25 November 2002

This is Unacceptable

I started writing this article last week on Wednesday night when I heard about the latest bus bombing in Jerusalem, Israel. One of the first reports was that there were school children on the bus and that they were a good number of the dead. The results I found out Thursday morning. 11 dead. Four of those dead were teenagers on their way to school. A mother and son, sharing the bus ride before having to part ways. A grandmother and grandson, together in the morning rush.

Thursday morning during rush hour, an Arab decided that it was a good morning to blow up Jews.

The Arabs are fond of saying ‘they do not have problems with Jews, they have a problem with Zionism’. I will say this: I have no problems with Arabs, I have a problem with their Culture of Violence.

The use of children to wage war against the Jews is unacceptable. Children should not be used as weapons of war, or as targets of war. Children are sacred, and should be kept out of harms way. However, the Culture of Violence uses children as a political tool, to use the number of children dead in their public relations.

The Palestinian Authority ran summer camps to give young children military training. The New York Times reported that 25,000 children were trained in the summer 2000 how to use firearms, Molotov cocktails, how to kidnap and ambush Jews (New York Times, Aug. 2, 2000).

Death is glorified. A Palestinian Authority TV program clip, obviously aiming for younger viewers, features a boy killed in Gaza, arriving in heaven where there are beaches, waterfalls, and a Ferris wheel. He is saying, “I am not waving goodbye, I am waving to tell you to follow in my footsteps.” The music plays in the background, “How pleasant is the smell of martyrs, how pleasant the smell of land, the land enriched by the blood, the blood pouring out of a fresh body.”

This is unacceptable.

The Religious system also supports the use of children for violence. The Palestinian Authority appointed Mufti Ikrimi Sabri (religious leader) of Jerusalem said, “I feel the martyr is lucky because the angels usher him to his wedding in heaven...The younger the martyr, the greater and the more I respect him” (Al-Ahram Al-Arabi, Oct. 28, 2000).

Arab children are reminded time and time again that their deaths should be the goal of their lives. Children collect and trade necklace-pendants with the pictures of homicide bombers. Munir Jabal, head of the Balata teachers union said, “These children are convinced that martyrdom is a holy thing, something worthy of the ultimate respect. They worship these pictures. I think it will lead them in the future to go out and do the same thing.”

This is unacceptable.

The parents of these children are also involved in the Culture of Violence. The Palestinian Authority pays the family $2000 per child killed, and $300 per child wounded. Saudi Arabia has pledged 250 million dollars as an advance on its billion dollar fund supporting homicide bombers families. The Arab Liberation Front, a Palestinian group loyal to Saddam Hussein, also donates to the Culture of Violence. $500 for a wound, $1000 for disability, $10,000 to the family of each “martyr”, and $25,000 to the family of a homicide bomber. This is money not going to a proper education, but a reward for using children as violent terrorists. (HonestReporting.com)

Children are special gifts. They should be protected from war and must not to be used as targets or as terrorists. This is unacceptable. The Culture of Violence must end.

17 November 2002

Terrorist or Freedom Fighter

Since the terms “terrorist” and “freedom fighter” have a tendency to be used interchangeably these days, I think that it is time to clear up the confusion. One man’s terrorist is not another man’s freedom fighter.

Let’s begin by defining our terms. The term “freedom fighter” is a relatively new term. The root of the word is “freedom”. These are people who are looking for freedom from a government that is oppressing them, or looking to secure basic rights under that government. Since their point is political, they will attack military targets of that government. And finally, these targets would not include civilians since obviously they are not military targets.

We see from this that there are two main criteria to fulfill if you want to be a freedom fighter. The first is that you have a political objective. The second is that your targets are limited to military instillations and personnel.

Next is the definition of a “terrorist”. The root of the word is “terror”. What is terror? Terror is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “an organized system of intimidation”. These people may have political or religious underpinnings but the focus of a terrorist is the intimidation of the civilian population. The main difference between a “terrorist” and a “freedom fighter” is that a terrorist does not hesitate to attack and murder civilians.

There are some excellent examples of terrorism in recent times. In the attack on the Twin Towers in New York last September 3,000 civilians were murdered. This was not an attack by freedom fighters, because the two criteria that define a freedom fighter were not fulfilled. First, the hijackers were not looking for freedom from an oppressive government and second, they attacked a civilian population. The hijackers were terrorists looking to intimidate the American civilian population.

Another example of terrorism is the nightclub bombing in Bali, Indonesia in mid-October of this year. 200 civilians were murdered and many more injured when terrorists set off bombs destroying the club. This was not an attack on an oppressive government or an attack on military personnel. This was an attack on tourists and vacationers who had decided to go out for a night of dancing and partying. This attack is an act of terrorism.

Let’s bring terrorism down to a more individual level. Last week in Israel on November 10th, a terrorist walked into Kibbutz Metzer, a kibbutz known for it’s friendly relations with it’s Arab neighbors. As a result of these friendly relations, there was no security fence. Revital Ochayon had just put her two little boys to bed, Matan 5, Noam 4, when a terrorist came into her home and murdered all three. That night at the kibbutz Tirza Damari was murdered by the same terrorist as she took a late night walk with a friend. This was not an attack on military personnel. This was attack on small children. These attacks are acts of terrorism.

On Friday night, walking home from Sabbath evening prayers in the holy city of Hebron, Jewish worshipers being escorted by the Israeli military were attacked and murdered. This not being enough, the security and medical team sent to help were also ambushed and murdered. The result of this massacre: 11 Jews, civilian and military and one Bedouin Israeli soldier murdered. This was not an attack on a military instillation or personnel. This was an attack on worshipers on their way home after services. These attacks are also acts of terrorism.

It is clearly seen what are acts of terrorism and what are acts of freedom fighters. The attack on the Twin Towers is an act of terrorism. The attack on the Bali nightclub is an act of terrorism. The attack on the kibbutz, murdering little children and their parent is an act of terrorism. The murder of a woman out for a walk is an act of terrorism. The attack on worshipers coming back from prayer services is an act of terrorism.

It must be clear that there are no excuses for terrorism. The confusion between a “freedom fighter” and a “terrorist” must end. Do not become apologists for murderers. One man’s terrorist is not another man’s freedom fighter.

11 November 2002

Where Did All the Money Go?

As reported by the news, the Palestinians are hard up for money and it’s Israel’s fault. However, as I’m apt to say - do the research. There has been Billions of dollars that have been donated to the Palestinian cause. Billions with a big “B”. The question is, where did all the money go?

The beginning of the money trail began in 1991, when the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was still considered a terrorist organization (unlike today where they are a peace loving group). The Bank of England had shut down the Pakistani Bank of Credit and Commerce International on July 5, 1991, and found that the PLO had at least 10 Billion dollars stashed away.

Britain’s National Crime Intelligence Service concluded in 1993 that the PLO was the “richest of all terrorist organizations”. They estimated the PLO’s worth at 8-10 Billion dollars with an annual income of 1.5-2 Billion from “extortion, payoffs, illegal arms dealing, drug trafficking, money laundering, fraud, etc.”

After the Oslo Accords in 1993, where Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians were supposed to make peace with the Jews, he asked the world for donations and got even more money.

In 1996, the Palestinians had some serious suspicions about Arafat and his top advisors (the mansions in Gaza tipped them off), and decided to create a commission to investigate. They found that almost 40% of the Palestinian Authority’s (of which Arafat is head) 800 million dollar annual budget, disappeared through mismanagement and corruption. The Palestinian Authority's comptroller wrote, "The overall picture is one of a Mafia-style government, where the main point of being in public office is to get rich quick." This annual budget is dependent on the foreign aid of the European Union and Arab countries.

In 2001, at least 45 million dollars a month was given directly to Arafat - coming mostly from Iraq and Saudi Arabia (a good friend of the United States). This money was not given to help the people, but to fund the PLO’s terrorist organizations of the Islamic Jihad and the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. Currently, donations are up to 55 million dollars monthly.

The German newspaper Die Zeit discovered that at least 4.1 Billion Euros have been donated by the European Union to the Palestinian Authority since 1993, and since June 2001, 10 million Euros have gone directly to Arafat. A Kuwaiti newspaper recently published documents that showed that Arafat deposited 5.1 million dollars into his own personal account in Cairo, Egypt. The newspaper also reported that this was the same money that was supposed to go to the Palestinian people. The United States also donates to the Palestinians to the tune of 75 million dollars annually. All of this even when there is clear evidence that the money has gone to fund terrorism. Evidence with Arafat’s signature signed on the bottom, paying for explosives and supporting the suicide bombers families.

Now we see where the money has gone. It hasn’t gone into building an economic infrastructure. It hasn’t gone into building roads. It hasn’t gone into building homes. It hasn’t gone into building a democracy.

The money has gone straight into Arafat and his buddies’ pockets. It has gone into teaching children to hate. It has gone into creating and supporting terrorist organizations and networks. It has gone into creating a corrupt, destructive, dictatorial terrorist regime. (www.middleeastfacts.com, www.freeman.org)

This is where the money has gone.

05 November 2002

Brotherly Love

As we’ve seen over the last few weeks there have been demonstrations on campus dealing with the Arab-Jewish conflict. While these demonstrations are indeed entertaining, I want everyone to do their own research. We are inundated with information, from the television, to the radio, to the internet. We have sources at our fingertips, and we don’t take the effort to learn and find things out for ourselves. We believe what we are told.

We don’t ask why things happen the way they happen. We don’t look into the history of a problem to deal with the ramifications of today. We are lazy.

There are many topics that pro-Arab demonstrators never deal with. One of these topics is the how Arabs that are interested in peace with the Jews are treated by their Arab brothers.

As of mid-July 2002, the casualty rate is given as 1,500 Arabs killed, while only 550 Jews have been killed. While these numbers seem one sided, we need to break down them down. The number of Arabs killed does not make a distinction between civilian and armed combatants, or even who they were killed by.

A new study compiled by the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism (http://www.ict.org.il/researchreport/researchreport.htm) broke down these numbers into smaller categories such as age, gender, and whether or not they were combatants. The study showed that a majority of Palestinian Arab deaths were combatants, Jewish deaths were 80% civilian.

An interesting fact to notice is that between September 30, 2000 and May 30, 2002, thirty-four Palestinian females have been killed out of 1,293 Arab deaths - 2.63% In contrast, 146 Israeli females have been killed out of 501 Israeli deaths - 29% (www.bridgesforpeace.com). This is due to the targeting of Israeli civilians by Arab terrorists versus the accidental killing of Arab civilians by the Israeli Army. If the Israeli Army were focused on killing civilians, the female casualty rate would be much higher.

The most important part of the study that needs to be focused on are the 185 Arabs killed by their own brothers. This is one out of eight Arabs killed in this current conflict. During the first Intifada in the late 1980s, about 800 Palestinians were killed by other Palestinians as “suspected collaborators”, one-third of the total death toll.

These Arab “suspected collaborators” are executed in several different ways. Sometimes they are executed after a Palestinian Authority “trial” in which they went without access to lawyers and without the right to appeal, after being horribly tortured (Human Rights Watch, www.hrw.org) Sometimes these “collaborators” were murdered in a prison raid, or sometimes murdered in the street and hung by their heels in the city square (www.HonestReporting.com).

While Israel keeps getting accused of killing Arabs indiscriminately, we can see that numbers do no justice to the people involved in the Arab-Jewish conflict. There is no love lost between Arabs. Palestinians are tortured and killed by their own brothers.

We live in a country where we have an overwhelming amount of information available to us. We don’t need to be swayed by who yells the loudest or who puts more blood on the pavement to attract our attention. We need honesty, not just slogans. It may be easier to root for the underdog, but it may not be the right thing. Check it out for yourself. Do the research.