And now fresh from our Tisha B'Av call to action, a sampling of some recent news stories from around the world, mostly from Israel's neighbors and cousins.
First from the Palestinian territories...
Blast injures 50 at wedding for nephew of Fatah leader
Report: Fatah to oppose recognizing Israel as Jewish state
Kids TV praises Gaza mom's suicide bombing
Rights groups decry Gaza 'honor killing'
Hamas blocks 50 from leaving Gaza
Got all that? It's like a Religion-of-Peace-a-thon the last few weeks. Here's a few briefs from each:
50 Palestinians who were supposed to cross into Israel from the Gaza Strip Tuesday, mostly to receive medical treatment here, were repelled by Hamas security forces at the Beit Hameches Junction just west of the Erez Crossing in the north-eastern Gaza Strip.
And the beat goes on...
Riyashi killed four Israelis in a 2004 attack at the Erez crossing between Gaza and Israel.
In the video, an actress playing her prepares explosives for her mission, ignoring her children's questions about what she is doing. "Mummy, what are you holding in your arms -- a toy or a present for me?" her daughter asks. Her daughter then sees a news report about the suicide bombing and sings, "Only now I understand what was more important than us."
...still moving strong on and on
"Three years ago, we did a study on children in Gaza between the ages of 12 and 14, and we asked them, what would you like to be when you are 18?" Sarraj said. "At that time, 36 percent of boys said, 'I would like to be a martyr,' and 17 percent of the girls said the same."
And the beat goes on you'd better believe it,
still moving strong on and on...
Two years ago, the station created a Mickey Mouse-style character that encouraged "violent resistance" against Israel and simulated the use of an AK-47 and grenades.
The beat goes on,
the beat goes on,
the beat goes on...
A 27-year-old mother of five was bludgeoned to death with an iron chain by her father last week in Gaza in what human rights groups report was an honor killing.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights, another Gaza-based organization, said hospital forensic reports show the woman's body showed signs of torture and that she suffered a skull fracture from being hit by an iron chain.
Honor killings usually target female victims of rape, women suspected of engaging in premarital sex, and women accused of adultery. They are murdered by relatives because the violation of a woman's chastity is viewed as an affront to the family's honor -- on the woman's part.
Don't stop the groovin'
Don't stop the groovin'
the leniency with which the authority treats the perpetrators of such crimes, who usually allege that they were acting to preserve the honor of the family, has contributed to the noticeable increase in honor killings."
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said nine people have been killed in honor crimes in 2009, five of them women.
Maha Abu Dayyeh Shamas, the director for the Jerusalem-based Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling, says the deterioration of rights for Palestinian women is not just a Hamas-inspired phenomenon.
She says rights for women and children in both Gaza and the West Bank are eroding.
The Palestinian Fatah faction plans to oppose recognizing Israel as a Jewish state and consider opening a strategic dialogue with Iran, according to details from a proposed draft of its political platform that were leaked to the Arab press on Saturday.
Abbas' job as party leader is not on the line, but support by his party can help shore up his political legitimacy. His term as president expired in January, and he has simply stayed on, saying the rift with Hamas left him no other option.
Marwan Barghouti, who led the last Palestinian uprising, is running for the 21-member Central Committee from the Israeli prison where he is serving five life terms for his role in shooting attacks. A strong win could help a future bid for the presidency, once Abbas steps down.
Fatah is full of thieves, spies and corrupt people, enough to destroy any country, said Amr, 61, who is seeking a committee seat.
Ok, that's enough from the Palestinians...surely the great Arab leaders of the Middle East will step up to the plate to condemn these horrible atrocities that are taking place in the West Bank and Gaza. Surely these are just isolated terrorists in the Israeli-oppressed territories. The responsible leadership of such notable states as Saudi Arabia and Syria will surely broadcast a message of tolerance and acceptance for their neighbor and encourage their Palestinian cousins to make peace and strive for prosperity instead of suffering. Surely.
From Israel's neighbors:
Saudi Arabia rejects U.S. call for ties with Israel
Assad: Golan will return to Arab hands
After the Saudi foreign minister flatly rejected the US request that his country make goodwill gestures toward Israel, Syrian President Bashar Assad was quoted repeating his refusal to resume negotiations with Israel unless the country first commits to ceding the Golan Heights.
Just like my love, everlasting
"The Syrian Golan will yet return to Arab hands," Assad promised.
Still moving strong, on and on and on
Saudi Arabia on Friday accused Israel of not being serious about peace with the Palestinians and rejected U.S. pleas to improve ties with Israel as a way of jump-starting regional peace talks.
"The question is not what the Arab world will offer," Saud said. "The question really is: What will Israel give in exchange for this comprehensive offer?"
"Israel hasn't even responded to an American request to halt settlements, which President Obama described as illegitimate," he said.
Saud said Israel was being asked to give back land that "never belonged to it in the first place."
And the Americans? They can't possibly be blind to this, right?
U.S. President Barack Obama, Clinton and special envoy to the region George Mitchell all have been urging Arab nations to improve ties with Israel with confidence-building measures such as opening trade offices, allowing academic exchanges and permitting civilian Israeli aircraft to overfly their airspace as a way of demonstrating their commitment to peace.
Clinton repeated that call in her remarks, saying the Obama administration wants "the Arab states, including our friends in Saudi Arabia, to work with us to take steps to improve relations with Israel, to support the Palestinian Authority and to prepare their people to embrace the eventual peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis."
Good God. Hi Hilary. Hi Barrack. Could you please scroll up a few paragraphs and try to tell us with a straight face that THESE are the people you want us to "support". And your plan is to rely on "our friends" the Saudis to help bridge the gap between Israel and the honor killers, ambulance stoppers, wedding bombers, suicide glorifiers, Jewish State deniers and their backers?
"We know that this is all in the process that has to be undertaken and we are looking forward to seeing the parties sitting down at the negotiating table supported not only by the United States, but by other nations led by Saudi Arabia," Clinton said.
What other states? Syria? Iran? What other nations are going to be leading the charge into a peaceful 22nd century exactly?
Perhaps she is referring to our friends in Australia? A strong, democratic Western nation will certainly not contribute to the problem, right?
Hizbullah TV network gets okay to air in Australia
Hizbullah-sponsored TV network Al-Manar TV has been granted permission to broadcast in Australia, after having been banned on two occasions.
...was referring to material aired on Al-Manar that lauded suicide bombers, called for Israel's annihilation and resurrected the medieval blood libel.
Wow. I mean...just...wow. Imagine that Churchill or Roosevelt would have broadcasted Nazi propaganda during the 1930's. Well it's not like there's much to worry about anyway for the Australians. The war against terrorism is winding down, right? It's really just contained to Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, places that only exist on maps and news reports. No need to worry about any al Qaeda attacks in your backyard or anything like that...
Al Qaeda priority: Western targets
Recruits reveal al Qaeda's sprawling web
Vinas says he was told, while on a mountain walk with a Belgian-Moroccan friend, Hicham Bouhali Zrioul, about a new course being taught by al Qaeda called "international operations," set up by its head of international operations. Vinas later identified him as Abu Hafith.
[They] allegedly talked to each other in their detention center about what sounded like a scheme to attack Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, a conversation bugged by Italian police. French officials have said they were never aware of a concrete plot to attack the airport.
Al Qaeda, it would seem, may still want to pull off spectacular attacks in Europe or the United States.
The revelations raise the possibility that al Qaeda was developing a program of targeted assassinations.
Vinas stated that Zrioul also discussed with him an attack on the Brussels metro, telling him it was a soft target because it was poorly protected. He said Zrioul also raised the possibility of launching an attack on a European football stadium.
Such conversations illustrate the terror networks' continued desire to inflict mass casualties.
Vinas stated that he himself gave detailed briefings to al Qaeda chiefs in Waziristan in September 2008 about how the Long Island Commuter Rail service worked, according to a federal indictment earlier this month.
Above all the accounts from Vinas and others show that al Qaeda's training structures have but one goal, another 9/11.
You see that's the problem with the Clintons and the Obamas and the whatever-idiot-ok'ed-the-Hizballah-TV-in-Australias of the world. They think in terms of optimistic talks, handshakes, signatures, smiles and politics. They want us to negotiate with dictators who refuse to recognize our legitimacy to exist. They want us to make concessions to a party whose most popular figure is a convicted murderer serving five life sentences, but may still win in the next election.
Regardless of who we talk to however, the enemy here is not interested in negotiating. The enemy here has one goal above all else:
Not peace. Not prosperity. Not happiness. Not life. Not progress. Victory above all else.
While our "leaders" are prancing around trying to win elections and create fun little photo ops and sound bites, the Islamic fundamentalists and their state sponsors are killing, maiming and destroying their OWN PEOPLE while planning ever more creative and destructive ways to destroy our people. They're also brainwashing their children to do the exact same thing. They don't rest. They don't relax. They plan. They tell you what they're going to do and then they do it.
Garsallaoui issued this threat to Belgium authorities on his wife's Web site on May 11, 2009: "If you thought that you could pressure me to slow down through the arrest of my wife, you were wrong. It won't stop me fulfilling my objectives... the place of my wife in my heart and the heart of all the mujahedeen is greater than ever... Surprises are sure to be in store for you in the days ahead. Those who laugh last, laugh more."
And you are extremely foolish if you do not take their words seriously.