I lead off today with a section of “A War Against Civilization,” a piece by British commentator Melanie Phillips, who gets it so absolutely right:
“The atrocities in Mumbai have left reporters and commentators floundering for explanations. Why India? Was this a local terrorist group or al Qaeda? Why single out Americans and Brits if they also targeted Indians in the railway station? Why attack some obscure Jewish organisation? And so on. They are floundering because they still just don’t get it….
“It is a war waged in the name of Islam against America, Britain, Hindus, Jews and all who refuse to submit to Islamic conquest. The Mumbai atrocities told us very clearly a number of things. The Islamists want to murder as many Americans, Brits, Hindus and Jews as possible. That is because they are waging all-out war against civilisation.
“They singled out Americans, Brits and Indians in the financial heart of India to break the ever-more important strategic alliance between India and the west.
“They went to some lengths in addition to single out a centre for observant Jews. Rabbi Holtzberg and his wife Rivka were murdered not because of Palestine but simply because they were Jews. That is because hatred of Jews as Jews is fundamental to the Islamists’ hatred of the west – and of Israel.
“The Islamists showed a degree of organisation and co-ordination which are more akin to commando raids by an army than acts of terrorism.
“They have the capacity not merely to commit mass murder but to cause mortal damage to a country’s economy.
“If they can do this in Mumbai, they can do it in London or other British cities; the infrastructure of Islamist terror is more extensively developed in Britain, and the authorities more paralysed in the face of what they have allowed to grow in their midst, than anywhere else in the west.
“And yet still the west is scratching its head…”
Israel says all of the missing in Mumbai have been accounted for now. A memorial service has been held there in Mumbai
The bodies of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg are coming home today, accompanied by her parents, Shimon and Yehudit Rosenberg. The Hertzbergs’ little son cries inconsolably for his mother. But he will have the comfort of his nanny, Sandra Samuel. Arrangements have been made for her to accompany him.
I hadn’t realized exactly how brave she had been in rescuing the boy. He was not with her when the terrorists hit; he was a flight above where she was, and she heard his cry and ran to him. She found him, with blood on his clothes, sitting near his slain parents. And she grabbed him and ran.
Discussion is now taking place regarding the proper way to secure relative safety for the numerous Chabad Houses all over the world. Israeli security agencies will recommend that Chabad in Asian cities relocate to office buildings that have better security.
Chabad, for its part, saying that its far-flung Houses serve informally as embassies for the State, and that a great many Israelis are served by them, is asking for Israeli help.
According to Haaretz yesterday, when Olmert was in Washington recently, President Bush asked him,
“Why do you want to give Assad the Golan for nothing?”
Olmert is said to have responded, “It’s not for nothing, It’s in exchange for a change in the region’s strategic alignment.”
To which Bush replied, “Why should you believe him?”
Good questions indeed. Reportedly, Olmert had no answer to the last one.
In response to any notion of trust of the Syrians, I offer this from MEMRI:
On October 4, 2008, an interview ran on Al-Hiwar TV with Syrian actress Amal ‘Arafa. From that interview:
Interviewer: “If political circumstances change, what will happen?”
Amal ‘Arafa: “Policies may change, but there is something that is already in my genes. We’ve been brought up to hate Israel. It’s in our genes. If Arab countries make political decisions, and there is peace, and so on and so forth… First of all, who would be against peace? I am not against peace.”
Interviewer: “Of course not.”
Amal ‘Arafa: “But as far as I am concerned, Israel will continue to be a black, dark, and murky spot in my memory, in my genes, and in my blood. Even though I am Syrian and not Palestinian, the Syrian upbringing we received and by which we lived – we’ve sucked it with the milk of our mothers. There is no playing around with this, it’s in our genes, and we will pass this down for many more generations.”
How about this! Courts actually deciding with fairness with regard to an issue in Judea: The middle-of-the-night demolition of the home of Noam Federman.
First a District Court ruled last week that the army’s order declaring the land on which Federman’s house was located near Kiryat Arba a closed military zone was illegal and should have not been issued. The judge, Moshe Drori, said that Federman’s rights had been violated and that Federman was free to return to the site of his home.
Now Justice Shulamit Dotan of the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court has addressed a petition from the State Persecutor’s office that Federman be banned from Judea and Samaria because he assaulted police during the evacuation and subsequent destruction of his house. (Federman says it was he who was assaulted.)
Justice Dotan said the nature of the actions ascribed to Federman were not severe and he was not a threat.
“This is an extremely tough situation for any person, which almost naturally imposes irregular behavior on his part. In its claims, the State seeks to completely ignore the fact that the incident took place at a location that is this man’s home and the home of his family, which it sought to destroy in the middle of the night.”
And right she is. When they were done with it, Federman’s home looked like this:
But with this is concern that Border Police are moving into Hevron, perhaps with intention to vacate the building tonight.
Below you have a link to a site that lists foreign embassies of Israel as well as several major consulates in the US. Take the time to call the appropriate embassy or consulate and protest the evacuation of Beit HaShalom.