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Update 2/28/2007

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Pakistan Denies Bin Laden Claim

(ISLAMABAD, Pakistan) — Pakistan on Wednesday rejected a claim by the U.S. intelligence chief that Osama bin Laden and his deputy were hiding in northwestern Pakistan, and that al-Qaida was setting up camps near the Afghan border.

President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, however, acknowledged that foreign militants were in Pakistan’s tribal regions along the Afghan border and warned them to leave, the state-run news agency reported.

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OpinionJournal – Best of the Web Today – February 28, 2007

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Best of the Web Today – February 28, 2007

    By JAMES TARANTO

    Who’s Afraid of the Religious Right?
    Talk to people who lean left, and there’s a good chance you’ll hear them say how “scary” they find the religious right and its influence on the Republican Party. But the New York Times had a piece the other day by David D. Kirkpatrick titled “Christian Right Labors to Find ’08 Candidate,” and reading between the lines, it seems the Times is worried that the religious right doesn’t hold sway over the GOP:

    Many conservatives have already declared their hostility to Senator John McCain of Arizona, despite his efforts to make amends for having once denounced Christian conservative leaders as “agents of intolerance,” and to former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York, because of his liberal views on abortion and gay rights and his three marriages.

    Many were also suspicious of former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts; members have used the council as a conduit to distribute a dossier prepared by a Massachusetts conservative group about liberal elements of his record on abortion, stem cell research and gay rights. (Mr. Romney has worked to convince conservatives that his views have changed.)

    So religious righties–or, to be precise, members of a “secretive club” of “influential Christian conservatives and their allies” who met in Florida earlier this month–are supposedly looking at candidates like Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter and Sam Brownback, whoever they are. Kirkpatrick tries manfully to find a bad portent for the GOP:

    The conservative concern may also be an ominous sign for the Republican Party about the morale of a core element of its political base. Conservatives warn that the 2008 election could shape up like 1996, when conservatives faced a lesser-of-two evils choice between a Republican they distrusted, former Senator Bob Dole, and a Democrat they disdained, President Bill Clinton. Dr. Dobson of Focus on the Family later said in a speech to the council that he voted for a conservative third-party candidate that year rather than pull a lever for Mr. Dole.

    But a new Washington Post poll suggests that these voters are attracted to one candidate, and it isn’t Huckaback or Brownbee:

    In the Republican race, former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who recently made clear his intentions to seek the presidency, has expanded his lead over Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Giuliani holds a 2 to 1 advantage over McCain among Republicans, according to the poll, more than tripling his margin of a month ago.

    The principal reason was a shift among white evangelical Protestants, who now clearly favor Giuliani over McCain. Giuliani is doing well among this group of Americans despite his support of abortion rights and gay rights, two issues of great importance to religious conservatives. McCain opposes abortion rights.

    The Post also reports that Barack Obama’s support among black voters is growing–and herein lies an intriguing parallel. Last month, you’ll recall, we noted that so-called black leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton were decidedly cool to Obama’s candidacy. The Post poll suggests that neither they nor the putative religious-right leaders cited in the Times piece have as much of a following as they may think.

    In 1993 the Washington Post infamously referred to evangelical Christians as “poor, uneducated and easy to command.” The amount of attention the press pays to buffoonish “leaders” like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson suggests this stereotype is widespread. Journalists are unlikely to describe black Americans as “poor, uneducated and easy to command.” But the deference that they gives to buffoonish “leaders” like Jackson and Sharpton leads us to suspect that they may harbor such stereotypes.

    If Giuliani and Obama win their parties’ nominations, it would represent a diminution of the power, respectively, of evangelical and black “leaders.” It would show that evangelical and black voters are more sophisticated than the press has heretofore recognized, and thereby strike a blow against prejudice.

    The Politics of Self-Pity
    “A Senate hearing that began with glowing tributes to a St. Louis businessman and his qualifications to become ambassador to Belgium turned bitterly divisive Tuesday after he was criticized for supporting a controversial conservative group,” the Associated Press reports from Washington:

    Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., grilled nominee Sam Fox about why he donated $50,000 to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth during the 2004 presidential race. . . . “Might I ask you what your opinion is with respect to the state of American politics as regards the politics of personal destruction?” Kerry asked near the end of the hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    Fox, one of the nation’s most generous contributors to Republican candidates and causes, said he shared Kerry’s concerns that politics “has become mean and destructive.”

    Fox said he didn’t recall who asked him to give to the group and blamed partisans on both sides for contributing to so-called 527 groups that are not subject to conventional campaign finance rules.

    “So is that your judgment that you would bring to the ambassadorship, that two wrongs make a right?” Kerry asked.

    This is the second time this week that “the politics of personal destruction” has come up; the first, as we noted Monday, was when Sen. Hillary Clinton, attempted to impose a rule that no one was to discuss the impeachment of her husband and the illicit sexual acts attendant to it.

    Mrs. Clinton’s position on this makes a certain amount of practical sense. She is, after all, running for president, and the impeachment raised questions about the Clintons’ marriage, and about Mrs. Clinton’s character, that every voter ought to find troubling. Best for her if she can persuade her opponents, the media and everyone else that discussing her character is simply bad form. (Good luck!)

    But why did Kerry spend more than half his allotted time badgering the prospective ambassador to Belgium about money he gave to a group that was mean to Kerry? This just seems small and pathetic. It’s akin to Mrs. Clinton’s lone “no” votes on the 2001 confirmations of Viet Dinh and Michael Chertoff to Justice Department posts. Dinh and Chertoff had both worked on Whitewater investigations.

    Kerry no doubt genuinely feels the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth treated him unfairly. It’s even possible that they did; 40 years after the fact, we certainly can’t say for sure that their eyewitness accounts were true and Kerry’s was false. He also seems to feel that this cost him the presidency, which he deserved.

    But life is unfair, and you don’t become president because you “deserve” to, but because the voters choose you. Maturity consists in significant part in the ability to accept loss and to rise above it. That Kerry is still wallowing in self-pity more than two years after the fact tells us something damning about his character.

    Levin’s Moment of Reality
    RedState.org notes a fascinating exchange in a Senate hearing yesterday:

    [Sen. Carl Levin] called for escalation of the offensives against both Iran and Syria. Bravo. Speaking at a Senate Armed Services Committee meeting, Senator Levin said to John Michael McConnell, Director of National Intelligence,

    I think we ought to take action on all fronts including Syria and any other source of weapons coming in, obviously Iran is the focus–but it shouldn’t be the sole focus.

    Folks, did you get that? In addition to admitting we need to keep troops behind in Iraq, Carl Levin now says we need to go after Syria and Iran. In fact, in asking John McConnell about what steps were being taken to cut off weaponry coming in from Syria, Levin went so far as to ask this question:

    I was just wondering, does the military have a plan to, if necessary, to go into Syria to go to the source of any weapons coming from Syria?

    And he wasn’t arguing against such a plan. My first quote from him came after that. After asking if there was a plan to go into Syria, Carl Levin, yes *that* Carl Levin, said “I think we ought to take action on all fronts including Syria.”

    Take it with at least a grain of salt; after all, lots of Democrats talked very belligerently about Saddam Hussein in 1998 and 2002, then backed away in the ensuing months and years when it turned out that U.S. policy toward his regime was more than talk. But it is nice to know that despite much of the public’s having soured on Iraq, and despite the influence of antiwar extremists on the party, Democrats are still sometimes capable of acknowledging reality.

    Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
    MediaBistro.com quotes a memo from a Los Angeles Times executive praising the paper’s Baghdad staff:

    I want to take this opportunity to thank BORZOU DARAGAHI, SOLOMON MOORE and LOUISE ROUG for their outstanding work in our Baghdad bureau. We had a truly remarkable year in 2006 with a wonderful mix of news, analysis, investigative stories and features. We were out front on death squads and the fact that the country had descended into civil war. We had a detailed reconstruction of neighbor-on-neighbor killings in Balad, a heart-breaking account of a family coping with the loss of a child, and a ground-breaking piece by one of our Iraqi staffers, recounting his own dehumanization as he watched the shooting of a man in front of him and did nothing to help.

    As MB quips, “After reading this, who would want to cover school board meetings?”

    Associated What?
    Yesterday we noted that the Associated Press had overstated Alan Greenspan’s warning of a possible recession. Then the stock market tanked. James Pethokoukis speculates that there might have been a connection:

    Here’s a headline sure to spook any investor or economist: “Greenspan warns of likely U.S. recession.” That was the headline right near the top of the widely surfed Drudge Report yesterday afternoon and this morning, referring to a speech that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan made the other day via satellite to a business conference in Hong Kong.

    Many market watchers are blaming those comments–along with a weak durable goods report and the plunge in the Chinese stock market–for today’s stock market sell-off. But despite the inflammatory Drudge headline–which, in all fairness, linked to an Associated Press story with that same title–the Maestro was hardly so definitive as Drudge made him out to be.

    This is hilarious. All Drudge did was link to the AP piece, but Pethokoukis treats the venerable wire service as if it were merely incidental to all this. The media world isn’t what it used to be.

    He Changed His Name to Protect the YAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!
    “Frank Snowden, Former Howard Dean, Dies”–headline, United Press International, Feb. 28

    Thanks for the Advice, Sweetie
    “Honey, Root May Help Staph Infection”–headline, Arizona Republic, Feb. 27

    Bottom Stories of the Day

    • “Janitor Spends Weekend in Courthouse”–headline, Associated Press, Feb. 27
    • “Judge Makes No Ruling on Custody of Anna Nicole Smith’s Baby”–headline, Associated Press, Feb. 26
    • “Study: Pygmy Owl Numbers Down in Mexico”–headline, Associated Press, Feb. 27
    • “Home Damaged by Grease Fire Was Insured”–headline, Press & Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, N.Y.), Feb. 28
    • “RFK JR. Rips President Bush for Environmental Policy”–headline, Roanoke (Va.) Times, Feb. 27
    • “Richardson Claims First Place Among Second-Tier Candidates”–headline, the Hill, Feb. 28

    Power to the People
    “Iowa Gov. Chet Culver today demanded that Iowans still without power from the weekend ice and snowstorm leave their houses and relocate to one of their area’s emergency storm shelters,” the Des Moines Register reports:

    An anticipated ice storm, expected to pound Iowa Wednesday and worsen an already dire situation, has so greatly raised concerns about the medical, food and heating needs of residents, that staying in a house without electricity is “unacceptable,” Culver said. . . .

    “It’s not at this point, frankly, a choice,” Culver said at a noon press conference at the National Guard Armory in Johnston. “We need you to go to a shelter and we need you to go now.”

    Culver said residents needing shelter or facing other emergencies should call 911, despite assertions from at one least one local official that the influx of calls was jamming phone lines. Anyone who cannot through that line, state officials said, should call 211 or their city or county’s emergency services agency. They said information is also available at www.iowahomelandsecurity.org.

    As State29 asks, “Why is staying in a house without electricity ‘unacceptable’ in this day and age? 70 years ago, only about 11% of farmers had electricity, yet [the other 89%] didn’t die.” Actually, most of them probably did, eventually. If only they’d thought to visit the state Web site!

    (Carol Muller helps compile Best of the Web Today. Thanks to Steve Prestegard, Kathleen Sullivan, Rod Pennington, David Shapiro, Brent Silver, Greg Nelson, Michael Zukerman, William Hewitt, Matthew du Mee, Doug Black, Eric Orbock, Samuel Walker, Brian Terwilliger, Marc Young and Jim Peterson. If you have a tip, write us at opinionjournal@wsj.com, and please include the URL.)

    URL for this article: http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110009724

    Today on OpinionJournal:

    • Review & Outlook: Will the Fed and the Democratic Congress tempt a larger stock market selloff?
    • Steve Malanga (from City Journal): You bet Giuliani is conservative.
    • Adrian Wooldridge: The final thoughts of management’s big thinker.

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Joseph Cannon is Damned Annoying

DUDE! Keith Olbermann assails Secretary of State Rice on her ignorance of history. I have one quarrel with Olbermann: You can indeed compare Saddam Hussein with Hitler, just as you can compare apples and oranges. You can compare anything with anything else. Look up the word "compare" in the dictionary. After you digest what Olbermann has to say, check out this propaganda letter, which — a couple of years ago — was widely reprinted in a number of different venues (print and online), ascribed to various names. (Odd how that happens, eh wot?). See if you can spot the error: President Franklin Roosevelt led us into World War II, but Germany never attacked us. We lost 405,000 military personnel during the war.Kinda leaves out a few facts, doesn't it? Fact 1: Germany had conquered or attacked our friends and allies. Fact 2: We were directly attacked by G…

Source: http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2007/02/dude.html

Politics: Abuseless

Slate Magazine
jurisprudence
Abuseless
The Padilla case proves the futility of mistreating prisoners.
By Dahlia Lithwick
Posted Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007, at 6:50 PM ET

Jose Padilla. Click image to expand.Of all the terrifically bad ideas implemented by the Bush administration since 9/11, probably the worst have involved torture. The decision to sideline criminal prosecutions and instead focus on “alternative interrogation” methods was wrongheaded from the get-go. It was wrongheaded as a tactical matter, wrongheaded as a legal matter, wrongheaded as an ethical matter, and wrongheaded as a matter of undermining world opinion. In fact the only thing the Bush administration has actually gotten right about torture is this one tiny truth: If you want to destroy someone–if that is your sole objective–torture works. So, why won’t the government even take credit for that?

That’s why it’s worth keeping an eye on the proceedings this week in Miami as federal Judge Marcia Cooke tries to determine whether the alleged “dirty bomber”–scratch that–alleged “apartment bomber”–um, scratch that–alleged terror conspirator Jose Padilla is mentally fit to stand trial. What the prosecution now claims almost defies credulity. They contend that Padilla is wholly unharmed–after spending 1,307 days in a 9-foot-by-7-foot cell in a Navy brig in South Carolina, where he says he was, among other things, deprived of sleep, light, sight, sound, shackled in stress positions, injected with “truth serum,” and isolated for extended stretches of time. It’s better than that. According to the government, Padilla is faking his craziness.

To continue reading, click here.

Dahlia Lithwick is a Slate senior editor.

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A7News: Top Rabbis Send Personal Plea to President Bush for Pollard

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Top Rabbis Send Personal Plea to President Bush for Pollard

For the first time, Israel’s leading hareidi Sages write to a US President, asking for clemency for Jonathan Pollard.

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1. Top Rabbis Send Personal Plea to President Bush for Pollard

Two of world Jewry’s most renowned Torah Sages, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv of Jerusalem and Rabbi Aaron Leib Shteinman of Bnei Brak, have signed a historically unprecedented letter to U.S. President George Bush, calling for the release of Jonathan Pollard.

It is reportedly the first time that these Torah Sages have ever addressed a foreign head of state about any matter.

The letter was relayed to Jeremy Katz, Special Assistant to the President and Liaison to the Jewish community, and others in the White House. Copies of the letter, written in both Hebrew and English, were also sent to various Jewish communal leaders and activists.

The joint letter to the U.S. President was the initiative of Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Executive Vice President of the National Council of Young Israel. Lerner, who has visited Pollard many times in his prison cell in North Carolina, met of late with leading Torah sages in Israel and asked for their involvement in securing his release. Another rabbi who has taken great active interest in the case, and whom Pollard considers his personal rabbi, is the Rishon LeTzion, former Chief Sephardic Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu of Jerusalem.

Rabbi Lerner discussed with Rabbis Shteinman and Elyashiv the special elements of the Pollard case, over and beyond its being a supreme Torah value of “Redemption of Captives.” Mentioned were Pollard’s self-sacrifice on behalf of the security of the Jewish People, the disproportionate nature of the sentence, the failure of the Israeli Government to act on his behalf, Pollard’s failing health, the positions taken by former CIA head James Woolsey and Dennis Ross [see below], and more.

The rabbis then decided that their best course of action would be to send a concise personal letter to President Bush. The letter reads as follows:

Dear Mr. President,
We appeal to you as President of the greatest power on earth, the epitome of compassion and generosity, to grant clemency to Mr. Jonathan Pollard who has been incarcerated for more than twenty years.
With deep respect and appreciation,
(signed: Rabbis Elyashiv and Shteinman)

In Oct. 1993, nearly 30 leading rabbis in the United States took out a full-page ad in the hareidi-religious Yated Ne’eman newspaper, calling upon “every Jew to make efforts to free [Jonathan Pollard] from his imprisonment; those who can should write letters to the government, and whoever can intercede on his behalf should do so.”

The White House has also been bombarded of late with calls for Pollard’s release from another direction: A nation-wide call-in campaign, also initiated by Young Israel and endorsed by Agudath Israel.

Jonathan Pollard’s wife Esther, speaking with IDF Radio this morning, called on Prime Minister Olmert to follow the example of the Torah sages by making an immediate demand for Jonathan’s release. “Mr. Olmert does not have to free murderers or terrorists,” she said. “All he has to do is bring Jonathan home now and he will have blessing and the thanks of the Nation.”

“After 22 years in prison,” Mrs. Pollard said, “22 years of torture and affliction and the worst possible treatment by the Government of Israel – and by the Americans – Jonathan deserves to be home in Israel well in advance of Pesach so that he can truly celebrate the Holiday of Freedom.”

Jonathan Pollard has been imprisoned since November 1985 regarding his conviction on one count of passing classified information to an American ally – Israel. The normal sentence for this offense is 2-4 years, and his unprecedented life sentence was in direct contrast to his plea bargain arrangement. He has long been in a maximum security prison, under difficult conditions.

U.S. Appellate Court Justice Steven Williams has called the Pollard case a “fundamental miscarriage of justice,” and even James Woolsey – former head of the CIA, a body that has traditionally been against clemency for Pollard – believes Pollard should be released. He recently told Arutz-7, “Now that [Pollard] has served [over] 20 years in prison, my view is that 20 years is enough. I also think that the close relationship between the US and Israel is also of some consideration, and at this point I think he’s served long enough.”

Former US Ambassador Dennis Ross, who has been involved in shaping US policy in the Middle East under Presidents Bush Sr., Clinton and Bush Jr., has said that Pollard’s sentence was excessive, and that he told all three presidents that Pollard should be released. “Pollard has been in jail for so long,” Ross said last December, “that whatever facts he might know would have little if any effect on national security today.”

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2. Top Terrorist Killed in Jenin

The IDF’s anti-terror offensive in Shechem has ended – and a new one, on a smaller scale, was held in Jenin – and a top Islamic Jihad leader was killed. Israel was unable to rest on its laurels, however, as six Kassam rockets were fired into Israel – less than a day after Russian officials claimed that Hamas promised to end the attacks.

Undercover Border Guard forces killed three Islamic Jihad terrorists in the northern Shomron Palestinian Authority terrorism capital of Jenin this morning. Among the three was a long-wanted top Islamic Jihad terrorist. One Israeli fighter was wounded lightly-to- moderately by a bullet to his shoulder.

The most senior of the three dead terrorists is reportedly Ashraf Saadi, the regional commander of the murderous Islamic Jihad organization.

Newly-appointed IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi met afterwards with the commanders of the operation and praised their performance. Border Guard commander Hassein Fares noted that such success must not be taken for granted, as “these operations involve careful advance planning, long training, and professionalism.”

Meanwhile, Kassam rocket fire at Israel from Gaza continues unabated, despite promises from the Hamas terrorist organization to put an end to the attacks. Hamas Authority terrorists launched no fewer than six Kassam rocket attacks against southern Israeli communities Wednesday morning.

One of the missiles slammed into a field at Kibbutz Zikkim, damaging the nearby security fence. Others exploded near Sderot and elsewhere in the western Negev. No injuries were reported.

Two Kassams were fired on Tuesday as well.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier that Hamas politburo chief and arch-terrorist Khaled Mashaal promised him to end the attacks on the Jewish State.

From his base in Damascus, Mashaal has also been the driving force behind repeated failures by Arab and Western mediators to negotiate a prisoner swap deal for the release of kidnapped IDF officer Gilad Shalit. The Israeli hostage was abducted by Hamas terrorists in a cross-border raid last June.

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3. Party Leader Lieberman Stands by Esterina Tartman

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has been asked to investigate claims that Tourism Minister-nominee Esterina Tartman lied about her academic background.

Attorney Eitan Erez has asked the Attorney General to investigate claims that Yisrael Beiteinu Knesset faction chairperson Esterina Tartman lied about having received a Bachelors and Masters Degree, as claimed in her official biography on the party’s website.

Tartman, who has been nominated by party chairman and Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman to become the next Tourism Minister, repeated the claims in a Knesset TV interview aired earlier in the week. “I come from a clear economic background, a Bachelors Degree in accounting and finance and a Masters Degree in business administration,” she told the interviewer.

It turns out, however, that Tartman merely studied for a Masters Degree, but never completed it, due to a major traffic accident she suffered that kept her bedridden for nine months. In addition, Haaretz reported that officials at Bar Ilan University – where Tartman said she received her undergraduate degree – do not have her listed as having studied for a degree there in the past 30 years. AG Menachem Mazuz is now expected to investigate whether the false claims of academic credentials constitutes a criminal offense.

However, the Hebrew website NFC – the only media source to which Tartman has granted an interview since the story broke – reports that she in fact took Bar Ilan courses for three years, but was not a candidate for a degree. She took the courses in the framework of her work as a senior manager for Bank Yahav, wrote papers, and concluded the studies with excellent grades. “In retrospect,” she said today, “it was a mistake not to matriculate.”

She then received a Bachelors Degree from Touro College, and went on to study for a Masters – apparently at the Kiryat Ono Academy – until she withdrew. She explained to NFC that she never claimed to have had a Masters, “except during the interview, when in the heat of the moment I said I had the degree instead of saying I had studied for the degree.”

She apparently made the same mistake in another conversation four years ago; the recording was played on Army Radio this morning.

Complaining about the tremendous media onslaught under which she has been for the past two days, Tartman said that she can understood why others in her situation might consider suicide.

Attorney Barak Kalev, head of the legal department for the Movement for Quality Government, slammed Tartman, saying, “One who has misled the public about one’s worthiness of an academic degree cannot serve as a public official who should be leading by example.”

Yisrael Beiteinu sources worked to contain the public relations damage, saying Tartman herself never claimed to have a Masters Degree and dismissing the claims in her biography on the party’s website as a simple typing error.
Knesset Members from across the political spectrum quickly began calling on Lieberman to withdraw Tartman’s appointment to the Tourism Ministry.

Lieberman was in Moscow when the story broke but said he would address questions about the scandal on Wednesday after his return. He expressed support for Tartman, however, saying her nomination for the Cabinet post still stands, that she has a great future ahead of her, and that the media had blown up the story beyond its proper proportions.

“Sometimes people say unnecessary things in the heat of the moment, or add things, or try to evade,” Lieberman said. “This is not the time to tackle her, to bash her and to abandon her. The opposite; we’re not rushing anywhere.”

Sources at the Prime Minister’s Bureau noted that every party leader decides which party members will fill its allotted ministerial posts, and Yisrael Beiteinu is no exception. The prime minister is waiting to hear Lieberman’s decision on whether to cancel Tartman’s appointment before responding.

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4. Sanhedrin Conference, Business Expo, Music – All in One

A triple day-long event – featuring the Sanhedrin Conference, a front-lines business fair, and a concert by Aharon Raz’el and Yehuda Glanz – is underway in Jerusalem, sponsored by a new grassroots movement.

The event, with the participation of hundreds of people, is being held today(Wednesday) at the Jerusalem Gate Hotel adjacent to the Central Bus Station.

The Sanhedrin Conference includes rabbis, academics and politicians such as Rabbi Moshe Tzuriel, Moshe Feiglin, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, Prof. Hillel Weiss, and Rabbi Yisrael Ariel. It is dedicated to Erez Levanon, who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists while praying in a forest near his home in Gush Etzion this week.

Among the lectures are:

“Calling for Peace – A Prerequisite for Victory” by Rabbi Menachem Fruman
“The Danger of Lack of Education & the Remedy of Jewish Identity” by Sanhedrin chairman Rabbi Yoel Schwartz
“The Writings of Shabtai Ben Dov – A Torani-Political-Existential Program” by Yehuda Etzion, and
“The Israeli Economy – Perils and Hopes” by Prof. Aharon Tziner.
%ad%

One of the speakers, Temple Institute head Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, was detained by police yesterday and questioned for several hours on suspicion of having called IDF Maj.-Gen. Ya’ir Naveh a rodef. A rodef is one who directly endangers Jewish life and is thus eligible for death. Rabbi Ariel explained to Arutz-7 several weeks ago that he had written a private letter to Naveh to this effect, but that he did not publicize it. Naveh, an observant Jew, has been censured for having signed administrative orders distancing over 20 young Jews from their homes in Yesha, taken active part in the Disengagement and the Amona destruction, and even for having signed orders giving lands in southern Judea to Arabs.

The Yesha Rabbis Council sharply condemned the arrest, terming it “religious persecution, shutting of mouths, and a witch-hunt reminiscent of dark periods in our history when rabbis were persecuted for their Torah rulings that did not please the rulers.”

The Sanhedrin is an organization that says it has re-established the Land of Israel Sanhedrin of the Mishnaic period nearly 2,000 years ago. The Sanhedrin was a council of 71 sages who constituted the supreme court and legislative body in Judea during the Roman period. It continued to function for more than 400 years after the destruction of the Temple in 68 C.E. The current attempt to re-establish the Sanhedrin is generally referred to as the “nascent Sanhedrin”, or the “developing Sanhedrin”, according to the Sanhedrin’s website.

At the same time, in another part of the Jerusalem Gate Hotel, a business expo entitled “Business at the Forefront: Supporting Business on the Frontlines” is being held today. The fair provides a unique opportunity for over 60 businesses owned by Israel’s front-liners – residents of Sderot, Yesha, and the north, as well as expellees from Gush Katif – to sell their products and make business connections. The expo runs from 10 AM to 10 PM.

The event will end this evening with a musical concert featuring Aharon Raz’el, Yehuda Glanz and Harpo. They will perform, inter alia, compositions written by the late Erez Levanon.

The event is being coordinated by Tzibur Bnei Yisrael (The Community of the Children of Israel), a new grassroots movement dedicated to “Jewish unity and to realizing the collective dreams of the Jewish people.”

A conference participant, Meir Lapid of Kiryat Arba, told Arutz-7, “This is a very important initiative – the start of the filling of the vacuum of the past 2,000 years, in the sense that rabbinical leaders in the Diaspora always led their communities, while now we are seeking national religious leadership that must deal with our national challenges. The Sanhedrin is a type of open organization that unites outlooks and tries to turn them into an answer for the challenges of today – not like the superficial approach that we see reflected in the media.”

Another participant, Avi Lowell of Tekoa, told Arutz-7 that he was excited to see “Jews of all backgrounds, from outwardly not religious to hareidi, coming together to discuss critical issues, and in the Expo, purchasing goods of all types from different areas of the country – including organic wine, Purim food baskets, books, jewelry, paintings, artwork, and much more.”

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5. Moslem Bedouins Charged with Retaliation-Rape

The Nazareth Magistrates Court, which allowed the news to be announced on Tuesday, remanded four suspects for ten days and another one for five days, and placed a female accomplice under house arrest.

The gang is suspected of carrying out at least four rapes, abducting their victims from roadside bus stops and the like and taking them to isolated spots. The first incident occurred in April 2005, against a 13-year-old girl in Kiryat Yam, and the second and third took place eight months later – one against a 19-year-old soldier near Kiryat Ata, and another against a 16-year-old in Kiryat Bialik.

The fourth rape of which they are suspected occurred this past November outside their own mostly Moslem village of Bir Al-Maksur, in the lower Galilee 20 kilometers east of Haifa. The victim was a 25-year-old woman abducted from a bus stop.

One victim told investigators that the rapists had told her that it was in revenge for IDF operations in Gaza. This was echoed by one of the suspects during police questioning.

The police had a picture of one of the apparent suspects since December 2005, but chose not to publicize it, nor to issue warnings about the existence of the gang, “in order not to harm the investigation.” So said sources in the Northern Police District, Haaretz reported.

Bedouin leaders in the Galilee expressed consternation and sorrow at the news, saying such acts opposed their values.

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6. MKs Examine Desecrated Ancient Mt. of Olives Cemetery




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7. General Strike Called Off – For Now


The strike was averted, for now, following a meeting between Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. As a result of the negotiations, Prime Minister Olmert sent a letter to the Labor Court in which he wrote, “Withholding employee payment is an improper norm, which must be rejected while taking steps against employers who do
Some municipal workers have not received their salaries for more than two years.
not pay their employees’ salaries on time.”








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8. A7Radio: I Found Jesus (Buried In Jerusalem)!

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Gilis Goodies Purim

Wednesday, Feb. 28 ’07
10 Adar 5767

Editor: Hillel Fendel

Israel Related
Secure Jerusalem
Tour Eastern Jerusalem and see the new Jewish presence at Mt. of Olives, Shimon Hatzaddik, Kever Rachel, and more
Plant a tree in Yesha
The gift that keeps on growing
Teach a Man to Fish
Lemaan Achai – Tzedaka with a Goal. We give a Hand, not a Handout. Together we can make a Difference.

Israel Charities
Colel Chabad
Fighting Hunger throughout Israel since 1788.
Paamonim
A new approach to Chessed. Charity – in the full sense of the word.
Ahavas Chesed Relief Fund
Help feed hungry Jewish children in Israel.

Higher Education
Touro College
Earn USA college credits in Israel, Bachelors and Masters.

Specials
ShidduchNet.com
Online Dating with the Caring Touch
Enya Keshet Judaica
Jewish art and holiday gifts for the New Year

Weather Forecast
Chance of Rain.
Tomorrow: Partly Cloudy
Today Mar 01
T.A 16-12C 18-12C
Haifa 15- 9C 17-10C
Jlm 12- 8C 13- 7C
HaGolan 13- 8C 14- 8C
B.Sheba 16-10C 17-11C
Hebron 10- 6C 11- 7C
Ariel 13- 9C 14- 8C
J.Valley 21-14C 22-14C
Galilee 12- 7C 13- 7C
Eilat 24-14C 25-13C
Weather Forecast

Halachic Times
Jlm. T.A.
A. shachar 04:57 04:59
Talit 05:24 05:26
Sunrise 06:09 06:11
Sof Shema 09:00 09:02
Sof Tfila 09:57 09:59
Chatzot 11:51 11:53
Mincha G. 12:21 12:23
Mincha K. 15:12 15:13
Sunset 17:39 17:36
Nightfall 17:52 17:54

Currencies
Update: 26/02/2007
Currency Basket 4.7919 Ù
US Dollar 4.199 Ù
GB Sterling 8.2433 Ù
Yen (100) 3.4812 Ù
Euro 5.5286 Ù
Can $ 3.6211 Ù
Swiss Franc 3.4134 Ù

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