Monday, August 31, 2009

Putting Two and Two Together Or, Merkel Is Out In Front Of Netanyahu

Item One:
Merkel hit back at critics who said her above-the-fray campaign style bore part of the blame for the conservatives' losses in three regional elections held Sunday, which saw them lose control of two state houses.
Item Two:

The construction of Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands must be stopped, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a meeting in Berlin.

Item Three:

Merkel above the fray -

For a video clip of past performances.

How Would You Define Conventional?

But is it kosher?

David Solway on "The New Anti-Semitism


Reflections on the New Anti-Semitism

...the words one hears and reads everywhere around us about Jews, about Zionists, and about the state of Israel are not “sweet” but sharp and bitter. The “precepts” we receive in the various media, print and electronic, do not promote “understanding” but seem instead to justify “every false way.”..

The most recent case in point comes from the left-leaning Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet...The absurdity is palpable, but logic and common sense are clearly beyond the cognitive abilities of anti-Semites...

...The most popular Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf, cleared the way for its Swedish counterpart to launch its newest calumny, publishing an article on August 8, 2009, accusing Jews of creating swine flu as part of a pharmaceutical conspiracy to profit from the sale of antidotes.

The despicable lies perpetrated by Aftonbladet and De Telegraaf are only the latest in what seems like an endless chain of defamatory utterances and slanderous fictions about the Jewish people and the Jewish state. We recall the notorious Mohammed al-Durah hoax...Then we had the so-called Jenin massacre...Britain’s Independent went so far as to accuse Israel of using uranium-tipped weapons, a claim so manifestly outrageous it defies both reason and belief — and should rightly have defied publication.

...The world is once again thirsting for Jewish blood, an ironic reversal of the old blood libel canard. We see this vampiric appetite expressed in a multitude of different ways: in the international media, as we have observed; in the theater (My Name Is Rachel Corrie, Seven Jewish Children); in film (Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ)... in Barack Obama’s defaulting on the commitment of the previous American administration regarding the natural growth of Israeli settlements and construction in East Jerusalem; and so on, ad vomitatum.

And there seems no way at present of evading the growing pandemic of anti-Jewish feeling and anti-Israeli denunciation that is infecting the contemporary world. “What is new about the new anti-Semitism,” writes Phyllis Chesler in The New Anti-Semitism [26], is “that it is worldwide. … Jews are being verbally and visually attacked everywhere.” The Jew is someone for whom there is no elsewhere. This is my definition, but there have, of course, been many definitions of the Jew over the millennia...Anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli sentiment has become so pervasive that it reminds me of the philosopher Nicholas of Cusa’s definition of God as a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. But in our demented age the definition applies not to love but to hatred, not to the worship of the Lord but to the derogation of the “satanic” Jew.

...Thankfully, there is a countervailing fact as well, which has to do with the long history of courage against all the odds and the unprecedented resilience of the Jewish people — and, of course, with those honorable and gracious advocates for truth and decency who come to the defense of Israel. As hapless as the battle may seem at times, there can be no reneging...the imperative to speak, write, and act remains in force. In the interests of the survival of Israel and the integrity of the West, and despite all the impediments raised against the simple truth, we need to get the word out.


Despite the rest of this article, I especially enjoyed this part:

Despite the international clamour over settlements in the West Bank, there seems to be no shortage of ideologically motivated Israelis and new immigrants aspiring to make a home there.

According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, the settler population in the West Bank rose 5 per cent last year to 289,600 people, compared with population growth of 1.8 per cent in Israel last year.

Odd Signs Mostly Funny

Odd signs:

Sheikh Whatever: "Madonna Does Not Exist. She's A Mirage"

Following the news that Madonna has visited the Western Wall tunnels to view the actual foundations of the First and Second Temples, Sheikh Whatever of the Pal. Waqf Trust has announced that Madonna really doesn't exist.

"She's just a fantasy," he declared.

In making this pronouncement, the Whatever Sheikh is continuing in the propaganda line the Muslim authorities have taken that the First Temple built by Solomon and the Second Temple, first constructed by Ezra and then enlarged by Herod, simply are historically in doubt (see here and here).

Of course, this seems to be their only defense versus the Jewish claim that "Palestinian Arabs" don't really exist as a separate and distinct ethnic-national grouping.

On the other hand, MyRightWord has learned that the Sheikh has offered ten camels, three sheep and five goats - all virgins - for a front-row seat at Madonna's concert. He has revealed to his associates that "first, I'm already sticky, second, I haven't seen Tel Aviv since my last dishwashing job and third, she is my fantasy but what a fantasy".

His associates have reacted by being very cross with him.

Madonna, the Kabbalah Kutie, Goes Underground




Safed's rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu, has sent a personal letter to the international pop star...The rabbi began his letter to "Mrs. Madonna Louise Ciccone" by welcoming her to Israel and its holy sites...The rabbi went on to say that "in this time in history many are making efforts to study the wisdom of Kabbalah, including you, and many are trying to adopt its customs… You are about to perform here in the coming week in front of an audience of thousands of people...The way you are being marketed is not, in any way, in line with Kabbalah, with Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, with internal enlightenment and with faith and love."

...According to Rabbi Eliyahu, the powers hidden in exposing a woman's body do not honor her, but "may raise the lust instead of raising the love – and that's a shame."

He said it was important to intensify and strengthen love, the connection and loyalty between a man and his wife, and added that men looking at other women are only hurt by it. "It doesn't do well to the home, doesn't do well to the family and doesn't strengthen the children – and this is definitely not something you want.

Matisyahu Does Double-Entendre

In this quotation:

"It's not really any longer about me being the Hasidic reggae guy," he says an interview. "I'm informed by Hassidism and Judaism and reggae music, but it's not that black and white, and it's not that simple."

If you don't get it, leave a comment.

U2 Rocks (and Shuckles)

I am not that knowledgeable of modern music but I have heard the name U2 every once and a while.

Now I've read:

It’s a Mitzvah: U2 Reschedules Concert Because of Jets Game and Jewish Holiday

U2 would not seem to be the sort of band that takes Jewish holidays into account when preparing its touring schedule, but the coming observance of Yom Kippur has required the group to reschedule a show planned for Giants Stadium next month. In a news release on Thursday, publicists for U2 said that the group’s concert scheduled at the stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. for Sept. 25 has been moved to Sept. 23. The change was made after the New York Jets rescheduled their Sept. 27 football game against the Tennessee Titans to 1 p.m. from 4:15 pm to avoid a conflict with Yom Kippur, which starts at sundown that day...


"To shuckle" is to sway during prayer. It is an expression of devotion and those in prayer can be observed swaying back-and-forth, side-to-side, this all the while, during the Silent Prayer, keeping one's feet together for the duration of the 18 (19) Benedictions. Some have been seen to open their arms wide and sweeping them about (thus occasionally hitting the people standing next to them or even knocking some over, this even before the Tachanun prayer), or even jumping in place.

However, note:

The Yam Shel Shelomo (Rabbi Shlomo Luria of Lublin, 1510-1573) writes that he observed people jumping and dancing during Kedusha, and he calls this practice a "Minhag Burim" ("the custom of fools").

The Talmud records, however, in another context this behavior:

It has been taught: Such was the custom of R. Akiba; when he prayed with the congregation, he used to cut it short and finish in order not to inconvenience the congregation, but when he prayed by himself, a man would leave him in one corner and find him later in another, on account of his many genuflexions and prostrations.

So, for those Jews going to the concert, shuckle away!

Activity Comment.


Abbott & Costello at the State Department


Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
August 27, 2009

1:25 p.m. EDT

MR. CROWLEY: Good afternoon, and welcome to the Department of State. And for the first time since I’ve been here, we have nothing formal to announce. So against my better judgment, we’ll go right to your questions.

QUESTION: There’s some reports in Israel and elsewhere that in the meeting yesterday in London, that Mitchell agreed to an Israeli proposal that would see a – you know, a temporary freeze in West Bank settlements, but leave out any promises or pledges on East Jerusalem. Is this accurate?

MR. CROWLEY: Matt, I think we’re in intense discussions with Israel, with the Palestinian Authority with other countries in the region, and characteristic of difficult discussions, you’re seeing – you’re hearing a lot of noise coming from a lot of different directions. I’m not going to get into details to say, this one is right, this is one is wrong. There’s a lot of posturing that’s going on. I think what is important here is that Senator Mitchell is work – continues to work with the parties. Our objective is to get them vested in formal negotiations. And in those formal negotiations, we will tackle the hard issues that we know exist, and get not only to the finish line, but get across the finish line.

Ultimately, this is not a process by which the United States will impose conditions on Israel, on the Palestinian Authority, on other countries. This is – ultimately, the judgment as to both getting to negotiations and getting to a successful conclusion is something that the parties will have to make. We, the United States, are prepared to help them. So at this point in time, what Senator Mitchell is trying to do is to make sure that all of the parties, all of the vested interests in these negotiations, they have – they are putting forward a political commitment. And we will make the assessment in the coming weeks whether we feel that the conditions are right.

But it’s not about what we’re asking. We’re asking them to meet their commitments under the Roadmap, but most importantly, we’re asking them what they’re prepared to do and to demonstrate the steps that that they are prepared to take that allow us to have confidence that these negotiations can be restarted.

We recognize that once we get into those negotiations, all of the issues that you’re probably hearing in the press will be there for debate, for negotiation, for resolution. But this is not something that we’re imposing on them. This is something that we’re discussing with the parties on an ongoing basis. We’ll do so again next week with the delegation that comes to the United States from Israel. And hopefully through these discussions that will be ongoing in the coming days and weeks, we can get to a point where we have confidence that these negotiations can be restarted.

QUESTION: Well, all of that is fine, but --

MR. CROWLEY: Thank you. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: -- it doesn’t really answer the question. Is the hard and fast position that was stated by Secretary Clinton in May, and again restated from the podium on Monday, I believe, that all means all, in terms of settlements? Is that a negotiable position now?

MR. CROWLEY: The position that the Secretary has stated remains our position. And we continue to discuss with Israel and with the other parties what they have to do on the settlement issue, on other issues, including incitement and security, and the support that we need in the region for us to have confidence that negotiations can begin. Ultimately, it will be up to the United States, together with the parties. We’ll make a collective decision in the coming weeks as to whether – what the various parties have put forth, give us confidence that negotiations can begin.

QUESTION: So that position is not negotiable? That’s what you’re saying.

MR. CROWLEY: What I’m saying is that our position on the importance of settlements, on the importance of the commitments made under the Roadmap remains unchanged.

QUESTION: But that’s not actually what you said. What you said was that the Secretary’s position remains – our position, your position – and the position, as she stated it, was, I think quite categorical in May when she said that all settlements – activity must stop, including so-called natural growth. That is – I’m not talking about the importance of settlement or the importance of the Roadmap or the importance of keeping commitment. That is your – that is and continues to be your – the U.S. Government position that Israel should have a complete, total cease to settlement activity, including natural growth?

MR. CROWLEY: Our position in these discussions remains unchanged. At the same time, ultimately, it will be up to the parties, together with the United States, looking at all of what has been put forward in these discussions to reach a determination whether the conditions exist for negotiations to begin. So that’s why these discussions have been taking place over many months and why we will continue them in the coming days and week.

QUESTION: So it’s --

QUESTION: Does that mean, then, if you can get the Palestinians and the – or the Palestinians particularly, but the Arabs more generally to buy into some kind – something that is less than the Secretary’s position, if you can get them to agree that that’s okay, that you will – that your position is, in fact, negotiable depending on --

MR. CROWLEY: Well, remember what we are trying to achieve here, okay? We are hoping to get to a formal negotiation through which we can reach a resolution between the Israelis and the Palestinians as part of our ambition to see comprehensive peace in the Middle East, okay? The key here is getting to the negotiations, okay? The discussions that we are having are to create the conditions so that the Israelis, the Palestinians, other countries in the region have the confidence that the negotiations can not only be started, but they can be successfully completed.

QUESTION: All right. Well, that sounds like a yes to me.

MR. CROWLEY: Yes to what question?

QUESTION: The question that I asked --

MR. CROWLEY: Which --

QUESTION: -- which was simply that if you can get buy-in from the others on something that is less than your May --

MR. CROWLEY: Well, drawing from --

QUESTION: -- the Secretary’s May demand, that in fact, it is negotiable.

MR. CROWLEY: Well, what I’m saying is we have discussions that are ongoing. We’re going to see how these discussions unfold. Ultimately, it will be up to the United States, and in this case, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, to make an assessment as to whether we believe the conditions are right so negotiations can be restarted. I’m not going to prejudge where these discussions go, and I’m not going to prejudge – ultimately, the judgment that the President, the Secretary, the prime minister, the president of the Palestinian Authority will have to make, together with other countries in the region, whether we think the conditions exist for negotiations to formally start.


QUESTION: Can I try this slightly a different way? So it is possible, I would understand from what you’ve said, that the U.S. position may not be relevant, in fact, if the Palestinians and Israelis can agree to start negotiations on whatever basis?

MR. CROWLEY: I mean, I understand the fascination, Charlie. Maybe I think we’re – what we’re trying to do is get everyone back on the highway towards a formal negotiation. You’re talking about characterizing the activity where various people are driving around the parking lot. I mean, that’s not the point. The point here is ultimately, we have to find a way back to negotiations, and we have to have confidence that when those negotiations start, that all of the parties – the Israelis, the Palestinians, the rest of the region – is invested in this peace process.

We have seen negotiations in recent years where the negotiations took place, but there was no real investment by the parties in the process. We’re trying to make sure that in the discussions that Senator Mitchell is leading right now, that the parties are sufficiently invested in this process. They’re putting real skin into the game so that when we get to those negotiations, there is this confidence that they can start, they can be meaningful, and that they can reach a successful conclusion. I’m not going to prejudge the judgments that will have to be made as these discussions continue as to whether we have reached those conditions.

Our objective is to reach the conditions that – and we have our ideas, and we put forward our ideas publicly and privately about what it will take for negotiations to be restarted. But ultimately, it’ll be up to the parties themselves, with our help, to determine whether that threshold has been met.


QUESTION: So do you see, like, a situation or a possibility of where total freeze of settlement is not achieved, but at the same time, there’s a possibility to resume negotiations? Is that a possibility?

MR. CROWLEY: All right. Try me again?

QUESTION: Do you see – do you foresee, like, a situation or a possibility in the future where the Israelis actually don’t freeze total – have total freeze on settlements, but at the same time, there’s a place to resume negotiations?

MR. CROWLEY: I see a situation some weeks from now where the President of the United States and the Secretary of State and Senator Mitchell, together with the Israelis, the Palestinians, and others in the region, will make a fundamental judgment, at the conclusion of this phase of the process, after many discussions over many months, the question we put on the table: Do we feel that the conditions are sufficient so that a formal negotiation can begin?

That will be a judgment that everyone I just enunciated will have to make. Now where we are when that point is reached, I can’t predict. That’s why this process is continuing. It’s why Senator Mitchell met with Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday, why we continue to consult with the Palestinians and other countries in the region. We have to see how this plays out. We have to get to a point where you reach that fundamental judgment.

As I said, we, the United States, have outlined in these meetings what we feel is necessary for those conditions – for the atmosphere to be such, for the investment to be such that a formal negotiation can begin and can be successful. But ultimately, this will be judgments that are made not just by the United States, but by Israel, by the Palestinian Authority, by others. And let’s wait till we reach that point.


QUESTION: Just to follow up, you said the decision will be made by those in the U.S., Palestine, Israel, and those in the region. What about the Quartet? Do you envision that the Quartet will be part of this decision-making process of whether the conditions are suitable for talks? And also, when you’re referring for the conditions to be suitable for talks, are we talking about Palestinian-Israeli talks, or are we talking about talks for all those involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict?

MR. CROWLEY: I think right now, our focus, obviously, is on the Israeli-Palestinian element. Our desire is for a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. We recognize that over time, we will hopefully address the other issues that exist within the region. Right now, our focus is there. But we recognize that obviously, drawing from our experience over 15 or 20 years, that for this to be successful we have to have significant support by the region. That was what was missing, say, in 2000. So that’s why George Mitchell has been talking not just to the Israelis and Palestinians, but a wide range of other leaders who will need to be involved in this process as we go forward.

I think that obviously, as we get into a formal negotiation, the role of the Quartet and the international community will be vitally important, because whatever negotiation is ultimately – if a negotiation is ultimately successful, it will have to have significant support – both political, financial, other diplomatic, so – but our focus right now is in this particular phase. We’re in the homestretch, we hope. We hope that we can get to a point where we can make that fundamental judgment that a negotiation can be restarted and we have prospects for success.

Go ahead.

QUESTION: Yes. May I ask you about a slightly different subject?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, let’s see. Is anyone – are we – go ahead.

QUESTION: The meeting is next week?

MR. CROWLEY: We’ll come back to you.

QUESTION: The meeting is next week? Any location?

MR. CROWLEY: The meeting is next week. Details are still to be determined. I don’t know when, don’t know where.

QUESTION: It’s going to be in New York, right?

MR. CROWLEY: I don’t know when, don’t know where.

QUESTION: Do you know who is coming from the Israeli side?

MR. CROWLEY: We’ll let the Israelis announce their delegation.

QUESTION: And then one other one on this.

QUESTION: New York is too (inaudible).

QUESTION: What talks, if any, does Senator Mitchell have planned, either with the Palestinians or with officials from other Arab states, over the next couple of weeks? We know about the Israeli team coming here, and I believe Prime Minister Netanyahu said he expected – or briefed reporters traveling with him that he expected Senator Mitchell back in Israel in September. What else – you know, what are the Arab – what’s the Arab side of the coin here?

MR. CROWLEY: Yeah. It’s a fair question, Arshad. I – as far as I know, the next step in the process is receiving the Israeli delegation next week. It wouldn’t surprise me if, once we get beyond Labor Day, that there’s another trip to the region before the UN General Assembly, but I don’t know that.

QUESTION: Can you check on whether there are any plans to talk to Arab officials over the next couple of weeks? It’d just be useful to have a sense of who else he’s talking to.


QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: Well, I’m still confused. People, and I think the media, as well, understood that the total freeze of settlement was an American precondition to resume talks. And now you’re saying probably it’s up to negotiations and what the different factor agree on. Is that a change in the – in your stance? Do you think that what you announced in the beginning, that total freeze of settlement was not realistic because the Israelis will not accept it?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I think you’re prejudging the outcome. I was clear. The United States position on settlements – we’ve said it many times. We haven’t changed it. Now, that is the American position in a discussion that we’re having among our friends in Israel, also our friends with the Palestinian Authority. But our discussions are based on the need to create conditions to get to a negotiation. And it will be a collective judgment based on what Israel has put on the table, based on what the Palestinians have put on the table, based on what other countries in the region have put on the table, is what on the table sufficient to get to where we really want to go, which is back into a negotiation where all of these issues – in terms of borders, refugees, and so forth – can be successfully resolved. I’m not going to prejudge the outcome of the discussion that leads to the judgment – that hopefully leads to the negotiation. That process is continuing.

QUESTION: Would you – one last question. Would you quibble with or dispute the statement that in all the words that you’ve said over the last few minutes, that you have left the door open to a resumption of peace negotiations, absent a total and absolute halt to settlement activity? It seems to me you’ve left that door wide open.

MR. CROWLEY: What I am saying is the United States of America is working with the Israelis, Palestinians, other countries in the region to get to a negotiation, to restart negotiations and bring them to a successful conclusion. And we are earnestly working presently, and will continue to work in the coming days to create the conditions that gives us confidence, gives the Israelis confidence, give the Palestinians confidence, gives the region confidence that a negotiation can be successfully started and successfully concluded.

QUESTION: Even in the absence of a total freeze.

MR. CROWLEY: And I – again, I’m not going to prejudge the outcome of the discussions that are ongoing. I’m not going to comment on the noise that’s coming – the posturing that’s coming from various places; only to say that ultimately, we’ll reach a point hopefully soon where we, together with the Israelis, together with the Palestinians will say, based on everything we know, based on what everyone has told us, based on the commitments that they’ve made, is this sufficient to get us into a negotiation?

QUESTION: So your position is not a hard and fast condition?

MR. CROWLEY: Our position is to get to negotiations. We’re doing that --

QUESTION: Your position on settlements is not hard --

MR. CROWLEY: -- through the process that we’re – that is currently ongoing.

QUESTION: So your position on settlements – the U.S. position on settlements, as you’ve restated here from the Secretary’s – what the Secretary said in May, is not a condition?

MR. CROWLEY: The United States has stated its position on settlements based on commitments made --

QUESTION: And that position is not a condition. Is that correct?

MR. CROWLEY: That position is our position, and that position is the position that we took into the discussions that we hope will lead to a negotiation.

QUESTION: Took half a chance.

MR. CROWLEY: Let’s go to a different subject.

Did that recall to you "who's on first?"

Virus vs. Cancer

Peace Now found an unlikely advocate on Sunday in its longtime nemesis: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

In a rare joint interview with Israel Radio and Army Radio, Netanyahu defended Peace Now from the attack on it by his vice premier, Moshe Ya'alon, two weeks ago.

"It is important to clarify that the Left is not a virus and the settlers are not a cancer," Netanyahu told interviewers Yaron Deckel and Razi Barka'i. "There are legitimate disputes in Israeli society and we must maintain unity and show respect for political rivals by talking and acting in a restrained manner."

The Left restraining themselves?

From using "cancer" and "Altalena" and "mitnabchalim" and worse.

Gotta be kidding me.

For a Hebrew-language list of deprecations of the Right and the Yesha residents, see here.

Road Signs You Can't See

Remember my previous post about the roads signs?

Well, in typical "Pal." practice, we have been informed that:

Palestinians uproot Hebrew road signs in West Bank

In preparation for statehood, Palestinians replace Hebrew road signs in West Bank with signs in Arabic and English, according to US aid group. The US international aid agency says Palestinian authorities in the West Bank have started replacing Israeli-installed road signs bearing Hebrew script with new signs in just Arabic and English.
The move is in preparation for a future Palestinian state. Howard Sumka, of USAID, says the American-funded project is expected to take up to four years and cost about $20 million.

What did the US PR person declare there?

Masonis said no signs are being taken down

Oh, oh. Someone is fibbing.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ha-Ha-Haaretz Logic

Haaretz reports:

A Jewish man was killed on Sunday evening when was stabbed by a Palestinian at a hostel in Jerusalem. Police said that the attack seemed to have been carried out with criminal, not nationalist, motives.

The 49-year-old man was evacuated to hospital immediately after the incident, where he died of critical wounds. Police said the attacker, a 23-year-old man from the West Bank, stabbed the man with a kitchen knife and fled the scene after the attack.

According to a police investigation, the victim of the attack - who had been residing at the hostel for a few days - had been involved in a quarrel with the attacker since Sunday morning.

Let's see,

a) Police said that the attack seemed to have been carried out with criminal, not nationalist, motives.

b) The victim of the attack had been involved in a quarrel with the attacker since Sunday morning.

Is that logical?

What could they have been arguing about that would have delayed the Arab attack? It couldn't have been theft, otherwise the Arab would have stolen from him long ago.

Sign Humor

You need to go here to understand my below reaction:

although I doubt if you'll grasp my humor.


Two Jerusalem Wall Items

Just before you arrive at the Shmuel HaNavi intersection from Ramot Eshkol, this sign informs you are walking along a wall of a cemetery and Kohanim are advised to stay away from walking under the tree branches that are inside the cemetery due to specific ritual impurity restrictions for Kohanim:

And with Rosh HaShana three weeks away, the men are plied with a commercial advertisement for kittel fashion from Hadran. The very best styles, 100% cotton, royal and classic:

Only in your better stores.

My Dr. Meir Havatzelet Letter in Haaretz

Hebrew instruction

Regarding "Paradise lost," Haaretz Magazine, August 14

I can't judge the childhood and adolescent impressions of Prof. Ehud Havatzelet or the complexity of his relationship with his family, and particularly with his father, nor can I testify to it. But as a student back in the mid-1960s of Dr. meir havatzelet at the Teachers' Institute of Yeshiva University in New York - an institution in which the studies were conducted in the "Hebrew into Hebrew" method - I would nevertheless like to point out that the father of the successful Jewish writer impressed me and my peers with his knowledge of Hebrew literature, on the one hand, and - for those who belonged to Zionist youth groups - with his devotion to the idea of Jewish nationalism, on the other.

Members of Betar in particular learned from him about [right-wing poet] Uri Zvi Greenberg, and about other writers. And even if he did not identify himself as being affiliated with the nationalist camp, the conversations outside class enriched and excited us, not to mention the possibility of hearing genuine "sabra" Hebrew. He was pleasant man, who demanded attention and interest in the subjects, but the hard work that was required also led to enjoyment of his lessons.

Yisrael Medad


Havel Havalim #232

"Havel-Havalim Number 232- The Back to School Edition".

But It's Just A Cartoon, You Say?

Found here:

Now, you know what I found funny about this?

An element of the drawer's biography:

Dave Granlund has been an editorial cartoonist, published in daily newspapers since 1977. Syndicated in 1978 with NEA-United Media, his work has appeared in over 700 newspapers; including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Christian Science Monitor, plus magazines such as Newsweek, and shown nationally on,, HBO, PBS, CNN and NBC’s Today Show...His pastimes and interests include history, astronomy, antique tractors and Swedish language studies.

You don't think he reads stories in Aftonbladet, do you?

Well, maybe. I guess it's not really funny when, with the money angle, he plays to the canard factor of Jews and US financing:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Stephen Reiss is REAL!

Stephen Reiss, Washington Post editor for social issues and education, took it upon himself to deflate Rich Cohen's book, "Israel is Real" in An Imagined Nation


When the Romans laid siege to Jerusalem in 70 A.D., there was no such thing as the Geneva Conventions...Sixty-odd years later, there was another Jewish revolt. This time, the Roman effort at obliteration was even more thorough...Miraculously, this was not the end of the Jewish nation. It survived, in part, by redefining Jerusalem...

After two millennia, Jerusalem is once more the capital of a Jewish nation. The idea has taken on concrete form and is beset by a host of real-world problems. Once again, a Jewish nation is vulnerable to its enemies and its own internal weaknesses. Is the future of the religion, too, now hostage to the foibles of people like Benjamin Netanyahu and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah? It's an interesting thesis, but a curious book...It feels almost like a child's field trip through the local art museum, stopping here to look at an oil painting, there to make faces at a marble bust.

...this is an Israel seen through a distinctly American lens. There's no sign of the Sephardim, the Jews whose origins lie in the Arab world and who have been skeptical of peace deals. There's no mention of Russian Jews and their battle to emigrate from the Soviet Union...we spend a lot of time with fanatics on West Bank hilltops. True, those handfuls of people wield outsized political influence, but they don't define the daily life of the nation.

...But the main flaw of "Israel is Real" is that it treats religious faith as a form of madness...

It might be argued that the long-term viability of Israel lies in the triumph of secular Enlightenment values. Perhaps only a nation that has stopped mourning the destruction of the Second Temple can make the compromises necessary to achieve peace with the Palestinians and the nations of the Muslim world. But that's not the reality on the ground today. And that line of reasoning seems oddly dismissive of the faith that sustained a people for 2,000 years. Believe it or not, that's real, too.

But Not One Jew - Updated

Tens of thousands of faithful Muslims (90,000 according to Israeli police) prayed in a calm in the Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem for the first Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.



Tens of thousands of faithful thronged the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City for the first Friday prayers of Ramadan, with Israeli police reporting no significant incident. Police estimated the crowd at 90,000.



The Islamic Waqf estimated that about 80,000 worshippers filled Al Aqsa Mosqu and the courtyards, gathering under the shade of trees to avoid intense heat.

...Once inside, Sheikh Yousef Abu Sneineh led prayers with a sermon that focused on the month of Ramadan. He spoke against sin and vice, while commending those who fast. The Sheikh also addressed a comment directly to merchants asking that they not raise prices as is often the case during the holy month.

The last of the sermon dealt with American promises to stop Israeli settlement policy that have fallen far short on the ground. In reality, settlement expansion is up in both East Jerusalem and the West Bank.



Five Arabs were arrested for disturbances ahead of the prayers, including a man from Issawiya for allegedly attacking a police officer who tried to search him at the Lion's Gate. The policeman was lightly wounded in the incident.

Jerusalem Police arrested five people, Palestinians and Arab-Israelis. One of those arrested is an illegal alien from the Gaza Strip. One of those arrested, an Arab-Israeli, attacked a police officer. Knives were found in the belongings of a man and woman who were arrested.


Did you think I iwas being too cynical?

Not enough.

Read on:-

A group of Malay-Muslim protesters claiming to be residents of Section 23 have threatened bloodshed unless the state government stopped the construction of a Hindu Temple.

Amid chants of "Allahuakbar," the group also left the severed head of a cow at the entrance of the State Secretariat here as a warning to Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

The "residents" said that the construction of a Hindu temple in a 90 per cent Malay- Muslim neighbourhood was insensitive because activities there would disrupt their lives.

They claimed that the "noise" from the temple would disturb their own praying, and that they would not be able to function properly as Muslims...“With a temple on our residential area, we cannot function properly as Muslims. The temple will disrupt our daily activities like prayers in the Surau. We cannot concentrate with the sounds coming from the temple,” stated Zurit.

(PPS Kippah tip: AtlasShrugs)

Tfu, tfu on Tutu

Omri of Mere Rhetoric highlights Desmond Tutu's perversion of history, whereby the Reverend asserts:

...the Palestinians and the Arabs are paying "penance" for the Holocaust...But who pays the penance? The penance is being paid by the Arabs, by the Palestinians. I once met a German ambassador who said Germany is guilty of two wrongs. One was what they did to the Jews. And now the suffering of the Palestinians." Israel is mistaken to think it can achieve security through force, he said. "The lesson that Israel must learn from the Holocaust is that it can never get security through fences, walls and guns," Tutu said.

Two points.

The first, as I have expanded on several times at this blog, the Arabs of Mandate Palestine and specifically the Mufti, bear a direct responsibility for the Holocaust. Not only for what they did (the Mufti broadcast radio propaganda for Hitelr, raised a battalion for the Waffen SS and intervened to halt rescue attempts for Jewish children) but for their political pressure on Great Britain during the Arab Revolt of 1936-1939 which caused Gt. Britain to issue the 1939 White Paper which doomed European Jewry.

The second, the furtherance of this corrupt idea that since Germany did what it did to the Jews, the Jews are doing what the Nazis did to Arabs, is a perversion of history and implies that Arabs can do to Jews what the Nazis did to them. And this is what is going on in European capitals, like in Sweden, for example.

In any case, I thought this would be a proper observation, from Yehuda Avner's article, to be included in his forthcoming book:

...The head of the delegation, Frank Lautenburg...asked if the prime minister would care to elaborate on...that the prime minister had had a serious quarrel with the German chancellor, and that, as a consequence, relations between the two countries were strained.

BEGIN...leaned across the table from the front edge of his chair and gazed into Lautenburg's eyes with great earnestness. "It is true, Frank," he said. "I reprimanded Helmut Schmidt in public."

"What had he done? What had he said?"

"He had gone to Saudi Arabia, and he had said in a public statement that Germany had obligations to various peoples, among them the Palestinians, but he made no mention of the Jews.

"I was beside myself with astonishment. Could it be, I said to myself, that he, of all people, had failed to make mention of Germany's obligation to the Jews - and in Saudi Arabia, of all places? So, yes, I told him what I thought of him in public."

"And how did he respond?"

"He demanded an apology, but I refused. I publicly told him that he had shown arrogance and callous disregard of the Jews exterminated by his people in World War II. And I counseled him to take an example from his predecessor, Chancellor Willy Brandt. I told him to do what Brandt did: to go to Warsaw. I told him to go to the site where the Jewish ghetto once stood.

"Go down on your knees, Mr. Schmidt, I told him. Go down on you knees and beg forgiveness of the Jewish people for what your countrymen perpetrated under the Nazi regime against my people, at a time when you, Mr. Schmidt, remained steadfast to the personal oath you had given to Adolf Hitler, as a soldier in the Wehrmacht."

And here's the official version:-

I will not apologize to Mr. Schmidt, either publicly or privately, whatever the conditions he puts.

Mr. Schmidt traveled to Saudi Arabia some time ago. During and after his visit he made some incredible statements, astonishing from every point of view, and particularly so from the standpoint of the head of government of a nation which bears historic responsibility for the extermination of six million Jews, amongst them a million and a half little children. Mr. Schmidt mentioned Auschwitz and said that he acknowledges the obligation of Germany towards a number of peoples - but the Jewish people was not listed amongst them. Mr. Schmidt spoke of Germany's obligation towards the Palestinians and said not a word of Germany's obligation towards the Jewish people.

In reaction to all those statements I said in a speech that according to a report I got, Mr. Schmidt, as a lieutenant in Hitler's army, was among the viewers of a film showing the hanging by piano wire of German officers who had rebelled against the National Socialist regime.

My friend, Dr. Gideon Hausner, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Committee, pointed out to me that Lieutenant Schmidt had not participated in the screening of the above film, but he had been invited to and participated in a trial presided over by the infamous Nazi judge Freisler.

I chose to rely upon the information given me by Dr. Hausner, and, accordingly, I informed Bundestag member, Mr. Blumenfeld, that I will not hesitate to admit the error concerning the film. However, participation in the above mentioned Nazi trial is of itself a most grave event in the biography of one of the tens of thousands of German officers during the Holocaust.

I will not apologize to Mr. Schmidt. Rather, I counsel him, speaking as a free man who fought for the continued existence and the liberation of the Jewish people, that he take an example from his predecessor Mr. Brandt, visit Warsaw, go to the site where the Jewish ghetto once stood, go down on his knees and ask the forgiveness of the Jewish people and of all nations loving justice and liberty for what his countrymen perpetrated under the National Socialist regime against my people at the time when Mr. Schmidt remained faithful to the personal oath he had given to Adolf Hitler as a soldier and officer in his army.

More here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

"Dr. Levenstein, I Presume?"

This introduction:

Jason Koutsoukis is the first journalist, foreign or Israeli, to enter the occupied West Bank settlement of Kida. He reports on what he found there.

reminded me of Stanley meeting Livingstone in Darkest Africa.

It goes on:-

Settlers stake out a life on conflict's edge

THE landscape surrounding Kida [Kayda actually], a tiny illegal outpost in the occupied West Bank, is both rocky and fertile, with untamed hills of heather and thistle divided by neat vineyards.

Its 35 portable homes - plain white boxes sitting on concrete pylons - are divided by strips of freshly laid asphalt and look east towards the Jordan Valley.

''When Israelis ask me where I live, I tell them I live in the centre of Israel,'' says Tzofia Dorot, 30, the daughter of a Chicago-born rabbi.

Dorot is a settler, one of the Israelis whom the US Government and world opinion have defined as a major obstacle to peace in the Middle East.

Home to more than 90 children, Kida is like an isolated patch of idealised 1950s suburbia built on the edge of a wild, treeless frontier.

The women stay at home, or work part time. Front doors are left wide open. Children roam freely, seemingly looking after each other.

Despite recent talk of a freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank, Michal Chayat and her husband Matanya moved into Kida two weeks ago.

Their home is shining white, like a new refrigerator lying on its side. Matanya has already managed to add a pine deck.

''It's a very special place, a different place, and we wanted to be part of it,'' Ms Chayat says.

For the men, the day starts at Kida's half-built synagogue. After morning prayers they vanish to their jobs as army officers, policemen, teachers and lawyers in Israel.

With the nearest shop six kilometres away [a bit less], Kida doesn't attract many visitors. To go there you need a reason.

Strangers represent danger. The things that people fear most are Israeli troops coming to evacuate the settlement, or Palestinians.

To drive into Kida, one must pass through several private checkpoints and gates that help secure five other settlements in the area. [not if you come from another direction]

Innately suspicious of attention, particularly from the international media, the residents of Kida met to discuss the possibility of allowing The Age into their midst for several days.

''Our hope is that you present us as you see us,'' Ms Dorot says.

Also in Kida are the handsome couple of Chemda and Haim Ya'acobi, who live here with their four children.

Ms Ya'acobi, 28, is a smartly dressed mother of four who works two days a week as a social worker assisting at-risk teenagers. Her husband, 31, a recent graduate in industrial engineering, jogs most evenings and spends afternoons on the Sabbath studying the Torah.

Their four sons, Re'em, 6, Yeshurun, 4, and two-year-old twins Tsuria and Arbel, are inquisitive, polite and energetic.

As you would expect of any house delivered on the back of a truck, it's a tight fit for a family of six. One bedroom for the twins, another for the two older children, and a third bedroom for their parents. With a bathroom and kitchen and living space, that's the entire house.

At least they now have electricity. The Ya'acobis spent their first few years in Kida using a generator to power one household appliance at a time.

The presence of an English-speaker at their dinner table arouses the children's curiosity, among other reasons for its rarity.

No journalist, foreign or Israeli, has been allowed entry to Kida before. The residents feel misunderstood, objects of preconceived notions.

''I grew up in the city, and I always knew it wasn't for me, that I need space,'' Ms Ya'acobi says, extending her arms wide towards the empty valley beyond her walls.

''People in Tel Aviv, they don't know us. They don't know who we are, or understand the life we have.''

On the eve of the Sabbath, Mr Ya'acobi gathers his children together and slings an M-16 assault rifle over his shoulder, before heading 30 metres down the road to the synagogue.

Later, during dinner, there is a knock on the door. It's a neighbour who has just finished his shift on security patrol and is returning the weapon. Mr Ya'acobi's shift was scheduled for the early hours of the morning. ''We are always under threat here,'' he says.

Adamantly opposed to giving up territory that is at the heart of Jewish history, Mr Ya'acobi denies any Palestinian right to the land of the occupied West Bank.

To him the very idea of a pre-existing Palestinian nation is not supported by historical fact, and the word Palestinian is little more than the invention of British bureaucrats.

''First of all, there is no 'Palestinian' people, no such thing as Palestine. They [the Palestinians in the West Bank] belong in Jordan,'' he says.

But he is quick to articulate a difference between his family and the more hard-core religious Zionists. ''The settlers who beat Arabs? They should be sitting in jail,'' he says.

While the Ya'acobis may passionately oppose a Palestinian state, he says he would respect the law if he was ordered to leave.

About 30 kilometres north of Kida, a cluster of Jewish settlements has grown to form a ring around the Palestinian city of Nablus.

Residents of these settlements are known for their fanaticism, and for launching repeated attacks on nearby Palestinian villagers and their crops [all without provocation? not that I justify senseless violence].

Built into the side of Mount Gerizim is an illegal outpost known as Bracha B, an offshoot of Bracha, the parent settlement that sits at the top of the mountain. Untidy, almost squalid, Bracha B emits an aggressive intensity the moment you enter. The people who live here are openly hostile to intruders. Journalists are chased away, more often than not their cars pelted with rocks and their tyres punctured.

One of Bracha B's friendlier residents, Menachem Ben Shakhar, teaches at a religious school for children and wears the uniform of the religious Zionist movement: a crocheted skullcap, long red earlocks and beard, sandals and a flannel shirt.

At 32, he already has five children, and his wife Michaela is pregnant with their sixth.

Such is his relaxed appearance that Mr Ben Shakhar could be mistaken for a hippie were it not for his belligerent views.

His is a triangular culture that admits no outsiders. ''It is between me, God and the Land of Israel. There is nothing else,'' he says.

When it comes to Israel dismantling outposts such as Bracha B to make way for a Palestinian state, he talks about the price that will be paid.

For every settler's home that is demolished, he says, the settlers will respond by randomly attacking Palestinians and destroying their property.

He was involved in one such revenge attack last week, when he and groups of settlers ''beat up some Arabs'' at the nearby Itamar junction.

Asked about settler attacks on nearby Palestinian villagers and their property, he shrugs his shoulders. ''So what?'' he says. ''I don't want peace. We are fighting a war.''

That Hurricane-Western Wall Story - Just So You Shouldn't Miss It


Could it be divine intervention that's kept Florida safe from hurricanes since Gov. Charlie Crist took office?

Crist said he isn't trying to take credit, but he told a group of real estate agents Friday that he's had prayer notes placed in the Western Wall in Jerusalem each year and no major storms have hit Florida.

Crist noted that just before his election in 2006, Florida had been affected by a total of eight hurricanes in 2004 and 2005.

"Do you know the last time it was we had a hurricane in Florida? It's been awhile. In 2007, I took my first trade mission. Do you know where I went?" said Crist, a Methodist, referring to a trip to Israel.

He then told of going to the Western Wall and inserting a note with a prayer. He said it read, "Dear God, please protect our Florida from storms and other difficulties. Charlie."

"Time goes on — May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December — no hurricanes," Crist said. "Thank God."

Last year, Sen. Nan Rich was traveling to Israel and Crist asked her to put a note in the Western Wall, a holy site in Judaism and a place where written prayers are traditionally placed.

"It was the same note, by the way, the same prayer," Crist said.

This year a friend was going to Israel and he gave him a prayer to put in the Western Wall.

"You can do it on the Internet now, but I'd rather have it physically in there," Crist joked.

They Hate Politicians

How a wild political blog, unidentified ideologically, deals with Obama:-


Obamas Will Leave Children On Martha’s Vineyard To Die

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Thank you for “dying,” Ted Kennedy, because now Barack Obama will have to end his vacation, and America’s vacation, a couple of days short, to attend your funeral on Saturday. In fact Barack and Michelle Obama will leave “the Vineyard” tomorrow night instead of the already early Saturday morning departure, to avoid expected bad weather. Popular “scoop factory” the New York Times, however, reveals that the Obamas also intend to sacrifice their children to the Gods!

They Are Scheming Me

Received this today:-

Dear G-mail user,
Your e-mail has emerged as a winner of £500,000.00 GBP (Five hundred
thousand British Pounds) in our on-going Google Promotion. Your Winning
details are as follows: Computer Generated Profile Numbers
(CGPN):7-22-71-00-66-12, Ticket number: 00869575733664, Serial
numbers:/BTD/8070447706/06, Lucky numbers: 12-12-23-35-40-41(12). Contact
Mr Graham Benfield, for more details through the contact below:
Mr Graham Benfield,


Mr. Kasper Simpson.
Now, what currency is a "GBP"?

Latest "Obama Art"

Found over at Atlas Shrugs

Anybody See Bill Clinton Lately? (Bad Headline Series Competition)

Hillary Clinton Works Toward Banishing Sexual Violence


Is This More US Consulate Discriminatory Activity? Or: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of..."Palestine"

A good friend sent me this item:

New road signs in Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank will be in Arabic and English, without Hebrew, a US official said Thursday. Mindy Masonis, spokeswoman for the US Consulate in Jerusalem, said the new signs will be part of a larger program aimed at improving conditions in the West Bank. The development is seen as part of the preparation for a future Palestinian state.

Masonis said no signs are being taken down, but the new ones in the Palestinian areas will be in Arabic and English. The sign project accounts for about $175,000 of a three-year, $20 million U.S. aid project to improve services in the West Bank.

[See Update below]

And asked:

What's your take on this?

Me, being me, thought to myself, first:

1. $175,000 for how many signs? How much per sign? Is this a rip-off?

2. Who is being contracted, only Arabs need apply?

and then

3. Is this a reaction to this? -

...the newly installed minister of transportation, Yisrael Katz, now threatens to fill the roads with signs that use only the Hebrew place names for locations which have had their English and Arabic equivalents for centuries if not millennia.

Because if it is, I hope the Consulate read the rest of what far left-winger Naomi Chazan had the write there:

...BEFORE HE ventures forth on another foolhardy, costly and flauntingly nationalistic escapade, he would do well to apply some common sense to correct the near chaos which greets travelers today.

Some signs are designed to give critical driving instructions. Most of these consist of internationally recognized symbols - usually painted in white, red and/or blue - from stop signs or placards prohibiting entry or parking, to numbers indicating speed limits. Some of these are amusingly unique - for example the camel warnings throughout the South or the deer signs in the North. But the truly important guidelines are written on small, often bent, pieces of yellow-painted metal which tell drivers that an exit is approaching or that it is necessary to significantly slow down for safety's sake.

The Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway is full of such signs. A few are written in all three languages; others appear only in Hebrew. All the signs that warn that camera surveillance is in operation cannot be understood by anyone who is not fully literate in Hebrew. The police must have a heyday with Arabic-speaking citizens or with unsuspecting tourists.

and will they ask themselves at the State Department, do we really want to run afoul of Naomi Chazan and her friends for, after all, liberal progressives should wish too apply equal standards for Jews in Yesha as much as they want the same for Arabs in Israel, yes?

And don't forget this.

4. So, is the US engaged in the promotion of rabid ethnocentric Arab nationalism or is it interested in helping a peace process - or does that peace process exclude Jews while making sure that Arabs benefit twice, once inside Israel and once in something they want to call the "State of Palestine"?

For example, I have for some 20 years been suggesting that the Consulate (and all other interested outside players, EU, UK, etc.) engage the two populations beyond the Green Line in non-political activities so that coexistence can be built up. Like baseball between Shiloh or Efrat and Deir Dibwan. Nada. Not even cricket.

But what do I now find that that the Yanks have done?

This, #4:-

PeacePlayers International – Middle East (PPI-ME)

Ramallah & Tulkarm

BasketPal Leadership Development Program

This project uses the game of basketball to teach leadership and life skills to socio-economically disadvantaged girls ages 10 – 16 years and provides professional development training for young Palestinian coaches and educators. By engaging young girls in basketball activities, the project promotes equal participation of women in the public domain. Outstanding youth are then invited to BasketPal’s Leadership Development Program (LDP), giving them a chance to become intern basketball coaches. This grooms them as leaders in their communities and creates role models for young Palestinian girls.

So, not only do they Consulate staff seek to create a "State of Palestine", not only do they do all they can to do so, not only to they presume no Jews are to be there when it arises, but they are also avoiding any attempt previously suggested to assure relative peace between Jews and Arabs after the event.

How clumsy, how stupid, how impolitic. This is discrimination and prejudicial. These are unilateral steps taken to avoid direct negotiations.

A lot of money is flowing:

August 28, 2009

At a signing ceremony in Aida Camp today, U.S. Consul General Jake Walles announced an $81 million contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to support its emergency programs in the West Bank and Gaza.

U.S. Consul General Walles said that the $81 million will provide critical humanitarian assistance to one million Palestinian refugees in Gaza...The United States is UNRWA’s largest bilateral donor. This contribution will bring the United States total contribution to UNRWA in 2009 to $267 million, including over $116 million to its General Fund, $30 million to its Lebanon Emergency Appeals, and $119.5 million to its West Bank/Gaza Emergency Programs.

Hello, Avigdor Lieberman and Danny Ayalon, Ron Dermer, Dore Gold, anybody out there listening to or reading me and this?



I went to MEPI site (here) and while there's no Israel now found this site but the programs are all directed at the Arab populace and no Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, there is "MEPI in the Palestinian Territories".

I don't think it's for Jews. Check it out.

I Am New-fangled Technology-Challenged


In One Story: Hell, Miracle, Sex Offender & Religious Fanatic

In this story:

Jaycee Lee Dugard, now aged 29, was reunited with her mother on Thursday after revealing during an interview with her kidnapper's parole officer that she was the victim of one of California's oldest unsolved crimes. It was her first known appearance in public since her abduction. She disappeared when a man and a woman pulled her kicking and screaming into a car at a school bus stop just yards from her home in South Lake Tahoe.

...Police said Phillip Garrido, a 58-year-old registered sex offender and religious fanatic, and his wife Nancy, 54, have been arrested in connection with the case and were expected to be charged on Friday with rape, kidnapping, lascivious behaviour with a minor and other offences.

...Terry Probyn, Jaycee's mother, was flying to northern California from her home in the south of the state, after first receiving a call on Wednesday from the FBI telling her that a woman had turned up at police station claiming to be her daughter. Her stepfather, Carl Probyn, who witnessed her abduction, said Jaycee's reappearance was "definitely a miracle".

..."I'm feeling great! ... It's like winning the lotto. I've gone through hell," Mr Probyn said, conceding that police and even members of the extended family had regarded him with suspicion for months after the kidnapping.

If You're A Muslim, You're Not To Drink Beer to Get a Black-Eye

Or rather to listen to a Black-Eyed Peas Concert:

No Muslims at Black Eyed Peas concert

Muslims in Malaysia have been barred from attending a concert by U.S. hip hop band the Black Eyed Peas sponsored by Guinness...

The move comes after a Malaysian Islamic court sentenced a 32-year Muslim woman to be caned after she was caught drinking beer in a hotel...

The concert, part of celebrations of Guinness 250th birthday, asks on its website ( "Are you a non-Muslim aged 18 years and above?" and if the response is no, access is not allowed.

Muslims account for 55 percent of the 27 million people in this Southeast Asian country and are barred from consuming alcohol although the rules are regularly flouted, especially in big cities like the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia's Guinness Anchor which sells Guinness and other brands here had sales of 1.2 billion Malaysian ringgit ($340.6 million) in 2008.

Not Yet, Anyway

Netanyahu: We haven’t agreed to a settlement freeze

BERLIN (JTA) – Israel’s prime minister denied reports that Israel has agreed to halt construction in West Bank settlements.

At a news conference in Berlin on Thursday following his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Benjamin Netanyahu also said the Palestinians first must recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state before negotiations could be held.

How To Know When You're Not Wanted

Just outside of Rachel's Tomb, Bethlehem.

Now, that's a real apartheid road.

(Photo credit Pam Cohen)
(Kippa tip: BPO)


Palestinians replace Hebrew road signs

In a U.S.-funded project, Palestinians have begun replacing Hebrew road signs in the West Bank with signs in Arabic and English in preparation for statehood. Howard Sumka of the U.S. Agency for International Development said the project is being funded to the tune of $20 million...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Second Nomination for the Free Trip to the Jewish Bloggers' Convention

I decided to make a second nomination (don't Jews do things by two - Moses to God: 'So, how much are those Tablets?' God - 'They're free' Moses - 'I'll take two then.')

Jewess aka Rebecca Honig Friedman.

Rebecca has broken new ground in asserting feminist Jewish issues - dealing with archival material, up-to-date cultural and religious issues, promoting the Lower East Side (a plus with me for sure), and moved up to TJC - The Jewish Channel, a new news medium of Jewish issues.

She has extended (I can't use broadened) the limits on serious Jewish communal and feminist discussions and would give a great angle to NBN reporting as well as attendance at the Conference.

Do You Remember "OrthoMom"?

Orthomom no longer posts regularly - her last one was in June 2008 and then this popped up in May. She once came to my aid when I was attacked by Wonkette and threatened with a lawsuit. (Now that was a story).

Well she "made history" by managing to stave off an attempt to unmask her identity as a result of an incident over some criticism regarding a schoolo board issue.

Working in her favor was that the actual comment was not her's.

Anyway, in a parallel case - but different - I've read:

This story:-

The wild frontier we now know and (mostly) love called the blogosphere is a not-always-okay corral where Free Speech is armed and often dangerous.

The latest showdown is between two women -- a Vogue model and an anonymous blogger -- at odds over what is permissible in the name of free expression. After the blogger called Liskula Cohen a "skank," among other things, the model demanded her identity from the blog host, Google. A New York Supreme Court judge agreed that she was entitled to the information and ordered the company to reveal her name.

Outraged, the blogger, revealed as Rosemary Port, is launching a $15 million lawsuit against Google for disclosing her identity. Google's Andrew Pederson said that while his company sympathizes with victims of cyber-bullying, "We also take great care to respect privacy concerns and will only provide information about a user in response to a subpoena or other court order."

...The model case isn't insignificant, however, and raises weighty questions about privacy, anonymity and the future of e-free speech.

The problem of online defamation is hardly new, but several recent lawsuits have begun challenging the anything-goes modus operandi of the Internet. One of the most famous dates to 2006, when Sue Scheff won a staggering $11.3 million verdict against a woman who had posted hundreds of defamatory comments about Scheff and her company, which counsels the parents of troubled teens...In her new book, "Google Bomb," due for release Sept. 1 and co-authored with attorney John W. Dozier Jr., Scheff tells the story of her lawsuit and offers advice to others similarly defamed online.

"Google bomb" is Internet slang for attempting to raise the ranking of a given page during a Google search. The popularity of a page may not reflect the page's relationship to truth, but it may be popular for other reasons. Let's just say, nasty sells.

There's more there.

So, No Linkage

Found this in a London Times story:

But pressure is mounting on the West to take tougher action against Iran irrespective of any Israeli concessions, giventhat it may acquire nuclear weapons in a matter of months.

So, No Linkage

Found this in a London Times story:

But pressure is mounting on the West to take tougher action against Iran irrespective of any Israeli concessions, giventhat it may acquire nuclear weapons in a matter of months.

What Moshe Feiglin Thinks About Moshe Yaalon

This is what he thinks:

Bogie Ya'alon is a Jew with roots in the Mapai of old,
who has not yet adopted the rightist slave mentality.

I wonder want Bogie thinks about Feiglin.

Right Does Make Might

Nadav Shragai writes as if he had heard Menachem Begin:

One might expect more national pride and a clearer, more lucid statement from a government that believes Judea and Samaria are inseparable parts of the historic homeland, and at the very least sees the "settlement blocs" as an inseparable part of the State of Israel in any final status accord. Perhaps a statement in the spirit of Simon Maccabaeus, who said: "We have neither taken other men's land, neither do we hold that which is other men's: but the inheritance of our fathers, which was for some time unjustly possessed by our enemies."

Our friends in the United States, both real and imagined, need to hear from us that the historic, religious, legal and sentimental links that bind the people of Israel with Hebron and Beit El are no less legitimate than those of the Palestinians; that we are not occupiers in our own country and that there are Jews for whom this land is holy, just as it is holy to Palestinians - Jews whose connection to these pieces of land are bound by love, the Bible, tradition, nature and beauty.

That quotation from the speech made by Simon Macabee to the Romans was a favorite of Begin's and you used it often.

Neve (rhymes with grieve) Gordon

From the LATimes letters-to-the-editor column:

Gordon has always been quixotic, anti-Israel, anti-Jewish and now, anti-common sense. Boycotting his own country is clearly an extreme and bizarre position for his bizarrely held views, and both are problematic for his neighbors and co-religionists.

Marion Dreyfus
Gordon concedes that "the Israel peace camp has gradually dwindled so that today it is almost nonexistent." In free and open democratic debate, Gordon and those who agree with him have failed to convince the Israeli people that their proposals will bring peace and an end to the almost 90-year war by the Arabs against the Jews in Palestine. There is no logical necessity to assume that Gordon is sincere simply because he lives in Israel with his family. But assuming he is sincere, there is absolutely no reason to believe he possesses godlike infallibility.

Herbert Roth
Indian Wells

My 20 Seconds of Fame on Al-Jazeera

My 20 Seconds of Fame on Al-Jazeera, at around the 40 second mark:

YouTube site.

Did Netanyahu Really Say That?

Say what?


Earlier this month, in a meeting with the Israeli armed forces, he reiterated that warning.

"There is no power capable of obliging us to do anything that is against Israeli interests. Whoever talks about a threat to Israeli identity, stability, and national unity, neither knows Israel nor its history. In the last ten years, neither Clinton, Bush, nor Obama told me anything about a possible pressure on Israel when it comes to Jewish revenant residents in Judea and Samaria," he said.

Of course not.

It was someone else, King Abdullah II:

Earlier this month, in a meeting with the Jordanian armed forces, he reiterated that warning.

"There is no power capable of obliging us to do anything that is against Jordanian interests. Whoever talks about a threat to Jordanian identity, stability, and national unity, neither knows Jordan nor its history. In the last ten years, neither Clinton, Bush, nor Obama told me anything about a possible pressure on Jordan when it comes to [Palestinian] refugees," he said.

And What Book Is President Obama Reading?

Leafing (yes, actually physically touching paper, turning over the pages and holding the newspaper up) through the International Herald Tribune Israel edition, I spotted a book review which informed me of:

Eduardo Galeano, the lifelong political and literary activist recently brought to the American public eye when Hugo Chávez gave President Obama a copy of “Open Veins of Latin America,”...His political stance is one of consistent moral horror and his idiom the plain and sometimes primitivist voice of his native Uruguay...The literary form Galeano has created in his many books is unique: little narratives and descriptive vignettes — here elegantly translated by Mark Fried — that might range from a paragraph to a dozen pages and that progress with a powerful hypnotic rhythm.

And of what does Galeano write, among other topics?


AT times the entries are simply testimonial...Elsewhere they are poetic. And sometimes they can be uncomfortably polemical: a brief history of the Holocaust (a “colossal butchery organized by Hitler”) concludes that “hunting Jews has always been a European sport. Now the Palestinians, who never played it, are paying the bill.”

Is the elision of the complex victimization of the Palestinians by Arab states a necessary consequence of this lapidary form?

Here's the original Spanish of that excerpted quotation:

La vieja Europa, tan capaz de belleza y de perversidad, derrama alguna que otra lágrima, mientras secretamente celebra esta jugada maestra. Porque la cacería de judíos fue siempre una costumbre europea, pero desde hace medio siglo esa deuda histórica está siendo cobrada a los palestinos, que también son semitas y que nunca fueron, ni son, antisemitas. Ellos están pagando, en sangre contante y sonante, una cuenta ajena.

And in translation:

Old Europe, so capable of war and malignancy, sheds a tear or so, while secretly celebrating this master move. Because hunting the Jews was always a European custom, but since half a century that historical debt is being paid for by the Palestinians who also are Semites and who never were, nor are, anti-Semites. They are paying, in blood money, the price of others.

The paragraphs before that read:

...The Israeli army, the most modern and sophisticated in the world, knows who it kills. It does not kill by error. It kills by horror. The civilian victims are called collateral damages, according to the dictionary of the other imperial wars. In Gaza, three of every ten collateral damages are children. And the maimed add up to thousands, victims of human mutilation that the war industry is successfully rehearsing in this operation of ethnic cleansing.

And as always, always the same: in Gaza, a hundred for one. For each hundred Palestinians killed, one Israeli.

Dangerous people –warning of another bombardment – in charge of the enormous manipulative media that invite us to think that each Israeli life is worth as much as a hundred Palestinian lives...

...Before the tragedy of Gaza, the worldwide hypocrisy shows up once again. As ever, the indifference, the vacuous discourses, the empty declarations, the high sounding declamations, the ambiguous postures are a tribute to sacred impunity.

Before the tragedy of Gaza, the Arab countries wash their hands off. As always. And, as ever, the European countries wring their hands...

So, if you ever wonder why Obama exhibits less-than-pro-Israel sentiments in his rhetoric and even worse, offers policies that can be inimical to Israel, you can thank...Hugo Chavez.