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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 158: "During World War II (1939-1945) over 26,000 men and women of the Jewish community that lived in what is today Israel, volunteered to join the British forces in the fight against Nazi Germany and its Axis allies, serving in the army, air force and navy."

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News, Links and Comments

Note: 15 random articles are displayed below. Refresh this page to display another set of random articles.
The silence of the United Nations is Deafening (06.23.2002)

HumorJewsweek (www.jewsweek.com) has an interesting article on the United Nations and Kofi Annan, its Secretary General. The writer of the article, Jeff Dunetz, is worried about Mr. Annan, since he hasn't said a word about the latest murders of unarmed Israeli civilians (including kids) by Palestinian killers.

I am very concerned about Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations. He is a great moral man, even won the Nobel Peace Prize. Kofi Annan is always the first to speak out when there is even the slightest perception of nation doing wrong. Remember how took a stand in the Mideast, saying how can Israel be right and the whole world wrong? Remember how quick he was to raise awareness of Jenin when he thought that there was a massacre there? This guy is a neutral peacemaker with high moral standards.

Over the last few weeks he has been strangely silent. The longer he is silent, the more I am concerned for his well-being. When Israel captured all those documents directly linking Arafat and the Palestinian Authority to terrorist acts, I just knew he would indignantly challenge Arafat to clean up his act. Yet this man who fights world morality was silent. That's when I began to suspect that something was up.

I copy the full article below.

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Palestinian terrorists murder Israeli mother and her four children (05.02.2004)

Palestinian TerrorismThe Jerusalem Post (www.jpost.com) reports that Palestinian terrorists have murdered a mother and her four children:

"On Friday my daughters drew me a picture, and on it they wrote: daddy we are proud of you," David Hatuel said at the funeral for his wife Tali, and daughters Hila, 11, Hadar, 9, Roni, 7, Merav, 2. Tali was eight months pregnant.

Thousands of mourners attended the funeral in Ashkelon for the slain family. They were were shot dead Sunday after two [Palestinian] terrorists opened fire at Israeli cars traveling near the Kissufim Crossing at the entrance to the Gush Katif settlement bloc in the Gaza Strip. [...]

President Moshe Katsav attended the funeral. "A whole family is wiped out because Arafat does not care about the Palestinian people or the Israeli people," said Sharon spokesman Raanan Gissin. [...]

"This can simply be labelled a massacre of innocent children," government spokesman Avi Pazner said. "Arafat and Hamas will spare us no horror in trying to stop the political process from going forward," Pazner told AFP.

The IDF said that both of the gunmen, who arrived at the area by car, were killed in an ensuing firefight. The Hamas, the [Palestinian] Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance Committees claimed joint responsibility for the attack.

I coy the full article below.

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Why America supports Israel (and vice-versa) (07.24.2003)

OpinionNRO (www.nationalreview.com) has a great article on why America supports Israel:

The terrorist attacks against us on September 11, 2001 taught us a great many lessons. One of the lessons we learned — or relearned — was that democracy is not just disliked by Islamists, it is hated. And one way to give in to terrorism, rather than fight it, is to concur with the basis for that hatred and weaken democratic institutions, and democracies. [...]

In the wake of September 11, many argued that we brought the attack upon ourselves because of our support for Israel. Even were this true, we should no more end that support than we should eliminate religious freedom and women's rights in our country — hallmarks of our democracy that also engage the wrath of the terrorists who attacked us. And it beggars belief to think our support for Israel played much of any part for the attack upon us.

First of all, complaints about Israel ranked low with Osama bin Laden until he realized that ratcheting up those complaints to the top of his list would earn him more support within the Arab world. Second, if Israel is responsible for Islamist or Arabist wrath, I cannot imagine just what Israel did to encourage Syria to swallow Lebanon, to encourage Saddam Hussein to unleash a bloodbath against Iran, to encourage Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait, to encourage Kuwait to expel hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, to encourage the Taliban to destroy the Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afghanistan, to encourage the slaughter of Christians in the Sudan, to encourage the bombings in Bali that killed 202 people, or to encourage church bombings in Pakistan.

Just after 9/11 a friend of mine, Bill, sent out a message with links to articles that explained "the real reason 9/11 happened", i.e. America's support for Israel. You're wrong Bill, read the whole article below.

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Palestinian Terrorist shoots 10 year old boy in the head (08.07.2005)

Palestinian TerrorismThe Jerusalem Post (www.jpost.com) reports that a Palestinian terrorist shot an Israeli 10 year old boy in the head:

A Palestinian Islamic Supremacist shoots a 10 year old boy in the head

A 10-year-old child was critically wounded after being shot in the head in a drive-by shooting near the British Police junction in the West Bank on Sunday afternoon.

The driver of the vehicle, a friend of the child's father, was lightly wounded in the hand during the attack. The father of the child, 44, was in the car along with two other passengers.

The [Palestinian] Fatah's military wing, the Al-Aksa Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack.

I copy the full article below.

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A sad reminder of racism and anti-Semitism (07.28.2002)

AnnouncementI signed up for a service that allows users of FactsOfIsrael.com to rate the site from 1 to 10.

As you can see from the graph above, in the last 24 hours I have received many bad marks. It's a sad reminder of how many people hate Jews and Israelis out there.

These bad marks have nothing to do with the content or the site itself, since I have received hate messages from people that did not bother to go through the site. They simply hate me because I am Jewish and support the State of Israel against Palestinian terrorism.

I'll leave this graph here just to remind me that our struggle against racism and anti-Semitism is far from over - the graph is automatically updated as people cast their vote.

If you like FactsOfIsrael.com and would like to give us a 10, please click here.

Update 8:30 PM: When I posted this entry at 5:30 PM our index was listed at 1.8. Since then over 20 people have given FactsOfIsrael.com a 10, bringing our average to over 9! Thank you!

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Grandmother and 14-month-old granddaughter murdered by Palestinian terrorists (05.31.2002)

VictimsFaces of the Victims has published the story of Ruth Peled, 56, grandmother of 4, and her granddaughter Sinai Kenan, a 14-month-old baby.

Ruth and Sinai, Grandmother and Granddaughter
Murdered by Palestinian Terrorists

They were both murdered by a Palestinian homicide/suicide bomber on 5/27 in the city if Petah Tikva, east of Tel-Aviv.

"The explosion ripped through the Em Hamoshavot commercial center at around 6:40 PM. Among the injured were many children, who were inside the cafe and a nearby ice-cream parlor. Police said the bomb used contained around 10 kilograms of explosives, packed with metal objects to maximize the number of casualties.

Lior and Chen Keinan had gone to buy ice cream with their infant daughter Sinai and Chen's mother, Ruth Peled, when the blast occurred. Ruth and Sinai were killed. The infant's parents were among the 37 injured in the attack."

I copy the full article below.

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Jewish Symbols in the American one dollar bill? (11.08.2002)

Jewish HistoryI received an email from a friend that described Jewish symbols in the American one dollar bill:

Click on image to enlarge

A while ago, at the West Point Academy's Jewish Chapel, there was a display about Hyam Salomon and the Revolutionary War. He died penniless, having used all his resources to aid the newly formed and poorly supplied American Continental Army.

This is a wonderful story sent to me by a lawyer friend that shares my interest in history. I hope you will find it of interest to you:

General Washington's financial advisor and assistant was a Jewish man by the name of Hyam Salomon. During the cold winter months at Valley Forge when American soldiers were freezing and running out of food, it was Hyam who marshaled all the Jews in America and Europe to provide money in relief aid to these stranded American troops and turned the course of history. Without this help, Washington's Continental Army, and the fate of the American Colonies would have perished before they could have defeated the British.

If you take a one dollar bill out of your pocket and look at the back at the Eagle, the stars above the Eagle's head are in the six point Star of David to honor Jews. If you turn the Eagle upside down you will see a configuration in the likeness of a Menorah....both at the insistence of George Washington who said we should never forget the Jewish people and what they have done in the interest of America.

Well, I decided to do a bit of research (isn't the Internet great?) and found at least one article that questions the above. Although Hyam Salomon's story is true, the rest might be just wishful thinking. See below for the scoop.

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Palestinian University students support genocide bombings (08.22.2002)

Palestinian TerrorismThe Israel Defense Forces (www.idf.il), Israel's army, has created a webpage that shows how a Palestinian University, Al-Najah, is the breeding ground for genocide bombers:

Students from a Palestinian University simulate
the murder of unarmed civilians in buses

Al-Najah University in Nablus is not a typical academic institution. Its students set the university's unique tone. The vast majority of the students support Palestinian terrorist organizations and favor uncompromising armed struggle against Israel, including suicide attacks. [...]

The Hamas-led student council runs a systematic propaganda campaign in favor of Jihad (holy war against infidels) among the university's students. The aim is to have the message of Jihad spread throughout the broader Palestinian population. [...]

Encouraging murder of Israelis - Al-Najah University serves Palestinian terror organizations as a stage for promoting their beliefs regarding the armed struggle. Rallies by Palestinian terror organizations on the campus, which have attracted media coverage, have shown operatives armed with various types of weapons, including anti-tank missile launchers, marching and shouting slogans praising the armed struggle. A variety of "plays" demonstrate to the students how to murder Israelis and blow up Israeli passenger buses. In addition, the Hamas held an exhibition on the campus in 2001, proudly re-creating suicide attacks carried out by Hamas operatives earlier that year. The entrance to the exhibition was designed to resemble the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, scene of a suicide attack carried out in August 2001 by Iz Adin al-Masri, a Hamas operative from Jenin.

A disturbing piece of information is that the above Palestinian excuse for a University has deep ties with many European institutions, including Italy, England, Spain, France, Germany, Norway and Slovakia. But then again, European support for Palestinian terrorism is not that surprising anymore.

I copy the full article below, but make sure you visit the IDF website for all of the incriminating pictures of Al-Najah, the Palestinian University of death.

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Arafat deliberately caused the death of thousands of Israelis and Palestinians (08.07.2002)

OpinionThe Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council (www.aijac.org.au) has published an excellent article by Ehud Ya'ari that explains how Arafat allowed the murderers from Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, Tanzim and other Palestinian terrorist groups to organize and execute suicide bombings and other attacks since October 2000. This has resulted in the death of thousands of Israelis and Palestinians in the last 22 months.

The chaotic situation today [in the West Bank and Gaza] was consciously, deliberately, and intentionally introduced by Chairman Arafat, though it has extended beyond the time frame he originally conceived. I describe his actions as a willing suspension of control, first exercised on the night of September 28, 2000, when he issued the orders and instructions to his political leadership and the different commanders of the security agencies to embark upon this endeavour. The order for the formal security forces was to stick to the sidelines and allow the irregulars – what later came to be known as the national and Islamic forces, an alliance of Tanzim, Hamas, Jihad, and the Fronts – to do the job. [...]

A basic tenet of the Oslo accord was the assumption that the Palestinian partner, Arafat, was/is interested in a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, at peace with Israel. It was never Arafat’s intention to end his political career as the president of a mini-Palestinian state, which he sees as a sovereign cage. I don’t know anyone from Arafat’s closest entourage who believes in this.

Arafat has a strategy dedicated to the Palestinian cause, not to the Palestinian people, and Palestinians know it. He is locked onto the objective; everything that serves that objective is fine. Agreement with Israel? Twice a day, no problem, as long as he does not have to become the undertaker of what he sees as basic, legitimate Palestinian rights. A deal with Israel, yes. An end to conflict, never. [...]

Thus, without a popular component, to quote a very important Palestinian friend of mine, "The intifada has committed suicide through suicide bombings."

The Palestinian "right of return" is the central issue. A mini-state is not the central issue and it never was. You will not find a Palestinian leadership that will be willing to accept any of the formulas currently being discussed as a solution to this problem. The Palestinian national movement is about the right of return; it is not about the West Bank and Gaza. Israel will have to be more flexible, not in the sense of allowing more refugees, but in the sense of arriving at a more vague and creative formula that allows for a long period of time to deal with this issue.

Ehud Ya'ari is a commentator on Middle East affairs on Israeli TV. I always thought his comments were right on the money, and this article is not an exception - please read it. I found the link to this article on "Not a Fish" - thanks Imshin!

I copy the full article below.

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US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, teaches leftist German journalist a lesson (04.07.2003)

OpinionThe U.S. State Department (www.state.gov) has published an excellent interview with Secretary of State Colin Powell and an aggressive leftist German journalist:

QUESTION: I hear what you are saying. What many people in Europe will hear, through your words, is this is how the new partition of labor will be: America is looking for its Allies, is going its course with or without Allies, any number that’s available, and be it zero. And then the U.N.’s role is to go in as a good Samaritan and clean up the mess. That’s all they can do. America is already looking at its next destination.

SECRETARY POWELL: That’s absurd. It’s an absurd, simplistic, shorthand response to what people think we’re doing. In fact, we went to the U.N. in the first place with respect to this problem. It was a problem that belonged to the U.N. for twelve years -- this terrible regime that tortures its people, that developed weapons of mass destruction, that used them against its own people and then invaded its neighbors on two occasions. And we finally said to the United Nations, “If you would be relevant, if the international community would be relevant, we must deal with this.”

This is not a regime that will simply roll over and play dead. It will fight back. It will try to avoid consequences. So we got a very strong resolution passed. Unanimously. Fifteen to zero. And when it became clear to a number of members of the Security Council that it was time to apply those serious consequences, we took it back to the U.N. And the U.N. said, “Well, can’t agree on this.” [...]

QUESTION: So you are paying the most money? Then that’s a promise?

SECRETARY POWELL: Europeans, especially Germans, should recognize the American record, our history. Our history is not one of getting involved in conflicts just for the sake of it. We get involved in conflicts because there are major issues at stake that have to be resolved, unfortunately, by force of arms. But when you look at our history for the last sixty years, every time we found ourselves in this position, we did not just get up and walk away. We did everything we could to put in place a better system, a better society, than that which we had to go in and fight. And we will do it again this time.

In Kuwait, we fought to save a Muslim people that had been invaded by another Muslim people, Iraq, and we gave Kuwait back to its --


SECRETARY POWELL: -- rightful rulers. Its rightful rulers. Are you defending what Iraq did by invading Kuwait.


Read the whole transcript - Mr. Powell has all of the right arguments. Found this article on the excellent LGF. I copy the full transcript below.

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Memorial pays tribute to Israeli Astronaut Ilan Ramon (10.29.2004)

Hi-TechLast week I traveled to Orlando, Florida, for a business trip. One afternoon I had a bit of free time and I decided to visit the Kennedy Space Center, about 50 miles from Orlando.

This place is amazing! It’s basically NASA’s launch headquarters, and as their website says: “It’s the only place on Earth where you can tour launch areas, meet an Astronaut, see giant rockets, train in spaceflight simulators, and even view a launch!”. For more information on the Kennedy Space Center, click here.

An Astronaut greets visitors at the

entrance of the Kennedy Space Center

One of the attractions of the visitor complex at the space center is an actual full-sized Space Shuttle, where we can see how astronauts live and work while flying through space! Another exhibit is an “Astronaut Memorial”, a giant “space mirror” high-tech national monument dedicated to our fallen heroes. For more information of the visitor complex at the Space Center, click here; for more information on the Astronaut Memorial, click here.

Ilan Ramon, Israel's first Astronaut
Click on image to zoom in

Among the astronauts who have perished is Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut. Seven astronauts, including Ilan Ramon, were killed on February 1st 2003, when the space shuttle Columbia broke up about 38 miles above Texas on its way to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Astronaut monument includes a picture of Ilan Ramon and a description of his professional career and duties aboard the Space Shuttle. There’s even a small Israeli flag on a drawing of a space shuttle!

I have published many stories on Ilan Ramon, since he was and always will be a source of inspiration and hope for me and many others. Here are some articles:

* [NASA sends first Israeli astronaut into space](/blog/archives/000591.html)
* [Israeli Astronaut takes with him into space a small pencil drawing made by a 14-year-old](/blog/archives/000510.html)
* [Tragedy over Texas skies: seven astronauts killed in explosion of space shuttle Columbia](/blog/archives/000608.html)
* [Video: Ilan Ramon, first Israeli astronaut, and crew from space shuttle Columbia see Israel from space](/blog/archives/000617.html)
* [Address by Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon on the arrival of Ilan Ramon's coffin](/blog/archives/000618.html)
* [How Israel destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor (built by the French) in 1981](/blog/archives/000622.html)
* [Iraq calls shuttle space Columbia explosion "God's vengence"](/blog/archives/000609.html)

If you have a chance to visit the Kennedy Space Center, don’t hesitate! It’s 50 miles from Orlando, a bit more than the other Disney parks, but it’s worth every second. It was the highlight of my trip and I wouldn’t think twice about returning to Orlando just to visit the Space Center again.

I have added below over 40 pictures I have taken of the Space Center, including the Astronaut Memorial museum, a visit to the Space Shuttle, and more.

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Islamic Fanatics murder over 100 people in Nigerian riots (11.22.2002)

Palestinian TerrorismThe Fresno Bee (www.fresnobee.com) reports that mobs of Islamic fanatics have murdered over 100 people in the last 24 hours in Nigeria. These barbaric excuses for human beings are on a killing rampage because a Nigerian newspaper suggested Mohamed would have approved of the Miss World beauty pageant.

A church is burned and destroyed
by Muslims in Nigeria

The violent demonstrators in the northern city of Kaduna burned churches and rampaged through the streets until hundreds of soldiers were deployed to restore calm and enforce a dusk-to-dawn curfew. [...]

In Thursday's rioting, more than 50 people were stabbed, bludgeoned or burned to death and 200 were seriously injured, Ijewere told The Associated Press.

At least four churches were destroyed, he said.

Many of the bodies were taken by Red Cross workers and other volunteers to local mortuaries. Many people remained inside homes that were set afire by the demonstrators, Ijewere said.

Shehu Sani of the Kaduna-based Civil Rights Congress said he watched a crowd stab one young man, then force a tire filled with gasoline around his neck and burn him alive. Sani said he saw three other bodies elsewhere in the city.

Alsa Hassan, founder of another human rights group, Alsa Care, said he saw a commuter being dragged out of his car and beaten to death by protesters.

Schools and shops hurriedly closed as hordes of young men, shouting "Allahu Akhbar," or "God is great," ignited makeshift street barricades made of tires and garbage, sending plumes of black smoke rising above the city. Others were heard chanting, "Down with beauty" and "Miss World is sin.

These Islamo-fascists are systematically attacking anything they believe is Christian. They would attack other "infidels" as well, such as Jews or Hindus, if there were any synagogues or Hindu temples in Nigeria. They are no differnet than Al-Qaeda, the Chechnean Islamo-freaks or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

I copy the full article below.

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Judgment Day is approaching for the Islamic Republic of Iran (07.08.2003)

OpinionThe National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com) has published an excellent article on how freedom is slowly becoming a reality in Iran:

The people of Iran (inside Iran and outside) want an end to this evil regime. Freedom will prevail. There will be demonstrations. The regime with attack, but the people will fight back. Today, in Los Angeles, several thousand Iranian Americans will stand in solidarity with people of Iran. Tomorrow, Iranian Americans will stand in solidarity with the people of Iran in front of Capitol Hill and will be joined by members of Congress (make sure your member is there) who believe that the people of Iran deserve freedom. [...]

Judgment Day is approaching for those who have shed the blood of tens of thousands of innocent Iranians. Judgment Day is approaching for those who have ordered the stoning of women. Judgment Day is approaching for those who ordered the bombing of the Jewish community center in Argentina. Judgment Day is approaching for those who ordered the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon and the Khobar Towers in Riyadh. Judgment Day is approaching for those who started the chant: "Death to America" and everything America stands for. Judgment Day is approaching for the Islamic Republic of Iran. It may not be tomorrow, but soon this evil regime will join the other evil regimes in the dustbin of history. Judgment Day will come.

Found this on the excellent AndrewSullivan.com - I copy the full article below. Make sure you also support the "Movement of Iranian students", click here for more details.

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Russia, 1898, The Czar bars Jews from living in major Russian cities (10.04.2002)

Jewish HistoryThe Jerusalem Post's feature "This day in history" reports on October 1, 1898, when a racist Russian Czar bars Jews from living in major Russian cities:

1898: A decree by the Russian czar Nicholas II explicitly bars Jews from living in major Russian cities. The action follows laws issued the previous May, restricting Jewish settlement to the Pale of Settlement. In Kiev, alone, some 7000 Jews are forced to relocate.

I copy below an article that describes the legal restrictions imposed upon the Jews in Russia from 1882 to 1909.

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Hamas leaders should face trial in the US (08.04.2002)

NewsThe Jerusalem Post (www.jpost.com) reports that many US politicans are calling for the extradiction of the Hamas leaders to the US.

Several New York politicians are calling on the Bush administration to demand the extradition of the perpetrators of last week's terror attack at the Hebrew University to the US to stand trial for the murder of five American citizens.

Twenty-four Americans have been killed in Palestinian terror attacks, and 43 wounded, since September 2000. [...]

In the House, Rep. Anthony Weiner sent a letter to Attorney-General John Ashcroft on Thursday asking him to extradite those responsible for the attack. "US law makes it a crime to kill or injure, or to conspire to kill or injure, an American national outside the US in furtherance of a terrorist cause even if Americans were not the intended targets," Weiner wrote.

I sincerely hope that the US does decide to go after the Hamas - they will only stop their deliberate killing of Israelis and Americans when someone makes them stop.

Their Islamic fanatism is only based on hate and racism - Hamas leaders should be destroyed, they should fear for their lives at all times. Only when they are too scared running (like Al-Qeda and Osama Bin Laden) will the Hamas stop murdering innocent civilians, including women, children and babies.

I copy the full article below.

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