* Arab paper: U.S. will strike Iran before April 2007
* And introducing the “Burkini,” the new Islamic swimsuit, complete with head covering
1. Saudis may ban Letter “X”
2. Welcome to the Burkini, the new Islamic swimsuit
3. 14 Carter Center advisers resign over “apartheid” book
4. Hamas denies recognizing “Israel”
5. Foreign investment in Israel reaches record high in 2006
6. The “Red Crystal” comes into effect
7. Hizb ut-Tahrir seeks to recruit British Muslims
8. British TV documentary exposes extremism in UK mosques
9. Arab paper: U.S. will strike Iran before April 2007
10. “US military strike on Iran seen by April ’07” (Arab Times, Jan. 14, 2007)
11. “Jimmy Carter interceded on behalf of Nazi SS Guard” (INN, Jan. 17, 2007)
This dispatch contains items on a number of different subjects, and includes updates to other recent dispatches.
SAUDIS MAY BAN LETTER “X”
A group of Islamic clergy in Saudi Arabia this week condemned the letter “X” because of its supposed similarity to the banned Christian symbol, the cross.
The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which has the ultimate say in all legal, civil and governance matters in the dictatorial kingdom, issued a fatwa, or religious edict, against the “X.”
It came in response to a Saudi Ministry of Trade query about whether a Saudi businessman could be granted trademark protection for a new service of his with the English name “Explorer.”
The request from the businessman, Amru Mohammad Faisal, was turned down.
“Experts who examined the English word ‘explorer’ were struck by how suspicious that ‘X’ appeared,” Youssef Ibrahim reports in the New York Sun.
WELCOME TO THE BURKINI, THE NEW ISLAMIC SWIMSUIT
An Australian designer has created the world’s first two-piece Islamic swimsuit, the burkini. This lightweight, head-to-ankle costume is the first to be streamlined into a two-piece suit which incorporates a head covering.
Aheda Zanetti designed the suit because “A lot of girls were missing out, a lot of women were missing out, on a lot of sporting activities, including swimming.” Australia has a strong beach culture that devout Muslims felt they were unable to participate in.
Zanetti’s company Ahiida, which is based in Sydney, has as its motto: “Modesty is number one.”
Lebanese-born Zanetti, a 39-year-old mother-of-four, says she is something of an accidental designer. Trained as a hairdresser, she has never worn a burqa, the restrictive all-encompassing gown worn by women in more conservative Muslim cultures from which her full-body swimsuits take their name. And she never wore a veil until she began designing sportswear, but does now.
14 CARTER CENTER ADVISERS RESIGN OVER “APARTHEID” BOOK
Fourteen members of an advisory group to the center of former President Jimmy Carter have resigned over concerns that Carter’s book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” does not represent “the Jimmy Carter we came to respect and support.” The fourteen members are not conservatives, but liberal allies of the former Democratic President, who believe his denigration of Israel has gone too far.
The members submitted a joint resignation letter, saying the book confuses opinion with fact. The letter said that the book “portrays the conflict between Israel and her neighbors as a purely one-sided affair with Israel holding all the responsibility for resolving the conflict.”
For more on Carter, please see the dispatch Jimmy Carter called an anti-Semite live on American TV (Dec. 6, 2006).
The final article attached below (which I recommend reading in full) highlights testimony from Neil Sher, a veteran of the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigation. In 1987 he received a letter from Carter asking him to show “special consideration” to a man proven to have murdered Jews in the Mauthausen death camp in Austria.
Sher decided to go public now about Carter’s intervention because it “always bothered him here was Jimmy Carter jumping in on behalf of someone who did not deserve in any way, shape or form special consideration. And the things he has now said about the Jewish lobby really exposes where his heart really lies.”
Daniel Freedman has obtained from sources at the U.S. Justice Department the original copy of Carter’s handwritten note interceding on behalf of the Nazi SS Guard, scanned it, and placed it on his blog at: www.itshinesforall.com/2007/01/exclusive_note.html.
Freedman, who is a subscriber to this list, tells me he has personally seen the note and handwriting experts have verified on behalf of the New York Sun that it is indeed Carter’s handwriting.
HAMAS DENIES RECOGNIZING “ISRAEL”
The following is an official statement released by Hamas in response to widespread media reports last week, following an interview Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal gave to the ever-unreliable Reuters news agency, that Hamas may recognize Israel.
Hamas denies statements attributed to Hamas on the recognition of “Israel”
Translated from Arabic
January 14, 2007
An official source in the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), including the following: The Reuters News agency televised an interview with Brother Mujahid Khaled Mashaal, the leader of the political bureau of Hamas movement, on Wednesday, January 10, 2007, but the quoted statements were inaccurate and distorted on the subject of recognition of “Israel.”
And despite the fact that some satellite channels broadcast some excerpts from the statements that showed brother Mashaal, the mass media again insisted on broadcasting and publishing distorted statements. We wish to clarify that what Khalid Mashal said during the interview is that there is an entity called “Israel” that is on Palestinian territories and that it is a reality, but on the other hand, stressed that the Hamas movement’s position in this matter is neither recognition nor acknowledgement.
FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN ISRAEL REACHES RECORD HIGH IN 2006
This is an update to Israel’s economy soars ahead, while Palestinians squander millions (Jan. 12, 2007).
Foreign investment in Israel more than doubled last year, according to a new report by the Bank of Israel. Spurred on by Warren Buffet’s acquisition of Iscar Corporation, foreign investment in 2006 rose to $21.1 billion from its 2005 level of $9.9 billion. (The 2004 level was $7.2 billion.) The bank also reported that Israelis invested five times more overseas in 2006 than they did in 2005, setting a record investment of $21 billion.
THE “RED CRYSTAL” COMES INTO EFFECT
This is an update to the fifth note in the dispatch Donald Trump invests $300 million in Israel (& more Islamic gay-bashing) (July 5, 2006).
The newest symbol of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement the “red crystal” came into effect at the beginning of this week. The new emblem, which resembles a cross between a square and a diamond was created in order to allow Israel to become a member and to permit Israeli relief workers in areas of conflict to operate safely under the protection of a recognized symbol.
Israel’s Red Star of David (Magen David Adom) has for decades struggled to join the International Red Cross. America threatened to leave the Red Cross if the discrimination against Israel continued. Israelis were particularly upset, given the infamous collaboration between some officials of the Red Cross and the Nazis during the Holocaust.
The Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service is already a member of the umbrella relief organization.
HIZB UT-TAHRIR SEEKS TO RECRUIT BRITISH MUSLIMS
This is an update to Islamic militant Hizb ut-Tahrir infiltrates Reuters (& Prince Harry apologizes) (Sept. 15, 2005).
According to the UK newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, Hizb ut-Tahrir is currently attempting to use American air strikes that killed innocent civilians as well as al-Qaeda members in southern Somalia last week, to persuade British Muslims of Somali origin to join their ranks.
The Telegraph said that the Islamic Liberation Party, which is banned by law in Germany, Russia, Pakistan and elsewhere, was distributing leaflets in London accusing the United States of practicing “state terrorism”. The leaflets included graphic images and were written in Somali.
For more, see: www.alwatanvoice.com/arabic/
BRITISH TV DOCUMENTARY EXPOSES EXTREMISM IN UK MOSQUES
Meanwhile, a British TV documentary has secretly filmed imams at a number of British mosques, inciting hatred, bigotry and intolerance. Channel Four television filmed the mosques over a 12-month period. The program “Undercover Mosques” contained sermons showing preachers proclaiming the supremacy of Islam, preaching hatred for Jews, Christians and Gays and for Muslims who do not follow their extreme beliefs.
Imams predicted imminent jihad, and called on British Muslims to “dismantle” British democracy. They must “live like a state within a state until they are strong enough to take over,” said one preacher. The investigation showed the influence in the UK of Wahhabism, an extreme Saudi Arabian interpretation of Islam.
The program also showed how Saudi universities are recruiting young Western Muslims to train in their extreme theology, and are then sent back to Europe to spread the teachings.
The program which I would strongly recommend watching in full can be seen in six parts on YouTube. The links are:
Part 1: www.youtube.com/watch?v=peFQWuk4nuo
Part 2: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuCLC8kjWCI
Part 3: www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5t5EqWX92k
Part 4: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMztM0Z7BYE
Part 5: www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4Zv3BUmwqs
Part 6: www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvjvNScmTQA
ARAB PAPER: U.S. WILL STRIKE IRAN BEFORE APRIL 2007
The first article below is a report from the Arab Times by Ahmed Al-Jarallah, its Editor-in-Chief, who claims that “Washington will launch a military strike on Iran before April 2007 The attack will be launched from the sea and Patriot missiles will guard all oil-producing countries in the region.”
According to a “reliable source” “they have chosen April as British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said it will be the last month in office for him. The United States has to take action against Iran and Syria before April 2007.”
The source added that “the US and its allies will target the oil installations and nuclear facilities of Iran ensuring there is no environmental catastrophe or after effects.”
-- Tom Gross
KUWAITI PAPER: US MILITARY TO STRIKE IRAN IN APRIL
US military strike on Iran seen by April ’07; Sea-launched attack to hit oil, N-sites
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
The Arab Times
January 14, 2007
Washington will launch a military strike on Iran before April 2007, say sources. The attack will be launched from the sea and Patriot missiles will guard all oil-producing countries in the region, the sources add. Recent statements emanating from the United States indicate the Bush administration’s new strategy for Iraq doesn’t include any proposal to make a compromise or negotiate with Syria or Iran. A reliable source said President Bush recently held a meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Dr Condoleezza Rice and other assistants in the White House where they discussed the plan to attack Iran in minute detail.
According to the source, Vice President Dick Cheney highlighted the threat posed by Iran to not only Saudi Arabia but the whole region. “Tehran is not playing politics. Iranian leaders are using their country’s religious influence to support the aggressive regime’s ambition to expand,” the source quoted Dick Cheney as saying. Indicating participants of the meeting agreed to impose restrictions on the ambitions of Iranian regime before April 2007 without exposing other countries in the region to any danger, the source said “they have chosen April as British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said it will be the last month in office for him. The United States has to take action against Iran and Syria before April 2007.”
Claiming the attack will be launched from the sea and not from any country in the region, he said “the US and its allies will target the oil installations and nuclear facilities of Iran ensuring there is no environmental catastrophe or after effects.” “Already the US has started sending its warships to the Gulf and the build-up will continue until Washington has the required number by the end of this month,” the source said. “US forces in Iraq and other countries in the region will be protected against any Iranian missile attack by an advanced Patriot missile system.”
He went on to say “although US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Dr Condoleezza Rice suggested postponing the attack, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney insisted on attacking Tehran without any negotiations based on the lesson they learnt in Iraq recently.” The Bush administration believes attacking Iran will create a new power balance in the region, calm down the situation in Iraq and pave the way for their democratic project, which had to be suspended due to the interference of Tehran and Damascus in Iraq, he continued. The attack on Iran will weaken the Syrian regime, which will eventually fade away, the source said.
“JIMMY CARTER INTERCEDED ON BEHALF OF NAZI SS GUARD”
Exclusive: Jimmy Carter interceded on behalf of Nazi SS Guard
By Ezra HaLevi
Israel National News
January 17, 2007
Neil Sher, a veteran of the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigation, described a letter he received from Carter in 1987 in an interview with Israel National Radio’s Tovia Singer. The letter, written and signed by Carter, asked that Sher show “special consideration” for a man proven to have murdered Jews in the Mauthausen death camp in Austria.
“In 1987, Carter had been out of office for seven years or so,” Sher recalled. “It was a very active period for my office. We had just barred Kurt Waldheim he was then president of Austria and former head of the United Nations from entering the U.S. because of his Nazi past and his involvement in the persecution of civilians during the war. We had just deported an Estonian Nazi Commandant back to the Soviet Union after a bruising battle after which we were attacked by Reagan White House Communications Director Patrick Buchanan.
“Also around that time, in the spring of 1987, we deported a series of SS guards from concentration camps, whose names nobody would know. One such character we sent back to Austria was a man named Martin Bartesch.”
Bartesch, who had immigrated to the U.S. and lived in Chicago, admitted to Sher’s office and the court that he had voluntarily joined the Waffen SS and had served in the notorious SS Death’s Head Division at the Mauthausen concentration camp where, at the hands of Bartesch and his cohorts, many thousands of prisoners were gassed, shot, starved and worked to death. He also confessed to having concealed his service at the infamous camp from U.S. immigration officials.
“We had an extraordinary piece of evidence against him a book that was kept by the SS and captured by the American armed forces when they liberated Mauthausen,” Sher said. “We called it the death book. It was a roster that the Germans required them to keep that identified SS guards as they extended weapons to murder the inmates and prisoners.”
An entry in the book for October 10, 1943 registered the shooting death of Max Oschorn, a French Jewish prisoner. His murderer was also recorded: SS guard Martin Bartesch. “It was a most chilling document,” Sher recalled.
The same evidence was used by the U.S. military in postwar trials as the basis for execution or long prison sentences for many identified SS guards.
“We kicked him out and he went back to Austria. In the meantime, his family he had adult kids went on a campaign, also supported by his church, to try to get special treatment. In so doing they attacked the activities of our office and me personally. They claimed we used phony evidence from the Soviet Union which was nonsense. They claimed he was a young man of only 17 or 18 when he joined the Nazi forces, asking for some sympathetic treatment and defense from our office, which they claimed was just after vengeance.”
The family approached several members of Congress. “The congressmen would, very understandably, forward their claims over to our office and when they learned the facts they would invariably drop the case,” Sher recalled.
But there was one politician who accepted the claims without asking for any further information.
“One day, in the fall of ’87, my secretary walks in and gives me a letter with a Georgia return address reading ‘Jimmy Carter.’ I assumed it was a prank from some old college buddies, but it wasn’t. It was the original copy of the letter Bartesch’s daughter sent to Carter, after Bartash had already been deported.
“In the letter, she claimed we were un-American, only after vengeance, and persecuting a man for what he did when he was only 17 and 18 years old.
“I couldn’t help thinking of my own father who returned home with shrapnel wounds after he joined the U.S. Army as a teenager to fight the Nazis and hit the beaches at Normandy at that same age on D-day.
“On the upper corner of the letter was a note signed by Jimmy Carter saying that in cases such as this, he wanted ‘special consideration for the family for humanitarian reasons.’
“I didn’t respond to the letter the case was already over and he was out of the country but it always stuck in my craw. A former president who didn’t do what I would expect him to do with a full staff at his disposal to find out the facts before he took up the side of this person. But I wasn’t going to pick a fight with a former president. We had enough on our plate.”
Now, following Carter’s book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, Sher has decided to go public with the hope that a public made aware of Carter’s support and defense of a Nazi SS man will help illustrate why the arbiter of the Camp David Accords came out with a book defending the Palestinians after the landslide election of the Islamist Hamas terror group.
“It always bothered me, but I didn’t go public with it until recently, when he wrote this book and let it spill out where his sentiments really lie,” Sher said. “Here was Jimmy Carter jumping in on behalf of someone who did not deserve in any way, shape or form special consideration. And the things he has now said about the Jewish lobby really exposes where his heart really lies.”