Archive for February, 2009

Israel urges Gaza aid efforts not break Hamas boycott

Posted in Arabs, Christianity, Hate, Islam, Israel, Israeli, Jewish History, Middle East, News, racism, Religion, Uncategorized, War, Warfare, World News with tags , , , , on February 26, 2009 by Michael Burks


TEL AVIV, Israel (Reuters) – Israel urged world leaders on Thursday to provide aid to the Gaza Strip without breaking a diplomatic boycott of Hamas Islamists who control the coastal territory.


“There is a need to help in Gaza without granting legitimacy to Hamas,” Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said in Tel Aviv after talks with visiting U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell.


The United States, Israel and European Union, have shunned dialogue with Hamas, citing its refusal to renounce violence and to recognize Israel and past peace agreements.


But some Western officials have urged in recent days to include Hamas in peace efforts. On Wednesday, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said talking to Hamas was the “right thing to do.”


Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayypip Erdogan added his voice on Thursday, telling Mitchell who visited Ankara before Tel Aviv Washington should engage Hamas for the sake of peace efforts.


“Even though we do not approve Hamas’ methods, Hamas should not be excluded from the peace process and should be integrated into the political system and the peace process,” a Turkish official who was at the talks said.


Hamas violently seized control of Gaza in 2007 from Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, after winning a parliamentary election a year earlier.


Mitchell, preceding a visit next week by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was in the region to explore ways to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and to rebuild Gaza after a devastating Israeli offensive against Hamas last month.


Clinton would also attend a conference of Western donors in Egypt next week that will seek ways to raise some $2.8 billion dollars estimated as needed for relief work in coastal Gaza.


More than 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed in the month of fighting in the territory that ended with a shaky truce in mid-January.


Israel, which controls most of Gaza’s crossings, has blocked the passage of cement and steel needed to rebuild since the war, allowing in only the most vital humanitarian supplies, saying this was aimed at preventing Hamas from rearming.


Jakob Kellenberger, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, called on Israel to lift these restrictions on Thursday.


An ICRC statement from Geneva said some 2,800 homes were destroyed and a further 1,900 were damaged in the Israeli offensive and that many Palestinians there now lacked water, medicine and housing.


“The first and most urgent measure should be to end the isolation of Gaza, particularly by lifting restrictions on the movement of people and goods,” Kellenberger said.


Three British killed by Muslims

Posted in Arabs, Jewish History, Middle East, News, racism, Religion, War, Warfare, World News with tags , , , , on February 25, 2009 by Michael Burks

LONDON (Reuters) – Three British soldiers were killed in an explosion in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the defence ministry said.


The blast happened in the central part of the southern Helmand province during an escort operation, the ministry said in a statement.


It takes the number of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan to 148 since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.


The soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Rifles were pronounced dead by a doctor in an emergency response helicopter. No more details of the incident or those killed were released. The victims’ families have been informed.


Commander Paula Rowe, spokeswoman for the Helmand force, said in a statement: “Today has been incredibly sad for the whole of Task Force Helmand, and particularly for The Rifles. We will all feel the loss of these brave soldiers.”


Britain has about 8,000 soldiers in Afghanistan fighting an increasingly bold Taliban insurgency.


(Reporting by Peter Griffiths; editing by Elizabeth Piper)

Muslims attack Israel after truce

Posted in Arabs, Christianity, Hate, Islam, Israel, Israeli, Jewish History, Middle East, News, racism, Religion, War, Warfare, World News with tags , , , , , on February 25, 2009 by Michael Burks

JERUSALEM (AP) — Militants in Gaza launched rockets at southern Israel on Wednesday and Israeli planes attacked smuggling tunnels in retaliation as a stable truce between the two sides remained elusive.

The Palestinian prime minister said the international community will be asked to donate $2.8 billion to rebuilding Gaza after Israel’s offensive last month, and talks started in Cairo on a reconciliation of the feuding Palestinian governments seen as essential in securing the foreign aid.

No injuries were reported in either the rocket attacks or the airstrike.

Militants fired two rockets early in the day and Israeli aircraft struck seven tunnels in the southern Gaza town of Rafah several hours later in response, the Israeli military said.

Palestinians working in the tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border evacuated before the strike after they saw Egyptian troops across the border pull back, presumably when they were warned by Israel, according to Hamas security officials.

The rocket attacks and retaliatory airstrikes have become routine in the aftermath of Israel’s three-week Gaza offensive, which left some 1,300 Palestinians dead and demolished or damaged thousands of homes.

The sides independently declared informal cease-fires on Jan. 18, but Egyptian-mediated talks on a longer-term agreement have been unsuccessful so far, and sporadic violence persists.

As separate talks approach next week on rebuilding Gaza, the Palestinian prime minister said the international community will be asked to donate $2.8 billion, but warned the money would do no good unless Gaza’s borders reopened.

Hamas wants Israel to open Gaza’s border crossings, but Israel says it won’t until Hamas frees an Israeli soldier held since June 2006. Hamas doesn’t want to link the reopening of the crossings to the soldier’s fate, saying he should be part of a prisoner exchange deal independent of the truce talks.

Adding to the tension are the recent rocket attacks. Smaller militant groups have claimed them, but Israel holds Hamas responsible as the ruling power in Gaza. A small faction calling itself Hezbollah Palestine took responsibility for Wednesday’s attack in a statement sent to reporters in Gaza.

Israel sealed its borders with Gaza after Islamic Hamas militants overran the territory in June 2007. The takeover resulted in the creation of feuding Palestinian governments, with Hamas in charge of Gaza and the West Bank controlled by the moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah.

Reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas started Wednesday with a series of “icebreaking” meetings, members said.

“We agreed on the mechanism to solve the issue of prisoners,” said Nabil Shaath, a top Abbas aide. “We agree to stop all media attacks against each other. This will be immediate.”

Another Killer of the “Christian” Aryan Nations

Posted in cults, News, Religion, World News on February 19, 2009 by Michael Burks


By Joan Opyr, 5-23-07


The Spokesman Review has reported that Jason Hamilton, who on May 19th killed his wife, a Moscow police officer, and the caretaker at the First Presbyterian Church, before turning the gun on himself, was a member of the Aryan Nations, a white supremacist group founded by the late Richard Butler.  Hamilton apparently joined the Aryan Nations in 2000, two years after moving to Moscow. 

A visit to the official Aryan Nations website, if you can stand it, reveals that their motto is “Violence Solves Everything!” The exclamation mark is theirs, not mine.

The Spokesman Review also reports that Hamilton was “licensed by the federal government to possess fully automatic weapons, including a military-style machine gun.” Local law enforcement officials seem to have no idea how Hamilton, who had a long and violent history, acquired the license.  Latah County Sheriff Wayne Rausch was also puzzled as to how Hamilton had secured a concealed weapons permit.  His history of domestic violence should have precluded him from owning any firearms, much less being granted a concealed weapons permit.

Hamilton’s ties to the Aryan Nations were uncovered by the FBI investigation of his residence at 1020 Julian Way in Moscow.  Hamilton’s court records will be posted to the Latah County Website sometime today or tomorrow.  Those records indicate that the shooter had a long history of domestic abuse dating back at least fifteen years.  Hamilton’s criminal history extends across four states, including Arizona, Oklahoma, California, and Idaho.  Prior to Saturday night’s fatal shootings, Hamilton had been arrested and/or charged for a number of violent crimes, some drug-related.

For those interested in the long and disturbing history of white supremacist groups in the American West, Dr. Evelyn A. Schlatter’s Aryan Cowboys: White Supremacists and the Search for a New Frontier, 1970 – 2000, is an excellent place to begin.  Schlatter interviewed Richard Butler, the New Mexico Militia in Hobbs, and members of The Order.

Meet Justin Dwyer of the Aryan Nations and his love for drugs

Posted in Arabs, Christianity, cults, Islam, Israel, Israeli, Jewish History, Middle East, News, Religion, World News on February 19, 2009 by Michael Burks


On January 12, 2009, a Yavapai County Superior Court judge sentenced Justin Dwyer to 7.5 years in prison with no possibility of parole.


Dwyer pleaded guilty to three felony drug counts of transferring drugs to minors, and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor on September 5, 2008.  During that hearing, Dwyer confessed to supplying alcohol and cocaine to minors in his home.


The sentence includes 7.5 years for the combined felony drug counts, and 180 days for the misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Because the sentences were ordered to run concurrently, Dwyer will only serve a total of 7.5 years.

The judge additionally ordered Dwyer to pay a $2,000 fine for each of the three felony drug counts.

Dwyer, 41, a former leader in the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations, was a patrol deputy in the Yavapai County Sherriff’s Office at the time of his arrest in May 2007.

During the sentencing, the judge read the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office mission statement, telling Dwyer, “That’s the spirit of what you violated.”

This is not the first time Dwyer has faced criminal charges related to actions taken involving his minor son.  In 2005, while still a Yavapai County deputy, Dwyer pleaded guilty to one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor for sexual actions and comments made to his son’s babysitter.


Former Aryan Nations Leader Arrested on Drug Charges in Arizona


Posted: May 22, 2007

Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Justin Dwyer, 39, a former leader in the neo-Nazi organization Aryan Nations, on drug charges stemming from an undercover investigation.  Dwyer himself was employed as a deputy in the sheriff’s office at the time of his arrest.


Dwyer was arrested on May 20, 2007, and charged with involving a minor in a drug offense, possession of dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving under the influence of drugs, use of cocaine, possession of a firearm during a drug offense, and use of electronic communication in a drug-related transaction.


At the time of the arrest, Dwyer was allegedly attempting to purchase cocaine.  According to authorities, the charge of involving a minor stems from an alleged incident in April, in which Dwyer purportedly sent his minor son to meet with a drug dealer and purchase cocaine.


Law enforcement executed a search warrant on Dwyer’s home in which drug paraphernalia, cocaine, and several firearms were allegedly found.  


Dwyer currently resides in Arizona, but spent most of the 1990s in the Pacific Northwest.  It was during this time that he became one of the more prominent white supremacist leaders in the region.  In the early 1990s, Dwyer acted as the Washington State Leader for Aryan Nations.  Aryan Nations, led by Richard Butler of Hayden Lake, Idaho, was at the time one of the largest and most notorious neo-Nazi groups in the United States, with a propensity for criminal activity.


In October 1991, Dwyer and his group distributed racist fliers in Washington. Dwyer said that the group was putting its greatest efforts into recruiting because “members of the Aryan Nations share the belief that the ‘white race’ is more highly evolved than other races and that people who are not white were created as a work force for the planet.”


In 1992, Dwyer was a featured speaker at the annual Aryan Youth Action Conference, a regular event founded by Butler to recruit young racists and skinheads into the neo-Nazi movement.  By 1994 he was helping to secure white power bands to play for the event. 


Dwyer resigned from Aryan Nations in the late 1990s, citing disagreements over recruiting tactics and its treatment of youth and women. 


Dwyer, who has been a Patrol Deputy in the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office since 1999, has been placed on administrative suspension without pay for the remainder of the investigation.  The Sheriff’s Office was aware at the time of Dwyer’s hiring of his former status with Aryan Nations.


Hamas tortured, killed Palestinians,

Posted in Arabs, Christianity, cults, Islam, Israel, Israeli, Jewish History, Middle East, News, Religion, Uncategorized, World News with tags , , , , on February 10, 2009 by Michael Burks

CNN) — Amnesty International has accused Hamas militants in Gaza of kidnapping, killing and torturing fellow Palestinians they accuse of spying for Israel, the organization announced Tuesday.

Hamas supporters stand on the rubble of a building hit by an Israeli strike that killed Hamas' interior minister.

Hamas supporters stand on the rubble of a building hit by an Israeli strike that killed Hamas’ interior minister.

According to Amnesty International, at least 24 Palestinian men — most of them civilians — were shot and killed by Hamas gunmen during the recent Israeli offensive aimed at crippling the Hamas leadership in Gaza.

“Scores of others have been shot in the legs, kneecapped or inflicted with other injuries intended to cause permanent disability,” the human rights organization said in a news release.

Hamas leaders have publicly accused followers of its rival Palestinian political faction, Fatah, of spying for the Israelis during the conflict, and they have said many have been arrested for collaborating with the Jewish state. But they deny ordering any reprisal attacks against suspected spies, instead blaming rogue elements.

The Israeli military offensive in Gaza was launched at the end of December and ended three weeks later, when Israeli forces withdrew under the terms of a cease-fire agreement.

Amnesty said that the targets of “Hamas’ deadly campaign” include prisoners who escaped from Gaza’s central prison when Israeli forces bombed it in the initial days of the military conflict.

Some prisoners injured in the Israeli bombing were “shot dead in the hospitals where they were receiving treatment,” Amnesty said.

“The perpetrators of these attacks did not conceal their weapons or keep a low profile, but, on the contrary, behaved in a carefree and confident — almost ostentatious — manner,” it said.

Other targets included former members of Palestinian Authority security forces and supporters of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.

Fatah, which is based in the West Bank, has denied spying on Hamas. Fatah leaders have accused Hamas of rounding up at least 175 of their members in Gaza during the Israeli war and torturing them.

The two Palestinian factions have been locked in a power struggle since Hamas won parliamentary elections in January 2006 and wrested Gaza from Fatah in violent clashes the following year. Abbas is a U.S. ally and regularly negotiates with Israel as the Palestinian leader, but he holds little sway in Gaza.

Fatah supporters have been accused of helping the Israeli military conduct its campaign in Gaza, which targeted the Hamas leadership. Neighbors of Hamas Interior Minister Said Siam said they suspected Fatah supporters helped Israel pinpoint his location when they bombed his house on January 15.

Siam was highest-ranking Hamas member killed in the Israeli offensive.

Most of those suspected of spying for Israel have been abducted from their homes and then “dumped — dead or injured — in isolated areas,” according to Amnesty International.

During the Gaza conflict, medical officials at Gaza City’s main medical facility, Shifa Hospital, said injuries they witnessed were consistent with people being shot in the kneecaps, elbows, hands or feet.

Punishment shootings are a time-tested tactic used worldwide by guerrilla and militia groups, from Che Guevara in Cuba to the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland. They are meant not only to take revenge but also to send a message to others.

Two self-described Fatah loyalists were found heavily bandaged at a Gaza City safe house during the recent conflict. One of their colleagues refused to say where or why they were injured, but they denied spying.

Election results spur threats and infighting in Iraq

Posted in Islam, Israel, Israeli, Jewish History, Middle East, World News with tags , , , on February 10, 2009 by Michael Burks

RAMADI, Iraq: The post-election curfew has been lifted and the threats of violence have been muted after the intervention of envoys from the Iraqi Army, the central government and the U.S. Marines. A cacophonous bustle has returned to the filthy, shattered streets of this provincial capital, once a base of the Sunni insurgency.

And still Faris Taha, one of the election’s victors, according to preliminary results, is too fearful to return to the region he will soon represent.

“I cannot go back,” he said, having retreated from his hometown east of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province, to a hotel in Baghdad’s Green Zone. “I am afraid.”

Iraq’s provincial elections on Jan. 31 passed with strikingly little mayhem, raising hopes that democracy might take hold. But in Anbar, as in other volatile provinces, the results that were supposed to augur peace have instead fueled tensions, raising the specter of violence among those vying for political power.

The transition from insurgency to politics to governance – a key to stabilizing the country after six years of war – has proved to be anything but steady and sure. What Anbar has yet to experience is the foundation of any democracy: a peaceful transfer of power. Seating the new provincial governments, Iraqi and U.S. officials fear, could be even more fraught with danger than the elections themselves.

From Basra in the south to Mosul in the north, at least four candidates have faced assassination attempts since the election, while another disappeared on his way to work near Karbala. The divided results in Anbar, where no bloc won more than 17.6 percent of the vote, have led to conflicting accusations of intimidation, assault and fraud; a raft of complaints to the central election commission could take months to sort out.

Efforts to forge a governing coalition, already under way behind the scenes, are exposing tribal rivalries and personal feuds. Most of the incumbents have decamped from the region they have governed since 2005.

“We were born yesterday when it comes to politics,” said Sheik Ali al-Hatem, who backed the Tribes of Iraq coalition, which is challenging its 4.5 percent showing in the vote.

The outcome in Anbar, the vast Sunni-dominated region west of Baghdad, has enormous significance for Iraq’s political development.

It was once the most dangerous province in Iraq, consumed by a bloody insurgency and terrorism, until tribal leaders joined the Americans and turned on Al Qaeda and other extremists in late 2006. They pacified the region and made plans to consolidate their power at the ballot box.

What stunned Iraqi officials was how quickly after the vote some of the tribal leaders returned to the language of war when the elections’ outcome disappointed them.

Even before the results were announced, the leader of the party now known as the Awakening, Sheik Ahmed Abu Risha, threatened to turn his followers into an “armed wing” to overthrow the provincial government. The head of the Tribes of Iraq bloc, Sheik Hammid al-Hayes, threatened to set the streets of Ramadi ablaze and turn the province into a graveyard.

Their fury stemmed from initial claims by the governing party, the Iraqi Islamic Party, to have swept Anbar’s election, as it did in 2005 when most Sunnis boycotted the vote.

Instead, the Islamic Party stood accused of stuffing ballot boxes and reporting inflated results from some polling stations. Party leaders denied any fraud, though one foreign election observer said the complaints had some legitimacy. The central election commission rejected some ballots before announcing preliminary results in Baghdad last Thursday, party officials said.

“The Islamic Party does not deserve even 1 percent of the vote in Anbar,” said another sheik, Aifan al-Issawi, who ran on the Awakening Party slate in the region’s other major city, Falluja. “They have blood on their hands, and they have plundered the province.”

Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki swiftly sent one of his deputies, Rafie al-Issawi, a Sunni from the province, to defuse the crisis. The commander of the Iraqi Army, Lieutenant General Ali Ghaidan Majid, vowed to put down any violence. The envoys appeared to have secured a truce of sorts, but a final resolution remains out of reach.

In Ramadi, the leader of the Awakening Party, Ahmed, now tempers his remarks. Sitting in his tribal guest house not far from the Euphrates River, surrounded by guards, police officers, soldiers, relatives, friends and other hangers-on, the sheik spoke confidently of forging a governing coalition that would exclude the Islamic Party.