President George W. Bush gave Israel the nod for its long-delayed
military operation against Hamas in the Gaza before he ended his
50-hour visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah on Friday, Jan. 11 – except
that his provisos stop the Israeli military short of its objectives,
namely stamping out the Palestinian missile campaign, halting smuggling
and eradicating Hamas military stockpiles, as reported here by
DEBKAfile’s military sources:
1. Israeli forces must limit their invasion to two or three strips
abutting the Gaza-Israeli border of the 365 sq. km square Hamas-ruled
territory on Israel’s southwestern border. Those sources identify those
strips as the northern pocket of Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahiya and the
fringes of the Jebalya camp; the southern areas east of Khan Younes up
to the Sufa and Kerem Shalom crossings; and sections of the Philadelphi
border strip with Egypt, up to and excluding the Mediterranean coast.
Operationally, this means the Israeli army may push back the Qassam
missile launching sites from the border and distance this harassment
from the Israeli population, but may not destroy terrorist arms and
missile caches and their means of production.
Israel is also enabled to deal only partially with the smuggling system
for the weapons, …
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Many answer Bush's call to end illegal settlements by expanding them
By Jonathan Finer
SHVUT AMI, West Bank – With a pellet gun in his jeans pocket and a
hammer in his hand, Dani Landesberg and a crew of teenage Jewish
settlers began adding a second story to what has become their new home.
They stole occasional glances down the winding access road in case the
police came by to evict them, again.
Last Sept. 30, a dozen settlers moved into the small stone house at the
base of a gentle hill in the northern West Bank and turned what was
once a barn for donkeys into a synagogue. Two weeks later, Israeli
security forces banished them for the first of eight times from land
that a Palestinian family says is its property, a claim backed by legal
documents and an Israeli human rights group.
The settlers returned the next day, so police sealed the windows and
doors with metal siding and plowed a berm across the driveway, all to
“They can drag us away a hundred times and we'll come back,” said
Landesberg, 18, who like many religious Jews wears a yarmulke and long,
curled sideburns. “And …
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By Dan Williams
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The United States has agreed in principle to
provide Israel with better “smart bombs” than those it plans to sell
Saudi Arabia under a regional defense package, senior Israeli security
sources said on Sunday.
Keen to bolster Middle East allies against an ascendant Iran, the Bush
administration last year proposed supplying Gulf Arab states with some
$20 billion in new weapons, including Joint Direct Attack Munition
(JDAM) bomb kits for the Saudis.
The plan has angered Israel's backers in Washington, who say the JDAMs,
which give satellite guidance for bombs, may one day be used against
the Jewish state or at least blunt its power to deter potential foes.
Israel has had JDAMs since 1990 and has used them extensively in a 2006
offensive in Lebanon.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government dropped its objections
to the proposed Saudi deal in July after securing U.S. military aid
grants worth $30 billion over the next decade.
Two Israeli security sources said the United States further mollified
the Olmert government with an “understanding in principle” that future
JDAM sales to Israel would include advanced technologies not on offer
to Saudi Arabia.
“We are checking which of …
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By ANNE GEARAN, AP Diplomatic Writer
President Bush said Sunday that Iran is threatening the security of the
world, and that the United States and Arab allies must join together to
confront the danger “before it's too late.”
Bush said Iran funds terrorist extremists, undermines peace in Lebanon,
sends arms to the Taliban, seeks to intimidate its neighbors with
alarming rhetoric, defies the United Nations and destabilizes the
entire region by refusing to be open about its nuclear program.
“Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terror,” Bush said in a
speech he delivered about mid-way through his eight-day Mideast trip
that began with a renewed push for an Israeli-Palestinian peace pact —
an accord he said whose “time has come.”
“Iran's actions threaten the security of nations everywhere,” Bush
said. “So the United States is strengthening our long-standing security
commitments with our friends in the Gulf, and rallying friends around
the world to confront this danger before it is too late.”
Bush lauded democratic reforms in Gulf nations ruled by authoritarian
leaders. He said the Iranian government in Tehran needs to make itself
accountable to its people. And he called on the Palestinians to reject
extremists, although he …
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I was surfing through the Washington Times Website and came across an
article by Bill Gertz, about the sacking of Stephen Coughlin, the
“Pentagon specialist on Islamic Law and Islamist extremism.” The
article gave me chills….chills of fear.
I think that I could more deal with the “in your face” attacks of 9/11,
rather than with the insidious fungus/mold that is spreading throughout
all levels of our society. Ask the folks who experience mold in their
homes. It silently and amorphously spreads, inch by inch, until the
By the time the mold of “Islamist extremism,” finishes the process, we
will not be able to flee the US. The other countries will have already
No, I am not bashing folks of the Muslim faith. I would definitely like
to bash, and not just figuratively, those folks who, with their and
their “aiders” and abettors, want us to convert or die, and are
determined to take us back to the 7th century or earlier. They are
using, as their very effective weapons, our system of government, our
laws, our freedoms, our marketing systems, our First Amendment Rights,
our currency (well, maybe now the Euro), our everything…and we …
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I note Congress is beginning an investigation into television preachers
who promise wealth to those who give to their “ministries.”
It seems Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking Republican on the
Senate Finance Committee, has launched an investigation of those
preaching this “prosperity gospel.”
Grassley is asking the ministries for financial records on salaries,
spending practices, private jets and other perks, according to a story
in the Associated Press.
To tell you the truth, I probably despise these charlatans more than
any member of Congress. I think they give Christianity a bad name.
But, isn't a wee bit hypocritical for the government to investigate
those practicing their own racket?
Substantively, what is the difference between a spiritual con artist
promising instant prosperity for a “sacrificial contribution” and
politicians who promise you free health care and all kinds of other
goodies if you send them money and cast your vote for them?
Worse yet, these politicians, if successful, then use the coercive
power of government to seize your wealth and redistribute it as if they
It's really a case of the pot calling the kettle a kitchen utensil.
Government now believes it has the authority to meddle in any …
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