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First Lady Laura Bush encountered vociferous protests in Jerusalem as she toured the city, trying to use her normally calming and diplomatic presence to encourage Palestinians and Israelis to push for a peaceful, negotiated resolution to the issues facing them. Instead, when she visited the mosque at the Dome of the Rock, militant-led protestors decried the visit in light of the false Newsweek reports of Qu'ran desecration:
Protesters besieged Laura Bush during her visit Sunday to two of Jerusalem's most sacred sites, with Israeli police locking arms to restrain the crowd and Secret Service agents packed tightly around America's first lady. ...
Anti-American sentiment is running high in the Mideast because of a variety of factors, including a now-retracted report in Newsweek that Pentagon investigators had found evidence interrogators at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, placed copies of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, in washrooms to unsettle suspects and flushed a Quran down a toilet.
"We in principle don't reject anyone's visit to the Al Aqsa Mosque (compound), but we see in the visit of Mrs. Bush an attempt to whitewash the face of the United States, after the crimes that the American interrogators had committed when they desecrated the Quran," the militant Islamic Hamas group said in a statement on its Web site.
Not that the Israeli extremists behaved much better at the Wailing Wall:
Mrs. Bush, who is on a tour intended partly to help defuse anti-American sentiment in the region, placed a note in the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest shrine. She wrote the note on the flight Sunday from Jordan to Israel, but wanted to keep the contents private, a spokeswoman said.
Dozens of protesters stood nearby, shouting, "Free Pollard now." Jonathan Pollard, an American Jew who is serving life sentence in a U.S. prison for spying for Israel, was a civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy.
The first lady was mobbed by protesters and local reporters, and Secret Service agents and Israeli police had to physically hold back the crowd as she approached the wall.
Newsweek should take some pride in its accomplishment in dismantling American outreach efforts to moderate Muslims in the Middle East. They appear to have been very effective. As far as Jonathan Pollard goes, the Israelis knew what they were doing when they had him transmit classified material to them. He got what was coming to him, and he gets to live with it. If Pollard couldn't do the time, he shouldn't have done the crime.Sphere It View blog reactions
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» Desecration in Your Eye! from Dadmanly
Newsweek obviously believes desecration is in the eye of the beholder. (Or, they just want to stick it in our eye.) Amazingly, Newsweek editors responsible for an edition that ran in February in Japan, depicts a soiled American flag with its staff brok... [Read More]
Tracked on May 22, 2005 1:01 PM
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