Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Look What I Found On Huffington Post

Amb. Marc Ginsberg writes, inter alia:

It's Overtime for Hamas' Leaders and Time for Them to Go

...I soon found myself face to face with one of Hamas' leaders (name withheld).

For over two hours, I was subjected to the expected Hamas rantings about Israel's illegitimacy and Hamas' determination to transform Palestine into a fundamentalist Islamic state where only those Jews who had lived in pre-British Mandate Palestine would be "accepted."

And what would become of all of the other millions of Jews who had come to settle in Israel since then I asked? Hamas conveniently would force them out of Israel, and what became of them was of no consequence to Hamas. It was the UN's problem, the Americans' problem, the Germans' problem, but no longer the Palestinians' problem. Driving them into the sea would have been too impolitic for the Hamas spokesman to utter, but the intent was just the same.

Therefore, in order order to understand what this struggle is all about, one must understand Hamas' goals, largely derived from its ideological paternity to the Egyptian Muslim Brothehood. As a Sunni extremist offshoot of the Brotherhood, Hamas' raison d'etre is Israel's destruction -- nothing less will do.

Hamas' leaders, both in Gaza and in Damascus, have every intent to transform Hamas' control of Gaza into "Hezbollah South." Hamas, with Iran's backing, is slowly preparing Gaza to serve as a staging ground for an eventual all-out assault on Israel, joined at the hip with its Shiite extremist terrorist brethren of the Hezbollah who are also busily rearming themselves in Lebanon and itching for the next round of war with Israel -- hopefully with a nuclear-armed Iran to egg them on.

You Never Know Where You'll Find Me

Stephen Leavitt of WebAds, LLC, Niche and Community Targeted Advertising, sent me this located at RotterNet, somewhere:-

In Memoriam - Bunny Horowitz

I knew Bunny, met with her several times and worked with her on some projects through AFSI.

Here's AFSI's appreciation:


BERNICE "BUNNY" HOROWITZ: AFSI deeply mourns the passing of the chairman of our Florida chapter for many years. Bunny was both participant and donor in the society of artists, dancers, musicians and museums both in America and Israel. Yet Israel was her top priority. With her flair for clothes and wearable art, Bunny cut a fashionable figure, but her heart was with the unfashionable but grand cause of Jewish rights to all the land of Israel from the River Jordan to the sea, from the Golan to Eilat. Even when her health declined, she continued to visit every corner of Israel including remote Jewish settlements throughout Golan, Judea and Samaria and Gaza. She was tireless, brave, noble and irreplaceable.

And more details:

...She and husband Arthur Horowitz, who died in 2003, founded the five-restaurant Junior's chain -- South Florida culinary landmarks of the 1950s and '60s -- and Arthur's Eating House in Miami, which operated in the 1980s.

Bunny Horowitz lived six decades in Miami Beach and Coconut Grove, and died Dec. 10 at 84. Her children moved her to New York City two years ago after she developed the fibrotic lung disease that led to her death.

As Miami chairwoman of the right-leaning Americans for a Safe Israel, Horowitz supported controversial settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. In 2004, after Yasser Arafat died, she told The Miami Herald that it wouldn't matter who replaced him because no one in the Palestinian Authority could be trusted.

...The main administration building of the Alexander Muss High School at Hod Ha'Sharon, in Israel, is named for her. [our cousins work here]

Her hard-line perspective made her controversial among her liberal friends.

''My parents believed you could not make peace with the Palestinians,'' son Jeffrey said...``The price she paid was that people were upset when she confronted them. . . .She wouldn't stop at some high-end parties. She didn't disengage. She felt these were life and death issues and they had to be discussed.''

Herb Zweibon, the organization's chairman in New York, called Horowitz ``bright and passionate. She and Arthur were part of the Jewish elite, and she recognized early on that she would not give up her beliefs in order to maintain her position in that society. . . . She was every bit the lady but a fierce proponent of what she believed in.''

...A prize-winning ballroom dancer, Horowitz generously supported ballet companies. The legendary Jacques D'Amboise choreographed and dedicated a piece called Sinfonietta -- to music by Paul Hindemith -- to the Horowitzes. It premiered in 1975 at the New York City Ballet.

Born Bernice Schwamm in New York, Bunny Horowitz had a difficult childhood. After her father died when she was 3, she went to live uptown with a wealthy but severe relative: her father's son from a first marriage.

Cheney On Being A Statesman

How do you explain your low approval rating?

"I don't have any idea. I don't follow the polls.

"My experience has been over the years that if you govern based upon poll numbers, upon trying to improve your overall poll ratings, people I've encountered who do that are people who won't make tough decisions. And the job the president has and those who advise him is to make those basic fundamental decisions for the nation that nobody else is authorized or able to make.

"First and foremost among those is to defend the nation. If you're going to follow the polls, you are going to change your policy every week when the poll comes out. Secondly, I think you're adversely affected by the fact that you can get just about any result you want out of a poll.


Edward M. Gomez - A Revealing Journalist

In his last column at the SanFran Gate Gomez, whose world view includes this:

the long, dark, destructive, Bush-Cheney-Republican experiment in American fascism

tries to explain himself:

As a brief, quick-read news digest, "World Views" was never intended to be an opinion feature. Nevertheless, admittedly, this reporter-writer's point of view could sometimes be discerned between the lines; certainly and perhaps inevitably, "World Views" found and conveyed its own distinctive voice. However, critics who detected in the column's content any sort of political point of view or agenda, and who lambasted it - and myself - for supposedly expressing one, were mistaken.

and continues

News flash: There is no such thing as objectivity in American journalism. Instead, in large part as a result of the formulaic practices that are taught in U.S. journalism schools, what most mass-media news organizations pursue is what might be described as merely the presentation of the appearance of objectivity (or "objectivity") in their reporting about any particular subject. Thus, on television, the same talking heads from the so-called left and the so-called right (American media incorrectly use the terms "liberal" and "conservative" all the time, but that's the subject of another discussion) routinely appear, simplistically representing their host programs' dutiful attempts to appear "objective."

Honesty, admittedly, is refreshing, no?

Now Look What We (Supposedly) Have Done

NYTimes's Eric Owles reports:

Pro-Gaza demonstrations in Iraq are giving Shiite and Sunni sects a common target for their anger and adding to the rising fears of instability in the Middle East. It’s a sharp turnaround from the aftermath of the U.S. invasion when Palestinians were the focus of Shiite death squads here.

Palestinians, many of whom are Sunnis, were once protected in Iraq by Saddam Hussein. Going back to 1948, Iraqis have provided shelter for Palestinians fleeing conflicts. Once Shiites came to power the Palestinian enclaves were heavily targeted. Many were killed and many more attempted to flee the country.

Just for the record:

Eric, Iraqis didn't just provide shelter for Arabs of "Palestine", they fought on its behalf, sending its soldiers hundreds of miles west to kill Jews.

Here's a quick summary:

Technically, Baghdad has been in a continious state of war with Israel since 1948. It sent armies to fight Israel in 1948 and 1967, and to back up Syria's defence of Damascus in the October 1973 war. Saddam Hussein was widely revered in Arab nations for his anti-Israel stance and has supported several Palestinian guerilla and militant organisations, and during the last Palestinian intifada, Hussein subsidized families of Palestinian suicide bombers and other activists. Military action was taken by Israel when they bombed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981, fearing that Saddam would use it to develop nuclear weapons.

There were even Iraqis in Deir Yassin amongst the civilian population.

Why are New York Times' writers so, well, insufficient?

You May Go To Gaza, But You'll Return to the Temple Mount

In an article on Muslim theological reactions, from the extreme to the less extreme, I found this:

...Dr. Yitzhak Reiter, an expert on the Islamic Movement who is affiliated with the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies and is Schusterman visiting professor at Minnesota University, said that Arab Israelis like Kamal have undergone a deep process of "Palestinization."

"The attack on Palestinians in Gaza is seen as a direct attack on them," said Reiter. "Arab Israelis, although they are a minority in Israel, see themselves as part of the larger Muslim majority in the Middle East."

He said that one of the causes that united Arab Israelis with the larger Muslim world was the struggle for control of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

"The more extremist northern wing of the Islamic Movement, headed by Raed Salah, has successfully rallied worldwide Muslim support for maintaining control over the Temple Mount. He has found a particularly sympathetic ear in the Muslim world for his claims that Israel plans on building the Third Temple," Reitner said.

Just what my veteran readers know since that is what I have tried gto focus on, among other elements of the conflict.

Great Sign

Thanks to Pam of Atlas Shrugs

And Over in Ireland...

And over in Ireland, the media war goes on:

Here is a reply to David Morrison's anti-Israel piece in The Irish Times, December 30th 2008:

David Morrison of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign attempts to blame Israel for the breakdown of the six-month ceasefire with Hamas and claims that its military action against Hamas was not necessary to secure its citizens from Hamas rocket and mortar fire -- in short, that its claim to self-defence is bogus (December 30th).

The one wholly factual sentence in Mr. Morrison's article is his statement that no Israeli was killed between June 19 and December 27 as a result of rocket or mortar fire from Gaza. The rest of the piece is obfuscation.

Let us examine his claim that ‘Israel broke the ceasefire by killing six Palestinians in Gaza on the night of November 4th’. The first fact to note is that the rocket and mortar fire had never ceased entirely since June 19. Figures for the ceasefire period up to November 4 show that 18 rockets and 20 mortars landed in southern Israel during that time. In addition, Hamas used the period of calm to smuggle in military supplies and weapons, including long-range Grad rockets supplied by Iran.

Next come the events that led up to November 4. On the night of October 31, Hamas operatives were seen trying to lay an explosive device at the security fence near one of the border crossings. When approached by Israeli soldiers, they fired two anti-tank missiles at them and escaped. That weekend, Israel continued its policy of allowing humanitarian supplies to cross the border as it done each week during the ceasefire. Between November 1 and 3, a total of 421 trucks crossed into Gaza carrying 12,160 tons of goods, 124,410 litres of petrol and 262,400 litres of diesel. In addition, there were 148 medical evacuations to Israel.

We now come to November 4. That night, the Israeli military acted on intelligence that a tunnel had been dug under the border fence by Hamas terrorists, from 250 metres inside Gazan territory, as part of a plan to abduct Israeli soldiers in Israel. When soldiers entered Gaza to thwart this plan and destroy the tunnel, they exchanged fire with the terrorists. In the resulting operation, six Israeli soldiers were wounded and six of the Hamas operatives were killed. This is the ‘unprovoked assault’ and these are the ‘six Palestinians’ so disingenuously referred to by Mr. Morrison.

Further serious violations of the ceasefire by Hamas took place on November 12 and 28, when its operatives were intercepted while placing bombs at the security fence. It seems that, in Mr. Morrison’s view, Israel’s adherence to the ceasefire required it to ignore these attempts to breach the security fence and to attack and abduct Israeli soldiers.

From November 4 onwards, Hamas renewed its missile attacks on southern Israel, and by December 18, had fired 213 rockets and 126 mortars across the border. Nevertheless, during this period, Israel continued to indicate, via the Egyptian intermediaries who had brokered the ceasefire, that it was interested in extending it.

It is when discussing the end of the ceasefire that Mr. Morrison’s piece becomes most interesting. Suddenly all human agents leave the scene: ‘the ceasefire broke down’ and ‘the ceasefire formally came to an end’. Who formally ended it? It was Hamas that formally announced on December 19 that it would not extend it.

It is strange that an Irish supporter of the Palestinian cause should adopt a more extreme position on this matter than the spokepersons for the legitimate Palestinian Authority. Its Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, and leading figures in the PLO have placed the blame for the crisis squarely on Hamas. Abbas has said: ‘We told them, “Please do not end the tahdiah [calm]”’. Similar criticism has come from the Egyptian foreign minister.

Between Hamas’ ending of the calm and the start of Israel’s military action in Gaza on December 27, rocket and mortar fire escalated once more to the intolerable levels seen in early 2008, making an Israeli response imperative. Most of the firing comes from positions located in the midst of Gaza’s civilian population. In this light, it is ironic that Mr. Morrison should accuse Israel of depriving Gazans of ‘a dignified existence’.

Since its violent takeover of Gaza in summer 2007, Hamas has turned the territory into an armed camp, indoctrinated its young people with its radical Islamist ideology of hatred and turned children as young as five into aspiring suicide bombers. It is guilty of a double crime against civilians – against the Israelis it targets, and against its own citizens whom it exposes to attack by using them as human shields.

All of this is consistent with the 20-year-old Charter of Hamas, which expresses its scorn for all negotiated settlements and states clearly ‘There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad’. It is tragic that it is civilians on both sides who must pay the price for this madness.

Irish Friends of Israel.

Will it be published?

These Missiles/Rockets/Ballistics Are A Problem

A Grad rocket fired by Palestinians in Gaza directly struck an empty schoolhouse in Be'er Sheva on Wednesday morning. Earlier, two rockets exploded in open fields near the Negev city. No injuries or damage was reported.

And there's an old video there from yesterday evening's attacks.

Of course, our government was part of the problem to quote someone. They not only let them fire at will, but stockpile and improve range.

Stupid Barak,

Stupid Livni

and Stupid Olmert.

And it seems they are replaying the summer of 2006.


And here's Moshe Arens:

...the only effective alternative - for the Israel Defense Forces to take control of the rocket launching sites in the Gaza Strip. Over 60 years ago, in World War II, the Allies understood that the only way to put a stop to the shelling of London by German V2 rockets was for Allied armies to reach the launching sites in Western Europe.

Much has changed since then, but the rockets are essentially still the same (the Qassams and Grads fortunately have considerably less range than the V2s). So that leaves the job to the IDF ground forces.

Why has it been so difficult for our leaders - civilian and military - to understand this? The prospect of ground forces entering the Gaza Strip is not particularly attractive, especially after we have been told that "we have left the Gaza Strip forever." But nobody has yet found a way of defeating an enemy without invading their territory...

Kabbalah Explained to Americans

Found here

Media Bias: And Now The Academics

Elaboration of the Hostile Media Phenomenon

The Roles of Involvement, Media Skepticism, Congruency of Perceived Media Influence, and Perceived Opinion Climate

Jounghwa Choi, Myengja Yang and Jeongheon JC Chang

in Communication Research, Vol. 36, No. 1, 54-75 (2009)


Hostile media perception (HMP) is a phenomenon showing the significance of individual factors in evaluation of media content. Extending theoretical understanding of HMP, this study has two purposes: (a) to examine the roles of different types of involvement in hostile media effect (HME), that is, value-relevant and outcome-relevant involvement, and (b) to explore relationships between HMP and other media-related perceptions, such as congruency of perceived media influence, media skepticism, and perceived opinion climate. Data were collected from college students in South Korea. Results suggest that value-relevant involvement, rather than outcome-relevant involvement, is a critical predictor of HMP in the context of news coverage of the National Security Law in Korea. HMP also was a significant predictor of congruency of presumed media influence, which in turn predicted perceived opinion climate.

Got that?

A Pro-Israel Ramirez Caricature?

Found here.

But I thought Ramirez

was not all that favorable to Israel. And you remember this one:

and there's this

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This May Be A Record

Thirty-four parties.

What a democracy.

Thirty-four parties have submitted their final lists to elections officials and will run for Knesset in the February elections. In the most recent elections, 31 parties vied for the 120 Knesset seats.

The United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party and HaTikva-National Union submitted their lists shortly before the deadline. Both parties had conducted last minute internal negotiations to unite various factions—UTJ reached a deal keeping the Degel HaTorah and Agudat Yisrael factions under one roof, while HaTikva-NU united the HaTikva party lead by Aryeh Eldad with the Jewish Front party of Baruch Marzel and Rabbi Shalom Wolpe and the Tekuma and Moledet factions of the NU.

The Likud party also submitted its list at the last minute, after reaching a deal integrating National Union MK Effie Eitam into the party list...

Madonna Gives It Better

It is revealed:

Madonna donated £2million to Kabbalah groups in one year alone

Tax filings for her charitable foundation, called Ray of Light Foundation, revealed a total of £1.75m was given to the Kabbalah Centre of Los Angeles.

A further £2,600 was given to an offshoot of the group, Spirituality for Kids. The money is believed to have paid for books and other items to be used in schools.
Huge donations: Madonna and adopted son David Banda arrive at the Kabbalah Centre in New York last month; Madonna donated nearly £2million to the religion in one year

The figures are contained in the 2007 tax filings to the US taxman for her Ray of Light Foundation.


No Jail Time For Kadish


An 85-year-old former US Army mechanical engineer has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, admitting that he passed classified documents to the Israelis in the 1970s and '80s.

Ben-Ami Kadish entered the plea Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan. Kadish said he believes he was promised that the government will not seek imprisonment at his February sentencing.

A prosecutor says the government has agreed it will not oppose a sentence that calls for no jail time.

Kadish pleaded guilty only to one of the four charges of conspiracy he originally faced.

And Jay Pollard is still in jail, 23 years on.

Beersheva Hit

21:07 Palestinian rocket explodes in Be`er Sheva region; no word of injuries (Channel 2)

Channel One reports at this moment, 21:16, a building most probably hit.


Rockets reach Beersheba

Negev capital joins rocket-stricken communities as air raid siren sounds across southern city, followed by explosions. No injuries reported

Ilana Curiel
Published: 12.30.08, 21:09 / Israel News

Beersheba joined the rocket-stricken communities as air raid siren sounded across the southern city on Tuesday evening, followed by several explosions. There were no reports of injuries.

Earlier, Beersheba Mayor Rubik Danilovich said during a briefing at his office that "we understand the rockets may reach us as well. Thus, I call in the public to act according to the Home Front Command's instructions."


A children's nusery was hit. Burning.

At this time of night, thank God, empty.

From "Defiance" to Defiance

Is this modern-day Israel?

Rather than victims wearing yellow stars, here were fighters in fur chapkas brandishing submachine guns. Instead of helplessness and submission, here were rage and resistance. I knew of the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto, yet it seemed to stand alone in the popular imagination as the only moment in which organized opposition took root.


It's from a backdrop article on the new film, "Defiance".

Israel's not facing anything near a Holocaust threat but it is facing antisemitism and it is still perceived as a people that must apply to itself standards of the weak, including a reported "humanitarian truce":

...defense officials intended to recommend a 48-hour truce to abate the war against Hamas and embark on a temporary truce before it became necessary to begin a significant ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.

Shin Bet and Israel Defense Forces officials on Tuesday denied reports that the defense establishment planned to recommend a temporary truce based on an initiative originally proposed by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.

The goal of the temporary calm would have been to see if Hamas can abide by the truce and cease firing rockets at Israel.

Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer decried the announcement as soon as it was released, saying a 48-hour truce would buy Hamas time to reorganize.

"Hamas has not suffered enough damage in the recent strikes," he said.

The government said on Tuesday it was prepared to work with France and other governments on increasing aid flows into the Gaza Strip

"We want to see convoy after convoy of humanitarian support and we are willing to work closely with all relevant international parties to facilitate that goal," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's spokesman, Mark Regev, said when asked about the French proposal for a 48-hour humanitarian truce.

When The Rockets Fall Near Nitzan

At one of my wife's blog here, Shifra Shomron relates her experiences at the compound of carvillas where those expelled, sorry, renovicted, from Gaza now live, Nitzan.

She's been a guest of mine previously.

These people are not protected and they had shipped in large sewer pipes!

Her lovely-written piece begins like this:

Out of the Frying Pan – Into the Fire
By Shifra Shomron

There was a siren. It was loud and alarming and we didn't know what to do – we had never heard a siren before and anyways, there was nowhere to run. You see, in Gush Katif we had always been warned after the mortars had fallen, not before though at least there our houses were solid cement and cinderblock. In fact, shortly before Disengagement, the Government had even finished reinforcing our ceilings and then we really felt safe in our house from mortars.

But that was then, and now as I heard the siren I did the only thing I could: I dived off my bed (it was nighttime and I was in pajamas) and onto the floor and covered my head with my hands. All the time there was one thought running through my head: 'this is absurd'. And then the siren stops its wailing, and after a few seconds I heard a muffled BOOM and realized that Ashkelon or Ashdod must have gotten hit...

Read it all, with pictures of those pipes.


She has a book out, "Grains of Sand", which she wrote before she was 19 and here's her promo clip.

Rabin and The "Good Ol' Days"

Once upon a time, Yitzhak Rabin made fun of the Likud concern that the Olso Accords would bring Katyusha rockets down on Israel. I remember this incident. He was being interviewed on television and practically spit when he mentioned the word "Likud".

Here's the recording of his voice and my translation from the Hebrew is as follows:

The scare stories of the Likud are well known.
They 'promised' us Katyusha rockets from Gaza.
It's been a year that Gaza is under control of the Palestinian Authority.
There hasn't been - and there won't be - any Katyushas,
Etc., etc., etc.
All the babble of the Likud, the Likud is afraid,
They are the Peace Fraidycats.
This is the Likud of today.

Now who spits at who's name.

By the way, the clip ends with the words: "And who was right?"

The IDF's "Secret Weapon" - YouTube

The IDF's own site.


"To whom it may concern,

The IDF's International Press Branch has opened a YouTube Channel. We will be uploading IDF footage as it comes out.

Thank you,

Aliza Landes
North American Desk
International Press Branch
IDF Spokesperson's Unit
206 Jaffa Street, Jerusalem, Israel"

Amateur? Israel - Or Daoud Kuttab and The Washington Post?

I know Daoud Kuttab well. Really. We, in the past, have debated publicly before various forums and commented on various op-ed pieces we have published. He's a nice guy but also a nice Arab propagandist who has trouble with the truth-all-the-the-truth-all-the-time concept. His brother, Jonathan, wherever he is now, was much better at it, if you must know. His family fled from Musrrawa neighborhood when the Arabs began losing their war against Israel in 1948.

He is a visiting professor at Princeton University and director of the Institute of Modern Media at Al-Quds University and founder of the Arab world's first internet radio station AmmanNet.

He wrote in today's WashPost:

In its efforts to stop amateur rockets from nagging the residents of some of its southern cities, Israel appears to have given new life to the fledging Islamic movement in Palestine.


Do amateurs kill?

Do amateur rockets reach north of Ashdod? (here; here; and here)

And who cares if the rockets are amateur or not for the intention of Hamas and its backers is quite professional (see their media)? They damage and they injure and they kill and they psychologically scar Jewish kids.

And Daoud continues in his amateurish vein:

For different reasons, Hamas and Israel both gave up on the cease-fire, preferring instead to climb over corpses to reach their political goals.

Ah, it was a "mutual" giving up?

Daoub, do you take us for idiots? Or do we take you...naw, I won't go there.

Shame on the WashPost.

Can anybody get them to print me?

The Clip on the Justness of The Gaza Operation


RA sent me here for a possible new word for the 'disengagement' which actually was termed in Hebrew "pinui" which we translate as 'evacuation' but is really 'expulsion'.

Here it is:


n. The mass eviction of an apartment building's tenants because the building's owner plans a large renovation. [Blend of renovation and eviction.]

Example Citations:

Forty-seven years later, Mr. McFall and his surviving sister, Mary, 91, still share a second-floor suite...They say they are victims of a new trend in B.C. — nicknamed "renoviction" — in which landlords evict tenants by announcing big renovation plans.
—Jane Armstrong, "Joining forces in face of 'renoviction'," The Globe and Mail, November 11, 2008

Renoviction is a new housing buzzword, perhaps a buzz-saw word. It is a portmanteau word, a blend of renovation + eviction, a neological nightmare for British Columbia tenants. Renoviction is the act of evicting longtime tenants from their rental houses and apartments by moneybags landlords who announce huge renovation plans that require the emptying of apartments and homes to be renovated. —Bill Casselman, "Renoviction: New Canadian word," Bill Casselman's Canadian Word of the Day, November 13, 2008

Isn't This Illustration Threatening?

Edel Rodriguez's illustration for the Benny Morris New York Times' op-ed

The illustration may bother but read the op-ed!

Click here.

CNN Clip on "The Dignity"

See my Ho-Ho-Ho... post:


Over at the Free Gaza site, they've published these contact numbers but maybe you'd like to let them know if you support such actions:

CALL Mark Regev in the Prime Minister's office at:
+972 2670 5354 or +972 5062 3264

CALL Shlomo Dror in the Ministry of Defence at:
+972 33697 5339 or +972 50629 8148

Ho-Ho-Ho & A Bottle of Manischewitz

The Navy has stopped a boat by the pro-Arab "Free Gaza" movement, which has accused the Navy of ramming its vessel and causing damage. Free Gaza spokeswoman Greta Berlin said the incident occurred approximately 50-60 miles off the Gaza coast, in international waters. She charged Israel with "piracy on the high seas."

Israel media quoted the IDF that the Free Gaza boat, dubbed Dignity, collided with another boat, but Berlin said the activists on board have pictures to prove it was rammed by the Navy ship. The IDF said it stopped the boat, loaded with food and medical supplies, in order to prevent it from arriving in a war zone.


IDF orders aid ship on way to Gaza to retreat

The Israeli Navy stopped an ISM ship carrying humanitarian aid on its way to the Gaza Strip Tuesday, and ordered it to return to wear it came from. The ship carrying 16 people has begun its return to Cyprus. However, sources close to the activists on the ship claim it does not have enough fuel to reach the Island.

and this is cute, too:

Mercantile Discount Bank has refused to execute a bank transfer from a Spanish government agency to an Israeli human rights organization because the transfer form listed the organization's East Jerusalem address as being in "the Occupied Palestinian Territories."

Monday, the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court issued an injunction barring the bank from returning the money to the donor until it hands down a final ruling on the legality of the bank's refusal. The injunction was issued in response to a suit by the intended recipient, the Hamoked Center for the Defense of the Individual.

The money, totaling over 100,000 euros, has been sitting in one of the bank's Tel Aviv branches since November 21. According to Hamoked, bank officials told it that had the form not included an address at all, the money would have been deposited in its account without delay.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Midnight Report

Siren sounds in Yavne

Published: 12.29.08, 23:08 / Israel News

An air raid siren was sounded a short while ago in the central-southern Yavne. Several explosion sounds were heard in the area. (

Two Israelis were killed Monday evening as Gaza militants pelted southern Israel with rockets and mortar shells, as Israel concluded its third day of aerial assaults on the Gaza Strip.

One person was killed in a rocket strike in the western Negev. Seven others were hurt in the attack, one of them seriously.

The other fatality occurred when a woman got out of her vehicle when she heard the early warning siren in the city of Ashdod, and sought shelter in a bus stop on the side of the road. She sustained critical shrapnel wounds, and later died. Another passerby who also ducked into the bus stop for shelter suffered serious injuries in the attack.

Three people were lightly hurt in Ashdod, which is situated some 35 kilometers from the Gaza border.

Qassam hits Netivot; none injured

Published: 12.29.08, 23:47 / Israel News

A Qassam rocket fired from northern Gaza landed in Netivot. No injuries or damage were reported
Israel to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza

Published: 12.29.08, 23:46 / Israel News

Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the Gaza crossings remain closed on Tuesday. Despite the order, Israel will allow 100 trucks carrying humanitarian aid to cross into the Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing.

Huffington Hosts Barghouthi Pal. Propaganda

Huffington guest posts Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative. They think him to be a leading contender in the next Palestinian presidential election.


Palestine's Guernica and the Myths of Israeli Victimhood

The Israeli campaign of 'death from above' began around 11 am, on Saturday morning...The massacre continues Sunday as I write these words.

...Hamas indeed respected their side of the ceasefire, except on those occasions early on when Israel carried out major offensives in the West Bank. In the last two months, the ceasefire broke down with Israelis killing several Palestinians and resulting in the response of Hamas. In other words, Hamas has not carried out an unprovoked attack throughout the period of the cease-fire. [ha!]

...It is also misleading to claim self-defense in a conflict with such an overwhelming asymmetry of power. Israel is the largest military force in the region, and the fifth largest in the world...Israel has always had a comprehensive monopoly over the use of force... [in other words, we're "big", so we can "take the terror"]

...In the end, this will in no way improve the security of the average Israeli; in fact it can be expected to get much worse in the coming days as the massacre could presumably provoke a new generation of suicide bombers...

21:20 PM - Rockets on Ashdod; Asheklon; Wounded

As I watch TV, report comes through in real time.

Rockets fell on Ashdod & Ashkelon five minutes ago, 21:20 = 9:20 PM.


Haaretz flashes:

21:30 Rocket fired from Gaza hits Ashkelon; no injuries reported (Ch. 1)
21:28 2 Palestinian rockets strike Ashdod; one person seriously hurt (Haaretz)


Report: Rocket hits Ashdod; 2 seriously hurt

Published: 12.29.08, 21:31 / Israel News

Magen David Adom emergency services reported that two people sustained serious injuries due to a rocket fired at Ashdod.

Color Red and air raid siren were sounded in Netivot and in Ashkelon. (Shmulik Hadad)


Channel One:

5 injured in Ashdod, one critical


The Katyusha hit a transportation pick-up site or bus stop.


Man stabbed near West Bank settlement of Kedumim.

Published: 12.29.08, 21:38 / Israel News

An Israeli citizen suffered mild stabbing injuries after being attack near the West Bank settlement of Kedumim.

Magen David Adom emergency services rushed the man to a nearby hospital; IDF forces are searching for the assailants.


22:10 (10:10PM)

Netivot is hit. An agricultural community hit; 7 wounded.


Near Nahal Oz: One confirmed dead. 22:25


The woman wounded earlier in Ashdod has died. 22:40

Ground Forces Entering

A SMS text message hit my cell phone to say Psalms 121 & 142 as ground forces are entering the Gaza district.

In Memory of Tzafrir Ronen

Tzafrir Ronen died in his sleep this past Saturday. He had been born in Ein Harod, a quite left-wing kibbutz but with a strong pro-Land of Israel atmosphere. He served in Sayeret Matkal and lived in the moshav of Moledet.

He was tremendously active and, in fact, the last email I received from him was dated 37 minutes after midnight on Friday night, going into Saturday. His loss is painful.

Here he is, being interviewed earlier this year in Marchby Eve Harow at the Jerusalem Conference sponsored by Arutz 7:

Ha-Ha Hari Harangues Israel

Huffington has Hari writing an anti-Israel piece here (sorry, it's from The Independent). It's entitled: The True Story Behind This War is Not the One Israel is Telling.

It start's like this:

The world isn't just watching the Israeli government commit a crime in Gaza; we are watching it self-harm. This morning, and tomorrow morning, and every morning until this punishment-beating ends, the young people of the Gaza Strip are going to be more filled with hate, and more determined to fight back, with stones or suicide-vests or rockets. Israel's leaders have convinced themselves the harder you beat the Palestinians, the softer they will become. But when this is over, the rage against Israelis will have hardened, and the same old compromises will still be waiting by the roadside of history, untended and unmade.

and ends like this:

Why would Israel act this way? The Israeli government wants peace, but only one imposed on its own terms, based on the acceptance of defeat by the Palestinians. It means they can keep the slabs of the West Bank on 'their' side of the wall. It means they keep the largest settlements, and control of the water supply. And it means a divided Palestine, with responsibility for Gaza hived off to Egypt, and the broken-up West Bank standing alone. Negotiations threaten this vision: they would require Israel to give up more than it wants to. But an imposed peace will be no peace at all: it will not stop the rockets or the rage. For real safety, Israel will have to talk to the people it is blockading and bombing today - and compromise with them.

I left his following comment there:

An article such as this does not lend itself to a rebuttal and even comments are difficult but let me pick one example of the author's insidiousness.

He writes: "...Yuval Diskin, the current head of the Israeli security services Shin Bet, "told the Israeli cabinet [on the 23rd] that Hamas is interested in continuing the truce, but wants to improve its terms." Diskin explained Hamas was requesting two things: an end to the blockade, and an Israeli ceasefire on the West Bank. The cabinet - high with election-fever, and eager to appear tough - rejected these terms."

The author, one assumes, would have accepted these "terms of improvement" and is critical, if not downright denigrating, of the cabinet which rejected the offer. But an end of the blockade would only have increased the Hamas ability to obtain more dangerous weapons and other war materiel, as they have been doing with the blockade in place (the bombing, though, of a good percentage of the tunnels might hamper any future underground smuggling of such). A ceasefire in Judea and Samaria would surely permit not only Fatah terrorists and those of the Islamic Jihad to strengthen themselves, to the point when they, too, would be able to rain down Qassams, Grads and whatnot on other Israeli residential civilian areas, but allow Hamas eventually to assume power as they did in Gaza.

But a fool would be criticial of such an Israel government decision such as the one the author opposes.

Prescience on the Shelling of Ashdod

The following fake headline was created by Haggai Segal, with the help of the BeSheva weekly, in 2004 as part of the campaign to convince Likud voters who were to participate in the internal Likud poll on the question of Disengagement - Yes or No?

That was in 2004.

Likud said No and Sharon did it anyway.

The dummy headline:

And it reads:

Two Years Since The Retreat

Qassams on Ashdod

On The Disproportionate Debate

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has uploaded their latest report on the issue of proportionality in Gaza.


Did Israel Use "Disproportionate Force" in Gaza?

Dore Gold

Israeli population centers in southern Israel have been the target of over 4,000 rockets, as well as thousands of mortar shells, fired by Hamas and other organizations since 2001. Rocket attacks increased by 500 percent after Israel withdrew completely from the Gaza Strip in August 2005. During an informal six-month lull, some 215 rockets were launched at Israel.

The charge that Israel uses disproportionate force keeps resurfacing whenever it has to defend its citizens from non-state terrorist organizations and the rocket attacks they perpetuate. From a purely legal perspective, Israel's current military actions in Gaza are on solid ground. According to international law, Israel is not required to calibrate its use of force precisely according to the size and range of the weaponry used against it.

Ibrahim Barzak and Amy Teibel wrote for the Associated Press on December 28 that most of the 230 Palestinians who were reportedly killed were "security forces," and Palestinian officials said "at least 15 civilians were among the dead." The numbers reported indicate that there was no clear intent to inflict disproportionate collateral civilian casualties. What is critical from the standpoint of international law is that if the attempt has been made "to minimize civilian damage, then even a strike that causes large amounts of damage - but is directed at a target with very large military value - would be lawful."

Luis Moreno-Orampo, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, explained that international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court "permit belligerents to carry out proportionate attacks against military objectives, even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur." The attack becomes a war crime when it is directed against civilians (which is precisely what Hamas does).

After 9/11, when the Western alliance united to collectively topple the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, no one compared Afghan casualties in 2001 to the actual numbers that died from al-Qaeda's attack. There clearly is no international expectation that military losses in war should be on a one-to-one basis. To expect Israel to hold back in its use of decisive force against legitimate military targets in Gaza is to condemn it to a long war of attrition with Hamas.

Walking Down Shiloh's Hill

Come along with me as I walk down the hill from Upper Shiloh to Middle Shiloh to cathc the 6:35 bus:


Last Day of Chanukah Pic - Zebra Chanukiyah


Sunday, December 28, 2008

That Ubiquitous "You Know"

Here's Caroline Kennedy in an interview:

..."I'm really coming into this as somebody who isn't, you know, part of the system, who obviously, you know, stands for the values of, you know, the Democratic Party," Kennedy told the Daily News Saturday during a wide-ranging interview.

"I know how important it is to, you know, to be my own person. And, you know, and that would be obviously true with my relationship with the mayor."

...Displaying her notorious shyness during the 30-minute chat, the mother of three, author and public education advocate was pleasant, but spoke softly and rarely made eye contact. Her speech was often punctuated with extra "you knows" and "ums."

..."Andrew is, you know, highly qualified for this job," she said. "He's doing a, you know, a great job as attorney general, and we've spoken throughout this process."

..."You know, I think, you know, we're sort of, uh, sharing some of this experience. And um, as I've said, he was a friend, a family member, and um so, and uh obviously, he's, you know, he's also had an impressive career in public office."

..."It's really, you know, it's not about just the Kennedy name," she said. "It's about my own work and what I've done with those values."

If "I know", why does she have to tell me?

Feiglin Knew It

He called it. This:

The Supreme Court overturned Sunday a Tel Aviv District Court decision that had restored party activist Moshe Feiglin and former MKs Michael Ratzon and Ehud Yatom to their previous places on the Likud list. The three were originally demoted by Likud's election committee two weeks ago.

In its ruling, the court accepted the Likud election committee's appeal to retain Feiglin in the borderline 36th slot.

Here he called it:

In response to the action of the Likud Elections committee that bumped me from the 20th to the 36th spot on the Likud Knesset list, I have received numerous phone calls from attorneys urging me to appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court. They assure me that the committee does not have a legal leg to stand on, and that I will surely win the case. But I am not going to appeal to the court.

...I have already announced time and again that I have no faith in the current court system. If I would now enter the Knesset due to a court decision, I would not be standing up for my convictions. If the Supreme Court rejected my appeal, I would not be able to complain; after all, I was the one who appealed to the court. And if the Supreme Court ruled in my favor, I would not be able to work to replace it - because I would already have recognized the "justice" of the court...

Condi Waxes Ecstatic

QUESTION: Is there one moment as Secretary of State that you reflect on where you say, “Wow, that was amazing?”

SECRETARY RICE: Going to Libya was amazing and meeting with Colonel Qadhafi, partly because no Secretary of State had done it since John Foster Dulles. It was really, really extraordinary. So that was a special moment.

QUESTION: And that – that was a product of a lot of work by this Administration to --

SECRETARY RICE: A lot of work by the Administration, exactly.

QUESTION: -- to get him to back off on a lot of things, become less belligerent in the Middle East.

SECRETARY RICE: Right. Well, what it said to me is the United States doesn't have permanent enemies. We can always find a way if countries are willing to make important strategic choices. And Libya decided to give up its weapons of mass destruction and renounce terrorism and paid claims to the victims of the terrorist events. And so it was a good moment. But you know, I’ve had so many as Secretary. I look forward to going back and looking at the pictures.


And allow me to remind you of "condhimmi".

HH #198

The week's collection of Jewish blogging at this week's Haveil Havalim.

When The Cannons Roar

Israel's operation in Gaza is called "Cast Lead";
And hopefully will allow us to leave ahead.
For the weapons - the command is: unleash
At targets from the fence to the beach
All that's left then is to count Hamas dead.

Just Sitting Around

Press photographers covering the Arab-Israel conflict are so...imaginative:

You've seen this Getty image, right? It's all over:

How do you like that. These kids are just "siting" around, as the caption reads:

Palestinians children sit inside a car w

Palestinians children sit inside a car with its rear windscreen broken following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on December 28, 2008. Israel warned today it could send ground troops into Gaza as its warplanes continued pounding Hamas targets inside the enclave where more than 280 Palestinians have been killed in just 24 hours. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images).

Today's Quiz

In this BBC story, which Middle Eastern country bombed terrorist targets?

______ fighter planes have bombed suspected ________ separatist positions in northern ______.

_______ military sources said the attacks, which started late on Saturday, targeted members of the ________________________.

There was no word on casualties. There has been no official comment from the ______ armed forces on the raid.

Was it Israel?

Naw, couldn't have been.

It's too, well, balanced and simple and non-emotional and, well, not very biased.

Here's the full story:

Turkish fighter planes have bombed suspected Kurdish separatist positions in northern Iraq.

Turkish military sources said the attacks, which started late on Saturday, targeted members of the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

There was no word on casualties. There has been no official comment from the Turkish armed forces on the raid.

Our Leadership Waited Almost Too Long?

Israel's political and military leadership waited almost too long

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a barrage ofat least 10 rockets at the western Negev on Sunday, as the Israel Air Force continued to pound the coastal territory for a second day.

Two of the Palestinian rockets exploded near the northern Negev city of Ashdod. At 38 kilometers from Gaza, this was the deepest into Israel a Palestinian rocket has yet to strike.

At least three rockets exploded just prior to that in Ashkelon, just south of Ashdod.

Or is it too late to stop the terror monster in Gaza?

Marty Peretz, The Liberal, Uses The F Word

Marty Peretz goes gung-ho:

The government in Jerusalem had made it unmistakably clear that it would no longer tolerate this fire power aimed at innocent civilian life. It had been saying this for months to an increasingly skeptical and apprehensive, not to say, restive public. And to Hamas which didn't seem to care. Instead, it threatened Israel by word and follow-up deeds that confirmed the recklessness - as if confirmation was needed- of also this Palestinian "liberation" movement, the last in the long line of terrorist revolutionaries acting in the name of pathetic and blood-thirsty Palestine.

So at 11:30 on Saturday morning...50 fighter jets and attack helicopters demolished some 40 to 50 sites in just about three minutes, maybe five. Message: do not fuck with the Jews.

At roughly noon, another 60 air-attack vehicles went after other Hamas strategic positions. Israeli intelligence reported 225 people dead, mostly Hamas military leaders with some functionaries, besides, and perhaps 400 wounded. The Palestinians announced 300 dead, probably as a reflex in order to begin their whining about disproportionate Israeli acts of war. And 600 wounded.

Frankly, I am up to my gullet with this reflex criticism of Israel as going beyond proportionality in its responses to war waged against its population with the undisguised intention of putting an end to the political expression of the Jewish nation. Within hours, Nicolas Sarkozy was already taking up the cudgel of French righteousness and pronouncing the actually quite sober Israeli response to the continuous war on its borders "disproportionate." Enough. What would be proportionate, oh, so so proportionate apparently, are those tried-and-true half measures to contain Hamas that have never worked. Remember that in 2005 Israel ceded Gaza to the Palestinians waiting and hoping that they would make something of a civil society of their territory, civil for their own and civil to their neighbors. It was not to be.

Imagine, the F word and Jews in the same sentence but it sounds so good.

And What Do You Read On the Shabbat?

Well, this is what I read:

The phenomenom of "Dapei Parshat HaShavua", "Portion of the Week Sheets", is growing. What you see above is only a selection of what gets to Shiloh and in other locations around the country there are more, either national or local.

A New Version of the Chanukah Favorite: Dreidel

Sent to me by EV, found at this site, produced by Sacha Baron Cohen's bother, Erran, but I can't figure out why they are spray-painting Jesus' name in Hebrew: ישוע

A Call To Act Against An Inciting Media

This is the second list of companies that advertise in the media which three bodies, "Our Land of Israel", "Kommemiut" and "Mattot Arim", demand that consumers not purchase their goods and services since, as the headline announces, "The Media Is Killing Us":

and they want to fight back: "Don't Purchase!". "On Incitement, They'll Pay".

They note that to boycott the media is impossible from an economic point of view but to halt the income of the advertisers is a better tact.

The first list can be found here (in Hebrew).

Another Week - More Wall Posters

This one displays, or purports to display, the truck that took away earth from a site suspected of being a gravesite at the Meiron location of Shimon Bar Yochai's grave:

This one continues on the same subject of desecration claimed of Shimon Bar-Yochai's grave area:

This one also continues the campaign with many Rabbis signed on:

There are three different posters here.

a) upper right: it's prohibited to view movies, even during the Chanukah festival for children, even in Yiddish

b) upper left: same subject, different signatories

c) the two bottom signs are identical and deal with a child supposedly mistreated by Schneider Children's Hospital due to a severe medical condition of 'brain death'.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Aleem Maqbool's Summary of His Nativity Trek

Our guest, and our interviewer, who walked and rode a donkey (5 in all) from Nazereth to Bethlehem, sums up:

...Maybe it is just my exhaustion, and maybe it will seem ridiculous and romantic in a few days time, but now, at the end of the trek, I do feel uplifted by the last 10 days.

If you want to call that "spiritual", then perhaps Father Louis was right.

I certainly feel I have learned a great deal from the people I have met and stayed with along the way from Nazareth. And not just about the conflict or religion.

Some conversations will linger for a while.

Those with Nedal, my guide through the hills of the northern West Bank, and the nearest thing to an "Ent" from Tolkien's Middle-Earth as I was ever likely to meet in person.

He talked of the flora and fauna as if they were family.

Chatting with the 1970s wrestling champion, Hazem, in the bath-house in Nablus, and hearing his disappointment that young people were losing interest in "noble" sporting pursuits like his.

And then there was the young Israeli soldier at a West Bank checkpoint, who talked of a love of football, and defended me when his colleagues said they really could not understand why I couldn't just get in a car and drive the rest of the way to Bethlehem.

Much of the trip was a reminder that, however obvious this sounds, people in a conflict zone are as three-dimensional as those anywhere else.

There were, of course, sad indications of the tensions here.

There was the silence of hundreds of people as they buried a 22-year-old militant in the village of Yamoon, after an Israeli army raid.

A sense of how far apart the worlds of Jewish settlers and Palestinian villagers were, how little interaction there was between the two and how entrenched their views are.

And then there was the military checkpoint that greets visitors entering Bethlehem.

But people along the way did speak of hope - though not necessarily expectation - that things would get better one day.

Truth in Reporting

Over at Huffington Post:

The offensive began eight days after a six-month truce between Israel and the militants expired.


Well what about this:

Hamas: Cease-fire officially over
Launches massive rocket attack, threatens suicide bombings

Oops, sorry, that was in April 2007.

Well, this then:

A Hamas official on Monday said the ceasefire between the Islamic movement and Israel doesn't reflect his movement's retreat from fighting against Israel.

Oops, that was last July.

And don't forget this:

Jihad ’unhappy’ with Hamas ceasefire

Ah, this should be what I was looking for:

After expressing contradictory positions on Sunday, Hamas' leadership on Monday adopted a united stance: The cease-fire with Israel, which expires this Friday, will not be extended.

That ceasefire just didn't "expire". It was halted. By one side.

An Example of Progressive Blogging

Gershom Gorenberg has a piece in The American Prospect entitled, "The Rebel Prince", against Moshe Feiglin. And also at his South Jerusalem blog, shared with HaimWatzman.

I, too, do not support Feiglin and his Jewish Leadership group, but I don't like what Gorenberg did there.

He notes that "on the Jewish Leadership website, a Hebrew document proposes principles for a constitution for Israel". The unavoidable presumption is that the document is an official one.

But anyone with a modicum of Hebrew could have read and known that that "document" was composed by Prof. Hillel Weiss and it was uploaded as part of an internal discussion as to the future character of a Jewish state. The implication suggested that that document is the agreed upon approach, decided at some official convocation, is not only wrong but intended to be misleading.

Shame he did that 'before the goyim'.

Madoff - Now The Photoshopping

For the benefit of my non-Jewish readers:

kaddish is the Jewish prayer for the dead
goniff is Yiddish for 'thief'

Internal Subversion Begins

...outbreaks of rioting were being reported in East Jerusalem Saturday.

Hundreds of Palestinians at the entrance to the Shu'afat refugee camp were hurling rocks at police and Border Police forces, who were attempting to disperse the demonstration. On Salah-a-Din street in the city, dozens of protesters set garbage containers ablaze.

Earlier, several demonstrators were arrested after hurling rocks at police at the Flowers Gate in the Old City, and in the Muslim Quarter.

A police officer was hit by a private car and taken to Augusta Victoria Hospital in east Jerusalem Saturday afternoon. Police were investigating whether the officer was deliberately hit in an improvised terror attack avenging IAF actions in Gaza.

Pal. Child Killed - By Pal. Rocket

A rocket fired by Palestinian militants fell on a Gaza home and killed two children, Palestinian sources said Friday, the same day Israel opened three Gaza border crossings for the first time in 10 days.

A third child was in critical condition. The children, all girls, were cousins -- the two who died were 7 and 12, and the injured child is 5, Hamas security and Palestinian medical sources said.

The rocket struck a house north of Gaza City.


And at the same time, Israel:

opened three other crossings Friday, allowing fuel and commodities into the Palestinian territory for the first time in more than a week.


Palestinians in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip fired at least 25 Qassam and Grad rockets into southern Israel on Saturday after Israeli air strikes killed more than 195 Palestinians in Gaza, according to Palestinian sources.

One of the rockets directly struck a home in the town of Netivot, causing extensive damage. One person was killed in the attack and four suffered moderate to serious injuries.

One rocket struck just outside Kiryat Gat, some 20 kilometers from Gaza. The strike marked the first time in the eight years since Hamas has been firing rockets into Israel that a rocket has struck the southern Israeli city.


Over 40 rockets struck areas throughout the western Negev. In Netivot, one person was killed, one person was seriously wounded, and four others sustained light to moderate injuries when their house was hit by a rocket.

All the wounded were evacuated to Soroka hospital in Beersheva.

Later, a rocket hit a house in the community of Mivtahim, seriously wounding one person and lightly wounding another. A Magen David Adom team treated the wounded at the scene.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The New Anti-Terror Weapon's Color is...Blue

The Afghan chieftain looked older than his 60-odd years, and his bearded face bore the creases of a man burdened with duties as tribal patriarch and husband to four younger women. His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity, and reached into his bag for a small gift.

Four blue pills. Viagra.

"Take one of these. You'll love it," the officer said. Compliments of Uncle Sam.

The enticement worked. The officer, who described the encounter, returned four days later to an enthusiastic reception. The grinning chief offered up a bonanza of information about Taliban movements and supply routes -- followed by a request for more pills.

For U.S. intelligence officials, this is how some crucial battles in Afghanistan are fought and won. While the CIA has a long history of buying information with cash, the growing Taliban insurgency has prompted the use of novel incentives and creative bargaining to gain support in some of the country's roughest neighborhoods, according to officials directly involved in such operations.

More of the story.

Shas Misinterpreted Over At Contentions

David Hazony over at Contentions has made a boo-boo about the Shas election slogan.

No, not this one, as I thought - and see my comment there, #14, but another.

Can't figure out how Commentary lets David get away with so many mistakes in his blog posts, as I have commented there numerously.

Report from Mumbai on Mutilation


"Even the Rabbi and his wife at Nariman House were sexually assaulted and their genitalia mutilated," said a senior officer of the investigating team, not wishing to be quoted.

(Kippah tip: Atlas Shrugs)

This, of course, is not new.

The famous 35 Fighters of Gush Etzion suffered the same genital mutilation:

The Arab attackers mutilated the bodies of the defenders according to British soldiers who witnessed the aftermath of the attack. A soldier who took pictures of mutilated bodies left his roll of film to be developed in Jerusalem and never came back for it, but word of the atrocities had leaked out to the horrified Jewish public. Several decades later the negatives were discovered, but it was decided not to publish the atrocities.

The first burial at Kfar Etzion:

And in 1929, they also burned bodies for good measure, like at Motza:

Words of Wisdom

The star of “Searching for Schindler,” from beginning to end, is not Mr. Keneally but Mr. Page. He begs, he exhorts, he presses money into the hands of the needy, he opens every door Mr. Keneally needs opened, often through sheer force of will and personality. He even turns out to be friendly with Leah Adler, Mr. Spielberg’s mother, from the kosher dairy restaurant she ran in Beverley Hills.

Next to him Mr. Keneally seems like a wallflower. Both the comedy and the horror contained in this memoir are present in a throwaway comment Mr. Page makes to Mr. Keneally:

“You wouldn’t have lasted two weeks with the Nazis. They loved killing guys like you. Poetic guys.”


Less-Than-Full Scrutiny Over At Obama World

A New York Times writer starts off good on the Obama Team investigation but fizzes out by quoting a liberal.

The "Three" Are Meeting

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni are set to meet Friday morning to discuss the pros and cons of proceeding with a major military operation in Gaza to destroy terrorist infrastructure and reduce, if not entirely end, the rocket and mortar attacks on southern Israel.

But shall we make that "two"?

Forget Politicans; It's The Advice-Givers

In an op-ed, Yediot Ahronot military commentator Alex Fishman displays complete idiocy is demanding: Make Hamas think twice by stating:

The aim of any Gaza operation must be to undermine Hamas’ desire to fight...At this time, the objective of an Israeli military operation in Gaza must be to undermine Hamas’ desire to keep fighting, and at that point agree on a ceasefire.

1. Nothing can diminish their desire to kill Jews.

2. Hamas is dictatorial. Thewy don't depend on public opinion or care for it.

3. A Gaza operation must seek to destroy the capability of Hamas to wage war against Israel.

4. Any cease-fire will be exploited to rearm, better train.

And then again, you have former Army officers spouting off:

Let’s do what’s good for us: In some cases, it is in Israel’s interest to comply with enemy’s demands

Olmert's Infamous "Tiredness"

Last September, I blogged about Ehud Olmert's dangerous "tired" theme and that I had found a similar attitude over 50 years ago:

There Was Someone "Tired" Before Olmert

"We are tired of fighting and winning", bemoaned Ehud Olmert.

Well, there was someone before him.

Moshe Sharett's volume of selected speeches and documents has just appeared and on p. 554 I found that in a speech to the 24th Zionist Congress, on April 24, 1956, in response to an attack on the government by Menachem Begin, Sharett said:

"This government...prefers peace to victory".

Other nations call this defeatism.

Olmert, back in June 2005, had pronounced this:

We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies.

Well, now I can say that Olmert's attitude is that his government prefers politics above anything, fooling around while the terror grows.

His "tiredness" has desiccated this country's gumption, weakening national fortitude.

P.S. ObiterDicta pointed me here.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

That Tzipi Livni Video: "LivniBoy"

Lyrics: Until you arrived (to the political scene)/ I chose to be disconnected / But now I'm glued to the screen / When you said that you'll be different from what has been before / That you will fix the situation with a strong pledge / I always knew that a women will be the one to bring change / And with out a doubt, she won't toss a slogan into the air . I'm sick already of the army generals that try to scare / I want you and Tzipi baby I'm not the only one I would walk far and make the journey for you / In the end you will dominate (literal translation = conquer) the premiership / Oh Oh Oh Oh Tzipi You are what I wanted / Everything that I expected/ From a political leader/ I don't want Ehud /I don't believe Bibi / Tzipi if you let me /I'll be your man /Just tell me yes /Bus Ad: Bibi? I don't believe him. / Again when you were in the Mossad, you knew days when the state was in danger/ Barak and Bibi only left Israel a mess /Together we will destroy each offense from Qassam to Iran/ We'll end this part with class as opposed to Durbin /I want you to give me peace and security / And in my dream you're at the podium to the chanting of the anthem / At the end of the day we'll drink together at Michal Coffee / If the recession is over then we'll also eat I would walk far and make the journey for you In the end you will dominate (conquer) the premiership /Oh Oh Oh Oh Tzipi You are what I wanted Everything that I expected From a political leader /I don't want Ehud / I don't believe Bibi / Tzipi if you let me / I'll be your man Just tell me yes / Tzipi: And we will not wink an eye for the things we don't believe in / Because maybe this will reward us politically /I know that this is also what the Israeli public in the State of Israel / wants to see from it's leadership in everything they do Livniboy: And don't promise me any job /I don't want anything in exchange / I only dream that it will be good here (in Israel) And that you'll be Prime Minister /Not Golda not Condoleezza / Not Palin not Michelle Obama /Because no one measures up to you sweetie / Oh Oh Oh Oh Tzipi / You are what I wanted / Everything that I expected / From a political leader / I don't want Ehud / I don't believe Bibi Tzipi if you give me / I'll be your man / Just tell me yes Tzipi / You are what I wanted / Everything that I expected / From a political leader/ I don't want Ehud /I don't believe Bibi/ Tzipi if you let me / I'll be your man /Just tell me yes / It's not a crime to stay young / Tzipi Livni Febuary 2009


Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz on Thursday instructed police to investigate allegations of fraud and irregularities in the Kadima Party primary, the Justice Ministry said. Mazuz ordered the enquiry after receiving a letter from the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel (LFLI) which cited a complaint of irregularities by Dr. Akram Hason, a Kadima primary candidate.

"In the wake of a detailed complaint on this issue... we have asked the police to check into this," Raz Nizri, a senior legal assistant to Mazuz, wrote in response to an attorney from the LFLI...

The complaint follows Israeli media reports of alleged irregularities in last week's Kadima internal party voting in the Druse and Arab sectors.

The irregularities cited by LFLI attorney Dan Landau in a December 21 letter to the attorney-general included the unusually high voter turnout in these sectors - over 90 percent compared to 40% nationwide - the "swift" voting time in these sectors and the "unusual" turnout in the last two hours. The organization asked Mazuz to look into the allegations before Kadima submitted its final party list to the Central Elections Committee ahead of the February 10 general elections.

Tzipi is short for Tziporah and in Hebrew that means bird:

Jews? Meet Them? Talk To Them? Me? I'm The British Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East

The British Foreign Office reported

Mr Rammell also visited Hebron in the Palestinian Territories and called for the removal of illegal Israeli settlements. At the end of a tour in the old city of Hebrony yesterday he reiterated the British Government and the international communities position calling for two states and for the withdrawal from settlements in order for peace to be achieved in the Middle East.

Mr Rammell who met the Governor and Mayor of Hebron was accompanied by the British Consul General Richard Makepeace, his deputy John Edwards and Political Consul Karen Mcluskie.


The British delegation visited the Al-Shuhada Street, in the heart of the old city, which Israeli occupation forces closed to Palestinian traffic since 2000, where they could verify the line of shops forcefully closed down. The guests also visited the home of Nidal al-Oweiwi, which settlers had burnt down during their recent violent riots.

Well, I don't think he visited any Jewish building or institution, any terror victim nor any Jews at all. Neither did he confer with any Jewish representatives.

Hebron is a very special place. True, it is quite a problematic location. Arabs kill Jews there. They did so in 1834. The did so in 1929. They did so between 1948-1967 as fedayeen. They have been doing so ever since 1967.

Why, then, should Rammel even look their way.


Because it was Abraham's city, site of the Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs.
Because Hebron was David's first capital. King David, that is.
More history here and here and also here.

Bill Rammel, sir, you acted wrongly and spoke worse.


Here he is speaking even worse in Parliament:

...our message has been consistent and robust: Israeli settlement activity anywhere in East Jerusalem and on the west bank is illegal under international law. The road map is clear that Israel should freeze all settlement activity, including the natural growth of existing settlements, and dismantle all outposts erected since March 2001. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary reiterated the UK's position to Israeli Ministers during his visit to the region in November, and I have acted similarly. We certainly welcome recent attempts by the Israeli security forces to dismantle outposts in parts of Hebron and the west bank, including the successful evacuation of the disputed house in Hebron on 4 December, which, as we should acknowledge, is a step in the right direction. But we should also acknowledge that there is much more to do.

I want the House to be clear that we are not bashing Israel to play to the crowd. We are seeking, rather, to advance the peace process and we genuinely see settlement expansion as a critical factor holding that progress back. Unlike other obstacles in the way of peace, settlement expansion is not a grey area: its continuation is in direct contravention of the spirit and the letter of the roadmap and the Annapolis commitments.

Benjamin Netanyahu: A Sympathetic Treatment By Haaretz

Illustration: Ayala Tal, The Marker, Haaretz