.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Work accident!

From AP:
Health officials say an explosion in the house of a Hamas militant has killed the man and wounded 16 relatives and neighbors.

The Palestinian Interior Ministry says it's investigating the cause of Saturday's blast at the home of Hamas activist Nader Abu Shaban.
Our 2008 self-death count is now at 74.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Cairo University professor wants to ban kisses

From Firas Press (autotranslated, edited)):
Dr. Adel Ashour, Professor of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, announced his desire to establish a Society for the Prevention of Kisses between friends.

Dr. Adel stressed that all scientific research published in major medical journals world were unanimous in serious medical harm caused by an exchange booth by the spread of infection from serious diseases and microbial and viral diseases, notably the skin and comes Especially the young people love and microbial diseases such as the Group of cluster microbes and microbes are found in normal human mouth as well as meningitis and viral diseases carried by Kiss also like Catarrh and leaching, which must not be underestimated where it may affect the cells of lined cells of a brain and produces. By the very high temperature is difficult to control and can be fatal in some cases also mumps and German measles gray and viruses and liver and confirmed that the Assembly membership includes all medical disciplines to explain the ill effects of the earlier opinion and religion in the objectives of this

General Dr. Ismail of Al-Azhar University said that it is known that the teachings of Islam denies the kiss-frame doubles science has confirmed the existence of serious damage to it and the views of citizens on this Assembly to be established between the diverse views of rejection and acceptance

Another PalArab self-death that I missed

PHRMG keeps it own counts and it lists some deaths that were not reported in the Palestinian Arab press. Here's one:


Fa'ed A'mar , 44, married with 8 children, from sineidya-qalqelia 17.04.2008
killed by kidnapping him and putting him in a car and then burning the car while he was in it.

Our count is at 73.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

UAE arrests doctor who surgically restores "virginity"

From DPA:
Police in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) arrested on Wednesday a German doctor of Arab descent for performing hymen reconstruction surgery and illegal abortions.

Police investigation indicated that the 61-year-old gynaecologist carried out the surgery to restore broken hymen for about $1,000), according to a police statement.

The surgery known as hymenoplasty is illegal in many countries in the Middle East and the Gulf where women are required to prove their virginity when they get married.

The surgery is usually done under local anaesthetic.
This is actually not funny - in many Arab countries, a bride may get herself killed if her husband sees no proof of her virginity.

But instead of trying to save the lives of these potential honor victims, the UAE makes it illegal for them to have any recourse.

Photo caption contest

A chicken crosses in front of Palestinian stone throwers standing in an alley during an Israeli army operation in the village of Nilin near Modin, Thursday, May 29, 2008. (AP)

The caption must answer the question: Why did the chicken cross the road?

UAE: "Mixed-sex schools cause cross-dressing"

There is a plague happening in Dubai:
Police in Dubai have arrested several men and women for cross-dressing in what they said was a campaign to preserve the social values of the cosmopolitan Gulf Arab trade and tourism hub, newspapers reported on Monday.

"We have noted an emerging trend of men dressed as women and vice versa in the UAE markets and streets," the Khaleej Times daily quoted Dubai Police Chief Dhahi Khalfan as saying.

"Several men in women's dresses and make-up have already been arrested from shopping malls and residential buildings," he said.

The detainees were being referred to the public prosecutor as part of the one-week campaign called "Preserve Our Social Values", though it was not clear what charges would be brought.

So what exactly has caused these abominations to occur?
Khalfan urged the Social Affairs Ministry to study the reasons behind the trend, which he said could be a consequence of mixed-sex schools.
Yes, that sounds like it.

Apparently Khalfan said a bit more about the spread of the phenomenon and the reasons, and the Arabic-English autotranslation is so funny that I don't want to try to misinterpret it:
Khalfan pointed to the presence of people working in certain occupations, such as some cosmetics centers trousers who come from their country Conduct strange Vicbhon women and behave lesbian, calling those responsible for the importation of employment or entry in scrutinizing these people do not even move their infection.

Khalfan said that the mixing of education among females and males is perhaps the main reason for the spread of this phenomenon, noting that there were studies confirmed that the official rate of 80 percent from the spread of this abnormal behavior in Western nations.

He added that the studies also confirmed that the group was not responsible for the genetic tendency to imitating the girl child and vice versa, demanding control of educational institutions and educating students in schools and universities.

Lyndon Johnson, hero

Two stories came out today about Lyndon Johnson, both showing what a mensch he was.

First, AP has a story on LBJ's feelings towards Israel as revealed in newly-discovered White House recordings:
Tapes of Lyndon Johnson's Oval Office conversations, released to the public for the first time on Wednesday, reveal that the American president had a personal and often emotional connection to Israel.

In the first public presentation of the tapes Wednesday at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Professor Robert Johnson said this connection influenced his policy decisions and helped lay the foundation for the special relationship between the two nations.

"I sure as hell want to be careful and not run out on little Israel," Johnson said in a March 1968 conversation with his ambassador to the United Nations, Arthur Goldberg. The recording was released to researchers on on May 1, according to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, in Austin, Texas.

The tapes document LBJ's growing belief in the importance of Israel throughout his administration.

In a taped conversation from June 25, 1967, about three weeks after Israel defeated three Arab armies, Johnson relates a conversation with Soviet Premier Alexey Kosygin.

"He couldn't understand why we'd want to support the Jews — 3 million people — when there are 100 million Arabs," the president said. "I told him that numbers do not determine what was right. We tried to do what was right regardless of the numbers."

Professor Johnson said, "It's one of the starkest expressions of a moral obligation to Israel that came from an American President."

He said the former president, who died in 1973, had a romanticized view of Israel that paralleled his view of his home state of Texas: a frontier nation filled with self-made men, often misunderstood by the outside world.
Far more impressive was that LBJ saved hundreds of Jews from the Holocaust:
Five days after taking office in 1937, LBJ broke with the “Dixiecrats” and supported an immigration bill that would naturalize illegal aliens, mostly Jews from Lithuania and Poland. In 1938, Johnson was told of a young Austrian Jewish musician who was about to be deported from the United States. With an element of subterfuge, LBJ sent him to the U.S. Consulate in Havana to obtain a residency permit. Erich Leinsdorf, the world famous musician and conductor, credited LBJ for saving his life.

That same year, LBJ warned a Jewish friend that European Jews faced annihilation. Somehow, Johnson provided him with a pile of signed immigration papers that were used to get 42 Jews out of Warsaw. But that wasn’t enough. According to historian, James M. Smallwood, Congressman Johnson used legal and sometimes illegal methods to smuggle “hundreds of Jews into Texas, using Galveston as the entry port. Enough money could buy false passports and fake visas in Cuba, Mexico, and other Latin American countries. … Johnson smuggled boatloads and planeloads of Jews into Texas. He hid them in the Texas National Youth Administration…. Johnson saved at least four or five hundred Jews, possibly more..”

On June 4, 1945, Johnson visited the Dachau concentration camp. According to historian Smallwood, Lady Bird later recalled that “when her husband returned home, he was still shaken, stunned, terrorized, and ‘bursting with an overpowering revulsion and incredulous horror at what he had seen.’”

14 year old Egyptian boy tries to join Gaza terrorists

From Firas:
Egyptian security forces seized a boy from east of Cairo while trying to infiltrate into Gaza through one of Rafah international border points. The Egyptian security sources said the 14-year old boy had been seized during his attempts to cross the barbed wire fence that separates between Egyptian Rafah and Palestinian Rafah.

The boy admitted that he was on his way to Gaza to fight against Israeli occupation forces after seeing the massacres perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinians on TV.
The last paragraph is notable, as it shows the real-life fruits of incitement.

Most adult Arabs are smart enough to know when they are being fed propaganda and know to discount anything that shows up on their news shows. They will pay lip service to the idea of jihad but they will practically let others do the job for them, as they are busier trying to feed their families. Of course, the cumulative effect is still to instill a deep and lasting hatred against Israel, but the over-the-top rhetoric about holy war is ignored by most.

Some, however, take this non-stop barrage of incitement seriously. These would be the ones who are too immature to recognize propaganda as well as those who look at everything in stark black-and-white terms.

And, of course, children.

When they are fed a diet of nothing but hate, leavened with the subtext that all Zionist Jews have no legitimate reason to live in "Arab lands," plus a healthy helping of the promise of paradise for those who die fighting a jihad, it is natural that a number of them will gravitate towards the logical conclusion of this incitement - that it is obligatory for every Muslim to fight the Jews and moreover that it is shameful that most Muslims are not doing exactly that.

These are the results of the non-stop incitement on Egyptian TV against its erstwhile peace partner.

The evil Zionist settler pigs are back

Once again, Ma'an publishes this story with a straight face:
Settlers from the Ariel settlement have dumped wild pigs on Thursday in 'Ein Al-Qabileh neighborhood south of Salfit where they smashed the farmers' plants.

Farmer Mohammad Faleh 'Omran said that the pigs destroyed his tomato seedlings, ruined the earth and trampled on his plants.

Farmer Mahmoud Hassan said that the pigs smashed his apple shrubs and his field at night.

He added that the farmers have killed three pigs among the large herds released by the settlers.
Yes, those Zionists have bred pigs that can distinguish between Arab and Jewish crops. They spend years raising these huge herds of pigs specifically to dump them in Arab villages when they reach just the right amount of maturity. They drive over to the Arab neighborhoods in trucks and dump them there, knowing implanting them with embedded microchips they will leave the village and make their way to Arab farms and cause damage far less than the value of the pigs themselves.

How nefarious can you be?

Previous Zionist pig sightings here, here and here. Oh, and a Zionist lion once terrorized poor Palestinian Arabs as well..

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Palestinian police show off

From AP:
Members of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' security force demonstrate their martial arts skills during a graduation ceremony in the West Bank city of Jericho, where they arrived earlier in the day from Jordan, Wednesday, May 28, 2008. Six hundred members of Abbas' police force graduated in Jordan and returned to be deployed in Jericho Wednesday. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)


Hold on for a minute - did that maneuver reveal some PA police undies?

Either his pants split, or he was really trying to show off for the press.

(h/t Soccer Dad)

Arab boycott not doing too well

From Globes:
Direct exports to Arab countries continue to grow. Exports to Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco were 45% higher in the first quarter of 2008 compared with the corresponding quarter of 2007, the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute reports. It estimates the potential of exports to Arab and Muslim countries which with Israel has no current trade relations at $1 billion. Obviously, realizing this potential is contingent on the regional political situation.

Jordan is now Israel's primary Arab trading partner, after an 85% increase in exports last year. The Export Institute reports that exports to Jordan totaled $102 million in the first quarter, 62% more than in the corresponding quarter. Most exports were metals, jewelry, processed wood products, textiles, and plastics. 1,050 companies exported goods to Jordan at the end of 2007, 8% more than a year earlier. This is the largest number of companies exporting to an Arab country.
Palestine Today reports the raw numbers plus its own inimitable editorial spin (autotranslated):
Despite the Almighty votes claim for activating Arab economic boycott of Israel with a response to its policy of racism against all that is Arab, a report of the volume of Israeli exports to Israel's exports to Arab countries during the first quarter of this year amounted to 145 million dollars, an increase of 48% compared with the same period In 2007.

The report emphasized the importance of the Arabian Gulf region and a market for Israeli products prepared especially in light of the economic boom witnessed by the Gulf Cooperation Council states during the past three years by registering record levels and oil prices.

They expected the volume of Israeli exports to increase trade with Arab and Islamic states to reach one billion dollars during the current year, and include others that did not sign the trade agreements directly with Israel. This has reached the volume of bilateral trade with Arab countries in 2007 through about 410 million dollars.
It is curious that Palestinian Arabs, who so desperately want the barrier between them and Israel to go down so they can get Israeli jobs and money and who are completely dependent on Israeli money for their own industry, are so insulted that other Arab countries trade with Israel.

This is typical, however. Arabs historically always wanted other Arabs to take the hit for their own hate. The same people who wanted the death penalty for selling land to Jews in the 1930s sold land to the Jews themselves, and the Arab leaders who advocated a boycott of Jewish goods and services in 1947 ended up a reign of terror against the Arabs who were hurt by the boycott most.

Hamas smugglers reportedly kill two Egyptian troops

Palestine Press Agency quotes "media reports" as saying:that two Egyptians were killed last night in violent clashes between smugglers and the Egyptian army stationed at the border.

This may have been related to the half-ton of explosives and other arms found by Egypt last night.

Hamas has a monopoly on Gaza smuggling, netting the terrorists organization some $150 million each month in profits.

Israeli Arabs wouldn't want to live anywhere else

Arabs might hate Israel but the ones who live there wouldn't trade their lives for anything else.

From a new survey on Arab/Jewish co-existence in Israel:Do you think that any Arab nation can boast such numbers?

Other interesting findings include that most Israelis would like to see Arabic taught in Jewish schools, and an overwhelming majority of both Israeli Jews and Arabs agreed with the statement, "Israel should be a society in which Arab and Jewish citizens have mutual respect and equal opportunities."

Sounds just like apartheid-era South Africa, right?

Today's Gaza news you won't read anywhere else

Hamas attacked a medical clinic in Rafah. The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced that this is only the latest incident where Hamas has closed down Gaza medical centers and fired health workers, as well as confiscated medicines and equipment.

Jamal Watt, the Palestinian Minister of Religious Endowments, said that Hamas has embezzled many funds meant for charity. Watt said that this is not a crime against his ministry, but against Islamic law. He also complained about Hamas' politicization of mosques in Gaza.

Egyptian forces discovered another half-ton of explosives near the Rafah crossing. The cache included mortars and rockets, already separated into smaller bags for transport through smuggling tunnels under the border.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hundreds of Arabs killed, no one cares

There are some Arabs in the Middle East who have been in a constant state of war against a professional army.

Their food supply has been cut, and they are desperately short on fuel. The government forces have cut all communications links. Hundreds have been killed in a short period of time.

And nobody really cares, because it isn't a Jewish government doing the fighting:
SA’ADA, May 25 — A fifth war between the Yemeni army and Houthis has broken out fiercely in numerous Sa’ada districts, Amran governorate’s Harf Sifyan district and Sana’a governorate’s Bani Hushaish district, leaving hundreds on both sides killed or injured, tribal sources said Sunday, adding that the war is the fiercest ever since fighting between the two sides first erupted in June 2004.

In Sa’ada’s Matra district, believed to be the main stronghold of Houthi loyalists, local sources reveal that government troops have been attacking the area for two weeks, using helicopters, tanks, Katyusha rockets and other heavy weaponry.

The same sources add that the government’s troops are facing fierce resistance by Houthis, thereby hindering them in achieving any notable progress on the ground.

Additionally, there are ongoing bloody confrontations between republican guards and Houthis in Dhahian city, located 8 kilometers east of Sa’ada city, but neither side scored victory.

As a result, government forces were obliged to dispatch more republican guard troops. Backed by helicopters, the newly dispatched troops are fighting fiercely with Houthis in several areas of Haidan district.

This latest war has left hundreds on both sides dead and other hundreds injured in a relatively short time period while the Yemeni government imposes an information blackout on battlegrounds after cutting off all wired and wireless communication means, local sources note.

They express concern about the governorate’s worsening human situation amid shortages in diesel and gasoline supplies and soaring propane gas prices due to the blocking of nearly all roads leading to Sa’ada governorate.

The clashes resulted in food shortages, the closure of markets and the suspension of traffic on the Sana’a-Sa’ada Highway.
I don't know enough about the Houthis to know which side is in the right, but I do know enough to say that most "human rights" groups spend much more time caring about one set of Arabs than any other.

Best metaphor for Iran contest

Recently, Iran's president Ahmadinejad referred to Israel as, among other things, a "stinking corpse." He has also called Israel a "dead rat."

Since we have scientifically proven that Iran's government is much closer to extinction than Israel is, we need to find a better metaphor for Iran than the rather prosaic "stinking corpse."

So, at the suggestion of the illustrious EBoZ, who better than my beloved readers to come up with the best pithy description of the Iranian regime, suitable for use by heads of state?

My initial try was "a maggoty, pus-filled festering wound on the armpit of the world" but that is a mouthful.

Any good ideas?

And, as my brother added,
After that we need a "A World without Persia" conference at Columbia University. Then a cartoon contest to parody the Iranian casualties in the Iran-Iraq war, followed by another conference denying that the conflict even happened.
But first things first. What do we call that sickening excuse for a nation?

Another "mysterious explosion" injures Gaza mom, daughters

PalPress reports:
Palestinian medical sources announced at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City Tuesday morning the injury of a mother and her two children in a mysterious explosion in the Shojaeya district east of Gaza City.
This is the same neighborhood in which a Qassam rocket fell on Saturday.

A real mystery, I tell ya.

Hamas porn filter slowing Gaza Internet service

The "pornography" Internet filter that Hamas had installed for all of Gaza - which probably is also used to spy on the Internet habits of everyone in Gaza - has slowed down all of Gaza's online access to a crawl.

The poor Gazans, most of whom supposedly eat only one meal a day, are having a hard time going online with their computers that run on the non-existent electricity in Gaza.

Hamas admitted that this slowdown was caused by its filtering software and says it is working hard to fix the problem.

Because they are all about customer service.

Terror attack in Jerusalem yesterday?

Palestinian Arab press is reporting that the "Galilee Freedom Brigades" that claimed responsibility for the Mercaz HaRav massacre is claiming to have killed an Israeli in the Gilo neighborhood of Jerusalem in his apartment.

I cannot find any stories about a murder in Jerusalem yesterday.

Hamas contines to arrest and harass journalists

From Reporters Without Borders:
A TV crew working for the German television station ARD was detained on 15 May in Jabaliya, in the north of the Gaza Strip, by Hamas security forces after covering a demonstration organised by members of Fatah, the party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Cameraman Mohammed Al-Arabid and soundman Mwatasam Rashid were questioned for an hour and their equipment was confiscated.

Two journalists working for the Sudanese satellite television station Sudan TV were detained on 24 May in Gaza City while doing a report on what life is like for the city’s population. Reporter Samir Khalifa and cameraman Ahmed Al-Ras were questioned about their employer’s identity. They were suspected for working for the state-owned Palestine Broadcasting Corporation, which is controlled by the Palestinian Authority and has been banned in the Gaza Strip since June 2007. Khalifa used to work for the PBC but had to sever all contact with the station, which now operates out of the West Bank city of Ramallah.

It has been obvious for nearly a year that Hamas does not allow journalists to operate freely in Gaza and that it is now impossible to get objective news out of that area. Hamas harassment and threats of journalists is well documented. Western journalists have all but gone; all that is left are Arabs who fear, justifiably, for their lives.

The biggest example is Ma'an News, which was the single best source for reporting a year ago. Now its reports out of Gaza are carefully designed not to offend anyone in Hamas, to the point where they will continue to report on "work accidents" as being from Israeli missiles even after the terror groups themselves admit that it wasn't.

How can the casual reader know that they simply cannot trust any news that comes out of Gaza as being objective? It is all carefully scrubbed to make a group of murderers happy, yet even the major news agencies don't put caveats in their stories (as they do whenever the Israeli censor slightly limits their reporting.)

It is yet another example of how media bias is sometimes not only from within.

I smell a fatwa coming

Last month, a book was published named "Why We Left Islam: Former Muslims Speak Out". Some predicted that Muslims would get very upset over the cover, which depicts a picture of Mohammed being ripped in half:
Even so, it seems to have sailed under the Muslim radar - until now.

I just saw a story about this book, and especially the cover, in the Palestinian Arab Firas Press.

So it is possible that this issue will percolate up in the Muslim world in the coming weeks.

Gaza crossing roundup

Since my last round-up on May 19, here are some of the things that have happened at Gaza crossings:

May 22 - massive truck bomb at the Erez crossing, killing the suicide bomber but no one else.
May 23: One mortar shot at Sufa.
May 24-25: Several mortars shot at Nahal Oz, three shot at Sufa.

But Hamas and Jimmy Carter want the crossings opened.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Jimmy betraying national secrets?

Once upon a time, strange as it may sound now, Jimmy Carter was the President of the United States. As president, he was privy to a great deal of secret information that he was honor-bound to keep private.

Now, everyone assumes that Israel has nuclear weapons. No one really knows how many, though. Chances are that the United States government does have a much clearer idea of how many such weapons Israel has, and, as Israel is an ally of the US, it keeps mum.

What does one do with a president who, after he leaves office, decides to betray the trust that Americans and their allies placed in him?
Israel has 150 nuclear weapons in its arsenal, former President Jimmy Carter said yesterday, while arguing that the US should talk directly to Iran to persuade it to drop its nuclear ambitions.
This is not some investigative reporter coming up with these numbers, this is an ex-president. As such, they appear to have more inside information behind them.

If a former Israeli prime minister would tell a public venue about US spies found in Israel, or perhaps about US military capabilities and weaknesses discovered during joint exercises, what would be the US reaction? If Tony Blair announced the exact location of US submarines when he was prime minister, what kind of an uproar would that cause? Because this is exactly what Jimmy Carter just did to Israel.

He just gave priceless information to Iran about Israel's nuclear arsenal.

Does this make him a spy? A turncoat? I don't know, but at the very least it should mean that whatever little credibility he still has as a decent human being is now utterly lost.

Hamas mirroring Hezbollah's fiber optic network

Palestine Press Agency reports that Hamas is building its own communications network similar to the private one that Hezbollah built in Lebanon. The network uses a fiber-optic backbone.

A fiber optic network has two major advantages to the terrorists: it cannot be jammed electromagnetically, and it is very difficult to tap. Any attempts to tap fiber optics require a physical presence on the ground, and they are easily noticed and isolated by the network infrastructure.

The Hezbollah and Hamas networks use Chinese components with features (and presumably architecture) built by Iran.

Academic terror supporter update

A couple of stories from this morning from the rarified world of academia....

The British University and College Union (UCU) is slated to debate once again whether they should boycott all things Israeli next week (h/t Global_Freezing). The very existence of Israeli universities - most of whom churn out people whose hatred of Israel rivals some of their British colleagues - is deeply offensive to some British academics, because of the "occupation" or "ethnic cleansing" or perhaps the fact that they are a bit too top-heavy with Jews. Last year the motion was handily defeated but they are back this year, with specific motions considering the "greylisting" of Ariel College, saying that all Israeli universities are "complicit" in murdering Palestinian Arabs, and calling for "twinning" and increased ties with Palestinian Arab institutions.
Not surprisingly, there are also motions for solidarity with Cuba and its "socialist revolution." British academia is still enthralled with the long-discredited positions of the Soviet Union of half a century ago, which could be why they like to call themselves "progressive."

US academics are not immune from their tunnel vision where all things Israeli are evil and all things "Palestinian" are good. David Mumford, a far left academic (who is a donor to MoveOn and ultra-liberal politicians) at Brown University, gained the prestigious Wolf Prize for mathematics given by Israel - and promptly pledged his share of the money to Bir Zeit University and Palestinian Arab causes.

Mumford had previously lectured at Bir Zeit and must have been impressed with how many terrorists that university has generated, including the prestigious "Engineer" who used his chemistry training at BZU to build bombs to kill as many Jews as possible. This is, of course, a very progressive liberal position nowadays.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Carter to EU: Stop being wimps. Defy the US. Support Hamas

Jimmy just takes every opportunity he can to prop up his Hamas pals:
Britain and other European governments should break from the US over the international embargo on Gaza, former US president Jimmy Carter told the Guardian yesterday. Carter, visiting the Welsh border town of Hay for the Guardian literary festival, described the EU's position on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute as "supine" and its failure to criticise the Israeli blockade of Gaza as "embarrassing".

Referring to the possibility of Europe breaking with the US in an interview with the Guardian, he said: "Why not? They're not our vassals. They occupy an equal position with the US."

The blockade on Hamas-ruled Gaza, imposed by the US, EU, UN and Russia - the so-called Quartet - after the organisation's election victory in 2006, was "one of the greatest human rights crimes on Earth," since it meant the "imprisonment of 1.6 million people, 1 million of whom are refugees". "Most families in Gaza are eating only one meal per day. To see Europeans going along with this is embarrassing," Carter said.

While being scrupulously polite to the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, and prime minister, Salam Fayyad, who represent the Fatah movement, he was scathing about their exclusion of Hamas. He described the Fatah-only government as a "subterfuge" aimed at getting round Hamas's election victory two years ago. "The top opinion pollster in Ramallah told me the other day that opinion on the West Bank is shifting to Hamas, because people [i.e., Jimmy - EoZ] believe Fatah has sold out to Israel and the US," he said.

Carter said the Quartet's policy of not talking to Hamas unless it recognised Israel and fulfilled two other conditions had been drafted by Elliot Abrams, an official in the national security council at the White House. He called Abrams "a very militant supporter of Israel". The ex-president, whose election-monitoring Carter Centre had just certified Hamas's election victory as free and fair, addressed the Quartet for 12 minutes at its session in London in 2006. He urged it to talk to Hamas, which had offered to form a unity government with Fatah, the losers.

"The Quartet's final document had been drafted in Washington in advance, and not a line was changed," he said. [Nah, he doesn't sound like a bitter old man who gets ignored by the young whippersnappers who replaced him. - EoZ]

Last night, before a packed crowd at Hay, Carter spoke of his "horror" at America's involvement in torturing prisoners, saying he wanted the next US president to promise never to do so again.

He left an intriguing hint that George Bush might even face prosecution on war crimes charges once he left office.

When pressed by Philippe Sands QC on Bush's recent admission that he had authorised interrogation procedures widely seen as amounting to torture, Carter replied that he was sure Bush would be able to live a peaceful, "productive life - in our country".

Sands, an international legal expert, said afterwards that he understood that to be "clear confirmation" that while Bush would face no challenge in his own country, "what happened outside the country was another matter entirely"

Women screaming at mosque. Helpful Imam prays faster.

From Arab News:
Worshippers at the Imam Malik Mosque in the Al-Rawdah district of Jeddah had their attention drawn to the screaming of women in the mosque’s women section during Isha prayers on Saturday.

The commotion was caused after two men entered the women’s part of the mosque to rob women worshippers, while two of their accomplices stood guard outside. According to eyewitnesses the four men then fled in a blue car.

“My mom went out with two of our maids, my siblings and our driver,” said the 17-year-old daughter of a woman who was robbed. “At prayer time the women and children went to the women’s section, whereas the driver and my teenage brother went to the men’s section,” she added.

“Toward the end of the prayer a youth entered the mosque. He told one of the maids who was taking care of the young daughter that he was looking for his mother,” said the daughter, who asked her name not be published.

She added that the youth then stole some handbags and other belongings.

“When the maid started screaming, a man came in and held her mouth from the back to prevent her from screaming. The gang then fled before anyone could come and help from the men’s section,” she said, adding that handbags containing cash, credit cards and mobile phones were stolen.

Meanwhile, hearing the screams the imam hastened the prayer. However, by the end of the prayer, the four men had fled.

Now, here's an Islamic hero - someone who knows that his prayers are more important than women screaming in your own mosque, and they must be finished no matter what. It doesn't matter why the women were screaming - they might have been stabbed, too - all that matters is that the prayers get done properly.

But, in extenuating circumstances, they may be rushed a bit.

Poll: Iran inching toward collapse

A recent poll suggests that, nearly thirty years after the Islamic revolution in Iran, the Iranian regime is moving toward collapse.

Over 99.8% percent of the 2672 votes in an Elder of Ziyon online poll are of the belief that after the Islamic revolution in 1979, which started an Islamic regime responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands, the regime's power is nearing collapse.

(For more exposition, see my previous entry.)

Utterly unscientific poll

I saw the Iran's PressTV had a poll that they reported on in this way:
A recent poll suggests that after 60 years of the Zionist occupation of the Palestinian territories, Israel is moving toward collapse.

Over 50 percent of the 2255 respondents to a Press TV online poll are of the belief that after 60 years of the establishment of Israel, the regime's power is nearing collapse.
The only people who participated in this poll are the ones who look to gain their news from a censored Iranian news site online.

So, in the interests of fairness, I am placing a similar poll on my site. Feel free to vote multiple times because it is all meant for pure propaganda anyway.

Enjoy!


Utterly Unscientific Poll
Do you think that the Iranian regime will collapse?



Yes
No
I don't know













UPDATE: At the moment, the 352 votes say that Iran is doomed, and zero say otherwise. I will make the results "official" when we get 2255 votes, to make it exactly as authoritative as Press TV's poll.

Bahrain making overtures to Jews they kicked out?

Firas Press quotes Bahrain's quasi-governmental Al-Watan newspaper as saying that over the past six months, Bahrain has been quietly contacting the families of Jews who left Bahrain in the 1950s and offering to restore their citizenship.

Notably, one of the very few Jews left in Bahrain was expected to become Bahrain's ambassador to the US earlier this month.

More Palestinian Arab news you won't read anywhere else

The Palestinian press is buzzing over a package sent to Palestinian "prime minister" Salam Fayad which contained a powdered substance. His guards opened it and went to the hospital for treatment. It is being called an assassination attempt by at least one newspaper. One of the guards was sent abroad for treatment.

Egypt is reported to have discovered and sealed 12 more smuggling tunnels.

Iran pledged to increase support for Hamas and to send it more sophisticated weapons, even if there is an Israeli/Syrian peace treaty.

Iraqi mothers refuse to let Jews save their children's lives

Here is a follow-up of last week's story about Iraqi opposition to Israelis saving their children's lives - for free. From the Sunday Times:
The parents of Iraqi babies with congenital heart problems are facing a dilemma: should they allow their children to be treated in Israeli hospitals when they have been brought up to believe that Israel is their mortal enemy?

Hostility towards the Jewish state in Iraq is so strong that many parents refuse to travel to Tel Aviv for free life-saving hole-in-the-heart surgery.

Some accept the offer but never reveal where their children were treated, even though the operation has not been available in Iraq since its leading cardiac clinic burnt down after the American-led invasion in 2003.

Other parents are seeking treatment elsewhere in the Arab world, despite prices of up to £15,000 for heart surgery in private clinics. They fear the stigma of being treated in Israel.

Aria, an 18-month-old baby from Kirkuk in northern Iraq, was waiting to return home last week after a successful operation at the Edith Wolfson medical centre in Tel Aviv, where 11 Iraqi children are being treated. The surgery is sponsored by Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), a humanitarian organisation founded in Israel in 1996 and supported by private sources, including Christian charity groups.

Aria’s young mother, Paiman, paid tribute to the clinic and the surgeon, Dr Lior Sasson, saying: “He saved little Aria’s life.”

However, the parents of other Iraqi children in urgent need of surgery said they had rejected free treatment when they heard it would be performed in Israel.

Sara, 2, needs surgery for a defective heart valve. After taking her from Iraq to neighbouring Jordan for preliminary tests, her mother, Shatha, 37, turned down treatment at the Wolfson centre. She said she had had no idea before she left for Amman, the Jordanian capital, that the operation would be in Israel.

“We’ve been foes of Israel since before we were born. We firmly believe that they are our enemies. You can’t change this overnight,” she said.

She is now planning to have the operation performed in Algeria instead: its government agreed to pay for 14 Iraqi children to be treated there rather than be sent to Israel.

Shatha’s friend, an Iraqi Kurd from Kirkuk who was too afraid to give her first name, also travelled to Jordan so that her son, Ahmed, could be assessed for a heart operation. She too turned down the free treatment offered by SACH.

Now I can sleep with a clear conscience. I’m able to hold my head up high and not be ashamed by having my son treated in Algeria,” she said.

The opposite view was taken by Mohammed, a 37-year-old Kurdish aid worker, whose daughter Souz, 22 months, needed urgent heart surgery. He borrowed thousands of dollars to pay for treatment in Iraq and Jordan, but the doctors there told him there was nothing they could do for her. When he heard she could be treated in Israel, he did not hesitate. She has now had surgery and is making a good recovery.

“I can honestly tell you that I didn’t worry for a moment about where or who will operate on my daughter,” he said. “Nor did I worry about the reaction of my family and relatives. Anyone who blames me should put themselves in my place and live for nearly two years watching his daughter die in front of his eyes, and then tell me what he’d have done.”

His wife, who accompanied Souz to Israel for the operation, added: “The doctors were helpful and understanding, and were sympathetic to our suffering.” She had not been charged anything and would be able to return home with the £1,000 given to her by her husband.

Apprehension about a hostile reaction in Iraq is common among families who opted for treatment in Israel.

The mother of Mustafa, 4, from Kirkuk, who has undergone two heart operations in six months, said: “My only fear, which spoils my joy at my son’s escape from death, is the revenge my family can expect when we go back to Iraq.”

Simon Fisher, the Liverpool-born executive director of SACH, said: “We welcome every child in need regardless of origin.”

Visit the Save a Child's Heart charity website

UNRWA head compliments Hamas

Palestine Today reports that the UNRWA Commissioner-General, Karen Abu-Zayd, complimented Hamas yesterday, saying, "[Hamas] has displayed good organization and discipline .. crime rates have plummeted, and clearly there is no longer the fear of being kidnapped among the staff of relief organizations [in Gaza.]"

She said that Hamas' strength in Gaza is because of "international isolation," blaming the world community for Hamas' strength and saying that it is more popular than ever.

Abu Zayd also stressed that there are no direct contacts between UNRWA and Hamas and they only cooperate in technical areas.

It appears that she did not say anything about Hamas confiscating fuel meant for UNRWA, but then again, she was speaking from Gaza where the UN workers supposedly have no fear anymore because of Hamas' benevolent rule of law.

There is no trace of this speech on the UNRWA website. The latest thing that she is quoted about on that website is her effusive praise of Palestinian Arab "refugees" in the context of a photo exhibition celebrating their life before the "Nakba" where she parrots the Palestinian Arab version of the events of 1948.

One more for the count

I just saw that one of the people injured in a "work accident" last month succumbed to his wounds a few days later.

So our 2008 PalArab self-death count is at 72.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Palestinian Arab site links to anti-Hamas censorship software

On May 15th, Hamas started blocking pornographic sites from sections of Gaza. It can be reasonably assumed that if Hamas is making deals with the Internet service providers in Gaza, that they are also watching where people are surfing to use against them later.

In response, the anti-Hamas Firas Press site put up a link to software that can get around the Hamas censorship and can also anonymize Web surfing. I don't know how good that software is,but apparently it was written to get around Chinese censorship of the Web.

(Two days ago, Firas was hacked, possibly by Hamas sympathizers.)

Firas just did more for freedom for Gaza citizens in one day than any number of "human-rights" groups have done in years.

Another Qassam falls short, injuring PalArabs

Firas Press and Palestine Press Agency both report:
A number of citizens were injured after the fall of a rudimentary domestically manufactured missile on a Palestinian house in the Al-Shojaeya neighborhood east of Gaza City.

Eyewitnesses said, "The 'missile' missed its target and landed on a house, which led to the injury of a number of citizens."
Earlier in the day Ma'an reported that Israel had shot artillery shells at a Qassam cell in that same neighborhood, injuring some people; chances are that this was the real incident.

Something to remember when Hamas claims that Qassams are meant to "defend" Palestinian Arabs....

Friday, May 23, 2008

May 21, 1948 Arab leader: "War is peace"

One of the best examples of 1984-style doublespeak comes courtesy of Arab League Secretary General Azzam Pasha, whose comments have to be seen to be believed:



How many lies and absurdities can be fit in such a short article?

War is peace, Jews will invade all Arab countries, Jews would never offer citizenship to Arabs and would never treat them as well as Arabs treat Jews, and many more.

And yet we see the exact same lies being given, with an equally straight face, by Azzam Pasha's spiritual heirs.

Another PalArabic news site hacked

Yesterday, Firas Press published an article saying that they had suffered cyber-attacks before and were not going to cower in the face of such activities.

Last night the site went down and has not recovered since.

A few weeks ago the Palestine Press Agency site was hacked and was down for a while. They have a similar anti-Hamas orientation as Firas.

It looks like the Hamas script kiddies are restless.

Anti-semitism disguised as "Palestinian Unity" in Anaheim

Recently, Anaheim hosted the Sixth International Al-Awda Convention, where Palestinian Arabs worldwide converged to talk about their "right of return" and the "ethnic cleansing" that was inflicted on them.

It is striking how much Jew-hatred can occur without the single mentioning of the word "Jew." It is also interesting to contrast how Palestinian Arabs speak to each other, how Palestinian Arab Muslims speak to each other and how they speak to the Western world.

For example:
The highlight of the Al-Awda convention was the evening banquet featuring Bishop Atallah Hanna and Chief Justice Sheikh Taiseer Al-Tamimi.

"Palestine is and will be Arab until the Day of Judgement," said Sheikh Taiseer. "Occupations come and go but Palestine persevered and maintained its Arab-ness. Palestinian cities will remain forever Arab."
This is an interesting assertion. "Palestinians" often claim to the West that they are the original habitants of the land, descended from the Canaanites. The Canaanites were not Arab, and Palestine was invaded by Arabs in the wake of the dawning of Islam.

But in a room full of Arabs, that narrative disappears.
Bishop Atallah echoed Sheikh Taiseer's words, underlining that Palestinians -- both Christian and Muslim -- are "one nation, one people". "Today we emphasise that the right of return is as holy as Jerusalem. It is inalienable, non- negotiable, and sacred," said Bishop Atallah. "The occupation failed at killing the resistance and the evidence is you," he added.
When they talk to a Western audience they take pains to say that the Jews who lived in Palestine continuously since the days of the Second Temple are also "Palestinian" and would have the same rights to the land as they do. But in a room full of Arab Christians and Muslims, the Jews' rights to this land literally disappear.

The convention also attracted its usual non-Arab supporters:
Richard Becker, a founder of the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition expressed his "full solidarity" with the Palestinian people. Becker told the audience, "No empire built on oppression is stable", adding, "No empire lasts forever."

"We stand in solidarity, we stand in awe of you, we are inspired by you," said John Parker of the New York-based International Action Centre. "From the river to the sea, we will not stop until all of us are free."

The convention featured a number of prominent speakers including Ilan Pappe, a leading historian on the Middle East. Pappe called "Zionist ideology" the motivating force behind the Nakba, adding that now, unlike in 1948, "we know what Zionism is all about, we understand the strategy of Israel." He described the Nakba as ethnic cleansing.

And here's a nice piece of doublespeak:
Saree Makdisi, professor of English and comparative literature at the University of California, Los Angeles, spoke about achieving a democratic, secular, multicultural state that gives equal rights to all its citizens. "Zionism represents exclusionist claims and separations. We must keep repeating to people that Israel is not a secular state and does not treat its citizens equally," said Makdisi.
No one seriously believes that a Palestine would be any more secular and inclusive than any other Arab state, and the other speakers (as well as the "Palestinian constitution") make clear that this state would be "Arab," and even Muslim, not multi-cultural.

Yet, as Makdisi points out, the point is not a reflection of the reality of how yet another Arab State, but rather a talking point to "keep repeating to people."

Salman Abu Sitta called the Nakba the "largest, longest operation of planned ethnic cleansing in history". He called it the 90th year of the longest war against a single people. Abu Sitta described Zionist objectives as threefold: conquering, eliminating and destroying Palestinian history. Abu Sitta said that today Palestinians number seven times more than they were in 1948. "In this open conflict, we haven't surrendered," he said. He called Gaza the biggest concentration camp in the world. "I call it the new Auschwitz," said Abu Sitta.
Among friends, it is easy to be inconsistent ("ethnic cleansing" vs. the Palestinian Arab population explosion) as well as clearly anti-semitic in equating Gaza to Auschwitz.

And, standing in the United States, what are the means that need to be used to overthrow the Zionist regime?

Asad Abu Khalil, professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus, and author of The Angry Arab blog, spoke about new dangers in the Arab world, including how Zionism has won allies among nearly all Arab regimes. "After 60 years, we should be aware how Zionism has its tentacles throughout Arab media and government," said Abu Khalil. He said the battle against Zionism could only succeed if launched against Arab regimes in their alliance with the US.

Despite the successes of Zionism, Abu Khalil added, there are signs of its failures. "The 2006 war on Lebanon revealed a path of struggle against Israel that can be mounted if joined by Arabs -- not regimes -- of different countries."

So use politics to weaken US influence and use war to eradicate Jews from the Middle East.

Bishop Atallah said that what makes Jerusalem a unique city is its religious diversity. Muslims go to mosques and Christians go to churches, he said, praying for one God and "asking Him to relieve their oppression and to give them freedom."

Bishop Atallah travelled to the US from Palestine to attend the Al-Awda convention along with Chief Justice Sheikh Taiseer Al-Tamimi. Both religious leaders came to address the importance of the right of return and to emphasise strong unity among Palestinian Christians and Muslims.

"My presence with Sheikh Taiseer is a focus on our unity," said Bishop Atallah. "Our religions can never divide us. We are proud of both Christians and Muslims."

What word is missing here? Yes, the good archbishop does not foresee Palestine nor Jerusalem as including any members of a certain third religion, let alone any others.

This is the Palestinian Arab definition of "diversity" - one that includes only Arabs.

And when Muslims get together, any mention of Christians similarly disappear, as they emphasize the Islamic aspects of Palestine.

All of the pretenses of equal rights, of desiring peace, of multiculturalism, of negotiations - they all get stripped away when Palestinian Arabs speak amongst themselves. To them, Israel is just a temporal anomaly, and better that their people should suffer for centuries hence than to accept the existence of any non-Arabs - and especially Jews - on what they consider Arab lands.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hamas losing its mojo?

Palestine Press Agency reports on internal Hamas fears of its collapse.

According to the article, Hamas commissioned its own investigation into its current problems in Gaza. It appears that Hamas has lost much of its popularity, and can no longer create huge "spontaneous" rallies and protests as it used to, as the people of Gaza are not cooperating any more (autotranslated, cleaned up):
The Palestine Press News Agency received a special document prepared by the leadership of Hamas several weeks ago which confirmed an investigation regarding the failure of the movement to mobilize the masses to participate in organized events, having witnessed the last months the case of absolute failure of many of the events especially marches that were advocated by the movement at the sector level, not only failure by the leadership of the call at rallies, but was at the level of participation in the funerals of martyrs and events to protest at the blockade organized by Hamas movement.

The results of the investigation included: --

Internal reasons: --

* Large numbers of Hamas members are primarily concerned with their positions in the government official article [local?], which led to concern about participation and interest in national action.

* Retreat of the role of mosques in the polarization of the elements and lack of accountability about the reason for absenteeism.

* Widespread frustration among the elements of Hamas and the feeling of the majority of discrimination in jobs and government appointments, which led to a sense of injustice and unfairness.

External causes: --

* Movement of the situation facing subside away from the masses, which led to considerable decline in traffic relationship with the Palestinian street in the sector.

* Movement lost the broad categories of public [relations?] as a result of the negative elements.

* The Palestinian people now feel that they are the only victims of the siege and those who belonged to Hamas members not affected by this blockade on the Palestinian people in terms of salaries and financial support and provide them with food by the movement in the late hours of the night at their party affiliation.

* Fuel crisis in light of Hamas members and leaders driving luxury cars, thus provoking massive citizen anger, who suffers from severe fuel crisis.

* Citizens no longer believe in slogans brought by the movement before the military coup, such as "Reform and Justice," security and movement became the worst conduct exercises the authority of Fatah.
PalPress is a fervently anti-Hamas news source, and it reports rumor as fact (although it has been remarkably accurate about many stories.) It is possible that this report was purposefully "leaked" by Fatah.

But it is possible; parts do ring true and we have not seen any massive pro-Hamas rallies in a while. It doesn't look like Hamas is losing its grip on power, though; on the contrary it is consolidating power throughout Gaza and eliminating competition.

Still, I was getting very skeptical about the efficacy of Israel's reduction of basic services to Gaza, and the chances that it would turn ordinary Palestinian Arabs against Hamas. This indicates that maybe, but only maybe, it is having an effect.

The first victim of the Gaza fuel crisis

Firas Press reports that a man stabbed his brother to death in a fight over a container of cooking fuel.

The 2008 PalArab self-death count is now at 71.

The "Peace Index" - Moonbattery masquerading as statistics

Yesterday a group called the "Economist Intelligence Unit" came out with a ranking of world countries based on how "peaceful" they are (h/t Michael Fridman for the link.) The US came in 97th out of 140 countries, and Israel came in 136th. It was heavily covered in newspapers worldwide.

They have a very elaborate methodology, taking into account many different factors. The factors themselves seem to be the product of an interesting mindset.

First, they try to make it sound like it is entirely the result of rigorous statistics:
Twenty-four indicators of the existence or absence of peace were chosen by the panel, which are divided into three key thematic categories. Many of the indicators have been "banded" on a scale of 1-5; qualitative indicators in the index have been scored by the Economist Intelligence Unit's extensive team of country analysts, and gaps in the quantitative data have been filled by estimates. Indicators of quantitative data such as military expenditure or jailed population have been normalised on the basis of:

x = (x-Min(x)) / (Max (x) - Min (x))

Where Min (x) and Max (x) are respectively the lowest and highest values in the 140 countries for any given indicator. The normalised value is then transformed from a 0-1 value to a 1-5 score to make it comparable with the other indicators.
Then they go into the specific indicators, which sound sort of reasonable until you dig in a little bit. They measure things like:
Number of external and internal conflicts fought: 2001-06
  • Estimated number of deaths from organised conflict (external)
  • Number of deaths from organised conflict (internal)
  • Level of organised conflict (internal)
  • Relations with neighbouring countries
  • Level of distrust in other citizens
  • Number of displaced people as a percentage of the population
  • Political instability
  • Level of disrespect for human rights (Political Terror Scale)
  • Potential for terrorist acts
  • Number of homicides per 100,000 people
  • Level of violent crime
  • Likelihood of violent demonstrations
  • Number of jailed population per 100,000 people
  • Number of internal security officers and police per 100,000 people
  • Military expenditure as a percentage of GDP
  • Number of armed services personnel per 100,000 people
  • Volume of transfers (imports) of major conventional weapons per 100,000 people
  • Volume of transfers (exports) of major conventional weapons per 100,000 people
  • UN Deployments 2007-08 (percentage of total armed forces)
  • Non-UN Deployments 2007-08 (percentage of total armed forces)
  • Aggregate number of heavy weapons per 100,000 people
  • Ease of access to small arms and light weapons
  • Military capability/sophistication

Then they weight it according to various factors.

The problem is that many of these "indicators" are purely subjective, and when subjective criteria are used to come up with objective data, the results are anything but objective.

In the case of Israel, their breakdown shows exactly where they go wrong. For example, here are some rankings where Israel did poorly according to the EIU:
Level of distrust in other citizens
Qualitative assessment of level of distrust in other citizens. Ranked 1-5 (very low-very high) by EIU analysts
Israel got a 4, on a purely subjective guess based on little knowledge.

Similarly:
Ease of access to weapons of minor destruction
Qualitative assessment of the ease of access to small arms and light weapons. Ranked 1-5 (very low-very high) by EIU analysts.
Israel got a 3 (out of 5). Unmentioned are any controls around the access to these weapons or training in their use, as Israel's handgun deaths are quite low.

Level of organised conflict (internal) - 4
Qualitative assessment of the intensity of conflicts within the country. Ranked 1-5 (very low-very high) by EIU analysts

Respect for human rights - 4
A qualitative measure of the level of political terror through an analysis of Amnesty International's Yearbook.

Potential for terriorist acts - 4
Qualitative assessment of the potential for terrorist acts. Ranked 1-5 (very low-very high) by EIU analysts
Any time it says "qualitative assessment" it is using a fancy word for "guesses based on reading newspapers and Amnesty International reports."

Number of armed services personnel per 100,000 people - 5
Active armed services personnel comprises all servicemen and women on full-time duty in the army, navy, air force and joint forces (including conscripts and long-term assignments from the Reserves)

Aggregate number of heavy weapons per 100,000 people - 5
Source: Bonn International Centre for Conversion (BICC)

Military capability/sophistication - 5
Qualitative assessment of the grade of sophistication and the extent of military research and development (R&D) Ranked 1-5 (very low-very high) by EIU analysts
See the problem here? Thius august group makes an assumption that any country that has a large and sophisticated military must be, inherently, non-peaceful. The logical fallacy of these assumptions are staggering, yet escape this think-tank.

The basic thinking of this group is that armies are inherently evil. This is breathtakingly stupid.

But there is a patina of objectivity around this extraordinarily flawed, and simply wrongheaded, analysis. The media is quick to lap these sorts of things up as if they have any real value.

Even more ironically, the EIU says that one of the biggest reasons for having such an index is to help businesses decide where to set up shop:
Business benefits greatly from an environment of peace. Understanding the attributes of peace allows governments to better understand what they can do to improve the business environment This knowledge allows business to make more confident investment decisions on the basis of actual and predicted stability in a community or nation.
They are pretty clearly saying that companies that choose to do business in Israel are idiots, because of their pseudo-scientific rankings.

Now, who do you trust more to make business decisions: a group that includes Google, IBM, Motorola, Microsoft and Warren Buffet, or the EIU?

The EIU has been doing this sham for a few years now, and one would think that they would adjust their sacred methodology to account for what is obviously a ridiculous conclusion, that Israel is less peaceful than most African nations where tens of thousands die monthly. But they get lots of press, and no one calls them on their basic methodological flaws, so why not keep it going?

Hamas digging weapons tunnels underneath schools

Palestine Press Agency reports that Hamas is furiously digging tunnels in anticipation of an Israeli invasion of Gaza.

The tunnels serve two purposes: to hide caches of weapons and explosives, and to provide an escape route for Hamas leaders through Rafah.

The source quoted mentions that no matter what happens during any Israeli activity, Hamas plans to declare themselves "victorious conquerors" as soon as the IDF leaves by claiming that they "repelled the aggression in Gaza."

The article is unusually specific as to exactly where these tunnels are:
1. Hamas has been digging a tunnel under the house of one of their Qassam Brigades commanders named "Ismail Astal", leading to the ground under Khalid Hassan Secondary School for Boys in Khan Younis and a branch to a school for boys in Bani Suheila, another branch To the house of a Qassam leader Omar Al-Astal, this tunnel will continue to the house of another named Abdel Hamid Al-Astal. All these tunnels under the ground connected with each other.

2. The Hamas militia dug a tunnel in the house of another person named Ashraf Fahmi Al-Astal, an executive officer of the Hamas, and branches go to the Farhana School for Girls near the police station in Khan Younis and then to Haifa prep school for girls will go to the house in charge of internal security of Hamas in the south Ahmed "duck" (autotranslation.] Also, these tunnels have other ramifications associated with each other and continuous network under the ground.

3. The Qassam Brigades militia group is digging tunnels inside Gaza City and other provinces, including: a tunnel carved in the city of Arafat's police "Passport" to lead the Islamic University and another tunnel from the seat of government house in Gaza did not know its destination yet.
We have seen before that Hamas has dug bunkers and tunnels under even UNRWA schools, and they have fired rockets from schools as well, so this is more than plausible.

The dangers of "peace" with Syria

As I mentioned yesterday, during the NORPAC trip to Washington a congressman asked my group what we thought of the news about the negotiations between Israel and Syria.

My answer, after stressing that this was not NORPAC's position, was that I was extremely skeptical about the sincerity of Syria in wanting peace. I pointed out that the Syrian border was the quietest of all Israel's borders and the borders where Israel made compromises for "peace" were the ones where there was the least peace. I mentioned the possibility that Iran is really behind this "peace" offer, and if Syria could gain the Golan through negotiations then it effectively puts Iran's troops at Israel's doorstep, giving them a huge advantage in conventional warfare, let alone speaking about their unconventional warfare aspirations.

My brother EBoZ added that with Iran sponsoring Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas, this would surround Israel with its most implacable foe.

Another member of my group pointed out that Arabs look at Israel as an aberration in the Middle East, and that they are very patient because in their view Israel will simply not exist in the long term. Indeed, I added, the internal Arabic press considers the sixty years of Israel's existence to be similar to the Crusades, when the Muslims ultimately regained control of Jerusalem and other areas.

The congressman seemed a little surprised but had no other comments.

Soccer Dad pointed out to me a YNet article saying that there is no way that the two sides will agree and to "relax." While he says that he thought the article was too optimistic, he recalls how previous negotiations over Syria (especially under Netanyahu) have broken down in the past over Syria's intransigence.

Perhaps. But the most uncomfortable part of yesterday's events in Washington came when former Knesset member and minister Dan Meridor, in the midst of a rousing Zionist speech and after hearing many senators and congressmen talking about their support of new versions of the Syria Accountability Act, stated as fact that Israel would have to make painful concessions to Syria (without mentioning it by name.)

This was greeted with complete silence and at least two "boos."

Jordanian media against freedom of speech

From Arab News:
A coalition of Jordanian media outlets, professional syndicates and political parties plan to launch a national campaign on June 10 for the boycott of Danish and Dutch products to protest anti-Islam moves in the two European countries, organizers said yesterday.

The campaign, entitled “The Messenger Unites Us,” came into existence after a dozen of Danish papers reprinted blasphemous cartoons in February.

The controversial pictures were originally printed by the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten in September 2005, sparking a spate of protests across the Arab and Islamic worlds. Dutch products were recently added to a list of blacklisted Danish goods after Dutch MP Geert Wilders released a short anti-Islam film on the Internet in March.

...
He pointed out that the campaign would include highway billboards, posters, printed T-shirts, bumper stickers and the like “to inform consumers not only to boycott foods but anything associated with Denmark and the Netherlands such as airlines and shipping agencies.”

Campaign organizers also decided to institute legal action against those involved in “demeaning the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him),” arguing that their behavior violated the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and several articles of the Jordanian Penal Code.
So if the Jordanian media themselves support persecuting people exercising freedom of speech, how much can you trust what they publish as being the truth?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Today we really had a "Zionist-Occupied Government"

Today, I am attending the annual NORPAC mission to Washington. Some 900 committed Zionists came down to speak to virtually every Senate and Congress office, sometimes to the congress members themselves and sometimes to their aides.

Before and after the meetings we are hearing speeches from some of Israel's best friends on the Hill. Most of them sound more pro-Israel than Kadima.

My group had three meetings. The first two were with aides, who politely listen and take notes about the specific legislation we are asking them to support.

The third meeting was with a Representative of a western state who was very friendly. His first question to us was to ask my opinion of the Syrian/Israeli talks reported this morning.

It is a very empowering feeling to be able to have a conversation with a member of the US House of Representatives about a topic you feel strongly about.

The halls of Congress were filled with yarmulka-wearing advocates for Israel today. The leaders just announced that because of our visits today the sponsor of one of the bills we are backing got many phone calls from people we met asking to co-sponsor the bill (one to make it harder for Iran to get foreign investments.)

It has been a long day but it is a rewarding experience, knowing that we can make a difference.

When detente is better than "peace"

Israel and Syria have started "peace" talks in Turkey.

At the moment, Syria's stance against Israel is entirely passive-aggressive. Everything that it has been doing - arming Hezbollah, building a nuclear weapons site, hosting terror groups - has a veneer of deniability, no matter how implausible. Which means that any agreement to stop those activities is essentially unenforceable, because they cannot be officially monitored.

On the other hand, the Syrian/Israel border has been Israel's quietest border since 1973. Israel's annexation of the Golan was perhaps the best move Israel has ever done for its own security, and military experts are unanimous as to the huge strategic importance of the Golan to Israel.

In other words, Israel's "illegal occupation" of the Golan has created more real peace than any number of compromises that Israel has made for what the world calls "peace."

Any embarkation of negotiations - or indeed, and change of a status quo - needs to be preceded by a calculation of the upside versus the downside. There is no way that Syria will agree to a peace agreement without getting the Golan back, placing much of Israel's population - not to mention its water supply - at great risk.

What's the upside? Is there any realistic chance that Syria would ditch its Iranian sponsor, abandon Hezbollah, stop incitement against Israel and become friends with the US?

If Syria wanted to get into the US orbit, it could do it without the Golan, and Syria has no threats from Israel as long as it doesn't make any aggressive moves. Today's detente is better than any other realistic scenario.

This is yet another folly where the pursuit of a "peace process" is antithetical to real peace.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Palestinian Arab news roundup

Lots of stuff going on in the Palestinian Arab press tonight...

Mostly from Firas Press:

There are rumors that Hamas was planning to hold a demonstration, shoot a Qasssam rocket into the crowd, blame Israel and use the situation to open Rafah. The Popular Committees nixed the idea.

An AP report is elaborated on where Palestinian Arabs are reluctant to embrace Bin Laden's support. Hamas considers Al-Qaeda "too extreme" for them, which is funny because recently Al Qaeda criticized Hamas for being too extreme as well. Either way, even Hamas realizes that making Bin Laden a hero is bad PR.

Also in Gaza,Fatah's terror arm, the Al Aqsa Brigades, claim to have found an Israeli spy device (with American parts) meant to video, and possibly remotely explode, terrorists. It looks a bit crude to me.

Speaking of spies, Islamic Jihad claims to have broken up a major spy ring, arresting many "collaborators." The self-death count may rise yet again. They used this opportunity to appeal to the ones they haven't yet found to repent or else, Allah forbid, they would be punished in this world and the next.

Hamas is planning a mass demonstration - and possibly an attempt to break down the fence - at the Karni crossing on Thursday. It is possible that this is the demonstration that they considered shooting a Qassam at.

Also, Ma'an reports that a Fatah-linked group claimed responsibility for the bombing attempt that happened yesterday at the Huwara checkpoint where a 16-year old was shot when he was found to have explosives strapped on. The other Palestinian Arab media don't believe the story altogether, preferring to tell themselves that Israel just shoots teenagers at checkpoints for no reason.