Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hillary Clinton and Chabad

From a Chabad web site:-

The Holtzberg family from Crown Heights arrived in Israel at the end of the week, immediately after receiving news of the attack. The flight to Israel was organized within several short hours. Two of the brothers, who held invalid passports received emergency passports thanks to the efforts of Senator Hillary Clinton, who personally supervised the family's travel arraignments.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton issued this statement in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks on Friday:

“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families touched by these acts of terror in Mumbai. We still do not know the full measure of this tragedy, which has taken the lives of Indian citizens, Americans, and others who had traveled to Mumbai from around the world. Two New Yorkers, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and Rivka Holtzberg of Brooklyn are among those who have died, leaving behind their young son. The young couple had traveled from Brooklyn to manage a small Chabad house, welcoming Jews from India and elsewhere to learn, pray, and serve the community.

There could be no sharper a reminder, nor a more poignant call to action, than the brutal and heinous violence visited upon the Nariman House and the Holtzberg family, living and working in Mumbai on a mission of peace, scholarship, and spiritual guidance.

As those responsible are brought to justice, as we aid and support the victims and their families, as we work to defeat radical extremism and the terror it spawns, let us find strength in knowing that in the face of those who seek to take lives, there are those who seek to give hope and comfort. In the face of those who wish only to destroy, there are individuals like Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and Rivka Holtzberg who travel great distances far from their homes to build a better world.”

"Hinjew" You Know? "Ju-Bu"?

Leave it to the NYTimes to publish this material on the links between India and Israel:-

In a less obvious way, too, soldiers have forged ties. About 30,000 Israelis visit India each year, many of them on lengthy vacations after having finished their army service. They, in turn, have brought back to Israel the food, fabric, music and mysticism of India, particularly its Hindus.

The popular Israeli band Sheva has incorporated Indian instruments and chordal structures into its music. Yoga classes proliferate in Israel. Hindu food, with its emphasis on vegetarian dishes, has been easily adapted for kosher cuisine. An annual festival called Boombamela celebrates all things Indian, if with a somewhat naïve, New Age tilt.

For American Jews of the baby boom generation, the fascination with India began with spiritual searches during the 1960s. Over time, Buddhist meditation became a staple of the Jewish renewal movement and a book by Rodger Kamenetz, “The Jew in the Lotus,” a revered text. By the past decade, enough Jews were practicing some Buddhism to give birth to a new proper noun: Jew-Bu.

Even more recently, the term “Hinjew” has emerged. It does not reflect a religious amalgamation, which would be nearly impossible given Hindu polytheism, as much as it does the cultural common ground of American Jews and Indian Americans who have grown up and gone to school together.

...The comfort level between Jews and Indians has allowed for a specific strain of self-mockery, too, which might be some psychic balm in this time of atrocity. As an imitation news story on the Web site SatireWire put it:

“Hinjew leaders today conceded the merger of Hinduism and Judaism has not worked out as planned, as instead of forming a super-religion to fight off the common Islamic enemy, they have instead created a race of 900 million people who, no matter how many times they are reincarnated, can never please their mothers.”

Odd Indian Reporting on the Chabad Siege: Jews Villains

I found this reporting here and my comments are in brackets [] and italics:-

Rabbi's child kept asking for water

MUMBAI: Every Friday at 5.30 pm, on the eve of the Sabbath, Shamira Binyamin switches off her cellphone. It's an essential part of the weekly
Jewish prayer ritual she observes which doesn't allow labour in any form. But yesterday, just before doing so, Shamira made over 50 frantic calls. Some were to her brother, Sharon, who was at Colaba all day trying to help rescue operations at Nariman House. Some were to Rabbi Gabriel Holtzberg, who was held hostage by terrorists inside the building, which is where the ultra-orthodox jews have their offices. "I just wanted someone to pick up and tell me if Rabbi Gabriel is okay. This must perhaps be the first Friday when he did not observe Chabad,'' she said. [actually, I presume she meant that he wasn't observing the Sabbath or perhaps preparations for the Sabbath]

Everyone Shamira knows in her community has been praying for the safety of the hostages and in particular, Rabbi Gabriel, "who has left his family and friends in New York to serve the Jewish community here''. Her brother Sharon is a Jewish educator who takes classes every Sunday at the Byculla Synagogue along with the rabbi. As someone who regularly buys kosher provisions from Chabad House, Sharon was planning to visit on Wednesday night when he "changed his mind when his daughter started crying''.

After the Rabbi's child and nanny came out of the besieged building on Thursday, they headed straight to Sharon's house in Byculla. There were there for ten minutes before being escorted to the police station and later, the Israeli consulate. At Sharon's, the nanny who was "very hungry'' was given kosher food, while the boy, Moshe, who kept asking for "maim'' (Hebrew for water), was treated to tefillin, a peanut-and-wheat preparation meant for toothless kids. [tefillin are the head and arm phylacteries. maybe she meant porridge?] "We always go to the Rabbi when we need him,'' Sharon told his sister. "Now he needs us.''

For Shamira and others of this close-knit Jewish community, the last three days have been life-changing. Ezra Moses, secretary of the Thane synagogue, rushed to Colaba on Thursday where he "could not do much but watch''. Moses was revolted by the news coverage on some channels that "seemed to make Jews the villains by saying that they were giving shelter to terrorists''. He even called up the channel and gave them an analogy: "If a robber enters your house and holds a gun to your head, what option do you have?''

That last bit, that the Jews were "villains", is new to me.

A Warning Sign in Australia

The son of a friend from my teenage years is off in Australia.

He spotted this sign in, where else but Australia:

Civilization at War: Melanie Phillips on Mumbai

Melanie Phillips on Mumbai:-

The atrocities in Mumbai have left reporters and commentators floundering for explanations. Why India? Was this a local terrorist group or al Qaeda? Why single out Americans and Brits if they also targeted Indians in the railway station? Why attack some obscure Jewish organisation? And so on.

They are floundering because they still just don’t get it. The atrocities demonstrated with crystal clarity what the Islamist war is all about – and the western commentariat didn’t understand because it simply refuses to acknowledge, even now, what that war actually is. It does not arise from particular grievances. It is not rooted in ‘despair’ over Palestine. It is not a reaction to the war in Iraq. It is a war waged in the name of Islam against America, Britain, Hindus, Jews and all who refuse to submit to Islamic conquest.

The Mumbai atrocities told us very clearly a number of things...

Read on.

You Knew You're In the Joshua Generation?

William Safire sums it up semantically, or is that lexicographically?

Speaking in March 2007 at a chapel in Selma, Ala., in commemoration of a bloody march for voting rights, Senator Barack Obama put forward a name for a new generation of African-Americans. After acknowledging “a certain presumptuousness” (a long but not incorrect form of “presumption”) in running for president after such a short time in Washington, Obama credited the Rev. Otis Moss Jr. for writing him “to look at the story of Joshua because you’re part of the Joshua generation.”

He noted that the “Moses generation” had led his people out of bondage but was not permitted by God to cross the river from the wilderness to the Promised Land. In the Hebrew Bible, it was Joshua, chosen by Moses to be his successor, who led the people across, won the battle of Jericho (aided by the miracle of daylight saving time) and established the nation. “It was left to the Joshuas to finish the journey Moses had begun,” Obama said to the youthful successors to the aging leaders of the civil rights movement, “and today we’re called to be the Joshuas of our time, to be the generation that finds our way across the river.”

Another new moniker — Generation O — has surfaced in headlines and on T-shirts; it seems too leader-specific as well as imitative of the short-lived Y and Z. But the Mosaic-Joshuan biblical metaphor, although popularized by Obama specifically about the successors to civil rights pioneers, was helped along in a broader context, post-election, as the title of an article by David Remnick in The New Yorker and in a reference to the president-elect by Jonathan Alter in Newsweek as “the beneficiary of the spirit of the ’60s by white baby boomers.” Though the spirit of an age is best defined in retrospect, and religious allusion is not currently considered cool, the Joshua Generation — unlike all its era-naming predecessors — does have alliteration going for it.

Emotive, Maybe; But Where's The Confidence?

Reuters reports

Israel approved on Sunday the release of 250 Palestinian prisoners in a bid to bolster President Mahmoud Abbas in his power struggle with Hamas Islamists who control the Gaza Strip....

Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had promised to free the prisoners earlier this month during a meeting with Abbas, who launched peace talks with Israel a year ago after Gaza's violent takeover by Hamas.

"This is a confidence-building measure," said Olmert spokesman Mark Regev.

...Nearly 200 prisoners were freed by Israel in August. Such releases are highly emotive for Palestinians, who regard prisoners as symbols of resistance to Israeli occupation.

U.S.-sponsored peace talks between Olmert and Abbas, rejected by Hamas, have shown little sign of progress.

Has peace come since the August release?

Who's confidence is being built: Israel's (naw); Fatah (naw); Abbas (naw); Olmert's (naw); Hamas (yeah!).

Who is really being bolstered? (see previous question)

Who's emotional?

It's Sunday, Grab A Bagel (Beigel/Baigel)

Sometimes, the NYTimes can be pleasant reading:

A bagel is a round bread, with a hole in the middle, made of simple ingredients: high-gluten flour, salt, water, yeast and malt. Its dough is boiled, then baked, and the result should be a rich caramel color; it should not be pale and blond. A bagel should weigh four ounces or less and should make a slight cracking sound when you bite into it. A bagel should be eaten warm and, ideally, should be no more than four or five hours old when consumed. All else is not a bagel.

The Jewish bagel’s probably birthplace is Poland. A story popular in the United States, that the bagel was first produced as a tribute to Jan Sobieski, king of Poland in the late 17th century, after he saved Austria from Turkish invaders at the battle of Vienna in 1683, is just that – a story, according to Maria Balinska, the author of “The Bagel: The Surprising History of a Modest Bread” (Yale University Press).

The first known reference to the bagel among Jews in Poland, Ms. Balinska writes, precedes the battle of Vienna by seven decades. It is found, she says, in regulations issued in Yiddish in 1610 by the Jewish Council of Krakow outlining how much Jewish households were permitted to spend in celebrating the circumcision of a baby boy – “to avoid making gentile neighbors envious, and also to make sure poorer Jews weren’t living above their means.” The origin of the word “bagel” is ultimately unclear, but many experts agree, she says, that it comes from the Yiddish beigen, to bend.

Eastern European immigrants arriving in the United States at the turn of the 20th century brought the bagel with them to the streets of the Lower East Side. The rise of the bagel in New York is inextricably tied to that of a trade union, specifically Bagel Bakers Local 338, a federation of nearly 300 bagel craftsmen formed in Manhattan in the early 1900s.

Local 338 was by all accounts a tough and unswerving union, set up according to strict rules that limited new membership to the sons of current members. By 1915 it controlled 36 bagel bakeries in New York and New Jersey. These produced the original New York bagels, the standard against which all others are still, in some manner, judged.

What did they look like? At a mere three ounces, about half the size of the bagel you'll find at a corner coffee cart in Midtown Manhattan, union bagels were smaller and denser than their modern descendants, with a crustier crust and a chewier interior. They were made entirely by hand.

Local 338 held its ironclad grip on the bagel market for nearly half a century, until industrial bagel-making machines were introduced to the market in the early 1960's. The introduction of industrial bagel machines meant any retailer or retail-bakery owner could make bagels with nonunion help.

America’s current mass bagel consumption is all the more surprising because until the 1960s, bagels were little known outside large Jewish communities in major cities. In 1951, The New York Times, in an article about a bagel bakers’ strike (“Labor Dispute Puts Hole in Supply,” the headline noted) felt it necessary to provide a pronunciation guide (“baygle”) and a definition – a “glazed surfaced roll with the firm white dough.” And a 1958 article in the Saturday Evening Post suggested that readers try “a happy new taste experience” – “a sandwich of cream cheese, sliced tomato and lox on a buttered bagel.”

Juicy Jewcy

Congrats to fellow Jewcy blogger:

...Within three months they were discussing living together. Despite the fact his parents were due for a long visit, Mr. Raz knew better than to insist on rational decision-making. So in late September he moved into her three-bedroom apartment and office in New York. A week later so did his parents.

“She had a pair of Israelis in her home screaming and cooking,” he said, “and talking about how you can’t put tomatoes in the refrigerator.”

Ms. Laub took it all in stride. “For me chaos is kind of fun,” she said. And a “loud and colorful” family did not intimidate her...

...The couple vowed to love each other “come ruin or rapture.” Then they were blessed beneath the prayer shawl of Mr. Raz’s great-grandfather, who died in the Warsaw ghetto.

Family and friends, 372 strong, joined an exuberant hora at Cipriani 42nd Street, where the bride exchanged her scoop-necked traditional gown for a silver spangled flapper-style wedding dress by Jenny Packham.

Ms. Laub caressed her husband’s shaved head while he wrapped his still-scarred arms around her as they swayed to their own beat.

“Forgive early, kiss slowly, love wholeheartedly, laugh loudly,” said Yael Raz, the bridegroom’s mother, offering her tempered blessing. “Because life may not be the party we all hope for.”

Be Careful - Traffic Accidents Are Dangerous

On the approach road to Shiloh, off of Highway 60 this past Friday:

Feeling Lazy?

Just A Reminder of the Temple Mount Destruction

A short clip from last year illustrating

(a) the work done by the Waqf to rip up sections of the Temple Mount;

(b) the negligence of the police who look as stupid as most policemen, unfortunately, do (and even try to get out of the way of the camera)

and the site of the crime:

HH #193


That's Some La-La

Chicagoans Melody LaLuz, 28, and Claudaniel Fabien, 30, shared their first kiss Saturday at the altar. The two teach abstinence at the city's public schools and practiced what they preached to their teenage students.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the couple had never kissed and that they had never been alone together in a house.

A friend of LaLuz says wedding guests cheered and stomped during the two-minute smooch.

LaLuz and Fabien say they have no worries about how they will spend their honeymoon in the Bahamas.


LA Times Smacks Israel - Links Mumbai to King David Blast

The LA Times found an opportunity to smack around Israel regarding the Mumbai attacks on hotels:

Hotels have always been prime targets for soldiers and terrorists, and you could fill an entire guidebook with the list of lodgings that have been bombed or shot at by combatants looking to spill blood and get attention.

Here are some of the more notable hotel episodes of the last seven decades:

— The King David Hotel in Jerusalem was bombed in June, 1946. More than 90 people were killed, most or all of them British officials using the building as a headquarter. The British controlled Jerusalem at the time, and the bombers were Zionists, commanded by Menachem Begin (who was to become Israel’s leader decades later).

These comments were left there:

Mike Jefferson Says:
November 29th, 2008 at 5:38 pm
I find it ironic that the LA Slimes would lead off with the Irgun bombing of the King David. A few salient points are in order. First the King David Hotel was primarily a military target as it was the HQ of the occupying British troops. Second, the British received a phone call from the Irgun urging them to evacuate in advance of the bombing - the British chose not to. All of the other terror incidents you mention were perpetrated against innocent civilians.

Also, I find it interesting that the paper chose to ignore the many high profile bombings perpetrated by Palestinian terrorists including the Passover massacre in Netanya.

Seth Levy Says:
November 29th, 2008 at 7:33 pm
Why did you mention it was Zionists responsible for the King David Hotel, the IRA responsible for the Hotel Europa and Grand Hotel, and so on but omitted any responsible parties that were Muslim such as in Islamabad or Taba? Why did you forget the many hotel attacks in Israel that the Palestinians committed such as the recent Netanya Hotel attack in 2002 that killed 30? Will I ever see a response to this? Probably not but hopefully (if you publish it at all) someone will see it and recognize your bias towards appeasing radical Muslims.

Yisrael Medad Says:
November 29th, 2008 at 10:51 pm
One more comment on the King David Hotel attack: only the southern wing was targeted which was wholly British, having been taken over from the owners in stages, beginning already in 1938. The Army Headquarters were located there as were the offices of the Mandate Government Secreteriat. See Thurston Clarke’s book, “In Blood and Fire”.

Rantzen in the Jungle

Esther Rantzen, a nice Jewish girl from London is partcipating in a UK reality show, I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

She's in a jungle and among other things, she's been shown showering with a naked man, flirting with another, announcing she's been celibate these past eight years and letting all know about how she lost her virginity.

And she's 68.

If you're interested, read more.

And more.

New Weapon Used by the Pals.

Spotted this in a USA Today news story about Hebron:

Sharabati, the rights worker, described a scene of young Palestinians smoking hashish directly below an Israeli army watchtower, the smoke wafting up through the windows to the booth where the soldiers sat.

Now, getting unsuspecting soldiers high that way is a neat trick.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Israeli Gay Film Bombs in the NYTimes

While the director ogles his cast and busies himself with hackneyed visual metaphors, “Antarctica” wallows in casual lust and bored disaffection. Perhaps he should have focused more on writing dialogue and less on choosing head shots.


Written and directed by Yair Hochner; director of photography, Ziv Berkovich; edited by Anat Salomon; music by Eli Soorani, with original songs by Shirly Solomon; produced by Eitan Reuven; released by Regent Releasing.

Twitter Comes Into Its Own

Mr. Shanbhag, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, said he had not heard the term citizen journalism until Thursday, but now he knows that is exactly what he was doing. “I felt I had a responsibility to share my view with the outside world,” Mr. Shanbhag said in an e-mail message on Saturday morning.

The attacks in India served as another case study in how technology is transforming people into potential reporters, adding a new dimension to the news media.

At the peak of the violence, more than one message per second with the word “Mumbai” in it was being posted onto Twitter, a short-message service that has evolved from an oddity to a full-fledged news platform in just two years.

Those descriptions and others on Web sites and photo-sharing sites served as a chaotic but critically important link among people across the world — whether they be Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn tracking the fate of a rabbi held hostage at the Nariman House or students in Britain with loved ones back in India or people hanging on every twist and turn in the standoff while visiting relatives for Thanksgiving dinner.

“When you look at TV, you see one channel at a time, then you go to another channel,” said Dina Mehta, an ethnographer and social media consultant in Mumbai. “On Twitter, you get feeds from many different people at the same time.”...

...“I relied on Twitter heavily,” said Mordechai Lightstone, 24, a freelance journalist and Lubavitcher with a Twitter account. “As a person interested in what is going on over there, it gets frustrating when the news cycles on itself.”

Mr. Lightstone said that only a week or so ago he persuaded the leaders of his community to use Twitter as a publishing tool. He has been running that Twitter account, as well as his own.

Reading Mr. Lightstone’s posts, as well as those of another Lubavitcher, Reuven Fischer, gave a glimpse into a community fearing for one of its own but wanting to remain hopeful about its mission.

Mr. Lightstone wrote, “This is pure hearsay, but I was told that the shlucha was rescued — again this unsubstantiated #chabad #mumbai,” using the Yiddish word for the rabbi’s wife and marking keywords with pound signs so that the post would be easier to find in a search of Twitter.

As the news that the rabbi and his wife had been killed emerged, and the Sabbath approached, Mr. Lightstone and Mr. Fischer took pains to temper their sadness with the joy of the day of rest.

Mr. Fischer wrote, “We should Honor Shabbos with joy this week. We can mourn after Shabbos doing Mitzvot in honor of ALL effected by this tragedy.”

Though traditional in dress and beliefs, Lubavitchers pride themselves on harnessing all of the available tools to spread their teachings.

The Chabad House

I'm watching Israel's Channel One news and the reporter there, Yoav Limor, relays that several of the bodies, including those of the Rabbi and his wife, had been found when the Indian police entered covered with tallitot (prayer shawls) indicating that one of the other Jewish residents/guests had covered them before he/her himself/herslef had been shot.

The Blogger's Christmas Card


Video Clip of Rabbi & Rebbitzen Holtzberg

CNN borrows an Israeli TV clip from Channel 10:

The Orphan Moishe Holtzberg

A news clip showing Moishe, the son of the killed Chabad Rabbi and his wife, Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg:

Friday, November 28, 2008

When The Media Meets The Spokesperson

Watching the live feed, it has become so apparent that the Indian spokespersons have proven totally inadequate.

I watch a scene, the desk anchor calls up the police spokesperson or some other persons, asks a question and while we are watching reality in the screen, we hear another non-existent reality relayed to us from the government.

I do not know if this is a problem of the persons themselves or of the system but if this is the way the security forces are acting, I feel sorry for India - and the hostages.

Have You Heard the Latest Ehud Olmert Joke?

Well, I haven't, but just hearing his name I



Just in case no one thought the above was funny, I found one joke that Yossi Klein-Halevi published (which means that if you don't think it funny, blame him)

What do Olmert and the Torah have in common? Parshat hashavuah -- a Hebrew term that translates as 'the weekly Torah reading' but could also mean the "scandal of the week."

Actually, in the version I first heard, an Orthodox Jew keeps hugging Olmert incessantly while Olmert is on a visit to N.Y. Olmert, trying to shake the man off, asks why he's being hugged so. "Why, for me, you are a Sefer Torah (the Scroll of the Torah)." Aghast at the comparison, Olmert queries, "How could you compare me to the holy Book of the Law?" and the man replies, "Because just like with the Torah, every week there's another parashah (with parahsa meaning scandal).

Another Not Quite for "All"

Recently I had posted about an electoral ad appeal which suggested that all were supporting the Agudat Israel candidate for Mayor of Jerusalem and that National Religious party persons were also campaigning on his behalf. However, as could be seen, the ad only portrayed male faces. And the NRP practices equality among the sexes, well, more than Aguda, for sure.

Well, diligent me, I found another ad on the same theme. But it's worse. For whereas Porush was a Hareidi and perhaps the lack of feminine portraits was understandable (not acceptable mind you), this ad below presents several other problems.

It announces "The International Conference for Applicable Halacha:-

And in the middle it reads, "All Will Be There, and You?"

But, not a female face.

Even if the invitees are limited to the Orthodox camp, not all are Rabbis (I spotted Justice Elyakim Rubinstein), and therefore I am sure there are some Orthodox females that could address the topic. We do have female court facilitators (to'anot) and I am sure they can bring to the conference need input and experience in the field of applying Halacha.

1. Its sponsored by the state of Israel and the WZO and the Yeshurun Syunagogue, all of which, in addition to the initiator, the Rabbi Isaac Herzog memorial center, has a positive approach to women.

Anything But "Natural"

Here's the letter of Lior Ben Dor, a Israel diplomat, in The Guardian:

I read with great interest your suggestion that President-elect Obama should "tear up" the 2004 letter from President Bush to Ariel Sharon regarding Israel's major settlement blocs within the West Bank (Leaders, November 24). The future borders of the state of Israel will not be determined on the pages of this newspaper. Instead, they will be determined by negotiations between Israel and the legitimate leadership of the Palestinians.

Israel has demonstrated that it is willing and able to evacuate settlements in an attempt to make progress towards peace. In 1979 Israel removed every one of its citizens and settlements from the Sinai, as part of a comprehensive peace deal with Egypt that stands to this day.

In 2005 Israel took the initiative as regards peace with the Palestinians by evacuating nearly 30 settlements, including every Jewish settlement in Gaza and more in the northern part of the West Bank. This process required 45,000 Israeli police, cost the Israeli taxpayer $2.5bn and risked heightening tensions within Israeli society. The government believed this was a price worth paying to gain momentum towards peace. Instead, however, Gaza became a launch pad for rocket attacks against Israeli citizens and terrorist action at our borders. This reality worsened still further after Hamas seized total control of Gaza in a bloody coup in 2007.

The Israeli public overwhelmingly supports the concept of land for peace, if it brings the reward of greater security with a pragmatic, peaceful neighbour. Evacuation of settlements would be less popular, however, if the consequences are likely to be increased violence against Israel's citizens and the creation of a vacuum to be filled with extremist terror. The precedent of Gaza has increased the scepticism of the Israeli public towards similar arrangements in the West Bank.

Thus while the 1967 borders are the natural starting point for negotiations, the demographic realities of Israel's population, and the understandable security concerns of the Israeli public, will need to be taken into account. These issues are on the agenda for any negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Lior Ben Dor
Spokesperson, Embassy of Israel

But this line,

the 1967 borders are the natural starting point for negotiations

is problematic.

1. Those "border" weren't borders. They were armistice lines. They were temporary. There was no recognition of them as anything but cease-fire lines.

2. Even Ben Dor's official web site states such.

3. Why not start at the original borders, that of Mandate Palestine, even the post 1923 partition borders? Why get stuck on the Green Line?

4. Natural as in topography, as in geography, as in history, as in legality, as in religion, as in security?

5. And practically and even diplomatically, if you start at those borders, that's where where you will end. That's the Arab demand - return all the territory - but Israel suggest a compromise ("territories for peace"). Why not peace for peace and territories for territories?

Poor Israel if this is its normative representative.

He's not a natural.

MPs Have No Immunity?

Amazing. This could never happen in Israel.

...counter-terrorism police arrested the shadow Home Office minister, Damian Green, after he published leaked documents allegedly sent to the Tories by a government whistleblower...Green was taken into custody at about 1.50pm in his Ashford constituency and escorted to a central London police station.

...Green said early this morning: "I was astonished to have spent more than nine hours under arrest for doing my job. I emphatically deny that I have done anything wrong. I have many times made public information that the government wanted to keep secret, information that the public has a right to know.

"In a democracy, opposition politicians have a duty to hold the government to account. I was elected to the House of Commons precisely to do that and I certainly intend to continue doing so."

I guess then that they don't possess all-inclusive parliamentary immunity.

...The MP was arrested under common law for "aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring misconduct in public office".

The police action followed the arrest 10 days ago of a government whistleblower who allegedly leaked four documents to Green, who then passed them to the press...Labour sources indicated that neither the prime minister nor the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, knew about the arrest. Gordon Brown only learned of it around three hours later...

Those "Territories"

I read that:-

Talks have begun for Pope Benedict XVI to make his first visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories next year, Vatican and Israeli officials said Thursday.

Those "territories"? Where are they? What are they?

In pre-1967 time, when the Palestine Liberation Organization was founded in 1964, "Palestine" was Israel.

Until September 1923, the League of Nations had decided that "Palestine" included what we know today as Israel, Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Jordan.

For Hamas, Israel is no where to be found as it cannot exist.

Even the "moderate" friend of Condi Rice, Mahmoud Abbas, has wiped Israel away as we can see on the map on the wall behind him.

So, where exactly is "Palestine"?

No Knees for Jews

Fernanda Santos of the NYTimes reported on what was happening in Brooklyn at Chabad headquarters and published this:-

But perhaps nowhere was it felt more strongly than in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the nerve center of the Lubavitch community and the neighborhood where Rabbi Holtzberg grew up. At the group’s world headquarters on Eastern Parkway and Kingston Avenue, men filed into the synagogue all day to pray for the Holtzbergs’ safe release. In a separate room, women swayed on their knees as they read the Torah.

Jews do not genuflect or pray while on knees. I was forbidden by my parents and grandparents even to sit on my knees to watch television.

Knees is a Christian custom we do not copy.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sunday School Topless Teacher Misunderstands Verse?

A 27-year-old schoolteacher has been arrested and charged with distributing harmful material to a minor after a 14-year-old\'s parents found a topless photo of her on his cell phone.

Victoria Ann Chacon is now a former middle school teacher who allegedly met the boy at their San Antonio-area church, where she was a Sunday school teacher.

Maybe she misunderstood this verse:

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

Derisory Numbers

A letter found in the Times Literary Supplement:-

The ‘Protocols’

Sir, – Christopher Hitchens, in the course of his somewhat hysterical review of Denis MacShane’s Globalising Hatred (November 21), declares that “the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion . . . are a mere fabrication, put together by Eastern Orthodox Christian fanatics in the pay of the tsarist secret police”. In their scholarly history of the pre-Revolutionary Russian secret police, Fontanka 16, Charles A. Ruud and Sergei A. Stepanov subject this oft-repeated claim to careful analysis, concluding that the Okhranka had nothing to do with the production of this lurid booklet, which was published in derisory numbers in Russia. Has Hitchens come across evidence showing that the Imperial police did after all arrange its publication? If so it would be of great interest to Russian historians, and one hopes he will make the evidence known in the pages of the TLS...

Court Close, Southmoor, near Abingdon, Berkshire.

So, derisory numbers is supposed to minimize the invidious and deathly influence of that tract?

Obama is A "Me" Person

Barack Obama said today that his team would combine experience with fresh thinking and his own vision for change.

"Understand where the vision for change comes from, first and foremost," he told reporters at his third press conference in as many days. "It comes from me. That's my job, is to provide a vision in terms of where we are going, and to make sure, then, that my team is implementing."

(Kippah tip: Jennifer Rubin)

Israel Is Jewdicialling Itself to Death

Noam Federman.



Peace House in Hebron.

Temple Mount.

We all know what the lawful thing should be but

Is That How Media Persons Commit Suicide?

Similarities, He Said



At the entrance, he hugged Sandi Pei, son of the architect, and the two did a little dance. Jerusalem and the Arab world have more "aesthetic and cultural similarities" than differences, he said.


Cultural similarities?

Like honor killings? Suicide bombings?


Restrictions on Haj Freedom of Worship

But not Israel's fault.

Palestinian power struggle may bar pilgrims from visiting Mecca

The ongoing power struggle between the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah
and Hamas' government in Gaza may prevent several thousand Palestinian Muslims from the Gaza Strip from fulfilling their religious obligation of visiting Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The pilgrimage dispute is connected to the Gaza authorities' insistence that all pilgrims leaving the Strip register for the trip in Gaza, not in Ramallah. But in accordance with Saudi Arabia's standing arrangement with the Palestinian Authority, Saudi immigration and pilgrimage authorities demand all Palestinian traffic into Saudi Arabia be coordinated through Ramallah.

Gazan who did register through Ramallah for the pilgrimage - "Haj" in Arabic - are not being serviced by Gaza clinics which are supposed to give them the necessary vaccinations to obtain a Saudi visa. Hamas' spokespeople said that Gaza will not allow people who registered through Ramallah to leave as long as the people who registered through Gaza are not allowed to enter Saudi Arabia.

Chabad at Mumbai

1103 GMT

Security forces have also surrounded Nariman House, a five-story residential building near the Trident Oberoi hotel that contains an office of the Jewish outreach group, Chabad Lubavitch. Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg, the group's main representative, is thought to have been taken hostage. Reports say his wife and daughter have been freed. The Reuters news agency says that four gunmen remain in the building. There have been reports of gunfire.

Threatened Wine

I would presume that this wine-producing plant in the Benjamin region

which I visted yesterday is threatened by that EU/UK boycott project.

This one:

The Palestinian prime minister wants Palestinian diplomats to campaign for economic steps against Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Prime Minister Salam Fayyad says Israel has ignored international condemnation of continued settlement expansion in territories the Palestinians claim for a future state.

He noted Thursday that Britain is taking first steps toward economic pressure. British foreign minister David Miliband has urged European countries to impose tighter controls on imports from settlements to the EU.

It would be a shame for as you can see,

we enjoyed the wine immensely.

Chanukah - 25 More Days

But you can start laughing now:

Captain Smartypants, a Seattle Men's Chorus Ensemble.

(Thanks: RA)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Statistics of Suicide Bombers

An Arab researcher had nothing better to do than count but it is quite interesting:-

Almost 300 children have been killed while taking part in terrorist attacks over the past eight years, a new study conducted by Palestinian Authority researcher Mahdi Jaradat has revealed. A total of 3,973 PA Arabs died in the past eight years while committing acts of terrorism, he found.

Fatah had the most fatalities, with a total of 1,437 terrorists, 128 of them children, killed since September 28, 2000. Hamas was in second place with 1,410 killed in the same time period, 96 of them minors. Fifty-three children were killed while taking part in Islamic Jihad operations, five were killed as members of the PFLP, four died with the DFLP, and three with PRC.

Women were increasingly numbered among terrorists as well. A total of 95 women were killed while carrying out attacks, Jaradat found. Thirty-four women were killed working with Hamas, and 30 with Fatah. Islamic Jihad, which had a much lower casualty rate than Hamas and Fatah overall, counted 24 women among its casualties.

Hamas carried out more suicide bombings than any other group over the past eight years, with a total of 72. Islamic Jihad was next with 48 suicide bombings, and Fatah was third with 42.

Back in July, he issued this study, whcih I found quite weird:-

Most of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces during the second Intifada had traditional Palestinian Islamic names, a new study shows.

The study by Mahdi Jaradat, a researcher in Palestinian affairs, found that 11 male names and six female names dominate the list of names of Palestinians killed during the Intifada between 29 September 2000 and 4 July 2008.

The findings of the study were as follows:

Among Palestinians killed in the first have of 2008, 830 were named Muhammad (up from 700 in all of 2007); 308 were named Ahmad (up from 160 in 2007); 135 were named Ibrahim (up from 101 in 2007).

Another 87 were named Yousif, 69 were named Iyad, 64 named were Hasan, 63 named 'Alaa and 58 were named Abdullah.

As for female "martyrs," 26 were named Fatima, 14 Eiman, 11 Maryam, 9 'Aesha and 7 named Muna and 7 named Asma'.

Peres is President, Not Prime Minister

From Condoleeza Rice's press conference today:-

QUESTION: Going back to Annapolis, can you --
QUESTION: -- talk about your meetings with the Israeli Prime Minister this week and give us a sense of where the process stands at this point?
SECRETARY RICE: Yes. Well, again, as – there is still a lot that – even in complicated political times that can be done. The Prime Minister continues his discussions with Abu Mazen and the negotiators continue their discussions. And I think they’re continuing to work to narrow differences. They are continuing to have pretty intensive discussions on all of the issues.
They – you may have noticed the release of prisoners that the Prime Minister recently did in terms of the Palestinians. And the work on the ground in terms of the security forces is moving forward, and I think moving forward in a very positive way. So everybody continues to work to deliver on the goals of Annapolis. The political situation, in general, makes it difficult perhaps to finish an agreement, but there is certainly a lot of work that can be done and we’ll see where they are over the next couple of months.
QUESTION: Can I just follow up a bit?
QUESTION: Shimon Peres has been saying publicly that he supports the spirit of this resurrected Saudi peace plan from 2002. Are you getting any sense --
QUESTION: -- that the Israeli Government are at all seriously considering that plan?
SECRETARY RICE: We’re talking about that, because the Arab Peace Initiative – previously the Crown Prince Initiative – does offer a kind of broader framework in which one could understand what needs to be achieved in order to have broad peace in the Middle East, not just the conclusion of a Palestinian-Israeli plan. And I’m very pleased that a lot of good discussions are going on about precisely that, and yes, we are talking about how it might be used.
QUESTION: So you’re supportive of it as it stands?
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think we’ve been supportive all along. As you remember, the Arab Peace Initiative is one of the elements mentioned in the Annapolis declaration.

Condi, Shimon is not in government and there will be a High Court petition if he doesn't stay out of ongoing politics.

Oops. Israel Acted Unlawfully Against...a Jew

...the Jerusalem District Court ruled that the state acted unlawfully in removing far-right settler Noam Federman from the outpost he has set up - the so-called "Federman Farm" - near the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba.

In his ruling, Judge Moshe Drori criticized the state for violating international law, insisting that the forced evacuation of the outpost was "disproportionate and unreasonable."

"It is unclear why the state needed 100 policemen to remove one individual from a closed military zone that was sealed for 10 months without any prior warning, without any attempt at negotiation, and without checking on the claims of the other party in this case," the judge ruled.

"The petitioner (Federman) is not suspected of carrying out terrorist attacks against Israeli towns, which is one of the purposes of the order, and the closure of the area is certainly not intended to apply to the petitioner, since the pretext for the evictin was to prevent 'terrorist infiltration,' and it is inconceivable that the petitioner can be placed into this category.


And more:-

Court rules: Federman can stay in Hebron

Meanwhile, the Jerusalem District Court ruled that the injunction to close the Federman farm near the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba does not apply to Noam Federman and his family.

...The ruling came after the State appealed the Jerusalem Magistrate Court's refusal to have Federman removed from the West Bank. Judge Moshe Drori rejected the appeal, and said it should not have been filed in the first place.

In the 42-page verdict, Judge Drori harshly criticized the State and the police, and wrote:

"There is no justification to prohibit the defendant (Federman) from living in the West Bank. It was not proven at all that there is any evidence in the case, and there are no grounds for arrest. Even if the State did prove the existence of the so-called evidence, the case still does not justify arrest".

Following the ruling, Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced that his office would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

The Indian Navy Can Shoot But It Can't Aim

Being reported

The pirate "mother ship" sunk last week by the Indian navy was actually a Thai fishing trawler seized hours earlier by pirates, a maritime agency said Wednesday. The Indian navy defended its actions, saying it fired in self-defense.

Fourteen sailors from the Thai boat have been missing since the Nov. 18 battle, which was hailed as a rare victory in the fight against increasingly brazen pirates who have rattled the international shipping industry and created chaos in vital sea lanes. At the time, the Indian navy boasted of sinking the vessel and showed pictures of it engulfed in a fireball.

But on Wednesday a maritime agency and the boat's owner said it was actually a Thai trawler, the Ekawat Nava5, that had been boarded by pirates just hours before.

"The Indian navy assumed it was a pirate vessel because they may have seen armed pirates on board the boat which has been hijacked earlier," said Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur.

The News We In Israel Have Been Waiting For

AG plans to indict Olmert over double-billing affair

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz told Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Wednesday that he will likely be indicted for allegedly using state funds from multiple public bodies to finance private family trips.

A Justice Ministry statement issued Wednesday said Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz had told Olmert the charges under consideration stemmed from allegations he submitted duplicate billing of travel expenses while serving in previous posts.

It's a great start.

You Wanna Bet on That?

From Ethan Bronner's fawning piece on Hebron's newly-introduced Pal. policemen:-

The Palestinian commander, Brig. Gen. Sameh al-Sifi, has dubbed the deployment Homeland Rising...

Our leadership wants us to foil terrorists,” General Sifi, 62, said in an interview.

“There will be no legal weapons here except those used by the Palestinian Authority.

Okay, who's taking bets on that?

P.S. Reported last night:-

Large forces of policemen at this hour are chasing Arabs who are throwing stones at the Peace House, where hundreds of Jews are staying. No one was injured.
Those weren't Pal. policemen helping keep the peace.

Who Wrote This About Shimon Peres?

...Shimon Peres, the insatiably vain president of Israel...Who can tell what, if anything, Peres says is ever the truth?

The fact is that Peres is a liar, actually a mythomaniac. I was told this many many years ago by Golda Meir, who was honest and, if anything, honest to a fault. In any case, duplicity and sanctimony are seen as Peres' essence by the Israeli population which is why he was never elected prime minister...

...there you can read a truly authoritative and hair-raising narrative of Peres' jealousy of Yitzhak Rabin and his delirium to become a pet of King Hussein. This is a pathological case of assiduous mendacity...

...his own delusions. Peres' are at best daffy. He still believes we are in the New Middle East...

...I wish I could contain my disrespect for Peres. I know he is a Nobel Laureate having been chosen to share the honor with Rabin and Yassir Arafat in the wake of the Oslo Agreements which turned out not to be agreements at all...Rabin is now long-dead, assassinated by the vipers in Israeli life. But I suspect that, had he lived, he would have long ago turned back the medal and the money. He was not one to countenance fraud. Arafat, on the other hand, was a clown, and he must have taken this gesture of the Norwegian parliament as the consummation of his life

Peres still believes in Oslo even though no one else does. Last Thursday, he bowed before Queen Elizabeth II as she knighted him with a baronetcy. Alas, for poor Peres, Israel recognizes no such honors.

Marty Peretz of The New Republic.


Are You An Obama Hater?

Well, Michael Schaffer of The New Republic has a few things to say about you:

...the president-elect, according to his more fervent campaign-season detractors, has a raft of unforgivable faults: He's a socialist, a Muslim, an actual love-child of Malcolm X. His birth certificate was missing, his book had been ghost-written by William Ayers, and his wife, "Mrs. Grievance," as a National Review cover dubber her, was perennially on the cusp of getting caught ranting against the white man. The only thing keeping the Illinois senator's infamy from going public is the quiescence of the liberal media. Perhaps you remember.

Whatever its effectiveness ahead of Election Day, the right-wing hate campaign made for a nice exercise in nostalgia. For eight years, opposition politics have mainly involved attacking the president for, like, things he's done or wanted to do in office----and not, say, secret religious view he holds or convoluted murders involving his wife. Now, after an administration in the wilderness, they were back--the conspiracy theorists, the paranoiacs, the fringe figures whose dubious relationships with the truth weren't enough to disqualify them from star turns in the right-wing media. The last Democratic president had spent his White House years in perpetual battle against well-funded crackpots peddling far-fetched theories, and now this one would, too. So much for change.

The clean-up crews were probably still sweeping confetti from Grant Park, in fact, when the first wave of paranoiac Obama-reaction hit the press: A run on gun-shops by disaffected red-staters convinced that the 44th president would do to the Second Amendment what Bill Ayers tried to do to New York City Police Headquarters. "He wants to take our guns from us and create a socialist society policed by his own police force," Jim Pruett, a Houston-based radio-personality-turned-gun-dealer, told the New York Times.

Obama's political team may be trying to avoid another eight years of wrestling with presidential haters...


Not All Pals. Are Poor

Isn't this a nice story?

Amid poverty, a Renaissance villa in the West Bank

A Palestinian tycoon has created a tranquil paradise on a Holy Land mountaintop, with a replica of a famous Renaissance villa, sculpted gardens and a wrought-iron pavilion that once belonged to a nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte...Munib Masri (see bio) is unapologetic, noting during a tour of his estate this week that he invests in the Palestinian economy, not abroad, and that he's trying to get others to follow.

...While other well-off Palestinians have built large, ornate villas, Masri's manor is unrivaled in the West Bank because of its Renaissance design and the sprawling estate it sits on.

...Masri and other entrepreneurs formed the Palestine Investment and Development Co., turning an initial capital outlay of $150 million into assets of more than $2 billion - about one-fourth of the Palestinian economy.

Critics say some of the profits were made possible by a lucrative telecommunications monopoly the company held for several years.

Masri's villa sits atop Mount Gerizim, considered sacred by the Samaritans, an ancient sect that practices an offshoot of Judaism and whose descendants live nearby.

The mansion is an exact copy of a famous 16th-century villa, known as "La Rotonda," built by Italian architect Andrea Palladio. It is capped by a rotunda and has temple fronts with columns on four sides.

Construction began in 1998, with most material imported from France in 200 40-foot shipping containers. The work continued after the outbreak of the second Palestinian uprising in 2000, and at the height of fighting, Israeli tanks took up positions on his property for a while, Masri said.

At one point, bulldozers laid bare the edge of a floor mosaic.

Masri halted the work and brought in archaeologists who discovered the remnants of a Byzantine monastery. The dig has been incorporated into the mansion, and artifacts, including the clergy's heavy metal crosses, are displayed in a small museum.

...The grounds feature a goldfish pond, a swimming pool, an amphitheater and a garden pavilion of glass-and-iron - a gift from Napoleon III to a mistress, Masri said.

Masri is now planting 20,000 olive trees that will eventually pay for the upkeep of the estate with their oil. Workers carted away 28,000 truckloads of rocks and spread 30,000 truckloads of soil to create the terraces typical of West Bank groves.

He said he may bequeath the property to a Palestinian state, with his descendants - he has six children - guaranteed the right to live there.

...Inside the villa, a treasure chest of antiques is displayed, including paintings by Picasso and Modigliani, and a tapestry once owned by King Louis XIV...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pollard Isn't On The List - So Far

President George W. Bush's latest list of pardons does not include some high-profile criminals who still hope the president will grant them clemency in his final weeks in office.

On Monday, Bush granted pardons to 14 individuals and commuted the prison sentences of two others whose misdeeds included dealing drugs, evading taxes, killing bald eagles or mishandling hazardous waste.

The most recent batch, however, did not include any well-known convicts like junk bond dealer Michael Milken, who is seeking a pardon on securities fraud charges, or two politicians convicted of public corruption — former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., and four-term Democratic Louisiana Gov. Edwin W. Edwards — who want Bush to shorten their prison terms.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., noted that the list also did not include former Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who were convicted of shooting a drug smuggler and trying to cover it up. Ramos and Compean are each serving sentences of more than 10 years for shooting Osvaldo Aldrete Davila in the buttocks while he was fleeing from an abandoned marijuana load in 2005.

"President Bush still has time to do the right thing and commute wrongly imprisoned Border Agents Ramos and Compean," Rohrabacher said. "The fact that the president has neglected to free these men from their imprisonment while freeing drug dealers, embezzlers and other criminals is insulting to the American people who have been begging and pleading for the president to release the agents."

Also unclear is whether Bush has any plans to give legal protection to government employees — in case they are ever charged — in connection with their role in harsh interrogators of terrorist suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Pre-emptive pardons would be highly controversial, but lawyers argue they would protect those who were following orders or otherwise trying to protect the nation.

Bush has been stingy about issuing pardons. Including these actions, he has granted a total of 171 pardons and eight commutations. That's less than half as many as either President Clinton or President Reagan issued during their two terms in office.

On the latest pardon list were:

_Leslie Owen Collier of Charleston, Mo., who pleaded guilty in 1995 to unlawfully killing three bald eagles in southeast Missouri. He improperly used pesticide in hamburger meat to kill coyotes, but ended up killing many other animals, including the bald eagles. Collier, who was convicted for unauthorized use of a pesticide and violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, was sentenced Feb. 2, 1996, in the Eastern District of Missouri.

_Milton Kirk Cordes of Rapid City, S.D. Cordes was convicted of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, which prohibits importation into the country of wildlife taken in violation of conservation laws.

_Richard Culpepper of Mahomet, Ill., who was convicted of making false statements to the federal government.

_Brenda Jean Dolenz-Helmer of Fort Worth, Texas, convicted of concealing knowledge of a crime. Dolenz-Helmer, the daughter of a Dallas doctor accused of medical insurance fraud, was convicted in connection with the doctor's case. She was sentenced Dec. 31, 1998, in the Northern District of Texas to four year's probation with the special condition of 600 hours of community service and a $10,000 fine.

_Andrew Foster Harley of Falls Church, Va. Harley was convicted of wrongful use and distribution of marijuana and cocaine during a general court martial at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

_Obie Gene Helton of Rossville, Ga., whose offense was unauthorized acquisition of food stamps.

_Carey C. Hice Sr. of Travelers Rest, S.C., who was convicted of income tax evasion.

_Geneva Yvonne Hogg of Jacksonville, Fla., convicted of bank embezzlement.

_William Hoyle McCright Jr. of Midland, Texas, who was convicted of bank fraud.

_Paul Julian McCurdy of Sulphur, Okla., who was sentenced for misapplication of bank funds.

_Robert Earl Mohon Jr. of Grant, Ala., who was convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

_Ronald Alan Mohrhoff of Los Angeles, who was convicted for unlawful use of a telephone in a narcotics felony.

_Daniel Figh Pue III of Conroe, Texas, convicted of illegal treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste without a permit.

_Orion Lynn Vick of White Hall, Ark., who was convicted of aiding and abetting the theft of government property.

Bush also commuted the prison sentences of John Edward Forte of North Brunswick, N.J., and James Russell Harris of Detroit. Both were convicted of cocaine offenses.

And Jonathan Pollard?

A massive and concerted effort is being made to bring about the release of Jonathan Pollard from prison after 23 years – directed both at PM Olmert and Pres. Bush.

In the knowledge that outgoing U.S. President George W. Bush is currently preparing a list of possibly hundreds of American prisoners to pardon, the goal of the international campaign is to have Jonathan Pollard included.

Many feel that this could be Pollard's last chance, after 23 years in prison...

In addition, a phone-in campaign to the White House, in which concerned citizens ask Bush directly to let Pollard to go home, is also getting underway. The Washington phone numbers are: 202-456 -1111 or 202-456-1414.

From Suzzane to Magda to Arlosoroff

I spotted this story about a gigolo and his German mistress and discovered a story about one Susanne Klatten whose grandfather, Günther, had been awarded, in 1937, by Hitler, the honorific title of “Leader of the Armament Economy”. By this time, his ex-wife, Magda, was also involved with the Nazi party, having married Joseph Goebbels...[Gunther's] son...Herbert...turned BMW into one of the world's most desirable car brands, and his third marriage, to his secretary Johanna, produced two heirs, Susanne and Stefan. When Herbert died in 1982, the three inherited dozens of firms with an annual turnover of €6.5 billion. Today, the Quandt family's fortune is estimated at €24 billion.

But to return for a moment to Susanne's affair last year:-

Everything about the affair represented an astonishing break from her upbringing. Her half-blind father Herbert Quandt, one of the most talented industrialists of his generation, had taught her and her younger brother Stefan to be discreet about wealth. There were two models of behaviour in the Quandt family: flash and prudent. The flashy wing was represented by Harald, half-brother to Herbert. Harald had a messed-up childhood. He was the son of Guenther and Magda Quandt. When Magda left the marriage to live with and wed the Nazi propaganda chief Josef Goebbels, she took Harald with her; the little blond Hitler Youth cadet was present on their wedding day. Fortunately for Harald, he was absent when Magda poisoned her six other children in Hitler's bunker.

Magda. Goebbels.

That set off my memory trigger.

From Biography Channel:

In 1930 Magda Friedlander, recently divorced from her husband of eight years, Guenther Quandt, began to date Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Party district leader of Berlin. She was not, as her name suggests, Jewish, but had adopted the surname of her mother’s second husband, who was.

At the same time, Magda was also dating an ardent young Jew, Victor Chaim Arlosoroff. When Arlosoroff discovered Magda was involved with another man and that he was a senior Nazi party member, Arlosoroff flew into a rage, pulled out a gun and fired at Magda. The bullet did not hit her, and Magda permanently broke off her relationship with Arlosoroff, despite his pleas and apologies.

Josef and Magda Goebbels were married in 1931, with Hitler as a witness at their wedding. The marriage produced six children within eight years, one boy and five girls.

If you are willing to trust David Irving on Maria Magdalena Quandt

SHE began a furtive relationship with his [Günther Quandt's] oldest son Hellmut [Quandt]. Sexually unfulfilled, the twenty-three year old Magda [Quandt] was fatally attracted to this gifted and delicate young man, then aged only eighteen. Her husband found it wise to send young Hellmut to complete his studies in London and Paris. After an operation for appendicitis in Paris, complications set in and young Hellmut died tragically in her arms in 1927...Back in Berlin Quandt had settled down and purchased a roomy winter home in Charlottenburg, while keeping on their new villa at New Babelsberg for the summer. Magda took refuge from her boredom in books-buying a ten-volume Buddhist catechism one day in Leipzig-and wafted from store to store, from one empty social event to the next until she could stand it no longer.21

In the summer of 1929 she embarked on an affair with a thirty-year old law student, a Jew.22 She pleaded in vain with Quandt to release her. Hoping to catch him in some infidelity, she had him watched, but equally in vain. The student was a perfect and attentive lover, plying her with flowers, and she accompanied him on a trip to the Hotel Dreesen at Godesberg. This time however Quandt had hired the detectives; after reading their report, he threw her out.

Penniless and unemployed Magda returned to her mother while she negotiated a settlement with Quandt...There could be no question of marrying her unemployed student lover -- marriage to anybody would cut off her alimony cornucopia. So she lived, loved, and travelled around as her law student's paramour while privately planning her future -- without him. Drinking heavily one evening at the Nordic Ring club she met the Hohenzollern Prince August-Wilhelm (Goebbels' S.A. comrade, 'Auwi'). The prince suggested that the party needed people like her. She heard Goebbels speak soon after; fascinated, she enrolled at the Nazi party's minuscule West End branch run by the young engine-driver's son Karl Hanke...

...she passed him [Goebbels] once as he came limping up the steps. 'I thought I might almost catch fire,' she told her mother excitedly, 'under this man's searching, almost devouring, gaze.'27 She told Ello Quandt that to judge by his suit Goebbels was obviously in need of, well, mothering. A few weeks later it struck Günther Quandt, who still frequently met her, that she talked of nothing but the Nazis. 'At first I thought it was just a passing fad for the oratorical gift of Dr Goebbels,' he wrote. Her law student lover also noticed, and flared that she seemed to be losing her head to that clubfooted loudmouth.

'You're mad,' she snapped. 'I could never love Goebbels!'
...Goebbels is ill, but Magda phones only once, saying she's at the Quandt estate in Mecklenburg.1 He struggles out of bed on the Friday, April 10, 1931, to speak to two thousand party officials. On Saturday he learns that she is back in Berlin; she does not contact him. Ilse [Stahl] and Olga fuss around the invalid. He is too weak to resist. On Sunday he phones her home. She is not there; later however she phones him, and admits that she has been seeing off a young lover -- but he has brought things to a head and fired a revolver at her. She tells Goebbels she is injured (in fact the Jewish law student's bullet has struck the door frame next to her. 'If you had really aimed at me and hit me,' she scoffs, 'I might have been impressed. I find your behaviour ridiculous.')2

Too late Goebbels realizes how much he loves her...

And this source, Magda Goebbels by Anja Klabunde includes this on a book, "Magda Goebbels" by Anja Klabunde, Little, Brown:

Klabunde follows Meissner in most respects, her chief innovation being the emphasis she places on Magda’s adolescent friendship with the Zionist pioneer Victor (later Chaim) Arlosoroff. ‘Nazi Chief Weds Jewess’, screamed the headline on one opposition paper when Goebbels, then merely the Gauleiter of Berlin, married Magda in 1931. This deliberately provocative - and erroneous - claim was prompted by her connection not to Arlosoroff but to her stepfather, Max Friedlander. Like that of a surprising number of key Nazi figures, including the leader himself, Magda’s parentage was contentious. She was born illegitimate (a fact glossed over by the gentlemanly Meissner), and, although her parents married a few months later, they divorced soon afterwards. Magda’s mother later married the Jewish Friedlander, whose name Magda took and to whom she was, by all accounts, devoted.

Friedlander was an assimilated Jew, but his observation of festivals such as Passover and Yom Kippur meant that Magda grew up with a degree of familiarity with Judaism. This was strengthened by her schoolgirl intimacy with Lisa Arlosoroff and her charismatic brother Victor. She became a member of Arlosoroff s Zionist youth group - a commitment which Goebbels subsequently found so threatening that, according to Klabunde, he was behind Arlosoroff s assassination in Tel Aviv in 1933.

Magda seriously contemplated a life with Arlosoroff and was devastated when, deeming her insufficiently dedicated to Zionism, he broke with her. Shortly afterwards, she was sent to finishing school, and, following a courtship straight out of a romantic novel, she married Gunther Quandt, a wealthy industrialist twenty years her senior. Many years later, the journalist Bella Fromm noted a comment she heard at a ball: ‘If rich Gunther Quandt had not come along, who knows where [Magda would] be now? Probably doing sentinel duty in front of a Palestine kibbutz, rifle on shoulder and an Old Testament password on her lips.’

Quandt was fabulously rich. One of Germany’s top industrialists, he successfully preserved his fortune through the hyperinflation of the 1920s and, later, the economic collapse of the Second World War. Magda, however, found that her romance soon palled. Quandt was cold and distant, and, although the couple had one son, she felt unable to share his life on any meaningful level. She established a far closer bond with her stepson, Hellmuth. The youth fell passionately in love with her, and, if he had not died of a botched appendix operation in Paris, where he had been hastily dispatched to study, Magda might have found herself playing Phaedra. As things turned out, she was to end her life in the role of an altogether different heroine from Greek tragedy.

After her divorce from Quandt, Magda was left young, beautiful, wealthy and intensely bored. The gap in her life was filled when, at the instigation of an aristocratic Nazi sympathiser, she attended an election rally at the Palace of Sport. She was swept up by the oratory of the principal speaker, Joseph Goebbels. She immediately joined the Party and became the leader of her local women’s group, an exotic figure among a membership of concierges and shopkeepers. She then volunteered her services at Party headquarters, where, after a chance meeting, Goebbels asked her to organise his private archive.

Magda was a great catch for the Nazis, bringing them an aura of respectability.

See here too.

In the end, though, the question I am interested is: Did Goebbels have Arlosoroff murdered?

It wasn't Arabs?

See this.

Controversalist. That's What I'd Like To Be

Anne Coulter will be publishing a new book, "GUILTY", on the Obama media.

As Drudgereport highlights:

Bestselling author and controversialist Ann Coulter plans to crash Obama's inauguration party with her new work, GUILTY. Set for release first week of January, the book exposes and mocks, in graphic detail, the media's love affair with all things Democrat and Obama. Coulter presents exhibits A through Z.

The book is subtitled: Liberal "Victims" and their Assault on America.

That's controversial enough.

(On her medical condition)

So, Who Bombed Sternhell's Door?

You will recall my "what happened to Alan Johnston campaign?" (here and here).

Well, what happened to the bombers of Zev Sternhell? Sorry, his door.

Anybody know?

What is the status of the investigation?

A new campaign has been launched.

What Goes for Hebron, Goes for All of the Land of Israel

Moshe Arens is succinct and right on the mark:-

...following the massacre of the Jewish community in Hebron in 1929, Jewish access to the city was severely limited, and from then until the end of the British Mandate, Jews were denied entry to the Cave and were not permitted to ascend beyond the seventh step on the stairs leading to it. During the days of Jordanian occupation the city was closed to Jews altogether.

Only after the Six-Day War could Jews pray again at the Cave of the Patriarchs, and the Jewish Quarter in Hebron was reestablished. Were it not for the presence of Jewish settlers in the city, in the Jewish Quarter and in nearby Kiryat Arba, access for Jews to the Cave would probably not have been possible in recent years.

In other words, Jewish access to the Cave of the Patriarchs is dependent on the presence of the settlers in the Hebron area. This will probably be true in future years as well, regardless of any agreements that might be reached with the Palestinians or the Jordanians. Seen in this light, the acquisition of Beit Hashalom, on the road leading to the Machpelah, is a significant contribution to that end. If it is the government's policy to assure the right of Jews to pray in the Cave, the defense minister should have instructed the commanding general to grant approval of the purchase of the building. In the absence of such an instruction, the impression is created that the defense minister and presumably the government in general have no interest in assuring this access...

And what goes for Hebron, goes for a Jewish presence throughout the Land of Israel

More On That Gaza Journalist Ban

Israel has closed its crossings with Gaza again because of Palestinian rocket fire at Israel, just a day after allowing vital humanitarian supplies in. Palestinian militants fired two Qassam rockets at Israel on Sunday, one on Monday and another on Tuesday, and the crossings were subsequently closed on Tuesday. [so grateful are they]

Even though they were opened to allow 42 truckloads of supplies in on Monday, foreign correspondents were not allowed in. The ban on reporters has been in effect for more than two weeks.

In Washington, visiting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was asked about the ban. He said, "The reason the passages are closed is completely related to security matters ... we didn't want to take responsibility for the safety of journalists passing through."

Why not let them in and then shut the crossings?

Wrong Way to Get High

A Thai court on Tuesday sentenced to death two Israeli nationals who had been convicted of smuggling drugs.

Vladimir Akronik and Alon Makhlouf were arrested about a year ago during a large-scale police operation on Bangkok's Kao San road, a popular destination for Israeli tourists.

Someone Who Thinks Like Me

It makes no difference whether our territorial strip show reaches the 1967 borders, or also includes the renunciation of Israeli sovereignty on Temple Mount (The “People’s Voice” initiative); or whether we are talking about returning almost 100% of Judea and Samaria and even “family reunification” (as offered by Barak in Camp David and in Taba in 2000); or whether we include a somewhat more ”significant” entry of Palestinian refugees into Israel (The Geneva Initiative) – this was never enough to satisfy the Palestinian partner.

And if all of these gifts were not enough to prompt the Palestinian bride to say “I do,” how in the name of God (or Allah) will the renunciation of Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem (and not in the Holy Basin) and a deal that does not allow for the entry of refugees will bring peace upon us? Indeed, Olmert and Livni, like Beilin before them, find it convenient to highlight these Arab neighborhoods (and not Temple Mount, for example,) while hinting that the Right’s objection to their return torpedo the “long-awaited agreement.” However, the likelihood that the Palestinian partner will sign something and honor it is not much different than the likelihood that the “good guy” in the movie I mentioned at the beginning won’t be hit with a bat at the end.

Shaul Rosenfeld

And there's more there.

Oh, And By The Way...

The NYTimes has a gushing story today on four young woman and their rock band in Saudi Arabia.

And deep inside the text, one can find this, without comment:-

In Saudi Arabia, churches are not allowed, and Muslims who convert to Christianity can be executed.

Well, rock their heads.


Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner’s (D) decision to appoint Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s longtime aide Ted Kaufman to the Senate has upset local Democrats who believe the move was a ham-handed attempt to engineer the election of Biden’s son, Beau, to the Senate in 2010.

Isn't Kaufman Jewish?

What Could Go Wrong?

You read my yesterday's post about that shot dead BBC journalist in Somalia?

Well, read on:-

The Foreign Press Association in Israel filed an appeal with the High Court on Monday demanding to be allowed into Gaza. Crossings between Gaza and Israel have been closed for several days due to rocket attacks on the western Negev, and journalists have not been allowed through.

Defense Ministry officials say only humanitarian workers will be allowed through the crossings while attacks continue. Journalists say the decision infringes on freedom of the press.

Heads of major media outlets worldwide recently sent a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert asking him to allow journalists and television crews into Gaza. Among the signatories were senior journalists from ABC, CNN and BBC. Olmert has not yet responded to the letter.

I guess we might as well let them go in. Right?

I mean, what's the worst that can happen? An Alan Johnston kidnapping?

The Matter of Labelling and That Boycott of Yesha Products

An EU-Israel trade agreement allows goods made in Israel to be imported into the 27-nation EU at reduced or nil rates of customs duty. However, products of Jewish communities in the areas of Judea and Samaria are excluded from the benefits and must pay the full rate of duty.

The UK Foreign Office claims there had been reports that the agreement was being circumvented and that some goods produced at these Jewish communities may have been wrongly labelled as made in Israel.

The Foreign Minister, David Miliband, called recently for

"the fair and proper implementation of the agreements on produce from this region...That means preferential trade for Israeli products, preferential trade for Palestinian products, but not preferential trade from the settlements," he said. The Foreign Office spokesman said Britain wanted the trade agreement implemented and products of Jewish settlements labelled as such. "Neither the UK nor the EU should do anything that inadvertently supports or encourages illegal settlement activity," he said.

[Israel President Shimon] Peres said there was an EU agreement. "I think it would be strange to have 27 agreements on every issue, with all due respect. We negotiated very hard to find a compromise," he said. Most workers in the settlements were Palestinians and if they were fired due to a crackdown on exports it would increase unemployment, said Peres, who is on a five-day visit to Britain.

Asked how he justified the suffering of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Peres said: "Why should they suffer? Let them stop shooting and they won't suffer."

First of all, kudos to Peres for finally being rational and pithy.

Second of all, do we now have to label exactly who made these products? After all, if Arabs are employed, does it not make the products, partially at least, non-Jewish?

Third, if Israeli Arabs who consider themselves "Palestinian Arabs with Israeli citizenship", as is the latest subversive nationalist fashion among them, would Mr. Miliband & Co. require any products and produce they make to be labelled as, what?

And fourth, if Israel decided that the UK was doing something "illegal", I don't know, like Ireland, the Falkland Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the British Indian Ocean Territory or such matters as the operations of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, could we retaliate economically - with full justification?