|Suicide bombing at the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem
August 9, 2001
15 people were killed, including 7 children, and about 130 were injured in a suicide bombing at the Sbarro pizzeria at the corner of King George Street and Jaffa Road in downtown Jerusalem. Concealing the explosives in a guitar case which he had carried with him into Jerusalem, the terrorist entered the restaurant just before 2 PM and detonated the bomb. The 5 kg.-10 kg. bomb, which was packed with nails, screws, and bolts to ensure maximum damage, completely gutted the restaurant, which was full of lunchtime diners.
The terrorist was killed in the blast. His controller was on the list of wanted terrorists submitted by Israel to the Palestinians Authority this week. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.
The names of the victims:
The Israeli response: Foreign Minister Peres (August 9): “If the Palestinian Authority had acted with the necessary determination and carried out preventive detentions of Hamas terrorists and their operators, the murders today in Jerusalem would have been prevented.”
In response to these terrorist attacks, Jerusalem police closed down the PLO’s east Jerusalem Orient House headquarters and nine other Palestinian buildings, while the IDF has taken control of Palestinian military and political headquarters at Abu Dis just outside Jerusalem early Friday morning. The IDF also attacked the Palestinian Authority’s West Bank police headquarters in Ramallah.
US President George Bush:
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan
In the past two weeks, there has been a Palestinian effort to concentrate terror attacks in Jerusalem, as follows:
July 26: Small arms fire on from an ambush towards an Israeli vehicle close to Givat Ze’ev. An Israeli youth was killed and his father was wounded.
July 27: A watermelon containing an explosive charge based on high explosives, standard and improvised, nails and a cellular detonating system was placed in a bus parked near the Malha shopping mall and was neutralized following a bus driver’s alertness.
July 29: Following intensive incitement regarding the Israeli intention to take over the Temple Mount, there were severe disturbances by Muslim worshippers on the Temple Mount, resulting in the injury of 15 policemen and some 20 Palestinians.
July 29: A car bomb (containing 5 gas canisters, a hand grenade and nails with an alarm clock) exploded in the car park of an apartment building in Pisgat Ze’ev in Jerusalem. Two persons were lightly injured.
July 30: A beer can containing high explosives, nails, and a digital watch was placed in the commercial center in the city center, probably by a member of Hamas from Nablus. There were no casualties.
July 31 and August 4: Small arms fire towards Gilo nieghborhood, resulting in an injured woman and 14 damaged apartments. Carried out by Fatah operatives.
August 1: Explosion of a pipe bomb in the King David Hotel car park – there were no casualties. The Hamas claimed responsibility.
Re-enactment of the Sbarro bombing (Sept 23) Commemorating the year-old intifada against Israel, students at Al-Najah University in Nablus opened an exhibition on Sunday (Sept 23) that included a grisly re-enactment of a suicide bombing at the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem (August 9), with body parts and pizza slices strewn around the room.
Archive for February, 2011
By Donald Snyder
Jan Gross is once again forcing Poland to take a new look at its past.
The Polish-American historian, whose previous books generated heated controversy and self-examination, has written a searing new indictment of Polish behavior toward Jews during World War II.
“Golden Harvest,” a new book by Gross and his former wife, Irena Grudzinska-Gross, charges that some Poles tried to profit from the Holocaust by digging for gold and jewels in the killing fields at Treblinka, the Nazi death camp where Germans murdered more than 800,000 Jews.
The book, which will be published in Poland on March 10, also accuses Poles of looting Jewish property.
“Poles accepted the fact that Jews were going to be destroyed,” Gross, a Princeton University historian, said in a telephone interview with the Forward. “The Poles participated in the murder of Jews, and this was done all over the country.”
In response, some of Poland’s right-wing media have branded Gross as anti-Polish.
“Jan Tomasz Gross has earned the deserved name of an untiring enemy of Poland and Poles. A swindler and a cheat,” Jerzy Robert Nowak wrote in the February 2 edition of Niedziela, a Roman Catholic publication distributed in churches.
“There is no place in Gross’s book for decent Poles, not an example,” complained a writer in the far-right tabloid Nasz Dziennik. “He only describes barbarians and villains. The purpose of the book is to make the American elite see Poles the way Jan Gross sees them.”
When asked about criticism of his work and about the allegations that he is anti-Polish, Gross responded gruffly: “This is all nonsense.”
Gross, who was born in Poland shortly after World War II, is no stranger to Polish readers. Born to a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, he fled his native country in 1968 because of an anti-Semitic campaign conducted by the Communist Party.
Gross has published two other books whose negative images of Poles provoked anger in the country of his birth.
“Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland,” published in 2001, investigated the 1941 massacre of about 1,600 Jewish villagers by their Polish neighbors. Poles were outraged when a government commission confirmed Gross’s findings.
A later book, “Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz,” published in 2006, asserted that Poles persecuted and murdered Jewish survivors.
Despite the controversy over “Golden Harvest,” Gross is not the first scholar to bring to light the Polish conduct at Treblinka. “The book is a synthesis of information uncovered by young Polish scholars,” said Michal Bilewicz, director of the University of Warsaw’s Center for Research on Prejudice. Bilewicz, who read a review copy of the book, said during a phone interview with the Forward that this information is little known outside Poland.
Gross acknowledges getting much of his material from Polish scholars who have conducted “excellent work” about Polish-Jewish relations during the war. “Much of this material has not been published in English, and it adds to our knowledge of Polish complicity in the murder of Jews,” he said.
The book also includes a photograph of Polish peasants at the edge of the gravesite at Treblinka, which previously had been published only in Gazeta Wyborcza, a leading Polish daily newspaper.
According to Bilewicz, Gross said in the book that the Polish behavior at Treblinka was criminal and abhorrent, but not inspired by anti-Semitism. “Gross says in the book that all of us are capable of committing the same crimes — if faced with the starvation the peasants experienced,” Bilewicz said.
Martyna Rusiniak-Karwat, a Warsaw University historian and author of a book on Treblinka, gave “Golden Harvest” a mixed review. “He based his book on work done by others, and used sources only selectively, including mine,” she told the Forward in a phone interview, through an interpreter.
Rusiniak-Karwat, who comes from a village about 20 miles from Treblinka, told the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita that as a child, she heard stories about Poles looking for gold that belonged to Jews murdered at Treblinka.
“When I started my research,” she said, “I found records on digging the mass graves, and that was shocking to me. I know they were searching the graves, but I didn’t have the slightest idea they went that far.” Her book “Extermination Camp Treblinka 2 in Social Memory, 1943–1989” was published in 2008.
“The peasants didn’t think of the place as a Jewish graveyard.” Rusiniak-Karwat said. “They were driven by the desire to reap a profit. They were depraved and deprived of all normal standards.”
Amid the anger Gross’s book has provoked, his inclusion of the photograph purporting to show Polish peasants searching for valuables among the dead has been especially provocative. The photograph, of which the origins are uncertain, first appeared in the January 8, 2008, edition of Gazeta Wyborcza.
Konstanty Gebert, a columnist for the newspaper, told the Forward in an e-mail: “There is a controversy about that photo and Gross acknowledges it. The photo either represents diggers, or people who were collecting human remains for future disposal.”
Rusniak-Karwat raised similar doubts. “Jan Gross used the picture as his primary evidence,” she said. “And we know little about its origin.”
Gross said he first saw the picture in Gazeta Wyborcza and learned that it had been given to a museum at Treblinka in the 1960s by an employee of a local railroad station. The photograph was the starting point for his book.
“On the surface, it appears to be a very banal photograph,” he said. “But when you realize that the crops in front of [the peasants] are not beets or potatoes but skulls and bones, that is a very freaky experience,” he observed.
Znak, the book’s Roman Catholic publisher in Krakow, acknowledged receiving many e-mails denouncing publication of the book.
Henryk Wozniakowski, president of Znak, said at a news conference in Warsaw on February 8 that the book was being published to “revise our memory and confront it with historical truth.” He said charges that the book is anti-Polish are groundless, and that profits from its sale will be donated to charity. “We don’t consider this book a business project,” he noted. The first printing will be 50,000 copies.
But the controversy over the book has also sparked internal conflict at the publishing company. Znak Director Danuta Skora said at the same news conference that she was opposed to publishing the book. According to a report in Gazeta Wyborcza, she called the book “unjust” and apologized to Poles who were hurt by its allegations.
The book hits a raw nerve because Poles believe they acted honorably during the brutal German occupation. Six million Polish citizens — half of them Jews — were killed during the war, and the Polish Underground performed courageously, including during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. And Poland has had more citizens honored as Righteous Gentiles at Yad Vashem than any other European country. This is part of the Polish identity.
“Poles regard themselves as innocent victims of history and find it difficult to concede they may be something else,” Gebert said.
The chief rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich, gave this assessment: “There is no way to justify what happened, but the people who were going into the graves were very hungry. We have to think of what the times were then. It was starvation. Did they do this because the victims were Jewish, or did they do it because they thought they could find something to feed their families?”
An English edition of the book is scheduled for publication in August.
Contact Donald Snyder at email@example.com
Op-ed: Leaked documents refute US President Obama’s fundamental assumptions
| Recently published Wikileaks documents expose the failure of President Obama’s counter-terrorism policy.
While reaffirming a 1,400 years old Muslim track record, the documents refute Obama’s fundamental assumptions, which have shaped his counter-terrorism policy: that the Palestinian issue is a root cause of Middle East turbulence and anti-Western terrorism; that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are allies of the US; that there is no Islamic terrorism since Islam promotes peace and not terrorism; that there is no Jihadist terrorism since Jihad is a process which purifies the soul; that there is no global terrorism; that Islamic terrorists represent a Muslim minority which rejects modernity and that Islam has always been part of the American story.
According to the documents, Islamic terrorism has afflicted the globe from Latin America through the US and overseas American targets, Western Europe, the former USSR, Africa, the Middle East (hitting mostly fellow-Muslims), South Asia, the Far East and Australia.
The worldwide proliferation of Islamic terrorism is orchestrated and executed, also, by multi-lingual graduates of Western universities, who proficiently use the Internet, Blackberry, iPod, Twitter and Facebook. Contrary to Obama’s assumption, modern-day Islamic terrorists do not reject modernity. In fact, they leverage modernity in order to advance Islam’s historical values and goals. They believe that Islam’s destiny of religious and territorial domination of the globe is divinely-ordained. And, they pursue their goals via violence, intolerance toward “infidels” and “apostates,” totalitarianism and “Holy Wars” (Jihad) against civilizations and entities that undermine their megalomaniac aspirations, which transcend the Palestinian issue and Israel’s policies or existence.
Irrespective of the Palestinian issue and the Arab-Israeli conflict, Muslim terrorists operate along the joint border of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, as well as in San Paulo, Foz do Iguacu and Parana, Brazil. Independent of Israel’s policies and existence, the Lashkar-E-Taiba, Jaish-E-Mohammed and other Islamic terrorist organizations – operating with the backing of Pakistan – target India. Moreover, Lashkar-E-Taiba expands its presence in Pakistan – where it collaborates with the Inter Services Intelligence – Sri Lanka and Nepal in order to intensify terrorism in India.
Tailwind to terrorists
According to WikiLeaks – quoting a December 2009 Secretary of State Clinton memo – Saudi Arabia (especially), Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are the chief financial supporters of global Islamic Sunni terrorism, such as al-Qaeda, Taliban and Lashkar –E-Taiba, raising funds for terrorism through seemingly philanthropic organizations during pilgrimages to Mecca.
The May 31, 2010 edition of The Sunday Times reported that Afghanistan’s financial intelligence unit, FinTraca, documented a $1.5 billion transfer from Saudi Arabia to Afghani terrorists, mostly Taliban. The British daily asked: “One wonders how much of this money was used to buy weapons that killed 1,268 American soldiers and maimed thousands more in Afghanistan?!”
Undersecretary of the Treasury for Financial and Terrorism Intelligence, Stuart Levey, testified at an October 6, 2009 Senate Banking Committee hearing that “money is leaving Saudi Arabia to fund terrorism…Undoubtedly, some of that money is going to Iraq, to South-East Asia and to any other place where there are terrorists…”
For example, the Riyadh-based al-Rajhi Bank was implicated in funding the Islamic Chechen Mujahedeen. Saudi involvement in anti-Western Islamic terrorism was also reported in 2009 by Pakistan’s police, including a $15 million transfer to Jihadists who were involved in the murder of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. A November 15, 2010 report by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), a US Congress investigative unit, maintained that Saudi Arabia made progress in curbing terror-funding within the kingdom but did not cooperate in de-funding Islamic terrorism outside the kingdom.
Saudi-funded Islamic non-profit foundations – with direct and indirect ties to terror organizations – proliferate globally. The first foundation, the Muslim World League was established in 1962, five years before the Six-Day War, before the first settlement was established, while Jordan and Egypt occupied parts of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza and the Palestinian issue did not preoccupy Western
policymakers. More Saudi-supported foundations followed, including the USA-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the North American Islamic Trust (NAIS), the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), etc.
However, President Obama has overlooked the fact that those who finance and incite terrorism are more culpable than the brainwashed terrorists who execute terrorism. President Obama has subordinated counter-terrorism to wishful thinking, oversimplification, misreading of the writing on the wall and a series of wrong assumptions, such as a supposed linkage between the Palestinian issue and countering-Islamic terrorism and preventing Iran’s nuclearization. Thus, wrong assumptions have produced wrong policies, which have yielded tailwind to terrorists and rogue regimes and headwind to Western democracies.
Former aide to Barack Obama overwhelms five rivals to take the helm of the third-largest US city
- Paul Harris in New York
- guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 23 February 2011 08.18 GMT
With 88% of precincts finished counting in America’s third largest city, Emanuel had a commanding leading of 55%; a long way ahead of his nearest rival, the former Chicago schools president Gery Chico, on 24%.
Emanuel needed to win the race by 50% or more to avoid a run-off election and capture City Hall at his first try. He has done that easily despite the election for the mayor’s office once being seen as the most competitive in a generation.
“Thank you Chicago for this humbling victory,” a smiling Emanuel told supporters at his victory rally in the city. “You sure know how to make a guy feel at home.
“It is easy to find differences but we can never allow them to become divisions. Tonight we are moving forward in the only way we truly can. Together. As one city with one future.
“It’s you. It’s the hard-working, plain-speaking folks who share a love for their city and a determination to keep it strong. I share that love and I am determined with your help to meet our challenges head on and to make a great city even greater.”
Chicago’s political machinery is notorious within American politics and this last race was the first in 64 years not to feature an incumbent candidate. Since 1989 the spot was held by Emanuel’s predecessor Richard M Daley, who never faced a serious challenge and was known as King Richard.
But Emanuel’s seeming outsider status wasn’t borne out by his well-funded campaign, with his war chest dwarfing those of his rivals.
It showed the benefits of Emanuel’s time as the president’s chief of staff in Washington where he gained national prominence on the back of an image as a tough-talking and foul-mouthed operative who rarely took prisoners.
That reputation was hardly a disadvantage in Chicago where rough and tumble politics are the norm. The main threat to Emanuel’s victory during the campaign came not from any candidate at the ballot box but from a protracted legal fight aimed at proving he did not have the right residency qualifications for the race.
Emanuel eventually triumphed in court but only after an appeal.
The former Congressman from the city and native Chicagoan has often said that the chance to become mayor was a “dream job” and the only reason he would leave the White House. But he is now faced with the realities of wielding civic power in one of America’s biggest cities.
Across America local governments are facing deep budget cuts in the wake of the Great Recession. Chicago is no exception. City finances are stretched and ways of raising fresh revenue are being squeezed. There is a projected shortfall in the city budget of some £1bn and an unemployment rate of almost 9%. Chicago’s police force is stretched and short of funds and there is a serious crime problem, especially in the city’s traditionally black southside neighbourhoods.
Study on behalf of Foreign Ministry ranks India, US as most pro-Israel countries
| The greatest level of sympathy towards Israel can be found in India, according to international study on behalf of the Foreign Ministry, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday.
According to the study, which was unprecedented in scope and was undertaken by an international market research company, 58% of Indian respondents showed sympathy to the Jewish State. The United States came in second, with 56% of American respondents sympathizing with Israel.
The study was undertaken as part of the “Branding Israel” project and aimed at looking into Israel’s international stature at what researchers characterized as the world’s 13 most important countries, including the US, Canada, Britain, France, China, and Russia. A total of 5,215 people took part in the study.
Other countries that showed significant sympathy to Israel included Russia (52%) Mexico (52%) and China (50%). At the bottom of the list, the study ranked Britain (34%) France (27%) and Spain (23%) as the least sympathetic countries towards Israel.
Videos make a difference
As part of the study, participants were asked a series of questions and were instructed to grade their level of sympathy of Israel on a 1-10 scale. Later, participants were presented with several branding videos on Israel, before being asked more questions in order to see whether their opinions changed after watching the clips.
The videos showed many aspects of life in Israel, including the beaches, landscape, culture, food, technology, and religious sites.
After watching the videos, a total of 51% of all respondents said their views on Israel changed for the better. The percentage of respondents who perceived Israel as an aggressive state subsequently dropped from 35% to 21%. Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents who perceived Israel as a creative country rose from 24% to 40% after watching the clips.
February 06, 2011
The 22-nanometer technology that promises to make computers faster, smaller and lighter is coming out of an Intel Israel plant in Kiryat Gat.
In an unstable business environment, where US companies are scaling back and weathering bad times, Intel has made a surprising business move. The chipmaker announced in January that it will invest $2.7 billion in its Israeli plant in southern Israel, which will produce next-generation 22-nanometer chips.
It is expected that 22-nanometer technology will make our computers faster, smaller and lighter.
Not willing to elaborate on what exactly this will mean for our everyday lives, Intel Israel’s spokesman Koby Bahar tells ISRAEL21c that “it will be the most advanced technology” available.
The investment is earmarked for upgrading the technology, and not for enlarging the existing fabrication plant, he stresses.
Bahar notes that Intel has also made new investments in the United States and has spent $500 million to re-open a facility in Ireland. Adding Israel to its investment plans just makes business sense.
“Intel decided to invest here because it’s worthwhile,” he says. “Because we have a good record for Israel and Intel.”
US tech trends business magazine Fast Company provides another angle on this development: “The move reduces Intel’s exposure to the vagaries of Far East economies and risk of earthquake interference with production.”
The total amount includes $210 million from the Israeli government. Over the 25 years that Intel has been manufacturing chips in Israel, it has earned $1.2 billion in grants from the Israeli government.
Relying on Israel’s skilled workforce
Currently, Intel produces processors that run more than 80 percent of the world’s personal computers. If you own a PC, chances are a part of it was produced in or developed in Israel.
The core business in Israel is processors that run the central processing units (CPUs) in PCs. “Dealing with advanced technology, we have to hire skilled people. People working here have very high skill sets, education and experience,” says Bahar.
The employees at Intel Israel, under the supervision of general manager Maxine Fassberg, were reportedly very happy about the news. A strong year for Intel bodes well for them too, with each of the 7,057 employees earning a bonus of 3.2 months’ salary for their work in 2010 – a year in which Intel’s fourth-quarter earnings grew by eight percent from the previous year to $11.5 billion, and net profit grew by 167% to $11.7 billion.
According to news reports, each employee will earn at least a $10,000 bonus, on top of a pay raise. In more good news, Intel Israel expects to hire an additional 1,000 employees over the next year.
Starting Feb 28, the company will move from 45-nanometer to 22-nanometer chips. Fassberg said the Kiryat Gat plant is the second Intel facility in the world to produce these tiny chips.
Powering the next-generation
In other Intel Israel news, the latest “Sandy Bridge” microarchitecture for next-generation PCs, developed at the Haifa R&D center, has drawn a great deal of attention. Sandy Bridge, unveiled at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas following four years of development work by 1,000 engineers, will also help Intel PCs and laptops compete with tablets.
Meanwhile, tech geeks are waiting to see what Intel Israel’s new Netbook processor, the Cedarview, will be like. Developed at Intel Israel’s Jerusalem center, this is expected to lead the next generation of Intel’s Atom processor.
Intel Israel is also working on Light Peak, which will enable a high-speed data transfer rate of 10-gigahertz between computer and screen or between computer and storage device over a single wire. The end result? Thinner computers with fewer connections.
Intel Israel, operating since 1974, was the company’s first development center outside the United States. It has facilities based in Haifa, Jerusalem, Kiryat Gat, Yakum and Petach Tikva.
The video everybody should see, let alone Jews.