Monday, July 31, 2006

Liberal Opinion

George Soros is an extreme liberal.

George Soros has a lot of money.

George Soros is a Jew.

Which one of the above, or any other character, qualifies him to make this statement -

The Bush camp reminds me of the Nazi regime ???

Read on:

Now, Soros has raised eyebrows with his most recent sally into American political culture by drawing comparisons in his new book between the Bush administration and communist and Nazi governments.

In "The Age of Fallibility: Consequences of the War on Terror," Soros recalls that when he "heard President Bush say, 'Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists,' " in the wake of 9/11, "I was reminded of Nazi propaganda.

"Indeed, the Bush Administration has been able to improve on the techniques used by the Nazi and the Communist propaganda machines by drawing on the innovations of the advertising and marketing industries."

On a recent day, Soros was not quite backing down.

"You don't have a Karl Marx, you only have a Karl Rove who has been successful in creating a coalition of fundamentalists," he began, sitting in a conference room high above Manhattan, framed by a view of New York's Central Park, in a striped blue cotton shirt and khakis, his manner affable and relaxed.

However, he added, "we are an established democracy.... The policies and tactics employed by the Bush administration do not pose a threat to open society." Heavy-handed government in America today, he said, manifests itself in the undue extension of executive powers and the dismissal of critics as unpatriotic. That, in his view, "is the most significant similarity with the Nazi and communist regimes."

But he acknowledged that — even at a time when the government has engaged in secret wiretapping, hustled prisoners off to secret jails around the world and is holding terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay indefinitely without trial — more than a few people might consider such comparisons a stretch.

"It's very dicey, because people consider it somewhat shocking," Soros said. "It's really questionable whether I'm doing the right thing in being outspoken.... It may be that I pushed it too far."

Without Ethics, Too

If you go to the "Reporters Without Borders" website, the latest update item reports that its Secretary-General is in Beirut dealing with Israeli attacks on journalists and the media.

Funny, though, this story doesn't appear:

Haaretz reporter moderately hurt by rocket

Haaretz journalist Yuval Azoulay was injured at about 2 P.M. yesterday as he was reporting from the northern town of Kiryat Shmona. Azoulay suffered moderate injuries from shrapnel when a Katyusha rocket struck close to him.

Azoulay was hit as he was preparing an article with photographer Tomer Appelbaum on the plight of a Kiryat Shmona resident whose home was destroyed by a rocket.

"I was on the roof," Appelbaum said, "and was taking photographs of the woman through the hole in the roof. Suddenly I heard a loud bang, as it is now so common to say, and before I knew what was happening I heard Yuval shout that he was hurt. There had been no alarm, nothing, it just landed on a home next to us. The Katyusha fell 10 meters from him, but he was in an alley and I did not see him."

Now, I know that the Hizbees didn't purposefully aim at Azoulay, as the Reporters Without Borders claim that Israel is doing to Arab media (okay, that was just to be fair to the RWBees even though they don't deserve it). But at least I hope they'll admit that Azoulay got hit by sharpnel from a rocket that was purposefully intended to hit a civilian's home - a civilian's home for God's sake.

Reporters take chances and know what danger they sometimes can get into. But civilians are supposed to be living a quiet life, not being rocketed by a terrorist group.

Do you think the RWBees know the difference? Or are they without ethics, professional or private, too?

P.S. Here's their contact e mail address if you want to ask them:

Gibson Observation

Mel Gibson's blood alcohol level was just a .12 -- apparently the guy just needs a mild buzz before he starts singing "Heil to Der Fuhrer."

(Kippah tip: Fark)

Calling Female Supporters of Israel

Ah, ladies, we need some help here.

Israel needs you in the front lines.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

First Rabin and Now Halutz?

Army chief undergoes further medical tests

Halutz examined in hospital again, two days after being admitted with abdominal pains to Sourasky Medical Center Friday. IDF spokesperson: Chief of staff continues to oversee war without limitations

IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz underwent an additional series of hospital tests Sunday evening, after on Friday he complained of abdominal pains and was admitted to the hospital.

Halutz is set to undergo another round of tests on Monday.

However, the IDF stated that the army chief continues to manage military issues as usual and that his medical tests revealed no irregular findings.

On Friday, Halutz was admitted to the Sourasky Medical Center with stomach aches, examined by physicians and later sent home to rest. IDF Spokesperson Miri Regev said that the chief of staff returned to conduct the fighting in Lebanon without any restrictions or limitations.

On Rabin's collapse: here and here.

Can We Hear Some Denunciation?

28 days in prison for reserves officer who refuses to take part in fighting in the north
An IDF reserves officer in the rank of captain, who serves in the Armored Corps brigade, was sent to prison for 28 days after refusing to take part in IDF operations in the north.

The officer, drafted with a Decree 8, said that "taking part in the war is against the values" he was raised on.

When the nationalist camp was debating refusal to serve, everyone jumped on them and demanded from Rabbis, Roshei Yeshivot and educators to denounce them.

Will we here similar demands of university professors, playwrights and poets of the Left?

Look, See, Hizbballah (or however one spells it)

See the video of rocket shooting from within civilian areas by Israel's enemy.

What Was That Psalm, Again?

I know that many bloggers have related to this item of the find of a Psalter in an Irish bog (where one could reasonably have expected to find the bones of someone inebriated who got lost years ago on the way home from the pub but I had to have it here on my blog too:-

The manuscript, containing approximately 20 pages, was discovered last Thursday in the Irish Midlands when the construction worker noticed it while excavating for commercial potting soil. Museum officials declined to specify the bog’s location, explaining that archaeologists were still exploring the site.

The museum said that the bound pages had slipped outside the book’s wraparound cover, made of vellum or leather, and that the psalms were written directly on vellum and the book was found open at a page showing Psalm 83 in Latin.

In later English-language versions, Psalm 83 exhorts God to act against conspirator nations plotting to wipe out “the name of Israel.

Will This Make the Letters Section of the NYTimes?

Your editorial suggest that there is a "glaring flaw in the [U.S.] administration’s logic" in its attitude towards Israel's airstrike campaign against the Hezbollah and that a major Israeli ground offensive "would have far too steep a political and diplomatic cost" ("A Right Way to Help Israel", July 29).

However, it might well be that it is your paper that possesses a flawed logic.

In the confrontation with Hezbollah, with Syria and Iran behind it, no diplomatic or political gain or victory can be measured against a military weakness or loss that Israel might suffer at present. Israel had achieved a political and diplomatic gain in 2000 when it withdrew uniltaerally from Lebanon and now, six years later, the military cost has finally caught up.

Whatever Britain's Tony Blair or even America's Condoleeza Rice can offer now, we in Israel don't want to reap in another few years.

Yisrael Medad
Shiloh, Israel

Another "West Banker" in the NYT

July 29, 2006

To the Editor:

Re “He Who Cast the First Stone Probably Didn’t” (Op-Ed, July 24):

Daniel Gilbert draws a parallel between the Israeli-Arab conflict and children fighting in the back of a station wagon (“He hit me first!,” “He hit me harder!”).

Though Mr. Gilbert gestures at the possibility that the current warfare might be about something real, his diagnosis is a bad case of station-wagon syndrome: both sides are just getting even, both sides are going overboard, and both sides are childlike in their lack of detached insight.

But Israel isn’t simply settling scores. It is not seeking to calibrate its responses to give as good as it’s getting.

Israel is hitting as hard as it must to achieve its substantive goals: southern skies clear of Palestinian missiles, hundreds of which have landed in its towns; and northern borders clear of the snipers and booby-trappers of Hezbollah, which, since Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000, has been cultivating the thicket of missiles pointed south.

(Rabbi) Eitan Mayer
Neve Daniel, West Bank

Ashrawi Resurrected

Just the other day I said to someone (can't now recall to whom) "Where is Hanan Ashrawi?", you know, the ace-in-the-hole PR face to Pal. terror.

Well, she just popped up:-

With Lebanon dominating the headlines, Israel has "rearranged the occupation" in Gaza, in the words of the Palestinian academic and MP, Hanan Ashrawi...Mrs Ashrawi believes Samson's Pillars are no closer to falling. "Israelis think they are searing the consciousness of the Palestinians and the Lebanese with a branding iron. But if people have a cause they will never be defeated."

(Kippah tip: SoccerDad)

But What Did He Say?

Notice here how the CNN version ignores the content of Gibson's remarks:-

Gibson apologizes for behavior
'I disgraced myself,' star says after 'horrific relapse' and arrest

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Actor and director Mel Gibson issued a statement on Saturday, apologizing to deputies for his "belligerent behavior" when he was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Malibu the day before.

Gibson said that he has "battled the disease of alcoholism for all of my adult life and profoundly regret my horrific relapse," according to the statement.

Gibson, 50, was pulled over Friday on the scenic Pacific Coast Highway after "deputies were alerted by their radar that his speed was above the posted limit," according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. (Watch how the arrest casts a different spotlight on Gibson -- 1:28)

When officers approached Gibson they smelled alcohol on his breath, and a Breathalyzer test showed that his blood-alcohol content was 0.12, the sheriff's department release said. The California legal limit is 0.08.

He was taken into custody and later posted $5,000 bond for his release, said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.

The police did not charge him with driving under the influence because it's the district attorney's duty to decide if the arrest merits charges.

In his statement, Gibson acknowledges that he had been drinking Thursday night and that "I did a number of things that were very wrong and for which I am ashamed. I drove a car when I should not have. ... I feel fortunate that I was apprehended before I caused injury to any other person."

"I acted like a person completely out of control when I was arrested and said things that I do not believe to be true and which are despicable," the statement said. "I am deeply ashamed of everything I said."

So, what did he say, you ask?

This is what he said:-

Lt. Steve Smith, in charge of the detective bureau for the Malibu/Lost Hills station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, confirmed to me just now that "the contents seem to be similar" between the official reports and the four pages posted by on the Internet
alleging Mel Gibson made anti-Semitic slurs -- "fucking Jews" and "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world" and asking the arresting deputy "Are you a Jew?" -- during his DUI arrest early Friday morning.

Smith denied's charge that the sheriff's department was involved in "a cover-up" of Gibson's alleged anti-Semitic tirade. "TMZ has learned that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department had the initial report doctored to keep the real story under wraps," the website claims. But Smith told me emphatically, "There's no whitewash. I've seen the first report, and the supplemental report, and it looks to be the same thing as what's on the Internet. The contents that are on the Internet are covered in both those reports." That is the first official confirmation from the Sheriff's station that Gibson's alleged anti-Semitic rants are included in the official reports about his DUI arrest.

As soon as TMZ's Internet pages surfaced about Gibson's alleged anti-Semitic tirade, Hollywood's entertainment leaders began phoning one another asking if could possibly be true. (Already this morning, I personally spoke with several prominent players wanting to know more.) Now, with my confirmation from Lt. Smith that those pages are similar to the official Sheriff's reports, showbiz moguls are certain to be shocked and angry. Still, to be fair, whether any actor should be held responsible for what may have been allegedly under-the-influence ramblings is certainly debatable. But Gibson is a special case because his worldwide mega-hit The Passion of the Christ was criticized by some Jewish leaders as anti-Semitic, and Gibson's father, a local religious leader, has said that the Holocaust did not happen.

Hutton Gibson in statements has decried the Holocaust as "fiction" and claimed there were more Jews in Europe after World War II than before. The younger Gibson, however, has repeatedly denied his movie was anti-Semitic. But the actor/director's views about his father's Holocaust denial have been under scrutiny. When asked by an interviewer in early 2004 whether the Holocaust happened, the actor/director responded that some of his best friends ''have numbers on their arms,'' then added: ''Yes, of course. Atrocities happened. War is horrible. The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps.'' But in the same interview, Gibson said his father, Hutton Gibson, had ''never lied to me in his life,'' and Holocaust scholars have cited those and other statements as evidence that he has failed to disassociate himself clearly from his father's views.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Succinctly Put

From here.

(Kippah tip: LGF)

Do You Like Egyptian Music or Just Their Antisemitism?

Their antisemitism and their anti-Americanism.

Or watch here.

"Occupied", "Settlements" Did You Say? "Pigs" Did He Say?

IMRA noticed the terminology manipulation:-

Lebanese National resistance attacks Haifa
Sunday, July 16, 2006 - 11:10 AM
BEIRUT, (SANA- Official Syrian News Agency)

The Lebanese national resistance targeted Haifa and Akka cities north occupied Palestine by missiles...."

"Lebanese national resistance shells Haifa, Akka and Nahariya
Monday, July 17, 2006 - 11:00 AM

The Lebanese national resistance rocketed the Israeli settlements in
al-Jalilee including Akka, Nahariya and Haifa..."

Lebanese resistance shells Israeli settlements
Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 12:25 PM
BEIRUT, (SANA - Syrian News Agency)-

The Lebanese national resistance announced Thursday that it fired rockets at Ma'lout, Kfar Vradim and al-Shoumara settlements, northern Israel in response to Israeli escalated aggression on Lebanon.

And, as long as we are on the topic of language and semantics, IMRA notes this MEMRI report on a series of interviews:-

Syrian Deputy Minister of Religious Endowment Muhammad 'Abd Al-Sattar Calls for Jihad and States Jews "are the Descendants of Apes and Pigs"

The following are excerpts from an interview with Syrian Deputy Minister of Religious Endowment Dr. Muhammad 'Abd Al-Sattar, which aired on Syrian TV on July 21, 2006. It is followed by an appearance on Syrian TV from November in which he again calls Jews "the descendents of apes and pigs," as well as another interview from last August during which he calls for the stoning of AIDS patients.

Syrian TV, July 21, 2006


Muhammad 'Abd Al-Sattar: "Jihad is now incumbent upon each and every Muslim, Arab, and Christian. The time has come for the duty of Jihad."


"Who occupied the Al-Aqsa Mosque? Who attacked the prophets? Who killed the prophets? Even the Koran depicts the people of Israel in a very sinister and dark way. Allah did not curse any people, not even the polytheists, not even the idol worshippers. The Koran did not curse any of these. The only ones who were cursed are those murderous criminals."


"The Koran used terms that are closer to animals than to humans only with regard to those people. Look at the bestiality they demonstrate in the destruction of the Arab, Lebanese, and Palestinian people. This is why the people who were given the Torah were likened to a donkey carrying books. They were also likened to apes and pigs, and they are, indeed, the descendants of apes and pigs, as the Koran teaches us."

Syrian TV, November 8, 2005


Muhammad 'Abd Al-Sattar: "Syria now represents the opposition to the Greater Middle East plan..."We must know that opposing the Zionist plots, which aim to put on the throne of the Middle East the descendants of... those whom the Koran called the descendents of apes and pigs...

Syrian TV, August 30, 2005


Muhammad Abd Al-Sattar: "All the diseases that have to do with sexual organs, mainly AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea, and so on... When these diseases appeared, they killed millions. More people were killed by these diseases than by wars. The only reason for this is the straying from the divine way regarding fornication, and when I say fornication - 'Do not even approach abomination' - this means fornication, homosexuality, and all the sexual deviation it entails."

Host: "Everything that has to do with abominations."

'Abd Al-Sattar: "'Do not even approach abomination, surely it is a foul thing and an evil way.'...If only we had stoned everyone who had committed this abomination - wouldn't it have been better than letting these diseases infect others, spreading to millions around the world?"

Host: "Most certainly."

A Bit of Feminist Activism Wouldn't Hurt

Okay, you're female. And you're a feminist.

You are liberal, maybe a bit radical, but even if not, you promote the ideas of freedom and justice.

Then read on and tell me, which side in the Middle do you really think has the open hand on morality and ethics when we are referring to a society, its regime and its laws? Which country is beeter placed to bring about peace and security and stability for all?

Execution of a teenage girl

On 15 August, 2004, Atefah Sahaaleh was hanged in a public square in the Iranian city of Neka. Her death sentence was imposed for "crimes against chastity". The state-run newspaper accused her of adultery and described her as 22 years old. But she was not married - and she was just 16.

In terms of the number of people executed by the state in 2004, Iran is estimated to be second only to China. In the year of Atefah's death, at least 159 people were executed in accordance with the Islamic law of the country, based on the Sharia code. To teach others a lesson, Atefah's execution was held in public

"When I met with the family," says Asieh, "they showed me a copy of her birth certificate, and a copy of her death certificate. Both of them show she was born in 1988. This gave me legitimate grounds to investigate the case." So why was such a young girl executed? And how could she have been accused of adultery when she was not even married?

Previously arrested for attending a party and being alone in a car with a boy, Atefah received her first sentence for "crimes against chastity" when she was just 13. Although the exact nature of the crime is unknown, she spent a short time in prison and received 100 lashes...

...Circumstances surrounding Atefah's fourth and final arrest were unusual. The moral police said the locals had submitted a petition, describing her as a "source of immorality" and a "terrible influence on local schoolgirls".

...When Atefah realised her case was hopeless, she shouted back at the judge and threw off her veil in protest...It was a fatal outburst. She was sentenced to execution by hanging, while Darabi got just 95 lashes.

Shortly before the execution, but unbeknown to her family, documents that went to the Supreme Court of Appeal described Atefah as 22.

...The human rights organisation Amnesty International says it is concerned that executions are becoming more common again under President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad, who advocates a return to the pure values of the revolution.

Dear Feminist,

Again, I ask you to ask yourselves, would you like to live in a Middle East influenced by Iran (and its Hezbollah) or Saudi Arabia or that country Israel described schreechingly as, well, you know the adjectives I don't want to write.

It's your choice.

A Middle East dominated by democracy, freedom of expression and social welfare or not.

TNR's Ethics of Journalism

The New Republic trumpeting their professional journalistic standard on reporting:-

Finally, we have a unique correspondent in Beirut named Annia Ciezadlo. In addition to being brave, spending long stretches of time with Hezbollah, she has a Lebanese husband and a tremendous feel for the besieged country. Her dispatches from Beirut are filled with unforgettable scenes of refugees and makeshift encampments.

(from an e mail blurb, July 27, 2006)

And here's an opening salvo:-

by Annia Ciezadlo

Post date 07.20.06 | Issue date 07.31.06

Four stories below the earth, in an abandoned parking garage, the families sprawled on blankets and on straw mats, with diapers and rumpled clothes ranged around them. Enormous generators circulated the stinking air. It reeked of staleness, human waste, and the recycled exhalations of thousands of refugees, most of whom had been there for days. To get in and out, or to move between levels, lines of people squeezed simultaneously up and down a staircase only wide enough for one...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

We Know Have Hezbullah Groupies

Well, at least one:-

One Cecilia Lucas, a graduate student at UC Berkeley, has penned a "love poem for Hizbullah." We kid you not. Here's a sample:

*** QUOTE ***

You were born out of death to a life in a cage

Where bombs are not the only reason people die
Fed by the violence of hunger and homelessness

Raised by colonialism

Your heart and your will still grew strong

You scare me

Not just because they tell me to be scared

Not just because they repeat, repeat, repeat

The story of 1983
Begging me to understand

Americans are worth more than Lebanese

*** END QUOTE ***

We suppose a certain romanticization of nihilistic political violence is a common enough form of adolescent rebellion, though one suspects young Miss Lucas is getting egged on by her professors, many of whom no doubt are liberal baby boomers who never outgrew their own adolescence.

Ah well, the best way to respond to this sort of thing is with mockery, as
blogger "Iowahawk," writing under the nom de plume " Omar Walid Muhammed, Chairman, Hezbollah Poetry Club," devastatingly does, in a poem called "I Love You Too, Cecilia Lucas":

*** QUOTE ***

You were born in the Valley to a life in a suburban cage
Encino, where mean girls and cheerleaders
Drop bombs of hate on the unpopular girls

Shy poetry club chicks like you

With 1480 SATs and early admission to Berkeley

Fed by the violence and lookism of the dance squad

Raised in a four bedroom colonial

They wouldn't let you wear your Che T-shirt to prom

But your heart and your armpit hair still grew proud and strong

You scare me too

Not just because you have that Code Pink Manson girl freak-vibe

Not just because you repeat, repeat, repeat

All those quotes from your dog-eared volumes of


and Zinn

and Edward Said

Begging me to understand

Can't we just hold each other

Instead of talking, talking, talking
About your Masters thesis?

(Kippah tip: Taranto)

Condi Klopped by Conservatives

Baker? Baker back? Oiy vey.

Read here.

Conservative national security allies of President Bush are in revolt against Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, saying that she is incompetent and has reversed the administration’s national security and foreign policy agenda.

The conservatives, who include Newt Gingrich, Richard Perle and leading current and former members of the Pentagon and National Security Council, have urged the president to transfer Miss Rice out of the State Department and to an advisory role. They said Miss Rice, stemming from her lack of understanding of the Middle East, has misled the president on Iran and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

"...She is just incompetent on most foreign policy issues."

"Condi was sent to rein in the State Department," a senior Republican congressional staffer said. "Instead, she was reined in."

Several of the critics have urged that Mr. Bush provide a high-profile post to James Baker, who was secretary of state under the administration of Mr. Bush's father. They cited Mr. Baker's determination to confront Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein in 1990.

A leading public critic of Miss Rice has been Richard Perle, a former chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board [who] has accused Miss Rice of succumbing to a long-time State Department agenda of meaningless agreements meant to appease enemies of the United States.

A major problem, critics said, is Miss Rice's ignorance of the Middle East. They said the secretary relies completely on Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, who is largely regarded as the architect of U.S. foreign policy...The critics said Miss Rice has adopted the approach of Mr. Burns and the State Department bureaucracy that most—if not all—problems in the Middle East can be eased by applying pressure on Israel. They said even as Hezbollah was raining rockets on Israeli cities and communities, Miss Rice was on the phone nearly every day demanding that the Israeli government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert exercise restraint.

"Rice attempted to increase pressure on Israel to stand down and to demonstrate restraint," said Stephen Clemons, director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. "The rumor is that she was told flatly by the prime minister's office to back off."

The Morality Card

An IDF source explained that, considering that there are still a few hundred Lebanese citizens in Bint Jbeil, forces cannot attack the town aerially, and, thus, it is necessary to bring in ground troops. He emphasized that fighting in the area will continue.

Source: here.

I'm sorry but this just won't do.

An announcement should be made. A time limit of a few hours given and then the town is a fair target. For two days they've been fighting there and the civilians know what's in store.

My neighbor's son, Avihu Keinan, who was killed in Gaza almost three years ago also suffered from this warped morality of terrorists using civilians to hide.

It has to stop.

Here's an opinion of a Haifa University professor, David Navon:-

Harming the civilian population in Lebanon constitutes a war crime. Untrue.

War ethics calls for abstention from an intentional harm of non-combatant populations, and to prevent as much as possible unintentional harm to those populations. But it is not always possible to prevent all unintentional harm. It is much harder when enemy troops systematically use the cover of a civilian population, in order to put the opposing side in a cruel dilemma between the achievement of its goals and an attempt to abstain as much as possible from violating war ethics. In our case, Hezbollah intentionally operates from within a civilian population, often from house terraces and mosque courts. Furthermore, most of the civilians used for these ends do so in full consent and thus they cross the line from non-combatant to combatant.

Aiming for civilian infrastructure is a war crime as it is intentional. Untrue.

When a sovereign state makes no attempt to enforce its rule, and knowingly permits an armed force to operate from it against another state, responsibility lies on it. The government of Lebanon holds responsibility, since for the last six years it has done nothing to maintain the UN 1559 resolution that obligates it to practice its sovereignty also over Hezbollah.

Its weakness is no excuse since it is a result of a conscious decision not to maintain a force that can enforce a rule. An attempt to force it to follow its duties is therefore not unreasonable. In view of this, a measured attack on infrastructure is not illegitimate, more so when it is known that Hezbollah makes use of this infrastructure (i.e transportation routes to the south) for its hostile operations; the only option is to attack these infrastructures in the required measure. It therefore seems that while the wisdom and effectiveness of IDF operations is debatable, the "ethical fervor" should be chilled.

Short Witty Summary

Fark sums it up:-

Lebanon must get rid of Hezbollah, welcome 10,000 foreign troops and let Israel drive as far as 20 miles into their territory.

Israel must...actually, they're doing just fine.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Development in the Vellis Infant Abuse Case

This was scanned from the Maariv newspaper of July 26, 2006, p. 19.

A few months ago, the death of an infant suspected as caused by parental abuse made headlines, caused riots in Meah Shea'arim and set off a flurry of blogging among Jews.

The story basically says that the former chief pathologist of Israel, Prof. Yehudah Hiss claims he found no external evidence (such as teeth marks, bruises, etc.) and the prosecution reps state: we never said his abuse left external marks but rather his abuse left internal injuries.


David Bedein gets another entry here.

On February 18th, 2005, during a public presentation for the annual Jerusalem meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert faced a challenge from a questioner. The questioner asked Olmert how he could trust the intentions of Abu Mazen, since Abu Mazen has been allowing terrorists under his jurisdiction to arm themselves to the teeth.

Olmert's reaction was passionate. He pounded on the podium and exhorted people to examine "Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon as a model which Israel would apply to Gaza and Samaria." Olmert explained that Hizbullah terrorists now stationed in former Israeli army positions throughout Southern Lebanon had accumulated 15,000 missiles and mortars in Lebanon. Continuing to pound on the podium, Olmert said that "they have never, never, never used missiles against Israel on the northern border since Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon in May, 2000."

I found Olmert's comments to be incredible. My son Noam served on the northern border in an IDF combat unit for almost three years and was under fire the entire time. This was not at some kind of summer camp.

Our news agency dispatched a reporter to a press reception on February 23rd, at Jerusalem's Beit Agron International Press Center in Jerusalem, to ask Olmert if he stood behind his statement that the Hizbullah had not fired any missiles into Israel since Israel's withdrawal in May, 2000. The reporter showed Olmert a declassified IDF situation report from June 8th, 2004, the day that Noam completed his IDF service.

The IDF document shown to Olmert spoke for itself:

"In the four years since the IDF unilaterally redeployed its troops from Lebanon, the following attacks on Israel took place from the north: 34 attacks with mortar shells and anti-tank missiles into northern Israel; 7 shooting attacks with light arms fire into northern Israel; 8 roadside bombs that were planted in northern Israel; 127 times when anti-aircraft missiles were fired into northern Israel; 5 Katyusha rocket attacks into northern Israel; 10 infiltrations into northern Israel; 11 soldiers killed in northern Israel, while three IDF troops were kidnapped and murdered; 50 soldiers were wounded in northern Israel; 14 civilians were killed in northern Israel."

Olmert glanced at the IDF report, stood his ground, and reiterated his stand that "I meant to say that they have not fired into Israel in the last five years." When the reporter showed Olmert that the IDF report demonstrated that the Arab terrorists had continued firing missiles into Israel, killing 28 people, Olmert walked away, saying that he did not want to discuss it.

Entire article here.

Damned and Hopefully Doomed? or Just Damned?

Lindy McDowell in Belfast hasn't lost the main point in this battle.

Here are two excerpts from her op-ed, Israel: damned or doomed?

Disproportionate. That's the term that's being used over and over again to describe Israel's response to the terror campaign of Hezbollah - a terror campaign which has included literally hundreds of rocket attacks upon the Israeli civilian population.

Disproportionate is an interesting word.

Used in the context of the Middle East, it appears to be acceptance that Israel has a right to defend its people by hitting back at the madmen of Hezbollah. But it is also saying that such retaliation must be measured in a "proportionate" way.

They kill two, so you're allowed to kill two - that sort of thing, perhaps?

...And compounding the anti-Semitic violence of 21st century Europe and the relentless threat and sponsorship of terror from Israel's neighbours, is the consensus in the 'liberal' West that this is somehow acceptable.

I can think of no other situation where leaders of neighbouring nations would talk openly about wiping out a country and its people and in Europe so-called liberals would just shrug their shoulders as if this was entirely in order.

In Western 'liberal' eyes, Israel must eternally be regarded as the ogre. This despite the fact that the current conflict, provoked by terrorist Hamas and Hezbollah, came after Israelis, having vacated Gaza and voluntarily removed settlers from the West Bank, elected a Government that in aggressive expansionist terms is the equivalent of our local Alliance party.

Israel is well aware that, in responding to attacks upon its people, it will be damned if it does - but doomed if it doesn't.

And needless to say the media damnation of Israel in recent days has been fulsome.

Is it, you have to wonder, motivated entirely by a natural and understandable human revulsion at the killing of innocent civilians? On one day this week bombs in Iraq killed 10 times the number Israeli missiles killed in Lebanon. But guess which made a downpage story while the other dominated page upon page of analysis, comment and condemnation.

Closer to home, we've had cries about innocent civilian casualties from those who adhere to the 'wrong but not a crime' argument with regard to terrorist killings in Northern Ireland. Disproportionate?

Overall, I can think of no better word to sum it up. Not the violence in the Middle East but the hypocrisy in the West.

(Kippah tip: FrankB)

They Wallow in Blood (but our blood is cheap)

The cultured Brits seem to get all excited when Israel is involved in some dispute.

This placard was displayed at a demo this past week.

Leon Kuhn is the "artist". That wouldn't be a Jewish name, now, would it?

(Kippah tip: Harry's Place.)

Media hysteria

Melanie Phillips explains and expounds:-

A hysteria towards Israel is rising within the media and so-called educated classes of Britain which increasingly mimics and even rivals, in its intensity, irrationality and bigotry, the prejudices and libels coursing through the Arab world which are the recruiting sergeants for global terror.

Through the distorting prism of this world view — the dominant view of the media and the intelligentsia — Israel is being presented as the aggressor in this dispute, inflicting upon the hapless Lebanese a wholly disproportionate level of punishment.

As We Were Saying

No further explanation required.

(Kippah tip: Roiteleh)

Relax A Little. Enjoy.

That Would Be Terrible

CNN is reporting that

The U.N. observers killed when an Israeli bomb made a direct hit on their bunker in southern Lebanon Tuesday called an Israeli military liaison about 10 times in the six hours before they died to warn that the aerial attacks were getting close to their position, according to a U.N. officer.

After each call, the Israeli officer promised to have the bombing stopped, an officer at the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) base in Noqoura said.

Finally, an Israeli bomb exploded directly on the U.N. post near Khiyam, killing four U.N. observers from Austria, Finland, Canada and China, the U.N. officer said.

I hope this isn't a case when revenge is being taken for the active compliance of UNIFIL observers in the kidnapping of three Israeli soldiers in 2000.

That would be terrible.

By the way, what were these observers observing? Hizbullah aggression?

Gone, Gone Gorenberg

Gershom Gorenberg is the author of "The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967–1977" that came out this year (my copy is coming back from N.J. in another two weeks). He has also been a debating partner of mine.

He doesn't hold opinions I agree with.

What is his thinking now?


...does Olmert’s signature policy of convergence have a future? Not likely, unless the Israeli prime minister can make another leap in his thinking. The prime minister should accept not only the need to end Israeli rule over the Palestinians, but also the need to negotiate with them on an agreed future.

Already, political support for unilateralism is cracking. Last week, cabinet ministers from Olmert’s own Kadima Party began publicly criticizing his policy of convergence. “I don’t believe in unilateral disengagement,” said Housing Minister Meir Sheetrit in a recent television interview. Polls show the same shift. Last September, just after the Gaza pullout, the monthly Peace Index survey found that a clear majority of Israelis favored that move. This May, the Peace Index showed a narrow plurality of 47 percent to 44 percent in favor of Olmert’s West Bank pull-out plan. By early July, support was down to 39 percent, with 47 percent opposed.

...Before the Gaza pullout, those on both the right and the left warned of the dangers. The right said terror groups would claim victory and turn Gaza into “Hamastan.” Critics on the left agreed, but added that unilateralism would undermine Palestinian moderates who were willing to negotiate, harming the chances of creating a stable Palestinian state.

...if Olmert wants peace with the Palestinians, he will need to negotiate rather than impose. If Israel is to pull out of the West Bank, it needs a stable Palestinian government there, one that is committed to peace and able to control its territory. The only way Palestinian moderates—either from Abbas’s Fatah movement, or Hamas pragmatists willing to accept Israel’s right to exist—can gain that kind of power is by showing that they alone can deliver what their public wants: full independence. For Israel, therefore, diplomacy is the only way to continue the battle against terror by other means.

...In order to salvage his idea of withdrawal, Olmert would need to go much further than he once intended. He will need to accept a solution close to the Geneva Accord, the unofficial agreement worked out between Israeli and Palestinian moderates in 2003, which means relinquishing nearly all of the West Bank, including most of the settlements.

See what I mean that he and I have opposing opinions?

Oy, Gottenyu.

Why No More UNIFIL

In January 2005, Hezbollah planted five camouflaged “improvised explosive devices” (IEDs), inches on the Israeli side of the border near Zarit, 15 mountainous miles inland from the Mediterranean coast. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) detected these IEDs and, following procedure, notified UNIFIL. A French UNIFIL engineer duly certified that the devices were indeed IEDs, then “requested” that Hezbollah remove them.

Hezbollah, not denying it had planted them, flatly refused, stating that since the mines were (just barely) inside the “Zionist” border, it was up to the “Zionists” to remove them. So the IDF sent in a large armored bulldozer to carry the mines off for disposal. This task required making a sharp 90-degree right turn from an Israeli road onto the narrow border trail where the IEDs were located. Making this sharp right turn, the left front corner of the bulldozer inevitably occupied, for a couple of seconds, about a meter of land on the Lebanese side. During those seconds a Hezbollah fighter directed an anti-tank missile at the narrow, unguarded windshield of the bulldozer.

The pinpoint strike, which our Israeli sources have admitted required extraordinary training and skill, killed the bulldozer’s driver, Sgt. Maj. Jan Rotzanski, a 21-year-old Russian immigrant from Herzliya. The cynical cruelty of this murder, which Hezbollah proceeded to widely celebrate across Lebanon, speaks volumes not only about Hezbollah, but also about UNIFIL.

Full article here.

Excellent Comment

Still, the question arises, however, that if the U.S. sides alone with Israel, would that not be a terrible message to send to the broader Middle East democracy initiative. This is the question that is the most lopsided of them all.

We have long believed that, paraphrasing former CIA director Jim Woolsey, democracy is not one vote, one time. Israel is in the Middle East and is a democracy that passes the Woolsey test and has done so for almost 60 years. Lebanon has had one election in recent times and it weaved Hezbollah into that democracy. The PA had an election and it put Hamas in charge. It seems to us that if one wants to further the Middle East democracy project — and not be cynical about it — the U.S. is doing precisely what it should: showing support for the established democracy, not the fragile and inept one that allows, tolerates or — at a minimum — turned a blind eye to Hezbollah in its midst.

At the end of the day, if Middle Eastern democracies are desired, and they are, does one not want models to point to? What model should the U.S. be pointing to to the Iranian dissidents, the Egyptian dissidents, the Saudi dissidents? Would we be right to say, “Vote and behave like they did in Lebanon, and erect a government like that (where 400,000 people live under Hezbollah control),” or “Look at Israel: It comes to the aid of others around the world, it has a minority population with full democratic rights that even serve in government, and its economy, free of oil, works.”

It may be wishful thinking to assume Arab peoples will fully want Israel as their model, indeed it is probably naive. Nonetheless, if the U.S. is to be held accountable for initiating and supporting democracies, the one that is one year old and hosts Hezbollah is not the model we should be propagating.

So the next time the question is asked about the Middle East democracy project in light of Israel, Lebanon, and the Middle East — the reminder needs to be made: Israel is a democracy and it is in the Middle East. And one final point: If Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran were to be victorious in their military actions and ideology, two things would not exist: 1) Israel and 2) Lebanese democracy of any kind.

Full article here.

Arab Chutzpah

Shaw J. Dallal of New Hartford, N.Y., has a letter is today's NYTimes.

Your editorial emphasizes a cease-fire based on disbanding Hezbollah. You say nothing about Israel’s occupation of Arab lands. Unless this occupation is ended, war and conflict in the Middle East will continue to threaten world peace.

Ending the occupation has been thwarted by our longstanding policy that Israel must be strong enough to defeat the combined forces of all the Arab states. This has encouraged Israel to continue its occupation.

Hezbollah’s shelling of Israeli towns and cities, in retaliation for Israel’s shelling and destruction of Lebanese towns and cities, portends a change in the balance of power in the region. It challenges our policy of maintaining Israel’s military superiority.

The call for disbanding Hezbollah will therefore inevitably be viewed by most Arabs as implicit support for Israel’s continuing military occupation of Arab lands.

Er, Shaw, what "occupation"?


On Shaw:

his novel
his attack on the U.S.'s complicity with Israel
his article Israel Is Not Comparable to "Advanced Western Democracies"

Sacks' Speech

Part of the speech of the Chief Rabbi of Great Britain at the Solidarity Rally for Israel, Sunday, 23 JULY 2006, JFS, KENTON, LONDON:-

Why then does a people who have consistently said Yes to life and No to death,
Who have consistently said Yes to peace and No to terror,
Find itself today fighting in Lebanon and Gaza?

The answer is so simple, yet so unbelievable, that we must hear it clearly and
Israel is fighting today in Lebanon because 6 years ago it withdrew from
Israel is fighting today in Gaza because 1 year ago it withdrew from Gaza.
And Israel discovered the terrible truth spoken by the late Mother Theresa
That no good deed goes unpunished.
Every gesture of goodwill undertaken by Israel has been seized on by its enemies
as a sign of weakness.
Every Israeli effort towards peace has led without exception to an increase in
violence against Israel.

The Oslo Peace Process led directly to the first Palestinian suicide attacks in
Taba: the most generous offer Israel ever made to the Palestinians, led directly to
the most concerted set of terrorist attacks against any nation in modern history.
The Gaza Withdrawal, the most painful act Israel has ever had to undertake, led
within less than a year to 1000 Kassam rocket attacks on Israeli civilian targets
including schoolchildren.
And finally the Lebanon withdrawal, undertaken by Israel six years ago in full
compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 425. That
resolution was immediately broken by Hizbullah, about which the United
Nations special envoy to Lebanon warned at the time, in November 2000: “Such
breaches of international peace and security in the south threaten to ignite a new
spiral of violence with tragic consequences for the civilian population.”
That failure led in 2004 to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559
which called categorically for the disarming of militias in Lebanon. Again
rejected. This time Kofi Annan himself protested to the Syrians. The effect? The
arming of Hizbullah with weapons that threaten the very heart of Israel.
Israel withdrew from Lebanon.

Dangerous Criminal

This 15-year old girl is suspected, according to the charge sheet, of being present on a roof in Hebron from which objects were thrown at policemen (note: not engaging in violence).

She has spent the last 7 weeks in jail.

A judge just extended that to 3 (!) more months.

Welcome to democratic Israel.

P.S. Hear her father (in Hebrew) here.

Read all the documentation here. Again, in Hebrew.

Madonna's Dressing Room Demands

Did you know that during her tours Madonna requires three candles to protect her from negative vibes and mean-spiritedness, a relaxing foot spa complete with lavender and camomile body soak, plenty of Kabbalah water, and a love seat.

Madonna, 47, also insists her dressing room is covered with white drapes and white roses - the symbolic colour of her Kabbalah faith.

Did you?

Okay she also demands a brand new toilet seat at every concert she plays. She is said to be so paranoid about germs she has requested that her dressing room toilets are fitted with a fresh seat for every night of her 'Confessions' world tour.

Madonna's US spokesperson Liz Rosenburg has defended her seemingly outrageous demands. She said: "Who wouldn't want a new toilet seat wherever they go."

This was a break from our war coverage and I wanted it on a Jewish theme. ;>)

Oh, Journalist Integrity?

Better late than never?

On CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday, CNN's senior international correspondent Nic Robertson added all of the caveats and disclaimers that he should have included in his story last week that amounted to his giving an uncritical forum for the terrorist group Hezbollah to spout unverifiable anti-Israeli propaganda. Back on July 18, Hezbollah took Robertson and his crew on a tour of a heavily damaged south Beirut neighborhood. The Hezbollah "press officer" even instructed the CNN camera: "Just look. Shoot. Look at this building. Is it a military base? Is it a military base, or just civilians living in this building?"

In his original story, Robertson had no complaints about the journalistic limitations of a story put together under such tight controls, and Robertson himself at one point seemed to agree with the Hezbollah propaganda claim that Israeli jets had targeted a civilian area: "As we run past the rubble, we see much that points to civilian life, no evidence apparent of military equipment."

Challenged by Reliable Sources host (and Washington Post media writer) Howard Kurtz on Sunday, Robertson suggested Hezbollah has "very, very sophisticated and slick media operations," that the terrorist group "had control of the situation. They designated the places that we went to, and we certainly didn't have time to go into the houses or lift up the rubble to see what was underneath," and he even contradicted Hezbollah's self-serving spin: "There's no doubt that the [Israeli] bombs there are hitting Hezbollah facilities."

But the closest Robertson came to making any of these points in the taped package that aired last week was admitting that "we [he and his CNN crew] didn't go burrowing into all the houses," after pointing out (for the second time) that "we didn't see any military type of equipment" in the area Hezbollah chose to let them tour.

Five days later, Robertson argued that "journalistic integrity" required skepticism: "When you hear their [Hezbollah's] claims, they have to come with more than a grain of salt, that you have to put in some journalistic integrity. That you have to point out to the audience and let them know that this was a guided tour by Hezbollah press officials along with their security, that it was a very rushed affair."

While some viewers undoubtedly deduced out that it was "a guided tour" from the numerous soundbites from the Hezbollah press officer, it's not as if Robertson ever complained about his limitations or explicitly warned viewers that there was no way he could confirm any of the claims.

Good Question

Moshe Arens is worried. The man who was defense minister for three terms when Israel controlled southern Lebanon, believes the current campaign there is being badly conducted. Unless there is a swift change, he warns, Hezbollah could come out of the conflict without being trounced. "This will be a disaster for Israel. Nasrallah will be seen in the world as someone who fired thousands of Katyushas on Israeli communities for weeks and came out unscathed."

This criticism is rejected both in the government and the army. The war, they say, is going well, Israel has chalked up several successes and has the upper hand. But one thinks that if Israelis had been asked on July 12 whether it was possible that Hezbollah would shell the North for two weeks without the IDF's being able to stop it, most of them would have replied in the negative.

The article here.

Use Proper Language

South Lebanon became an Iranian colony on the Mediterranean.

Jihadi colony;
Iran has become a colonial power;
We are witnessing a new age of fascist colonialism.

[Colonies are repressed, foreign implants, require independence...]

Lenny Ben-David

I would also use Islamic Imperialism.

Land for Peace, Nothing...Rockets

Political wit from David Bedein:-

First, Israel was offered "land for peace". That didn't work. That was The Oslo Process.

Then, Israel was offered "land for nothing". That didn't work.
That was The Disengagement Process.

Now Israel is offered "land for rockets". Israel gets hit with rockets in the North and provides the other side with launching pads in Judea and Samaria,(Ehud Olmert's plan of 'hitkansut' ingathering) from where rockets can hit the whole country.

That is The Realignment Plan.

Will that work?

(c)2006 David Bedein

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Artillery Shell Make for Good Ammunition

Remeber those pictures that caused a bit of a controversy? The little girls writing 'good-will' messages to Nasrallah?

Well, Chabad get in line to write, too.

Podhoretz's Bulls-Eye

On last evening's Sky News program, during my dialogue with a Lebanese counterpart, so-to-speak, the question of civilian casualties came up and lo and behold! the moderator in London insisted that Jameel reply to the point that he was not differentiating between real civilians and Hezballah fatalities.

And now, I've seen this article by John Podhertez and it rings true:-

What if liberal democracies have now evolved to a point where they can no longer wage war effectively because they have achieved a level of humanitarian concern for others that dwarfs any really cold-eyed pursuit of their own national interests?

What if the universalist idea of liberal democracy - the idea that all people are created equal - has sunk in so deeply that we no longer assign special value to the lives and interests of our own people as opposed to those in other countries?

What if this triumph of universalism is demonstrated by the Left's insistence that American and Israeli military actions marked by an extraordinary concern for preventing civilian casualties are in fact unacceptably brutal? And is also apparent in the Right's claim that a war against a country has nothing to do with the people but only with that country's leaders?

Can any war be won when this is the nature of the discussion in the countries fighting the war? Can any war be won when one of the combatants voluntarily limits itself in this manner?...

...If Lebanon's 300-plus civilian casualties are already rocking the world, what if it would take 10,000 civilian casualties to finish off Hezbollah? Could Israel inflict that kind of damage on Lebanon - not because of world opinion, but because of its own modern sensibilities and its understanding of the value of every human life?

Where do these questions lead us?...

...Is this the horrifying paradox of 21st century warfare? If Israel and the United States cannot be defeated militarily in any conventional sense, have our foes discovered a new way to win? Are they seeking victory through demoralization alone - by daring us to match them in barbarity and knowing we will fail?

Are we becoming unwitting participants in their victory and our defeat? Can it be that the moral greatness of our civilization - its astonishing focus on the value of the individual above all - is endangering the future of our civilization as well?

Coulter on Lebanon and America's Liberals


July 19, 2006

I knew the events in the Middle East were big when The New York Times devoted nearly as much space to them as it did to a New York court ruling last week rejecting gay marriage.

Some have argued that Israel's response is disproportionate, which is actually correct: It wasn't nearly strong enough. I know this because there are parts of South Lebanon still standing.

Most Americans have been glued to their TV sets, transfixed by Israel's show of power, wondering, "Gee, why can't we do that?"

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean says that "what's going on in the Middle East today" wouldn't be happening if the Democrats were in power. Yes, if the Democrats were running things, our cities would be ash heaps and the state of Israel would have been wiped off the map by now.

But according to Dean, the Democrats would have the "moral authority that Bill
Clinton had" - no wait! keep reading - "when he brought together the Israelis and Palestinians." Clinton really brokered a Peace in Our Time with that deal "our time" being a reference to that five-minute span during which he announced it. Yasser Arafat immediately backed out on all his promises and launched the second intifada.

The fact that Israel is able to launch an attack on Hezbollah today without instantly inciting a multination conflagration in the Middle East is proof of what Bush has accomplished. He has begun to create a moderate block of Arab leaders who are apparently not interested in becoming the next Saddam Hussein.

There's been no stock market crash, showing that the markets have confidence that Israel will deal appropriately with the problem and that it won't expand into World War III.

But liberals can never abandon the idea that we must soothe savage beasts with
appeasement â€" whether they're dealing with murderers like Willie Horton or Islamic terrorists. Then the beast eats you.

There are only two choices with savages: Fight or run. Democrats always want to run, but they dress it up in meaningless catchphrases
like "diplomacy," "detente," "engagement," "multilateral engagement," "multilateral diplomacy," "containment" and "going to the U.N."

I guess they figure, "Hey, appeasement worked pretty well with ... uh ...wait, I know this one ... ummm ... tip of my tongue ..."

Democrats like to talk tough, but you can never trap them into fighting. There is always an obscure objection to be raised in this particular instance but in some future war they would be intrepid! One simply can't imagine what that war would be.

Democrats have never found a fight they couldn't run from.

On "Meet the Press" last month, Sen. Joe Biden was asked whether he would support military action against Iran if the Iranians were to go "full-speed-ahead with their program to build a nuclear bomb."

No, of course not. There is, Biden said, "no imminent threat at this point."

According to the Democrats, we can't attack Iran until we have signed affidavits establishing that it has nuclear weapons, but we also can't attack North Korea because it may already have nuclear weapons. The pattern that seems to be emerging is: "Don't ever attack anyone, ever, for any reason. Ever."

So Nice To Know

Shakespeare Would Have Said It Differently

David Aaronovitch translates the conversation George Bush had with Tony Blair into Shakespearian English.

As he explains:

Like every other member of the commentariat I was shocked and disappointed by what my colleague Jane Shilling described as the “phatic gruntings” of the overheard George Bush and Tony Blair last week at the G8. One expects something better from world statesmen. Like this, perhaps.

I'll just excerpt the Israel-relevant section. The full version is here.


Dramatis Personae:
Georgio, King of America
Antonio, Duke of England
A waiter
A microphone

Act ten, Scene twelve. Council Room, St Petersburg Giorgio sits alone at a great table.

- - - -

Giorgio: Like unto a second skin. Nay better, for the first hath no embroidered G. For Giorgio.
But good Antonio, take we counsel now concerning the Levant.
My lord Annan, charged by the nations in their assembly to calm the noise of war,
Seeks only to separate the arms, thinking thereby to fulfil the task.
But the enmerded Moor, taking this peace for respite and repose,
By my vision, readies his galleys for renewed assault on the enrag’d Jew.

Antonio: Mayhap your counsels have prescribed another course,
But stand I ready to depart, at word once spoken,
For domed Jerusalem, besieged Beirut and perilous Damascus,
To smell out the land, to test the walls and ramparts of obstinacy, and discover yet who would rather dwell in the valleys of peace.
Only let it be soon, for rashness leads on to rashness.

Giorgio: Good my cousin, e’en now the fair Condoleezza,
for Zeus’s favoured daughter named,
Encompasses within her Vuitton sacks,
the necessaries for the voyage.

Antonio: The course is wise. And yet thy herald, being thy herald, must prevail, or all is lost.
Gentle Giorgio, little detains me in my state of England, whose wealth and peace is long secured, and whose people’s affections were ever mine. And so might I, with profit to us all, beard the lion in his den, and failing if fail I must, succeed.

Giorgio: Sweet Antonio, there may yet be need. But how the horrid bruits of war do interrupt the nourishment of the soul. I have thought ten times this summer long to divert me to those pursuits for which my nature was by God first formed. The writing of sonnets.

Antonio: The composition of operatics.

Giorgio: The designing of cathedrals.

There is the sudden sound of microphone feedback.

Giorgio: But heark! A spy?

Antonio: This microphone, which we thought but slept, is awake and — like any traitor — broadcasts our councils to the unready world. Dead for a ducat, dead!

Antonio draws his sword and stabs the microphone.

The rest is silence.

No Limit

Peretz Kidron (e mail = is a promoter of Yesh Gvul (There's A Limit - a play on the Hebrew term for both limit and border).

And what is Yesh Gvul's agenda?

Dear friend,

In view of the unfolding disaster in Lebanon, we seem to be headed for weeks or months of active campaigning against the renewed invasion and the bombing campaign.

We call on all those who share our view of the situation to support our efforts, and mount similar protests of their own !

Yesh Gvul was the first group to organize a demonstration against the war with a vigil at the prime minister's official residence in Jerusalem on Sat. July 8. Some 700 - 800 persons responded to our initiative.

We took part in setting up the march in Tel Aviv, Sat. July 15, and we are again part of the coalition that will demonstrate tomorrow, Sat. July 22.

The following Wednesday will see the launch of a new anthology ("Occupation and Refusal" - so far Hebrew only) edited by Yesh Gvul coordinator Ishai Menuhin [Heb. U. lecturer in Polictical Science - YM]. The event, at Tel Aviv "Zavta", will offer a further opportunity to protest against the criminal campaign in Lebanon.

FYI: Contradicting the Israeli government claim that the ferocious onslaught on Lebanon is in spontaneous response to a provocative Hizballah cross-border raid - an apparently informed report from Ha'aretz miiltary correspondent Amir Oren (Haaretz, July 21) reveals that the IDF has long prepared the campaign, with the most recent training exercise held last month. Also, Oren reports that the Israeli government earlier stalled an initiative to reduce tension on the Lebanon border. So, who's to blame ?


The Hizbees you idiot. The IDF has plans for every eventuality but someone has to start it and they did.

Monday, July 24, 2006

I Was Just On Sky News

I shared air time 10:30 -10:40 PM with a Lebanese blogger but couldn't find his blog.

How Right the Left Can Get

Yoram Kaniuk is solid left. He's not Gush Shalom. More Peace Now. But those are the circles he hangs around. An author of reknown, of the Palmach generation.

He was invited to participate in Saturday night's anti-war demo in Tel Aviv.

He didn't go. Why?

Read on:-

No Katyushas at Rabin Square

They called to say that there's a rally against the war on Saturday night. Which war? I used to rally with my eyes closed, the first to march in protest of the evils of the occupation - that war in Lebanon. But what kind of occupation is Lebanon under now? We withdrew from the country. We left Gaza. The Iranians are announcing that Israel must be erased from the face of the earth. They say this nation must be destroyed. Which other country in the world faces threats of destruction?

What other nation is referred to in London and Spain as an occupier and murderer, as a blood thirsty nation that commits war crimes?

Our media refer to the war as a show of strength by Olmert, who got carried away in his desire to become a military leader. A woman in my house says that the children were killed in Nazareth because Israel doesn’t build shelters for Arabs. She forgets that there are no shelters in ultra-orthodox Safed. But what cause will they have to rally for? The fact that Israel does not approve of calls for its annihilation and its unwillingness to have rockets hit Ashkelon, Sderot, Nahariya and Haifa? Is there a city in the world that sit idly by as it is hit by rockets, looking for excuses to understand the enemy and, in essence, to support it?

The Left's spiritual leader, Noam Chomsky , went to Hizbullah – a murderous, extremist, nationalistic organization by its own leaders' account – and saluted. Fascism on the Left and Right does not believe in the possibility of the righteousness of anyone else. They claim there's only one truth. We have heard this claim once before as the murderer of millions, Stalin, was endorsed as our revolution's leader.

Someone said I became a rightist. That's not true. Though what's their problem? If you're not for the destruction of Israel or forfeiting your dignity – then you’re a rightist? And what's wrong with that anyway? I am a rightist, but what is "a rightist" in the Jewish-Arab saga? Victory in this war means revealing the truth. I have read articles about how all of it derives from the occupation; that diplomacy is the way. But with whom? And what does Lebanon have to do with occupation? It is not evil and occupation that Jews launch out of their F-16s. It is obvious: We are at the tip of the Islam's Jihad against the West. We are the most convenient target, as the French and Spanish can hate us too.

Ours is the war with Arabs that started with the Balfur Declaration, since no Muslim entity can accept a different national entity in its midst. The ancient Egyptians, the Coptic Christians, are an example: they are down to seven percent of their original size and they are still persecuted, not because they're Christians but because they are an occupied nation.

I have read about the future investigation committees of this 11-day war and how the army, the country and the government are suckers for the clichés – we are all victims of emotional blackmail; imaginary existential anxiety, because the only reason Katyushas are falling is the occupation of Jenin. Hizbullah attacked us in South America and Lebanon, before they even heard of the Sheba Farms, which belonged to Syria anyway. So what do we do?

The protestors at the rally spoke of our crimes; about this cruel war where children on both sides are killed; more on their side because Israel is stronger. Yet a suicide bomber is not a Jew who drove to Nablus to blow up a movie theater. One has to be non-human to believe what I read in the newspapers. On the other hand, it's their right to print it. I do have an issue with it being presented as the whole truth. I'm not evil, but despite the mounting death toll, I support this war and Olmert who is leading an important battle, a fundamental war, perhaps even mythical. In an instant he became a military leader.

I might be wrong. G-d made a mistake creating this world. Everything is possible. What is not possible is that there's only one truth. We did not allow terrorists to lay their infrastructure in civilian neighborhoods. There's a moment when man turns into an animal. The struggle for survival in inherent to natural order, but it does not apply to cynical intellectuals or clever journalists. This is a war for our survival. We regressed to the days when I fought for independence due to the Arab rejection of the UN Partition Plan. Just days prior to the war I still belonged to a socialist youth movement supporting a two-nation state. I protested against occupation before we ever occupied anyone.

I love my daughter - the activist who protests the checkpoints and spends days helping every Palestinian who gets beaten up by the settlers and the soldiers. She does not sit at home contemplating. She believes Israel is the country of all its citizens: I too believe this is the only logical solution, though I am not willing to give up the Jewish State. Thus, I believe we will continue to fight for another century because no Arab will accept Israel – regardless of its size.

Following the slaughter in Maalot, I suggested to my Arab friends - writers, poets and painters - to jointly speak out against the terrorists and the IAF's attacks on Lebanon. They did not agree. They said the Palestinians who committed the massacre were guerilla fighters while Israel is a terror state. It took me years to get it, but when those who oppose the Israeli occupation cheer for the Hizbullah, I get it.

That Was The World That Was

David Remnick in The New Yorker:-

Just four months ago, following the incapacitation of Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert was elected Prime Minister of Israel. The hopeful narrative of his campaign was that of a career hard-liner who, like the great majority of Israelis, had finally come to believe that his country’s occupation of the more than three and a half million Palestinian Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank was morally untenable, spiritually corrosive, and politically senseless. Olmert comes from an activist family that believed in the Greater Israel ideology of Vladimir Jabotinsky. He was a “Likud prince,” a champion of the mass-settlement project.

But, in the footsteps of Sharon, who had closed the settlements of Gaza, Olmert declared his intention to extend the process known as “disengagement” to most (if not enough) of the West Bank. In the early weeks of his premiership, his greatest concern seemed to be how best to time the withdrawals and avoid any clashes between his own police and the most zealous of the settlers. Because the process lacked a Palestinian partner, the disengagement plan was too peremptory to promise a final settlement, but at least it suggested progress toward the sole mutually acceptable resolution of the historic conflict—two viable states, side by side, in a lasting, if uneasy, peace.

That strand of Middle Eastern optimism is now a memory...

...To distract the world from its nuclear ambitions and to keep conflict alive in the Middle East, Iran, through its client militia in Lebanon, has indulged in a provocation of the most dangerous kind. Now its opponents face a challenge that demands endurance and strategic calculation, an unwillingness to fall further into a trap where politics ends and the forces of chaos inevitably triumph.

Another "We Told You So"

How come when I and my friends said this, nobody listened?

Israel could face a situation in Gaza in two to three years similar to what it now faces in Lebanon if there is not a significant change in how Israel deals with the situation there, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Yuval Diskin told the cabinet Sunday.

"A very problematic reality is developing in Gaza," Diskin said. "In two to three years, if there is not a significant change, we could find ourselves in a situation similar to what we are facing against Hizbullah in Lebanon, which is to say fortified bunkers, tunnels and dangerous infrastructure and weaponry."

To keep this eventuality from materializing, Diskin said there was a need to block the smuggling routes of arms into Gaza, including under the Philadelphi Corridor that runs between Gaza and Egypt, and which Israel pulled back from last year as part of the disengagement from Gaza. He also said Israel had to keep Hamas from improving its weapon capabilities.

Davka (*) Debka

What military sources?

After 5 days, this is still clandestine?

Or maybe Debka is in the dark?

DEBKAfile Exclusive: Israel’s ground operations in Lebanon and strikes against Syria are clandestine and go well beyond official statements

July 19, 2006, 5:47 PM (GMT+02:00)

Israeli spokesmen speak only of small ground crossings into the south and air strikes against several war material trucks crossing in from Syria. However, according to DEBKAfile’s military sources, those ground incursions extend to central and eastern Lebanon as well as the south, targeting Hizballah strongholds and launching sites, and include several cross-border raids into Syria in pursuit of fleeing Hizballah terrorists and for the interception of incoming groups. Weapons convoys destined for Hizballah are also being struck on the Syrian side of the border. To conceal the extent of their losses, Hizballah has instructed its people not to hold burials.

(*) Davka

Competition Justifies a Seig Heil???

Flash!: Olbermann Mocks O'Reilly

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann used a Saturday morning breakfast session at the Television Critics Association press tour to fire yet another shot at Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly, holding up an O’Reilly mask while raising his right arm in a Nazi salute to mock his on-air rival.

“It’s just so much fun,” said the host of Countdown with Keith Olbermann when questioned about why he pursues his on-air rivalry with O’Reilly.

Olbermann also told the story of seeing O’Reilly at a celebrity fundraiser in New York, but said O’Reilly “never got within 20 feet of me. Every time I looked at him, he looked down.”

Olbermann did, however, note that his show and network have to “take more chances” in the race to compete with CNN and Fox News Channel, which he called an “ingenuously-placed political product.”


The Sun of Islam, Shining on the Universe

Long article but very basic and thorough. Amir Taheri explains that Hezbollah, the group at the heart of the Lebanese conflict, is the spearhead of Iran’s ambitions to be a superpower.

God's army has plans to run the whole Middle East

Last Picture

The Egoz Unit that went into Lebanon last week and lost five of its soldiers.

Via Maariv


In a NYTimes op-ed, Daniel Gilbert, a professor of psychology at Harvard, tries to offer this research result that would mitigate the Middle East violence:-

In a study conducted by Sukhwinder Shergill and colleagues at University College London, pairs of volunteers were hooked up to a mechanical device that allowed each of them to exert pressure on the other volunteer’s fingers.

The researcher began the game by exerting a fixed amount of pressure on the first volunteer’s finger. The first volunteer was then asked to exert precisely the same amount of pressure on the second volunteer’s finger. The second volunteer was then asked to exert the same amount of pressure on the first volunteer’s finger. And so on. The two volunteers took turns applying equal amounts of pressure to each other’s fingers while the researchers measured the actual amount of pressure they applied.

The results were striking. Although volunteers tried to respond to each other’s touches with equal force, they typically responded with about 40 percent more force than they had just experienced. Each time a volunteer was touched, he touched back harder, which led the other volunteer to touch back even harder. What began as a game of soft touches quickly became a game of moderate pokes and then hard prods, even though both volunteers were doing their level best to respond in kind.

Each volunteer was convinced that he was responding with equal force and that for some reason the other volunteer was escalating. Neither realized that the escalation was the natural byproduct of a neurological quirk that causes the pain we receive to seem more painful than the pain we produce, so we usually give more pain than we have received.

Research teaches us that our reasons and our pains are more palpable, more obvious and real, than are the reasons and pains of others. This leads to the escalation of mutual harm, to the illusion that others are solely responsible for it and to the belief that our actions are justifiable responses to theirs.

And I thought to myself, can anybody react to the Holocaust, to the suicide bombings with a proportion? any type of proportion? Or is being Jewish a security for not stumbling into the situations Gilbert describes?

What If?

David Frankfurter sent out an e-mail asking:-

What would be the U.S. response if Cuban-backed terrorists fired hundreds of rockets across the Mexican border into Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and dozens of smaller towns, and Mexico refused to act?

What would be the Russian response if Iranian-backed Chechen terrorists fired hundreds of rockets across the Belarus border into Moscow, St. Petersburg, and dozens of smaller towns, and Belarus refused to act?

What would be the French response if Libyan-backed Basque terrorists fired hundreds of rockets across the Spanish border into Toulouse, Marseilles, and dozens of smaller towns, and Spain refused to act?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Live Broadcasts from Israel

Major site for live Israeli TV and radio broadcasts.


And Now for Some Really Bad News

Ariel Sharon's condition worsens

The condition of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon - who has been in a coma for six months - has worsened, doctors treating him say. They said there had been a deterioration in his kidney function and changes in the brain tissue over the past two days.

"Over the last two days the condition of Mr Sharon has worsened on the level of the kidneys and an examination of the brain showed a deterioration in the cerebral tissue," said Orly Levy, a hospital spokeswoman.

However, Associated Press news agency quoted former aides to Mr Sharon as saying there was no immediate danger to his life.

Another Opinion


ISRAEL is losing this war. For a lifelong Israel supporter, that's a painful thing to write. But it's true. And the situation's worsening each day.
A U.S. government official put it to me this way: "Israel's got the clock, but Hezbollah's got the time." The sands of the hourglass favor the terrorists - every day they hold out and drop more rockets on Israel, Hezbollah scores a propaganda win.

All Hezbollah has to do to achieve victory is not to lose completely. But for Israel to emerge the acknowledged winner, it has to shatter Hezbollah. Yet Israeli miscalculations have left Hezbollah alive and kicking.

Israel has to pull itself together now, to send in ground troops in sufficient numbers, with fierce resolve to do what must be done: Root out Hezbollah fighters and kill them. This means Israel will suffer painful casualties - more today than if the Israeli Defense Force had gone in full blast at this fight's beginning.

Words of Wisdom

Israel left Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza in 2005. These are not "occupied" territories. Yet they serve as launching pads for attacks on Israeli civilians. Occupation does not cause terrorism, then, but terrorism seems to cause occupation.

Arithmetic of Pain
By ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ Wall Street Journal
July 19, 2006; Page A12

My Letter in Haaretz

This time, they spelled my name correctly.

My letter was translated from the Hebrew and published in the English edition.

Regarding "Was it a mistake?" Haaretz Magazine, July 7

In order to answer the question "Was the disengagement a mistake?" that was posed on the cover of the magazine, Shavit should have talked not just to politically center, left-wing and extreme left-wing people, and not just people that have a personal interest in answering that question above and beyond the general public one - rather other people.

They could have included people like Benjamin Netanyahu, Yaacov Amidror, Rafi Yisraeli, Arieh Stav and Shmuel Katz, among others.

These people, and others, have written, been interviewed and appeared in public forums, and have tried to point out the political, military and moral problems of Ariel Sharon's plan. Their predictions were, pardon the expression, right on target.

I would recommend a continuation of Shavit's process of observation so that no one will ever have to say "We told you so" again.

Yisrael Medad

Some Convincing Advice

This is going around (although it has been around for a while):-

What do you do when you have a conversation where somebody says that he does not believe in violent retaliation for a terrorist attack?

1. Ask if he accepts military intervention.

2. When he says no, ask why.

3. He will most likely say something like "It will cause more harm to innocent people, and will result in further escalation and violence..."

4. In the middle of his speech, punch him hard in the face.

5. When he tries to hit back, remind him that it will result in further escalation and violence.

6. When he agrees, hit him again, even harder.

7. Repeat steps 5 - 7 until he understands that sometimes you must hit back.

(kippah tip: LK)

More on the King David Hotel

Tom Segev is your typical Haaretz liberal.
Clever, knowledgeable and oh-so-anti (and borderline sympathetic to the enemy)

His new piece, "The spirit of the King David Hotel", is just plain nasty.

The terror attack on the King David Hotel in Jerusalem was in its day the equivalent of the Twin Towers;

Not really. No civilian casualties were intended and no suicide mission was planned.

The unveiling of the other plaque this week was meant to cap an academic conference held at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center on the issue of who is a freedom fighter and who is a terrorist...Twenty-five minutes went by and then "for some reason" the British did not evacuate the building "and as a result" 91 people were "regrettably" killed. There were 28 British, 41 Arabs, 17 Jews and five others. To emphasize the military aspect of the operation, the plaque notes that one of the Etzel people was killed "in an exchange of fire."

But that's exactly what happened. It is Segev who is attributing evil intentions, stemming from, perhaps, his evil intentions.

The British government is demanding the plaque's removal. Her Majesty's ambassador and the consul have written to the mayor of Jerusalem that such an act of terror cannot be honored, even if it was preceded by a warning. To this day, it is not clear what made the bombing's planners believe the British would evacuate the building. Would Benjamin Netanyahu, as prime minister, have ordered his bureau evacuated on the basis of telephone threat from a Palestinian terror group?

Let me make it clear.

There was a telephoned warning. It was received. Flash grenades and a petard were set off. Phone calls from within the hotel from a signals officer who witnessed the shooting of a British Major were made to three separate security stations. The British troops on the roof opened fire for a few minutes on the escaping Irgun soldiers. Nothing set off alarm bells but we do have testimonies that the Brits all thought it was a bluff.

...In the 60 years since the attack at the King David Hotel, Israel has hurt some two million civilians, including 750,000 who lost their homes in 1948, another quarter million Palestinians who were forced to leave the West Bank in the Six-Day War and hundreds of thousands of Egyptian civilians who were expelled from the cities along the Suez Canal during the War of Attrition. And now tens of thousands of Lebanese villagers are being forced to abandon their homes, and air force pilots are once again bombing Beirut and other cities. Hundreds of civilians have been killed. Regrettably. It's all in the spirit of the King David Hotel. One can always say there was a mishap.

It's all in the spirit of Amin El-Husseini, the Grand Mufti, and Yasser Arafat who consistently tried to kill as many Jews as possible and eradicate the Jewish state.

Segev, you're really some piece of work.


And here is the text of the letter sent to the London Times, which hasn't yet (if at all?) published:-

The Menachem Begin Heritage Center is a state-sponsored institution created by a law of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. It is not “right-wing” and does not promote any party partisan agenda. The Center conducted a two-day academic conference on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the 1946 resistance attack at the King David Hotel, as reported in your paper. The hotel’s southern wing served as the offices of the British Mandate’s Secretariat as well as those of the British Army. The event most certainly was no “celebration” as your paper asserts. Scholars presented papers, not all laudatory, in traditional academic freedom.

At the opening session, by implication, the protests of HMG Ambassador S. McDonald and the Jerusalem Consul-General J. Jenkins were rejected. The operation was not an act of terrorism and most assuredly, warnings to evacuate the building were relayed.

Harry Hurwitz, Head of the Center, made the following three points: (a) British authorities made a cardinal blunder in situating their military and administrative headquarters in a civilian setting; (b) the operation, carried out by the Irgun, was initiated and authorized by the command of the United Resistance Movement which included also the Haganah and Lechi; (c) there was most certainly no intention to cause civilian casualties and among five examples cited in proof was one that was made in the House of Lords in 1979 by Lord Barnett Janner.

Major-General Dudley Sheridan Skelton, CS, DSO, FRCS, formerly DGMS in India, Hon. Physician to HM the King and to HE the Viceroy of India, was, in 1946, head of a hospital in Palestine. He was at the hotel on the day of the explosion and testified that a warning was passed on to the officers in the bar but they reacted in rather jocular terms implying is was a 'Jewish bluff'.

The cause of the resistance was the reneging by Britain of its international commitments and responsibilities to facilitate the reconstitution of the Jewish national home in its ancient patrimony. The closing of the gates of the Mandate to Jews attempting to flee Hitler’s Europe and the prohibition to purchase land defined Britain as an occupier administering an oppressive regime in the country. These are topics which another academic conference will surely review in the near future.

Blogged Bloggers

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has released a big new study about blogging.

The bad news: Twelve million Americans (8 percent of Internet users) have blogs and 57 million (39 percent of Internet users) read the damn things. The main subject of 37 percent of blogs are a given blogger’s “life and experiences.” Fifty-two percent of bloggers are seeking to “express” themselves “creatively.”

The good news: Only 11 percent of blogs focus on “politics and government.”—

More details:

These are some of the key findings in a new report issued by the Pew Internet Project titled "Bloggers":

54% of bloggers say that they have never published their writing or media creations anywhere else; 44% say they have published elsewhere.

54% of bloggers are under the age of 30.

Women and men have statistical parity in the blogosphere, with women representing 46% of bloggers and men 54%.

76% of bloggers say a reason they blog is to document their personal experiences and share them with others.

64% of bloggers say a reason they blog is to share practical knowledge or skills with others.

When asked to choose one main subject, 37% of bloggers say that the primary topic of their blog is "my life and experiences."

Other topics ran distantly behind:

11% of bloggers focus on politics and government; 7% focus on entertainment; 6% focus on sports; 5% focus on general news and current events; 5% focus on business; 4% on technology; 2% on religion, spirituality or faith; and additional smaller groups who focus on a specific hobby, a health problem or illness, or other topics.