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Saturday, February 28, 2009

PalArab news roundup 2-28-09

The PLO called a general strike on Friday to protest reports that Israel was going to demolish 90 houses in Jerusalem. How exactly these strikes hurt Jews and help Arabs is just as unclear as it was in the 1930s.

A young man was strangled to death in either an honor killing or some sort of revenge killing in Gaza City.

Another man was killed in a tunnel collapse under Rafah.

Abu Marzouq, an exiled Hamas leader based out of Damascus, entered Gaza on Thursday, apparently with Israeli permission.

The 2009 PalArab self-death count is at 40.

(For some reason I am having problems with Google Translate and cannot get to any Arabic websites.)

Friday, February 27, 2009

The water in the State Department

Remember when Condoleeza Rice was a hawk? When Condi was National Security Advisor she was pretty consistent in her rhetoric against terror, in her support of Israel and her impatience for Arab coddling of terrorism.

Then, once she became Secretary of State, she seemed to come down with State Department disease - an unremitting hostility towards Israel, and a single-minded notion that more pressure on Israel is the best way for achieving the nirvana of Middle East peace.

A large number of Secretaries of State throughout the years have spent a significant part of their time trying to pressure Israel, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. They will make empty declarations of demands for the Arabs (The PA must do X) but their pressure on Israel always comes with an implicit threat, that the US' friendliness to Israel (or aid) is on the line.

Now, we have a feeling of deja vu, as Hillary Clinton moves from her job as a senator cheerleader for Israel to another Secretary of State who seems to believe that Israel is the only side that has to make any concrete, permanent moves for peace.

What happens at State that causes these changes to occur?

The reason is that it is almost a part of the job description. The State Department is tasked with forging and maintaining friendly relations with other nations around the world. It is impolitic to alienate nations unless necessary.

And when this is one's mandate, the calculus changes from "doing what is right" to "doing what will please the most nations." It is a simple calculus that 20-odd Arab League members representing hundreds of millions of people are more important - within the State Department's defined mandate - than Israel is.

The Arab nations, whose members hate the US anyway, have nothing to lose by placing Israel on the front of their agendas when talking with State Department officials. And the State Department, desperate to make inroads in the Arab world, will listen to them and identify with these agendas. After all, if a mere statement that Israel must do X will make dozens of nations a little bit happier, isn't it worth it?

The State Department's job is not to moralize. Even though they will come out with occasional reports on human rights, the department is focused on building relationships.

Another of the State Department's jobs is to protect American citizens worldwide, and when a single slip of the tongue can cause Arabs to riot and kidnap Americans the department will do everything necessary to avoid such an outcome.

It isn't that the water at State is tainted with anti-Zionist cooties. This is literally a part of the job. And Israel, as always, needs to do what's best for her own people in the long run, whether it is at odds with State or succumbing to pressure.

Law and Order, Palestinian Arab style

According to a report in Palestine Today, a man was on trial in a courtroom in Ramallah for murder.

One of the witnesses against him was testifying, and during the testimony raised a gun and pointed it at the accused.

The court officers jumped on the witness, causing a general ruckus ... during which the accused murderer escaped.

Always time to learn

At a wedding I attended this week, I saw this during the bedeken (veiling of the bride):
You have to admire the dedication of people who learn Daf Yomi!

New Elder video site

After my banning from YouTube, I have placed most of my videos on NMA-TV, a conservative video hosting site run by Heritage New Media Partners. A few others are hosted on LiveLeak; when I get a chance I will upload those to NMA-TV as well.

I know I'm missing some, so I'm still looking to fill the gaps.

Jameel hits the big time

Jameel at the Muqata, who was one of the two major "warbloggers" from Israel during the Gaza operation (Aussie Dave at Israellycool was the other), gets interviewed.

Well, OK, the Yeshiva University newspaper is not the Times of London, but it still testifies that blogging is becoming more mainstream when a blogger merits an interview.

Hamas wanted the war (Dan Gordon)

A great analysis by an IDF soldier to expose a simple truth:
What major news outlets have completely missed is not the fact that Israel invaded. The story they have missed is that Hamas knowingly provoked Israel's incursion because this was to be their offensive. It had been planned and prepared for months. It was their strategy, their tactics, their battlefield, prepared according to their doctrine, to be fought at the time of their choosing.

I first put on the uniform of the Israel Defense Forces over 35 years ago. I have been involved in four wars and countless training exercises preparing for war. I have watched Israel's doctrine change and adapt to almost every new eventuality and the one thing I can say with absolute clarity and certainty is that Israel never goes to war in the winter time of its own accord. Never. When Israel can choose, its offensives take place in the spring and summer. It is as if there is a line drawn across the calendar that says from mid autumn and until well into the spring Israeli doctrine precludes offensive action.

The reason is quite simple, the cloud cover and rain of winter time can neutralize Israel's advantage in air and armor. Even with the most advanced avionics, aircraft have a tough time taking out targets which they cannot see because of cloud cover. Rain can turn the terrain of southern Israel into a soupy mud that can bog down Israel's tanks and armored personnel carriers making them sitting ducks for anti tank rockets and missiles. Israel has never gone to war in the winter of its own choosing, which is precisely why Hamas chose the dead of winter for its offensive.

The villages of the Gaza strip were criss crossed with tunnels dug underneath the houses. Not weapons smuggling tunnels, mind you, these were kidnapping tunnels. They were communication tunnels through which Hamas militants could go unseen from house to house and carry out combat in a civilian environment disappearing from one house, as it came under fire, to pop up in another. Those tunnels were not dug after Israel invaded as a response to that invasion. No one in Hamas said "Quick let's dig these tunnels because the Israelis are coming!"

This was their battlefield and they prepared it according to a doctrine that said they would launch rockets from civilian areas in order to draw Israeli troops into those areas. They would turn whole villages into booby trapped battlefields while the villagers were still in them. Their hope was to kill two to three hundred Israeli soldiers and kidnap and take prisoner as many as fifty.

At the same time, because they were fighting in civilian areas, their plan was to maximize civilian casualties amongst their own people. In this way, any action Israel took against Hamas fighters would become a war crime. Photos of innocent Palestinians killed in an Israeli onslaught would arouse public sympathy and that sympathy in turn could be translated into political pressure to effectuate a cease fire advantageous to Hamas. In that way, they could at one and the same time, wear the mantle of victimhood and victor. ...

Hamas' plan was to fire from civilian houses, draw infantry into those houses which were booby trapped, and then kill and wound soldiers inside. There were kidnapping teams standing by in the tunnels to pop up from under a false floor and drag the wounded soldiers or the bodies of the dead into those tunnels which criss crossed the whole village. Once inside the tunnels, the dead and wounded Israeli soldiers could be whisked off and taken prisoner. I held the map the reporter referred to of the village and studied it with an intelligence officer. The entire village is laid out as a battlefield... with the villagers still in it, sometimes unaware that their own houses or the houses of neighbors have been rigged. This plan was duplicated throughout Gaza.
Read the whole thing.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Now, my turn for jokes

Thanks for the jokes, all. Since I have many new readers, here are the jokes I posted last year, after scouring the Internet (and links to the originals):

A rabbi and a priest are driving one day and, by a freak accident, have a head-on collision. Both cars are totally demolished, but amazingly, neither of the clerics has a scratch on him.

After they crawl out of their cars, the rabbi sees the priest's collar and says, "So you're a priest. I'm a rabbi. Just look at our cars. There is nothing left, yet we are here, unhurt. This must be a sign from God!"

Pointing to the sky, the rabbi continues, "God must have meant that we should meet and share our lives in peace and friendship for the rest of our days on earth."

The priest replies, "I agree with you completely. This must surely be a sign from God!"

The rabbi is looking at his car and exclaims, "And look at this! Here's another miracle! My car is completely demolished, but this bottle of Mogen David wine did not break. Surely, God wants us to drink this wine and to celebrate our good fortune."

The priest nods in agreement.

The rabbi hands the bottle to the priest, who drinks half the bottle and hands the bottle back to the rabbi.

The rabbi takes the bottle and immediately puts the cap on, then hands it back to the priest. The priest, baffled, asks, "Aren't you having any, Rabbi?"

The rabbi replies, "Nah... I think I'll wait for the police."
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls President Bush and tells him, "George, I had a wonderful dream last night. I could see America, the whole beautiful country, and on each house I saw a banner."

"What did it say on the banners?" Bush asks. Ahmadinejad replies, "UNITED STATES OF IRAN."

Bush says, "You know, Mahmoud, I am really happy you called, because believe it or not, last night I had a similar dream. I could see all of Tehran, and it was more beautiful than ever, and on each house flew an enormous banner."

"What did it say on the banners?" Ahmadinejad asks.

Bush replies, "I don't know. I can't read Hebrew."
A man arrives at Ben-Gurion Airport with two large bags.

The customs agent opens the first bag and finds it full with money so he asks the passenger, "How did you get this money?"

The man says, "You will not believe it, but I traveled all over Europe, went into public restrooms, each time I saw a man pee, I grabbed his organ and said, "donate money to Israel or I will cut off your testicles."

The customs agent is stunned and mumbles: "well...it's a very interesting story... what do you have in the other bag?"

The man says, "You would not believe how many people in Europe hate Israel..."
A rabbi, a priest, and a minister were talking one day. The priest told of an occasion when he was caught in a snowstorm so terrible that he couldn't see a foot in front of him. He was completely confused, unsure even of which direction he needed to walk. He prayed to God, and miraculously, while the storm continued for miles in every direction, he could clearly see his home 20 feet away.

The minister told a similar story. He had been out on a small boat when a hurricane struck. There were 40-foot high waves, and the boat was sure to capsize. He prayed to God, and, while the storm continued all around, for several feet in each direction, the sea calmed, and the minister was able to return safely to port.

The rabbi, too, had such a story. One Saturday morning, on the way home from the synagogue, he saw a very thick wad of $100 bills on the sidewalk.

Of course, since it was Shabbat, the rabbi wasn't able to touch the money.

So he prayed to God, and everywhere, for miles in every direction, it was still Shabbat, but for 10 feet around him, it was Thursday.
On the sixth day, G-d turned to the angel Gabriel....

"On this day, I shall create a magic land. It shall be called "Israel". It will stand as holy. Its magnificence will be known the world over. I will choose to send to this land special people of goodness, intelligence and conviction, so the land shall prosper. I shall call these inhabitants Jews."

"Pardon me, Lord", asked Gabriel, "but aren't you being too generous to these Jews?"

"Not really. Wait and see the neighbors I'm giving them."

A Texan, a Frenchman and an Israeli are on a plane flying over the Pacific Ocean when the engines stop functioning. The plane crash lands on a Pacific Island and the 3 are immediately captured by a tribe of cannibals and taken to their village. The Chief tells the 3 captives that these cannibals are civilized and they have a custom on their island that before they eat anyone, they grant that person his or her last wishes?no matter what they are.

He asks the Texan, "What is your last wish?"
The Texan replies: "I want a 2 inch thick steak with all the trimmings, Cajun fries and a case of Bud." The Chief motions to some of his tribesmen who immediately run into the jungle and come back with the steak, the fries and the beer. The Texan eats his meal and he is thrown in the pot.

The Frenchman is asked: "What is your last wish?"
He replies: "I'd like a case of Dom Perignon and I'd also like a big plate of escargots cooked in the French manner." The Chief motions to his tribesmen who immediately rush off into the jungle and bring back everything the Frenchman asked for. He eats and drinks his fill, and he is then thrown in the pot.

The Chief turns to the Israeli and asks, "And what is your wish?"
The Israeli looks the Chief squarely in the eyes and replies: "I want you to kick me in the behind as hard as you can." The Chief is bewildered and asks the Israeli again, only to receive the same reply. "I want you to kick me in the behind as hard as you can." The Chief shrugs his shoulders, asks the Israeli to turn around, and kicks him as hard as he can. With that the Israeli pulls out a gun and kills the Chief and all of the other cannibals.

The Texan and the Frenchman get out of the pot, look at the Israeli and say: "If you had that gun why didn't you do anything sooner?"

The Israeli replies: "What? And risk being condemned by the UN, EU and the State Department for 'overreacting' to insufficient provocation?"


Two Jews, one old and one young, travel in a train in old Europe.

The young Jew asks the old Jew: -What time is it?

The old Jew does not answer.

After asking him 25 times, the young Jew seem to give up and asks the old Jew: - Tell me, why don't you want to tell me what time it is?

The old Jew answers: - Because then you are going to ask me where I am going to and I will have to answer that I am going to Zlabodka to visit my beautiful daughter Lea and you will certainly ask if she is single and I will have to say that she is single and you will certainly ask to meet her for a Shiduch and the last thing I want in my life is my beautiful Lea to marry someone who does not have money even to buy himself a watch!
Not specifically a Jewish joke, but at least I hadn't heard it before...

Bill Gates came up to heaven and God wasn't sure what to do with him. On one hand, he gave a lot of charity, but on the other hand, he created Microsoft Windows which is a terrible operating system.

So God decided to give Bill a choice, let him decide whether he wanted to go to heaven or hell.

"Well, what are heaven and hell like?" asks Gates.

God takes Bill Gates to heaven where he sees a bunch of rabbis pouring over Talmudic texts. Then, he takes him to hell where he sees a beautiful beach with palm trees.

Without giving it much thought, Gates concludes, "I'll take hell."

A couple days later, God goes down to see how Gates is doing, and he's furious.

"I'm burning to a crisp down here! This isn't what I saw before!"

To which God replies, "I'm sorry, you must have seen a screen saver!"
The only cow in a small town in Poland stopped giving milk. The people did some research and found that they could buy a cow from Moscow for 2,000 rubles, or one from Minsk for 1,000 rubles. Being frugal, they bought the cow from Minsk.

The cow was wonderful. It produced lots of milk all the time, and the people were amazed and very happy. They decided to acquire a bull to mate with the cow and produce more cows like it. Then they would never have to worry about the milk supply again.

They bought a bull and put it in the pasture with their beloved cow. However, whenever the bull came close to the cow, the cow would move away. No matter what approach the bull tried, the cow would move away from the bull and he could not succeed in his quest.

The people were very upset and decided to ask their wise rabbi, what to do. They told the rabbi what was happening. "Whenever the bull approaches our cow, she moves away. If he approaches from the back, she moves forward.

When he approaches her from the front, she backs off. An approach from the side and she just walks away to the other side."

The rabbi thought about this for a minute and asked, "Did you buy this cow from Minsk?"

The people were dumbfounded, since they had never mentioned where they had gotten the cow. "You are truly a wise rabbi," they said.

"How did you know we got the cow from Minsk?"

The rabbi answered sadly, "My wife is from Minsk."
Ethel, a little old lady with a lovely smile, makes a living selling roses on the corner of Middlesex Street for £1 a rose. Maurice, on the other hand, works for a bank in Middlesex Street and is doing very well for himself.

Maurice has always felt sorry for Ethel and whenever he leaves his office for lunch and passes Ethel, he always gives her £1. But Maurice never takes a rose from her and although this has been going on for 2 years, the two of them have never spoken to each other.

One day, as Maurice passes Ethel and leaves his usual £1, Ethel speaks to him for the first time. "I appreciate your business, sir. You really are my best customer, but I must point out to you that the price of a rose has now gone up to £1.50."
A minister, a priest and a rabbi go into a bar. After a couple of drinks they get somewhat philosophical. The bartender asks them, "What would you want people to say at your funeral?"

The minister says, "I would hope that they would say that I was a good family man and that I always found the time for my congregants."

The priest says, "I would hope that they would say that I was kind, charitable and always thoughtful."

The rabbi says, "I would want them to say, 'Look! He's moving!'"

(Told by a rabbi on The Tonight Show, as Jay Leno asked a priest, a minister and a rabbi to tel priest/minister/rabbi jokes.)

During his school holidays, 17 year-old Avrohom decides to take a temporary job as a delivery boy for Minky’s Restaurant. One evening he delivers a meal to Bernie’s house. He hands over the meal and Bernie pays the bill. Then Bernie looks at Avrohom for a few seconds and somewhat begrudgingly says, "I suppose you also want me to give you a tip?"

Avrohom doesn’t answer immediately, but looks at Bernie for a few seconds before replying. "Yes, sir, that would be most appreciated, especially as the guy who normally delivers to this area told me that I shouldn’t expect much from you. He said I should be thankful if I got 10p."

"Well," says Bernie, "just to prove your friend wrong, here’s £2 for your efforts."

"Thank you very much," says Avrohom. "This will go into the fund I’m building up to pay for my future education."

"Really?" says Bernie. "So what are you going to study?"

"Applied Psychology," replies Avrohom.
Feel free to add more to the comment thread!

Happy Adar!

Wisdom from Paul Berman

Joem in the comments pointed me (via Yaakov Lozowick's blog) pointed me to this lengthy interview with Paul Berman, a liberal who gets it. Here is a small sample:
People ought to have noticed by now that any number of humanitarian catastrophes lie just over the horizon and are perfectly predictable - the catastrophes that will follow ineluctably from any future wars in Gaza or Lebanon, or from an attack that Israel, out of fear of the Iranian nuclear program, could conceivably launch on Iran.

Now, if the rest of the world really wants to worry and be upset over humanitarian disasters, there would be every reason to start worrying right now over the prospect of those future wars. A humanitarian logic ought to lead us to ask, how can those wars be stopped, pre-emptively, so to speak - instead of merely deploring them, after the fact. I know that a lot of people would say that, well, Israel ought to dismantle its West Bank settlements and do a thousand other things to allow their enemies to calm down. Me, I've never had any patience for West Bank settlements, and I can picture a lot of ways that Israel could improve.

Still, it would be disingenuous not to notice another obvious reality. An Iran without a nuclear program would be in no danger of Israeli attack. Here is an impending war that rests on a single variable. Why not alter the variable? Equally obvious: Israel is not going to launch a war against any of the groups on its own borders that remain at peace. Why not do everything possible to disarm those groups? Protests, moral pressures, diplomatic pressures, not to mention grand international alliances, not to mention human rights reports! There are a lot of things that could be done. But it may be that, around the world, some of the people who weep over the sufferings caused by war would rather see still further wars than undertake even the simplest and most obvious steps to avoid the wars.

There is more wisdom in this one interview than in a thousand NYT op-eds.

Read the whole thing.

NYT op-ed: Stop using the word "terrorism"

I was going to comment on this insipid piece by Michael Slackman, but others have done it better than I would have.

On the plus side, I got to use the word "insipid."

UPDATE: One more take (h/t joem)

PalArab news roundup

Palestine Today quotes Yediot Aharonot as saying that Hamas established its new headquarters in a psychiatric hospital in Gaza, secure in the knowledge that it wouldn't be attacked.

PalToday also reports that there was a clash between Arabs and Jews on the Temple Mount, as the Jews tried to pray. I'm sure that the prayers were very violent, though, justifying the scuffle. Of course, PalToday says that the "extremist Jewish settlers" "stormed" the mosque. They were apparently arrested by Israeli police for this heinous crime.

(By the way, Arutz-7 reports that Jews managed to pray at an ancient Jericho synagogue, now under PA control, for the first time in nearly nine years.)

Palestine Press Agency quotes Israel's Channel Two that hamas is again managing to smuggle Grad rockets and other weapons into Gaza.

"Peace negotiator" idiots say: "Talk with Hamas"

From Reuters:
The United States and Israel must change policy toward Hamas and engage the Palestinian militant group if progress is to be made on peace in the Middle East, a group of former peace negotiators said on Thursday.

Writing in Britain's Times newspaper, 14 former foreign ministers and peace negotiators said the three-year policy under which Hamas has been ostracized by the international community had backfired and needed to be changed.

"There can be no meaningful peace process that involves negotiating with the representatives of one part of the Palestinians while simultaneously trying to destroy the other," wrote the signatories, who include Britain's Paddy Ashdown, a former negotiator in Bosnia, and Michael Ancram, who helped broker peace with the IRA in Northern Ireland.

Hamas, a militant group whose founding charter calls for Israel's destruction, won a Palestinian parliamentary election in January 2006, defeating long-time rival Fatah.

But the group was immediately cut off by Israel, the United States and the European Union, which regard it as a terrorist organization. Peace negotiations have, however, continued with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads Fatah.

The letter's signatories said Israel's recent war against Hamas in Gaza had "demonstrated that the policy of isolating Hamas cannot bring about stability."

"Bringing Hamas into the process does not amount to condoning terrorism or attacks on civilians," the letter will say, according to excerpts provided in advance.

"It can strengthen pragmatic elements and their ability to strike the hard compromises needed for peace."

To put it bluntly, these people are idiots.

The desperate desire to see progress towards peace, combined with a penchant to naively believe that every conflict can be solved through negotiations, plus years of obfuscation of the nature of Hamas by "even-handed" journalists and diplomats, cause otherwise smart people to lose their minds.

Here is what they have chosen to ignore:

Hamas is not a movement to create an independent Palestinian Arab state. It is a radical Islamic movement to destroy an independent Jewish state, and then join with other Islamic movements to destroy neighboring Arab states to create a single Islamic 'ummah.

Hamas' goals and means have been stated explicitly for decades, and they have not changed one iota. There are no "pragmatic" Hamas leaders, unless your definition of pragmatic means that they are willing to wait an additional decade or so before their goals are met.

Hamas' and its sister terror groups are exactly the same as Al Qaeda, with the exception that Hamas is concentrating on exclusively killing Israeli Jews in their attacks. Hamas, Al Qaeda and all of the other groups that originally came from the Muslim Brotherhood agree on their goals, their strategy and their tactics. Therefore, to advocate bringing Hamas in for negotiations is the same as asking to negotiate with Bin Laden's more "pragmatic" deputies.

Israel is negotiating with Hamas, through Egypt, to make an accommodation with the de facto rulers of Gaza. This is the way it should be for specific issues that can be solved. But to engage Hamas without the Quartet's preconditions means that these morons are demanding that Israel negotiate its own destruction.

February Rocket Calendar

Q=Qassam (may include Katyusha-style rockets)
QS=Qassam landing short in Gaza
M=Mortar
F=Fatality (F=Gazan, F=Israeli)
(G)=Grad (included in Qassam count, not consistent yet)

M*- Apparently upgraded 120mm mortars
MS=Mortar landing short
P - unnamed "projectiles"
(Paren) indicates unconfirmed Palestinian claims

* - Fatal non-rocket attack

K=Katyushas from Lebanon

Mortars are severely undercounted since they simply don't make the news any more.

Yellow=day Israel sent aid to Gaza

February 2009
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
4Q
8M

3M
1Q
1Q(1G)
1M

2Q

8
9
10
11
12
13
14
2Q

(crossings closed
election day)

1Q
3M

3Q
2M
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
1Q
2Q

1Q
4Q
1M
1QS
1Q
10M

1Q
2M

1K
1KS

22
23
24
25
26
27
28
1Q
2Q

2Q
3Q
1Q
10Q (2G)





























A day without yellow doesn't necessarily mean the crossings were closed; I just may not have seen the reports of them being specifically open.

All previous calendars here.

More anti-semitism on Google News

One of the "news" sites that Google News indexes is Pakistan Daily. Here is the first paragraph of an article written there on Wednesday, that argues that Barack Obama is a puppet of the Jews:
Zionist Max Nordau wrote of the psychopathic nature of the ideal Jewish puppet. He stated that the leaders will be psychopaths [M. Nordau, Entartung, C. Duncker, Berlin, (1892-1893); English translation: Degeneration, D. Appleton, New York, (1895); and Der Sinn der Geschichte, C. Duncker, Berlin, (1909); English translation: The Interpretation of History, Willey Book Co., New York, (1910); and The Drones Must Die, G.W. Dillingham Co., New York, (1897); and with M. A. Lewenz, Morals and the Evolution of Man, Lewenz, Funk and Wagnalls Company, New York, (1922). Similar prescriptions appear in The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.]
Now, most of the world knows that anyone quoting the Protocols is a crackpot to begin with, but what about his other quotes from Max Nordau, who was a prominent early Zionist?

When a person quotes a source, it adds an aura of respectability and believability to what he is saying. After all, how many people would lie about something so specific, when it could be so easily proven that they are liars? So even when one reads an article by someone whose views are reprehensible, the idea that he is a baldfaced liar is hard to grasp.

Luckily, each of the four books this anonymous writer lists is available, in full text, from Google Books.

The Interpretation of History does not contain either the word "Zionist" nor "Psychopath." Neither does The Drones Must Die nor Morals and the Evolution of Man.

The word "psychopath" does appear, twice, in Degeneration, which partially deals with psychology. The word "Zionist" does not appear at all.

Our Jew-hating author thus proves himself to be not only despicable but also a liar who intentionally misleads his audience with made-up "facts."

Yet this site is considered a "news" source for Google.

BTFA: Rock and roll ain't what it used to be

Tonight, I heard a radio commercial asking listeners to buy tickets to see Mötley Crüe at the Bellagio.

That is just so wrong, on so many levels.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Open Adar Thread - User Submitted Jokes Edition

Where you are invited to tell your favorite jokes.

Keep them (relatively) clean.

Afternoon Links

I remain busy, and won't be able to blog much for the rest of the day, but these should keep you occupied (not in the legal sense:)

Sultan Knish goes much deeper on Chas Freeman, and familiarity certainly breeds contempt in this case. Soccer Dad fills out the sordid picture.

Ami Isseroff on how Israel is losing the battle for hearts and minds. I'm looking forward to his followups.

Lisa Goldman writes a provocative piece on The Danger From Dubai (h/t Daled Amos).

Richard Cohen's bias and his Arab fans

Richard Cohen's wrote another of his signature op-eds yesterday, where he castigates a minority of Israelis for daring to vote for Avigdor Lieberman. As usual, is it quite dishonest:
The day after the United Nations created the state of Israel, the country's first president, Chaim Weizmann, found time to work on his memoir, "Trial and Error." In it, he issued a warning to the Israeli leaders of today: "I am certain that the world will judge the Jewish state by what it will do with the Arabs." It was Nov. 30, 1947.

Weizmann was an astonishingly accomplished man -- chemist, diplomat, statesman -- but maybe his most uncanny talent was that of seer. Peering into the future, he glimpsed the ugly turn Israeli politics has recently taken and how it is now acceptable to talk in repulsive ways about the country's 1.3 million Arabs. "There must not be one law for the Jew and another for the Arabs," he wrote.

Weizmann's admonition may not be known to Avigdor Lieberman, an immigrant from the former Soviet republic of Moldova and now one of Israel's most important political leaders. Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu party placed third in the recent election, meaning he will almost certainly be part of the next government. Lieberman is often called a "nationalist." Maybe so, but he is also an anti-Arab demagogue.

The Arabs of Lieberman's antipathy are not Israel's traditional enemies -- either in Gaza, the West Bank or elsewhere in the Middle East. He focuses instead on the Arabs of Israel proper, about 20 percent of the population. They are his fellow citizens, some of them of dubious loyalty, it is true, and most of them with genuine grievances, it is also true. In essence, Lieberman wants to swap them for Jewish settlers now living provocatively in the occupied West Bank. It's half a good idea.
Guess which half? Arabs, according to Cohen, obviously have the right to live anywhere they want in the world. Jews, not so much.
The issue of Israel's Arabs is complicated. They are not Jews, yet they are expected to be loyal to a Jewish state. They are Arabs, yet they are expected to stand by while their fellow Arabs are pounded -- as in Gaza -- by Israeli guns.
Some of whom are fired by - Israeli Arabs.

Cohen purposefully muddies the concept of "loyalty." One can protest against a nation's actions and still be loyal. One can criticize their government and still be loyal. One can even try to change the government legally and remain loyal to the state. But in Cohen's universe, Israeli Arabs have the unique right to demand that their own nation be destroyed, to support Israel's enemies in any way they see fit. Asking all citizens to be loyal - the problematic and mostly symbolic part of Lieberman's platform - is not discriminatory, and it fits in exactly with that Weizmann wrote, despite Cohen's rhetorical gymnastics to indicate otherwise.
Pakistan and India were created in a similar manner -- a population swap of many millions of people. This was the way things were once done.
Who can imagine the untold thousands of people who would have been butchered in Pakistan/India had there not been that population swap? It is never an ideal solution, but it is conceivable that it is better than the alternative - conceivable to anyone who is honest with themselves, and not grandiose moralizers.
Israel, too, engaged some in ethnic cleansing -- or why else all those Palestinian refugees? But the attempt was both chaotic and, as we can see, not wholly successful.
How's that for proof? Take competing claims by both sides about what happened in 1948, disregard the analyses of many distinguished historians, embrace the ones of people like Ilan Pappe, and throw in the existence of refugees as proof of ethnic cleansing! And then say that the existence of one million Arabs in israel today is not a counterproof of the slanderous assertion of ethnic cleansing - rather, it is proof that the genocidal Zionists were not competent to finish the job! Brilliant!
More important, the concept was anathema to important members of the Zionist establishment such as Weizmann.
And does he have a Weizmann quote to back this up? Did Weizmann advocate the return of all the refugees? Of course he didn't - but Cohen pretends otherwise.
It is clear that the world has grown weary of Israel.
Note that the world is not weary of the Arab Israel conflict, it is not tired about the self-defeating decisions made by Arab leaders to keep Palestinian Arabs stateless - in Cohen's world, everyone is only tired of Jews wanting to live in their own state in peace. Is this observation or projection?

Is it any wonder that Al Quds in Arabic trumpets a headline: American Jewish Writer Warns of Ethnic Cleansing Against Palestinians.

Cohen is the Palestinian Arabs' best friend, because he swallows their propaganda whole, with nary a burp.

Indian writer apologizes for not appearing anti-Israel

Distinguished Indian novelist Shashi Tharoor has a weekly column on various Indian issues. At the outset of the Gaza operation, he wrote:
AS Israeli planes and tanks exact a heavy toll on Gaza, India's leaders and strategic thinkers have been watching with an unusual degree of interest, and some empathy.

Unsurprisingly, India's Government has joined the rest of the world in calling for an end to the military action, but its criticism of Israel has been muted. As Israel demonstrates anew its determination to end attacks on its civilians by militants based in Hamas-controlled territory, many in India, still smarting from the horrors of the Mumbai attacks in November, have been asking: Why can't we do the same?

For many Indians, the temptation to identify with Israel was strengthened by the terrorists' seizure of Mumbai's Chabad House Jewish centre and the painful awareness that India and Israel share many of the same enemies. India, with its 150-million strong Muslim population, has long been a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause and remains staunchly committed to an independent Palestinian state. But the Mumbai attacks confirmed what has become apparent in recent years: the forces of global Islamist terror have added Indians to their target list of reviled "Jews and crusaders".

...When Indians watch Israel take the fight to the enemy, killing those who launched rockets against it and dismantling many of the sites from which the rockets flew, some cannot resist wishing that they could do something similar in Pakistan. India understands, though, that the collateral damage would be too high, the price in civilian lives unacceptable, and the risks of the conflict spiralling out of control too acute to contemplate such an option. So Indians place their trust in international diplomacy and watch with ill-disguised wistfulness as Israel does what they could never permit themselves to do.

The article is clearly about that wistfulness, and while it showed both comparisons and contrasts between India's situation and Israel's, the main point was how ordinary Indians viscerally feel about striking back directly at terror.

But his point was lost on a vocal portion of his audience, who immediately castigated him for even considering that Israel had a reason to react to years of suffering under thousands of rockets aimed at her citizens. So Tharoor was forced to replace a later column with an abject apology:

Many of you have read my article as endorsing Israel's military campaign in Gaza and deplored the article's apparent indifference to the humanitarian tragedy that followed.

I regret the misunderstanding of the intent and thrust of the piece, which was not written as a commentary on the conflict in Gaza. When I wrote the article I was thinking only about india/pakistan - the assault on Gaza had just begun when I put my fingers to the keyboard. (Though the Australian carried it on the 19th, and that was the link forwarded to you, the first paper to use the syndicated column was Beirut's Daily Star on the 8th). Obviously I had no sense at the time of writing of the scale of the israeli action that was to follow and the toll that would be taken in civilian lives. But in any case the article says India cannot, should not and would not do what Israel has done.

It should be noted that by January 8th, the three-week war was well over the halfway mark, as were the number of casualties.
Using the Israel parallel - at a time when my email inbox was brimming with messages of the "why can't we do the same as Israel?" variety - was just a way of bringing greater attention onto India's dilemma and its anguish, while arguing that there is no "Gaza option" for India.

Of course I should have realized that using an unfolding event as a peg would make my argument hostage to the way that situation evolved. Inevitably, some readers would judge the article in the light of what has happened in the two weeks after I wrote it. Had Israel taken out a few rocket sites and withdrawn in 3 or 4 days, as I had expected, perhaps the analogy would have seemed less offensive. But the article was always meant to be more about India's options than about Israel's actions.

Anyway, I am chagrined and chastened...
Even as he admits that his article was accurate - he was getting emails from the wistful Indians he was writing about - the criticisms were clearly so strident that he was forced to apologize for doing nothing wrong.

His crime was that he didn't immediately condemn Israel as a Nazi/fascist/terrorist state, which is apparently de rigueur any time Israel is mentioned in any context.

(h/t Mashi via email)

BTFA: My Name is Earl

For the past few, um, decades I haven't been watching too much network TV. But since I realized that I can watch TV shows on my PDA I have been going through seasons of various interesting-looking TV shows that I missed the first time around.

One of them is My Name is Earl (NBC, Thursday nights.)

The plot of the show is that a petty criminal named Earl Hickey, through an improbable series of events, discovers a simple version of karma that works for him: when he does good things, good things happen to him. So he made a list of everything bad he ever did to anyone else and he tries to make it up to them.

He is surrounded by an interesting array of characters, including his white-trash ex-wife, his improbably brilliant and talented best friend who is now married to his ex, and his dim brother.

The first two seasons of the show concentrated on Earl crossing off list items. With an effective use of flashbacks, some nice plot twists, a wicked sense of humor and some great classic rock, the show maintained its consistency to this formula.

What made it fascinating, though, went much deeper than normal mindless TV fare. Each episode included a real moral dilemma, and Earl had to try to choose to do the right thing with a very unconventional set of tools and constraints. These ethical conundrums kept the show interesting.

The show creators have gone away from that formula in the past two seasons, concentrating more on longer story arcs and less on the moral component of the show. It remains very funny, but it is no longer groundbreaking, relying more on character quirks.

Alas, I have caught up on all the episodes, so now I need to find other interesting TV fare to watch while commuting...

BTFA: Break the Format Adar

Since this is the Jewish month of Adar, where weird and counter-intuitive things tend to happen, I will be occasionally posting clearly unElder-like posts for the next few weeks when time allows. I hope to make them...eclectic.

The posts will be labeled BTFA.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Another wacko Arab theory about ancient Israel

Al-Quds (Arabic) has a lengthy report on Kamal Salibi, a Lebanese professor who has been pushing a theory for decades now that Biblical stories all took place in Arabia, not Israel. Even the Jordan River, he argues, was really the Sarawat Mountains (since he says the word "river" is never used in the Bible) and all Biblical placenames are really names in Arabia, including Jerusalem - in 'Asir, southern Arabia. According to this theory, those crafty Jews renamed Palestinian cities after the Biblical cities during the time of the Hasmonean Kingdom, in the second century BCE, but there were no Jews in Israel beforehand.

The Arabs would use this, of course, to delegitimize any Jewish claim on Israel.

Debunking this is easy, if only from a single archaeological find that was announced yesterday:
The Israel Antiquities Authority on Monday announced the discovery of a large building dating to the time of the First and Second Temples during an excavation in the village of Umm Tuba in southern Jerusalem.

The excavation was conducted by Zubair Adawi on behalf of the antiquities authority, prior to the start of construction there by a private contractor.

The archaeological remains include several rooms arranged around a courtyard, in which researchers found a potter's kiln and pottery vessels. The pottery remains seem to date from the eighth century B.C.E. (First Temple period).

The excavators also found royal seal impressions on some of the pottery fragments that date to the era of Hezekiah, King of Judah (end of the eighth century B.C.E.).

Four "LMLK" impressions (which indicate the items belonged to the king) were discovered on handles of large jars used to store wine and oil. Seals of two high-ranking officials named Ahimelekh ben Amadyahu and Yehokhil ben Shahar, who served in the government, were also found.

The Yehokhil seal was stamped on one of the LMLK impressions before the jar was fired in a kiln and this is a rare example of two such impressions appearing together on a single handle.
Biblical characters from the First Temple period hanging around in Jerusalem in the 8th century BCE writing in Hebrew sort of demolishes Kamal Salibi's theory.

"Issues, action, power, self-interest."

I read this passage over the shoulder of someone in a train today:
The day after the rally, Marty decided it was time for me to do some real work, and he handed me a long list of people to interview.Find out their self-interest, he said. That’s why people become involved in organizing -because they think they’ll get something out of it. Once I found an issue enough people cared about, I could take them into action. With enough actions, I could start to build power.

Issues, action, power, self-interest. I liked these concepts.
I know that these words are out of context, but it was still a little bit of a shock to see that they were written by Barack Obama in his Dreams From My Father autobiography.

The Israeli Left attacks co-existence

To give an idea of how far left the Left in Israel has become, check out this NYT article:
Achinoam Nini, a singer and peace activist, has long stirred controversy here. Known abroad by her stage name, Noa, she has recorded with Arab artists, refused to perform in the occupied West Bank, condemned Israeli settlements there and had concerts canceled because of bomb threats from the extreme right.

But lately it is the left that has been angry with Ms. Nini. Chosen by Israel to represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest — this year being held in Moscow in May with an expected television audience of 100 million — Ms. Nini asked if she could bring along her current artistic collaborator, an Israeli Arab singer, Mira Awad.

The selection committee liked the idea of having both Arab and Jewish citizens in the contest for the first time. But coinciding as it did with Israel’s Gaza war and the rise of Avigdor Lieberman, the ultranationalist politician who threatens Israeli Arabs with a loyalty oath, the committee’s choice was labeled by many on the left and in the Arab community as an effort to prettify an ugly situation.

A petition went around demanding that the duo withdraw, saying they were giving the false impression of coexistence in Israel and trying to shield the nation from the criticism it deserved. It added, “Every brick in the wall of this phony image allows the Israeli Army to throw 10 more tons of explosives and more phosphorus bombs.”

Neither Ms. Nini, 39, nor Ms. Awad, 33, has been deterred. But since they consider themselves peace advocates, they are a bit surprised. The antiwar movement, they say, seems to have turned into a Hamas apology force. That, together with the political turn rightward in Israel, means that while the two are being sent to represent this mixed and complex society, they also feel a bit orphaned by it.
Notice that the Times cannot find a single voice on the Right that is upset at the idea of an Arab co-representing Israel in the Eurovision contest. Even though the article gratuitously refers to Avigdor Lieberman as being "ultranationalist" there are no smug labels for the pro-Hamas, anti-co-existence "left." Yet once one takes out that adjective, one would see that the Israeli Left is far more extreme than the Right that always gets tagged with that label.

Later in the article we find out

But recent politics have also clearly taken their toll. During the war, Ms. Nini sent out a letter on her blog condemning the Islamists of Hamas, and calling on her “Palestinian brothers” to join together to eliminate what she called the ugly monster of Hamas. It was widely interpreted as an endorsement of Israel’s war in Gaza, although she said it was not.

“What I wrote was based on what my Palestinian friends in Gaza told me, that they are threatened by Hamas,” she said.
The common-sense left is being drowned out by the pro-terror pretend-left, even in Israel.

Ahmadinejad the Monkey

From YNet:
During a recent live broadcast of a popular children' show on Iranian television, one young girl surprised viewers when she related how her father called her stuffed monkey 'Ahmadinejad', the name of the Islamic Republic's president.

An Iranian news agency reported on Tuesday that, during a telephone call that took place on the show 'Uncle Fornaj', the show's host asked a young female caller whether she was good girl who obeyed her parents.

"I'm a good girl and my father bought me a doll," the girl responded, adding that the doll was stuffed monkey. "My father calls it Ahmadinejad," she said in response to the host's follow-up question.

'Uncle Fornaj' is one of the most highly-watched shows in Iran, broadcast on the country's premier state-run channel and hosted by a local children's celebrity.
Well, the resemblance is pretty uncanny.

Islamic Jihad honors Gaza propagandist/journalists

Yesterday, the Islamic Jihad terror movement held a large meeting to praise the behavior of Palestinian Arab "journalists" in Gaza during the Israeli operation.

As usual in meetings like these, all pretense of objectivite news gathering goes out the window - the speeches make clear that the purpose of the media in Gaza is to further the "resistance" and to "expose Zionist crimes." Certainly the so-called journalists are not expected to report on Hamas stealing aid, on people killed in Islamic Jihad crossfire, or on Hamas kneecapping Fatah members in public.

Notice how hungry these Islamic Jihad members and their propagandists appear to be, after years of the Zionist siege that they keep talking about.

Confirmation that Hamas has unexploded ordnance

The UN reported last week a large amount of unexploded ordnance from the Gaza operation had disappeared before it could be safely disposed of. I had exclusively reported that Hamas had claimed to taken those explosives with the intent of using them in new weapons, saying that they were "a gift from the sky."

Today, we have further confirmation, from Palestine Today:
Private sources confirmed that the Palestinian resistance obtained the Israeli missiles which did not explode during the aggression on Gaza, saying that resistance experts were able to dismantle the missiles and extract the the explosive material inside.

The same sources pointed out that they will be able to manufacture hundreds of improvised explosive anti-tank devices, after the dismantling of dozens of huge rockets that did not explode during the Israeli war.

The sources added that the experts were able to extract the detonators of the missiles as well.

The sources said the explosive article by Israeli missiles, located in one of the finest and most powerful species in bringing about breakthroughs in the explosions and the place where he received meant that the Palestinian resistance and put her hand on the precious treasure of the Israeli explosives.

Palestinian factions would use quantities of explosive materials from remnants of the wars that took place in Egypt's Sinai for the manufacture of missiles against the Israeli occupation forces, but they were of poor quality.
The last sentence is interesting, because it seems to confirm that some Hamas collaborators are in Egypt, scouring the Sinai for old mines to smuggle to Gaza.

Today's must-reads

While I'm stuck in meetings, here's some good stuff:

Hamas' challenge to the PLO (elaborating on a story I broke over three weeks ago)

In a Palestinian Arab unity government, Hamas wins (JPost)

The Path of Realism or the Path of Failure (Elliot Abrams)

Backspin's Responding to Amnesty

Treppenwitz: Why am I nervous?

Banned by YouTube

Unfortunately, I received my third strike from YouTube, and it was from one of the "good guys."

My first strike was my Rachel Corrie video, which someone complained about but which clearly did not violate any of the Community Guidelines.

The second one was for my "Just Like Us" video, which indeed showed some violence - but whose footage I took directly from another YouTube video. That got me banned from YouTube for two weeks.

The third was from my copy of the MEMRI video showing the death of Assud the Jew-Eating Bunny. MEMRI contacted me asking me to remove it, and I told them I would be happy to, but I was suspended from YouTube and wouldn't be able to edit my channel until February 26th. MEMRI couldn't wait and complained to YouTube, and now my video channel - and all my YouTube videos - are gone.

I am trying to find an acceptable place to move the videos I can recover (I fear I have lost some early ones.) I spent much of last night trying to place some of them on NMA-TV, a "conservative" alternative to YouTube that allows me to create my own group, but it seems very buggy and my group video page has been going into an infinite loop. I don't know if that site has staying power, wither, as it begs for money and hasn't yet reached anything close to critical mass.

I don't like LiveLeak too much because for some reason not all my videos show up consistently on my page there. I also looked at QubeTV, another conservative video site, but they are having technical problems, so they are flaky as well.

So for now, I'm done with YouTube. I am still looking for an alternative where I can create and preferably customize my own channel that will not disappear in a few months.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Seven Jewish Children - the poster (Adar edition)

I was sent this via email from commenter LW about the anti-semitic play that's running in London:
Click to enlarge.

A billion dollars for Gaza terror

The United States is pledging nearly one billion dollars to help rebuild Gaza, in a classic example of good money following bad.

Let's put aside the fact that this money will allow Hamas to spend 100% of their Iranian funding directly on weapons and terror, and it will give them a position of strength as they negotiate with the PA take over the Palestinian Arab cause, and let's not think about the fact that the large percentage that will go to UNRWA is going to an organization that has little oversight and known ties to terror.

Besides all of that, here we have a significant chunk of change being paid by the US - in a struggling economy - to Gaza. And so far we have not heard a single complaint from the crowd that claims that US aid to Israel is a huge burden on the US taxpayer!

If you add up the aid that Arabs get from the US this year, your total will be just about the same as what Israel is getting in foreign aid. Yet the WRMEA and "If Americans Knew" and similar organizations that gleefully add up real and imagined aid to Israel are strangely silent about billions going towards entities that, to be frank, hate and despise the US.

Perhaps they don't care about your tax dollars as much as they pretend to?

Bahrain's Crown Prince - pro-settlements?

Perhaps nowhere on Earth are sentences parsed for hidden messages as carefully they are in the Middle East. So the interview that Bahrain's Crown Prince gave to Sky News is curious indeed.

It starts off as one would expect - with the prince, Sheikh Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, trying to pressure Great Britain to be even more pro-Arab than it already is:
The crown prince of Bahrain said on Monday Britain was too pro-Israel in its outlook, but its contribution to the Middle East peace process was still needed.

"If we are to solve the Arab-Israeli issue then you cannot approach it as a friend of one side at the expense of another," Sheikh Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa told Sky television.

When asked if he felt Britain had been too pro-Israeli he replied: "I think we all feel that."

"But that doesn't mean we don't want Britain's involvement, we need Britain's involvement and we need Britain to be more impartial, sure."

Isn't it funny that third-party Arab nations are not expected to be "impartial," but they complain if the West isn't (in their estimation?)

But the interesting part comes later:

To settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, "you give up land for peace," he said. "Land that you haven't already built on. It can't be simpler."
Does this mean that Bahrain believes that Israel can hold onto the settlements that have already been "built on?" How about Greater Jerusalem?

I have a feeling that we will see some backtracking real fast.

2002: A socialist site bemoans leftist anti-semitism

An article at the socialist Worker's Liberty site, reprinted today, is harshly critical of the Left's tendency even then towards naked anti-semitism. It correctly points out that real socialists would never support Islamists nor the destruction of Israel.

As we see today, their complaints fell on deaf ears.

This was their report at the very first public appearance by the Muslim Association of Britain - in 2002:
ON 13 APRIL [2002] there was a big London march "for Palestine". What happened was shocking from a socialist standpoint, and harmful to the Palestinian cause.

The core organising group — "The Muslim Association" — has strong Islamic-fundamentalist links. For example, its web site links to the Pakistani fundamentalist party Jamaat-e-Islami.

The Trafalgar Square rally started with long readings from the Koran. Although speakers such as Labour left MP Jeremy Corbyn and Tony Benn were on the platform, their speeches were punctuated by chants — led by an Imam who used the stage microphone — of "Allah-o-Akbar" ("God is great").

"Allah-o-Akbar" was also one of the main chants on the march. Although the phrase "Allah-o-Akbar" is used by many non-fundamentalist Muslims in other contexts, to promote it as a political slogan on this march was a mark of fundamentalist politics, not Muslim culture or religion.

The organisers, marshalling the crowd at the start of the march, attempted to segregate the march along male-female lines. If the march had not been so large, and consequently so difficult for those stewards to organise, the demonstration might well have set off with men at the front, and women at the back. A smaller Hyde Park march on 9 December 2001 did that — and the segregation was obeyed by the SWP and RCG, who marched that day.

Leafleters freely gave out Islamist literature which called for "Putting the Jews to the sword". Other leaflets called for a boycott of "Israeli goods" while, in fact, demanding the boycott of businesses such as Marks and Spencers which have historically been owned by Jews.

Dominant on the march were banners equating Sharon to Hitler, Zionism to Nazism, and the Star of David to the swastika. Specific political demands such as "Israel out of the Occupied Territories" did not appear on the leaflet for the march, or prominently on the march itself. The dominant tone was simply hostility to Israel: "Death to Israel" and "From the river to the sea" (fundamentalists); "No compromise with Zionism" and "Two states, no solution" (from the SWP).

What did the left do? Workers' Liberty contacted the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) the day before the march to find out a little more about the organisers. We were told that the PSC did not know much about them, but they had been reassured that the march would not be "too Islamic". Despite not having been asked for their support or help, the PSC was backing it anyway.

The Socialist Workers Party (SWP) were energetic in winning Socialist Alliance support for this demonstration. Rather than supporting slogans which would contrast with the general march themes, they won agreement from the SA to carry placards saying, "Victory to the intifada! Free Palestine!". At the Socialist Alliance Executive, SWP leader John Rees argued, "It is most important that our slogans do not appear in any way antagonistic to this march".

On the march the SWP presented themselves as the most militant advocates of "smashing Israel": using megaphones to announce, "No compromise with Zionism" and "Two states is no solution!" After the march a prominent SWPer wrote to the Socialist Alliance email list that this was "one of the best and most uplifting marches I've ever been on".

Workers Liberty believes that the left has made a big mistake in blending itself into such a march. The Islamists are our enemies, not our allies, and we should not back their protests and campaigning. We should see our role in intervening into such a movement and winning to socialist politics those influenced by the fundamentalists.

We also believe that the left's blending into the 13 April march was a step backwards from where it stood before this march took place.

Groups like the SWP stand for 'smashing Israel' and replacing the existing state with a single, Arab, "democratic secular state".

The Israeli Jews are surrounded by hostile Arab states. They will not freely allow themselves to become an unarmed minority in an Arab state. That could only come about after the forcible subjugation of the Israeli Jews. A merging of different nations into multinational states is very desirable, but must be done only on the basis of free consent.

The reasonable-sounding democratic secular state programme could only be completed against the wishes of the Israeli Jewish people. This "solution" is, in fact, not democratic. Such an outcome would replace the oppression of the Palestinians with the oppression (the murder or expulsion) of the Israeli Jews.

The left's programme is — in reality, and against the intentions of some of its advocates — for a war against the Jews of Israel.

The fundamentalist march organisers make hostility to the Jews of Israel quite explicit and aim to replace the Israeli state with a totalitarian, clerical state which would not only purge the Jews, but force women into "gender apartheid" and smash the left and the unions. That is the lesson from Iran, 1979.

Against the demand for "a Islamic theocracy without democracy", even calling "for a democratic secular state" would be positive! Yet even that slogan was not raised by the SWP on the march. Nothing like it. Their priority was not to be "antagonistic".

Why did the left disgrace itself in such a way? For two reasons: first the left, to its shame, shares some of the politics and ideas of the Islamists; second were opportunistic reasons — wanting to go with the flow, wanting to recruit a few Arab and Asian people without confronting prejudice.

The left's use of such language [equating Zionists with Nazis] is calculated to offend every Jewish person — even those many Jews who hate Sharon and who are sympathetic to the Palestinians. Very many will have lost family in the Holocaust. All know very well the difference between the Nazis and Likud.

The parallels with the Nazis are more or less reserved for Israel. The implication is that there is something special about Jews which makes them parallel to Nazis. This is both deliberately offensive and aimed to obliterate the fact that the Holocaust is unique in history.

The SWP have also helped to picket M&S. That exposes the nakedly anti-Jewish drive in much "left" campaigning.

Generally the far-left avoids calling for consumer boycotts, instead advocating international workers' unity. The left knows that boycotts can alienate the very workers it is attempting to help (by making them unemployed). In this case, however, the left adopts the boycott campaign because it does not give a damn what the Israeli workers think; the left see the Israeli workers as "not real workers" and as part of the problem, not part of the solution.

They are not just for the Palestinians — as we are — but against the Israel too. They are not just against the actions of the Israeli government, but against the very existence of Israel.

This is not just speculation. This was the character, for example, of the Stop the War march on Palestine held in London on 26 January. It had no Islamists on it. This was a march of the left — organised by the same groups which will be marching with the PSC on 18 May. But the chants were similar — they sang: "Sharon, Hitler, you're the same/All that's different is the name." These are the reasons which we cannot back such protests. We have two choices: either to go with the flow of the left (and no-so-left) on this issue, or aggressively to assert the need for consistently democratic and socialist politics. We will take the second course.

And, seven years later, we see that the tiny bit of consistency within leftist/socialist circles that this article pushed has almost completely disappeared. The far Left, driven by an insane hatred of Jews, have embraced values from Islamists that would be anathema to orthodox socialists.

Today's comic

Yemen Jews desperate to go to Israel

From that Zionist paper, The National (UAE):
AMRAN, YEMEN // Jewish community members in Amran who have been living in fear following a wave of threats and hate attacks have stepped up their efforts to migrate to Israel.

“We are all fed up. All of the Jews are willing now to migrate to Israel but some prefer not to speak up their desire,” said Yahia bin Yaish, the rabbi of the Jewish community in the northern governorate of Amran, about 60km north of the capital Sana’a.

We have faced intimidation, attacks and threats. Some have even faced hand-grenade attacks. I myself have received SMS threats on my mobile.

“We are no longer secured. We are afraid to go to the market and even at home. We have reported this to the local authorities but they are lenient with the people behind the threats,” said Mr bin Yaish.

Last week, a Jewish Yemeni family was taken to Israel in a secret airlift organised by the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency for Israel.

Said bin Yisrael, the head of the Jewish community in Rydah, and his eight children and wife arrived at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv last Thursday following attacks and death threats.

“Said went crazy after an attack on his house with a hand grenade last December,” a Jewish Yemeni, who is believed to have orchestrated Mr bin Yisrael’s migration, said on condition of anonymity.

“He was scared for his family. He will be back for his father and brothers who are still here.”

Mr bin Yaish said his family did not want to leave Yemen.

“This is our home and we prefer to live here, even on mountains if there is security. Life here is better because we can make sure that our kids are brought up well in line with our religious teachings.”

For those who do want to leave, Mr bin Yaish said about 150 of their passport applications have been held up in Sana’a for over two months.

“Whenever we go to them, they keep telling us the computers are not working,” he said.

Moshe Yaish al Nahari, a Jewish teacher and father of nine, was shot in Rydah’s market in Amran in December.

Abdulaziz Hamud al Abdi, a former military pilot whose family claims he is mentally ill, admitted in a hearing in December that he killed al Nahari following a warning that Jews should either leave the area or convert to Islam.

Attacks and threats against Yemeni Jews in Amran governorate flared up again following Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip.

“The offensive was in Gaza and we were blamed. Some used to threaten me, telling me to stop the war. These attacks are meant to force us to leave our houses which tribesmen want for themselves,” Mr bin Yaish said.

After al Nahari’s murder, Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president, discussed with Jewish community leaders a plan to relocate Jews from Amran to Sana’a, where each Jewish family would receive a plot of land.

The Jewish community, however, said the government has taken no action.

Government officials declined to comment.

Mahmud Taha, an Amran-based journalist who has been following the issue of Yemeni Jews, said the migration of the Jewish family to Israel was not unexpected.

There is no option for the Yemeni Jews but to migrate. The local authorities have failed to protect them and the promises of relocation have not been serious. The Jews are fed up and have reached intolerable situation,” Taha said.

Taha said the verdict against al Abdi, which the court has set for March 2, will likely absolve the defendant on mental health grounds.

“This will drive the Jews crazy and will be a driving force for their migration,” he said.
But I thought that dhimmi Jews were honored members of Arab society, that there was no discrimination, and that Arabs aren't anti-semitic but only anti-Zionist!

DiCaprio becoming a Jew? Arabs freak!

Al Arabiya reported that Leonardo DiCaprio may consider converting to Judaism to please girlfriend Bar Refaeli's father before marrying her.

And the Arab commenters are freaking out.

In English:
Leonardo you better get a lawyer and a prenup these MAGGOTS are after your money.

By doing so, he will get more success in a jew dominated hollywood, but does he know that judaisam is a religion not a political party, what an idiot !
But the Arabic page is where things get to be fun:
Jews used this method for a long time to attract men from other religions to Judaism and the Jews also sell to the sex trade in the occupied territory to the adolescent youth

This new evidence of Jewish racism

Would of course religion, it is weak and climber, who would want their future security in the world of cinema, representation and Hollywood, an industry dominated by Jews, fully 100%.

How are these topics to the benefit of the Arabs and Muslims? News is trivial and meaningless news channel, landing such topics

This is part of Protocoles of Elders of Zion To controle media and celebrities

He was an atheist and I think this is the Jewish conversion is an improvement in his career I hope to one day he will enter Islam

I know you're a wonderful actor and a world star is one of the star in the film in this era, but you manipulate religion, what is the use if converted to the Jewish conviction you really a hypocrite ...... But to be honest, at least your wife shows your taste in women.

Either half to give Israel bombs to buy or phosphorus release and the rear half of the wealth of the divorce

Sure after the change of religion in Palestine and Bistotun shall have the right to confiscate land for the Palestinians

Going through the responses to the frequent readers of the many Arab and world news events, has reached a conviction that the Arab peoples (Arabs) and the people stupid deserve. They do not know do not know that they do not know and think they know, and that is the seventh heaven of dementia and his country in mind. (Morocco)

It is known that the Jews falsely claim they are God's chosen people, they do not claim to profess their religion does not accept that he is not entitled to any of the Jewish people to be as Maktkdathm

Until the Jews would not Iradw by the Dean family Valehudyp closed on children Jacob (Israel) and believe they are God's children and the rest are animals, human beings like human beings created by God to serve them no rights, as was stated in the Torah that is the constitution of Israel, and Abu the first girl who knows and believes as long as intolerant. How can you be Jewish?

Although there are some commenters who don't see a big problem with it.

(h/t HuffPo)

New LG netbook feature: Built-in Quran!

From Middle East business site AMEInfo, a press release from LG Electronics:
LG Electronics, global leader and technology innovator, provides the LG Netbook X110 equipped with Holy Quran software and with the benefits of better, faster access to information and communications technology.

The software provides e- Holy Quran in 10 different languages. Recitation of the holy Quran is by Sheikh Abdul Rehman Sudas & Sheikh Saoud Al Shuraim. This software unites the requirements of every Muslims with high technology.

LG strives to improve the religious education, academic education, connectivity and access to technology.
It will be recalled that last year LG introduced a TV with the Quran built in as well.

And Nokia provides copies of the Quran for its mobile phones as well, although they are not built-in.

Once again we are seeing a multinational company specifically endorsing a single religion.

"Gas the Jews"

On Sunday, an IDF reserves captain spoke in Holland, and before he even said a word three protesters threw shoes at him.

The venue for the speech had to be changed because the original hotel received threats about hosting it, and decided in that typically European way that anyone who threatens free speech is far more important than free speech itself.

But one detail in the story that got overlooked by most media reporting it:
According to Edelheit, "The Palestinian organizations learned of the change, and then a rush of emails pressured the second hotel as well. There was a protest of some 50 people outside the hotel screaming, 'Gas the Jews'."
This has become a fashionable statement among the "pro-Palestinian" crowd. Even as they insist that they are not anti-semitic, the number of times that this or similar phrases have popped up at protests is increasing.

In Germany last month:
The mass anti-Israel demonstrations in Germany in January were largely organized and supported by Arab, Turkish and Palestinian groups. Left Party politicians in the Bundestag urged their members to attend the rallies, which turned into displays of Jew and Israel hatred, including calls to "gas the Jews," "Jews out of Germany," "Kill, kill Jews," and "Kill, kill Israelis."

Also in Holland:
A court in Utrecht convicted two men on Friday for chanting the slogan 'Gas the Jews' (Joden aan het gas).

The 30-year-old Ibrahim I. was sentenced to 30 hours of community service plus a suspended three-week prison sentence. The 25-year-old Mohamed B. was fined 400 euros.

In Sweden:

Police in Sweden are on heightened alert following a spike in anti-Semitic attacks around the country in the wake of Israel's campaign against Gaza-based Hamas militants. A wooden staircase at a Jewish center in Helsingborg in southern Sweden was set alight twice in three days in the past week in a blaze police suspect was caused by flammable liquid spread over the stairs, according to the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

In Denmark:

A Muslim saying, "We want to kill all the Jews, all the Jews should be slain, they have no right to exist!" (at 1:10); and chants of "Khaybar, Khaybar, ya Yahoud, jaish Muhammad sawfa yaoud” -- that is, “Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, the army of Muhammad will return.” That chant is a reference to a celebrated incident in the life of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, when he massacred a town full of Jewish farmers.

Mere Rhetoric has many more.

There is no question that the impetus for the less politically-correct versions of pure anti-semitism in Europe comes mostly from Muslims, but it is being not only tolerated but encouraged by the European Left. (Not that we haven't seen similar feelings in the far-Left on the other side of the Atlantic.) Certainly there have been few public calls from the European Left against Muslim anti-semitism - we have yet to see any articles from them saying "yeah, we passionately hate Zionism and Israel and consider the Jewish state to be uniquely evil in the annals of history, but calling for Jews to be gassed crosses the line." The self-described liberals cannot seem to find a problem with public calls for genocide.

Perhaps they feel that to criticize them would be an unacceptable threat to free speech. Similar to the free speech exercised by those who call up hotels to threaten them with violence for hosting, um, a speech.

"Storming" Joseph's Tomb

Every once in a while, Jews in Israel get together to pray at the Tomb of Joseph in Nablus/Shechem.

Under the Oslo Accords, Joseph's Tomb was meant to stay under Israeli control, but the IDF evacuated it in 2000 when it was immediately ransacked and burned. It has since been rebuilt.

Because of the danger involved in traveling there, those who want to visit the holy site need to go under armed protection. So once a month or so, a group of Jews will go there, usually in the middle of the night, to pray, accompanied by IDF soldiers.

Inevitably, this visit is reported in the Arab media this way:
Palestinian security sources reported on Monday that dozens of Israeli settlers backed by the army stormed the tomb of Prophet Joseph near Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus.

Eyewitnesses told Ma’an’s correspondent in Nablus that the settlers who came to the area were backed by Israeli soldiers late on Sunday, around midnight. The settlers, as reported; entered the tomb under the pretext of performing religious rituals.

The witnesses added that a number of Israeli military vehicles accompanied the buses by which settlers arrived to the area and waited two hours until they finished their rituals.
The imagery of a violent takeover of a supposed Muslim holy place, with the accompanying implicit dismissal of its importance to Jews, pretty much tells you what you need to know about the honesty of the Palestinian Arab media.

Ma'an uses the same terminology for Jews visiting the Temple Mount.