“The victims are no different from those slain on September 11, 2001”

April 18, 2006


1. A few dissident voices
2. Reveling in blood
3. “Arab Tel Aviv”
4. Egyptian government newspaper lauds attack
5. Al-Arian pleads guilty
6. American teen fights for life
7. Giving out sweets
8. The Independent’s “activists”
9. The BBC bends the truth, as usual
10. “Ill-timed excuses [in the NY Times]” (New York Sun, April 18, 2006)
11. “Islamic Jihad set up unit of bombers” (UPI, April 18, 2006)
12. “A look at Islamic Jihad” (Associated Press, April 17, 2006)

[Note by Tom Gross]

Here are a few observations about yesterday’s deadly suicide attack at a Tel Aviv sandwich and falafel stand. The attack, which was carried out by the Iranian government-funded terror group Islamic Jihad and praised by the Hamas-led Palestinian government, killed at least nine people, and injured over 60, some severely. A 22-year-old Palestinian man attacked the same restaurant in January, killing himself and wounding two dozen Israelis.


My “Arab affairs” contacts tell me that on the Jihadi internet forums, following yesterday’s suicide bomb, there were several calls to stop such attacks because “they do not achieve the results we are striving for.” These calls are not very common.


However, in general such websites have reveled in the murder of Jews and have posted photos of the attacks too gruesome to be reprinted in most western papers.

For example, scroll down to see the photos (complete with a laughing yellow face) on:

These sites are widely read by Arabic extremists not just in the Middle East but in America, Canada and Europe too.


Also of interest is the growing use of the Arab name of Tel Aviv on these forums. “Aviv,” as many of you may know, means “Spring” in Hebrew, and the name has started to be translated to Arabic as “Tel al-Rabi.” (“Rabi” means spring in Arabic.) This is part of the increasing efforts to erase Israeli identity.


The Egyptian state-controlled newspaper Al Gomhuria today praised yesterday’s suicide attack in Tel Aviv, calling it an act of sacrifice and martyrdom.

Al Gomhuria is one of the country’s three biggest newspapers. Its editor was appointed by President Hosni Mubarak.

In its lead editorial, Al Gomhuria calls the murders “heroic.” “There will be more later,” the daily adds, reminding readers that “In the Islamic faith, a martyr goes to heaven.”


As part of his deal to avoid further prosecution in return for deportation, Professor Sami al-Arian has pleaded guilty to aiding Islamic Jihad, the group that carried out yesterday’s Tel Aviv bombing:

The Florida bureau of Reuters reports today that: “Former Florida university professor Sami al-Arian has pleaded guilty to aiding the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad and agreed to be deported, according to documents made public on Monday by a U.S. court in Florida.

“Al-Arian and three co-defendants were arrested in 2003 and charged with helping the group carry out attacks in Israel. In December, a federal jury found al-Arian not guilty on eight charges and failed to reach a verdict on nine others after a six-month trial. Al-Arian accepted the plea agreement on Friday to avoid another trial on the deadlocked charges.”


Among the injured still fighting for their lives following yesterday’s attack is an American teenager. The 16-year-old, who suffered severe injuries to his internal organs, is at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. His name has not been made public at the request of his family. The bomb was laced with nails and other sharp objects designed to cause maximum injury.


As is the Palestinian tradition following the “successful” murder of Jews, in parts of Gaza, Islamic Jihad gunmen gave out sweets to celebrate the attack yesterday, reports Reuters.

On Monday U.S. ally Qatar said it would give another $50 million in aid to Hamas.

Japan said today it would not give new aid via the PA government until Hamas committed itself to peace. Japan has given $840m, and is one of the Palestinian Authority’s largest donors. Japan, which is strongly reliant on Mideast oil, says it will however continue to provide funds to private Palestinian NGOs.


The British liberal-left newspaper The Independent today begins its front page report on yesterday’s attack by saying it was carried out by “a youthful activist.” Their piece then continues on with some sympathetic quotes from the bomber’s family and some strange remarks about “Jews... confiscating... olive, almond and fruit trees.”

The Independent is the only British newspaper to be edited by a Jew, Simon Kelner. It is difficult to know what Kelner and some of his anti-Israeli colleagues (some of whom are Jewish) make of the fact that on his website, David Irving, one of the world’s leading Holocaust revisionists, nominates the Independent’s Mideast correspondent Robert Fisk as “Bravest Journalist of the Year” and reproduces some of Fisk’s pieces from the Independent.


The BBC world service coverage, while less hostile to Israel than it has been in the wake of even worse suicide attacks 2-3 years ago, nevertheless contained a lot of drivel about “cycles of violence,” and nonsense about “massive Israeli retaliation.”

The BBC’s main online home page did use the word terrorist but felt the need to put quotes round the word. On air, the BBC, of course, scrupulously avoided the use of the term. For more, please see The BBC discovers ‘terrorism,’ briefly.

Some British newspapers are now criticizing the BBC for this. For example, the lead editorial in today’s conservative-leaning Daily Telegraph starts:

“Yesterday’s suicide bombing in a Tel Aviv restaurant, described as ‘self-defence’ by Hamas, was a wicked act of terrorism. That is the first and most important thing to say (though the BBC once again declined to use the word ‘terrorism’ on its website to describe the slaughter of innocent civilians). The murders are a disaster not just for the victims and their families, but for the Palestinian people as a whole and arguably Hamas, which took over the running of the Palestinian Authority from the deeply corrupt Fatah following January’s elections. Hamas’s reference to ‘self-defence’ gives the impression that it approved of the atrocity... the ‘militants’ (as the BBC calls them) who are motivated by a Nazi-like determination to exterminate Israel; or Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, which has never come to terms with losing control of the Authority and all the lovely cash that went with it...”

I attach three pieces below. There will be no more dispatches this week due to very heavy other work commitments.

-- Tom Gross



Ill-timed excuses
New York Sun (Editorial)
April 18, 2006


Talk about timing. The suicide bombing that killed nine Israelis in an attack on a Tel Aviv felafel restaurant was preceded only a day by a full-page advertisement that was rolled out in the New York Times, claiming “Hamas has held a unilateral ceasefire for a year, while Israel has ignored it and continues its attacks.” The “ceasefire” must come as news to the families of the nine killed and nearly 70 wounded, as well as to those who read on the Web site of the Jerusalem Post that this particular felafel restaurant “was hit in a similar suicide attack three months ago, injuring 20 people.” And the “ceasefire” claim could have been checked by the Times quality control people with a few keystrokes.

According to Israel’s Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, seven suicide bombing attacks were made in 2005. They killed 23 persons and injured 160. It reports that another 15 suicide attacks were thwarted in progress. The Israeli foreign ministry says, “Hamas was responsible for the suicide bombing at the Beersheba bus station on 28 August 2005 in which two security guards were seriously wounded. In September 2005, Hamas terrorists abducted and murdered Jerusalem businessman Sasson Nuriel.” Lest it be said that the other suicide bombings took place over the objections of Hamas, a spokesman for the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority Interior Ministry, Khaled Abu Helal, yesterday blamed Israel for the terrorist attack, saying, “We think that this operation ... is a direct result of the policy of the occupation and the brutal aggression and siege committed against our people.”

The suicide bomber was sent by Islamic Jihad, the same terrorist organization that Sami al-Arian just confessed to conspiring to help. Al-Arian’s confession was accepted by the federal judge in the case yesterday. The suicide bombing came the same day that the New York Post published Robert Novak sharply criticizing Israel for restricting movement of Arabs into Israel from the West Bank. Not a peep out of Mr. Novak in respect of Egypt’s Easter-time oppression of its Christians, known as Copts, which has been frontpage news in The New York Sun.

Hamas’s line, that Israel is to blame for the suicide bombers killing Israeli civilians, is gaining ground in elite intellectual circles. Foreign Affairs, the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, went so far as to bring in an Israeli leftist, Tom Segev, to argue that Israeli settlements are to blame. Yale University is trying to hire the anti-Israel professor Juan Cole, according to Mitch Webber and Eliana Johnson, writing on the adjacent page. Princeton is poised to bring aboard the most famous of Columbia’s anti-Israel professors, Rashid Khalidi, and Harvard’s Kennedy School is harboring as its academic dean Stephen Walt, another anti-Israel academic. Mr. Walt and his coauthor are featured on the Web site of the organization that ran the ad in the Times touting the falsities of Hamas.

Anyone with doubts about Hamas’s intentions can consult its charter, which contains such gems as “Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.” Or that “enemies... used the money to establish clandestine organizations which are spreading around the world, in order to destroy societies and carry out Zionist interests. Such organizations are: the Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, B’nai B’rith and the like. All of them are destructive spying organizations...Their scheme has been laid out in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” Or they can consult the words of one of Hamas’s financial backers, President Ahmadinejad of Iran, who has repeatedly vowed to wipe Israel off the map. Iran was just voted vice chairman of the United Nations Disarmament Commission, Fox News’s Brit Hume reported last night.

The Times ad claims “Many Americans do not understand that Hamas is a typical anti-colonial insurgency responding to an Israeli occupation and what amounts to government terror against Palestinian civilians. It is not at all related to al-Qa’ida or 9/11.” In fact Hamas represents colonialism by Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood in the West Bank and Gaza. Its ideology reeks of Al Qaeda and bin Laden. Americans don’t need the New York Times and Hamas to tell them what they don’t understand. They know that the victims slain yesterday at a felafel restaurant in Tel Aviv are no different from those slain on September 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center. They are casualties in a war being levied by an enemy that aims to reestablish the caliphate and enforce Islamic law worldwide, an enemy that kills civilian women and children while Western sympathizers make ill-timed excuses.



Islamic Jihad set up unit of bombers
United Press International
April 18, 2006

Islamic Jihad said its military wing has set up a special detachment of suicide bombers ready to retaliate to Israeli attacks.

The announcement, made today by the commander of al-Quds Brigades, signaled a further escalation of Middle East violence.

The unidentified Brigades’ commander said in a statement released to the press that the detachment included 70 male and female bombers “who are ready to respond to the crimes of the occupation forces and waiting the moment of blowing themselves up.”

He said “resisting occupation is a sacred and legitimate duty,” vowing “qualitative operations against the Zionist entity.”

“The response to the crimes of occupation forces will be through martyr attacks and the continuation of resistance by dealing painful strikes to the terrorist Israeli army which has kept up its aggression against Palestinians,” the commander said.

He said the suicide attack which took place Monday in Tel Aviv and in which nine Israelis were killed “was the beginning of a series of operations which will be carried out by the Quds Brigades against the occupation and the settlers.”

He also cautioned Israel against “committing any stupidity” by targeting Jihad leaders, “because that will not weaken our movement or intimidate our mujahideen.”



A look at Islamic Jihad
The Associated Press
April 17, 2006

Islamic Jihad, a virulently anti-Israel group backed by Iran and Syria, claimed responsibility for Monday’s suicide attack in Tel Aviv, the deadliest Palestinian attack in 20 months.

The group has been behind most of the Palestinian attacks against Israel since the sides declared a truce in February 2005. It says the violence is a legitimate response to an Israeli crackdown on its members.

Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility for eight of nine suicide attacks in Israel and the West Bank since the cease-fire declaration, and its militants in Gaza continue to fire homemade rockets at Israel on a daily basis.

The group is believed to have about 2,000 militants armed with M-16 and AK-47 automatic rifles, grenades and anti-tank weapons.

Last month, it claimed responsibility for firing a long-range Katyusha rocket into Israel. The attack, which caused no damage or injuries, marked a significant increase in its abilities.

Islamic Jihad is led by Ramadan Shallah, a Palestinian from Gaza who now lives in exile in Syria. It considers the 1979 Iranian Revolution to be the beginning of a new era for the Muslim world and wants to turn all of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza into an Islamic state. It rules out compromise with Israel.

Shallah, visiting Iran this week, said his group would step up its efforts to attack Israel with suicide bombers and rockets.

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.