Thursday, April 28, 2005

I have never lied, says defiant Blair Apr 28 2005
By Jon Smith Daily Post Correspondent

TONY BLAIR last night defiantly insisted: "I have never told a lie" as the Tories continued to target his character in an election campaign onslaught.

Mr Blair accused the Conservatives of shying away from the issues and preferring to attack him personally.

His comments came as Tory leader Michael Howard continued to insist the Prime Minister's integrity was a key issue in the fight for votes on May 5.

"The message I think people should send to Mr Blair is 'we have had enough of your broken promises, we have had enough of your talk, we have had enough of you'," said Mr Howard.

"Mr Blair doesn't like being held accountable, but I think it's very important he should be held accountable.

"I think that's what general elections should be about."

And, speaking in Edinburgh, he told the public: "May 5 is your chance to tell Mr Blair where to get off."

Asked whether he had ever lied to the public, Mr Howard replied: "I'm not aware of any occasion when I have deliberately or knowingly misled people and that's the charge I make against Mr Blair."

Mr Blair hit back in an interview for Adam Boulton of Sky News: "I have never told a lie. No. I don't intend to go telling lies to people. I did not lie over Iraq."

And he added: "In the end you can play the ball or play the man and if they play the man that's probably because they don't dare play the ball."

In separate comments to ITV news' Ballot Box Jury programme Mr Blair said voters would have a valid reason to reject him if they thought he had misled them over the Iraq war.

"You've got to make up your minds about this. If you believe that I stood up there and told a whole lot of lies then that is a reason for not voting for me," he said..

"But I actually took the decision on the evidence I had and I took it honestly believing it was the right thing for the country to do."

The increasingly bitter personal tussle took place as Mr Blair sought to bring the campaign focus back on to education, as did the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Howard was last night spelling out his party's plans on law and order.

But it was the feud between the Tory and Labour leaders which dominated the day.

In his speech in Bolton, Mr Blair said the Tories had an "inept" economic plan and had campaigned on immigration "in a profoundly unpleasant way".

He went on: "Finally, when that fails, they turn to personal attacks on me. My response? I will carry on talking about the issues that matter to the hard-working families of this country: the economy, the NHS, our schools, law and order.

"I don't care in the least about the Tory attacks on my character. I do care about the future of this country.

"I will continue to expose the choice this nation faces on May 5.

"I will talk about policy. I will talk about values."

Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy said the Tories had "concluded they are losing this election", causing them to mount "the most negative form of personalised campaign".

Last night, the Conservatives unveiled their latest poster campaign, accusing Mr Blair of being "prepared to lie" to win the election,, just as he had over the Iraq war.

And Mr Howard repeated the charge again, saying he supported the war against Iraq but adding: "You could have gone to war and told the truth. That's what Mr Blair didn't do." Mr Kennedy predicted that the Conservative tactics would fail: "They are the losing team in this election."

Both Mr Howard and Mr Blair fell foul of bad weather as they flew in their campaign planes back to London, as there were lightning flashes near both aircraft.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Lord Goldsmith last night said he stood by his opinion that it was legal for Britain to go to war in Iraq.

Lord Goldsmith's comments came after the broadcast by Channel 4 News of details from his confidential advice to Tony Blair on the legality of the war. The extracts showed that the Attorney General warned Mr Blair that it was "unclear" whether the United Nations Security Council resolution 1441 gave authorisation for military action without a further resolution.

But Lord Goldsmith insisted that the release of the document "stood up" the Government's case that he had not changed his opinion between giving Mr Blair his private advice on March 7, 2003, and giving a statement to Parliament summarising his views ten days later.

Lord Goldsmith said that the document showed how he had gone through the complex arguments over the legality of military action before concluding that, in his judgment, it would be lawful.

The statement read: "The document so far from standing up the case of the Government's critics, stands up the case the Government has been making all along.

"Contrary to the allegations that have persistently been made, it does not say the war was unlawful but confirms the conclusion I reached was that a sufficient basis for the use of force was established without a second resolution."

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Israel Honors 9 Egyptian Spies
By: Reuters News Service

Comment by David Shasha of Sephardic Heritage Update

For those of you not familiar with the so-called Lavon Affair - one of the most egregious scandals in the history of Israel - the recent honors accorded to its participants should force us to look back at the matter. The Lavon Affair was concocted by a person named Benyamin Givli in the Israeli Defense Department which was led by Pinchas Lavon. The basic idea was to compromise Egypt by bombing public locations such as movie theaters in order to create the suspicion that Nasser was seeking to harm Westerners. The affair was botched and the spies found out and brought to trial. The Lavon Affair, along with the Mas'ouda Shemtov Synagogue bombings in Iraq, have long been used as proof that the Israelis were intent on using subterfuge in the Arab world to compromise the Arabs and to force out the Jews who lived in those countries. It is unfortunate that these covert operations are not known to Western Jews. In our own Sephardic communities such matters are completely ignored. The two standard sources on the events are Ian Black and Benny Morris' Israel's Secret Wars and Shabtai Teveth's Ben Gurion's Spy. A more controversial and contested approach has been taken in Naeim Giladi's Ben Gurion's Scandals.

After half a century of reticence and recrimination, Israel on Wednesday honored nine Egyptian Jews recruited as agents-provocateur in what became one of the worst intelligence bungles in the country's history.

Israel was at war with Egypt when it hatched a plan in 1954 to ruin its rapprochement with the United States and Britain by firebombing sites frequented by foreigners in Cairo and Alexandria.

But Israeli hopes that the attacks, which caused no casualties, would be blamed on local insurgents collapsed when the young Zionist bombers were caught and confessed at public trials. Two were hanged. The rest served jail terms and emigrated to Israel.

Embarrassed before the West, Israel long denied involvement. It kept mum even after its 1979 peace deal with Egypt, fearing memories of the debacle could sour ties.
"Although it is still a sensitive situation, we decided now to express our respect for these heroes," President Moshe Katsav said after presenting the three surviving members of the bomber ring with certificates of appreciation at a Jerusalem ceremony.
What went wrong in the "Lavon Affair" - after Pinhas Lavon, Israel's defence minister when the plot came to light - remains a matter of debate in a country more used to tales of espionage coups.

The Egyptian agents were ignored. The Egyptian Jews were recruited by a fringe unit of Military Intelligence rather than the premier Israeli spy agency Mossad .
The situation recurred in 1985, when U.S. Navy analyst Jonathan Pollard was sentenced to life imprisonment in the United States for passing military secrets to Israel's scientific liaison office.

"As with Pollard, this (Lavon Affair) was a rogue operation," David Kimche, a former Mossad deputy chief, said. "We knew never to go down that road again."

There is a twist to the Egyptian case - the now widespread belief that the bombers were betrayed to the authorities by their Israeli handler, who turned double-agent.
"The general feeling is that he was the one who caused it all," Kimche said.
Under a veil of secrecy, the handler was tried for contacts with Egyptian intelligence and jailed for 10 years. Meanwhile, the agents locked up in Egypt were ignored, excluded from several prisoner exchanges with Israel after the wars of 1956 and 1967.

Now that they have been officially recognised in Israel, the former agents are campaigning for a full account of their operation to be included in the high-school syllabus.

"This is a great day for all of us, those who were hanged and those who died," Marcelle Ninio, the only female member of the cell, said. "We are happy we've got our honor back."

From Yediot Aharonot, March 30, 2005
Zionism versus Bolshevism: A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People
Winston Churchill

From Illustrated Sunday Herald, February 8, 1920.

Some people like Jews and some do not; but no thoughtful man can doubt the fact that they are beyond all question the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has ever appeared in the world.

And it may well be that this same astounding race may at the present time be in the actual process of producing another system of morals and philosophy, as malevolent as Christianity was benevolent, which, if not arrested would shatter irretrievably all that Christianity has rendered possible. It would almost seem as if the gospel of Christ and the gospel of Antichrist were destined to originate among the same people; and that this mystic and mysterious race had been chosen for the supreme manifestations, both of the divine and the diabolical.

The National Russian Jews, in spite of the disabilities under which they have suffered, have managed to play an honourable and successful part in the national life even of Russia. As bankers and industrialists they have strenuously promoted the development of Russia's economic resources, and they were foremost in the creation of those remarkable organisations, the Russian Co-operative Societies. In politics their support has been given, for the most part, to liberal and progressive movements, and they have been among the staunchest upholders of friendship with France and Great Britain.

International Jews
In violent opposition to all this sphere of Jewish effort rise the schemes of the International Jews. The adherents of this sinister confederacy are mostly men reared up among the unhappy populations of countries where Jews are persecuted on account of their race. Most, if not all, of them have forsaken the faith of their forefathers, and divorced from their minds all spiritual hopes of the next world. This movement among the Jews is not new. From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxembourg (Germany), and Emma Goldman (United States), this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. It played, as a modern writer, Mrs. Webster, has so ably shown, a definitely recognisable part in the tragedy of the French Revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the Nineteenth Century; and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.

Terrorist Jews
There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews. It is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others. With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from the Jewish leaders. Thus Tchitcherin, a pure Russian, is eclipsed by his nominal subordinate Litvinoff, and the influence of Russians like Bukharin or Lunacharski cannot be compared with the power of Trotsky, or of Zinovieff, the Dictator of the Red Citadel (Petrograd), or of Krassin or Radek -- all Jews. In the Soviet institutions the predominance of Jews is even more astonishing. And the prominent, if not indeed the principal, part in the system of terrorism applied by the Extraordinary Commissions for Combating Counter-Revolution has been taken by Jews, and in some notable cases by Jewesses.

The same evil prominence was obtained by Jews in the brief period of terror during which Bela Kun ruled in Hungary. The same phenomenon has been presented in Germany (especially in Bavaria), so far as this madness has been allowed to prey upon the temporary prostration of the German people. Although in all these countries there are many non-Jews every whit as bad as the worst of the Jewish revolutionaries, the part played by the latter in proportion to their numbers in the population is astonishing.

"Protector of the Jews"
Needless to say, the most intense passions of revenge have been excited in the breasts of the Russian people. Wherever General Denikin's authority could reach, protection was always accorded to the Jewish population, and strenuous efforts were made by his officers to prevent reprisals and to punish those guilty of them. So much was this the case that the Petlurist propaganda against General Denikin denounced him as the Protector of the Jews. The Misses Healy, nieces of Mr. Tim Healy, relating their personal experiences in Kieff, have declared that to their knowledge on more than one occasion officers who committed offences against Jews were reduced to the ranks and sent out of the city to the front. But the hordes of brigands by whom the whole vast expanse of the Russian Empire is becoming infested do not hesitate to gratify their lust for blood and for revenge at the expense of the innocent Jewish population whenever an opportunity occurs. The brigand Makhno, the hordes of Petlura and of Gregorieff, who signalised their every success by the most brutal massacres, everywhere found among the half-stupefied, half-infuriated population an eager response to anti-Semitism in its worst and foulest forms. The fact that in many cases Jewish interests and Jewish places of worship are excepted by the Bolsheviks from their universal hostility has tended more and more to associate the Jewish race in Russia with the villainies which are now being perpetrated.

A Home for the Jews
Zionism offers the third sphere to the political conceptions of the Jewish race. In violent contrast to international communism.

Zionism has already become a factor in the political convulsions of Russia, as a powerful competing influence in Bolshevik circles with the international communistic system. Nothing could be more significant than the fury with which Trotsky has attacked the Zionists generally, and Dr. Weissmann in particular. The cruel penetration of his mind leaves him in no doubt that his schemes of a world-wide communistic State under Jewish domination are directly thwarted and hindered by this new ideal, which directs the energies and the hopes of Jews in every land towards a simpler, a truer, and a far more attainable goal. The struggle which is now beginning between the Zionist and Bolshevik Jews is little less than a struggle for the soul of the Jewish people.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

High alert amid warnings of Temple Mount attack
By Amos Harel and Jonathan Lis, Haaretz Correspondents

The Shin Bet security service has raised the level of alert in Jerusalem amid indications that extremist Jews are planning to carry out an attack on the mosques of the Temple Mount, and on the basis of new intelligence has beefed up police and security around the site in the heart of the Old City.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Movement's northern branch, which has made protection of the Al-Aqsa mosque the centerpiece of its activities, has called on Israeli Arab Muslims to flock to the Old City site to protect it from Jewish extremists.

Police on Wednesday announced plans to close the Temple Mount compound to Jews on Sunday, when a right-wing extremist group called Revava was planning to hold a mass rally there. Police fear the activists could clash with Muslim worshipers.


Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra and Police Commissioner Moshe Karadi have approved an operational plan meant to prevent Revava activists from holding the event. Police will prevent Jews from ascending to the mount Sunday, and will work to prevent any friction between Jews and Muslims in the Old City's alleys.

Jerusalem's police chief, Ilan Franco, announced several days ago that Revava activists would not be allowed to enter the Temple Mount compound. The statement came after reports in the Arab media expressed dismay at Israeli authorities' intentions to grant the right-wing activists permission to approach the compound, revered as holy by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.

Channel One reported Wednesday night that these security concerns have been made known to the political echelon. The radical rightists apparently aim to attack the mosques in the hope that they will disrupt the implementation of the disengagement plan.

The secret service created a ranking from 1-10 with 10 being the highest security risk. Three months ago, the Shin Bet was ranking the security threat at 7, meaning that "there are signs of planning for an attack," and that there are activists "talking about what to do and as soon as possible." Now, however, the ranking has moved to an 8 - and it is based on much more solid information.

Security sources confirmed that there is information about several groups of extremists, though it is not certain to what extent they are in contact with one another. Lately there has been some progress made in the inquiry, but a gag order has been slapped on its details.

A senior security source said recently that the mosques of the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as Haram el Sharif, have become a "hot topic" among radicals, on the assumption that an attack on the mosques would shock the Muslim world, drag Israel into a new war and prevent the disengagement. The source defined the chances of the threat against the mount being actualized as greater than the threat to the prime minister's life, where the security risk remains stable at 6, largely because of the difficulty of protecting the mount.

In response to the Revava plans, the Al-Aqsa Association of the Islamic Movement's northern branch has called on its followers several times in the past few days to remain at the mosque around the clock. The association said that in light of the threats to the mosque by Jewish extremists, it calls on Muslims in Israel to go to the Haram el Sharif and hold all five daily Muslim prayers there and stay there. And it called on East Jerusalem Muslims to go to Al-Aqsa instead of their neighborhood mosques. The association said Wednesday that it is sending buses full of believers daily to Jerusalem and that it intends to pick up the pace ahead of Sunday.

MK Abdel Malik Dehamshe, of the United Arab List, wrote to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon this week asking him to do whatever is necessary to protect the mosques. "I emphasize that in light of the tangible danger to the mosques in Jerusalem, unusual steps must be taken," the MK wrote.

The northern branch of the Islamic Movement has been very active over the past several years in dealing with the Al-Aqsa mosque. Israeli Arabs have much more freedom of movement than West Bankers and Gazans, which enables them to pray in large numbers on the mount every Friday and Saturday. In the announcement issued Wednesday, the association emphasized that people were being called upon to only hold prayers on the mount.