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."

Author's content:

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

Detroit - US Muslim Capital - Mourns Fadlallah, 'A Man of Peace

Detroit - US Muslim Capital - Mourns Fadlallah, 'A Man of Peace'

Tammuz 29, 5770, 11 July 10 04:31
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu


Muslims in Detroit and adjacent Dearborn, Michigan, which is considered the “Islamic capital” of the United States, have mourned Hizbullah spiritual leader Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah for six days and nights, since early last week.

One-third of the population of Dearborn is estimated to be Muslim, the largest proportion of Muslims in a city of its size outside of the Middle East. Although New York and California both host more Muslims, Michigan has the highest concentration of Muslims in the United States.

Fadlallah, 74, was considered a Muslim scholar, known for opposing "honor killings" of women, as well as promoting suicide attacks against Israelis as part of the Hizbullah “resistance.” He also mocked the Holocaust. The United States listed him as a supporter of terrorism and accused him of having given his blessings for the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine corps barracks in Beirut, where 241 soldiers were killed.

Imam Mohammed Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights eulogized Fadlallah as a "man of peace, man of justice ... a man of anti-terrorism and anti-violence."

A joint memorial service on Sunday in Dearborn Heights was scheduled to feature Lebanon’s Ambassador to the United States, Antoine Chedid.

Muslim sources in the United States tried to show that he was against terrorism, noting that he condemned suicide attacks against civilians such as the Moscow subway bombings. No mention was made of his stated policy urging suicide attacks against Israeli civilians.

"His passing away affected literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people across the globe; his passing is the reason why people were sad, and I was among them of course, because of the great things he did to communities and his great knowledge and understanding with his moderate views on certain issues," said Imam Mustapha El-Turk of the Islamic Organization of North America in Warren, Michigan.

Local Muslims tried to stage an anti-terrorist protest earlier this year as a court hearing took place for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Muslim terrorist accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound plane.

"This is people from all over southeast Michigan coming together and saying we're against terrorism. Our message is going to be louder than the message the terrorists have sent. The masses will be speaking," Majed Moughni said before the demonstration.

Twelve people showed up, according to The New York Times.

ABC News roundtable on Netanyahu - Obama The guests on ABC News' roundtable on ABC This Week on Sunday were George Will, Ruth Marcus, Reihan Salam and

Isn't George Will great? (For that matter, I thought the rest of them were spot-on about Israel too).

Lawyers From 60 Countries To Sue Israel

JAKARTA, July 12 (Bernama) -- Lawyers from 60 countries, including Indonesia, will gather in Istanbul, Turkey, from July 15-16, to prepare a legal suit against Israel for its attack on the Gaza-bound humanitarian flotilla on May 31, Antara news agency reported.

"There are a number of lawyers from 60 countries who will take legal steps to sue the attackers of Mavi Marmara," Mahendradatta, patron chief of the Indonesian Muslims' Lawyer Team (TPM) said here, Monday.

Mahendradatta said he would represent six Indonesians who became victims of the Israeli soldiers' attack, where two Indonesians namely Surya Fachrizal and Oktavianto were injured.

The lawyers, among others from Turkey, Britain and other European countries, will sue Israel in international legal forum as well as bilateral forums.

TPM, he said would consistently fight the Israeli arrogance.

Meanwhile, Jose Rizal Jurnalis, presidium chairman of MER-C (Medical Emergency Rescue - Committee) Indonesia hoped that the legal suit against Israel could be brought to the International Criminal Court (ICC).


Deja vu all over again on the 'Palestinians' Here's former Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Gillerman on Fox News in the US talking about the 'Pales

Israel Video & Transcript: Netanyahu on CNN’s Larry King

CNN’s Larry King interviewed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about issues such as Palestine, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and relations with Washington.

Beyond his main theme of the “need to bolster Israel’s security” vis-a-vis Iran’s potential nuclear threat and its “terrorist proxies” in Lebanon and Gaza, Netanyahu — following the political gifts he was given by the White House — called on Ramallah to sit in direct negotiations if they want any further steps on the status of Israel’s West Bank settlements. So, there will be no extension of the current moratorium on construction when it expires in late September.

The five parts of the 40-minute video are placed amidst the transcript:

US-Israel Video: Obama “The Problem For Some Might Be My Middle Name”
Middle East Inside Line: US Secretly Pledges Sale of Nuclear Technology to Israel (Ha’aretz)
Israel-US Analysis: Netanyahu Wins — 1, 2, 3, 4 Times — in Talks With Obama (Yenidunya)

LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, a prime-time exclusive. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Palestinians.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER, ISRAEL: I think it requires courage on the Palestinian side to say, hey, it’s over, no more war, no more bloodshed, we’re going to make a genuine peace with Israel.

KING: Peace talks.

NETANYAHU: President Abbas, the Palestinian president, meet me and let’s talk peace.

KING: And Israel’s bond with the United States.

NETANYAHU: We have both common values and unfortunately common enemies.

KING: Was his meeting with President Obama a turning point finally marking a thaw in an icy relationship? Benjamin Netanyahu for the hour is next on “Larry King Live.”


KING: We only go back — well, almost 30 years. B.B., that’s his nickname, but I have to refer to him as Prime Minister Netanyahu because that’s formality here. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister in New York, a city he knows very well, used to be ambassador to the U.N. Let’s get right to it. It’s good seeing you again, by the way.

NETANYAHU: Good to see you, Larry. You didn’t have to reveal how far back we go together.

KING: That’s right, you got a point. A few months ago, you went to the White House. It didn’t go too well. What changed yesterday?

>NETANYAHU: I think there’s an underlying relationship there that people don’t appreciate. We have our ups and downs. People focus on the downs and the downs are exaggerated and sometimes distorted. But there is ups and there’s a basic bedrock of identification, common values between Israel and the United States. The president gives it expression. I give it expression. And yesterday’s meeting gave it expression. I think there is a solidity of ties between Israel and the United States that the president of the United States and the prime minister of Israel reflect in their meeting

KING: No matter who holds the posts?

NETANYAHU: I think every prime minister, every president, has his own points, his own viewpoints, but there’s a common position of friendship and a basic alliance that is there, that really is continued by all leaders, whoever they are. That was definitely the case yesterday.

KING: Mr. Prime Minister, have there been times, though, since President Obama took office, where you felt that friendship or that tie weakened?

NETANYAHU: No, a lot of things that the public is not aware of that throughout the year and some that I’ve been in office, we’ve had continuous cooperation in the fields of security, in the fields of intelligence, in the fields of vital strategic importance to Israel and the United States. And that seems to go unnoticed or unremarked. People always focus on differences of views that we may have. They’re minor compared to the things that unite us.

We have — Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. America’s the world’s greatest democracy. We have both common values and, unfortunately, common enemies. The people who attack the United States and the Middle East attack Israel. The people that we are fighting are the people you are fighting. So there’s a great commonalty, a great cooperation that goes underneath the surface. And sometimes, I’m happy to say, it does come to the surface. It did yesterday. It really should be an indication of something that guides our relationship throughout.

KING: So there’s no time that you question President Obama’s commitment to your country?

NETANYAHU: No. And I think there’s no time that he questioned Israel’s unwavering commitment as a firm American ally. I would say there is no greater ally, no greater friend of the United States, than Israel. And there is no greater friend and no greater ally of Israel than the United States.

KING: There were those who were saying, though, in the past few months, until that meeting yesterday, the relationships were at the lowest they have been in 35 years. Do you buy that?

NETANYAHU: Look, no, I don’t. I think the support for Israel and the American people and the intertwining of interests and cooperation between our governments is increasing all the time. It’s obscured by the bumps on the road. But there’s no question that the road is going forward and going upwards, I have no doubt about that.

KING: All right, let’s get into some things. Mr. Prime Minister, you say that you want to have direct talks with the Palestinians. So when are you and President Abbas, the Palestinian Authority, going to sit down? When’s it going to happen? It’s so frustrating to the world —

NETANYAHU: That’s a very — that’s an excellent question that I’ve been asking for a year and a quarter, ever since I got into office. On day one that I got in, I said President Abbas, the Palestinian president, meet me and let’s talk peace.

And I use this forum today, on the “Larry King” show, to say, President Abbas, meet me, and let’s talk peace. We all have our grievances. We all have our, you know, our questions and things that we want answered. But the most important thing is to get together, sit down in a room and begin to negotiate peace. You cannot resolve a conflict, you cannot successfully complete a peace negotiation if you don’t start it.

And I say let’s start it right now, today, tomorrow, in Jerusalem, in Ramallah or anywhere else. I’m prepared to go to a warm city like New York or a cool city anywhere. Let’s get on with the business of talking peace and concluding the peace agreement.

KING: So, forgive me, what’s holding it up? He could watch this show. We did a show some years ago with Arafat, with Yitzhak Rabin and King Hussein of Jordan, a historic show. I was in Washington. The three of them were in their homelands. It was terrific. Why can’t — would you do that, if we had you and Abbas and we had the king of Jordan on? Could we do that now?

NETANYAHU: You’re on, Larry. From my point of view, immediately, no problem.

KING: All right. So if we worked on that, we could set it up? Because it’s — it’s frustrating — go ahead.

NETANYAHU: Well, I’m just saying that you’re hitting the nail right on the head. I mean, what is there to prevent a meeting between the prime minister of Israel, in Jerusalem, and the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, who’s 10 minutes away in Ramallah, that’s when you have traffic. Without traffic, it’s seven minutes.

I really like and respect Senator George Mitchell, President Obama’s envoy to the Middle East. But I find it perplexing and unnecessary that president — that Senator Mitchell has to travel halfway across the world to relay messages between President Abbas and myself. There’s no need for that. We should sit down. We have very serious issues to discuss. Our security, the question of where the borders will end up, the question of settlements, the question of Palestinian refugees, the question of water. All these things are crucially important.

The only way that they’re going to be resolved is if we actually sit down and negotiate a peace. I think leaders have to do exactly that. I think we have to break molds, break stereotypes, and cut right through to a solution. I’m prepared to do it. I’m prepared to lead. And I hope that President Abbas hears my call, responds to it. I think we’ll have important and steady help from President Obama. But there is no substitute for the two leaders. The leader of Israel and the leader of the Palestinian Authority, to get down together, talk peace and make peace.

KING: And we can kick it off on this show. We’ll be right back with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister. Don’t go away.


KING: We’re back with Prime Minister Netanyahu. He is in New York. We’re in Los Angeles. What about the settlements issue? President Obama said yesterday he expected talks to begin before the moratorium on settlement construction expires which is late September. Will you extend the moratorium, by the way, if things aren’t settled by late September?

NETANYAHU: Larry, the whole settlement issue was supposed to be discussed in the final peace — what are called final status peace negotiations, which means how to achieve a final peace. This is one of the issues we have to resolve.

Seven months ago, I did something quite extraordinary, that is, no other prime minister in Israel’s history did this. I put on a temporary freeze of 10 months of new construction in the settlements in order to encourage the Palestinians to get into the peace talks. Seven months have passed by. They don’t come in. They say, oh, we need now, another extension. And the answer is, right now, listen, we don’t need any pretext and preconditions. Let’s just get into the talks.

And one of the things we’ll discuss, right away, is issues of settlements. And that’s what I propose doing. In any case, what is important is to get down and talk. That’s the important thing.

KING: President Clinton once said to me that the difficulties in the Middle East are harder to solve than Ireland/England. That it’s so deep rooted and so frustrating. Can you explain to a waiting world why you can’t get together?

NETANYAHU: I can, and I’m offering to do exactly that. I think there’s been a persistent refusal in many Arab quarters to recognize the state of Israel borders. I think the issue of borders is important. It’s related to our security. But the issue of recognition, the basic recognition of the Jewish state that exists in the Middle East, that is the homeland of the Jewish people, that lives in peace and security with its neighbors, is something that is recognized by some.

We made peace with Egypt. We made peace with Jordan. I think it’s important to make peace with the Palestinians. And I’m prepared to negotiate that peace right away. I think it requires courage on the Palestinian side for all those who don’t really want a peace with Israel, to stand up and do what president — the late president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat did, and to say, hey, it’s over, no more war, no more bloodshed. We’re going to make a genuine peace with Israel. I’m prepared to have a demilitarized Palestinian state live next to the Jewish state of Israel.

I think the Palestinians should not be either subject of Israel or citizens of Israel. They should have their own independent country. And we should be assured that this country is not used as a staging ground for Iranian-sponsored terrorist attacks on us. And I think this combination of state for the Palestinians and security for Israel is something that can be brought about in direct negotiations that I propose to start without any preconditions, without any pretext.

KING: Right.

NETANYAHU: Leaders don’t need excuses. They just have to get on with it and I’m prepared to get on with it.

KING: Do you — you absolutely favor a Palestinian state though, right?

NETANYAHU: I do. And I want to make sure that it — that we don’t have a repeat of what happened in the other two times that we vacated territory. You know, we left Lebanon, every last square inch of it. And Iran came in and used it as a staging ground to launch 6,000 rockets on Israel’s cities, 6,000.

We left Gaza, last square inch, and Iran used it to arm its proxies and fired another 6,000 rockets. So we can’t afford that happening a third time. Now, when I say that, Larry, you can now reach one of two conclusions. Either don’t make any peace attempt or ensure that the peace you do make has the necessary security arrangements on the ground to prevent this from happening a third time. That’s what I propose to do. And I think it’s possible to fashion a secure peace for Israel and a dignified peace and a dignified life for the Palestinians. I discussed this at some length yesterday with President Obama. And I’m very happy with the progress of those talks.

KING: All right. But Abbas isn’t the only leader we have to concern ourselves with. Would you sit down with Hamas?

NETANYAHU: I’ll sit down with anyone who will recognize my existence. Somebody who calls for our destruction, my destruction, is unfortunately not a partner for peace.

KING: So you would not sit down –

NETANYAHU: — Hamas that calls — well, you know, would you sit down with somebody who said we want to destroy the United States? Now come and talk to us?

KING: Do you think they can — that can change at all? Do you think there’s some way — Secretary Mitchell, Senator Mitchell maybe somewhat in between can get a little tempering of the language? I mean, we’re trying for the same result here. Nobody gets killed hopefully.

NETANYAHU: I think in the case of Hamas, it’s basically a proxy, a terror proxy of Iran. Iran openly calls for our destruction. It denies the Holocaust. It sponsors terrorism everywhere. It brutalizes its own people. Hamas, by the way, does the same thing to the Palestinians in Gaza. They don’t really have a choice. They can’t really vote the Hamas out. They can’t decide their own fate.

But look at what is happening in the West Bank with our cooperation. You know, we removed — I removed hundreds of check points, hundreds of road blocks. And the Palestinian economy on the West Bank is just booming. I mean, there’s coffee shops, there’s shopping malls, there’s e-businesses, you name it. It’s growing at about 8 percent or 9 percent a year which isn’t bad these days.

And I’m very happy for that. And I want to add on to that a formal peace — peace with security and prosperity. Hamas is totally the other way around. They are — you know, they’re subjecting their own people to terrible things. And they’re using the territory to just stockpile weapons. I wish they — I wish they’d change, and I wish they’d accept the state of Israel. But as long as they call for our destruction, there’s not much we can do.

KING: We’ll be right back with the prime minister of Israel after this.


KING: We’re back with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the state of Israel. Your coalition, we know this, has some right wingers who don’t agree with the notion of a Palestinian state. You have some difficulties. There are always inner politics going on. Is there any way, a pragmatic way, to bring you and the Kadima together?

NETANYAHU: Well, I’ve called for a national unity I’ve formed one. I’ve formed Likud labor alliance. And I’m always happy to broaden it to people who want to serve the nation. You know, getting into the intricacies of Israeli politics would take a lot more of — even a long program of “Larry King.” It’s a subject of encyclopedic advantage.

KING: Back to the difficulties. In May, Israeli forces stormed a ship on a humanitarian mission to Gaza. Several Turkish activists were killed. I don’t know if you’ve — have you ever publicly said that you were wrong to do this?

NETANYAHU: Well, we were definitely sorry about the loss of life. But I’ll tell you what happened. First of all, why do we check ships that go to Gaza? Because we are concerned with the flow of — the possible flow of weaponry into Gaza. We’ve had, as I said, thousands of rockets fired on us.

I think that what people fail to recognize is that there were six ships. Five of them were totally peaceful and nothing of substance happened. Our navy checked these ships. And we didn’t have any incident. The sixth ship was very different. It had about 500 people on it, of which about 450 were peaceful people.

But several dozen were activists of a very radical group that had apparently amassed steel rods, knives, communication equipment. They boarded differently than the other passengers, the other 450 passengers, boarded in one port in Turkey. They went through security checks. These people boarded in another port in Istanbul. They didn’t go through any security checks. They had their own communication equipment. They had their own — their own steel pipes and things that they brought on board.

And when our Coast Guard effectively wanted to check this ship and make sure that it behaved the way the other five did, they were brutally attacked. You can see that in the films that were released. Our soldiers, our navy people were fighting for their lives.

What would you do if the Coast Guard boarded a ship and the Coast Guard was brutally attacked by people who were, you know, clubbing them, knifing them, taking weapons from them, shooting at them? What do you think would happen? How do you think the American people would respond?

KING: OK. But how do you repair the damage with a state you need to be friendly, Turkey?

NETANYAHU: Well, you’re quite right, that Turkey and Israel had an important relationship. Turkey’s a very important country in the Middle East. I think that the relationship began to deteriorate with the Turkish policy, a new policy, that basically veers away from the West and I think Israel — what has happened with Israel as a result of that policy and not its cause.

But nevertheless, I look for every opportunity to see if we can stop this deterioration and somehow get things back to normal or relatively normal. Last week, I authorized a meeting with one of my senior ministers and the Turkish foreign minister. They met in Zurich, in the airport.

I can’t tell you that something positive came out of it. But I want to feel, as prime minister of Israel, that I leave no stone unturned in the quest for — the quest for a broader peace, and the quest of good relations with our neighbors. And even though it may not succeed right now, we’ll keep trying.

KING: Will you meet with Turkish leaders?


KING: We’ll take a break. We’ll be right back with more of the Israeli prime minister. Don’t go away.


KING: We’re very interested in your comments, Mr. Prime Minister, on the statements made by former American President Jimmy Carter. He called the incident with the ship, the attack on the ship, unprovoked and an illegal Israeli assault. He also says, there’s no way to realize a two-state solution, while, quote, “the people of Gaza remain isolated and deprived of basic human rights.” How do you respond to President Carter? NETANYAHU: Well, first of all, I think he’s wrong on the incident. I described to you what happened.

KING: All right.

NETANYAHU: We regret the loss of life, but we don’t apologize for our soldiers defending themselves. And I think that’s obvious. Secondly, I think the people of Gaza are, indeed, incarcerated by Hamas. Third, I removed all the civilian — civilian closure that we had. That is, the prevention of free flow of civilian goods, food, medicine, anything, toys. I actually changed a policy that I inherited from the previous government. And it put both civilian closure on Gaza and a security closure.

I said we really have to be clear about our policy. Our policy is that weapons and war-supporting material don’t go in. And everything else should go in. Food and everything else should go in. So I changed that policy. And I’m glad I did it, because I think there’s clarity and there’s common sense in it. I’m sorry that not everyone can see that. But I think fair minded people can see it and, in fact, do.

KING: Does it pain you personally to have a former president of the United States be so critical of your country?

NETANYAHU: Well, I’m sorry he thinks that. I think the majority — the overwhelming majority of Americans see things differently. I think — I think successful presidents, including this one, see things differently. And the important thing is to — is to be true to the facts.

The facts are that Israel was attacked from Gaza. The fact is that we had — that Iran sends weapons into Gaza so they’d be fired on us. The fact is that this regime, Hamas, is holding an Israeli soldier that they kidnapped for four years. Four years this soldier, Gilad Shalit, has not been allowed to see anyone. They don’t allow the Red Cross to visit him. This is a complete violation of international norms. I think if anything bears condemnation, it is this — this inhumane terrorist regime.

And I would hope that international condemnation is directed there. That’s where it belongs, and not against Israel, a struggling democracy, striving to live and to make peace with its neighbors. It should not be condemned. It should be encouraged to –


KING: Does it concern you, Mr. Prime Minister, that Israel’s image around the world is poor? You’re not in high regard at the U.N. You seem to be, from a public relations standpoint, pr standpoint, in trouble.

NETANYAHU: Well, that’s one of the reasons I’m appearing on “THE LARRY KING show.” There’s a difference between perception and reality. The reality is the people of Israel yearn for peace, pray for peace. We’ve not had a day’s peace, a day of complete peace, since the founding of the state in 1948. We know the cost of wars. There’s — many Israelis have suffered it. I’ve suffered it personally. I’ve lost a brother in the war between the wars known as terror. Many of my friends have lost direct relatives.

We know the loss of war. We know the sorrows of war. We know the blessings of peace. Yet, at the same time, we forged a peace agreement with Egypt. We forged a peace agreement with Jordan. And throughout these years, we built a robust economy. Israel is a beehive of creativity and innovation. The economy is growing. It’s one of the best performing economies in the developed world.

There’s a story there that doesn’t get told, both of our desire for peace, our sacrifices for peace, and our building of a better reality. And I can envision, if we had the kind of peace I envisioned with the Palestinians, we could see what we’re seeing now in the West Bank, this great prosperity envelop the entire region.

I think Israel could make a tremendous contribution to the well- being of its Arab neighbors. I think peace could bring for our children, my children and their children, something beyond their imagination. It could be a different life, a different reality. And I’m prepared to do it. I’m prepared to move and lead my people to that peace. I need a partner on the other side.

KING: When we come back, we’ll talk about Iran with the president — with the prime minister of Israel, right after this.


KING: Mr. prime minister, Iran, how much — the word fear apply — how much do you fear their intentions? Do you — do you — what’s the worst-case scenario to you?

NETANYAHU: Well, we’ve learned in history and in Jewish history to take seriously those who call for our extermination. A lot of people in the past century, the 20th century, didn’t take such calls seriously. And we know the awful price that was paid by the Jewish people and later by rest of humanity for not taking seriously these kinds of statements. The fact that after the Holocaust, a sovereign government at once denies the Holocaust and calls for the destruction of the Jewish state is just outrageous.

Do we take it seriously? Absolutely, we take it seriously. We also know that Israel was founded to defend the Jewish people. So we reserve always the right to defend ourselves.

KING: If you determined that they had nuclear capability, would you attack Iran?

NETANYAHU: You know, I’ve taken note of President Obama’s statement that he’s determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. I see that sanctions have been adopted, modest sanctions at the U.N. But more robust sanctions recently by the Congress was signed by the president the other day. I hope the other nations follow America’s lead in this. Will it be enough to stop the Iranian nuclear program? I can’t tell you, Larry. I do tell you that the president has said that all options are on the table. And I do tell you that Israel always reserves the right to defend itself. That’s the purpose for which it was founded, to defend Jewish lives.

KING: Assuming — Israel has never said it has nuclear weapons, but the world thinks it does. Why is it OK for Israel to have nuclear weapons and Iran not to have nuclear weapons? Hypothetically, if Israel has them, why is it OK for them to have them and the other not?

NETANYAHU: Well, we said we wouldn’t be the first to introduce these weapons into the Middle East. But equally, we’re not threatening to destroy any country. We don’t seek the destruction of any country or any people. We don’t say that an entire people has to be wiped off the map of the Earth. We don’t have such intentions.

And I think all nuclear proliferation is bad. But some of it is a lot worse. It does make a difference whether Holland has nuclear weapons, or the Ayatollah regime that sponsored terrorism and calls for Israel’s destruction, whether it is nuclear weapons. And I think there’s a common understanding right now, something that I spoke about 16 years ago, 14 years — to be precise, 1996, when I was elected, 14 years ago. I spoke before the joint session of the U.S. Congress. I was just elected prime minister. And I said that the greatest threat facing humanity is that Iran would acquire nuclear weapons.

Some eyebrows were raised at the time. I can tell you, 14 years later, that most of the world’s leaders today agree with this. There is a question of the distance between understanding and effective action, and that is the ultimate test of leadership and history.

KING: Would you ban all nuclear weapons throughout the — the world — would you ban nuclear weaponry entirely?

NETANYAHU: Well, that’s beyond my scope. I mean, this is — this is a worthy cause, but it’s — it’s a very complicated issue. And I’m sure you realize that the most important thing is preventing the most dangerous weapons in the world from falling into the hands of the most dangerous regimes. And this is what we really are facing today. We’re facing the prospect that people who talk about destruction, who deny the Holocaust, who sponsor terrorism everywhere, who shoot their own citizens on the sidewalk — you know, they lie there.

Remember that young woman lying there, choking in her own blood. These people who have absolutely no inhibitions about the use of violence and brutality would acquire the weapons of mass terror, the ultimate mass terror weapons, which is atomic bombs. That’s a very, very dangerous development for all of us.

KING: Would there be any point — may sound ridiculous, but speaking is better than killing. Would there be any point for you to sit down with Ahmadinejad?

NETANYAHU: Well, if he wanted to change the policies of Iran. We used to have friendly relations with Iran. It actually recognized Israel. We had exchanges all the time. But, you know, tell me — when Ahmadinejad decides to recognize the state of Israel and seek peace with it, believe me, I’ll be there eagerly waiting. But I’m afraid I don’t see that. I see the very opposite.

KING: Some more moments. We have a couple segments left with the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. Don’t go away.



KING: We’re back with Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel. So thankful to give us this hour tonight on “LARRY KING LIVE.” As we say, we go back a long way. What do you make of Iraq — no, no, well, I’m leaving “LARRY KING LIVE” in November. But I’m going to be around. We’re going to do specials. We’re going to come to the Middle East.

NETANYAHU: Oh, good. Good, I’ll — then I’ll entertain you again in Israel. It will be a good refresher.

KING: It will be my pleasure. Don’t forget, you committed, if we can get all three leaders on together, we’re going to do that show.

NETANYAHU: You can do it anytime. You have one.

KING: OK. Are you — well, I think we can get Jordan. If we get — we’re fine if we get Abbas. What do you make of what’s going to happen in Iraq? Will that hold together?

NETANYAHU: I hope so. I mean, we are — we are rooting for the success of the American effort and of the Iraqi effort to stabilize Iraq. It went through a very difficult period. We want to see a peaceful Middle East. We want to see a moderate Middle East. I think there’s a larger battle taking place between the forces of modernity and the forces of Medievalism. There’s no other word that I could use to describe this militancy that tries not merely to eradicate Israel, but to bring down any moderate government in the Arab world and in the Middle East.

In a way, there’s a — this is the first time in my lifetime that the — many of the Arab governments and Israel understand that there’s a great — a great foe that threatens all of us. And that is the basis of a broader understanding. I don’t think peace should be merely forged by common dangers. It should be forged also by the benefits, the blessings of peace, economic blessings, the human blessings of every sort. But today the context of the peace is made perhaps more likely and more possible because of this common enemy that threatens Israel and Arab countries alike.

KING: What’s — what about Hezbollah, Lebanon, that — four years since the war with Hezbollah and Lebanon. Are you still concerned about them?

NETANYAHU: Unfortunately, yes, because it is basically an Iranian terror proxy. Look, Lebanon was the Switzerland of the Middle East. It had — it’s a very beautiful country. It had robust economy. And Iran has moved its surrogates, Hezbollah, into Lebanon. It has piled weapons there. They fire those weapons on Israel. They undermine any attempt at moderation, any movement towards peace.

We always hoped that Lebanon — we always said, we don’t know who the first country to make peace with Israel, which country that would be, but certainly Lebanon would be the second country. And, you know, it hasn’t happened, not because many Lebanese don’t want it, but because radical forces, pro-Iranian forces, like Hezbollah, are preventing it.

And so you have these two enclaves next to Israel, one in the south, Gaza, controlled by one proxy of Hezbollah, preventing the people there from making peace with Israel. And then another enclave in the north, in Lebanon, controlled by another Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, preventing the Lebanese from making peace with Israel, and threatening to throw the entire region into a maelstrom of violence and terror. That’s happened before. I hope it doesn’t happen again.

But Hezbollah and Hamas are basically Iranian surrogates. As long as Iran doesn’t want peace, they don’t want peace.

KING: Touch some other bases before you leave, as we have one segment to go. You’ve invited President Obama to to visit Israel. What has he said?

NETANYAHU: Well, you know, he’ll decide the appropriate time. But I have to tell you that we had a very, very, very productive conversation. And I think that when we have a chance to sit, as we do, one on one, I think it’s very, very productive for Israel, for the United States and for the quest for peace.

KING: We’ll be back with our remaining moments with the prime minister after this.


KING: Couple of other things, Mr. prime minister. How would you describe the relationship of your country with Secretary of State Clinton? And how do you measure her work in the peace process?

NETANYAHU: I greatly respect Secretary Clinton. You know, I worked with her husband, Bill. I got to know Hillary on her visits to Israel. She’s always a welcomed guest. I think she’s knowledgeable. I think Secretary Clinton was a very wise choice on the part of President Obama. And we’ll be happy to work with her if the president so designates, and he often does.

KING: There’s some video getting a lot of attention on the web, supposedly of Israeli soldiers dancing while on patrol in Hebron. What do you know of that?

NETANYAHU: I don’t know. I hear it for the first time.

KING: So do I. They gave me a note here and said it’s on the web.

NETANYAHU: I don’t know. If you talk to me — if you want to invite me again, I will be able to respond to it.

KING: We’ll invite you any time. Are you ever able — you’re prime minister of Israel. A previous prime minister was assassinated. You live in the center of a hostile world. Are you ever able to really relax?

NETANYAHU: Yeah. You know, yes. And I’ll tell you when. Every Saturday, our Sabbath, we have a day off. It’s a very good idea that this institution was brought into the world. So I have a day off. And every Saturday, I take an hour and a half, and I read from the Bible with my younger boy. He has just won the National Bible Championship in Israel and he came third in the international. It’s like the big spelling bee, you know, huge.

I relax then. I draw a lot of spiritual strength. You know, I used to teach him. He is now 15. But in the last couple of years, he teaches me. So, yes, I draw enormous reservoirs of strength and I think that is needed for all leaders, but especially for the leaders of Israel.

KING: Four years ago, the former prime minister, Ariel Sharon, suffered a stroke. He is still alive. Do you ever go to see him? What is that story?

NETANYAHU: It’s a tragedy. Ariel Sharon was one of the great leaders of Israel. He’s, in my judgment, the greatest general that Israel has had in modern times. He has contributed a lot to the country. And, unfortunately, he suffered, as you say, the stroke. We can all pray that somehow he miraculously recovers. But that has not happened yet. But I think the people of Israel value his contributions. I certainly do.

KING: Earlier in the program, you mentioned that Hamas is still holding Gilad Shalit — I believe that’s the way you pronounce his name — the Israeli soldier they captured four years ago.


KING: Any late word on any efforts?

NETANYAHU: Well, we’ve had a German mediator, very able man, trying to broker the release. I’m prepared to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for Gilad. But so far there’s not been an official response of Hamas to this offer that the mediator has made. I have accepted it. They have not. I can only hope that they change their mind.

KING: In our remaining moments, Mr. prime minister, do you think — how old are you now?

NETANYAHU: I’m 60 years old, Larry. And showing it.

KING: Do you think that in your lifetime, you will really see peace in your region?

NETANYAHU: I think it’s possible to achieve it, yes. Will we achieve it with the entire Middle East? That, I cannot say. Can we achieve it with the Palestinians? I say absolutely. I say that with conviction, because I think it’s a question of a rightness for our people’s perspective. There is already time. It’s now. I think for many Palestinians, the time is now. And I’m prepared to make that effort.

It requires a lot of courage. Maybe that’s the quality that supersedes all others. Because if you don’t have courage, everything else fails. But if you have it, then everything else is possible. We have the courage to make peace. And I hope — I fervently hope that our Palestinian neighbors have similar courage. With the help of the United States, I think it can be done, yeah. Absolutely.

KING: Thank you, Mr. prime minister. Have a safe trip home. We hope to see you again very soon.

NETANYAHU: Thank you. Come and visit us, Larry. Thank you.

KING: Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu.