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March 14, 2003 - Image 35

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-03-14

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PIPES from page 33

SARNER from page 33

one wonder: In a country whose nationals are close to
100 percent Muslim, did Abdel-Hafiz continue his prac-
tice of not investigating anyone who is Muslim?
Apparently he did continue, for there is now a special
inspection under way into the Riyadh embassy's failure
to actively pursue counter-terrorism leads. In addition,
the FBI just days ago returned Abdel-Hafiz to the
United States, put him on administrative leave, and
(according to Fox News) asked the Justice Department's
much-feared Office of Professional Responsibility to
review his conduct. (Among other . things, that office
investigates "allegations of misconduct by law enforce-
ment personnel.")
Special Agent Abdel-Hafiz's actions raise some urgent
and important questions:
• What was the true reason for his alleged unwillingness
to record conversations with fellow-Muslims — a misguid-
ed sense of religious solidarity - or a real fear for his life?
• Does Abdel-Hafiz sympathize with or support militant
• Is he the FBI's only Muslim employee whose religious
bonds apparently trump his oath of office?
• Did the FBI ignore Abdel-Hafiz's rank breach of oath?
• Did the FBI reward misbehavior with a plum assignment?
• Did the FBI bureaucracy lie to cover up its mistakes? If
so, does this fit a more general pattern?
• Is the FBI punishing Robert Wright, its whistleblower
who bravely went public with this story?
• And when will the FBI permit Wright to speak freely
about these matters?
Until FBI Director Robert Mueller fully answers these
questions, Americans cannot rest assured that his agency is
doing all possible to protect them.

for the Jan. 28 Knesset elections. The most ambitious was a
plan by an Islamic Jihad cell in Jenin to detonate four booby-
trapped cars at different locations simultaneously inside Israel.
A week earlier, Border Police aborted a similar bombing
attempt near Wadi Ara when they captured a jeep laden
with 400 kilograms of explosives that the Jihad had dis-
patched for a massive attack.

Svengali theory discounts the same
views by many more powerful officials
— staring with President Bush, Vice
President Dick Cheney, Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and
National Security Adviser Condoleezza
And while some of these Jewish offi-
cials believe deposing Saddam will
help Israel, that is not the core reason
they are so committed to starting what
they believe will be a democratic
domino effect across the region.
Nor is Israel somehow pulling the
Bush administration's strings:
No doubt Israel's leaders would be
delighted to see Saddam deposed and a
more moderate regime installed in
Baghdad. But for many, Syria and a
nuclear-armed Iran are much more
immediate threats. Israeli officials also
have good reason to fear the potential
for an Iraqi attack against their coun-
try in the wake of the expected U.S.
And Israel's enthusiasm for a U.S.


And On And On

In December, three east Jerusalem members of the Islamic
Jihad were charged with planning to launch a missile at a
helicopter arriving at the Knesset and set off a bomb near
the prime minister's residence across town.
The same week, security sources said a terrorist cell had
planned to assassinate former Jerusalem Mayor Ehud
Olmert and to carry out a suicide bombing at the city's
central bus station.
A few days ago, Jerusalem Police Chief Mickey Levy said
that in 2002, there were 41 terror attacks in the city
including 17 suicide bombings, plus 11 attempted suicide
attacks that police thwarted. The week before, National
Police Commissioner Shlomo Aharonishky released figures
for 2002 showing that police foiled 45 terror attacks and
prevented the explosion of 236 bombs inside Israel in some
530 counter-terrorist activities.
In the ongoing battle against Palestinian terrorism, it is a
thin line between success and failure. Nearly 30- months
into this war, as bad as the situation is, Israelis shudder to
think what it would be if not for the country's security
services and their ability to foil so many attacks.
Unfortunately, they did not manage to abort Hamas' dia-
bolical plan for Haifa last week. ❑

war is tempered by questions about
whether the United States will stick
around long enough to finish the job
by building a pro-Western Iraq. If it
doesn't, Israel could be more vulnera-
ble than ever.

The Anti-Jewish Lef t

In 1991, it was the political right, led
by columnist Pat Buchanan, that
sought to portray the war in Iraq as
the doing of Israel and its "amen cor-
ner" in Washington.
But since then the anti-globalization
left has become almost indistinguish-
able from the Buchanan right. And
they have found another point of com-
monality: the malevolent role of Israel
in world affairs.
The fierce reaction against Rep. Jim
Moran didn't occur in a vacuum; it took
place in the context of a growing link-
age between opposition to what could
be a very unpopular and divisive war
and finger pointing directed at Jews.

It occurred as conspiracy theories
about Jewish machinations — about
the war in Iraq, about the space shuttle
Columbia tragedy, about the Sept. 11
terror attacks — proliferate around the
It occurred as frightened Jewish lib-
erals fight both the impending war
and an anti-war movement that
increasingly tolerates overt anti-
Semitism and vehement criticisms of
Israel's very existence.
It occurred as President Bush pur-
sues a war against Iraq without inter-
national support and with very shallow
backing by the American people — a
prescription for bitter divisions at
home and anger abroad.
History suggests that in times of
great polarization, many people will
turn to their favorite villains: the Jews.
Rep. Moran may not be an anti-
Semite, but his statement — reckless
at best, deeply offensive at worst —
suggests that the process is already

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