News for July 09, 2005

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Hurricane Dennis (July 08, 2005) - With its projected path nudging closer to Florida, Hurricane Dennis spun into a dangerous Category 4 monster on Thursday night, prompting the state to go on high alert and the Keys to evacuate tourists and residents. In bruising Jamaica on Thursday and aiming toward western Cuba, the system already is taking a course eerily similar to that of Hurricane Ivan, which ultimately hammered Pensacola as a Category 3. more...

London a Longtime Haven for Radical Muslim Figures (July 08, 2005) - Terrorism experts have long warned that Islamists espousing violence enjoy a haven in London, an assertion that has come into sharp focus again with Thursday's bombings in the British capital. For years, Britain tolerated the presence of high-profile and outspoken Islamic clerics whose fiery sermons frequently extolled jihad against the West. Since 9/11, however, anti-terror legislation has been tightened, some groups have been outlawed, terror rings have been broken and some controversial figures have been arrested. One of them, Egyptian-born Abu Hamza al-Masri, went on trial this week at London's Old Bailey courthouse, where he faces more than a dozen charges include inciting terrorism and racial hatred. more...

AAnti-Semitism spikes in Britain (July 09, 2005) - Anti-Semitism in Great Britain has turned in just a few years from a public nuisance into something of a crisis, according to a Jewish magazine. The annual report of the Community Security Trust, which tracks anti-Semitic incidents in Britain, showed 2004 was the worst year of anti-Semitic violence, vandalism and harassment since the group began keeping statistics in 1996, according to Azure magazine. The numbers include 83 physical assaults – up from 54 in 2003, or a 54-percent increase – and 365 acts of abusive or threatening behavior, up from 233 in 2003, or a 57-percent increase. more...

Muslim prayer to be key in terror trial (July 09, 2005) - A young man charged with lying about attending an al Qaeda-linked terrorist camp was carrying an Arabic prayer in his wallet that federal prosecutors say is significant to their case. Hamid Hayat, 22, and his father, Umer, 47, are charged with lying to federal investigators about the young man’s time at the camp in 2003 and 2004 as part of an investigation in Lodi that also has resulted in the detention on immigration charges of two Muslim religious leaders and one leader’s son. “Lord let us be at their throats, and we ask you to give us refuge from their evil,” read the prayer on a slip of paper, prosecutors said in court documents filed late Wednesday. They said the paper is “relevant to the question of whether Hamid Hayat falsely denied that he had attended a terrorist camp. It corroborates defendant Hamid Hayat’s videotaped admission that he, in fact, had attended such a camp.” more...

G8 Aid to Palestinians Won’t Solve Problem, Israel Says By Julie Stahl (July 08, 2005) - Israel welcomed the G8’s decision on Friday to give billions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority but warned that money alone wouldn’t solve the Palestinians’ problems. British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced on Friday that leaders of the G8 nations meeting in Scotland had agreed to give $3 billion in economic aid to the Palestinian Authority “in the years to come.” Blair said the aid would be given “so that two states, Israel and Palestine, two peoples and two religions, can live side by side in peace.” Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s spokesman Dr. Ra’anan Gissin said Israel welcoms the aid to the Palestinians but cautioned that if it is not accompanied by reforms it will be wasted. “Money alone will not solve the problem,” Gissin said. There must be economic, security and governmental reforms, he said. more...

United Church of Christ to Begin Divestment Process From Israel Isracast (July 06, 2005) - The United Church of Christ (UCC) called on members to employ “economic leverage” against Israel, including possible divestment. A resolution passed at the UCC’s biennial synod July 5th urged local churches “to use economic leverage,” including “divesting from those companies that refuse to change their practices of gain from the perpetuation of violence, including the Occupation.” A separate resolution called upon Israel to remove its West Bank security barrier. The resolutions drew a sharp reaction from Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who described them as “functionally anti-Semitic.” “This is a manipulation of a religious organization for political purposes,” he said. “This is part of a game plan to give the scarlet letter ‘A’ on Israel’s forehead.” Cooper said the resolutions represented the efforts of a small group of activists and not the rank-and-file members of the UCC.

Single Day Aliyah Record (July 06, 2005) - More than 1800 North American Jews will move to Israel this summer. On July 13, two separate chartered El Al flights with 500 immigrants from the United States and Canada will arrive. This is the largest contingent of North American Jews to make aliyah in one day in Israel’s history. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Perez, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Jewish Agency Chairman of the Executive Ze’ev Bielski will greet the new arrivals. Nefesh B’Nefesh has assisted more than 4,000 newcomers to Israel since 2002. This summer, they expect that 2005-newcomers will originate from 31 US states and 6 Canadian provinces..

Kassam Missile Explodes On Nursery School in Gush Katif Israel National News (July 04, 2005) - Miracle in Gush Katif: A Kassam missile slammed into the roof of a nursery school late on the night of July 3 in the town of Ganei Tal in Gush Katif. Children living in nearby homes, many who attend the school, were awakened by the explosion, but were unharmed. Residents of Ganei Tal added a prayer for thanksgiving in their morning prayers. The IDF has not responded to the attack and is not expected to do so.

IDF To Shoot On Sight At Lebanese Border David Rudge, Jerusalem Post (July 04, 2005) - Israel has apparently decided to adopt a “zero tolerance” stance regarding any attempts to infiltrate the border from Lebanon, the Jerusalem Post has learned. Lebanese observers said that this marks a drastic change in Israel’s policy towards people approaching the border from Lebanon and is a specific warning to the civilian population and to the new government of Beirut. “It looks like this is a very firm approach by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and we have no reason to believe anything to the contrary,” said a senior UN source. The UN source said that he had been informed by Israel that the IDF would now adopt a policy of “zero tolerance” to any crossing of the blue line, the UN delineated withdrawal line. It is the most serious statement of intention ever made by the IDF since the withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, in full compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 425. There was no comment on July 6 from security officials on the matter.

Eyewitness: The Media-Reported “Lynch” Was Staged Arutz 7 (July 04, 2005) - “A young Palestinian boy lynched by Jewish rock-throwers is in mortal condition.” So repeated public Israeli news reports late last week, while, in fact, the entire affair was staged by reporters.

The story began on June 26 in northern Gush Katif. The army demolished several abandoned structures, in fear that the Jewish residents would camp out there before and during the disengagement. The Gush Katif residents then responded by taking over another abandoned building nearby, and on morning of June 29, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) arrived to empty out the building..

Several yeshiva students were taken out peacefully; one was caught on camera being carried out as he continued to study Mishna (the Oral Law). Then things began to heat up. According to the press reports, youngsters on the roof “infuriated the local population” by writing on the outside wall of the building, in Hebrew, “Muhammed Pig!” The Arabs then began to hurl rocks at the Jews, the Jews responded in kind, and the soldiers were not able to restore peace.

An eyewitness on the scene–who wishes to be known only as AD–said, however, that this was not what happened. “No, no,” he told Arutz-7, “The Arabs there don’t even know how to read Hebrew. What happened was that one Jew threw rocks, and then about 30 Arabs came out and started pounding everything in sight with rocks. It was a terrible disgrace for the IDF. I came home all in shock at what I had seen. The soldiers were simply unable to protect themselves from this onslaught, even though the Arabs were pounding the jeeps and everything. The only time the soldiers did something real was when the Jews started throwing rocks back! But now I understand how the intifada started because the Arabs who live in this area, the Muwasi, are very quiet; they never throw rocks at all. But now they see that the army is so weak, they realize that they have nothing to be afraid of. They were really pounding us.”

The main story of the day, however, was the alleged “lynching” of a young Arab boy. Israel Radio and Army Radio continually used this word to describe what happened, and Israeli television stations showed footage of an Arab lying on the ground and then two Jewish boys running towards him and throwing rocks at him.

“That’s not the story!” said AD “I saw this same Arab get hit in the head with a rock, and yet he continued to throw rocks, like a tiger, for the next 15 minutes! And then I saw some reporters go over to him and tell him to lie down and act as if he was unconscious. Later on, he was taken out walking on his own, holding on to a soldier. All this talk of his being mortally wounded is total nonsense. In addition, he was taken to a hospital in Gaza; if he was really mortally wounded, they would have taken him to Soroka in Beersheva.”

In fact, media reports continued throughout the next day to report that he was still mortally wounded, even though Arab sources had admitted by then that he had “regained consciousness,” was talking, and felt fine. By July 1, the victim of the alleged “lynching” was reported to be “lightly hurt.”

AD said that a friend of his was also there at the time, saw the same thing and could corroborate the story. “The problem is that he works for a certain media source and refuses to talk to anyone in the media about it,” AD said.