Friday, November 23, 2007
The KGB roots of terrorism:
2. Leftist secularists at the Israel Democracy Institute find leftist
secularism is in decline:
3. Know people in the greater NY area who are planning a simcha? Please
advise them NOT to use the AISH Orchestra music groups. These are now
promoting the conspiracy "theories" of the 911 attacks on the US supposed
being an "inside job" by the "New World Order" (meaning the Teletubbies)
who placed bombs inside the WTC buildings:
Please pass it on . boycott these fruitnuts!
4. Nude leftists at Tel Aviv University demand that Israel give up its
defensive nukes: http://web.israelinsider.com/Articles/Politics/12385.htm
5. Teflon Arabs:
6. November 23, 2007
Terror's KGB Roots
By BORIS VOLODARSKY
November 23, 2007
A year ago today, my friend Alexander Litvinenko died in a London
hospital, leaving behind a wife and young son. Sasha was poisoned by a
tiny nuclear device containing polonium-210 -- which, the British Crown
Prosecution Service concluded, was planted on him by Russian secret
agents. In its way, his murder was an act of state-sponsored terrorism.
This is nothing new for Russia. The KGB has long used terrorist tactics
and worked closely with organizations like Yasser Arafat's PLO. The year
before, in July 2005, Sasha wrote in a confidential report prepared for a
special commission of the Italian Parliament investigating KGB activities
in Italy that, "Until recently the KGB had been in charge of all
international terrorism." The manner of his death suggests that Russia
today, under the leadership of former KGB lieutenant colonel Vladimir
Putin, is up to its old tricks.
* * *
The KGB's forerunner, the Cheka (later NKVD), was created by Lenin and
Felix Dzerzhinsky expressly to eliminate Russia's aristocracy,
intellectuals and dissidents -- anyone who threatened the Soviet state
from the inside. Under Stalin, the NKVD started to murder its opponents
abroad: Ignatz Reiss near Lausanne in 1937, Yevhen Konovalets in Amsterdam
in 1938, Leon Trotsky in Mexico in 1940. In 1953, the Soviet secret
service tried to kill Marshal Tito in Belgrade.
Stalin's death didn't dampen the Kremlin's appetite for international
terror. After the Litvinenko murder, the Russian foreign intelligence
service claimed that Russia had not taken part in any assassinations
abroad since 1959. That is not true. An Afghan leader, Hafizullah Amin,
was first poisoned and then shot by a KGB special squad in Kabul in 1979.
A former Chechen president, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, was blown up by Russian
agents in Qatar in 2004.
In 1964, the KGB station in Mexico City set up a sabotage and intelligence
group led by Manuel Andara y Ubeda, a Nicaraguan KGB agent. He led a group
of Sandinistas to scope out the U.S. border with Mexico for possible
targets, such as oil pipelines, for KGB sabotage teams. Its codename was
Iskra, or "spark," inspired by the title of Lenin's revolutionary
newspaper. The KGB also trained and financed the Sandinistas who seized
the National Palace in Managua and dozens of hostages in 1978. They
briefed a senior KGB official on the plan on the eve of the raid.
In the Mideast, one of the KGB's star recruits was Wadi Haddad, the deputy
leader and head of foreign operations of the Marxist-Leninist Popular
Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). In 1970, the KGB made him an
agent, according to files delivered to British intelligence by Vasili
Mitrokhin, a former KGB archivist who defected to the U.K. in 1992. The
most dramatic terrorist strike organized by Haddad was the Sept. 6, 1970
attack on four airliners bound for New York. The hijacking attempt on an
El Al Boeing 707 departing from Tel Aviv failed after one of the two
terrorists was shot by an air marshal. The other three airlines were
successfully diverted to other landing strips by the hijackers. The
passengers and crew of a Pan Am Boeing 747 were evacuated and the plane
was blown up; in the other two cases, the terrorists negotiated prisoner
swaps. (Those were more innocent pre-9/11 times.) Thanks to the Mitrokhin
files, we know that the KGB provided arms to Haddad, and it is a fair
assumption that his handlers were aware of his plans.
A KGB officer, Vasili Fyodorovich Samoilenko, cultivated Arafat for a long
time. A 1974 photograph shows them together at a wreath-laying ceremony in
Moscow; during this visit, the Soviets called the PLO "the sole legitimate
representative of the Arab people of Palestine," a controversial stance
for that era that sealed their close alliance. From then on, the KGB
trained PLO guerrillas at its Balashikha special-operations training
school east of Moscow and provided most of the weapons used in its attacks
on Israeli targets. PLO intelligence officers also attended one-year
courses at the KGB's Andropov Institute; some of them ended up being
recruited by the KGB.
Soviet satellites did their share. During the late 1960s Arafat had also
been courted by the Cairo station chief of the Romanian foreign
intelligence service (DIE), Constantin Munteanu, who brought him to
Bucharest. Arafat and Nicolai Ceausescu became good friends. Late in 1972
Romanian intelligence formed an alliance with the PLO, according to former
KGB Colonel Oleg Gordievsky, who said the Romanians "suppl[ied] it with
blank passports, electronic surveillance equipment, and weapons for its
operations." Ceausescu told acting head of the DIE (and future defector)
Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa: "Moscow is helping the PLO build up its muscles. I
am feeding its brains." According to Mr. Pacepa's 1987 book, "Red
Horizons": "Arafat and his KGB handlers were preparing a PLO commando team
headed by Arafat's top deputy, Abu Jihad, to take American diplomats
hostage in Khartoum, Sudan."
According to various sources, Ilyich Ram.res S.nchez, better known as
Carlos the Jackal, the most notorious terrorist in the 1970s and early
1980s, was among those who attended Soviet and Cuban training camps. He
lived for a time in East Germany.
* * *
The murder of Sasha Litvinenko should be called what it really was: a
terror attack on British soil. Countless people were endangered by
radiation, traces of which were found on British Airways planes, in London
hotels and restaurants. In the meantime, the suspected murderer, Andrei
Lugovoi, is a candidate for the Russian parliament in next month's
elections, and openly mocks British attempts to have him extradited to
Sasha was right. Post-Soviet Russia is a breeding ground for terrorism
just like the Soviet Union was.
Mr. Volodarsky, an independent intelligence analyst who lives in London,
is a former GRU (Soviet military intelligence) special operations officer.
URL for this article:
7. From the Wall St Journal
(or, let's not mix kashruth with PC paganism!)
How Kosher Was Your Turkey?
Some Jews Demand Better Treatment for Birds
By JULIE WIENER
November 23, 2007; Page W11
Yesterday, 24 New York City households served turkeys that were not only
free-range, organic and raised on a nearby family farm -- but also 100%
kosher. For that, their guests can give thanks to Simon Feil, a
31-year-old actor who has devoted the past 1 years to starting Kosher
Conscience, a "kosher ethical meat co-op." The co-op, which 90 people have
expressed interest in joining when it begins regular poultry and beef
deliveries in a few months, will offer kosher meat that has been treated
humanely "at every stage," he says.
Judaism's taboos on pork and shellfish, as well as the requirement to
separate meat and dairy products, are well known even among gentiles. Yet
for many contemporary American Jews the taboos can feel arbitrary,
cumbersome and devoid of meaning (only 17% say they keep kosher homes). At
the same time, some Jews who do find spiritual meaning in the dietary laws
have become frustrated that kosher food production does not always reflect
Amid reports that animals destined to become kosher meat are raised in the
same conditions as their nonkosher counterparts -- along with recent
allegations of abusive labor practices and unsanitary conditions at
Agriprocessors, one of the world's largest kosher slaughterhouses -- some
Jews are re-examining the laws governing what is "fit" to eat. "We are not
in any way changing the traditional meaning of the word 'kosher,' but are
asking, 'What does it mean to be kosher in the 21st century?' " explains
Leah Koenig, editor of jcarrot.org, a blog on Jews, food and contemporary
issues. "Food that's drenched in pesticides or grown with unfairly paid
migrant workers, . . . is that consistent with Jewish values?"
The blog is one of many projects launched by Hazon, a Manhattan group at
the forefront of what it calls a "new Jewish food movement." Since 2004,
Hazon has helped start nine Jewish community- supported agriculture
programs (CSAs) nationwide (and one in Israel), in which individuals buy
shares in a local farm in exchange for a weekly portion of the harvest.
Hazon's second annual Jewish Food Conference next month will feature the
slaughter of a goat to spark discussion about kosher meat.
All of this has met a groundswell of interest among a range of people,
from Modern Orthodox to those who have little other connection to
organized Jewish life. Hazon received 27 applications this year from
Jewish groups wanting to start CSAs.
Rabbi Hillel Norry, whose Conservative Atlanta congregation started a CSA
this spring, says: "For a lot of people kashrut begins to take on more
meaning when it's part of a holistic way of thinking about food." In that
vein, activists in the Conservative movement are working to create a
heksher tzedek, or "justice certification," to assure consumers not only
that food is ritually kosher but that its production met other standards,
Is "ethical eating" a Jewish value? Judaism's sacred texts have much to
say on the treatment of animals, not to mention employees. "The
responsibility for having an appropriate work environment -- from hours to
pay schedule -- are part and parcel of Jewish tradition as much as the
laws of kashrut," says Rabbi Kenneth Brander, dean of Yeshiva University's
Center for the Jewish Future.
For centuries rabbis and scholars have puzzled over the reasons for
keeping kosher beyond simply that God commanded it. Some have argued that
the laws -- particularly the ban on pork -- were about health, while
others have claimed that kosher slaughter is more humane than other
methods. Religious leaders and scholars today tend to point to kashrut's
effect on keeping Jews from mixing excessively with members of other
religions and on reminding Jews that everyday life is holy.
David Kraemer, a professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary and the
author of "Jewish Eating and Identity," says kashrut observance has
historically reflected the times and places where Jews have lived. For
example, while Ashkenazi Jews once waited only one hour between eating
meat and dairy, in 15th- and 16th-century Germany and Poland -- when,
Prof. Kraemer says, Jews were relatively well accepted by the larger
society -- many adopted longer waiting periods to emphasize their piety
Prof. Kraemer applauds the recent efforts to bring ethics into discussions
of kashrut: "If this is who we are, people who care about the source of
our foods and the way animals we consume are treated -- which I think we
do -- then we will generate eating principles that are expressions of our
But Rabbi Avi Shafran, the director of public affairs for the fervently
Orthodox Agudath Israel of America, is concerned that some people are
"subjecting the word 'kosher' to a subtle redefinition." "There may be a
plethora of considerations people can, or even should, take into account
when buying their food," Rabbi Shafran wrote in an email. "But kashrut is
determined by the Torah's ritual laws, and is not dependent on whether
factory workers were unionized, an animal was hoisted or pesticide traces
are above or below a certain parts-per-million measurement."
Jack Wertheimer, a professor of American Jewish history at the Jewish
Theological Seminary, supports the effort to bring together "an
early-21st-century sensibility with a commitment on the part of some, at
least, to a far larger tradition of observance." But he wonders whether
all those aligned with the new food movement are actually committed to
kosher dietary laws as "a set of commandments that comes from outside of
us and doesn't always have a rational explanation immediately available to
us yet nonetheless we observe."
Not surprisingly, many officials in the kosher foods industry prefer to
stick to a narrow definition. Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of the Kashrut
Division of the Orthodox Union, the largest kosher certification agency in
the U.S., says matters of health, safety and workplace conduct are "not
trivial," but their enforcement is better left in the hands of federal and
Atlanta's Rabbi Norry disagrees: "Kashrut has got to mean more than a
symbol on a package."
Ms. Wiener is a columnist for the Jewish Week.