Monday, February 29, 2016

PCG Mentioning the Mojahedin-e-Khalq

In 1994 Gerald Flurry, leader of the Philadelphia Church of God, proclaimed Iran to be the King of the South. Ever since PCG has continuously demonized Iran. But PCG has been so hostile to Iran that they have failed to alert their readers about the controversies and disturbing authoritarian behavior of one group opposed to the current governmental in Iran, namely the Mojahedin-e-Khalq.

The Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) was established in Iran as a left wing party dedicated to overthrowing the Shah in 1965. But following the overthrow of the Shah and the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini to power the Mojahedin-e-Khalq, led by Masoud Rajavi and his wife Maryam Rajavi, proceeded to wage an armed insurgency against Iran from 1981 onward. According to Iran's Press TV the Mojahedin-e-Khalq killed 12,000 people during the course of their armed insurgency to overthrow the government.

Over time the organization also became well known for authoritarian behavior imposed upon their members causing many observers to describe them as being like a cult. Noted anti-cult author Steven Hassan mentions the Mojahedin-e-Khalq on his website. According to one ex-member in 1990 Masoud Rajavi ordered MEK members to divorce their spouses.

The US State Department regarded the Mojahedin-e-Khalq as a terrorist organization from October 8, 1997 till September 28, 2012.

These unsavory facts about MEK are not to be found in PCG's writings aside from one vague reference to them as a "radical group" dating from 2014 that does not mention any of the specific troubling facts surrounding MEK.

Below we see PCG mentioning the Mojahedin-e-Khalq. It is described as an "opposition party". In one September 13, 2008 article it is even mentioned that Iran regards MEK as a terrorist organization and it is not mentioned that at that time the US State Department also listed MEK as a terrorist organization. With just one unusual exception MEK tends to be portrayed quite favorably by PCG's leaders.

Reports confirm that Iraqi agents of Iran have received millions of dollars to facilitate terrorist attacks and that the now-infamous Shiite death squads are being financed by Iran. And now, Mojahedin-e-Khalq, the Iranian opposition party, is accusing Iran of sponsoring fully 132,000 of its own agents in Iraq, including “numerous Iraqi Shiite officials and politicians” (Middle East Newsline, February 6). (Iran’s Presence in Iraq Continues to Expand, February 9, 2007.)

Last month, the Solidarity Congress of the Iraqi Peoples held an annual meeting hosted by the Iranian opposition group Mojahedin-e Khalq (PMOI). A petition reportedly signed by over 3 million Iraqis presented at the meeting called for the expulsion of the Iranian regime and its agents from Iraq, as well as the removal of restrictions on the PMOI in Iraq. Tehran reacted by insisting that the Iraqi government take action against the PMOI; Baghdad obliged by demanding that members of the Iranian opposition group leave Iraq within six months or face expulsion, prohibiting any dealings with the PMOI, and calling for the arrest of a Sunni member of parliament because of his relations with the group. (The Week in Review, July 12, 2008.)

An Iranian opposition group that has sought refuge in Iraq for more than 20 years has been ordered by the Iraqi government to leave the country.
The Shiite-dominated Iraqi Interior Ministry announced September 1 that members of the Iranian opposition group Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) has six months to leave Camp Ashraf, the U.S. camp in Iraq where approximately 3,360 members of the group are currently being held. The Saudi daily al Riyadh reported September 3 that the United States and Iran had agreed to hand over members of the MEK (also known as the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran) to Iraqi authorities. (Iraq Expels Anti-Iranian Group, September 12, 2008.)

The United States and Iran agreed to hand over members of the Iranian opposition group Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) to Iraqi authorities, the Saudi daily al Riyadh reported September 3. Approximately 3,360 members of the group are currently being held in a U.S. camp in Iraq. The Shiite-dominated Iraqi Interior Ministry announced September 1 that the MEK had six months to leave Camp Ashraf. While Iraq wants this group out of the country, it is Iran that is behind the move to expel the MEK from Iraq. Tehran considers the MEK—whose goal is to replace Iran’s Islamist theocracy with a secular regime—to be a terrorist group. The U.S.’s protection of the group has been a major obstacle in U.S.-Iranian negotiations over Iraq, and America—which has been a longtime ally of the MEK—has now caved in to Iran’s demands.  (The Week in Review, September 13, 2008.)

The U.S. and Iran agreed to hand over members of the Iranian opposition group Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) to Iraqi authorities, the Saudi daily al Riyadh reported September 3. Approximately 3,360 members of the group are currently being held in a U.S. camp in Iraq. Iraq has given the MEK six months to leave. Tehran considers the MEK—whose goal is to replace Iran’s Islamist theocracy with a secular regime—to be a terrorist group. The U.S.’s protection of the group has been a major obstacle in U.S.-Iranian negotiations over Iraq. (Worldwatch, November-December 2008.)

Earlier this week, Iraq’s security forces acted alone in raiding Camp Ashraf, a small village located northeast of Baghdad, not far from the Iranian border. The camp was established during the 1980s as a base for Iranian exiles, known as the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), to operate against the mullocracy in Tehran. About 3,000 Iranian dissidents live in the village. ...
That may soon change now that the United States has handed over the area to Iraq. On Tuesday, in response to MEK members protesting the establishment of an Iraqi base inside Ashraf, Iraq sent in 1,000 troops to squash the rebellion. For two days, Iraqi policemen forcibly pounded MEK members into submission, killing seven civilians and wounding dozens more. CBS News and the BBC both captured video of the early stages of the assault. (Stephen Flurry, Iraq’s New Puppet Master, July 31, 2009.)
On September 28, 2012 US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton removed the US State Department's designation of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq as a terrorist organization. Since then the Mojahedin-e-Khalq is no longer viewed by the US State Department in that way. But PCG has never mentioned that it was ever viewed that way by the US government in their writings. 
The Kurdish media network Rudaw reported: “the Iranian opposition group Mojahedin-e-Khalq has warned of the growing number of Iran’s Quds forces in Iraq, saying that Tehran uses the fight against [the Islamic State] to assert itself in Iraq.” (Anthony Chibarirwe, The Message Iran Sent Following the Death of Its General in Iraq, January 12, 2015.)
But while PCG tended to portray the Mojahedin-e-Khalq sympathetically and sometimes even as an authority that can be trusted regarding Iran's alleged moves in August 2014 PCG's Robert Morley mentioned MEK in an unflattering way as a "radical group" and compared them with "Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, ISIS, Tamil Tigers [and] Babbar Khalsa". He mentioned them while scare mongering about protests in Canada concerning the war in Gaza in 2014.
How long before Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, ISIS, Tamil Tigers, Babbar Khalsa, Mojahedin-e-Khalq and other radical groups’ family members introduce jihad to Canada? (Robert Morley, ‘Kill the Jews’ in Canada, August 7, 2014.)

And so it may be seen that PCG has tended to portray the Mojahedin-e-Khalq quite favorably. PCG's readers are ill served by not being informed of the facts surrounding this organization.

WCG's Hall of Administration Demolished

Banned by HWA has linked to a video showing that WCG's Hall of Administration has been demolished.

How terrible it is that HWA was able to use empty words to exploit people.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Likud MK Says He Would Build Third Temple (and Other News)

Third Temple Extremism on a shirt.
(Ma'an News Agency.)

Recently during a public discussion one Likud MK stated that if he became Prime Minister he would build the Third Temple.
.@Likud_Party lawmaker Oren Hazan says that if he becomes Israel's prime minister, he will rebuild the Jewish Temple (David Sheen, February 25, 2016.)
How dare PCG accuse Palestinians of lying when they state their fears that a Third Temple might be built. When even a Likud MK should say something like that no wonder so many Palestinians are worried that such a thing might occur.

Third Temple extremism exists in Israel today. It is a fringe idea. It is most unlikely that such a thing would ever actually be done. But the idea is present within certain parts of Israeli society. Unfortunately it is so inflammatory.

Pretending it does not exist helps no one.


Israeli human rights NGO B'Tselem has released a disturbing report detailing news regarding an Israeli interrogation facility: Backed by the System: Abuse and Torture at the Shikma Interrogation Facility.


Recent polls indicates that Palestinians are less inclined to favor violence against the State of Israel. (Dahlia Scheindlin, Public opinion roundup: Is Palestinian support for violence falling?, +972 Magazine, February 21, 2016.)


Photos of Palestinians going through Israeli checkpoints have been released recently. (PHOTOS: What it's like to ‘commute’ through an Israeli army checkpoint, +972 Magazine, February 27, 2016.)


Recently Prime Minister Netanyahu said he wanted to surround the State of Israel with a fence in order protect it from "wild beasts."
This week the prime minister of Israel slandered Arabs in disgustingly racist terms. This was nothing new for the man who, during the last election, warned the Israeli people that “the Arabs” were turning out to vote “in droves”. But the terminology he used was a notable new low, even for him.
Touring a new border fence between part of present-day Israel and Jordan, Benjamin Netanyahu said: “In our neighbourhood, we need to protect ourselves from wild beasts. At the end of the day as I see it, there will be a fence like this one surrounding Israel in its entirety. We will surround the entire state of Israel with a fence, a barrier.” (Asa Winstanley, Middle East Monitor, February 13, 2016.)
Incidentally Israel has a peace treaty with Jordan which was signed in 1994. And Netanyahu still wants a fence there?


Here is a chilling article published in Salon that foresaw that trouble would arise with the visits by Israeli Jews to the Temple Mount and the economic deprivation and neglect endured by the Palestinians of East Jerusalem. (Nur Arafah, Benjamin Netanyahu wants bloodshed: A new, deliberately provocative right-wing incursion into sacred ground, Salon, October 1, 2015.)

If only wise words such as this were followed by the leaders of Israel perhaps the current wave of violence that has afflicted the Holy Land since October 1, 2015 would not have happened. So far about 160 Palestinians and 30 Israelis have been killed in this round of violence.


And while all this stuff is going on recently there was a wedding at Al Aqsa. May their marriage be happy and joyful. (Twitter.)

Ceassation of Hostilities in Syria

So there is now a Cessation of Hostilities between the Assad regime and those represented by the High Negotiations Committee of the Syrian Opposition. (February 26, 2016.)

The Save Our Syria coalition has published an open letter addressed to President Vladimir Putin calling for an end to the bombardments by Russian forces. (February 25, 2016.)

Here's one Twitter account discussing the cessation of hostilities.
Looks bad for Assad when HNC (and Syrian oppo) actually manage to hold 72628297636 diff rebel groups under 1 ceasefire Syria-wide.
There goes that whole "Syrian oppo has zero influence on armed rebels" crap (February 27, 2016.)
It is certainly to be hoped that perhaps this cease fire might provide a way to stop this terrible war. However it seems that this terrible conflict will not end any time soon. There are reports that the ceasefire has been violated.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

PCG Discussing Ariel Sharon

In PCG's writings Ariel Sharon is often presented favorably as a warrior and a war hero.

However PCG's leaders were strongly opposed to his decision to evacuate the Israeli soldiers and settlers from Gaza. This disengagement was often portrayed as a pitiful and pathetic attempt to make peace but this is a highly flawed interpretation. Actually it was a cost cutting exercise, not a peace making exercise. The 2005 disengagement from Gaza was never intended to make peace.

PCG on Ariel Sharon (1999-2004)

Before the controversy over the disengagement from Gaza began to take prominence in 2004 PCG rarely paid attention to Ariel Sharon himself, even when he became Prime Minister on March 7, 2001 during the Second Intifada. Rather PCG was much more interested in "watching" for Europeans to take over the United States' role as mediator between the State of Israel and the Palestinians. PCG elsewhere insinuated that Shimon Peres was destined to play a role in making this peace treaty.

Even as Palestinians and Israelis were going through the nightmare of the Second Intifada (2000-5) with thousands killed in acts of violence PCG were more worried about European diplomats getting involved in the peace process instead of the chaos and bloodshed then occurring.


Sharon was first mentioned in connection with the Kosovo War as making an ominous analogy between Yugoslavia's disintegration and the (faint) possibility that similar things may happen in the Holy Land. This analogy and very unlikely.
Even Ariel Sharon, Israel’s prickly Foreign Minister, admitted that should Israel’s Arab minority call for autonomy in the future, the West might consider Yugoslavia a precedent to intervene in the Middle East. (A Dangerous Precedent, May 1999.)


In the January 2001 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine Joel Hilliker wrote an article discussing Israel's situation during the opening months of the second intifada. Sharon is only mentioned in the following paragraph.
The picture grew gloomier after a September visit by Likud party leader Ariel Sharon to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Israeli Palestinians seized the chance to spark what has amounted to a low-intensity war over Israeli occupation that after two and a half months and over 300 deaths shows no sign of letting up. (Joel Hilliker, A Picture of Political Chaos, January 2001.) 
"Israeli Palestinians"? Who ever uses that phrase?

In this article Hilliker insisted that any attempt to make peace is doomed to failure.
It doesn’t matter who becomes prime minister or what strategies he employs—the Trumpet can state categorically and absolutely, as we have repeatedly, that his actions will fail to bring Israel the security and peace it is crying out for, and will serve to only further divide the State of Israel! Thinking otherwise is shamefully naive!—that is, barring one singular and highly unlikely course of action, the only course Israel’s new leader could take that would change the nation’s miserable fortunes:
To turn the people to God. (Joel Hilliker, A Picture of Political Chaos, January 2001.)
Which in PCG's jargon means to join PCG and do what they say.


In the March-April 2001 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine Ron Fraser wrote an article about the situation in the Holy Land but instead of talking about Sharon he chose to scare monger that Shimon Peres would somehow "worm" his way to power and create some sort of (in his view) traitorous agreement with the Palestinians involving Germany just before the Great Tribulation erupts.
Now that Ariel Sharon has gained the leadership of Israel, watch for prominent Labor Party member and former Prime Minister Shimon Peres to take a high profile in a unity government structure involving Labor and the conservative Likud Party of Ariel Sharon. ...
It was extremely interesting to see Mr. Peres back in the limelight, consorting with Sharon in the run-up to the Israeli elections.
Is this an unlikely partnership?
Sharon is a noted hawk, whose visit to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount was even thought to provoke the recent civil war in Palestine between Arab and Jew. Peres has the image of a dove, even being prepared to lead in giving away the strategic Israeli occupied territories. (Ron Fraser, Muscling Into the Mideast, March-April 2001.)


In the August 2001 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine Joel Hilliker wrote another article about the situation in the Holy Land. This time he scare mongered that Europe was about to take over the United States' role as mediator between Israel and the Palestinians. Peres was mentioned with the insinuation that he would create some sort of peace agreement with the Palestinians.
Now carrying the political clout of the foreign ministership within the conservative Israeli government of Ariel Sharon, Peres recently revealed himself as a deserter! July 3, he warned “that he could step down from his post if the Israeli government does not stop trying to undermine Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.… ‘I will not be able to continue in my role if you keep trying to delegitimize Yasser Arafat’ [he told] parliament’s committee on defense and foreign affairs” (Agence France Presse, July 3). ...
Soon after, when Barak’s liberal peace policies exploded in his face, he was deserted politically and ousted after completing less than half his term. A conservative backlash in Israel’s electorate put the hawkish Sharon in office.
But even Sharon has proved to be someone with whom Europe can work. Not only did he position Europe’s point man Peres at his side as foreign minister, but he himself seems open to dealing with Germany and the EU. Witness his July visit to Germany and France, at which he praised Germany’s “balanced approach to the Middle East”—while being advised by Germany to stop illegal settlements and instructed by France to stop undermining Arafat! (Joel Hilliker, The Counterfeit Peacemaker, August 2001.)

In the November 2001 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine it is mentioned that President Bush proposed the creation of a Palestinian State. It is mentioned that Sharon opposed this.
The recent decision by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, U.S. President George Bush, the leaders of Ireland and Holland, as well as British Prime Minister Tony Blair to support the creation of an independent Palestinian State has rocked the diplomatic world.
This unexpected, across-the-board support by leading Western nations will have a profound affect on the way Middle East negotiations are viewed in the near future, especially if this joint national move has a bandwagon effect, giving the Palestinian cause the nudge needed to gain their long-hoped-for victory. (A New Push for Palestine, November 2001.)

Remarkably, that did not happen. Arafat condemned the attacks (evading the issue of his people openly celebrating them). When the coalition idea was floated, Arafat said he would support it, publicly distancing himself from the anti-Israel terrorists (which Israelis accuse Arafat of privately supporting). President Bush welcomed him by explaining for the first time that his “vision” for Middle East peace included a Palestinian state.
Frustration within Israel erupted. A shocked Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon accused the U.S. of rewarding violence. After all, many Palestinians say they’ll support the U.S. war on terrorism if the definition of terrorism included Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The U.S. itself has suffered attacks by some of these anti-Israel groups. Nevertheless, the Palestinians are in the coalition. (Joel Hilliker, The Head of the Snake, November 2001.)

In the January 2002 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine Joel Hilliker mentions Jerusalem. It is mentioned that Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount started the Second Intifada. There is no sense of blame towards him over that matter.
Today, Israel controls the whole of Jerusalem. At the peak of the conflict with this Islamic power, the city will be split down the middle, and Israel will lose East Jerusalem. Already we see this area, which includes the holy sites on the al-Aqsa plateau, or Temple Mount, being the most hotly contested real estate in the world. It was Ariel Sharon’s visit there last September that triggered the current intifada still raging. (Joel Hilliker, The Beating Heart of Prophecy, January 2002.)

In the February 2002 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine Gerald Flurry mentioned the Karine A incident in which a ship was intercepted with arms.
Israel recently captured a freighter with 50 tons of weapons, including tank-destroying missiles. The captain admitted the cargo was for Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority (PA). He also said Iran supplied the weapons.
This brought a swift reaction from Israel’s prime minister, Ariel Sharon. He said Iran was the “center of world terror.” That is the truth. (For more information, write for our free booklet The King of the South.) However, most of our leaders don’t have the courage to even make such a statement.
This blatant act of aggression violated every peace treaty made between the PA and Israel.
Israel’s defense minister, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, said Iran was the “world’s number-one exporter of terrorism.” So Israel is not only blasting the PA, but also Iran.
Mr. Sharon stated (emphasis mine), “We know exactly in which part of the world we live and the link being created between the Palestinian Authority and the world’s center of terror, Iran. … The PA is a major player in the network of international terrorism, spearheaded by Iran and aimed at sowing death and destruction throughout the entire world” (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 7). (Gerald Flurry, Center of World Terror, February 2002.)
President George Bush later mentioned in his memoir, Decision Points, that it was after this incident that President Bush decided that Yasser Arafat was a liar and was not to be trusted. Afterwards President Bush did not trust Yasser Arafat.


In the May 2002 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine Ron Fraser gave a summery of events in the Middle East. This is all he said about Sharon, namely scare monger about Germany getting involved in the peace process as a sign that the end is near.
But perhaps the most startling reaction to the recent firestorm created by the Palestinian terrorist incursions within Israel, and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s reaction to rout the killers from Israeli territory, is coming from Germany. (What is Happening with the Middle East, May 2002.)

In the July 2003 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine Joel Hilliker made another article mentioning the situation.
But as events quickly showed, this time is no different. As with previous peace initiatives, violence in Israel actually surged. In just a week, 60 Israelis and Palestinians were killed in suicide bombings, shootings and missile attacks. The Islamic terrorist group Hamas refused to call a ceasefire. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon promised to continue attacks on Hamas. The violence and stonewalling that some are calling mere “bumps in the road” on the road map are in fact indicative of insurmountable obstacles. ...
Even more fundamental is both sides’ absolute non-negotiability over Jerusalem. In May this year, on “Jerusalem Day,” which commemorates Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said in a televised statement, “We will never let go of Jerusalem! Never!” In response, Nabil Abu Rudeina, a senior Palestinian official, said, “Holy Jerusalem, which was occupied in 1967, is the key to peace in this area. Without holy Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, there will be no peace” (Agence France Presse, May 29). (Joel Hilliker, Fated For Failure, July 2003.)

In the January 2004 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine Ron Fraser scare mongered that Germany would soon take over the United States role as mediator between Israel and the Palestinians.
Continuing efforts to implement a plan that allows for the creation of a separate Palestinian state will tend to dominate events in the Middle East. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has given till the middle of this year for the U.S.-led “road map” peace plan to produce results. If it fails, Sharon has warned that he will complete the West Bank security wall that imposes itself on large areas of land sought by the Palestinians as part of their state.
Europe, Germany in particular, will eventually take over and conclude the Middle East peace process. Watch for developments along this theme during 2004. Notwithstanding the German government’s strident resistance to the U.S.-led war in Iraq, Germany will also insist on significant involvement in Iraq’s reconstruction—likely with the UN’s backing. (Ron Fraser, 2004: A Look Ahead, January 2004.)
In the same issue it is asserted in an alarmist manner that the Bush Administration and the Sharon led government were not getting along well. Because PCG insists that Germany is fated to forge a fateful peace treaty in the future PCG has to constantly insist that the United States will somehow lose its role as mediator between Israel and the Palestinians. This prediction has never occurred.
Two recent points of contention include the Bush administration’s disapproval of the security fence—about a quarter of which is completed—built by Israel to screen out Palestinian terrorists, and the expansion of Israeli settlements for which, in late November, Washington administered a mild punishment by reducing loan guarantees.
The sharpest dissonance arose in December when the U.S. administration supported, in the face of Israeli opposition, the “Geneva initiative,” put forward as an alternative to the “road map to peace” process previously endorsed by the U.S. Israeli Prime Minster Ariel Sharon warned it was subverting the democratic process....
We can be certain that U.S. pressure on Israel to toe the American line, while risking the alienation of Sharon and increasing pressure on him from the Arab world, will only frustrate efforts for the long-term peace which Israel seeks. (Policy Shifts in Israel, January 2004.)


In the March-April 2004 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine Joel Hilliker insinuated that protests against Israel were signs of anti-Semitism. It is also asserted that Germans today harbor anti-Semitic hatred. The possibility that such protests were a symptom and reaction towards the mass violence of the Second Intifada in which about 3,179 Palestinians and 1,010 Israelis were killed is minimized and ignored.

This article also incites once again PCG's venomous hostility towards Germans.
Rosenfeld has followed the depictions in the German press of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon over the past few years. Sharon has been regularly demonized “as a ‘bull,’ a ‘bulldozer,’ a ‘warmonger’ and a ‘slaughterer.’ He has been compared to Hitler and Nero and said to be ‘Israel’s highest-ranking arsonist.’ Other references peg him as a ‘political pyromaniac,’ an ungainly ‘old war criminal,’ a ‘right-wing extremist,’ a ‘warhorse’ and ‘catastrophe personified.’ … He is also described as being ‘politically deranged’ and thirsty for Palestinian blood. (According to Die Welt, ‘a lot of blood clings to his hands, starting from his Kibiya days in the 1950s, to Sabra and Shantila [Shatila], up to his most recent provocation in the mosque in 2000′)”—implying that Sharon, not the Palestinian terrorists, is responsible for this latest round in the intifada (op. cit.).
All of this hate-mongering in print has its violent counterpart on European streets. The last two years in particular have seen notable rises in anti-Semitic incidents across Europe: regular vandalism, arson and assault against Jewish targets. Two representative examples: Last November, a 65th anniversary Holocaust ceremony commemorating Kristallnacht in Vienna was disrupted by protestors waving Palestinian flags and yelling anti-Israel slogans. And U.S.News related a recent incident in Berlin where a synagogue was spray-painted with the words “six million is not enough.”
This is not political criticism. This is racist warmongering.
One of the most perverse and disturbing trends within anti-Israel expression is the frequent, cavalier comparisons being made between the Jews and the Nazis. Worldwide at “antiwar” protests and rallies, Ariel Sharon is compared with Adolf Hitler, and Israeli flags are waved replacing the Star of David with the swastika. These actions illustrate not only the intensity, but also the irrationality, of some of the scorn being heaped on Israel. (Joel Hilliker, The Enemies of Jerusalem, March-April 2004.)
(Incidentally it is Shatila, not "Shantila." There is no such place as "Shantila".)

This is the only time on PCG's website that they ever mention the names Sabra and Shatila, Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut in which hundreds, possibly thousands, of Palestinian civilians were massacred by Phalangist forces in 1982. Israeli soldiers were stationed on the perimeter of those camps while the 36 hour massacre unfolded. Sharon was compelled to resign as Defense Minister after an Israeli investigation concluded that he was indirectly responsible for the massacre. These facts are not mentioned by PCG as far as I know.

PCG, Sharon and the Disengagement from Gaza

From this point onward PCG's discussion of Sharon is dominated by the disengagement from Gaza in which Israeli settlers and soldiers were moved out from Gaza. PCG fervently opposed the disengagement and condemned Sharon for this move. It is constantly assumed to an attempt to make peace but this is incorrect. The move was unilaterally decided by the Sharon led government. If it was an attempt to make peace they would have negotiated with the Palestinians but they did not. It was a cost cutting exercise not a peace making exercise.


In the June 2004 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine the immanent evacuation of Israeli settlers and Israeli soldiers from Gaza is mentioned.
Gaza. The western corner of Israel—despite its bright golden beaches, its warm climate and its green orchards, parks and gardens—is one of the most tense places on Earth. (Unsettling Gaza, June 2004.)
Gaza is not Israel. When Israel conquered Gaza in 1967 they merely ruled over Gaza without annexing it. Even while Israeli settlers were placed there with encouragement and protection from successive Israeli governments Israel never annexed Gaza. Gaza is not Israel. And even if Israel did annex Gaza it would never be recognized by the international community because they would regard that as Israel unilaterally changing its border.
Sharon’s plan called for a unilateral move that ignored negotiations and a recently proposed “road map” for peace—however stalled. Palestinians were furious, feeling they would end up with less in the long run if Israel, backed by the U.S., drew the borders by itself rather than negotiating over the fate of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and other issues. (Unsettling Gaza, June 2004.)
In other words the disengagement was a decision made by the Israeli government alone. It was not done in consultation with any Palestinian. There was no agreement made for this withdrawal. It was not a peace making exercise but a cost cutting exercise.
Thus, rather than drawing out jubilant Gazan crowds, the withdrawal plan caused an outbreak of despicably inhuman violence. On the day of the referendum [in Israel to gain support for the disengagement], two Palestinian terrorists forced a car containing a pregnant Israeli woman and her four daughters off the road, then shot them at close range. A few days later, two more Palestinian gunmen fired on the memorial service of the murdered family. Hours after that, terrorists detonated a bomb beneath an armored personnel carrier, destroying the entire vehicle and strewing the body parts of six Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers all over the site. The carnage continued the next day, with five more Israeli soldiers killed in an attack on another IDF convoy. (Unsettling Gaza, June 2004.)
It is not mentioned that the terrorists were immediately killed by Israeli personnel in the terrorist attack. The memorial attacked with mortars was in an Israeli settlement within Gaza and thus continually vulnerable to such attacks. That is one reason why Sharon withdrew the settlers from Gaza. With the settlers no longer surrounded by the many Palestinians in Gaza attacks of that kind within Gaza against settlers or soldiers are now impossible. (Now hostile fire is directed across the border instead of within the Gaza Strip.)


In the September-October 2004 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine it is mentioned that Sharon rejected a call by the European Union to make peace. PCG exploited this to insinuate that the Europeans led by Germany will soon take over as mediator between Israel and the Palestinians.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon responded by telling Solana, basically, that if the EU kept voting against Israel on security issues, it couldn’t expect to remain involved in the peace process.
Solana’s fiery reaction to Sharon’s threat, insisting on Europe’s continued involvement, shows how important the region is to the EU. “Europe has friends, neighbors and strategic interests in the Middle East, Solana said, adding that the EU would not be frozen out of the region’s peace efforts” (ibid.). (Pushing Israel’s Door Open, September-October 2004.)

In the December 2004 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine the same theme is continued again.
At a European Union summit in Brussels on November 4-5, EU leaders endorsed a plan proposed by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana outlining how the EU can assist in the establishment of a Palestinian state.
The four-pronged offensive calls for EU cooperation with the Palestinian Authority on security, institutional reforms, economic aid and local elections.
Specifically, the plan calls for deploying EU peacekeeping troops to the Gaza Strip ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s planned unilateral withdrawal from the territory. At first they will help train and organize a Palestinian police force to enforce law and order following Israel’s retreat, but one Solana aide says “a more robust role should not [be] ruled out” (, November 2). (EU Moving In?, December 2004.)

In the January 2005 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine the difficulties Sharon faced in convincing his Likud Party colleagues to agree to withdraw the settlers and soldiers from Gaza is exploited to insinuate that Shimon Peres will return to power and make a peace treaty involvement Europe.
In order to gain the needed support to avoid both the collapse of his government (which has already been subjected to three failed no-confidence motions) and the forcing of early elections, as well as to gain backing for his Gaza initiative, Sharon is seeking a coalition with the main opposition party, the center-left Labor led by Shimon Peres, along with some small religious factions. Though there is general consensus that Likud-Labor partnership would be limited in duration, any such relationship between Sharon and Peres will likely speed the sellout of Israel, as Peres is a strong proponent of ceding land to Israel’s enemies. (Political Chaos Eroding Will, January 2005.)


In the March-April 2005 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine Joel Hilliker wrote an article about the situation in the Holy Land after the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit of February 8, 2005 which is often cited as the end of the Second Intifada.
Now the pressure is mounting on Ariel Sharon, Israel’s present prime minister. Since September 2000, just months before Sharon was elected, terrorists have launched over 500 suicide attacks against Israel, more than a hundred of which found their target—murdering a thousand Israelis. Sharon’s government has responded strongly, killing over 3,500 Palestinians, including several high-profile terrorist leaders. (Joel Hilliker, New Hope in the Peace Process?, March-April 2005.)
Note how Hilliker says the Israelis were murdered but the Palestinians were killed. Once again we see how PCG's one sided view of this conflict has caused them to devalue Palestinian lives. This is just disgraceful and racist. These words are that PCG's leaders thinks Israeli lives are more valuable than Palestinians' lives. Such racist thinking must be rejected.

Also this is an extremely rare instance in which PCG admits that the Palestinians endured a 350% higher death toll than the Israelis during the course of the Second Intifada. 
Arafat, president of the Palestinian Authority, died in December. The Palestinians then hosted their first free elections. The newly elected president, Mahmoud Abbas, is telling terror groups to stop attacking Israel. Abbas and Sharon, who called this moment a possible “historic breakthrough,” have already met and agreed to a package of conciliatory actions. Attacks against Israel have noticeably dropped. (Joel Hilliker, New Hope in the Peace Process?, March-April 2005.)
In other words making political decisions made the violence stop. And yet so often PCG keeps telling their readers the opposite, that negotiations are useless and futile.
Truly, for Sharon, the pressure is peaking: Don’t squander this moment. Give in for the sake of peace.
Here is the unhappy truth of the matter, according to Bible prophecy: Any sacrifices the prime minister makes will prove only to strengthen his enemies and weaken his country.
This is a pivotal moment for Israel. The more impatient Sharon gets—the more eager to make his mark on history—the more devastating it will be for the Jewish state.
These events are worthy of our closest scrutiny. They presage the fulfillment of a biblical prophecy the Trumpet has been informing its readers of for almost a decade—a prophecy of Israel becoming so desperate for an end to its woes that it runs for salvation into the arms of its greatest enemy.
Open-eyed honesty is required in order to evaluate the real odds of peace being the outcome of the present circumstances. (Joel Hilliker, New Hope in the Peace Process?, March-April 2005.)
PCG does not want peace. PCG wants to be right. PCG wants to mesmerize people into thinking that God is somehow with them alone.
Abbas has received kudos for his attempts to coerce terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad into curbing their lethal violence. Many have been willing to dismiss his public anti-Israel rhetoric and expressions of solidarity with terrorists as mere politics. Some conservative observers, however, rather view the ceasefire he pulled off as mere politics. Why? Their conclusions are worthy of note. (Joel Hilliker, New Hope in the Peace Process?, March-April 2005.)
Why is Hilliker paying attention to conservatives? Because he is right wing. PCG is right wing. I do not condemn PCG for being right wing but it is important to note that they are right wing. That fact explains so much about the political positions they take on many issues.
It’s true that, following the ceasefire agreement signed by Sharon and Abbas on February 8, there have been fewer attacks against Israelis. But it is stupidity to assume this indicates a new commitment to peace. It would be more fair to interpret it as a time-out to regroup and prepare for the next round. (Joel Hilliker, New Hope in the Peace Process?, March-April 2005.)
That agreement Hilliker refers to is often viewed as the end of the Second Intifada.
Yes, the pressure on Sharon is crushing. Pressure to give in and “make peace.” And Sharon, with determination, is doing just that.
After meeting with President Abbas in February, Sharon’s administration made a strong gesture of confidence in the new Palestinian government with a raft of concessions. It released 500 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails; allowed a large handful of Palestinian terrorists who had been expelled from the West Bank to return to their homes; agreed to stop chasing fugitives who give up their weapons and pledge not to attack anymore; promised to stop assassinating terrorist leaders and bulldozing terrorists’ homes; and agreed to gradually hand over five West Bank towns to Palestinian control. (Joel Hilliker, New Hope in the Peace Process?, March-April 2005.)
Incidentally home demolitions have since been reinstated by the State of Israel. Hilliker also ignores that any home is not just the terrorists' home but that there are others who live there. Consequently home demolitions have often been condemned as a form of collective punishment that harms innocent and guilty alike. Home demolitions is a practice inherited from the British and it has always failed to make peace. It is only applied to Palestinians.
Also, within two weeks of the meeting, preparations for drawing down Israeli settlements proceeded in earnest. The cabinet voted 17-5 to, later this year, pull out all Israeli soldiers and the 8,200 settlers situated in 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip, as well as 500 settlers and attendant soldiers from the northern part of the West Bank—a plan Sharon has pushed for over a year. This will be Israel’s first complete territorial withdrawal since it turned over the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in 1982. Statements from Israeli officials have indicated that much larger evacuations from the West Bank will be forthcoming.
All this in exchange for practically nothing. All this with absolutely no retreat by Hamas and other such groups from their commitment to violence. Astonishing. (Joel Hilliker, New Hope in the Peace Process?, March-April 2005.)
In other words the evacuation of Israeli soldiers and settlers from Gaza had nothing to do with the end of the Second Intifada. It was a cost cutting exercise, not a peace making exercise. It was never intended to make peace in the first place. PCG is severely wrong on this matter.
Another example: Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, rather than salving the relationship with Hezbollah, marked the beginning of more aggressive efforts by that terrorist group to infiltrate Israel; attacks increased; some say the withdrawal helped spark the Palestinian intifada a few months later by fueling hope that terrorism could persuade Israel to give up Gaza and the West Bank. (Joel Hilliker, New Hope in the Peace Process?, March-April 2005.)
The withdrawal from South Lebanon was never intended to make peace. If the Barak led government of the time was trying to make peace they would have negotiated and then withdrew, but instead they just withdrew. It was a cost cutting cutting exercise not a peace making exercise. PCG is severely wrong on this matter.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has written extensively on the biblically prophesied collapse of will in modern-day Israel. The nation that was born and sustained in a hostile climate by miraculous protection has since turned on the God who made possible its existence. Like the ancient, biblical nation of Israel, it has taken to trusting in men—even, to its own peril, enemy nations—rather than the all-powerful God.
This faithlessness is the cause for Israel’s trust in the impotent, vain and terribly misnamed peace process. It has obliged Israel to give up site after biblically significant site to the Palestinians. Ultimately, all of Israel’s hopes are pinned on a negotiation policy that has proved to be an utter catastrophe! (Joel Hilliker, New Hope in the Peace Process?, March-April 2005.)
The withdrawals from Southern Lebanon and Gaza were unilaterally made by the Israeli government and were never intended to make peace in the first place. PCG is wrong.
Following the February summit in Egypt, President Bush invited both Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to Washington this spring. Impressed with Abbas’s early efforts, Congress passed a resolution describing Abbas as “a credible leader,” and the U.S. promised $350 million in aid to the Palestinian government.
This $350 million aid package includes an astonishing offer: to pay Palestinian terrorists for not attacking Israel. (Joel Hilliker, With Friends Like These …, March-April 2005.)
If such a policy worked and stopped violence would it really be so bad? PCG wants victory not peace.

Hilliker then mentions that some Israeli Jews opposed Sharon's decision to withdraw the Israeli soldiers and settlers from Gaza. Even after admitting that the threat of violence is quite real he condemns Sharon by insinuating that he is somehow showing favor "Muslims" instead of Israeli Jews. By referring to the Palestinians of Gaza as "Muslims" Hilliker obscures the fact that this is about Palestinians. Many Palestinians happen to be Christians or even belong to ancient religions such as the Samaritans.
These Jews are incensed at Sharon. They feel he is betraying their country. Some have responded with civil disobedience—slashing tires of government officials, vowing not to evacuate their homes; even sending death threats (a danger that cannot be ignored, considering the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995). ...
Sharon tells the angry settlers to get over their “Messianic complex”—their belief that they have a religious right to the land. Would he be so bold as to make the same demand of the Muslims who, on religious grounds, seek to evict his race from their soil? (Joel Hilliker, Sharon’s War on (Jewish) Extremism, March-April 2005.)
Gaza is not Israel. It was never annexed by Israel. And because it is not in the internationally recognized borders of Israel it is occupied land and Israel is the occupying power. There are laws about what an occupying power can and cannot do in occupied land. One law is that it is forbidden for the occupying power to settle its own people into occupied land. The settlements are viewed as illegal under international law because they were housed Israelis who were living, not in Israel, but in occupied land. These legal matters are kept away from the attention of PCG's readers.


In an April 4, 2005 article Sharon's decision to withdraw the Israeli soldiers and settlers from Gaza is once again condemned.
Israel’s prime minister, Ariel Sharon, has said Israel is retreating from a position of strength, and he is making the move to increase security for Israel’s population.
It’s hard to see how. (Terrorists Know Israel Is Weak, April 4, 2005.)
In other words PCG never understood why Sharon decided to withdraw. With the settlers and soldiers out of Gaza they could no longer be attacked by Palestinians within Gaza.


In an April 11, 2005 article PCG tried to insist that extremism among the national religious Israeli Jews was not worth investigation. PCG did not want their investigating matters that PCG's dogmas fail to take into account.
A public television documentary in the U.S. last week gave some ironic insight into the challenges of the peace process in Israel.
On April 5, PBS’s Frontline aired “Israel’s Next War?” about Jewish extremists in Israel. These extremists are among those who recognize Ariel Sharon’s plan to vacate the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank as the mistake—the genuine military defeat for Israel—that it is. The problem is, some of them believe in using violence to get their point across—even killing innocent Palestinians. ...
Frontline’s focus on the Jewish extremists—an interesting and worthwhile story, to be sure—demands to be put into the larger context. Those who really threaten “Israel itself” are the Arabs intent on pushing the Jews into the sea—and the Jews intent on bargaining with them along the way. (Frontline Tells Less Than Half the Story, April 11, 2005.)
Saying that the PBS story was "an interesting and worthwhile story, to be sure" seems quite disingenuous considering that PCG rarely ever talks about these things.

Last year a Palestinian family was burned to death after their house was set on fire by extremist settlers. The victims included a baby who burned alive and died in the terrorist attack. The father later succumbed to his burns. The mother died later. This horrifying attacks shows that extremists of whatever religion or race must be monitored and countered to prevent terrible things like that from happening.


In the May 2005 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine Sharon's implementation of the withdrawal is mentioned.
The disengagement plan is a national mission, the likes of which we have not seen before,” said Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz. On February 20, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Mofaz signed the order to evacuate 21 Israeli communities—about 10,000 Jews—in the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank commencing in July.
At the time, the process was projected to take two months. Just weeks later, the plan was reassessed (not for the first time) due to the mountain of resistance expected. The time-frame was cut down to three to four weeks, and 3,000 soldiers were added to the 24,000 security personnel already lined up to take part in the forced evacuation. (Gaza Withdrawal Resistance, May 2005.)

In the June 2005 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine it was asserted that US-Israeli relations were at a low point. PCG wants to believe this is the case in order to insist that their false prophecies that Europe will become the new mediator between Israel and the Palestinians will come true.
It had been quite some time since U.S. President George W. Bush had met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon before they assembled at the president’s Texas ranch in April. Some officials and congressional sources say Bush has actually been avoiding Sharon. Many are characterizing the relationship between the two leaders as strained.(U.S.-Israeli Relations at Low, June 2005.)

In an August 1, 2005 article the withdrawal is condemned once again as a peace making exercise. The withdrawal was never intended to make peace. PCG is wrong on this matter.
Conceived by Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the Gaza withdrawal plan has thus far created more controversy and division than it has peace. In time, the withdrawal will prove to be more than just a significant territorial gain for the Palestinians. (Israel Concedes the Gaza Strip: Still No Sign of Peace, August 1, 2005.)

In an August 18, 2005 article it is asserted that Israel was retreating. In fact Israel has been able to maintain decisive influence over Gaza whenever it pleases. Israel now controls Gaza from without instead of from within as before. Gaza is still occupied by the State of Israel.
The evacuation of these settlements is the first phase of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to retreat from land Palestinians want to establish their own state—a solution that is mistakenly thought will achieve peace in the Middle East. ...
Sharon’s reasoning, it is said, is that this withdrawal will decrease international pressure on Israel and thus make it easier for it to hold on to the West Bank and other territory. Clearly, this is operating from a position of weakness. Israel has lost the pride in its power. (The Tragic Gaza Withdrawal, August 18, 2005.)

In an October 11, 2005 article it is mentioned that Sharon met with Abbas to discuss upcoming elections that were held in January 2006.
In what is seen by some as an SOS, Abbas has agreed to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. If something is not done to quell the fighting and chaos—and stop Hamas from participating in January’s parliamentary elections—the current Palestinian Authority leader knows he could well be out of a job. (Chaotic Palestinian Politics Are About to Get Radical, October 11, 2005.)


In the November 2005 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine Joel Hilliker the evacuation itself is discussed.
In early September, news coverage got swamped with a nation-shaking disaster and a harrowing evacuation in the United States. The event overshadowed another evacuation—possibly just as nation-shaking—that had occurred not two weeks before on the other side of the world. (Joel Hilliker, Israel's Bleeding Wound, November 2005.)
How dare Hilliker compares the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina in which over 1,245 people were killed by that most terrible storm with an evacuation in which not even one person died. Once again we see the moral bankruptcy of "watching" events that supposedly prove the end is soon coming. 
And whereas withdrawal from the Sinai came with a promise of peace by Egypt (which more accurately could be described as a state of non-war), the Gaza withdrawal doesn’t even involve the pretense of a peace agreement by the Palestinians. They have made no commitment to stop their war against Israel. (Joel Hilliker, Israel's Bleeding Wound, November 2005.)
 Sharon never asked for such a commitment when he made the decision to evacuate the Gaza Strip.
Addled and weary, Sharon has trashed his reputation as a warrior, and, like his predecessors, taken a reckless route. He has pushed increasingly daring measures to try to break the deadlock with the Palestinians: building a security wall to separate the Jews from the Arabs; releasing Arab prisoners from Israeli jails—and now the evacuation of Jewish settlements.
Sharon’s reasoning, it is said, is that this withdrawal will decrease international pressure (particularly from the U.S., its primary patron) on Israel and thus make it easier to hold on to the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (Joel Hilliker, Israel's Bleeding Wound, November 2005.)
In other words the settlements in Gaza were given up to reinforce the settlements in the West Bank. All the Israeli soldiers who had to guard the settlers and go on patrol within Gaza now only had to monitor Gaza from without. Israeli soldiers could now be redeployed in the West Bank and elsewhere.


In a November 28, 2005 article it is mentioned that Sharon's decided to leave Likud and establish a new political party, Kadima. In it PCG asserts that peace will never comes until Christ return.
Here is the unhappy truth of the matter, according to Bible prophecy: Any sacrifices the prime minister makes will prove only to strengthen his enemies and weaken his country.
Prime Minister Sharon has promised not to give up the larger settlements in the West Bank or Jerusalem. But his backpedal on the Gaza settlements belies such pledges.
In fact, the history of Israeli politics since the start of the misnamed peace process is strewn with instances of Israel’s leaders going back on promises in desperate hopes of achieving a state of peace.
This is a pivotal moment for Israel. The more impatient Sharon gets—the more eager to make his mark on history—the more devastating it will be for the Jewish state. (Ariel Sharon Moves Boldly Into Danger, November 28, 2005.)
Considering that so many people in the current ongoing conflict have suffered and been killed it must be said that it is a terrible thing to say to people who desperately yearn for peace that there is is no hope until Christ return. How dare PCG tries to rob people of this most precious hope. Peace is possible. Now. We must not wait till Christ returns. We need peace now.


In a December 20, 2005 article Sharon's decision to withdraw from Gaza is inaccurately presented as made in exchange of "empty promises." Actually Sharon made the decision without negotiating with the Palestinians as PCG itself noted in the January 2004 article cited above and as will be noted in a March 2006 quote to be mentioned later. 
The fact is that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon gave the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians because he wanted to bring security to his own population. The pressure on the Israeli prime minister to bring peace to the homeland is intense; Sharon wants to be the man to do it. Sharon’s move to sideline roadblocks like his former Likud party by forming a centrist party, which is drawing politicians that support land-for-peace concessions, points to this reality. Sharon has already shown his willingness, despite vociferous opposition, to make concessions to the Palestinians in return for empty promises. (Hamas Waxes Stronger; Israel Will Pay the Price, December 20, 2005.)

In a December 21, 2005 article it is mentioned that Newsweek reported a source saying Sharon would consider ceding East Jerusalem. PCG constantly insists that Israel will hand over East Jerusalem as a sign that Christ's return is near. PCG asserts that this will be done as part of a peace deal that will lead to Israel's conquest by Europe in the future just before Christ's return.
A favorite for reelection, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his new party, Kadima, created quite the debacle last week when a Newsweek article quoted a senior adviser to the prime minister as saying that if Sharon were to win a third term in office, he is prepared to cede parts of East Jerusalem in pursuit of a final peace deal with the Palestinians. Although Mr. Sharon quickly denied the claim, many papers reminded readers that the prime minister has a history of floating such trial balloons and denying them, only for them to become reality soon after. The Gaza retreat was a prime example.
As the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz noted, “Every political plan for the resolution of the conflict with the Palestinians has also included a change in the borders of Jerusalem” (December 15).
Despite his denials, Prime Minister Sharon has indicated more than once that he would consider relinquishing East Jerusalem. A final peace deal with the Palestinians would be the capstone to a long and arduous career in Israeli politics for Sharon. Should the prime minister be re-elected, he is likely to make massive concessions to the Palestinians.
Even if Sharon loses his fight for a third term, it is still likely that the winner would consider yielding East Jerusalem. As one of the primary candidates opposing Sharon, Labor Party leader Amir Peretz stated last week that his primary goal, if elected, would be to conclude the final peace negotiations with the Palestinians. To up the ante, Mr. Peretz promised to secure the deal within a year. (Are the Palestinians About to Gain Control of East Jerusalem?, December 21, 2005.)

In a December 22, 2005 article it is asserted that Sharon will fail to stop attacks by Palestinians in Gaza. This article links to Arutz Sheva, a right wing Israeli media outlet that caters for national religious Israeli Jews and which is closely associated with the settlers. PCG often quotes Arutz Sheva but has never bothered telling their readers what it actually is.
Yoav Limor, military correspondent with Israel’s Channel One, doesn’t believe Israel will send troops into Gaza to stop the attacks. “Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is not likely,” Limor told Army Radio yesterday, “to endanger practically his sole accomplishment of his term—the disengagement from Gaza—while paying a heavy political, international and even economic price .… Not to mention his bad experience with [Israel’s entry into] Lebanon .…”—speaking of what occurred in 1982 when Sharon was defense minister. (Palestinians Thank Israel for Gaza With Rocket Attacks, December 22, 2005.)
This is an oblique reference to the massacre in Sabra and Shatila in 1982 in which hundreds, possibly thousands, of Palestinian civilians were by Phalangist forces. Israelis soldiers were stationed on the perimeter of the refugee camps as the 36 hour massacre unfolded. Sharon was compelled to resign as Defense Minister after an Israeli investigation concluded he was indirectly responsible. These facts are not mentioned by PCG as far as I know.


In the January 2006 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine Joel Hilliker speculates that Europeans will participate in monitoring a border crossing with Gaza. This is mentioned to insinuate that Europe will somehow become a new mediator between Israel and the Palestinians. This is mentioned as a sign that the end is near. PCG is exploiting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to insist that they can see the future.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon openly hoped that the Europeans would hold authority over the border crossing. In the words of EUBusiness, Sharon “wanted the European representatives to have ‘real powers’ and not be limited to observer status” (Nov. 1, 2005; emphasis mine throughout). Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom concurred: “Our objective is for the Europeans to have enforcement capabilities in the field, and not just a symbolic presence” (EUobserver, Nov. 2, 2005).
With this objective in mind, Sharon accepted the help of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to effect a compromise between the parties. Rice delayed a trip to Asia, hammering hard for an accord. And on November15—as has been the case so many times throughout the heretofore utterly failed peace process—the moldering plank of compromise was placed across the Israeli-Palestinian political divide. (Joel Hilliker, A Borderline Agreement, January 2006.)


A January 6, 2006 article mentions Sharon's stroke. Sharon went into a coma and never woke up. He died on January 11, 2014.
A stroke has suddenly taken the most popular politician in Israel out of office. What is the country’s future in his absence? (Israel After Sharon, January 6, 2006.)
In some ways this article serves as PCG's obituary for Sharon. Here is PCG describing Sharon. PCG says he was very popular in Israel. Even though this article condemns the withdrawal it is still mentioned that "Sharon was so popular within Israel". PCG wanted to favor Sharon.
Sharon had a distinguished and controversial career as a war leader and politician. His prime-ministership, which began when he took over from beleagered Labor leader Ehud Barak in February 2001, was marked by a series of increasingly bold and risky initiatives intended to bring an end to the interminable Arab-Jew stalemate over control of Israel. The two most remarkable of these were the building of a security wall around Palestinian-controlled areas in the West Bank, and the complete withdrawal of the Jewish presence in the Gaza Strip. The latter of those moves was such a radical departure from the principles of Likud (the political party Sharon helped found and then represented), and resistance from within the party was so strong, that in November 2005 he announced his resignation from Likud in order to form a new party, Kadima—meaning “forward.”
Sharon was so popular within Israel that, as soon as the new party formed, polls showed the public flocking to support him. Prominent politicians from Likud and elsewhere joined him. Kadima’s creation effectively splintered support for Likud and Labor, the two main parties throughout Israel’s history. A survey published January 4, conducted by Dialogue for Haaretz and Channel 10, predicted Kadima dominating parliamentary elections scheduled for March 28. Had the poll numbers played out, Sharon’s new party would have taken 42 of the Knesset’s 120 parliamentary seats—blistering Labor, which would have garnered 19 seats, and Likud, only 14. (Israel After Sharon, January 6, 2006.)
Here's another false prophecy.
Sharon’s departure marks the end of big-man, personality-driven politics in Israel. What is likeliest to emerge in Sharon’s absence is a political scene crowded with competing supporting-cast players. The pre-Sharon cacophony of political infighting that swung from one side of the political spectrum to the other—Rabin to Netanyahu to Barak, prime ministerships punctuated by an assassination, no-confidence votes and dissolved governments—is likely to come roaring back, louder than ever. (Israel After Sharon, January 6, 2006.)
In response to Sharon's departure Gerald Flurry proclaimed his favor towards Benjamin Netanyahu, then leader of the opposition Likud Party on January 6, 2006 on his recruitment television program. PCG has constantly favored Netanyahu ever since.


Even after Sharon went into a coma from which he would never awaken PCG continued to criticize his decision to unilaterally withdraw soldiers and settlers from Gaza as may be seen in this Joel Hilliker article.
But don’t take our word for it. Weigh the words of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. He, when campaigning for re-election in 2003, said this about the policy of unilateral withdrawals: “A unilateral withdrawal is not a recipe for peace. It is a recipe for war”—a morsel of wisdom he subsequently forgot.
Israel is about to reap a whirlwind of consequences. (Joel Hilliker, Sharon’s “Third Way”—Sowing the Wind, January 16, 2006.)

After Sharon's Exit

Now that Sharon was no longer active in politics PCG's favor towards him returned. When he is mentioned by PCG afterwards he is often described as being popular among Israelis. It seems likely that PCG's leaders developed a sense of nostalgia for him after he went into a coma. Unburdened by the possibility that he might do something PCG would condemn they chose to favor Sharon. They seemed to have liked him more when he was comatose then when he was Prime Minister.


In the March 2006 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine Gerald Flurry mentions Sharon as being "enormously popular with the Israelis". It is also asserted that Sharon "was preparing to make more unilateral concessions to the Arabs". That contradicts the December 20, 2005 article which asserted that Sharon gave up Gaza for "empty promises". Those two articles cannot both be right.
In the weeks since then, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who was enormously popular with the Israelis and who was preparing to make more unilateral concessions to the Arabs, has been removed from the scene by a massive stroke. And now, terrorism is the official platform in Palestinian politics! (Gerald Flurry, Jerusalem Is About to Be Cut in Half, March 2006.)

In the April 2006 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine Mark Jenkins discussed Sharon. Even though he criticized Sharon's decision to withdraw from Gaza he still called Sharon a "hero". This characterization of Sharon becomes common in PCG's writings.
Instead, he [Ehud Barak] was replaced by Israeli hero Ariel Sharon, the most right-wing leader yet—a sure sign that Israel would take a tougher approach. True to Sharon’s promises, Israel recaptured most of the West Bank, killed the terrorist leader of Hamas, and refused to deal with Yasser Arafat. The peace process appeared comatose. ...
Shockingly, Sharon turned back to the principle of land for peace, deciding to unilaterally withdraw all Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip. Israeli soldiers evacuated about 8,000 Jewish citizens, some of them by force, from settlements in the Gaza Strip and certain enclaves in the West Bank during August and September 2005. The Palestinians thanked Israel by launching Kassam rockets from the newly acquired land into Israeli towns—62 attacks in September alone. The attempt to buy peace with land was again proven a failure.
On Jan. 4, 2006, Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke that left him in a coma with no signs he would ever wake again. (Mark Jenkins, Middle East Peace Process: R.I.P. 1978-2006, April 2006.)

In the May 2006 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine Joel Hilliker mentions the situation in Israel. Although he is quite critical of Sharon's withdrawal from Gaza he describes Sharon favorably as "a warrior-general" and "a popular figure with the Israeli public."

The evacuation from Gaza is emotively described as "one of the most spectacular disasters in Israeli history" even though not even one person died in the evacuation. What an absurd use of the word "disaster". What about the 1,010 Israelis who were killed in the Second Intifada? It is disgraceful to minimize the pain and suffering of their friends and relatives by calling an evacuation "one of the most spectacular disasters in Israeli history". Does this mean PCG values property more than human life? It is just disgusting.

Hilliker also mocks the name of the Kadima Party by mockingly insinuating that the word means reckless.
Israel’s Chapter Two reached its nadir with the prime-ministership of Labor leader Ehud Barak, when Barak offered a breathtakingly deep basket of concessions to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 2000. Arafat refused the offer, and Barak’s government fell apart.
That’s when Ariel Sharon stepped in. Sharon embodied Chapter One—a warrior-general who had fought in every one of Israel’s wars and, despite being dogged by controversy, remained a popular figure with the Israeli public. In 2001 elections, he trounced the floundering Barak to become prime minister on a platform of toughness against terrorism. Once in office, he got straight to work: Retaliating against Palestinian terrorist attacks, Sharon’s government killed over 3,500 Palestinians, including several high-profile terrorist leaders.
But international pressure on Sharon to reignite the peace process grew. Sharon joined various discussions about the issue, and even granted certain negotiated concessions such as releasing Arab prisoners from Israeli jails.
In retrospect, however, it appears the old warrior was only trying to keep outsiders off his back: He never believed peace with the Arabs could be bought. He realized negotiations would be fruitless. At some point, Ariel Sharon decided that, rather than fighting or bargaining, the problem demanded a wholly different approach: just up and solving it.
That is when Israel’s security barrier started going up, and the Gaza Strip evacuation was blueprinted.
As Sharon pushed these unilateralist strategies, friends and allies began to peel away from him—yet he survived several no-confidence motions and repeatedly cobbled together the parliamentary support he needed in order to carry on. Sharon became increasingly convinced of the necessity of a unilateralist strategy—one that would define Israeli borders without Palestinian cooperation. He sought first to pull Israelis out of areas already heavily populated by Arabs—therefore hard to defend; then to fortify the portions of Israel that remained; then to finish the security wall and call whatever lay on the other side a Palestinian “state.”
Members of his own party weren’t so convinced. So finally, Sharon scorched the political landscape to the ground by leaving Likud and founding a new party, Kadima.
In Hebrew it means “forward.” In reality in means reckless.
Sharon’s indomitability and sheer gravitational pull drew into the new party prominent politicians from across the spectrum—as well as a substantial swath of voters desperate for a solution and willing to embrace the unknown.
This was a truly remarkable example of people’s need for leadership, of whatever stripe, as long as it’s strong. Because the droves flocking to Kadima had to ignore the complete failure of its central, revolutionary policy when it was demonstrated to them—in flesh-and-blood reality, in one of the most spectacular disasters in Israeli historyonly three months before. (Joel Hilliker, Israel's Final Chapter, May 2006.)

In an April 13, 2006 article PCG's leaders noticed evidence that Israeli Jews happen to view matters very differently from PCG. PCG got annoyed. PCG says they are friends of Israel but the moment one of them points out that Israeli Jews do not share PCG's views on prophecy PCG gets all offended and angry. Their friendship with Israeli Jews is paper thin when Israelis choose to disagree with PCG's superstitions.
According to [Daniel] Levy, Israel would do well to distance itself from those who suggest that Israel’s problems—specifically Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s demise—could have something to do with “punishment from God.” ...
The Trumpet has written previously about signs of strain in U.S-Israeli relations. America’s friendship with Israel makes the U.S. an enemy of Arabs in the Middle East. Because of this, we have posed the question: Is it possible that Americans will begin to think, Why are we making ourselves such a target over that little country?
Now, it seems, Israel doesn’t even want that friendship. As voiced by Daniel Levy, Israel’s ruling class seems to believe America’s support actually hurts Israel—by hindering it from executing its policy of unilateral withdrawal. ...Furthermore, the mindset that heaps ridicule upon those who would suggest that God has something to do with the fate of Israel will be severely corrected by that same God. He will prove to the Jews—and to all the world—that He does have power over the affairs of men.... (The Growing U.S.-Israel Divide, April 13, 2006.)

In an August 30, 2006 article it is asserted that Sharon bore a "legendary status" within Israel. PCG's favor towards Ariel Sharon is here revealed. This favor exists despite PCG's condemnation of the unilateral withdrawals.
And looking at the political field absent Ariel Sharon—whose legendary status enabled him to somehow keep his ship afloat even in treacherous, uncharted waters—there is nothing close to a consensus candidate who could take Olmert’s place with any kind of mandate to speak of. (Israelis Call on Olmert to Resign, August 30, 2006.)

In the October 2006 issue of PCG's recruitment magazine Joel Hilliker Sharon is mentioned as Israel's "stalwart leader".

Disgustingly the events of 2005-6 are described as "a chambers of horrors" for the State of Israel in a grotesque comparison with the gas chambers in which so many innocent Jews were so cruelly murdered by Hitler's Nazi regime. How dare Hilliker use such a ghastly comparison so cheaply. We need to be careful about these things and respect the memories of the innocent victims. This comparison deserves to be rejected with disgust.
The last 12 months have been a chamber of horrors for the Jewish state.
It was only last summer that Israel undertook the painful project of forcibly evacuating all Jewish presence from the Gaza Strip. In return for gifting the Palestinians this territory, Israelis were treated to the sight of Palestinian terrorist rallies and marches of celebration and victory, with masked gunmen firing assault rifles into the air and burning Israeli and American flags. The different groups made clear their commitment not to disarm but rather to move their armed struggle against Israel to its next battleground: Jerusalem.
Just months later, the entire political scene in the region flipped on its head. In January, Israel’s government plunged into disarray when the nation’s stalwart leader, Ariel Sharon, suffered a massive stroke. Hints of conspiracy still linger concerning what may have triggered this event. His vacant office was filled by Ehud (“we are tired of fighting, tired of winning”) Olmert. The same month, the terrorist group Hamas (“jihad is our path and dying as martyrs for the sake of Allah is our biggest wish”) won an election to become the political voice of Palestinians. (Joel Hilliker, Who Won?, October 2006)

In a May 16, 2007 article it is mentioned that Sharon gave up Gaza to maintain a stronger hold over other areas. The withdrawal from Gaza was not an attempt to make peace. It was a cost cutting exercise.
This was, at least in part, the reasoning former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon used in giving up the Gaza Strip in 2005. In a speech to the Jewish Agency Assembly, he commented, “It is obvious that we do not have the ability to ensure a Jewish majority in every area, and that we have no desire to rule over millions of Palestinians .… At the same time, we are directing the majority of our efforts to the most important areas to ensure our existence—the Galilee, the Negev, greater Jerusalem, the settlement blocs and the security zones” (emphasis ours).
Now, just two years later, “greater Jerusalem” is under demographic attack. Will the Jews succumb there as well? (Jerusalem’s Arab Growth Rate Double Jews’, May 16, 2007.)

And so we see that PCG tends to favor Ariel Sharon. Even though they loathed his decision to withdraw the settlers and soldiers from Gaza they could not help but let their admiration of him as a strong leader and hero appear in their descriptions of him. They say he was popular among Israelis. One wonder if they projecting? Maybe what they meant was that Sharon was so popular among PCG's leaders.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The 92 Day Hunger Strike of Muhammad al-Qiq Continues

Palestinian journalist Mohammed al Qiq has been on hunger strike for 92 days. Reports state that that he is near death.
Three months into his hunger strike, Mohammed al Qiq's form is skeletal. He writhes and groans in pain, his speech is slurred beyond recognition, his vision is fading, and he can no longer hear properly. All signs that he is slowly starving to death.
Qiq, a 33-year-old Palestinian reporter for a Saudi television network accused of belonging to Islamist group Hamas, was arrested by Israeli security forces in Ramallah on November 21. Four days later he began refusing food after being placed under an administrative detention order; a draconian measure that allows prisoners to be held indefinitely without knowing the charges or evidence against them. (Harriet Salem, A Palestinian Journalist is Close to Death, 92 Days Into One of World's Longest Hunger Strikes, VICE News, February 25, 2016.)
This administrative detention is the continuation of a practice from British rule that was in place before 1948. In all that time it has failed to deliver peace. It needs to be abolished.

Recently his lawyer stated that the hunger strike began in response to threats that he would be placed in administrative detention for seven years and that the interrogators would rape him and his family.
Israeli investigators threatened to rape Palestinian hunger striker Mohammed al-Qiq, his wife and children, according to his lawyer, Ashraf Abu Sneineh. 
“In the beginning of the investigation of Mohammed they told him that they will keep him under administrative detention for seven years if he did not confess,” Abu Sneineh told Mondoweiss by telephone Wednesday morning. “He said ‘I have nothing to confess to and I don’t want to continue this investigation in this manner.’ So they threatened to rape him, his wife and his kids.”
After these threats, al-Qiq began his hunger strike, according to Abu Sneineh. (Dan Cohen, Israeli interrogators threatened to rape al-Qiq and his family– so he launched hunger strike, lawyer says, Mondoweiss, February 19, 2016.)
No wonder he went on hunger strike. Unfortunately even after 92 days the Israeli authorities has yet to release him or even present charges against him.
According to Abu Sneineh, Israel has not officially charged al-Qiq because of insufficient evidence, and reliance on intelligence from informants. “They can’t give any proof against him, and even if they tried, he would be released the next day,” she said. (Dan Cohen, Israeli interrogators threatened to rape al-Qiq and his family– so he launched hunger strike, lawyer says, Mondoweiss, February 19, 2016.) 
Since the Israeli authorities cannot be bothered to even bring charges against Mohammed al Qiq should be freed immediately.

Life in Hebron II

The COGs have a very simplistic black and white view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One side is good. One side is bad. One side is viewed as racially white like (in most instances) themselves. And if the side they favor does something unjust it is ignored and tossed into the memory hole.
The Jabari family lives in the Hebron neighborhood of Wadi Al Hussein, between the illegal Israeli settlements of Kiryat Arba and the Giva Ha’avot. Since 2001, the family has been fighting a legal battle to regain control of their land after settlers illegally built a “Synagogue Tent” on it. “Problems started very early but increased after the second intifada. Settlers tried to convince my father to sell the house. My father said no, they threatened him. They said this is Israeli land, not Palestinian. But this is my father’s land, for many generations”, Ayat, one of the Jabari daughters says.

On four occasions since 2008, Israeli courts have ordered the tent to be removed, but after each time the settlers have rebuilt it. The family’s case is still going through the court system.

“When we first came here they [the settlers] stabbed my little brother in the stomach, then hit another of my brothers on his eyes. Another time they pushed my father from the hill and he broke his shoulder. Every day, every night they throw stones at us”, Ayat says. She explains the settlers want the land so they can connect up the different settlements in the city center with those on the outskirts. (Sabrina Tucci, Having a settler for neighbor in Hebron, Mondoweiss, February 23, 2016.)