Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Experts see political benefits in Fiorina's 'personal' trip to Israel GOP Senate candidate will tour Israel over Labor Day weekend and meet 'a number of people at high levels' of government. The trip could draw the attention of some Jewish voters.

Republican Senate nominee Carly Fiorina has maintained a vigorous pace on the campaign trail this summer, but at the traditional kickoff to the general election she is heading to Israel for what her aides describe as a "personal trip."

Send greetings to Gilad Shalit

Greetings for Gilad from B.E. Videos on Vimeo.

Av HaRachamim - Merciful Father - a prayer for those martyred sanctifying God's Holy name like the four people murdered tonight.It's another difficult night in Israel. There are at least six more orphans.

Terror attack - four Jews murdered outside Hebron, the aftermath

Warning: This video is difficult to watch.
Here's the aftermath of Tuesday night's terror attack.
Y'hi zichram baruch (may their memory be blessed).

Keep Israel Safe

Israeli Air Force over Masada

The tombs of the Prophet Zecharia and of the Hezir family on the Mount of Olives

Seraphic Secret: Muslim Tolerance in Action: Desecrating Jewish Graves

Jewish graves on the Mount of Olives deliberately destroyed by Arab Muslims.

You know how the Ground Zero Mosque Islamists claims that the purpose of the massive structure is to promote tolerance and interfaith dialogue.
Well, that was the intitial fiction. But that's been dropped because the aggression and rigidity are, well, obviously so not tolerant, so hostile and Islamist, that now, Mr. Feisal Abdul Rauf—“I don't believe in religious dialogue”—and his supporters tediously repeat the lie that this is about, ahem, religious freedom.
Well, religious freedom is not a problem in America.
The real problem is, gee, what a shock, in the Muslim world.
The Mount of Olives, an ancient—from biblical times Jews have buried their dead here—and a holy cemetery in Jerusalem, is being used by Muslims as a garbage dump.
Jewish graves have been desecrated and destroyed. Muslims regularly lead their donkeys across the gravestones.
Muslim children play soccer among the dead.
Of course, this is nothing new:
Jewish burials were halted in 1948, and massive vandalism took place from 1948-1967. During the nineteen years of Jordanian rule, 40,000 of the 50,000 graves were desecrated. King Hussein permitted the construction of the Intercontinental Hotel at the summit of the Mount of Olives together with a road that cut through the cemetery which destroyed hundreds of Jewish graves, some from the First Temple Period. After the Six-Day War, restoration work began, and the cemetery was re-opened for burials.
More here.
The Muslim world is a sea of Jew-hatred and intolerance.
The outrages continue. Even today, our dead are not spared.
...there was no area of Har Hazeisim [Mount of Olives] that was spared the wanton destruction, filth, and abuse. He said that neighboring Palestinians use the cemetery roads as a shortcut and on evenings parade their donkeys through the area. “I witnessed Palestinians walking on graves as if it were a pedestrian mall,” he said. His heart-wrenching video confirms the findings of State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss that Har Hazeisim has all but been abandoned by the Israeli government. Lubinsky met with officials in the Prime Minister’s office to lodge a strong protest at the government’s turning a blind eye to the systematic destruction of Har Hazeisim.
Levin’s video shows graves that were recently deliberately destroyed by Palestinians living in nearby villages and in the cemetery. He found a fully functioning soccer field on Har Hazeisim with the goal posts being broken fragments of graves. He also found at least one dead animal between the graves, roving dogs, drug paraphernalia, and garbage strewn everywhere. Many of the Committee participants reported being victim to stones being hurled at them by youngsters and at least one participant had a Molotov cocktail thrown at his car.
When Arab Muslims trod on the graves of our dead, you can be certain that they have no regard for living Jews. The fiction of a peace process is a dangerous illusion. You cannot make peace with a culture that marinates in such barbarism.

Names of Shooting Attack's Victims Released

Jerusalem - "Talya and Yitzhak raised their children with joy and modesty," residents of Beit Hagai said on Tuesday. Four of the settlement's residents were killed in a shooting attack near Hebron, including a couple survived by six children. "They had quit a few difficulties in their life, but they overcame it all." The other victims of the shooting are Kochava Even-Haim and Avishai Schindler, who were in the car with the couple.

The deadly attack took place not far from home, at the Bani Noam junction. Talia and Yitzhak Imes were survived by a one-and-a-half-year-old infant and five other children, the oldest of which is 19.
One of the community's residents said the couple was ideological, and during the Gaza pullout joined the struggle against the decision and even temporarily moved to Gush Katif.
Kochava Even-Haim was a teacher in the community of Efrat in Gush Etzion and was survived by her husband and eight-year-old daughter. Meir Damari, a resident of Beit Hagai said, "Only after many years of trying did Kochava manage to get pregnant and bring a child into the world. Now she is left without a mother," he said sadly.
Avishai Shendler just recently moved to Beit Hagai, in the trail of his wife. "He and his wife quickly integrated in life in the community here. Avichai was always full of energy and joy," Damari said.
Mount Hebron Regional Council head Zviki Bar-Hai said on Tuesday, "The people of Israel have lost four of their people and three families were affected. Beit Hagai is a strong community, and with God's help, we will overcome. This is an opportunity for self-examination for Israel before Rosh Hashana, to question who desires life and who seeks murder and blood."

Zaka Volunteer Discovers Wife's Body at Scene of Terror Attack

Jerusalem - ZAKA volunteer Momy Ben-Haim was dispatched to the scene of the terrorist attack with his colleagues, where to his horror he discovered his wife’s body among the dead.
“We saw a crying volunteer, and at first we did not understand what was happening - he has seen many disasters before,” Zaka volunteer Isaac Bernstein told The Jerusalem Post.
“Then he started shouting, ‘That’s my wife! That’s my wife!’ We took him away from the scene immediately,” Bernstein added.
Ben-Haim was taken to his home in Bet Hagai by his colleagues.

Time for Jews to Behave Like Madmen, Rabbi Says

Words of nationalist awakening were uttered at a meeting of political and spiritual leaders sponsored by the Our Land of Israel group in Nazareth Illit (Upper Nazareth) Tuesday.
Rabbi David Druckman, the Rabbi of Kiryat Motzkin, called on Jews to change their attitude and “act resolutely against those who plot to annihilate us.”
"In today's situation,” he said, “we should behave like madmen in order to win. We have no other choice.” In the past, Rabbi Druckman said, “the Arabs trembled before us.” However, when Israel began to give in to the Arabs, the situation was reversed.
The city was established as a Jewish neighbor of predominantly Arab Nazareth but in recent years “Arabs have conquered many sections of the city,” organizers of the event said in an e-mail communication. Nazareth Illit's chief rabbi, Rabbi Yeshayahu Herzl, said that while the Jews have nothing against the other nations, “the Holy Torah promises that the Land of Israel belongs to the Nation of Israel and G-d forbid that we forfeit it to strangers.”
Baruch Marzel of Hevron spoke of the battles that were waged in Nazareth Illit 30 years ago in order to make it a Jewish city. MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) gave a fiery speech in which he described a national situation in which the government is carrying out a “clearance sale” of Israel and its cities face real danger.
The meeting took place in the Zera Ya'akov synagogue.  

Four Jews Murdered in Arab Terror Attack Near Hevron

Terrorists murdered four Jewish civilians in a shooting attack at the Bani Naim junction just south of Hevron Tuesday evening. Emergency service paramedics could do nothing to save the victims whose bodeis were riddled with numerous bullets. The terrorists reportedly made sure their victims were dead by shooting them from close range after the initial fusillade.
According to report on Channel 2 television, the victims are two couples, and one of them is a pregnant woman. The IDF is combing the area, searching for the terrorists.
Initial reports said one of the victims had a license for a firearm that was suspended shortly before the attack. 
Hamas and Fatah are blaming each other for the terror attack.
The terror attack is typical of Arab nationalist attacks that intentionally target civilian victims.
The attack was probably timed to coincide with the direct talks between Israel and the PA in Washington, DC, that are to begin Thursday.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Construction Freeze Must End

Jerusalem - Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said Tuesday that the moratorium on construction in the West Bank should not continue and building must be carried out all over the country. Yosef’s comments came at a meeting of Shas members.
Shas MK and Interior Minister Eli Yishai added that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to freeze building was unprecedented and Israel received nothing in exchange for the moratorium; therefore, building must resume immediately upon the scheduled end of the freeze on September 26.

Can Democrats still take the Jewish vote for granted?

Bam's open hand is slapped away: America will never agree to what the Arab world wants

Say what you will about the Arab world, it's hard to earn its gratitude. President Obama went to Egypt and not Israel. He demanded Israel cease adding new settlements in the West Bank. He treated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a chilling disdain. For all of that, though, Obama's approval rating in Arab countries has sunk.

Israeli envoy heads home after tough 2 years

UNITED NATIONS -- Israel's outgoing U.N. ambassador, Gabriela Shalev, calls her job "an almost impossible mission," but she's still heading home on a note of hope.

Israel braces for difficult month Political calendar filled with snags

As Israeli and Palestinian negotiators prepare for the first direct negotiations since 2008, the Jewish state is braced for one of the most difficult diplomatic months in its history.

For The Sake of Nakba

Israel Matzav: Video to be shown in Congress on Monday of 'Palestinians' saying in English what they usually only say in Arabic

David Bedein of Israel Behind the News is going to be in Congress on Monday showing a video called For the Sake of the Nakba, which details the connection between UNRWA and the 'Palestinian Authority,' and how 'Palestinian' children are taught 'martyrdom' in school. For once, you will see and hear the 'Palestinians' saying the same things in English that they say in Arabic. I'll have that video for you below, but first a brief description.

Bedein directs the bulk of his criticism towards UNRWA, who is responsible, among other things, for PA schools both in Gaza and in Judea and Samaria. “UNRWA commemorates the Nakba [catastrophe, the term used by Arabs to describe the creation of Israel, held on May 15, the day after the declaration of the State, ed.] in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority,” he said, and added: “It is a central topic in the PA curriculum.”

The film depicts the walls of an UNRWA school, on which there is a portrait of a female terrorist, a graduate of the school, who committed a suicide attack against Israelis. The portrait of another terrorist is also drawn on the walls of the school.

In order to film "For the Sake of Nakba", Bedein employed an experienced television crew who conducted interviews with teachers, principals and students, all of whom discussed an armed struggle against Israel as an educational target in the PA.

“When everyone else speaks of Judea and Samaria, they speak about all the land,” said Bedein. He mentioned an interview he once conducted with Yasser Arafat, in which he asked the former PA President if he would agree to Israeli sovereignty in places such as Lod and Ramla, well within the pre 1967 borders of Israel. “Arafat told me that he would not agree to such a thing because it is an illegal settlement,” said Bedein. “In contrast, places such as Efrat and Gush Etzion are considered an ‘ordinary’ settlement.”

Bedein believes that for this reason, Arabs did not populate the former communities in Gush Katif. He estimates that approximately a quarter of a million Arabs could have lived in these areas, yet PA leadership prefers not to populate these areas so that it can continue to aspire to receive the 1948 territories. “They consider their land to be Ashkelon, Be’er Sheva and Ashdod, as they told me,” said Bedein. “Even a full withdrawal from Judea and Samaria will not satisfy them.”

According to Bedein, the real stand of the PA must be determined at the beginning of negotiations, and this should be done by Israel simply demanding that the PA stop educating on topics such as the return to 1948 lands, the armed struggle, and the encouraging of shahids (martyrs).

UNRWA on its part has responded to Bedein’s accusations by essentially calling him a liar. “All their spokespeople say that I’m a liar. One spokesman said that the picture [of the female terrorist] is not in the school. Another said that it’s not their school. As far as they’re concerned, every excuse is possible.”

He explained that he was able to enter these regions with a camera without being hurt by the local Arab residents, because “a camera to them is a holy object. They don’t believe that anyone will film something negative about them.”
Anyone still think we should be holding 'peace talks' with them?

Emergency Committee for Israel goes after Rush Holt (D-NJ) In its latest ad, the Emergency Committee for Israel goes after Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ).

Israel Matzav: Some 'Palestinians' no longer interested in 'right of return'

The BBC reports that some 'Palestinians' have no interest in returning to their 'ancestral homeland.'
With generations of Palestinians now having lived in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East, they have established deep roots outside their ancestral homeland.

But it is rare for them to publicly admit these views.

"On the record, because it is politically incorrect to say otherwise, all of them would say 'Yes, we would return to Palestine'. But once you sit with them in private, you hear a very different point of view," says political analyst Sami Mubayyed.

"Why would a businessman leave their comfort zone? Home is where the heart and the money is."

Even the staunchest supporters of the right to return admit that they have split loyalties.

"I feel like I have two countries - Syria and Palestine," says Yasser Jamous, the 23-year-old lead singer of the Refugees of Rap.

The group is made up of five young Palestinians who grew up in Yarmouk refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus.

They rap about a homeland they have never visited.

Mr Jamous says it is "Palestine first and Syria second" for him, but that he would definitely miss Syria if he moved to a future Palestinian state.

Although Mr Jamous' neighbourhood is identified as a camp, there are no tents or slums in sight. It is a residential area with beauty salons and internet cafes.

The Palestinians who live here are well integrated into society, some even hold government posts.
Sorry, but no one here will make a deal based on "give them a right of return and they won't use it anyway." No one here will take the chance that Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and other Arab countries will start expelling their 'Palestinians' and sending them here. It won't happen.

Ahmadinejad: Israel Will Disappear From Map

Iran's Ahmadinejad on Holocaust

Busted - Orlando Mosque Finances Hamas Fundraiser

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Tuvia Grossman Meets The Soldier Who Saved His Life

On September 30, 2000, The New York Times, Associated Press and other major media outlets published a photo of a young man -- bloodied and battered -- crouching beneath a club-wielding Israeli policeman. The caption identified him as a Palestinian victim of Israeli brutality -- with the clear implication that the Israeli soldier was the one who beat him.
That young man was, in fact, Tuvia Grossman, a Jewish student from Chicago, who was beaten within inches of his life before being rescued by the Israeli border policeman in the photo.
The resulting outrage generated by the gross distortion of the photo "launched" HonestReporting.
[Click on the image to the right to see the original communique.]
Now, ten years later, we caught up with Tuvia in an exclusive interview.
HonestReporting: How have things changed for you since your picture appeared in the NY Times?
Tuvia Grossman: Ten years ago, I was a single American 20-year old, in Israel temporarily as a student. Today, I am nearly 30, married, have a beautiful nearly three-year-old daughter, a practicing attorney at a corporate law firm in Tel Aviv and a proud citizen of Israel.
While the memories of 10 years ago haven't faded, it's often difficult to picture myself in the state I was in. I remember feeling mixed emotions of anger, fear and hopelessness. The misrepresentation of my story in the global news exacerbated my feelings.
However, I am proud to say I have overcome many of those feelings, and, in a way, won the battle the terrorists started. By settling in Israel, raising a family, advancing my career and becoming the person they tried to destroy, I beat the terrorists simply by being alive.
HR: What was your reaction when you heard about the NY Times caption?
TG: The truth is I was not very surprised at all. This was not my first encounter with media bias. I had always been an avid reader, even before my attack, and had come across many instances of blatant bias against Israel.
When hearing about the picture, my initial thoughts went to the soldier. It's much worse to be accused of beating the person you actually helped protect, than to be accused of being a Palestinian when you are in fact a Jew.
HR: Did you try to find the soldier in the picture?
TG: No. First, there were five or six soldiers stationed at the gas station I ran to as I was being pursued by the Arabs. One particular soldier happened to be standing behind me when the picture was taken; however, I owe my gratitude to all the soldiers equally, to the one in the picture, as well as to the less famous ones not photographed -- such as the soldier who ripped off his uniform and tied it around my head to stop the bleeding.
I have also been reluctant to find the soldier from the picture precisely because of the misrepresentation. What do you say to someone who helped save your life, but was portrayed across the globe as a vicious animal?
HR: Your ordeal has inspired groups like HR to fight media bias against Israel. Has coverage of Israel improved in the past ten years?
TG: Media bias against Israel is as strong as ever.
However, public awareness to such bias has increased exponentially, which is the first and most crucial step to stop the actual bias. Organizations like HonestReporting may not be able to force media outlets across the globe to reflect the unbiased truth, but they have been very successful in raising awareness.
HR: Your image is closely associated with second intifada, but you stayed out of the public eye. Why the low profile?
TG:  This has to do partly with my personality and partly with my ongoing efforts to recover. I have always been a "low-profile" person, and usually try to avoid the limelight.
Soon after the story broke, I received numerous calls from major network news shows in the US inviting to fly me to their studios for interviews. I turned all of them down. What I did agree to attend were pro-Israel rallies, events in whose causes I strongly believed in, where I felt my presence could inspire others to support Israel.
In addition, being in the limelight would have forced me to constantly recall and relive the trauma. Even ten years later, recalling the story, discussing it, or even seeing objects which may remind me of it, can be painful. Avoiding recollections of the trauma is one of my methods of coping with it.
Now and then, when I truly believe in a cause, such as HR, I'm willing to discuss what happened, because I feel my experiences can have a positive impact on others.
HR: Have you discussed the attack with your daughter, or plan to do so when she's older?
TG: My daughter is not yet three; she's too young to understand the attack and how it has influenced me, so I have told her nothing of it. I do think it is important for her to hear about it from me rather than from other sources, like the Internet. When the time is right, I'll discuss it with her in great detail.
Every year I make a seudat hoda'yah, or thanksgiving meal, right before Rosh Hashana to thank G-d for allowing me to survive the incident. This year, at the seudah, I may explain to her that a long time before she was born, Abba was hurt badly and I make a special meal to thank G-d that all is better now. I won't elaborate more than that to her at this stage.
HR: What's the importance of HR's work to you?
TG: HR's work is important to me on a number of levels.
Most obvious is the need to fight the media bias against Israel. As I mentioned, the best way is by informing the public, on a mass-scale, of the blatant misrepresentations, which in turn will cause the public to distrust the biased media until they start reporting truthfully.
On a deeper level, HR's work goes further than just exposing anti-Israel media bias to the public. HR exposes the positive sides of Israel in a way no one else can.
After my attack, when I heard of the misrepresentation in the NY Times, what bothered me more than the false reporting was that the truth had become less of a focal point. The public was caught up in what was not true; the truth was no longer important. HR doesn't only expose the lies, they also substantiate the truth, and this what makes their work so important.
A Decade On: Help HonestReporting's Work
Ten years later, the media bias against Israel shows no sign of abating. Please help HonestReporting's work by promoting the video above by forwarding to friends and family and posting on social media sites such as Facebook (also see our new Hebrew Facebook page) and Twitter.
And if you haven't already done so, sign up now to receive information from HonestReporting and become part of our army of activists working to ensure fairness for Israel and accuracy in the news media.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Photo that Started it All

On the day the Intifada broke out, Tuvia Grossman was riding a taxi to visit the Western Wall. He was unwittingly thrust into the international limelight -- and nearly killed in the process. 

Updated August 2010
On September 30, 2000, The New York Times, Associated Press and other major media outlets published a photo of a young man -- bloodied and battered -- crouching beneath a club-wielding Israeli policeman. The caption identified him as a Palestinian victim of the recent riots -- with the clear implication that the Israeli soldier was the one who beat him.
The victim's true identity was revealed when Dr. Aaron Grossman of Chicago sent the following letter to the Times:
Regarding your picture on page A5 of the Israeli soldier and the Palestinian on the Temple Mount -- that Palestinian is actually my son, Tuvia Grossman, a Jewish student from Chicago. He, and two of his friends, were pulled from their taxicab while traveling in Jerusalem, by a mob of Palestinian Arabs, and were severely beaten and stabbed.
That picture could not have been taken on the Temple Mount because there are no gas stations on the Temple Mount and certainly none with Hebrew lettering, like the one clearly seen behind the Israeli soldier attempting to protect my son from the mob.
In response, the New York Times published a half-hearted correction which identified Tuvia Grossman as "an American student in Israel" -- not as a Jew who was beaten by Arabs. The "correction" also noted that "Mr. Grossman was wounded" in "Jerusalem's Old City" -- although the beating actually occurred in the Arab neighborhood of Wadi al Joz, not in the Old City.
In response to public outrage at the original error and the inadequate correction, The New York Times reprinted Tuvia Grossman's picture -- this time with the proper caption -- along with a full article detailing his near-lynching at the hands of Palestinians rioters.
The photo of a bloodied Tuvia Grossman became a symbol in the struggle to ensure that Israel receives the fair media coverage that every nation deserves.
In April 2002, a District Court in Paris ordered the French daily newspaper "Liberation" and the Associated Press to pay damages to Grossman to the amount of 4,500 Euro.
The Court condemned the Associated Press for "mispresenting [Grossman] as a member of the Palestinian community," while the court censured "Liberation" for "publishing the litigious picture with a comment edited the same faulty way, giving the picture a meaning and a scope it could not have."

Arab Abuse

Even more remarkable is that Arab groups adopted Grossman's photo to use in their own propaganda campaigns, cynically using a bloodied Jew as a symbol of the Palestinian struggle.
An official Egyptian government website used the Grossman image on a photo gallery while the Palestinian Information Center,, incorporated Tuvia's photo onto its homepage banner, (The graphic was removed from the site, but is reprinted here:)
Additionally, some Arab groups called for a boycott of Coca-Cola, for doing business with Israel, and circulated a series of posters to state their case. One poster shows Grossman's bleeding face juxtaposed with the Coca-Cola logo, and the tag line: "By supporting American products, you're supporting Israel." reported that, ironically, since Ramallah is home to a Coca-Cola bottling facility that employs about 400 local residents (and indirectly creates employment for hundreds more), and Coca-Cola industries throughout the Middle East are operated as local businesses, any boycott of Coca-Cola in Middle Eastern countries is likely to cause more monetary harm to Arabs and Palestinians than it is to Americans or Israelis. noted another irony: Pepsi is also on the Arab boycott list, with claims that the name "Pepsi" is an acronym for 'Pay Every Penny to Save Israel' or 'Pay Every Penny to the State of Israel.' As the Associated Press once noted, "Calling Pepsi a 'Jewish product' is ironic, given that Pepsi was one of many multinationals that wouldn't do business in Israel during the 40-year Arab commercial boycott of the Jewish state."
And of course the biggest irony of all is that the image chosen in the poster to represent Palestinian suffering was none other than Tuvia Grossman who nearly beaten to death by a Palestinian mob.
Click here to see the Grossman poster.

A7: Posters Tell Actors: Go Perform in Gaza

Activists from the Our Land of Israel movement are distributing posters calling for a boycott of actors who declared that they would boycott performances in the town of Ariel in Samaria. The artists claim that Ariel is illegitimate because it was built on land liberated in 1967 and not in 1948. 
The poster notes that the 36 theater professionals who declared the boycott were, in effect, joining the boycott declared by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority against the settlements in Judea and Samaria.
"When there is war they are with Hamas, when there are terror attacks they shout against the evils of occupation, when the enemies of Israel boycott Israel they are on the side of the enemies,” the poster says. "It is time to declare, we boycott the boycotters. It is time to tell those traitors – go perform in Gaza!!!” 
Our Land of Israel activists plan to hand out leaflets with the same message at the entrances to Tel Aviv theaters like HaBimah, HaCameri and Beit Lessin.
Activist Baruch Marzel, a major driving force behind Our Land of Israel, explained that the actors' boycott – which fizzled somewhat when several participants decided to opt out of it – is “a legitimate opportunity for an all-out offensive against the fifth column, the theater actors who malign Israel.”
"It is not just about boycotting Ariel,” Marzel explained. “Most of the theater professionals in Israel have turned into well-poisoners who come out against the IDF and the State of Israel. It is time for the people of Israel to come out and make a stand – to boycott and denounce the incitement campaign that is emanating from HaBimah and HaCameri.”

The phrase "go to Gaza" (lech le'Aza) is often used in colloquial modern Hebrew as a short form for "go to hell" (lech le'Azazel). That, and the use of the harsh word “traitors” in the poster, may signal increased self-confidence in the nationalist camp, which in the past has been ruthlessly hounded by the judiciary for using phrases deemed too radical. 

The Forgotten Rachels

PA minister threatens war over Jerusalem "The term 'war' will not be erased from the lexicon... as long as Jerusalem is occupied" said PA Minister of Religious Affairs in sermon in presence of PA Chairman Abbas

Speaking about Jerusalem, and with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in the audience, PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash in his Friday sermon threatened that "Jerusalem can ignite a thousand and one wars" and that unless Jerusalem "returns" to the Palestinians, "its owners," and unless it becomes the capital of the Palestinian people, "there is no peace."

The Minister also warned that "If Jerusalem is dishonored, if Jerusalem is disgraced, if [Jerusalem] is lost, it may leave the door open to all possibilities of struggle, all possibilities of war. The term 'war' cannot be erased from the lexicon of this region as long as Jerusalem is occupied..." 

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was present in the audience while Habbash made these statements.

Click here to view

The following is the excerpt from the Friday sermon from the mosque at Mahmoud Abbas's office in Ramallah and broadcast on PA TV:

Speaker: Mahmoud Al-Habbash, PA Minister of Religious Affairs, and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is in the audience.

"Jerusalem is not just a city. Al-Aqsa is not just a mosque. Jerusalem is the key to peace, and Jerusalem can ignite a thousand and one wars. Unless the issue of Jerusalem is solved, so that it returns to its owners; unless Jerusalem will be Palestinian, as it was throughout history, the capital of the Palestinian state and the capital of the Palestinian people, the place which is the object of heartfelt longing and which all Muslims aspire to reach; unless Jerusalem is like that way, there is no peace. There is no peace without Jerusalem. There is no stability without Jerusalem... If Jerusalem is dishonored, if Jerusalem is disgraced, if [Jerusalem] is lost, it may leave the door open to all possibilities of struggle, all possibilities of war. The term 'war' cannot be erased from the lexicon of this region as long as Jerusalem is occupied, as long as Jerusalem is disgraced, as long as the residents of Jerusalem are being targeted. It's not possible; Jerusalem has to return to its owners. And we are its owners."
[PA TV (Fatah), Aug. 20, 2010]

WSJ: The World Trade Center Mosque and the Constitution BY MARK HELPRIN

Mark Helprin, one of America's greatest novelists—and a veteran of the Israeli Air Force—weighs in on the Ground Zero Mosque controversy in the pages of the Wall Street Journal.
Building close to Ground Zero disregards the passions, grief and preferences not only of most of the families of September 11th but, because we are all the families of September 11th, those of the American people as well, even if not the whole of the American people. If the project is to promote moderate Islam, why have its sponsors so relentlessly, without the slightest compromise, insisted upon such a sensitive and inflammatory setting? That is not moderate. It is aggressively militant.
Disregarding pleas to build it at a sufficient remove so as not to be linked to an abomination committed, widely praised, and throughout the world seldom condemned in the name of Islam, the militant proponents of the World Trade Center mosque are guilty of a poorly concealed provocation. They dare Americans to appear anti-Islamic and intolerant or just to roll over.
But the opposition to what they propose is no more anti-Islamic or intolerant than to protest a Shinto shrine at Pearl Harbor or Nanjing would be anti-Shinto or even anti-Japanese. How about a statue of Wagner at Auschwitz, a Russian war memorial in the Katyn Forest, or a monument to British and American air power at Dresden? The indecency of such things would be neither camouflaged nor burned away by the freedoms of expression and religion. And that is what the controversy is about, decency and indecency, not the freedom to worship, which no one denies.
Helprin explains that the Constitution also gives voice to those who, in protest, can refuse to build the mosque, and for citizens of good conscience not to cross picket lines manned by 9-11 families, firemen, police, and various construction guilds.

PA TV to kids: Israeli cities Haifa, Jaffa, Lod, Ramle, Acre are all "occupied cities"

Official Palestinian Authority TV continues to teach children that all of Israel is "occupied Palestine." A repeating message on the children's show The Best Home, currently broadcast three times a week during the month of Ramadan, is that all Israeli cities are "occupied" Palestinian cities. 

If today's NY Times editors were in charge in 1943

Juror bias against Arabs: If your client is Arabic or Muslim, you have an uphill battle. No surprise there. A recent article in the APA Monitor finds that there seems to be a tendency for religious bias to be involved in trials involving Arab defendants

Can jurors’ religious biases affect verdicts in criminal trials?

In 2006, a Colorado jury convicted Homaidan Al-Turki, a Saudi Arabian citizen who had been pursuing a PhD at the University of Colorado, of unlawful sexual contact, extortion, false imprisonment and other charges. The charges stemmed from accusations made in November 2004 by Al-Turki’s housekeeper, who is identified in court records as “Z.A.”
Z.A.’s allegations contradicted her previous statements to investigators, and the prosecution used references to Islamic culture to explain her reluctance to come forward against Al-Turki. For example, an expert witness testified that reports of sexual abuse are punished in Saudi Arabia. The prosecution also showed the jury a mannequin dressed in “Muslim women’s clothing,” suggested that Z.A.’s dress requirements made her an “invisible prisoner” and asked the jury “to make her visible again.” The trial also included passing references to Osama bin Laden, Ramadan, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Prior to the trial, 106 potential jurors were assembled. Given the issues that were expected to come up during the trial, the potential jurors were asked to briefly give their reaction to the fact that “the defendant, the complaining witness, and the other witnesses in this case are Muslims.” The potential jurors were also asked general questions about their ability to be fair and impartial. Then the parties were given 45 minutes to question the pool and exercise their peremptory challenges. Ultimately, 12 were selected to the jury.
As the jury was being sworn, one of the jurors interrupted the proceeding. He said that his understanding of the “Muslim religion” was “that the laws of God are higher than the laws of man,” and he asked whether the fact that he was “more likely to believe a person of faith would commit a crime if . . . the faith conflicted with the laws of our government” amounted to a bias. He also indicated that his bias might somehow come into play “if it came to a situation where it was a he said, she said issue.” Al-Turki’s counsel asked for permission to further question this juror about his beliefs, but the court denied this request. The court also denied counsel’s request to dismiss the juror, stating that the juror’s responses to the questions submitted to the pool qualified him to serve.
Al-Turki’s appeals were unsuccessful, and on April 5, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider his argument that the trial court should have allowed him “to probe the juror for potential bias.” Although few psychologists have studied anti-Muslim bias in legal decision-making, research to date sheds light on some of the issues raised by Al-Turki’s case.
First, research indicates that prospective jurors may be reluctant to disclose biases for a number of reasons: They might perceive their bias to be socially unacceptable, they might not be aware of their biases or they might view the questioning as an invasion of privacy (e.g., Vidmar, N., 2003). When all of us are victims: Juror prejudice and “terrorist” trials. Chicago-Kent Law Review, 78, 1143–1178). This suggests that a juror’s belated expressions of doubt about his own impartiality might merit probing, even if that juror failed to admit to bias during the jury-selection process.
Also, research indicates that information associating Muslims with negative attributes (such as terrorism) can create implicit biases that are difficult to detect with explicit measures (Park, J., Felix, K., & Lee, G. (2007). Implicit attitudes toward Arab-Muslims and the moderating effect of social information, (Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 29, 35–45). This finding suggests that people who are exposed to negative portrayals of Muslims — through the media or otherwise — might develop anti-Muslim biases that could be hard to identify during the jury-selection process. It also suggests that the prosecution’s use of negative associations during a trial might foster an implicit bias against a Muslim defendant.
Monica K. Miller, JD, PhD, et al. (2008) find that religion affects trials in different ways. More research is needed, however, to explore these effects in cases involving Islam, such as research on the impact anti-Muslim biases have on verdicts.

“Judicial Notebook” is a project of APA Div. 9 (Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues).