0.2083783827 FactsOfIsrael.com

FactsOfIsrael.com covers the basic facts on the State of Israel and the Middle East. This includes Maps, the History of the region, Statistics, and more. We also post articles related to the Victims of Palestinian Terrorism, Anti-Semitism, Jewish History, and also a bit of Humor, News and Opinions.

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Fact 122: "Israel's official languages are Hebrew and Arabic, but in the country's streets many other languages can be heard. Hebrew, the language of the Bible, long restricted to liturgy and literature, was revived a century ago, accompanying the renewal of Jewish life in the Land"

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Israel's Chief of Staff says Palestinians pose existential threat to Israel (08.31.2002)

OpinionHa'aretz (www.haaretzdaily.com) has an excellent interview with Moshe Ya'alon, Israel's current Chief of Staff:

Question: Are you saying that despite what appears to be a war of the oppressed against the oppressors, of the occupied against the occupiers, the Palestinians actually have a sense of strength and power?

Answer: "Of course. They feel that they have the backing of a quarter-of-a-billion Arabs and they believe that time is on their side and that, with a combination of terrorism and demography, they will tire us out and wear us down. There is also an additional reverse asymmetry here: We do not have intentions to annihilate them and we have also expressed readiness to grant them a state, whereas they are unwilling to recognize our right to exist here as a Jewish state."

Do you not see the war of the Palestinians against us as a campaign to end the occupation?

"If the term 'occupation' had any relevance at all, it lost it, as far as I am concerned, in the year 2000, when the State of Israel put a certain proposal on the table that was supposed to resolve the problem. That proposal was supposed to get the Palestinians off our back, but instead they started to stab us. They stayed on our back, attached to us and stabbing us. That is the reality. Therefore, without getting into a political discussion of what the solution should be, I maintain that the story is not occupation. The story is non-recognition of the right of the State of Israel to exist as a Jewish state." [...]

"Do we have a choice? We must understand: The Palestinians have returned us to the War of Independence. Today it is clear that the State of Israel as a Jewish state is still an alien element in the region. It will take generations until various elements in the region accept its existence. Therefore, we have to go back to the ethos of standing fast, not because I am enamored of that ethos, but because there is no choice. It is an ethos of no choice.

Excluding the extreme left (see the democracy page for details), I am guessing pretty much every Israeli agrees with Moshe Ya'alon. When the Palestinians and their supporters understand that violence and terrorism leads them nowhere we might have a chance for peace.

I copy the full interview below, it's well worth the read.

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Arafat's refusal of peace and his support of terrorism prevents the creation of a Palestinian State (05.28.2002)

OpinionThe Jerusalem Post (www.jpost.com) reports that the US Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer, is disappointed in Arafat's handling of Palestinian terror. Arafat has done nothing to stop the Islamic Jihad, the Hamas, and his own terrorist groups, such as the Al-Aqsa martyr's brigade and the Tanzim, from killing unarmed Israeli civilians.

"Disappointing sounds like too weak a word... It has been abysmal in terms of using the resources at his disposal the PA's police, security forces, and intelligence apparatus to stop this kind of activity," he said.

He also made very clear his disappointment with Arafat's performance the fact that Arafat has not met the kind of requirements of leadership of his own people in providing for a peaceful pathway to an independent state," he said.

"Instead, by not clamping down on the terrorism and the violence, we think that Arafat has pushed the date of independence off, rather than move it forward. There is great disappointment in his performance, but we will continue to work with the PA and Arafat even as we pursue reform of the institutions and the security services.

Yesterday's homicide/suicide attack that killed a Grandmother and her 1.5 year old granddaughter was perpetrated by the murderers of the Al-Aqsa's brigade, a Palestinian terrorist group that directly reports to Arafat.

The official US position still is that Arafat is not a terrorist, but even though I disagree, at this point it doesn't really matter. In either scenario (Arafat is a terrorist or an incapable buffoon) Israel's military response to stop Palestinian terror is completely justified. In both cases Islamic fundamentalists who are only interested in killing unarmed civilians and destroying the State of Israel should be stopped.

I copy the full interview below.

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Links to sites that sell gas masks, potassium iodate, body suits, readiness kits and more: (02.15.2003)

AnnouncementAfter I posted a story about an Israeli vet who invented a gas mask for dogs (click here for the original article), I have received a few requests from American pet owners who are interested in purchasing the kits. The Israeli vet, Dr. Kishon, seems to only serve Israel, so I did some research and found the following site:


Here are some sites that are not only related to pets, but will also help you protect yourself. These sites sell gas masks, potassium iodate, body suits, readiness kits and more:


Faster please.

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American soldiers play with Iraqi kids (07.23.2003)

NewsAndrew Sullivan (www.andrewsullivan.com) has published a great letter from the father of an American marine:

Members of the US 3rd Infantry Division
near Baghdad Airport with a portrait
of Saddam Hussein rejoicing after
the atrocities of 9/11. The same soldiers
are now playing with Iraqi kids.

My favorite story is about an amusement park that the coalition forces refurbished for the kids in the region. Like children anywhere, the kids were eager to try the rides, so the PTB decided to put one Marine in each car with the kids.

My son told me that he had his M-16 locked and loaded between his legs and then about a dozen little kids climbed in the car. No problem, short ride? Not quite. The ride started and the operators couldn't shut it off. 20 minutes later, the wheel was still going around and around and around. Moving on to the merry-go round, my son was ordered to ride guard on a horse.

They filled up the carousel with eager kids . . . and couldn't get the ride started. Rather than disappoint the kids, the Marines hooked up chains to the ride and ran around in circles pulling the merry-go-round. The kids were delighted and the Marines, wearing full body armor in 130 degree heat, got quite a workout.

Every package I send has, at my son's request, candy for the kids. He plays soccer with them and teases them like he would his own brother and sister. In the process, he's building some very positive relationships.

The kids love the Marines. And most of their parents do too. The mainstream press seems to focus on negativity. There is much positive progress.

Hopefully the Islamic fascists from Al-Qaeda, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Iranian Hezbollah will not influence these Iraqi kids - maybe they'll remember their ride with the American soldiers before turning to Jihad (Islamic holy war).

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Video: How reality changes from Arabic to English (05.11.2002)

MultimediaMideasttruth.com just published a video on how reality changes when Palestinians report events to the Arab world or to the Western Media. The battle of Jenin is described as a hard fight on Palestinian TV, while it is described as a massacre on the Western media.

After the Oslo peace treaty in the beginning of the 90's, the Palestinian Authority was allowed to create a Police force and arm itself accordingly. As part of the same accords, many weapons were defined as illegal. Until a final peace agreement was to be reached, only this Police force was allowed to arm itself. The Palestinian authority accepted this condition when it signed the Oslo peace treaty.

The Islamic Jihad, the Hamas, and other Palestinian terrorist groups completely ignored the treaty and as soon as Israel gave the Palestinians autonomy, they armed themselves as much as possible. Arafat and the Palestinian authority did nothing to stop this illegal buildup of weapons.

The video shows some of the weapons found in dozens of bomb labs in Jenin.

Click here to see the video (Real Audio required).
Click here to understand Israel's disagreement with the UN on its "fact finding mission" and other links related to Jenin.

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Muslim Court in Nigeria sentences woman to death by stoning (08.21.2002)

NewsABC News Australia (abc.net.au) reports that a Muslim court from Nigeria sentenced a woman to death by stoning:

Nigerian court upholds woman's stoning sentence

An Islamic court in Nigeria has upheld the sentence of death by stoning imposed on a young Nigerian woman who gave birth to a child out of wedlock.

A cry of "Allahu Akbar", or "God is great", rang out in the courtroom when the judge ruled 30-year-old Amina Lawal be executed once she has weaned her eight-month-old daughter.

The Sharia court granted defence lawyers 30 days to appeal, which they have said they will do.

The young woman was escorted away in tears by her lawyers.

This is almost as bad as what happens in Saudi Arabia - see for example "Saudi Arabia cuts off hands of two thieves" and "Saudi Arabia finances Palestinian genocide bombers".

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Palestinian U.S. professor screams "Death to Israel!" (08.22.2002)

NewsThe Jerusalem Post (www.jpost.com) reports that the University of Florida has asked a federal court if it can fire a Muslim Arab professor who has screamed "Death to Israel!" and may be linked with Muslim terrorist organizations.

The University of South Florida on Wednesday asked a court if it can fire a tenured Palestinian professor accused of terrorist ties. [...]

He has been on paid leave since last fall, when he was questioned on Fox News Channel about tapes from the late 1980s and early 1990s in which he said "Death to Israel" in Arabic. [...]

"The reality is, this guy's been associated with terrorists for the last 15 years," said Dick Beard, chairman of the USF trustees.

It is interesting to note that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Chief of Military Operations is also named Sami Al-Arian (see "Some American Muslims support the Palestinian Islamic Jihad").

I copy the full article below.

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Artist Barry Munden creates painting in memory of Ilan Ramon and Peter Ginz (02.02.2003)

NewsI have just received an email from Barry Munden, a talented artist who recently completed a painting in memory of Peter Ginz and Ilan Ramon:

On January 16, 2003, Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon, left the Earth forever on his first space flight aboard the ill-fated space shuttle Columbia. With him, he carried icons of his culture, among them a fifty-nine year old pencil illustration drawn by the young Petr Ginz, a child of the holocaust. The illustration, "Moon Landscape", (shown below) is a fanciful one of the Earth as seen from the surface of the moon. The picture held special meaning for Ilan, whose own mother survived the same Nazi death camp that claimed the life of the 14-year-old Petr(and several members of Ilan's family).

Ilan, Peter and 'Moon drawing'

Speaking to the New York-based American Society for Yad Vashem from the Houston, Texas Space Centre where he was in training, Ilan Ramon said, "I feel that my journey fulfills the dream of Petr Ginz 58 years on. A dream that is ultimate proof of the greatness of the soul of a boy imprisoned within the ghetto walls, the walls of which could not conquer his spirit. Ginz's drawings, stored at Yad Vashem, are a testimony to the triumph of the spirit."

I wanted to commemorate the spirit of both these great souls, Ilan and Petr, by repainting young Petr's landscape in such a way as to show both of them, side by side, looking on the Earth from the vantage point of the dream they shared...as I like to think they now are. You can see the results of my efforts below.

The next time you look at the stars, think of them. They died so that one day, our children may turn to look at the distant Earth and see the pain and strife of this life in it's proper perspective. --- Barry Munden, Feb.1, 2003

"Petr and Ilan", by Barry Munden

For a printable version of the picture click here (this is a 1.2 Mb, 150dpi, 2550x3300 JPG image - it should print out great in most inkjet color printers). The creator of the image, Barry Munden, says: "You are welcome to use this picture for any non-commercial purpose, or for any non-profit fund-raising effort that benefits any surviving family of Ilan or Petr."

You may see Barry's original page, here. Thank you Barry - your art brings us a bit of comfort and one more way to remember Peter and Ilan.

For more information on Ilan Ramon, Peter and the 'Moon Drawing' see:

NASA sends first Israeli astronaut into space

Israeli Astronaut takes with him into space a small
pencil drawing made by a 14-year-old
boy who was killed in Auschwitz

Tragedy over Texas skies: seven astronauts killed
in explosion of space shuttle Columbia

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Russia, 1905, hundreds of Jews are killed in Anti-Jewish riots (pogroms) (10.21.2002)

Jewish HistoryThe Jerusalem Post's feature "This day in history" reports on October 18, 1905, when hundreds of Jews were murdered by Russians in anti-Jewish riots:

1905: A week-long pogrom marking one of the bloodiest periods in Russian Jewish history begins, spreading to dozens of towns and villages throughout Russia. Hundreds of Jews are killed, thousands are wounded and over forty thousand homes and shops are destroyed in the rioting.

I copy below an article that gives an overview of the pogroms. For all of you racists that send me hate messages because of my support for Israel, hear this: we will never give up the State of Israel - we will always fight for its survival.

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Racist bastards spray Jewish cemetery in Poland with Nazi symbols (08.06.2007)

Anti-SemitismThe International Herald Tribune (www.iht.com) reports that racist bastards have sprayed dozens of gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in Poland with Nazi symbols:

WARSAW, Poland: Vandals spray painted swastikas and other Nazi symbols on about 100 gravestones at a large Jewish cemetery in Poland, police said Monday.

Visitors to the cemetery in the southern city of Czestochowa discovered the damage on Sunday and police have not yet found the culprits, said Silesia regional police spokesman Andrzej Gaska.

"This is one of the biggest acts of destruction in years," said Jan Gebert, spokesman for the Jewish community in Warsaw. "In fact, I can't think of any other cases in Europe that have been this big."

The vandals used black spray paint to tag the gravestones with the letters SS, swastikas, and the slogan "Jews Out" written in German.

I copy the full article below.

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Certain Muslims adore death and war (06.21.2003)

OpinionThe National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com) has a good article on how certain Muslims adore death and war:

How can we account for this almost two years of suicide terrorism which has taken four Israeli lives for every Arab bomber? Assuming that each of these terrorists has been a willing accessory, this kind of suicide must come out of a cultural pattern centered on a cult of death worship. And it may be interpretation by Muslim clerics of the Koran that is responsible for this wave of Arab suicides and other acts of terrorism. For example, the Imam Abdel-Samie Mahmoud Ibrahim Moussa, in his Friday, June 6, sermon at the Grand Mosque of Rome, asked for "Allah's help in the destruction of the homes and destruction of the enemies of Islam, for their annihilation, and the victory everywhere of the Nation of Islam." According to the Deutsche Press news agency, the Grand Mosque of Rome is Europe's largest Islamic culture center and gets financial backing, naturally, from Saudi Arabia. The 32-year-old Imam was removed June 13 from his post, not by Egypt's al Azhar University that appointed him in the first place, but by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government. [...]

The suicide bombers recruited in the Middle East live by a death cult philosophy which legitimates the destruction of innocent bystanders as a way of achieving paradise. What is particularly noticeable in the Middle East after 9/11 was the openness with which leading spokesmen praised the megadeaths and suicide in the name of Allah.

Found this on the excellent LGF. I copy the full article below - read it, there are many examples of this love for death and war against the "infidels".

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America continues its war against Islamic Terrorism (04.14.2004)

OpinionGeorge Bush, the President of the United States of America, has given today an amazing speech and press conference. Fox News (www.foxnews.com) has a partial transcript of the speech:

[...] Now is the time, and Iraq is the place, in which the enemies of the civilized world are testing the will of the civilized world. We must not waiver.

The violence we are seeing in Iraq is familiar. The terrorists who take hostages or plants a roadside bomb near Baghdad is serving the same ideology of murder that kills innocent people on trains in Madrid, and murders children on buses in Jerusalem, and blows up a nightclub in Bali and cuts the throat of a young reporter for being a Jew.

We've seen the same ideology of murder in the killing of 241 Marines in Beirut, the first attack on the World Trade Center, in the destruction of two embassies in Africa, in the attack on the USS Cole, and in the merciless horror inflicted upon thousands of innocent men and women and children on September the 11th, 2001.

None of these acts is the work of a religion. All are the work of a fanatical political ideology. The servants of this ideology seek tyranny in the Middle East and beyond. They seek to oppress and persecute women.

They seek the death of Jews and Christians and every Muslim who desires peace over theocratic terror. They seek to intimidate America into panic and retreat, and to set free nations against each other. And they seek weapons of mass destruction, to blackmail and murder on a massive scale.

Over the last several decades, we've seen that any concession or retreat on our part will only embolden this enemy and invite more bloodshed. And the enemy has seen, over the last 31 months, that we will no longer live in denial or seek to appease them. For the first time, the civilized world has provided a concerted response to the ideology of terror a series of powerful, effective blows.

The terrorists have lost the shelter of the Taliban and the training camps in Afghanistan. They have lost safe havens in Pakistan. They lost an ally in Baghdad. And Libya has turned its back on terror.

Thank you Mr. President for mentioning that the Muslim terrorists that murdered Daniel Pearl did it only because he was Jewish and because of their racist, violent and fascist view of the World.

And thank you for continuing the fight for freedom and against Islamic terrorism.

I copy the full transcript below.

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Israel's army enters Nablus to stop the Palestinian murderers from Hamas and Islamic Jihad (11.13.2002)

NewsIsrael Insider (www.israelinsider.com) reports that the Palestinian terrorists from the Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Arafat's Al-Aksa brigades will have to face the consequences for deliberately murdering women and children:

One of Israel's tanks in Nablus

Large contingents of IDF Paratroopers, Armored Corps and engineering units swept into Nablus early Wednesday morning as part of Israel's response to the deadly terror attack at Kibbutz Metzer on Sunday night, in which five Israelis were murdered. The army focused on the casbah market in the center of the northern West Bank city and on the nearby Balata refugee camp, where Hamas and Tanzim terrorists have resurrected their terror networks. [...]

Security officials described Nablus as a "hothouse for terrorists." The recent terror attacks at Emanuel, Ariel and Kfar Saba originated in Nablus-based terror cells. In addition, security forces recently thwarted the attempts of five suicide bombers to leave on their terror missions from the city.

Shortly after midnight Israeli troops took up forward positions around Nablus to prevent wanted terror suspects from attempting to escape. At about 2 a.m. the major IDF incursion began, with tanks, armored personnel carriers and bulldozers entering the city from a number of directions backed up by IAF helicopters. Palestinian sources reported as many as 100 tanks and armored personnel carriers entering the city.

I copy the full article below.

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Leftists and Liberals lead Europe in racism and intolerance (12.15.2003)

Anti-SemitismThe San Francisco Chronicle (www.sfgate.con) has published an article on how many Leftists and Liberals lead Europe today in racism and intolerance:

On Britain's National Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Independent newspaper runs a cartoon of a bloodthirsty Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon devouring a Palestinian baby. Despite many complaints, it is named best cartoon of 2003 by the U.K. Political Cartoon Society.

Anti-globalization groups in Germany invoke old stereotypes of Jews as global manipulators by suggesting that Jews played a major role in planning the Iraq war and the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

A book alleging that the CIA and Israel's Mossad intelligence agency conspired to plot the attacks on New York and Washington sits on the German best-seller list for months. [...]

"It is now almost impossible to have a decent discussion with people on the left about Israel because it is regarded as being entirely responsible for everything that has gone wrong" in the Middle East, David Aaronovitch, a columnist for the Guardian and Observer newspapers, wrote in a recent BBC News Online forum.

Some observers believe that the criticism is so ferocious in its tone and so one-sided in its analysis that it is stoking a surge of anti-Semitism in Europe already being fed by hostility toward Jews among the continent's millions of Muslim immigrants. In some cases -- as with the leftist Greek composer, Mikis Theodorakis, who declared in November that the Jews are "the root of evil" -- the attacks have become incendiary.

This leftist/liberal hatred of Israel (and many times Jews) is not new for those that watch Fox News, read LGF or FactsOfIsrael.com, but this might come as a surprise for SF Chronicle readers. The SF Chronicle is known for its anti-Israel bias, ironically since its hatred of Israel is probably based on leftist ideology as well.

I copy the full article below.

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Palestinian Mass Murderers kill 10 Israelis (03.14.2004)

Palestinian TerrorismThe Jerusalem Post (www.jpost.com) reports that two Palestinian mass murderers have blown themselves up in the port of the Israeli city of Ashdod, killing 11 Israelis and injuring dozens:

Ten Israelis were killed and 16 wounded, one critically, in the Ashdod attack late Sunday afternoon at Ashdod Port, a site considered to be one of the most sensitive, strategic, and supposedly heavily guarded locations in the country. [...]

Security officials believe the two planned to launch a mega-terrorist attack and blow themselves up near the port's bromine tanks, or other hazardous materials stored there. Had the terrorists succeeded in blowing up near the bromine tanks, the effects could have been devastating, with poisonous gases spreading to a 1.5-kilometer radius, killing thousands within minutes. [...]

[Palestinian Mass Murderer] Hamas spokesman Abdel Aziz Rantissi praised the two bombers, whom he called heroes, and warned that there would be more attacks. "The act is a present to the Arab world... Sharon brought destruction... no security fence, no terrorism, no US initiative will stop our resistance," he declared. Hours after the attack hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets in Gaza praising the two suicide bombers.

The Islamic mass murderers were very busy this week - butchering 199 innocent citizens of Spain and now once again hitting Israel.

I don't know what will be the response of Spain's government (a leftist, Socialist, government was elected tonight), but I know that Israel will not sit idle while the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Hamas ("Islamic Resistance") and Arafat's thugs from the Al-Aksa brigades continue to execute their plans of genocide, homicide bombing after homicide bombing. My thoughts are with the Israeli soldiers who will fight and, eventually, win this war.

I copy the full article below.

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