the Palestinians: "One abduction operation isn't enough. One soldier will not secure the objective."

Another criteria provided for abduction victims is their professional background and the knowledge they possess: "The Zionist entity is characterized by frequent government changes and is full of former generals, army chiefs, scientists, nuclear facility employees…Their value is the vital information in their head; information which the enemy closely safeguards."

In respect to abductions, Arman recommends that operations be carried out in the West Bank.

Gilad's mom - more abductions in store? (Photo: Gil Yochanan)

"We should know that abductions in the West Bank will draw implications and responses that are much milder than those in Gaza, as the entire West Bank is under the occupier's security responsibility… without an excuse to utilize brutal force against West Bank residents."

Arman adds that hostages should be held in "underground hideouts, far away from homes, or at a backyard where there is no security risk whatsoever…where no neighbor is suspected as being a collaborator of the occupation."

Adopting the al-Qaeda model – Throughout the document, Arman stresses the importance of independent activity by terror cells, a modus operandi utilized successfully by al-Qaeda and Global Jihad groups for years now. He calls for access to technical information and operational instructions online for activists interested in training themselves on using improvised, easy-to-acquire weapons.

"Popular, cheap, and widely available combat means must be developed…we should avoid scientific entanglements and refrain from referring to substances by their long and odd scientific names, but rather, use the names common in Palestine," he wrote.

Arman, who refers to himself as "the engineer behind the Hebrew University operation" has been sentenced to 36 life terms over his role in the university terror attack, among others. He is considered one of the five most senior Hamas prisoners whom the group wants released in the Shalit deal.

His first book, Death Engineers, which was also smuggled out of prison, was used by his Hamas successors as a mostly technical guide for carrying out murderous terror attacks. His latest book is dedicated to formulating policy ahead of embarking on a "long-term confrontation that will turn into a war of attrition."

A senior Israeli security official said Arman's book is very disturbing because it shows deep understanding of Israeli intelligence agencies' modus operandi, as well as Israeli society at large.

"Not everything in the book is accurate. In some cases he attributes to us capabilities we do not possess, while in other cases he underestimates us," the official said. "Yet as an action plan and an outline for war, the document can certainly serve as a very dangerous platform for what may happen in the West Bank in the future, should the plan he outlined by executed."

Women and Children Die First

By Jeannie DeAngelis
American science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein once said, "Men are expendable; women and children are not. A tribe or a nation can lose a high percentage of its men and still pick up the pieces and go long as the women and children are saved."

When the Titanic sank in 1912, women on board had a 75% higher chance of survival than men, and children a 52% higher survival rate, because women and children were placed on lifeboats first. In a humane society, "women and children first" is a testimony to the bravery and chivalry of civilized men. Emphasis on the word "civilized."

For barbarians, the standard is much different. In the past few months, the world has witnessed how cultures rooted in brutal, millennia-old practices treat vulnerable women and, more tragically, innocent children

Last month, Del Awar, aged seven, was taken at dusk from the yard where he was playing. Del was found "hanging in an orchard the following day."

According to those who "saw his slight body after it was cut down ... the bruises and scratches around the young boy's neck suggested his murder had been neither quick, nor easy." As punishment for the absurd crime of supposedly being a spy for Hamid Karzai's government, the Taliban, made up of men, carried out the execution. Taliban militants stood there exacting revenge: laughing, spitting, and smoking small brown cigarettes as a 7 year-old boy, garroted with a noose, strangled to death.

Terrorist-based Islamic cultures that use women and children as human shields give new meaning to the concept of "women and children first." In Afghanistan, individuals "accused of collaboration" with the NATO forces or with the Karzai government are immediately, and without question, executed. "Schools have beenclosed or burned for being un-Islamic; schoolgirls have had acid thrown in their faces, and women have been confined to home unless accompanied by a male relative."

Reeling from the shock of the murder of a little boy in Afghanistan, the world now turns its eyes to a dank, gloomy prison in Tabriz, Iran, where an innocent woman awaits a death sentence. Islamic men grappled for a lifeboat when they strung up a tiny boy in a tree. In Iran, cowards of a similar breed prepare to mercilessly stonea "caring mother" to death.

Question: Does the Obama administration actually believe that these monstrous beasts can, or should, be reasoned with?

While a woman's life hangs in the balance, rather than condemning these ghastly acts, Obama focuses on integrating Islam and NASA. Obama's newly appointed NASA administrator Charles Bolden expressed in an Al Jazeera interview that the president feels the space program's emphasis should be on finding " a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science ... and math and engineering."

How about if America's Muslim-friendly president instead denounces Islam's barbaric practice of stoning women and hanging children?

The woman due to be executed has a name; her name is Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani. Sakineh was convicted of adultery while married in 2006, after which she received the punishment of 99 lashes. A kangaroo court, similar to the one that hung a seven-year-old boy for spying, reopened the case because the woman was then suspected of murdering her husband. Sakineh was acquitted of spousal murder.

Acquittal aside, "the adultery charge was reviewed and a death penalty handed down on the basis of 'judge's knowledge' -- a loophole that allows for subjective judicial rulings where no conclusive evidence is present." A subjective ruling without evidence is one of many shining examples of Sharia Law.

Sakineh's son, Sajjad Mohammedie Ashtiani, maintains that the woman is innocent and has been imprisoned for half a decade "for doing nothing." Initially, Sakineh was whipped for the crime of adultery. The condemned woman's son said, "Authorities asked if I wanted to wait outside." Sajjad chose to be with his mother while Sakineh's skin was sadistically and systematically peeled away from bone and muscle during a brutal, male-inflicted flogging that even strong men can't endure.

Half a decade later, young Sajjad may well witness a fate far worse than what his mother experienced five years prior at the end of a whip. If human rights organizations and the world community fail to cry out on the condemned woman's behalf, or Sajjad's pleas for pardon to supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini or Judiciary Chairman Sadegh Larijani fall on deaf ears, a desperate son may be forced to watch the woman who raised him suffer an inhumane death by stoning.

What lies ahead for Sakineh? Well, at any moment, a frightened, weary Sakineh could be dragged hysterically from her jail cell through a crowd of hostile, self-righteous men eager to witness the carnage. A hole in the ground awaits Sakineh, sort of a pre-burial burial.

Weak in the knees and trembling with fear, Sakineh will be cruelly shoved into the hole and forced to stand while dirt is slowly returned to it. The woman's frame will be trapped like an animal, her arms and legs immobilized with just her head sticking up from the hot, sandy soil.

Sajjad, weeping in horror and fear, will likely choose the difficult task of once again remaining at his mother's side. The young man will be forced to helplessly stand by as the sinful men who dug the hole eagerly jostle to "cast the first stone" at a fragile target.

The stones in the piles destined for Sakineh's head have been carefully selected to be large enough to inflict severe damage to a woman, but not so large as to instantly take her life. Stones large enough to remove her eyes, repeatedly fracture her skull, and crack her teeth, but small enough to ensure that her death is as slow and painful as the one Del Awar experienced struggling desperately for air against the rope in Sarwan Qala.

Lest the civilized world forget, the goal of terrorism is unbridled fear coupled with excruciating pain as a precursor to unhurried, agonizing death.

Shockingly, American President Barack Obama has yet to publicly condemn blatant human rights violations that are far more pressing than NASA failing to "reach out" and "engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations." While the ancient practice of stoning and hanging "women and children" continues in real time, Barack Obama places priority on elevating Islamic contributions to math, science, and engineering.

Amidst the president's endless quest to endear himself to a Muslim world, someone should pull Barack Obama aside and read to him the second half of Robert Heinlein's poignant quote: "if you fail to save the women and children, you've had it, you're done, you're through! You join Tyrannosaurus Rex, one more breed that bilged its final test."

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Page Printed from: at July 12, 2010 - 02:12:45 PM CDT

New York Times Hypes Nonstory on Nonprofits

In putting on its front-page, above the fold, and in the right-hand column, a story of almost 5000 words about contributions to US-based non-profits that focus on Israel (Tax-Exempt Funds Aid Settlements in West Bank), the New York Times sends a clear message to its readers: this is an important, major story and attention must be paid to the significant news we have uncovered.

In fact, in the article by Ethan Bronner, Jim Rutenberg and Mik McIntire, there is no news, no scoops, no revelations, few facts, and plenty of errors and omissions.

Let's start with the omissions. In a story on indirect contributions from Americans to Israeli non-profits, there is not one word about the New Israel Fund, by far the largest and most active American organization funneling American contributions to Israeli non-profits. The NIF raised almost $34 million dollars in 2008, and has given more than $200 million in grants since its inception 30 years ago. The New Israel Fund heavily subsidizes radical Israel-based organizations like Adallah, Breaking the Silence, Gisha, B'Tselem and Machsom Watch. These five organizations, together with many similar groups supported by the New Israel Fund, effectively work to undermine Israel's standing in the world and its ability to defend itself.

Yet among these literally hundreds of organizations funded by the NIF not one is mentioned.The only similar group the Times does mention is Peace Now, though it is termed an "Israeli civil and human rights group," which the paper allows might be "accused of having a blatant political agenda."

Also unmentioned by the paper is that many of the groups funded by the NIF are key sources for New York Times itself, such as Gisha, cited in the paper already seven times this year, most recently on July 5th. (According to a Nexis search, since 2006 the Times has cited Gisha a whopping 25 times.)
As CAMERA has previously documented, the Times has habitually taken a protective attitude towards many of these radical groups and their patron, The New Israel Fund. When the organizations' involvement in the notorious Goldstone Report was widely publicized in Israel in early February, 2010 the Times ignored the exposé for two months before reporting the publicity campaign as an "attack" by an "ultra-Zionist" group against "prominent human rights organizations."
In addition to this, of course, are tax deductible donations to anti-Israel organizations based outside of Israel. The Times does admit this occurs, in another unintentionally revealing paragraph:

The use of charities to promote a foreign policy goal is neither new nor unique — Americans also take tax breaks in giving to pro-Palestinian groups. But the donations to the settler movement stand out because of the centrality of the settlement issue in the current talks and the fact that Washington has consistently refused to allow Israel to spend American government aid in the settlements.

Certainly the Palestinians would agree to "the centrality of the settlement issue in the current talks," but for Israel two other issues are central: Palestinian terrorism and one of its root causes, official Palestinian hate indoctrination. So here, as in the rest of this article, and in so much of its coverage, the Times adopts the Palestinian narrative to the exclusion of the Israeli one.

Similarly, in another paragraph, the Times writes of the Israeli group HaYovel that it:

... is one of many groups in the United States using tax-exempt donations to help Jews establish permanence in the Israeli-occupied territories — effectively obstructing the creation of a Palestinian state, widely seen as a necessary condition for Middle East peace.

It may be axiomatic in some circles, such as the newsrooms and boardrooms of the New York Times, that the "creation of a Palestinian state, [is] widely seen as a necessary condition for Middle East peace." But another widely held view, consistently ignored by the Times, is that ending Palestinian terrorism and incitement to violence is a necessary condition for Middle East peace.

Of course, there are many other specific problems with the article.

Where's the beef

The Times admits, in multiple places in the article, that it actually didn't find any smoking guns that might justify the report's placement or even the decision to publish it. For example, the Times admits that:

The money goes mostly to schools, synagogues, recreation centers and the like, legitimate expenditures under the tax law. But it has also paid for more legally questionable commodities: housing as well as guard dogs, bulletproof vests, rifle scopes and vehicles to secure outposts deep in occupied areas.

Schools, synagogues and recreation centers, of course, would cost far more than a few guard dogs and bulletproof vests. So what the Timeshas found is that most of the money is spent in accord with our tax laws. Where is the story?

The use of charities to promote a foreign policy goal is neither new nor unique — Americans also take tax breaks in giving to pro-Palestinian groups.

Again, then, where is the story?

Most contributions go to large, established settlements close to the boundary with Israel that would very likely be annexed in any peace deal, in exchange for land elsewhere.

So why the front page story?

As the American government seeks to end the four-decade Jewish settlement enterprise and foster a Palestinian state in the West Bank, the American Treasury helps sustain the settlements through tax breaks on donations to support them...

[In the United States] ... the tax code encourages citizens to support nonprofit groups that may diverge from official policy, as long as their missions are educational, religious or charitable.

So why the front page story? Does the Times really not realize the contradition in these two sentences?

The Times’s review of pro-settler groups suggests that most generally live within the rules of the American tax code.

So why the front page story? Because there may be a few that don’t?

Errors and Misstatements

Since the premise of the article is based on a strict reading of US tax laws, it is disconcerting that the Times makes a number of material errors regarding those laws.

For example, the Times claims that:

American tax rules prohibit the use of charitable funds for political purposes at home or abroad.

This is not true. Charitable funds can legally be used for certain political purposes. The League of Women Voters, for example, routinely sponsors debates and candidate nights during the campaign season. This is not a violation of the US tax code, nor is putting out voter guides detailing the candidates’ positions on issues of concern to particular groups or the entire community. Nor are educational issue advertisements published by non-profits a violation of the tax code, as long as they don’t endorse a particular position or candidate.

Interestingly enough, the Times quotes in the story a nonprofit tax law expert, Bruce Hopkins, who is indeed a leading specialist on the subject of nonprofit law. (Full disclosure – CAMERA has in the past gotten paid legal advice in the area of nonprofit law from Mr. Hopkins.)

But the Times perhaps didn’t ask him the right questions, since one of his major works is entitled Charity, Advocacy and the Law, with the subtitle How Nonprofit Organizations Can Use Charitable Dollars to Affect Public Policy – Lawfully. The book outlines in great detail why and how what the Times claims to be illegal is, in fact, perfectly legal.

Another false Times claim is that:

Americans cannot claim deductions for direct donations to foreign charities; tax laws allow deductions for domestic giving on the theory that charities ultimately ease pressure on government spending for social programs.

In fact, the US has tax treaties with many countries, including Israel, that permit exactly this, assuming the money was earned in the foreign country. For example, if a US citizen owns an apartment in Israel and rents it out, the money earned can be used for charitable giving in Israel and that will reduce his adjusted US income and taxes.

The Times was also inaccurate in its claim that:

... Israeli-American relations plunged after Israel announced plans for 1,600 new apartments for Jews in East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as their future capital.

As reported in Ha'aretz, the announcement of plans to build the 1600 apartments had been made a year earlier. What was announced during the visit of VP Joe Biden in March was approval of the building plans by the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee, one of many such official bodies that must approve the project before building can commence.

The Times, in charging that certain charities did not accurately describe their activities, also misled readers. For example, in recounting a statement by a spokesman for the group Ateret Cohanim, the Times wrote:

Mr. Hoenig said that Ateret Cohanim bought a couple of buildings years ago, but that mostly it helps arrange purchases by other Jewish investors. That is not mentioned, however, on its American affiliate’s tax returns. Rather, they describe its primary charitable purpose as financing “higher educational institutions in Israel,” as well as children’s camps, help for needy families and security for Jews living in East Jerusalem.

Indeed, it does all those things. It houses yeshiva students and teachers in properties it helps acquire and places kindergartens and study institutes into other buildings, all of which helps its activities qualify as educational or religious for tax purposes.

But the Friends of Ateret Cohanim IRS return actually describes the group’s mission as:

Provide financial support and other assistance to the Ateret Cohanim institutions and community in Jerusalem, Israel.

This description certainly would not rule out advising what properties its supporters should privately buy, and in any event, if such activities are a small portion of what Ateret Cohanim does, then it would not qualify as sufficiently important to report to the IRS. As the Times should have noticed, the relevant form asks for details of “the exempt purpose achievements for each of the organization’s three largest program services by expenses.” Offering advice to prospective property buyers would hardly seem to qualify.

The bottom line is that the Times put on its front page, above the fold, in the right-hand column, a non-story containing no news, few facts and much misinformation. With the Israeli Prime Minister meeting President Obama that afternoon, and given the chance to bash Israel, how could the Times resist? The answer is they couldn't.

PA's Abbas: "If you [Arab states] want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor."

July 8, 2010
Press Release
Contact: Morton A. Klein
Phone 1: 212-481-1500

All ties to PA should end unless retraction is issued

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is calling for a complete cut of ties and financial aid to Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) following Abbas’ remarks to a meeting of Arab writers and journalists in Jordan that he and the PA would be “in favor” of a general Arab war with Israel, were one possible. Abbas was reported in the official PA daily, Al Hayat Al-Jadida as saying, “We are unable to confront Israel militarily, and this point was discussed at the Arab League Summit in March in Sirt (Libya). There I turned to the Arab States and I said: ‘If you want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor’” (Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, ‘Mahmoud Abbas: “If all of you [Arab States] will fight Israel, we are in favor,”‘ Palestinian Media Watch, July 7, 2010). The ZOA is calling for an end to all ties and aid to the PA unless Abbas issues a retraction and apology.

Other anti-peace statements by Mahmoud Abbas:

· On recognizing Israel: “It is not required of Hamas, or of Fatah, or of the Popular Front to recognize Israel” (Al-Arabiya [Dubai] and PA TV, October 3, 2006, Itamar Marcus & Barbara Crook, ‘Abbas dupes US: “Recognition” is functional, not inherent,’ Palestinian Media Watch, October 5, 2006); “I say this clearly: I do not accept the Jewish State, call it what you will.” (Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, ‘Mahmoud Abbas: “I do not accept the Jewish State, call it what you will,”‘ Palestinian Media Watch, April 28, 2009).

  • Fighting Israel: “We have a legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation … Our rifles, all our rifles are aimed at The Occupation” (Khaled Abu Toameh, ‘Abbas: Aim guns against occupation,’ Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2007; Independent Media & Review Analysis, January 12, 2007).
  • On Jews: “The sons of Israel are corrupting humanity on earth” (World Net Daily, January 11, 2007).
  • On Israel: “the Zionist enemy” (Associated Press, January 4, 2005;, January 7, 2005).
  • On suicide bombers and other terrorists: “Allah loves the martyr” (Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2005); “Our latest Shahids (Martyrs) are the six who were killed in cold blood by Israeli forces in Nablus [terrorists who killed Rabbi Avshalom Meir Hai] and in Gaza [terrorists carrying explosives and a ladder near Israel’s border fence]” (PA TV (Fatah), Dec. 31, 2009, Itamar Marcus & Nan Jacques Zilberdik, ‘Abbas glorifies recent murderers,’ Palestinian Media Watch, January 5, 2010).
  • On wanted Palestinian terrorists: “heroes fighting for freedom” (Ed O’Loughlin, ‘Abbas courts Gaza militants for votes,’ Age [Melbourne], January 3, 2005); “Israel calls them murderers, we call them strugglers” (Jerusalem Post, December 25, 2004).
  • On Palestinian terrorist leaders Yasser Arafat, Hamas’ Ahmad Yasin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Fathi Shikaki: “martyrs” (Palestinian Media Center, September 14, 2005); “The ways of the shahids [martyrs] Arafat, Abu Jihad [Khalil Ibrahim al-Wazir], George Habash and even Sheikh Ahmed Yassin – are the ways we recognize. These are the ways in which we are meant to preserve the national interests of the Palestinian people” (Khaled Abu Toameh, ‘Abbas proposes referendum to Hamas,’ Jerusalem Post, November 11, 2008).

· On Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine founder and leader George Habash: “The death of this historic leader is a great loss for the Palestinian cause and for the Palestinian people for whom he fought for 60 years”(‘PFLP founder George Habash mourned as “historic leader for Palestinians”‘,’ Daily Star [Beirut], January 28, 2008).

· On Hamas: “We must unite the Hamas and Fatah blood in the struggle against Israel as we did at the beginning of the intifada. We want a political partnership with Hamas” (Jerusalem Post, February 5, 2007).

· On Yasser Arafat: “It is our duty to implement the principles of Yasser Arafat” (Haaretz, January 3, 2005); “We will continue in the path of the late president until we fulfill all his dreams” (Agence France-Presse, November 11, 2005); “The Palestinian leadership won’t stray from Arafat’s path” (Yediot Ahronot, November 11, 2006).

· On Fatah’s pioneering role in terrorism: “I had the honor of firing the first shot in 1965 and of being the one who taught resistance to many in the region and around the world; what it’s like; when it is effective and when it isn’t effective; its uses, and what serious, authentic and influential resistance is … We [Fatah] had the honor of leading the resistance and we taught resistance to everyone, including Hizbullah, who trained in our military camps” (‘Abbas: Armed ‘resistance’ not ruled out,’ Jerusalem Post, February 28, 2008).

· On the so-called ‘right of return’ of Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants which, if implemented would end Israel as a Jewish state:The issue of the refugees is non-negotiable … We … reject any attempt to resettle the refugees in other countries” (Khaled Abu Toameh, ‘Abbas: Aim guns against occupation,’ Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2007); “We will not give up the right of return” (Ali Waked, ‘Abbas: We won’t waive right of return,’ Yediot Ahronot, July 12, 2009).

  • On the Lebanese terrorist group Hizballah: A source of pride and sets an example for the “Arab resistance” (Jerusalem Post, August 6, 2006).
  • On Saddam Hussein:Saddam Hussein has entered history as a symbol of Pan-Arab nationalism” (Independent Media Review and Analysis, December 31, 2006).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “This latest scandalous statement by Mahmoud Abbas, favoring an all-out war against the Jewish state of Israel tops the astonishing list of his extreme, anti-peace, pro-terror statements reproduced above. Abbas has openly said that if only the Arabs could concert their action to wage war on Israel, he would be absolutely in favor of that. In other words, all Palestinian talk about peace is a sham. He neither wants peace nor works for it. He simply wants to obtain from Israel through negotiations – because he can’t wage a successful war to destroy Israel – what he cannot obtain through war, without making peace.

“It is highly significant that Abbas said this publicly, even in Arabic. Abbas knew that this statement, like other anti-peace statements he has made, would be eventually picked up, translated and become more widely known. But he doesn’t care. He knows from experience that no-one will hold him to account, that no one will take note and alter their policy towards him. He knows he will pay no price. He can speak the ugly, vicious truth about Palestinian and Arab aims, knowing there will be no consequences. This underscores the complete fraudulence of the PA and the so-called peace process President Obama is keen to revive.

“Now that Abbas’ war-like and extreme words have been revealed for an English-speaking audience, it is important not to allow mealy-mouthed, sweet-talking Palestinian apologists to try and spin Abbas’ words as having been ‘misinterpreted’ or not having their actual, plain meaning which, to repeat, is this – the PA is negotiating, but only because the Arab world fails to unite and wage war on Israel to eliminate it.

“The only thing Abbas is lamenting here is the weakness of the Palestinian/Arab side. Were Palestinians stronger and able to destroy Israel, they would do so without further discussion, negotiation or hesitation. These are the words of an Palestinian Arab supremacist war-monger – not of a Palestinian peace maker.

“The ZOA calls on the Obama Administration and the Netanyahu government, urging them that neither America nor Israel should negotiate further nor aid in any way Abbas and the PA unless an apology and retraction are issued. Further ties and aid should be conditional upon the PA instituting sweeping, genuine reform to Palestinian aims and society – most importantly, true acceptance of Israel; the arresting of terrorists and dismantling of their networks; and an end to the incitement to hatred and murder within the PA that feeds war and bloodshed

US Vice Admiral on Security Needs of Israel's International Airport