Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Woman Who Wrote Shakespeare


The Dark Lady Players, a New York Shakespeare company are about to demonstrate that the author of the Shakespearean plays was a black, Jewish woman, Amelia Bassano Lanier (1569-1645). This is the most recent authorship theory to have been accepted by the Shakespearean Authorship Trust chaired by Mark Rylance.

Lanier was the first woman in England to publish a book of original poetry, Salve Deus (1611), and for a decade was mistress to Lord Hunsdon, the man in charge of the English theater. A Marrano Jew of Venetian-Moroccan origin, she was identified in 1973 as the 'dark lady' of the Sonnets. Her literary signatures have now been found on seven of the plays.

In March 2008, at ManhattanTheaterSource, 177 MacDougal Street, New York, the Dark Lady Players are providing two public demonstrations of the Jewish religious allegories that underpin the plays, together with a lecture by their Artistic Director, John Hudson on the Shakespearean Authorship. There will also be a free screening of the Dark Lady Players' production of Midsummer Night's Dream; A Comic Jewish Satire, which was first performed at the Smithsonian Institution in 2007 as part of the Washington Shakespeare Festival.

The discovery of these Jewish allegories in the plays, known as the Atwill-Hudson Discovery, definitively shows that their author was Jewish. It also confirms the cutting edge New Testament scholarship described in Joseph Atwill's book Caesar's Messiah (Ulysses Press, 2005), which is beginning to attract increasing attention.

For more information

See news story 28 February 2008

Press contact; Daniela Amini
(646) 414-1659

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Simple remedy for domestic-spying deadlock

Simple remedy for domestic-spying deadlock

by P. A. Triot

Among today’s headlines is one that defies belief: “Bush threatens to veto intelligence bill.”

It seems the occupant of the White House isn’t pleased with the version of the bill offered up by the House of Representatives––mainly because of what that version does not contain.

What’s missing from the House version is a provision that telecommunications companies are not granted immunity from prosecution or private lawsuits for cooperating with government agencies who break the law by illegal eavesdropping on U. S. citizens.

First, let’s give some perspective to this matter.

The fourth amendment to United States Constitution––one of the 10 amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights––reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Of course, any high schooler can tell you that the U. S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land and, for the most part, it has served this country well for 207 years.

Since that is the case, the U. S. Congress has no authority to simply give the president permission to conduct activities that violate the people’s right to be “secure in their person, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

Please understand that any legislation that does an end-around the fourth amendment to the U. S. Constitution is unconstitutional on its face.

In fact, the Foreign Intelligence Security Act (FISA) of 1978, which allows the government to obtain a warrant three days after the wiretap spying has begun, when held up to the fourth amendment standard, probably is unconstitutional itself.

Now, look at the current so-called intelligence bill.

Both the House and Senate version of the bill authorize the president to engage in wire-tapping of all telecommunications (including all telephone conversations, e-mails or any other means of electronic activity) of all the people in the world––Americans and foreigners––without first obtaining warrants to do so from a federal judge, not even the FISA court.

What is the FISA court, you ask? Why the FISA court is a secret federal court that is held in a secret location that was created by the FISA bill in 1978 to approve requests for search warrants (and wire-taps, etc.).

Since its inception, the FISA court has blocked fewer than 10 requests from federal investigators for search warrants, of the unknown thousands of requests it has processed.

Let’s review what we have.

1. The law that Congress passed a little more than a year ago gave the president authority to conduct searches without first obtaining a search warrant. That law is unconstitutional by any standard. The original law expired after one year (which date was passed about a week ago).

2. Congress is now trying to pass an extension to that unconstitutional law. Of course the extension itself is unconstitutional.

3. The president objects that the House of Representatives does not want to immunize telecommunications companies from liability for assisting the government in engaging in unconstitutional activities.

Obtaining search warrants has been a cornerstone of our society for 207 years. It’s more American than apple pie.

The solution the president is as clear as the hand in front of my face. All he has to do is:


P. A. Triot is a retired jounalist.

William F. Buckley Dead At 82

William F. Buckley Dead At 82

NEW YORK — William F. Buckley Jr., the erudite Ivy Leaguer and conservative herald who showered huge and scornful words on liberalism as he observed, abetted and cheered on the right's post-World War II rise from the fringes to the White House, died Wednesday. He was 82.

His assistant Linda Bridges said Buckley was found dead by his cook at his home in Stamford, Conn. The cause of death was unknown, but he had been ill with emphysema, she said.

Editor, columnist, novelist, debater, TV talk show star of "Firing Line," harpsichordist, trans-oceanic sailor and even a good-natured loser in a New York mayor's race, Buckley worked at a daunting pace, taking as little as 20 minutes to write a column for his magazine, the National Review.

Yet on the platform he was all handsome, reptilian languor, flexing his imposing vocabulary ever so slowly, accenting each point with an arched brow or rolling tongue and savoring an opponent's discomfort with wide-eyed glee.

"I am, I fully grant, a phenomenon, but not because of any speed in composition," he wrote in The New York Times Book Review in 1986. "I asked myself the other day, `Who else, on so many issues, has been so right so much of the time?' I couldn't think of anyone."

Buckley had for years been withdrawing from public life, starting in 1990 when he stepped down as top editor of the National Review. In December 1999, he closed down "Firing Line" after a 23-year run, when guests ranged from Richard Nixon to Allen Ginsberg. "You've got to end sometime and I'd just as soon not die onstage," he told the audience.

"For people of my generation, Bill Buckley was pretty much the first intelligent, witty, well-educated conservative one saw on television," fellow conservative William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, said at the time the show ended. "He legitimized conservatism as an intellectual movement and therefore as a political movement."

Fifty years earlier, few could have imagined such a triumph. Conservatives had been marginalized by a generation of discredited stands _ from opposing Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal to the isolationism which preceded the U.S. entry into World War II. Liberals so dominated intellectual thought that the critic Lionel Trilling claimed there were "no conservative or reactionary ideas in general circulation."

Buckley founded the biweekly magazine National Review in 1955, declaring that he proposed to stand "athwart history, yelling `Stop' at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who urge it." Not only did he help revive conservative ideology, especially unbending anti-Communism and free market economics, his persona was a dynamic break from such dour right-wing predecessors as Sen. Robert Taft.

Although it perpetually lost money, the National Review built its circulation from 16,000 in 1957 to 125,000 in 1964, the year conservative Sen. Barry Goldwater was the Republican presidential candidate. The magazine claimed a circulation of 155,000 when Buckley relinquished control in 2004, citing concerns about his mortality, and over the years the National Review attracted numerous young writers, some who remained conservative (George Will, David Brooks), and some who didn't (Joan Didion, Garry Wills).

"I was very fond of him," Didion said Wednesday. "Everyone was, even if they didn't agree with him."

Born Nov. 24, 1925, in New York City, William Frank Buckley Jr. was the sixth of 10 children of a a multimillionaire with oil holdings in seven countries. The son spent his early childhood in France and England, in exclusive Roman Catholic schools.

His prominent family also included his brother James, who became a one-term senator from New York in the 1970s; his socialite wife, Pat, who died in April 2007; and their son, Christopher, a noted author and satirist ("Thank You for Smoking").

Monday, February 25, 2008

Israeli Child, Two Others, Wounded by Palestinian Rocket Attacks

Israeli Child, Two Others, Wounded by Palestinian Rocket Attacks
Despite Assaults, Israel Continues Humanitarian Aid into Gaza

Royalty-free Photos from Sheroot, Feb. 25, 2008

Sderot Area Contacts Available for Comment

Timeline of Israeli-Arab Peace Initiatives Since 1977

Three residents of the Israeli town of Sderot , including a 10-year-old boy, a baby and the baby’s mother, were injured today (Feb. 25) by rockets fired into residential areas by Palestinian militants. The 10-year-old’s arm was partially severed in the blast, according to hospital officials.[1]

The 1-year-old baby boy and his mother were lightly injured by one of the rockets,
[2] which hit a residential area. Another Qassam fell in Ashkelon , an Israeli city with a population of more than 100,000. [3]

Two weeks ago, 8-year-old Osher Twito had to have his leg amputated after he was hit by a Qassam rocket fired into Sderot by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza. [4] Such attacks – more than 4,000 rockets and mortar shells – have occurred almost daily since Israel voluntarily evacuated all of its Jewish citizens from Gaza in Aug. 2005 in hopes of paving the way for an independent Palestinian state.

Today’s attacks occurred just before a planned protest by Palestinians in Gaza , who gathered along the border between the Rafah and Erez checkpoints. A few thousand participants, many of them women and children, participated in the march which was organized by Iran-backed Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups. The organizers had said there would be 40,000 to 50,000 participants taking part to oppose restrictions on aid into Gaza . [5] Israel imposed the restrictions in an attempt to get terrorist groups in Gaza to stop the almost daily rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli residential towns. Hamas, which controls Gaza , has done nothing to stop the attacks.

Humanitarian Aid to Gaza

The Gaza border crossings have been in operation despite the ongoing rockets and mortar shells fired by Palestinian terrorists into Israel. Even today (Feb. 25) with heightened security alerts due to the threat of a Palestinian human wave breaking through the Gaza border, 60 trucks with humanitarian goods passed through the Sufa crossing into Gaza. [6] Since June 16, 2007, when partial restrictions were imposed after the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip, 16,778 trucks have passed through the border crossings delivering 385,361 tons of goods and more than 29.3 million gallons (112 million liters) of fuel. [7]

Israel facilitates the transfer of supplies into Gaza, including food, medicine and fuel via five crossing terminals into the Gaza Strip: Erez, Karni, Nahal-Oz, Sufa and Kerem Shalom (see map below).

The crossings continued to operate on Feb. 21. During that time 3,649 tons were transferred through the crossings into Gaza including:

  • 164 tons of rice;
  • 293 tons of fruit and vegetables;
  • 106 tons of flour and yeast;
  • 1,872 tons of wheat;
  • 504 tons of animal feed;
  • 16 tons of medical supplies;
  • 160,088 gallons (606.000 liters) of fuel;
  • 306 tons of heating gas.[8]

The following goods have been transferred through the various crossings into Gaza since June 16, 2007 (information correct as of Feb. 21):[9]

Karni Crossing (goods): 132,786 tons, principally wheat and animal feed and also other raw commodities such as barley, corn and soya beans.

Sufa Crossing (goods): 155,539 tons, including general food products such as flour, rice, milk powder, fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy products, sugar and medicines.

Kerem Shalom Crossing (goods): 97,037 tons

Nahal Oz Crossing (fuel): 3,449 tankers with 32,429 tons of heating gas; more than 2.4 million gallons (9 million liters) of benzine (gasoline); more than 13.2 million gallons (50.1 million liters) of diesel for automobiles; and 16.7 million gallons (63.2 million liters) of diesel for the Gaza power station.

From Nov. 2007 - Jan. 18, 2008, 71 truckloads of flowers were exported from Gaza into Israel.

Map of Gaza Showing Five Main Crossings

Map courtesy of Gisha: Legal Center for Freedom of Movement


[1] Grinberg, Mijal and Azoulay, Yuval, “Women, two children hurt in Qassam strike on Sderot,” Haaretz, Feb. 25, 2008,

[2] IDF Spokesman’s Unit, Feb. 25, 2008

[3] Hadad, Shmulik, “Qassam lands near Sderot school; child lightly injured,” YnetNews, Feb. 25, 2008,,7340,L-3511004,00.html

[4] Hider, James “Israeli fury over boy maimed by rocket,” The Times, Feb. 11, 2008,; Azoulay, Yuval, “Condition improves for Sderot boy severely injured by Qassam,” Haaretz, Feb. 14, 2008,

[5] Al-Mughrabi, Nidal, "Gazans stage mass protest against Israeli blockade," Haaretz, Feb. 25, 2008,

[6] “ Israel sends 60 truckloads of humanitarian supplies to Palestinians in Gaza , despite threat of border breach and Kassams,”, Feb. 24, 2008,

[7] Israel Ministry of Defense’s Unit for Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, Feb. 25, 2008,

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

Timeline of Israeli-Arab Peace Initiatives Since 1977

Jan. 22, 2008: Israel Continues to Provide Humanitarian Aid and Electricity to Palestinians in Gaza: Despite the increased number of ongoing rocket and mortar fire from Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza; over 4,000 missiles and rockets were fired since Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in August 2005, the country continues to seek peace with the Palestinians. Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni said on Jan. 24, 2008 “The goal is to end the conflict between our two nations, our two peoples, by the creation or giving the answer to the national aspirations of the Palestinians by creating a Palestinian state. Just as Israel is homeland for the Jewish people, the Palestinian state is and should be by its own creation a homeland for the Palestinians.” [1]

Jan. 9-11, 2008: President George W. Bush Visit to Israel: President Bush embarked on a tour of a number of Middle East countries, starting with Israel. The purpose of the visit was to advance peace negotiations initiated at the Annapolis conference in Nov. 2007. Bush urged the Palestinian side to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure and also called on Israel to halt settlement construction and remove unauthorized settler outposts. [2]

Nov. 27, 2007: Annapolis Summit: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sign a joint statement in Annapolis, Md. to lay the groundwork for peace talks. The joint document delineates broad principles of agreements and commitments to peace and stipulates that both sides will establish steering committees, led by the heads of their delegations to the Annapolis talks, that will meet continuously starting Dec. 12, 2007. Both sides agree to meet on a bi-weekly basis and express hope to reach a final peace agreement by the end of 2008. [3]

June 25, 2007: Sharm el-Sheikh Summit II: Olmert meets in Sharm el-Sheikh with Abbas, Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah II. The leaders gather to discuss containment of Hamas in the Gaza Strip and to strengthen Abbas' Fatah party in the West Bank. As a goodwill gesture, Olmert announces the Israeli government's intention to release 250 Fatah prisoners who have 'no blood on their hands' and who pledge to renounce violence. [4]

April 1, 2007: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's acceptance of the Arab Peace Initiative: In response to the March 28, 2007 Arab League Summit at Riyadh, Olmert welcomes the Arab Initiative, revised since its conception in 2002, and invites the Arab heads of state to a meeting in Israel to further discuss the initiative and collaborate on improving it. [5]

Aug. 15-Aug. 23, 2005: Gaza and West Bank Disengagement: In an effort to relieve the security threats against Israelis living in Gaza and to try to put the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks back on track, Israel unilaterally pulls all of its citizens out of the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank. This dramatic move costs Israel approximately $2 billion, and includes the evacuation of all of the roughly 9,000 Israelis living in the affected areas in addition to exhuming and transferring all graves in Gaza to Israeli territory. On Sept. 12, 2005, the last Israel Defense Forces soldier departs the Gaza Strip, marking a historic step towards peace by Israel. [6]

Feb. 8, 2005: Sharm el-Sheikh Summit I: Sharon meets with PA President Abbas, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah of Jordan to announce the implementation of Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. Abbas and Sharon agree upon a ceasefire. Sharon expresses his hope that the disengagement will foster a step forward in the Roadmap for Peace. [7]

Dec. 18, 2003: Fourth Herzliya Conference: At this conference, Prime Minister Sharon presents a plan for Israel's unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria in exchange for peace. The Israeli Cabinet approves the plan on June 6, 2004 and the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) approves it on Oct. 25, 2004. The disengagement plan, a major sacrifice for peace, calls for evacuating nearly 9,000 Israeli residents living in Gaza and the West Bank. Israel also proposes the disengagement plan in hopes of stimulating progress in the peace process on the Palestinian side. [8]

June 4, 2003: Peace Summit at Aqaba: Sharon and Abbas meet in Jordan to reaffirm their commitment to the Roadmap. Sharon promises withdrawal of Israeli troops from Palestinian areas, and Abbas pledges an end to the Intifada and the Palestinian culture of hate against Israel. The prospects of the summit are shattered Aug. 19, 2003, after Palestinian terrorists carry out a suicide bombing in Jerusalem. As a result, on Sept. 1, 2003 the Israeli Cabinet decides to wage war against Hamas and other terrorist groups, and halts the diplomatic process with the Palestinian Authority until it proves it is taking concrete measures to stop terrorism. [9]

Apr. 30, 2003: Roadmap for Peace: Based upon President Bush's speech of June 24, 2002 and principles of the Oslo Accords, this plan is supervised by the Quartet: the United States, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United Nations. It calls for serious alterations in the Palestinian government and results in the appointment of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. The Roadmap, which charts progress toward a final-status agreement through a series of benchmarks relating to security and political progress, is still the official blueprint towards peace between Israel and the Palestinians, with the Quartet meeting intermittently to track the progress of the plan. [10]

June 24, 2002: Bush's Vision for the Middle East: In a Rose Garden Speech, President George W. Bush outlines a new plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, with the possibility of a sovereign Palestinian state established in the near future. This policy calls for new Palestinian leadership (specifically acknowledging the corruption and unwillingness to stop terrorism that characterized Arafat's regime) and a reformulated democratic government for the Palestinians. The president also calls upon the Palestinians, as well as other Arab states supporting or tolerating terrorism, to cease those activities. The plan focuses mainly on the impediments to the peace process posed by the Palestinians since the Israelis had repeatedly offered and acted upon various concessions for peace, and on greater democratization throughout the Arab world. [11]

March 28, 2002: The Arab Peace Initiative: Leaders of Arab nations come together at the Beirut Summit, where Saudi Arabia proposes a plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This plan is known as the Saudi Initiative, or the Arab Peace Initiative. The plan calls for Israel to withdraw completely to pre-1967 borders; supports the 'right of return' for all Palestinian refugees and their descendents; and the creation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. The Arab states in attendance pledge not to exercise military action to end the hostilities, and state that if Israel agrees to the aforementioned stipulations without modification, the Arab countries will in return consider the Arab-Israeli conflict to be over and normalize relations with Israel. Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres responds to the initiative on behalf of Israel, stating that Israel views the plan as encouraging, but that the agreement must be discussed directly with the Palestinians and that no accord can come to fruition unless terror activities are ceased, a condition not mentioned in the Arab Initiative. [12]

Jan. 22-27, 2001: Taba Conference: In the midst of the Second Intifada, and as a follow-up to the Camp David Summit, the Israelis and Palestinians meet for a final attempt to come to an agreement on a Palestinian state. Israel offers 94 percent of the West Bank in addition to Israeli land, culminating in an offer of 97 percent of the total land area requested by the Palestinians. The 'right of return' is also considered. However, the conference ends again in a standstill, and an Israeli-Palestinian Joint Statement is issued asserting that the two parties have never before been so close to an agreement and expressing hope for the future. [13]

July 11-25, 2000: Camp David Summit: To keep to the schedule set by the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum, Arafat and Barak meet with President Clinton at Camp David. In an effort to achieve peace once and for all, Barak offers a series of concessions including Israeli withdrawal from the entire Gaza Strip and 95 percent of the West Bank; the subsequent creation of an independent Palestinian state in the aforementioned areas; the dismantlement of all Israeli settlements in those areas given to the Palestinians; land compensation outside of the West Bank for settlements to remain under Israeli sovereignty; and Palestinian rule over East Jerusalem and most of the Old City (excluding the Jewish Quarter) and 'religious sovereignty' on the Temple Mount. In exchange, the agreement called for Arafat to declare an end to the conflict and a prohibition of future claims on Israeli land. Arafat rejects the proposal and makes no counter-offer. The summit ends in failure, but a Tri-Lateral Statement is issued delineating the principles of future talks. [14]

Sept. 4, 1999: Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum: This memorandum addresses the delay in implementation of the Oslo Accords created by Palestinian non-compliance with security obligations and the subsequent Israeli refusal to redeploy troops in the face of a growing terror threat from Area A (which is under full Palestinian administrative and security control). At this time, Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak meet to reaffirm their commitment to the Oslo Peace Process and set a new deadline, Sept. 13, 2000, for the completion of peace talks. [15]

Oct. 23, 1998: Wye River Memorandum: U.S. President Bill Clinton hosts Netanyahu and Arafat to negotiate the details of implementation of Oslo II of 1995. The memorandum emphasizes the need for the Palestinian side to uphold its security obligations. In return, for each phase the Palestinians successfully complete, they are to receive a specified percentage of land (through measures such as Israeli troop deployments). [16]

Jan. 17, 1997: Protocol Concerning the Redeployment in Hebron: The redeployment of Israeli soldiers from Hebron, the last remaining Palestinian city under Israeli control, is orchestrated in the Hebron Agreement. The protocol is signed by Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This marks the first time Israel's Likud party government has supported territorial withdrawal in the West Bank (also known as Judea and Samaria), until then widely considered a Labor party policy. [17]

Sept. 28, 1995: Oslo II: The Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, known as "Oslo II" or "Taba," broadens and supersedes the 1994 Gaza-Jericho Agreement. This agreement deals with many aspects of the transition to Palestinian autonomy, including how Israel will leave Palestinian-populated areas in the West Bank and Gaza; the provision for Palestinians to elect the newly established Palestinian Council; and the division of the area into three sections based on which group retains responsibility for security divided into Areas A, B and C. Israel also releases Palestinian prisoners as a sign of goodwill. [18]

Oct. 26, 1994: Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty: After a series of meetings, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordanian Prime Minister Abdul-Salam Majali sign the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty. The basic provisions of the treaty delineate the international border; prohibit hostilities between the two nations; agree upon water usage from shared bodies of water; allow for freedom of movement between the two countries as well as access to religious sites within Jerusalem; and formally normalize all relations between Israel and Jordan. Diplomatic relations begin Nov. 27, 1994, and additional bilateral agreements are signed in the coming years in areas such as environment, trade and tourism. [19]

July 25, 1994: The Washington Declaration: King Hussein of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin meet publicly in Washington, D.C. for the first time and take important steps toward implementing a peace treaty. The official state of war between the two countries is ended; each nation agrees to follow U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 to seek a total and lasting peace; and Israel acknowledges Jordan's special role in the oversight of Muslim holy places within Jerusalem. The two leaders also focus on future economic cooperation between Israel and Jordan. [20]

May 4, 1994: Gaza-Jericho Agreement: In what is also known as the Cairo Agreement, Israel and the Palestinians outline Israel's initial withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and Jericho, as well as the creation of the Palestinian Authority. Although Israel is removing all of its forces from these areas (and later from Palestinian cities in the West Bank), Yasser Arafat's PA fails to meet the security conditions requiring it to crack down on terror groups such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. [21]

Sept. 14, 1993: Israel-Jordan Common Agenda: After almost two years of Madrid Conference-inspired bilateral talks between Israel and Jordan, the two nations sign the Common Agenda which outlines the impending peace treaty between the two countries. [22]

Sept. 13, 1993: The Oslo Accords: After secret negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians in Oslo following the Madrid Peace Conference, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat shake hands and sign the "Declaration of Principles On Interim Self-Government Arrangements," better known as the Oslo Accords. The agreement calls for the transfer of power in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the Palestinians, beginning with an interim phase, leading to self-government and elections among the Palestinians, and culminating with a final-status agreement in which a permanent Palestinian state will sign an end-of-conflict agreement with Israel. The negotiations phase of the Accords include Rabin and Arafat exchanging letters in which Arafat pledges that the PLO recognizes Israel and commits itself to peace, while Rabin states that Israel recognizes the PLO as a legitimate party in the negotiations for peace. The "land for peace" strategy is heavily employed in these accords. The Oslo Accords are carried out through phased meetings. [23]

Oct. 30-Nov.1, 1991: Madrid Peace Conference: The United States and USSR co-host a conference in Spain to set the framework to negotiate peace between Israel and Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians, the first time direct and open peace talks are held between Israel and these four partners since 1949. The three-day conference sets in motion bilateral talks between Israel and each of its neighbors, as well as multilateral talks, about issues such as trade, resource development and conflict-prevention. Ultimately, however, no agreements develop from the Madrid process. [24]

May 14, 1989: Israel's Peace Initiative: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin announce a plan for peace, based on the Camp David Accords, consisting of four basic parts: strengthening peace with Egypt as a regional cornerstone; promoting full peaceful relations with the Arab states; improving refugee conditions through international efforts; and establishing interim self-rule for Palestinians, including Palestinian elections, during a five-year period leading to a "permanent solution." [25]

March 26, 1979: Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty: Israel and Egypt sign a treaty which calls for both nations to demilitarize the Sinai Peninsula; for Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 border, giving up military bases, settlements, roads and the Sinai oil fields; and for Egypt to 'normalize' relations with Israel. Other Arab countries attack the agreement, and Sadat is assassinated by Muslim extremists in 1981. Nevertheless, the treaty holds. [26]

Sept. 17, 1978: The Camp David Accords: After 12 days of closed negotiations between the Israelis and Egyptians at Camp David, the two delegations sign the Camp David Accords. This is made up of two sections: the first creates a framework for autonomous rule by the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; the second deals with the future of peace between Israel and Egypt, calling for a peace treaty to be agreed upon within three months that will include a full Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai. [27]

Nov. 19, 1977: In response to an invitation by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat becomes the first Arab leader to travel to Israel and discuss the prospects of peace between the two nations. [28]


The Israel Project is an international non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, freedom and peace. The Israel Project provides journalists, leaders and opinion-makers accurate information about Israel. The Israel Project is not related to any government or government agency.

Board of Advisors: Sen. Evan Bayh (IN), Sen. Ben Cardin (MD), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (GA), Sen. Tom Coburn (OK), Sen. Norm Coleman (MN), Sen. Susan Collins (ME), Sen. Judd Gregg (NH), Sen. Joe Lieberman (CT), Sen. Ben Nelson (NE), Sen. Gordon Smith (OR), Sen. Arlen Specter (PA), Sen. Ron Wyden (OR), Rep. Rob Andrews (NJ), Rep. Shelley Berkley (NV), Rep. Tom Davis (VA), Rep. Eliot Engel (NY), Rep. Frank Pallone (NJ), Rep. Jon Porter (NV), Rep. John Sarbanes (MD), Rep. Jim Saxton (NJ), Rep. Brad Sherman (CA), Rep. Joe Wilson (SC), Actor and Director Ron Silver

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Why John McCain Owes The New York Times a Thank You Card

Why John McCain Owes The New York Times a Thank You Card

The Republican Right is already howling over the bombshell dropped by The New York Times on John McCain, the GOP's all-but-official nominee. It's an outrage, they say. A deliberate torpedo. A liberal media smear.

Sorry, but these guys have got it backwards. The Times, in fact, couldn't have found a moment more favorable for Johnny Mack to let this fearsome cat out of the bag. If McCain could have personally chosen when to have this story break, it would have been right about now.

Not to say that the well-researched piece that broke late Wednesday evening isn't any candidate's nightmare. It's not only a detailed run-down of McCain's awfully close friendship with a pert and well-connected lobbyist thirty years his junior; the Times also does an admirable job of rehashing the Senator's long record of cozying up to the same sort of lobbyists against whom he repeatedly rails in public.

So what's my beef? The timing, folks. The timing. Everyone who knows anyone has been hearing about this story for some months. Back in December, Matt Drudge got wind of it from inside the Times and teased it at the top of his site. We all waited, but the shoe never dropped.

Under what is said to be intense pressure from McCain and prominent D.C. criminal attorney Robert Bennett, who was hired to help deal with the matter, the Times capitulated and held off on publishing the story - offering no explanation, then or now. And if you read through the piece just published, there doesn't seem to be any new information that the Times couldn't have had two months ago.

So what, you ask? Just one small detail: In the intervening weeks between the moment when the Times was first going to publish the story and finally did publish the story, the same New York Times endorsed John McCain! And while he's described in the endorsement editorial as a "staunch advocate of campaign finance reform" he's tagged in this Wednesday's news piece as having accepted favors from those with matters that came before the very committee he used to push that reform. And many, many other favors.

More importantly, if the Times had published its expose when it first had it over Christmas, it would have preceded all of the Republican primaries and caucuses. To say it would have changed the dynamic of the GOP race is perhaps the understatement of the decade. You can bet Mitt Romney and even Mayor Rudy are up late tonight gnashing their teeth and pounding their heads against the wall over this one.

So should Republican voters. They've been seriously toyed with by the paper of record. The Times gives them McCain. And then, only after it's too late to reconsider, it takes him away. McCain might, indeed, be seriously wounded by this week's revelations. If they had come out two months ago, he would have been reduced to a political asterisk, a footnote alongside Tommy Thompson and Tommy Tancredo.

Yes, we know how the Times will plead: innocent. There's a clear division, you see, between the news side and the editorial pages of the paper. Tut tut.

More like a clear division between the real and the surreal.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dallas D.A. Releases New JFK Documents

Dallas D.A. Releases New JFK Documents

CBS News Interactive: JFK Remembered

DALLAS (CBS) ― There's new information about Jack Ruby and the JFK assassination today.

Monday morning, Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins displayed to the public previously unseen documents related to the case.

Watkins said the documents have been locked in a safe in the D.A.'s office for decades, but have never been shown to the public until now.

In a Monday morning news conference about the documents, Watkins said today is an "interesting and historic day for Dallas County."

He said he learned of safe a year ago, not long after he took office. Watkins said that every Dallas County D.A. since the assassination has known about the contents of the safe. All have kept it secret.

After learning what was in the safe, Watkins said his staff determined that they had to catalog it. He said his staff members are still going through the documents, and said it would take some time to finish the job.

After archiving the documents for the last year, Watkins said there are two things in particular that will raise eyebrows.

The first is a $1 million movie contract signed by former DA Henry Wade, the prosecutor in the Ruby trial. Watkins said the contract would have made Wade a rich man if the movie had been produced.

The other is a highly suspect two-page transcript, allegedly of a conversation between Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald, dated Oct. 4, 1963. The transcript reads in part:

Oswald: You said the boys in Chicago want to get rid of the Attorney General.

Ruby: Yes, but it can't be done ... it would get the Feds into everything.

Oswald: There is a way to get rid of him without killing him.

Ruby: How's that?

Oswald: I can shoot his brother.

Ruby: You mean the President?

Oswald: Yes, the President.

Ruby: But that wouldn't be patriotic.

Oswald: What's the difference between shooting the Governor and in shooting the President?

Ruby: It would get the FBI into it.

Oswald: I can still do it, all I need is my rifle and a tall building; but it will take time, maybe six months to find the right place; but I'll have to have some money to live on while I do the planning.

According to the document, Ruby goes on to tell Oswald that no one must ever know the money for the job came from the Mafia. Ruby adds not to get caught or else he would have to kill Oswald.

No claims have been made that the alleged conversation ever took place.

CBS station KTVT-TV in Dallas was first to report the existence of the documents, in a story published Sunday morning.

Watkins said that he was not "lending his authority" to whether the documents are authentic or fake. He said he was releasing the documents because the people of Dallas County "should have access to this information."

Watkins also displayed documents from other district attorneys that he said showed the poor state of race relations in Texas during the 1960s.

Watkins said no decision has been made about what will become of the documents. He said his staff is talking to the Sixth Floor Museum and other groups.

Other items were also in the safe. Two sets of brass knuckles and a pistol holster were part of the trove and on display Monday morning. Watkins said all three belonged to Ruby and were taken from him when he was booked into the jail after killing Oswald. He said the holster held the gun that was used to shoot Oswald.

Dallas DA: Jack Ruby docs 'too important to keep secret'

Dallas DA: Jack Ruby docs 'too important to keep secret'

The Dallas County District Attorney's Office has announced the discovery of a trove of documents relating to the assassination of John Kennedy.

Among the documents is an alleged transcript of a conversation between Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby, planning the assassination together on behalf of the Mafia. This document has aroused the greatest amount of interest but has also been described as "highly suspect."

Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins explained at a news conference on Monday morning that the documents were found in a safe about a year ago -- soon after he took office -- and that his staff have been examining and cataloging them ever since. Previous DA's had decided not to reveal the information, but Watkins said his administration is devoted to openness and felt it was "too important to keep secret."

"It will open up the debate as to whether there was a conspiracy to assassinate the president," Watkins stated.

Ruby, the owner of a Dallas burlesque club, shot Oswald while he was in police custody two days after the November 22, 1963 assassination. The transcript has Oswald telling Ruby, "the [Mafia] boys in Chicago want to get rid of the Attorney General [Robert Kennedy]. ... There is a way to get rid of him without killing him. ... I can shoot his brother."

The curator of a Dallas museum devoted to the assassination has pointed out that Oswald is known to have been elsewhere on October 4, the alleged date of the conversation. The safe also contained a 1967 contract with the then-district attorney for a movie about the assassination, and the DA's assistant has suggested that the transcript was part of a proposed movie script.

This video is from Fox's Fox News Live, broadcast February 18, 2008.

Egypt rounds up Palestinians to deport to Gaza

Egypt rounds up Palestinians to deport to Gaza

ISMAILIA, Egypt (Reuters) - Egyptian police have rounded up some 500 Palestinians in north Sinai in the past four days and plan to deport them back into Gaza shortly, Egyptian security sources said on Monday.

The Palestinians are some of at least 3,000 left inside Egypt after hundreds of thousands of Gaza residents crossed the border in January to seek relief from the Israeli blockade.

Egyptian police are holding 500 of the Palestinians at a youth hostel in the provincial capital El Arish in readiness for repatriation, one security source said.

Police have been raiding furnished apartments and chalets in north Sinai in search of Palestinians, the source added.

But other Palestinians are staying with relatives and friends in El Arish, the nearby town of Sheikh Zuweid and in the border town of Rafah, he said.

The Egyptian government held talks last week with the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas, which runs Gaza, but the two sides have not announced any agreement for the border to reopen.

On Sunday Egyptian police found 100 kg (220 lb) of explosives in three sacks buried in sand near Sheikh Zuweid, the security sources added.

Caches of arms and explosives often turn up in the area, some of them destined for smuggling into Gaza through tunnels.

Israel has repeatedly complained about the smuggling but Egypt says it is doing what it can with the limited number of personnel it is allowed to deploy along the border.

With the Egyptian border resealed early this month, most residents of Gaza are again trapped inside the narrow coastal and trade with the outside world is severely restricted.

(Reporting by Yusri Mohamed; Writing by Jonathan Wright)

Source: Reuters US Online Report World News

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Patriarchy:1000, Hillary:0

Patriarchy:1000, Hillary:0

Erica Jong

Ever since I wrote an article in the Washington Post ten days ago, I've been getting love letters from women and super-smart men and brickbats from the Hillary-Haters. Unfortunately the Hillary-Haters are in charge. They monopolize the networks, the newspapers, the talk shows -- both radio and TV. They are crossing their legs for fear of castration. They are wearing the body armor our troops never got. Or got too late to matter. They are determined that a woman will not prove herself competent as Commander in Chief.

What's their ammunition? Oh, it's simple. They call her Mrs. Clinton, not Ms. or Senator. They pull out those nutcrackers in the shape of her supposed thighs. They complain about her ankles -- too thick. They complain on Fox TV that "White women are the problem" -- (idiot boy Kristol, the brain-damaged scion of Irving who rose through nepotism like our unelected "president"). Then they say she has "baggage" -- which could mean wrinkles, or her husband, or her daughter Chelsea whom they say she is "pimping." Then they say she never divorced Bill -- as if it's anyone's business. Then they moon over Obama's rhetorical style. Then they make it appear that she's a drone or a worker bee and has no royal jelly. Or else she has royal jelly and is queen bee. And that's her problem.

If Bill defends her, he's a pimp. If he doesn't, he's a creep. If Chelsea campaigns, it's cynical. If Obama trots out those cute little girls Michelle gave birth to, he's a family man. If Michelle attacks Hillary, it's news. If Hillary attacks Michelle -- well she can't because that would be racist. All we need now is a black woman in this race -- Maya or Oprah or Toni or Gayle or Donna -- any of whom would be a far better president than the one we've still got (not to mention his surrogate Dad, Dick Cheney, his co war-criminal). You couldn't attack Oprah or Maya or Toni or Gayle or Donna because of their color. Wow -- what an idea! Oprah for President. I'd definitely vote for that. I adore Maya Angelou as both person and poet. Toni Morrison is a genius and a true progressive. Gayle King is an executive, mother, communicator. Donna B. is a spokeswoman on CNN. Oprah -- well, she's Oprah -- way beyond having a last name.

Let me tell you about the Hillary-Haters who fill my inbox, they can't spell. They also believe in witchcraft. They believe HRC boils eye of newt with unborn baby's hair and little Jewish children not yet circumcised. They think she had a child with Vince Foster (even though Chelsea looks much like Bill and even his mother), then murdered him. They think she will leave Iraq, not leave Iraq, give us universal health care, not give us universal health care, sanction the killing of fetuses, not sanction the killing of fetuses, defend Israel, not defend Israel, end the Death Tax, not end the Death tax.

Honey, they are all mixed up. But they know they hate. And not just her -- but lots of people and things and ideas.

Ho hum. We've seen this all before in the United States of Amnesia (Gore Vidal's brilliant phrase). Remember Geraldine Ferraro -- tarred with the brush of her Italian-American husband, whom they claimed was a mafioso? Remember Bella Abzug, attacked for her hats (which covered too large a brain)? Remember Eleanor Roosevelt, attacked for her teeth? Remember Victoria Woodhull (the first woman to run for president) "hanged" as a whore? Remember Emma Goldman rode out of town on a rail -- for being Jewish, liking to dance and supporting the rights of the working classes?

Perhaps you know the history. Most likely you don't. They'd rather you didn't know it. Hence trillions for guns and pennies for education. The military industrial complex needs your boys and your girls in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan. But there's no one to guard the "homeland" -- a nice Hitlerian locution. Perhaps they'd rather you didn't know that every great empire -- from Persia to Greece to Rome -- fell when it spent more on war than on its people. This is history, kids. But we don't read history any more. History begins with Britney and ends with Paris.

I give up. If I have to watch another great American woman thrown in the dustbin of history to please the patriarchy, I'll move to Canada -- where they live four years longer than we because they have universal health care. Or Italy -- where Berlusconi played at being Mussolini but life is sweet anyway and people take vacations in August and at Chanukah (Christmas or Diwali or Kwaanza) and Passover (Easter).

Ok folks, stick your heads in the sand like Maureen Dowd who thinks we're not against women but just against Clinton "baggage." Or Barbara Walters who seems to have forgotten how viciously she was attacked when she got her first million dollar contract -- worth only half a million in Euros today.

Or Oprah who forgets she wasn't always Oprah -- I knew her when she had two names. She was always really smart, but she used to identify with women. And now she's joined the Obamarama. I get it. I understand. People want their own color in the White House (pun intended). And nobody said Barack wasn't brilliant.

But the truth is, we have no idea what he stands for. At least I don't. All we have are soundbites and attacks on "the" Clintons. But I guess the great American Amnesiate prefers it that way. And they always get what they deserve in the White House. Last time it was Dubya -- the dumb son of the CIA who showed them by never heeding their warnings. We lost Al Gore to sound bites about his nerdiness. Then we lost him again to hanging chads in Florida. We lost Adlai for being too intellectual. They used to say "egghead" in the olden days. And we lost Kerry to touch screens in Ohio and to election officials later indicted and tried and convicted. I didn't like him anyway. I especially hated his not returning fire at the Swiftboaters, and that stupid salute at the Democratic convention where Barack was born from the head of Athena.

Flip Flop, Flop Flip. This is the nature of our political dialogue. Might as well vote Repugnican as Democratic -- though I never have in my whole life. They're all just pols who secretly pledge to ignore fifty three percent of the population. And guess what? The fifty three percent is resigned to it. We don't like it. We wish it were otherwise. But we adore our sons and grandsons and husbands and fathers and grandfathers -- not to mention our nephews whom we happily nepotize.

One of my nephews works for Hillary. I bet his heart is breaking too.