Now, even with oil prices more than six times higher and the Palestinian Authority bordering on financial ruin, only a handful of Arab countries are sending even a small portion of the money they promised, according to data examined by The Washington Post.
Out of 22 Arab nations that made pledges, only three -- Algeria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- have contributed funds this year, while oil-rich countries such as Libya, Kuwait and Qatar have sent nothing and still owe the Palestinian government more than $700 million in past-due pledges.
Many members of the Arab League that committed to make annual contributions do not have oil riches and have paid on average about 4 percent of what they pledged since 2002, according to U.S. figures. But some of the worst offenders are oil producers. Through the first half of 2008, Bahrain has paid 13 percent of its total pledges, Libya 14 percent, Oman 23 percent, Kuwait 35 percent, Algeria 73 percent and the United Arab Emirates 92 percent. Saudi Arabia has paid just shy of 100 percent, but many experts believe it should be paying four times as much, given the increase in the price of oil since 2002.
One senior U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of diplomatic sensitivities, said that Arab nations could be doing much more to support the peace process launched at a conference in Annapolis last year and that "their effort falls short in every category." He said he is puzzled by their failure to meet their pledges in a period of phenomenal oil wealth.
"The one thing I find hard to explain is why they don't contribute more financially," the official said, noting that the Palestinian government is "really operating hand-to-mouth." He added that more than 50 percent of the money goes to the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas, so even people living under Hamas rule are suffering from the Arab failure to pay pledges.
Arab diplomats, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said there is little trust that the Palestinian Authority will use their contributions wisely, even though Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is a veteran of the International Monetary Fund and, during his time as finance minister, introduced new standards of accountability and financial management. Arab diplomats said they also resent the tight grip that Israel has maintained on the Palestinian territories during the peace talks.
Read entire article by Glenn Kessler with charts showing unfulfilled, promised aid, by country
One group of tests that troubled Graham, the former White House science adviser under President Ronald Reagan, were successful efforts to launch a Scud missile from a platform in the Caspian Sea.
“They’ve got [test] ranges in Iran which are more than long enough to handle Scud launches and even Shahab-3 launches,” Dr. Graham said. “Why would they be launching from the surface of the Caspian Sea? They obviously have not explained that to us.”
Another troubling group of tests involved Shahab-3 launches where the Iranians "detonated the warhead near apogee, not over the target area where the thing would eventually land, but at altitude,” Graham said. “Why would they do that?”
Graham chairs the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack, a blue-ribbon panel established by Congress in 2001.
The commission examined the Iranian tests “and without too much effort connected the dots,” even though the U.S. intelligence community previously had failed to do so, Graham said.
“The only plausible explanation we can find is that the Iranians are figuring out how to launch a missile from a ship and get it up to altitude and then detonate it,” he said. “And that’s exactly what you would do if you had a nuclear weapon on a Scud or a Shahab-3 or other missile, and you wanted to explode it over the United States.”
The commission warned in a report issued in April that the United States was at risk of a sneak nuclear attack by a rogue nation or a terrorist group designed to take out our nation’s critical infrastructure.
"If even a crude nuclear weapon were detonated anywhere between 40 kilometers to 400 kilometers above the earth, in a split-second it would generate an electro-magnetic pulse [EMP] that would cripple military and civilian communications, power, transportation, water, food, and other infrastructure," the report warned.
While not causing immediate civilian casualties, the near-term impact on U.S. society would dwarf the damage of a direct nuclear strike on a U.S. city.
“The first indication [of such an attack] would be that the power would go out, and some, but not all, the telecommunications would go out. We would not physically feel anything in our bodies,” Graham said.
As electric power, water and gas delivery systems failed, there would be “truly massive traffic jams,” Graham added, since modern automobiles and signaling systems all depend on sophisticated electronics that would be disabled by the EMP wave.
“So you would be walking. You wouldn’t be driving at that point,” Graham said. “And it wouldn’t do any good to call the maintenance or repair people because they wouldn’t be able to get there, even if you could get through to them.”
The food distribution system also would grind to a halt as cold-storage warehouses stockpiling perishables went offline. Even warehouses equipped with backup diesel generators would fail, because “we wouldn’t be able to pump the fuel into the trucks and get the trucks to the warehouses,” Graham said.
The United States “would quickly revert to an early 19th century type of country.” except that we would have 10 times as many people with ten times fewer resources, he said.
“Most of the things we depend upon would be gone, and we would literally be depending on our own assets and those we could reach by walking to them,” Graham said.
America would begin to resemble the 2002 TV series, “Jeremiah,” which depicts a world bereft of law, infrastructure, and memory.
In the TV series, an unspecified virus wipes out the entire adult population of the planet. In an EMP attack, the casualties would be caused by our almost total dependence on technology for everything from food and water, to hospital care.
Within a week or two of the attack, people would start dying, Graham says.
“People in hospitals would be dying faster than that, because they depend on power to stay alive. But then it would go to water, food, civil authority, emergency services. And we would end up with a country with many, many people not surviving the event.”
Asked just how many Americans would die if Iran were to launch the EMP attack it appears to be preparing, Graham gave a chilling reply.
“I’d have to say that 70 to 90 percent of the population would not be sustainable after this kind of attack,” he said.
Furthermore, if Iran launched its attack from a cargo ship plying the commercial sea lanes off the East coast — a scenario that appears to have been tested during the Caspian Sea tests — U.S. investigators might never determine who was behind the attack. Because of the limits of nuclear forensic technology, it could take months. And to disguise their traces, the Iranians could simply decide to sink the ship that had been used to launch it, Graham said.
Intelligence reports on the launch were “well known to the White House but have not been disseminated to the appropriate congressional committees,” I wrote. Such a missile “could be used in a devastating stealth attack against the United States or Israel for which the United States has no known or planned defense.”
Few experts believe that Iran can be deterred from launching such an attack by the threat of massive retaliation against Iran. They point to a December 2001 statement by former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, who mulled the possibility of Israeli retaliation after an Iranian nuclear strike.
“The use of an atomic bomb against Israel would destroy Israel completely, while [the same] against the Islamic only would cause damages. Such a scenario is not inconceivable,” Rafsanjani said at the time.
Rep. Trent Franks, R, Ariz., plans to introduce legislation next week that would require the Pentagon to lay the groundwork for an eventual military strike against Iran, to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and EMP capability.
“An EMP attack on America would send us back to the horse and buggy era — without the horse and buggy,” he told the Claremont Institute conference on Saturday. “If you’re a terrorist, this is your ultimate goal, your ultimate asymmetric weapon.”
Noting Iran’s recent sea-launched and mid-flight warhead detonation tests, Rep. Franks concluded, “They could do it — either directly or anonymously by putting some freighter out there on the ocean.”
Prisoners in Palestinian jails in Gaza and the West Bank are subject to torture and inhumane treatment, according to a new report.
Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights organization, on Monday released a report that documents and analyzes arbitrary arrests, acts of torture and other cruel treatment or punishment against individuals in the West Bank and Gaza by Palestinian security or military agencies and personnel.
"Torturing Each Other: The Widespread Practices of Arbitrary Detention and Torture in the Palestinian Territory," found that arrests and detention, carried out by both the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the ruling Hamas authority in the Gaza Strip, were routinely implemented for political reasons and ends.
The report states that most arrests in Gaza and the West Bank, estimated at more than 1,000 on each side, are carried out for political reasons and not for valid security or criminal reasons. The report came out after a weekend in which Fatah forces detained more than 50 Hamas supoprters following the arrest by Hamas of dozens of Fatah supporters who planted bombs that killed five Hamas terrorists.
Victims testified that they were subject to whippings, beatings, humiliation, death threats, solitary confinement, shackling and blindfolding, exposure, lack of hygiene and sleep deprivation among other things.
Three prisoners have died in detention in Gaza, and one in the West Bank in the last year, according to the Al-Haq report. (Source JTA)
Fox News Channel reveals rash of Muslims murdering own daughters & sisters in 'honor' killings in America
Broadcast Sunday, July 27 at 8pm and 11pm, Eastern Time.
Christians United for Israel demonstrate support in Washington; welcomed by Sen Joe Lieberman, Israel's UN Amb. Dan Gillerman
Christians United for Israel, (CUFI) hosted their third annual Israel/Washington, D.C. Summit this week, which proved to be the largest and most successful CUFI summit yet, with over 5,000 supporters rallying together to voice their Biblical support of Israel and share their views with members of Congress. The conference was an enormous success, capping a year of exceptional growth and demonstrating CUFI's rapid rise to become what many are calling the leading Christian grassroots organization in America.
The main event of the conference, the annual "Night to Honor Israel" banquet, featured Senator Joseph Lieberman, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations: Dan Gillerman and Pastor John Hagee. Hagee welcomed the over 5,000 supporters and emphasized the increased strength of Christians United for Israel. Hagee also acknowledged the attendance of Catholic League leader, Bill Donohue, who received a warm welcome from participants.
Perhaps the most anticipated speaker of the evening was Senator Lieberman, who addressed CUFI members and reiterated his support for Israel and Hagee’s work with CUFI.
Watch DemoCast's on-scene video of Amb. Gillerman, Pastor Hagee, and Sen Lieberman's speeches.
The summit also offered a variety of Middle East seminars and intelligence briefings, featuring influential speakers such as Gary Bauer, Congressmen Elliot Engel and Mike Pence, and William Kristol of The Weekly Standard. The CUFI summit culminated with a true show of democracy when thousands of attendees met with their elected officials in order to affirm their support for Israel.
Ron Kampeas has more on JTA in "Hagee, backed by Lieberman, strikes defiant note at D.C. parley."
Lieberman described an amendment he sponsored last year declaring Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group as a "no-brainer" that drew the votes of 76 senators. U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, opposed the amendment.
Lieberman, whose approval rate in Connecticut and among Jews is plummeting, clearly enjoyed the moment. He loved CUFI, he said, because "I can go back to scripture more than with many other groups -- frankly, including many Jewish groups."
'Jerusalem bulldozer terror' reportage draws criticism of bias against Israel by the mainstream-media
While the BBC rushes to apologize for televising the saving of more civilian lives from an actual Palestinian atrocity against Jews, why does the media still refuse to apologize for airing Palestinian, 'fabricated- atrocities' which have falsely damned Israel in the world's eye? The media and enduring narrative by Caroline Glick in The Jerusalem Post
..."In this case, as in the case of the lynching eight years ago, the reason the BBC apologized is not because the film's images were too gruesome, but because it strayed from the accepted narratives of the Palestinian war against Israel. To maintain the narratives, "the right editorial balance between the demands of accuracy and the potential impact on the program's audience," is one that engenders the belief that Israel is either morally indistinguishable from the Palestinians, or that Israel is morally inferior to the Palestinians."... "the distorted footage put out by the media made it impossible for Israel to defend itself in the court of public opinion. Like the al-Dura affair, the media's open collusion with the Palestinians in Jenin and Hizbullah in Kafr Kana prolonged false narratives predicated on Israeli aggression which were about to be finally laid to rest."Ms. Glick asserts, "The media only give us the information (not the truth) they wish us to have."
(Cross-posted at Joo-Tube).
Media-bias on Muslim terror vs Jews persists; evidenced in 'Palestinian Rampage through Jerusalem in Bulldozer' story; killing 3, injuring 66
Three people were killed and 66 were wounded - one moderately and the rest lightly - on Wednesday afternoon when a bulldozer driver went on a rampage in downtown Jerusalem.
A half-dozen cars were flattened and others were overturned by the Caterpillar vehicle. A bus was also overturned, and another bus was heavily damaged. The attack, at the junction of Jaffa Road and Sarei Yisrael St., set off a panic in the area and left a large swath of damage in the heart of the capital. Traffic was halted, and hundreds of people fled through the streets in panic as medics treated the wounded. A car was dragged several meters by the bulldozer before being crushed under the vehicle. A baby was pulled out by a passerby before the vehicle was crushed, with the child's mother still inside.
Finally, an off-duty soldier took a gun from a security guard at the scene and shot the terrorist, who cried "Allah Akhbar" (God is great) before being killed. The soldier was assisted in neutralizing the attacker by Eli Mizrahi, a member of police's elite Yasam anti-terror unit.
Police said the incident was definitely a terror attack, but stressed that they had no specific warning. Three terrorist groups claimed responsibility for the attack, including the Al Aksa Martyrs' Brigade, which is affiliated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement. The other two were the Galilee Freedom Battalion, which is suspected of being affiliated with Hizbullah, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a fringe left-wing terror group.How was it reported by media which you saw/read?
- What was the reporter's 'spin' on the story? "Disgruntled employee goes beserk?" Where was the story directed (or omitted)- at the bulldozer, the victims, the event, the identities?
- Who was the culprit: Palestinian? Arab? Muslim?
- Was the possible motive addressed? Was it racism? Religious hatred? Seeking to kill Jews towards achieving martyrdom?
- Was act called 'terror' or 'terrorism'? Why? Why not?