Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/11/2009

Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/11/2009The most important news story tonight concerns the booby-trapping of a Gaza school by Hamas. The terrorists ran a fuse line from explosives in the school to a nearby zoo, and placed the detonator there. If the IDF troops had not been alert, then… Well, you know what viewers would be seeing on the BBC and CNN right about now.

Thanks to AA, Abu Elvis, Aeneas, Barry Rubin, C. Cantoni, ESW, Insubria, islam o’phobe, JD, Jewish Odysseus, RRW, VH, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Headlines and articles are below the fold.
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Obama ‘Kidnaps’ ‘24’ Hero Jack Bauer
Obama Makes Lawyer for Terri Schiavo’s Husband Third-Ranking Justice Official
Europe and the EU
German “Police” Join Jew-Hating Muslim Mob
Malta: Somali Demonstration Unleashes Maltese Anger
Pro Israel Demonstration in Manchester: 11 January 2009
Switzerland: Suicide Clinic Investigated for Profiteering
UK: Presenter Sacked for ‘Supporting the Bible’S Teachings’ on Radio
Unrest in Rotterdam by Demonstrating Youth
Israel and the Palestinians
Audio Exclusive: One Jerusalem Interview With Israeli General Effie Eitam (Res)
Bombs Are “More Precious” Than Children: Hamas Children’s Education
Ending the Gaza War: Choices, Not Solutions
Gaza: IDF Uncovers Booby-Trapped School, Zoo (1)
IDF: Whole Hamas Battalions Wiped Out
Israel’s International Support: a Glass Eight-Tenths Full
Israel Finds More Sympathy in Europe
Israel’s Strategic Incompetence in Gaza
Israel to Continue Gaza Offensive to Pressure Egypt
Israeli Bomb Shrapnel Wounds 4 Egyptians
The Gaza War: a Small Part of the Nationalist Islamist Conflict
Middle East
Iraq: Italian Wins Respect of US Forces and Religious Leaders
U.S. Rejected Aid for Israeli Raid on Iranian Nuclear Site
South Asia
Hindu Community of Nepal Against Maoist Government
Indonesia: Former Spy Chief Challenges Rights Activist
Kerala: Communists Pushing Euthanasia Bill, Church Calls it Electoral Propaganda
Supreme Court of Tajikistan Outlaws Salafi Islam
Anti-Crisis Bill: Fini, No to Discrimination Against Immigrants
Immigrants: May, Interior-Justice Minister G8 in Lampedusa
Madonna Targeted by Extremists


Obama ‘Kidnaps’ ‘24’ Hero Jack Bauer

US conservatives claim that the 24 character Jack Bauer has been ‘kidnapped’ by the new liberal agenda of President-Elect Barack Obama.

[Comment from JD: The show ‘jumped the shark’ with the last season. That season was the most PC garbage storyline ever on 24. Now this season may be worse than that (one indication is that Garofolo is in the show this season). Perhaps they should rename the show ‘Spooks:USA’ or ‘MI-5:USA’. ]

…But now US conservatives are up in arms that the election of President-Elect Barack Obama has led the show’s producers to pander to the liberal consensus in Hollywood, which they claim has led to the blacklisting of those who disagree with their anti-war views.

When the series returns for its seventh season on Sunday night, Bauer will mouth the views of Mr Obama, who has vowed to end “enhanced interrogation”, also known as torture, and close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

And in an apparent bid to get in tune with the new president, the new season opens with Bauer facing a congressional investigation probing his use of torture and summary executions in previous series. “It’s better that everything comes out in the open,” Bauer says, echoing Democrat demands for greater transparency over US counter-terrorist tactics.

“We’ve done so many things in the name of protecting this country, we’ve created two worlds. Ours and the people’s we’ve promised to protect. They deserve to hear the truth and decide how far they want to let us go.”

The transformation of Bauer has left the American Right fuming.

“It’s clearly a sign the producers are trying to adapt to a new political reality,” said the conservative commentator Christian Toto.


A new book by an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, published later this month, claims that those with conservative views are victims of an informal blacklist, like the McCarthy-era ban on communist sympathisers in Hollywood during the 1950s.

Roger Simon, who penned the scripts to Enemies: A Love Story and Scenes From a Mall, said that those who oppose the liberal anti-war consensus in Hollywood have been ostracised by the major studios and television networks.

In his book Blacklisting Myself: Memoir of a Hollywood Apostate in the Age of Terror, Simon writes: “I am sure this new form of the blacklist exists, but not nearly to the formalised extent of the original list of the Forties and Fifties with its dramatic hearings in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee.”

He says the new blacklist “operates through an almost invisible thought control” in which writers, actors and directors who refuse to join in the chorus of condemnation against President George W. Bush and his wars faced career death over the last eight years.

He claims anyone voicing support for the war “would be dismissed as a fool, a warmonger, or a right-wing nut (all three, probably) and therefore have had little or no chance at the writing or directing job that brought you there.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Makes Lawyer for Terri Schiavo’s Husband Third-Ranking Justice Official

Barack Obama has named the lawyer who represented Terri Schiavo’s husband Michael in his efforts to kill his disabled wife as the third highest attorney in the Justice Department. Thomas Perrelli, who won an award for representing Schiavo’s former husband, had served on Obama’s transition team.

The incoming president made Perrelli an associate attorney general and his appointment is generating scorn from pro-life advocates.

Perrelli provided Michael Schiavo with legal advice during his response to the Congressional bill that President Bush signed allowing the Schindler family to take their lawsuit seeking to prevent Terri’s euthanasia death from state to federal courts.

He led the legal team that developed the legal briefs for Michael opposing appeals and he ultimately received the Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Pro Bono Award in October 2006 for representing Terri’s former husband at no cost.

Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, told the Washington Times Tuesday that Obama’s appointment of Perrelli is “just another death-peddler Obama has added to his list of nominees.”

Tom McClusky, vice president for government affairs at the Family Research Council, also told the Times that any number of end-of-life issues could involve the Justice Department and having Perrelli involved would be detrimental.

“If the Justice Department isn’t going to do anything about it, the states, what’s to stop them from cases like Schiavo and even worse cases,” he said. On Michael’s legal team, Perrelli worked with infamous pro-euthanasia attorney George Felos as well as lawyers from the Florida chapter of the ACLU.

Obama’s selection of Perrelli as a top Justice Department attorney is no surprise given his comments on Terri’s painful 13-day starvation and dehydration death during the presidential campaign.


Obama said he should have stood up against the life-saving legislation.

“It wasn’t something I was comfortable with, but it was not something that I stood on the floor and stopped,” Obama said.

“And I think that was a mistake, and I think the American people understood that was a mistake. And as a constitutional law professor, I knew better,” he added.

That wasn’t the first time Obama said he regretted supporting the bill to protect the disabled woman.

During an April 2007 debate, Obama said, “I think professionally the biggest mistake that I made was when I first arrived in the Senate. There was a debate about Terri Schiavo, and a lot of us, including me, left the Senate with a bill that allowed Congress to intrude where it shouldn’t have.”

“And I think I should have stayed in the Senate and fought more for making sure [Terri’s parents couldn’t take their case to federal court to save her life],” he explained.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Names Minister to Lead Prayer Service

“She was chosen before the inaugural program was even announced,” Ms. Douglass said of Ms. Watkins. “Her appeal is that she delivers a message of unity and inclusivity and tolerance and hope — and those are all central themes we’ve heard from the president-elect.”

Ms. Watkins has spoken out against torture and the war in Iraq, but as church president she has not taken a position on same-sex marriage. Like many mainline Protestant churches, the Disciples is not unified on the issue. As a congregational church, each church in the denomination is free to set its own policies.

Ms. Watkins said in a telephone interview that the church in Bartlesville, Okla., where she served as minister before becoming president, could not reach a consensus on whether to allow gay union ceremonies and decided to hold off on a decision.

“We really emphasize the responsibility as well as the freedom of individuals within the church to study Scripture to prayerfully pursue their own spiritual journey,” Ms. Watkins said. “That means we end up being incredibly diverse politically, theologically and socially.

“Coming out of that context, the kind of message I want to reflect on is the deeper unity we have as a human family,” she said of the sermon she planned to deliver at the National Cathedral.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

German “Police” Join Jew-Hating Muslim Mob

[Includes video]

Only one word comes to mind as I read and watch this: UNBELIEVABLE.

Wow. In Germany. Wow.

I read this story at the excellent Gaza war-posting blog, “Muqata,” and I was just able to dig up the vid on YouTube…It is obviously the same episode.

Actually, as we say in Court, the same “criminal episode.” These German “cops” need to be immediately IDENTIFIED AND PROSECUTED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW. It should not be too difficult.

Unless it is against the law in Germany to hang an Israeli flag inside a private residence?

Here is the posting from Muqata:

1:16 AM Received from Muqata Blog Reader in Germany, Sebastian M.

Today, 10.000 people demonstrated against Israel here in my hometown Duisburg (Germany) and to express their solidarity with Hamas. So, my girlfriend and me put two Israel flags out of the windows of our flat in the 3rd floor. During the demonstration which went through our street the police broke into our flat and removed the flag of Israel. The statement of the police was to de-escalate the situation, because many youth demonstrators were on the brink of breaking into our apartment house. Before this they threw snowballs, knifes and stones against our windows and the complete building. We both were standing on the other side of the street and were shocked by seeing a police officer standing in our bedroom and opening the window to get the flag. The picture illustrate this situation. The police acquiesced in the demands of the mob.

And here is the vid from YouTube—someone needs to download this before it disappears:

I am thinking about establishing the “Duisburg Police Award for Forceful yet Cringing Dhimmitude Beyond the Call of Duty.” Maybe have it awarded weekly? Naaaaahhhh, not frequent enough, I’ll need to award it at least once a day.

Step One: We need to make sure those “cops” are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Period.

Oh, and before I forget: a VERRRYYY loud and heartfelt, “THANK YOU, MY BROTHER!!” for “Sebastian M” of Duisburg, who apparently has more courage and respect for the law in his little finger than does the entire establishment of Duisburg, Germany. Whattadisgrace they are, and what a blessing is he.

           — Hat tip: Jewish Odysseus [Return to headlines]

Malta: Somali Demonstration Unleashes Maltese Anger

Here it is, a tiny little video clip of Somali illegal aliens detained in Malta protesting yesterday. And this is the entire news story accompanying the video:

Somali illegal immigrants at Safi Barracks this afternoon protested at being held in detention.

A number of sections from the police force including the Special Assignment Group and the Mounted Police, as well as the C Company of the Armed Forces of Malta. Police Commissioner John Rizzo and assistant commissioners were also on site.

A ministry spokesman said that there were 400 to 500 immigrants at Safi but the protest was only held by the Somalis.

Now go check out the pages of comments; the native Maltese people are a little angry (you think!). We have written about Malta since we began RRW in July 2007—a tiny island nation struggling to cope with boatloads of Africans trying to break into Europe and landing on Malta first. Much to my utter shock the US State Department is bringing some of Malta’s illegal Somalis to the US as refugees (see Tea Party Send-off here).

           — Hat tip: RRW [Return to headlines]

Pro Israel Demonstration in Manchester: 11 January 2009

[With photos]

Thousands of Jews and Gentiles came together in Manchester in the north of England to show solidarity with the enduring people of Israel who have faced near incessant rocket attacks for many years. They came from across the northern region of the country to Albert Square to support Israel’s right to defend itself against such Islamist aggression. Speakers called for permanent and enduring peace in Gaza, which of course is different from the Hudna, or temporary truces, favoured by the terrorists.

           — Hat tip: Aeneas [Return to headlines]

Switzerland: Suicide Clinic Investigated for Profiteering

Prosecutors are investigating the founder of the Dignitas assisted-suicide clinic over reports the facility is operating as a for-profit business and not a charity as Swiss law requires.

The accusations against Ludwig Minelli are part of a two-year probe of Dignitas, reported the London Telegraph, and investigators are expected to complete their activities later this year when they will determine if there is evidence to file charges against Minelli or clinic staff.

“Claims that personal possessions have gone missing from patients who have died at the clinic are being investigated by police,” said Urs Hubmann, the public prosecutor for the canton of Zurich, who is leading the investigation.

“We are also examining whether assisted suicides have been carried out at Dignitas for selfish reasons, such as financial gain.

“We have to establish the facts of the claims, if any, before proceeding further.”

Under Swiss law, assisted suicide is sanctioned by charities organized for that purpose.


Soraya Wernli, a nurse who left Dignitas in 2005 after assisting 30 deaths, told investigators she became disturbed by activities at the clinic and claimed clients were rushed into the decision to end their lives.

“I joined because I believed it was a good organization which helped the terminally ill end their suffering, but I came to realize it was really something different. It was all done for money.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Presenter Sacked for ‘Supporting the Bible’S Teachings’ on Radio

A radio presenter is taking legal action after he alleged he was sacked for offending Muslims by defending Christianity on air.

The Rev Mahboob Masih, a Church minister, claims he was unfairly dismissed and that the action taken against him was a case of religious discrimination.

He had been host of a regular Saturday morning show on Awaz FM, a community radio show in Glasgow, for six years before the row with the station’s management blew up.

After a lively religious debate, the radio station management took exception to the content of the discussion. The Rev Masih was accused of not being balanced enough on air. However, Awaz FM refuses to detail anything specific he said that might have offended its listeners.

The Rev Masih and his co-presenter Afzal Umeed were discussing the views of a prominent Muslim speaker, Zakir Naik, who the Rev Masih accuses of belittling the Christian faith on Peace TV, a digital channel.

The Rev Masih says that Mr Umeed asked Asif Mall, a Christian on-air guest, about Mr Naik’s remarks. Mr Mall said Mr Naik’s comments showed a lack of knowledge of the Bible and of the Koran.

In particular, Mr Mall disputed a claim by Mr Naik that Jesus Christ was not the only prophet to be “the way, the truth and the life”.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Unrest in Rotterdam by Demonstrating Youth

[Translated by VH]

Dozens of young people in Rotterdam have demonstrated a few hours on Sunday against the attacks by Israel on the Gaza Strip. They chanted clogans directed against Jews, carried Moroccan and Palestinian flags and called “Palestine must be free”.

The group consisted mainly of teenagers, and demonstrated at various places in the city center. People who didn’t apreciate their shouting and behavior attacked them verbally.

The youth attacked a securty officer oin the Beurstraverse (busy shopping street in the City centre) and stalked a city councillor of Leefbaar Rotterdam [Livable Rotterdam, the party of the late Pim Fortuyn] and kicked at his knee. He wants to dicuss the behavoir od the Moroccans at the city council meeting this Thursday.

Also this Saturday young people held an unannounced demonstration in the center of Rotterdam. This made it tumultuous at the City market for a while.

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]

Unrest in Rotterdam by Demonstrating Youth (Video)

[Translated by VH]

Video of last Friday: “Palestian” [as they say] and Moroccans at a public prayer Friday at the Coolsingel [with the City Townhall and shopping centre] in the heart of the Rotterdam and the following demonstration —while burning Israëli flags — to the Schouwburgplein, a few hundred meters to the West. A few hundred people participated. The bold Moroccan in the video states: “We expect that The Netherlands and the government that represents us as we are here together, that they take our stand piont and that we finally can say that we have a government in The Netherlands, that we finally can stand behind for 100%.

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Audio Exclusive: One Jerusalem Interview With Israeli General Effie Eitam (Res)

General Effie Eitam, a senior member of the Knesset’s Security and Foreign Affairs Committee, provides a wide-ranging briefing for journalists, hosted by One Jerusalem. You can hear a recording of General Eitam here.

During his discussion, General Eitam described the military situation on the ground in Gaza and the diplomatic efforts that are on the way.

General Eitam reported that after 12 days of fighting a poll tonight in Israel showed that 80% of Israelis continue to support the War Against Hamas.

General Eitam said that reports that Israel has agreed to a cease fire are false and that the Security Cabinet had given Israel’s Defense Forces the command to continue military operations.

Among the objectives that need still to be achieved, General Eitam said, were the destruction of tunnels used to smuggle armaments to Hamas, to provide humanitarian assistance to Arab civilians in a safe area, and the continued destruction of the Hamas infrastructure.

General Eitam confirmed that Hamas has been executing Arab civilians who are trying to flee from the areas under Hamas control.

Also, General Eitam stated that the whole civilized world is benefiting from the destruction of Hamas and another big loser is Iran. General Eitam makes a compelling case that Iran can not be permitted to have nuclear weapons.

This interview is well worth listening too. If you have any reaction to General Eitam’s remarks please share them with the One Jerusalem community.

Some of the bloggers on the call included Omri from Mere Rhetoric, Anne from Boker Tov Boulder, Pamela from Atlas Shrugged, Avi from Telchai Nation, Ted Belman from Israpundit and Jerry Gordon from Iconoclast, and Rick Richman from Jewish Current Issues.

——— A commenter wrote:

“This one-hour interview with General Eitam provided more information than Arutz Sheva, The Jerusalem Post, and the various American and international TV stations combined. […].”

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]

Bombs Are “More Precious” Than Children: Hamas Children’s Education

by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook

IMAGINE A MUSIC VIDEO teaching kids that bombs are more precious than children. This is not fantasy — this is the message of an actual Hamas TV music video. After a five-year-old finds out that her mother wore a bomb belt to a suicide terror attack, she sings: “Now I know what was more precious than us.” She then swears to follow in her mother’s footsteps, as a suicide bomber.

This is just one example of the wide range of hateful and abusive messages on Hamas TV, designed to indoctrinate children to Hamas values. Children are taught to value violence, hatred and Islamic supremacy, and that seeking Martyrdom for Allah is the highest value, bringing “honor and glory.”

PMW has created a five-minute compilation of key representative segments from Hamas TV that document this indoctrination of children.

Click to view.

In addition to the video featuring the daughter of a suicide bomber, this collection includes a music video depicting a boy’s transition from childhood to adulthood, climaxing in his heroic Martyrdom death; a puppet show promising world Islamic supremacy, death of infidels and the conversion of the White House into a mosque; and a talk show segment featuring kindergarten kids marching in military formation, brandishing weapons and calling for Jihad and Martyrdom.

Also included are statements by Hillary Clinton from her news conference with PMW in the US Senate, where she criticized Palestinian schoolbooks and television that “profoundly poison the minds of these children.”

           — Hat tip: AA [Return to headlines]

Ending the Gaza War: Choices, Not Solutions

by Barry Rubin

Last December, Hamas unilaterally ended its ceasefire with Israel and escalated the kind of cross-border attacks continually attempted even during the ceasefire. With massive public support, Israel struck back against a neighboring regime which daily attacked its citizens and called for its extermination.

For decades, Israel’s history shows a general pattern: its neighbors attack, Israel responds, Israel wins the war, and the world rushes to ensure that its victory is limited or nullified. If, as sometimes happens, the diplomatic process really improves the situation and provides progress for peace that, of course, is beneficial.

Yet Israel’s experience has shown that international promises made in return for its material concessions are often broken. Most recently, in 2006 the international community pledged to keep Hizballah out of south Lebanon and curb its arms’ supply, failed totally, yet took no action in response to this defeat. Israel is understandably skeptical.

In addition, Israelis know that Hamas is totally dedicated to their personal and collective destruction. The group will not moderate, cannot be bought off, and will not respect any agreement it makes. As a result, the usual kinds of diplomatic tools—concessions, confidence-building, agreements, moderation resulting from having governmental responsibilities, will not work. Any solution short of Hamas’s fall from power will bring more fighting in future.

What should happen is that the international community cooperates in the removal of the Hamas regime. It is an illegal government, brought to power by an unprovoked war against the Palestinian Authority (PA) which was the internationally recognized regime in the Gaza Strip. Hamas may have won the elections but it then seized total power, suspended representative government, and destroyed the opposition…

           — Hat tip: Barry Rubin [Return to headlines]

Gaza: IDF Uncovers Booby-Trapped School, Zoo (1)

Explosive device rigged with timer neutralized by soldiers before it is detonated; RPG launchers, grenades and Kalashnikov assault rifles found inside school

IDF forces operating in Gaza on Sunday uncovered an explosive device rigged with a timer that hidden in a Palestinian school. A fuse attached to the explosives extended to a zoo located dozens of yards away.

The soldiers managed to neutralize the bomb before it went off. Numerous weapons, including RPG launchers, grenades and AK-47 assault rifles were found inside the school.

           — Hat tip: Abu Elvis [Return to headlines]

Gaza: IDF Uncovers Booby-Trapped School, Zoo (2)

[Hebrew version has video]

(See link for news story)

           — Hat tip: Abu Elvis [Return to headlines]

IDF: Whole Hamas Battalions Wiped Out

Is Hamas falling apart? A senior IDF officer estimated Saturday that roughly 300 Hamas men have been killed since the army launched its ground incursion in the Gaza Strip. The military official said IDF troops were able to wipe out whole battalions belonging to the Gaza terror group.

“Hundreds of people were killed in the various combat sectors,” the officer said. “Some Hamas companies and battalions were simply wiped out. We also see cases of desertions and unauthorized leaves, while some terror activists are scared to undertake moves that would jeopardize them vis-à-vis IDF troops..”

Earlier Saturday, the IDF killed Hamas’ rocket chief in the Gaza City area, Amir Mansi. The senior officer said that shortly before his death Mansi clashed with his subordinates, who refused to come out of their hideouts. The rocket chief was left with no choice but to launch mortar shells himself, and was killed after being identified by the army.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Israel’s International Support: a Glass Eight-Tenths Full

by Barry Rubin

It’s easy to be misled by elements of Western media and academia that seem to prefer terrorists and radical Islamists to Israel. A diplomatic balance sheet from Israel’s standpoint is quite good, pretty remarkably good, better than it has been for a very long time.

Of course, I have to add quickly that there are real problems, disagreements, and specific frictions. I’ll come to that in a moment. But first the good news:

Countries with which Israel has great relations: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, the United States, and also the European Union and NATO. Moreover, there are a long list of ex-Soviet bloc states which understand the difference between a democratic state defending itself and a bunch of ideologically driven, dictatorship-worshipping terrorists. They include the new EU chair, the Czech Republic, and a dozen others, of which Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland, can stand as examples. And last but not least most of sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Countries with which Israel has good relations: China, Russia, and Turkey. See details below.

Non-Muslim, countries with which Israel has bad relations: Venezuela, North Korea, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. Perhaps you can come up with a few others. Nominations are open…

           — Hat tip: Barry Rubin [Return to headlines]

Israel Finds More Sympathy in Europe

Concerns about Islamist threat have influenced traditionally pro-Arab Europe’s view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Paris — European Union leaders this week flanked Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni as she told the world’s news media, “We are all opposed to terrorism.” For many observers in Europe, the moment underscored a little-noted but ongoing convergence between European and US-Israeli thinking — despite the tragedy and challenge that Gaza presents.

For decades, Europe was a Middle East counterbalance — generally sympathetic to Palestinians as the weaker party, critical of an unqualified US backing of Israel. The Palestine Liberation Organization had offices in Europe. France’s Navy helped Yasser Arafat escape Tripoli in 1983. Europe backed the Oslo Accords, and saw the Palestinian cause as a fight for territory and statehood.

Yet Europe’s traditional position on the Arab dispute has been quietly changing: It is gravitating closer to a US-Israeli framing of a war on terror, a “clash of civilizations,” with a subtext of concern about the rise of Islam — and away from an emphasis on core grievances of Palestinians, like the ongoing Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and “occupation.”

Causes for the shift are complex and manifold, and in no small way associated with the rise of Muslim populations in Europe. But since Sept. 11, the discourse and psychology in Europe has shifted, with pro-Arab support “diluting and weakening,” as Karim Bitar, with the International Institute of Strategic Relations in Paris, puts it — and converging with US-Israeli framing of a fight against terror. [Editor’s note: The original version misspelled Mr. Bitar’s name.]

“There is convergence on goals [terrorism] between Europe and the US, and a remnant of divergence on means [military logic],” argues the French intellectual Dominique Moisi. “The Europeans are less pro-Islamic Muslims now than before, after 9/11.

“We also see that even American Jews are not entirely at peace with what Israel is doing. There’s more criticism of Israel than before, in American opinion; and in Europe there is less support of what the Arabs are.”

In the Gaza conflict, “European diplomats see a crisis with no exit point,” says a senior French scholar with extensive Mideast experience. “They think if the Israelis can put out Hamas and put in Abbas, that would be wonderful. They don’t see Hamas as Palestinian nationals, but as Islamic.”

A Euro-American convergence leaves European Union diplomats supporting Palestinians on “shallower emotional and humanitarian grounds,” says Mr. Bitar, “helping people survive, hoping economic improvement is enough, and forgetting the old issues of substance, and Israeli occupation. The two-state solution is nearly dead.”

Europe itself is not the Europe of decades past, dominated by French diplomacy, with its Arab ties. There are 27 nations. Eastern and former Soviet states, like Poland and the Czech Republic, often take American positions on foreign affairs. As Prague took over the EU presidency last week, it issued a statement that Israel’s actions in Gaza were “defensive” — later backing down under French and British censure.

In Scandinavia, traditionally pro-Arab states have found social tensions with new Muslim populations — the crisis in Denmark over a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad, for example — and public support for Arabs is down in polls. In Europe today, nearly all major leaders — France’s Nicolas Sarkozy, Germany’s Angela Merkel, Britain’s Gordon Brown, and Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi — are seen as leaning toward Israel. The lone pro-Arab leader is Spain’s José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

“There is a general ‘Arab fatigue’ in Europe,” says Denis Bauchard, an adviser to the French Institute for International Relations in Paris. “The Palestine issue continues, the violence continues, the Palestinians are divided, and it just creates a kind of fatigue.”

“Europe fears an Islamist threat, whether internal or external, and this has begun to change the overall views on the Israel-Palestine conflict,” says Aude Signoles, an expert on Palestinian movements at the University of La Réunion in Madagascar.

A Pew Global Attitudes poll in 2006 found that French sympathies were evenly divided (38 percent) between those sympathizing with the Palestinians and with Israel, marking a doubling of support for Israel and a 10 percent gain for Palestinians over the previous two years. In Germany, 37 percent sympathized with Israel — an increase of 13 points over 2004 and more than double those who supported the Palestinians.

To be sure, Europe retains deep reservoirs of solidarity with North Africa. Public opinion here is outraged by the Gaza inferno. There is widespread condemnation of the Israeli attack, including by French President Sarkozy. European media have been overwhelmingly sympathetic to the Gazans, even while being barred from entering the Strip.

More fundamentally, says Antoine Sfeir, founder of the Middle East review “Cahiers de L’Orient,” European leaders understand the political realities in Israel, the problems of a state attacked by rockets, and the need to protect citizens. Even if he disagrees with the framing of the issue, “The Europeans don’t see this as a Palestinian thing. They see it as a Hamas thing,” he says. “In fact, this is not about terrorism; it is a war between Israel and Palestinians that is being called a war on terror.”

Ironically perhaps, Europeans were the most vocal critics of the Bush administration-coined phrase “war on terror.” It is seen as overreaching and simplistic while being used to sanction wars like Iraq.

Yet since Sept. 11, a discourse that advocates a tough confrontation with Islam has emerged in Europe — based in part on Samuel Huntington’s “clash of civilization” theory — in such venues as the French magazine “Brave New World.” Sarkozy has been congenial to these points.

Authors include former leftists like Pascal Bruckner, André Glucksmann, Olivier Rolin, and Bernard-Henri Lévy who supported the war in Iraq and view Islam as a creeping form of totalitarian ideology moving into Europe. The most recent issue contains an homage to Mr. Huntington, who died last month.

Bitar argues that “Islamophobia” feeds a popular confusion in Europe about Muslims. “Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda are all viewed as the same thing. Europe used to see the Arab conflict as about territory. Now it is shifting towards the global war on terror, Islam versus the West, clash theory.”

Mr. Moisi dissents from the Huntington thesis. His recent book “Clash of Emotion,” describes a West characterized by “fear” and an Arab world characterized by “humiliation.”

US and European differences on Israel have been deep and numerous. The US and Israel have religious and theological sensibilities about the Holy Land; Europeans view the Palestinian issue through a secular and humanitarian lens.

America, with an influential Jewish population, has seen Israel’s security and right to defend itself as central. Europe, without as weighty a lobby, has stressed UN security resolutions, and international law for Palestinians that have been a counterbalance. European academics have not been uneasy with the phrase “state-sponsored terrorism” to describe Israeli violence against Palestinians; in America the phrase is seen as far-left.

Europeans saw President Clinton as an honest broker in the Mideast; President Bush has been seen as wholly aligned with Israel.

Large differences still exist between the two continents on the priority of the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

“In Europe, we see the Palestinian issue as major, one that, if not solved, will continue the chaos and violence,” says Mr. Bauchard. “Americans agree with Israel that the real issue is the existential threat from Iran. The Israelis built a wall and treated the Palestinians as unimportant.”

European media characterize the photogenic and well-spoken Ms. Livni as a moderate — though she emerged from the hard-line party of Ariel Sharon. “The Europeans really fear what will happen if [right-wing Likud Party chairman Benjamin] Netanyahu wins in February,” says Ms. Signoles. “So she is called a moderate, because in Europe, the term right-wing means violent.”

Signoles points out that the main effect of a Europe that adopts an American position is that the core Palestinian issues regarding the cessation of settlements, a shared capital of Jerusalem, and the right of return “may not be emphasized as before.… [T]he Israel-Palestine issue is an asymmetric problem, and if the international community does not raise it and balance it, there is little chance that the rights of the smaller player will be raised.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Israel’s Strategic Incompetence in Gaza

First, the team in charge in Jerusalem created the Gaza problem. Its leader, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert immortally explained in 2005 the forthcoming unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza: “We [Israelis] are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies.”

Olmert had a vital role in (1) initiating the Gaza withdrawal, which ended the Israel Defense Forces’ close control of the territory, and (2) giving up Israeli control over the Gaza-Egypt border. This latter, little noted decision, enabled Hamas to build tunnels to Egypt, smuggle in matériel, and launch missiles into Israel.

Secondly, Olmert and his colleagues failed to respond to the barrage of rockets and mortar shells. From the Israeli withdrawal in 2005 until now, Hamas has launched over 6,500 missiles into Israel. Incredibly, Israelis endured nearly eight attacks a day for three years; why? A responsible government would have responded to the first rocket as a casus belli and immediately responded.

Thirdly, a committee of the French parliament published an important technical report in mid-December, establishing that “there is no longer doubt” about the military purposes of the Iranian nuclear program, and that it will be up and running in 2-3 years.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Israel to Continue Gaza Offensive to Pressure Egypt

The security cabinet decided Friday to continue Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, but not expand it at this stage. In the coming days Israel will focus its military and diplomatic efforts on pressuring Egypt to work toward the Israeli and international demand to deploy an international force to combat smuggling from Egypt to Gaza.

Palestinian sources told Haaretz that Cairo demanded Saturday morning that the militant group respond to its cease-fire proposal within 48 hours. Egypt warned that if Hamas rejects its offer, Egypt would be unable to stop Israel from continuing its ground offensive.

Senior officers in the Israel Defense Forces told Haaretz that for further achievements, the army will have to expand the operation by at least 20 days and include reserve units in the fighting. A senior officer in Gaza said Hamas’ capabilities were gradually eroding and that the group had lost more than 300 militants from its armed wing since the ground operation began.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Israeli Bomb Shrapnel Wounds 4 Egyptians

ISMAILIA, Egypt (Reuters) — Two Egyptian children and two police officers were wounded by shrapnel from Israeli bombs near a crossing point at Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip on Sunday, security sources said.

The children, aged two and five, and the two officers were the first Egyptians to be wounded by Israeli bombs since the Israeli offensive against Gaza began on December 27, and were taken to hospitals in el-Arish.

There were no details of the gravity of their injuries.

Witnesses said Egyptian houses near the border and government offices at the crossing were damaged by shrapnel on Sunday.

Israel has expanded its air campaign to the southern Gaza Strip, aiming at smuggling tunnels running under the border with Egypt, a network that is Gaza’s lifeline to the outside world.

Israel says militants use the tunnels to smuggle weapons into Gaza.

One Egyptian border guard has been killed and two have been wounded in clashes with Palestinians trying to enter Egypt since the Israeli offensive began.

The Palestinian death toll in Gaza since December 27 stands at 874, many of them civilians, Gaza medical officials said. Israel says 10 Israeli soldiers and three civilians have been killed.

[Return to headlines]

The Gaza War: a Small Part of the Nationalist Islamist Conflict

by Barry Rubin

In decades to come, when the Middle East’s history for this era is written, the current war in Gaza will be deemed a skirmish in the great Arab-Persian; Sunni-Shia; Arab nationalist-Islamist; Iran-Syria versus Egypt-Saudi Arabia conflict that is going to be the region’s—and perhaps world’s—main feature for the rest of our lifetimes.

The Arab-Israeli conflict, as it existed from 1948 to the late 1980s or thereafter, is over. Whatever they say in public, all the Arab states except for Syria have basically withdrawn from active participation. Indeed, strong statements in speeches and media have long been a substitute for action. Egypt, Jordan, and the PLO signed peace agreements with Israel, which may not have yielded warm relations but certainly ended their direct involvement in any conflict. The Persian Gulf and north African Arab states are just not focused on it.

Why has this happened? There are basically four reasons why the Middle East today is totally different from that of the previous period…

           — Hat tip: Barry Rubin [Return to headlines]

Middle East

Iraq: Italian Wins Respect of US Forces and Religious Leaders

Nassiriya, 7 Jan. (AKI) — Anna Prouse is eating a spicy spaghetti alla puttanesca inside a US military camp in the southern Iraqi city of Nassiriya. Suddenly shots are fired and the windows shake, but Prouse is unperturbed. “There’s no danger, those shots are being fired outside,” she said. “When they are fired inside, that’s when you have to worry.”

According to the Italian daily, Il Giornale, Prouse, who comes from the Italian city of Milan, has suffered three attacks since she arrived in Iraq five years ago.

For the past two years, the 38-year-old Italian has been the head of the provincial reconstruction team in this southern province and has won a glowing endorsement from US generals and Iraqi religious leaders.

“She is the best PRT leader there is in Iraq,” said the head of US central command, General David Petraeus, who until recently led the multinational force in Iraq. “She has shown great courage and great devotion.”

During the Muslim Eid al-Adha of Festival of Sacrifice in December , some of the Italians stationed in Nassiriya arrived at the local mosque with 47 electricity generators that the Shia religious leader in the area, Majeed al-Esawee distributed to local clergy.

“The Italian humanitarian gesture made many Muslims happy. They were praying in the dark and now they have light. No one ever gave us a gift like that and we hope that the collaboration (with the Italians) will continue,” said al-Esawee.

Nassiriya is notorious in Italy, where is remembered for the brutal massacre of 19 Italians in November 2003. Al-Qaeda took responsibility for the attack that killed 12 Italian police, five soldiers and two civilians.

Abu Omar al Kurdi, a lieutenant to the then Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, admitted after his arrest that he had masterminded the terrorist attack against the Italian military base in Nassiriya.

A total of 27 people were killed when two vehicles loaded with explosives drove into the base and exploded.

While the province of Dhi Qar, that surrounds Nassiriya, is much calmer than it was five years ago,it is far from secure. There have been several conflicts between Iranian-backed militias and police in recent months and the head of Iraq’s special forces was killed, an official that Prouse knew well.

“Unfortunately there are many wanted men who are hiding in this area,” said the chief of police in Nassiriya, Sabah al-Fatlawi. “They are being trained across the border and are carrying out violent acts particularly against Iraqis.”

Prouse and her team of 20 Italian and American experts have focused on training activities for women and children and initiatives to boost local small and medium sized firms and local agriculture.

At the local Training Center they are running a variety of courses, including seminars on women’s rights. A team led by Alessandro Costa has registered 140 small and medium businesses in the province who are being organised for a trade mission in Italy.

Three hundred local children have learned how to use computers and 500 teachers are beginning English courses. The local museum is being restored and a series of popular exhibitions are being organised. Several schools have been built as well as offices for the local business association.

Laboratory technicians are learning how to treat dates for export and around 7,000 hectares of diseased palm and date trees are to be sprayed by a US-funded aircraft.

Local farmers have been supplied with beehives and there are now 200 beekeepers in the province compared with two a year ago.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

U.S. Rejected Aid for Israeli Raid on Iranian Nuclear Site

WASHINGTON — President Bush deflected a secret request by Israel last year for specialized bunker-busting bombs it wanted for an attack on Iran’s main nuclear complex and told the Israelis that he had authorized new covert action intended to sabotage Iran’s suspected effort to develop nuclear weapons, according to senior American and foreign officials.

Last year, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel asked President Bush for bunker-busting bombs and permission to fly over Iraq to attack the plant.

White House officials never conclusively determined whether Israel had decided to go ahead with the strike before the United States protested, or whether Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel was trying to goad the White House into more decisive action before Mr. Bush left office. But the Bush administration was particularly alarmed by an Israeli request to fly over Iraq to reach Iran’s major nuclear complex at Natanz, where the country’s only known uranium enrichment plant is located.

The White House denied that request outright, American officials said, and the Israelis backed off their plans, at least temporarily. But the tense exchanges also prompted the White House to step up intelligence-sharing with Israel and brief Israeli officials on new American efforts to subtly sabotage Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, a major covert program that Mr. Bush is about to hand off to President-elect Barack Obama.

This account of the expanded American covert program and the Bush administration’s efforts to dissuade Israel from an aerial attack on Iran emerged in interviews over the past 15 months with current and former American officials, outside experts, international nuclear inspectors and European and Israeli officials. None would speak on the record because of the great secrecy surrounding the intelligence developed on Iran.

Several details of the covert effort have been omitted from this account, at the request of senior United States intelligence and administration officials, to avoid harming continuing operations.

The interviews also suggest that while Mr. Bush was extensively briefed on options for an overt American attack on Iran’s facilities, he never instructed the Pentagon to move beyond contingency planning, even during the final year of his presidency, contrary to what some critics have suggested…

           — Hat tip: islam o’phobe [Return to headlines]

South Asia

Hindu Community of Nepal Against Maoist Government

The government headed by Prachanda calls a national procession in an attempt to reconcile with the population. Demonstrations continue after the forced replacement of monks at the Hindu temple in Pashupati. Unrest in the capital among the faithful of the deposed monarch. Solidarity from the Buddhist community, and from India’s BJP.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) — The Maoist government has announced three months of national religious celebrations, in an attempt to stem the outbreak of protests in the country. The beginning of the yatra — the name of the traditional procession — was scheduled for yesterday, and will be held all over Nepal. The government headed by Prachanda hopes in this way to restore support after a series of decisions that the population considers as undue government meddling in religious questions.

The appointment of Nepalese monks as supervisors of the temple in Pashupati, installed at the beginning of the year with the help of the police, has unleashed protests and demonstrations on the part of the monks who were removed from office, and of the faithful who have witnessed the infringement of an age-old tradition.

Hundreds of people employed at the place of worship continue to demonstrate in front of the temple, calling for the restoration of the previous leader, of Indian origin. The government has created a “no protest zone” around the area of Pashupati, but the demonstrators continue to promote their cause.

The supreme court, to which the monks appealed, does not recognize the authority of the government to appoint religious leaders. On January 6, the prime minister said that he intended to respect the decision of the court. But in recent days, the newly appointed head of the Pashupatinath Area Development Trust said that the government had no intention of withdrawing its decision.

The monks of Indian origin, who had served at the temple until the end of 2008, say that they were forced out. One of them, interviewed by AsiaNews, says: “We were seriously pressured, and charged with mishandling the funds raised at the temple. But none of the Indian priests are responsible for any corruption. As we received many threats, we were compelled to resign from the post for the sake of our safety.”

The World Hindu Federation organized, on Tuesday, a protest to which it invited all of the Hindu faithful and of the other religions present in the country. Da Damodar Gautam, president of the federation’s Nepal chapter, says that in the name of change, laws and policies can be changed, but not faith and tradition. So we request the government to immediately withdraw the decision. If the government will not step back from such religious intervention, we will go to the international community for support.”

Solidarity with the Hundu has also come from the Buddhist community, through a statement by Lama Nigma Dorje, president of the Gumba Management Committee.

The Rastriaya Prajatantra Party Nepal, a Hindu movement connected to the former king deposed by the Maoists, has begun agitations all over the country against the Maoist government and its interference in religious affairs. An anti-government march was held on Tuesday, December 6, beginning from the capital.

In the meantime, Lal Krishna Advani, the leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has said that he is “deeply disturbed” by the Nepalese government’s decision. In a statement, the BJP calls upon Kathmandu to respect these sentiments and religious tradition of the people, and calls the action by the Maoists “clumsy and anti-democratic.”

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Indonesia: Former Spy Chief Challenges Rights Activist

Jakarta, 9 Jan. (AKI) — An Indonesian general who was convicted and later acquitted of the murder of a leading activist, is launching defamation action against a prominent human rights leader. The South Jakarta District Court in December cleared Muchdi Purwoprandjono of all charges linked to the murder of rights activist Munir Said Thalib in 2004.

Human rights activists condemned the court’s decision to acquit the former spy chief who was previously convicted of ordering the activist’s murder.

Now the general is taking legal action against Husman Hamid, lawyer and director of the human rights group established by Munir, Kontras.

Contacted by Adnkronos International (AKI), Hamid said he was not concerned about the legal action and would continue the fight for justice.

“What Muchdi is trying to do is only a distraction, but we will not be intimidated by it,” he said.

The former spy accused Hamid of calling him an “assassin” during the trial.

Hamid called the general’s exoneration by the courts “a scandal and a defeat for Indonesia”.

Munir was poisoned during a flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam on 7 September 2004.

A former pilot with the national airline, Garuda, Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, was sentenced to 20 years for killing the rights activist.

Munir was an outspoken critic of Indonesia’s security services under the dictator, Soeharto, who ruled the country from 1965 to 1998.

He exposed the kidnapping of 13 activists by special forces under Purwopranjono’s command in 1997 and 1998.

One of his investigations revealed the involvement of Kopassus in the kidnapping of young activists in 1997 and led to Muchdi’s dismissal.

No senior member of the armed forces or secret services has been sentenced despite numerous allegations of human rights abuse under the Soeharto regime.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Kerala: Communists Pushing Euthanasia Bill, Church Calls it Electoral Propaganda

The Marxist-leaning government wants to legalise euthanasia and decriminalise attempted suicide. Bill would allow patients to choose between continued treatment or letting themselves die. Catholic Church slams the bill as a “new attack against life.”

New Delhi (AsiaNews) — The legalisation of euthanasia and the decriminalisation of attempted suicide are before Kerala’s Law Reforms Commission, headed by former Supreme Court judge V.R. Krishna Iyer. They are part of a draft bill, the Kerala Terminally Ill Patients Act.

“Life is sacred, but intense pain with no relief in sight is a torture which negates the meaning of existence,” said the commission set up by the Marxist-leaning Left Democratic Front-ruled State government.

Should it be approved by the legislature of Kerala, a state in southern India, the draft law would allow “terminally ill persons to put an end to their life under the supervision and advice of close relatives and medical practitioners.”

The proposed law would also give ‘competent patients’ the right to refuse treatment, including breathing machines.

If patients are incapable of making an informed decision, or have not taken an informed decision, medical practitioners can evaluate what treatment to offer, or decide to withhold it altogether.

Fr Paul Thelakat, editor-in-chief of the influential journal Satyadeepam (Light of Truth) and spokesman for the Syro-Malabar Synod, did not mince words. For him the draft bill is electoral propaganda for the Marxist party.

He is dead fast against euthanasia “because no one has the right to take life, not even the patient who wants it.”

At the same time Father Thelakat said he is against extreme medical care or relentless treatment which violates a patient’s dignity and does not respect his or her suffering.

Pascal Carvalho, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, slams unequivocally this “grave attack on life” which must “be condemned in the strongest possible terms.”

“No one can assume the right to decide on matters of life and death,” he said.

For him it is sad that Kerala, a state with one of the highest literacy rates (89.9 per cent) in the country and one of the most developed, should lead the charge in favour of a law that would legalise euthanasia.

He understands why “those who suffer and their loved ones” might be tempted to end it all, but insists that there is a “great difference between purposely killing someone and allowing a person to die peacefully with dignity, while maintaining the ordinary means of health care.”

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Supreme Court of Tajikistan Outlaws Salafi Islam

The importation and distribution of its religious material and its practice of worship have been outlawed. The fundamentalist origin of the movement could “threaten” order and national security. Political experts see its faithful as the true opposition to the central government.

Dushanbe (AsiaNews/Agencies) — “The current of Salafi Islam has been outlawed.” The announcement was made yesterday by Makhmadali Ioussoupov, spokesman of the supreme court of Tajikistan. The country’s highest legal body has ordered the interdiction of activities by the Salafi current, and has prohibited the importation and distribution of its religious material in the country.

The religious authorities of Tajikistan see Salafism as a potential threat, capable of dividing society both because of its worship practices, and because of the fundamentalist heritage that determines its particular traits. They invite the Salafi faithful to come to the mosques for prayer, and to get used to the customs of the Sunni Hanafi majority, in order to avoid conflict or division between the two Muslim movements in the country. Islamic terrorism, especially in the Sunni world, is rooted in Salafism, a literal attachment to the tradition of the past and to those who have gone beore (salaf), and a rigid interpretation of doctrine.

According to some local political experts, the Salafis are the true heart of opposition to the government, promoters of popular “discontent,” and “could at any moment promote a struggle to overthrow the established order.”

The Salafi community, although it is not officially registered, numbers about 10,000 faithful, although its leaders say it has more than 20,000 practitioners. Tajikistan has a population of about 7.5 million inhabitants, 83% of whom are of the Sunni Islamic religion. 13.9% say they are agnostic, while Christians are about 2.1% of the total.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]


Anti-Crisis Bill: Fini, No to Discrimination Against Immigrants

(AGI) — Rome, 9 Jan. — “I hope that the majority reflects before passing laws that have nothing to do with the important fight against illegal immigration, and that are objectively discriminatory against foreign workers present in Italy”. This was stated by Gianfranco Fini, President of the House.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Immigrants: May, Interior-Justice Minister G8 in Lampedusa

(AGI) — Lampedusa, 9 Jan. — At the end of May in Lampedusa a G8 summit of Interior and Justice Ministers will be on immigration. This was announced by Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, who visited the island for an inspection today.

One of the main topics, explained the minister, will be on impeding immigration. We will also discuss the social impact of the phenomena on citizens and aid to countries of origin.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]


Madonna Targeted by Extremists

Madonna is reportedly being targeted by Muslim fanatics.

The US singer — who follows the Jewish rooted faith Kabbalah — has added to her personal security team and warned ex-husband Guy Ritchie to increase protection for the children they raise, Lourdes 12, Rocco, eight and adopted David Banda, three.

A source told Britain’s The People newspaper: “Madonna is well known for her Kabbalah faith and support for Israel, having visited the country several times.

“This seems to upset extreme Muslims who forget she respects people of all faiths whether Islamic, Christian or Buddhist. Like anyone else she would like to see a peaceful end to the problems in Gaza.

“But she is beside herself with worry, not just for her own safety, but for that of the children.”

Extremists angry about the current situation in Gaza — where Israeli and Palestinian groups have been warring since the beginning of the year — have taken their attack on western values to a personal level, writing hate messages about Madonna on websites.

           — Hat tip: ESW [Return to headlines]

4 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/11/2009

  1. IDF: Whole Hamas Battalions Wiped Out

    Earlier Saturday, the IDF killed Hamas’ rocket chief in the Gaza City area, Amir Mansi. The senior officer said that shortly before his death Mansi clashed with his subordinates, who refused to come out of their hideouts. The rocket chief was left with no choice but to launch mortar shells himself, and was killed after being identified by the army.

    How delightful. Insufficient zeal on the part of cowardly terrorist underlings obliges one of their rocket scientists to man the helm himself. Thereby catching the counter-battery and earning his virgins.

    Now these goons have less expertise and further reduced their bargaining power. The IDF should be very proud of cowing these thugs so severely that it forces Hamas leadership to the surface.

    According to reports, just before the offensive, IDF troops were pulled back from the border as a feint. Hamas sounded the “all clear” and convened several of its battalions for briefing. That was when Israel struck from the air and killed a few hundred Hamas gangsters in one swoop.

  2. Hindu Community of Nepal Against Maoist Government

    Despite being the 20th Century’s premier murderers, the political resiliency of Stalin and Mao’s personal legacies shows just how dangerous communism remains.

    The Soviet Union’s fall should have permanently discredited communism. Instead, it continues to infect ignorant minds in all corners of the world.

    One day it will be understood that post Cold War communists should have been captured and executed just like the World War II Nazis. That these ideologues were not eliminated allows them to continue being the source of terrorism and global instability.

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