Monday, October 30, 2006

How to get Israel into Deeper Trouble

With news that Hamas and Israelis have been talking in London (*), attempting to revive the Oslo-type secret negotiations, here's the ideas of Dr. Ron Pundak, director general of the Peres Center for Peace. Since 1992, he has been intensively involved in track II activities, and was one of the architects and negotiators of the Oslo Agreement

When we sat down in Stockholm in the summer of 1994...our conclusion was clear: if we want to reach an agreement with the Palestinians, we have to concur from the start that the Palestinian state will be established on all of the territory. This is the Palestinians' basic incentive for an agreement, and from this point of departure we should negotiate the details. Such a negotiating framework needed to be based on an additional set of understandings: that the agreement must deliver security to Israel, that the border would take into account certain Israeli demographic interests and that Israel could not make concessions regarding the Jewish nature of the state.

...Today, unlike in the past, the vision of reality with regard to a settlement acceptable to a majority on both sides is almost completely clear. Accordingly, a UN Security Council decision with strong American support would constitute a significant catalyst for a permanent status peace treaty if it replaced 242 and determined that a peace agreement would create a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with equal territorial swaps in areas not exceeding, say, three percent of the territory. Such a proposal need not comprise a precise delineation of the border, which should be determined through bilateral technical negotiations.



JERUSALEM (AFP) - A group of Israeli negotiators met secretly with representatives of the governing Palestinian Hamas movement in London earlier this month, Israeli public television reported.

The meeting was organized by an intermediary for the former British intelligence (MI6) officer Alistair Crook, the report said.

The Israelis who took part in the talks described Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's moderate Fatah party as a "has-been" and said it was necessary to engage in dialogue with Hamas.

For their part, the Islamists of Hamas urged Israel to send amenable Israeli politicians, such as leftist former minister Yossi Beilin, to hold talks with Hamas in order to end its "international isolation."

The Hamas representatives refused during the discussions to recognize the Jewish state as demanded by Israel and the West, while proposing a "truce of 20 or 30 years," the report said.

Among the Israelis who participated in the talks were Yair Hirschfeld, an academic who was one of the main negotiators for the 1993 Oslo accords, and reserve general Shlomo Brom who is currently a researcher at Tel Aviv University.

Ahmed Yussef, a close advisor to Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, was among the Hamas representatives.

And by the way, when I was in London, debating with, among others, Dr. Rosemary Hollis of Chatham House, she said that she had been involved in something similar but was informed that bringing Hamasniks into Britain was against the law.

Disengagement Leftovers

One year and 2 months later:-

PM Olmert Convenes Ministerial Committee on the Gaza Evacuees (Communicated by the Prime Minister's Office0

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today (Sunday), 29.10.06, convened the Ministerial Committee on the Gaza Evacuees. Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai, Minister Yaacov Edry, Minister Rafi Eitan, Minister Yitzhak Cohen, SELA Disengagement Authority Director Tzvia Shimon and the directors-general of the relevant ministries attended the meeting.

Prime Minister Olmert said: "I was a major supporter of the disengagement but it cannot be that residents' issues are dragging out for so long. We must take all measures at our disposal in order to prevent excessive bureaucracy that lacks compassion for the residents. Unnecessary government bureaucracy that is obstructing many processes for the residents must be overcome. I hope that my remarks will get things moving on the ground. I intend to personally check on this issue."

SELA Disengagement Authority Director Shimon submitted a report regarding - inter alia - claims that have been filed against the Authority and the total compensation that has been paid thus far.

Ministers were briefed on the status of temporary residential sites and the construction of permanent housing, as well as on social welfare, employment, agriculture and education issues. Prime Minister Olmert instructed Prime Minister's Office Director-General Ra'anan Dinur to summon the ministers and directors-general of the relevant ministries to an urgent meeting on the agriculture issue.

Coming to the Media Conference?

Fifth Annual David Bar-Illan Media Conference

The College of Judea & Samaria, Israel’s largest public college, is pleased to announce the convening of The Fifth Annual David Bar-Illan Conference on the Media & the Middle East.

The forum is held in memory of David Bar-Illan (ז"ל), former Jerusalem Post Editor-in-Chief and Director of Communications in the Prime Minister's Office, and is scheduled for Monday, November 13, 2006 from 09:30-17:15 in the Raab Building (Lax Auditorium) on the Ariel campus.

The one-day conference will bring together academics, journalists, media & public relations experts and government officials to discuss how events in Israel and the Middle East are covered by the media and the impact that news reporting has on Israeli, Arab and world public opinion.

Program Details

09:00-09:30 Registration

09:30-09:45 Opening Remarks

Speaker: Prof. Zilla Sinuany-Stern, Vice President, Academic Affairs, CJS

09:45-11:15 The Propaganda War: Israel vs. Hezbollah

Chair: Dr. Ron Schleifer, Mass Communications Dept., CJS

Speakers: Mr. Amir Gissin, Director, Public Affairs Dept., Israel Foreign Ministry
Mr. Steve Linde, Managing Editor, “The Jerusalem Post”

Dr. Mordechai Kedar, BESA Center, Bar-Ilan University, and Israel & Middle Eastern Studies Dept., CJS

Mr. Rafik Halabi, Former Director-General, Israel Channel 1, Journalist & Lecturer, Bar-Ilan University

11:30-12:30 Keynote Address

Chair: Mr. Yigal Cohen-Orgad, Chairman, Executive Committee, CJS

Speaker: Mr. Dan Margalit, Host & Moderator, "Erev Hadash" & "Musaf Hamusafim", Educational Channel, "Moetzet Hahahamim", Channel 10, Columnist, "Ma'ariv" and Author

Topic: The Media during the War in Lebanon: The Advantages & Disadvantages of Direct Reporting from the Battlefield

14:00-15:30 Foreign News Reporting & the 2006 Lebanon War

Chair: Mr. Steve Leibowitz, Editor-in-Chief, IBA TV News

Speakers: Mr. Steven Erlanger, Jerusalem Bureau Chief, “New York Times”

Dr. Ra’anan Gissin, Strategic Consultant and Former Media & Hasbara Adviser to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

Prof. Stewart Purvis, Television Journalism Dept., City University London, Former Editor-in-Chief, ITN, and Member, Independent Panel Review, BBC Middle East Coverage

15:45-17:00 Political Satire & Its Impact on Israeli Society

Chair: Dr. Galit Ben-Israel, Israel & Middle Eastern Studies Dept., CJS

Speakers: Mr. Uri Orbach, Correspondent, I.D.F. Radio & Yediot Ahranot

Dr. David Alexander, Communications Dept., Haifa University

Mr. Jackie Levy, Correspondent, I.D.F. Radio & Yediot Ahranot

Mr. Ruvik Rosenthal, Columnist, “Ma’ariv”, Author and Lecturer, Open University

17:00-17:15 Closing Remarks

Speaker: Mr. Jeff Barak, Israel Correspondent, “The Jewish Chronicle” (UK), and Former Editor-in-Chief, “The Jerusalem Post”

The media conference is open to the general public, with simultaneous translation (English/Hebrew) available to those in attendance. Round-trip transportation to Ariel from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Ra’anana is provided by the school (free of charge). To register or request more information, please contact: Tel. 972-52-451-4011 or E-mail:

And Now, the US of A Fence

If you didn't know, the United States is fencing in (or out) its border with Mexico. Too many illegal Mexicans and others coming through.

The New York Times doesn't like it and one of its reasons is:-

Lie No. 2: A fence will help.

A 700-mile fence, if it works, will only drive immigrants to other parts of the 2,000-mile border. In parts of the trackless Southwest, building the fence will require building new roads. Who uses roads? Immigrants and smugglers. And no fence will do anything about the roughly 40 percent of illegal immigrants who enter legally and overstay their visas.

Sound familiar to those who opposed Israel's security barrier?

Listen to Jabotinsky

Here's a link to Jabo's "Don't Belittle the Power of Our 'Right'" on the Jewish right to its homeland made in 1937.

The original Hebrew text:-

שלוש הערות לתכנית החלוקה

שלוש הערות בנוגע לתוכנית החלוקה, הייתי רוצה מרחוק להשמיע באזני היישוב.

ראשונה : הגיעו ידיעות מארץ-ישראל שאמנם, אולי תזיק החלוקה לתקוות הגולה, אבל גם ביישוב הלא יש להתחשב. היישוב סבל, היישוב עייף, ואולי הגיע הזמן אשר תועלתו של היישוב תכריע.

אמנם בטוחני כי מעטים הם המדברים ככה, וגם אלה טועים, יען כי עדיין אין קיום ליישוב בלי הגולה. אבל לא זה העיקר. העיקר הוא שארץ-ישראל איננה קניינם אך ורק של אלה שהצליחו לעלות, הרשו לי לדבר בשם אלה שלא הצליחו, אלה שסגור בפניהם השער ועתה רוצים לסגור אותו לנצח. ברגע של גורל, קולנו אנו יכריע. קול העם המתגעגע מרחוק.

שנית : אל תגידו מה בכך שבעל-פה ועל-גבי נייר נוותר על חברון שכם ועבר הירדן, הלא רק מילה ריקה הוויתור הזה, והכל יבינו זאת. לא ! אל תזלזלו בכח הוויתור. כיצד קרה לפני עשרים שנה הפלא, שאומות העולם הכירו בזכותנו על ארץ ישראל, הן אז לא ידעו אם בכלל יש לנו קניין ממשי בארץ. רק דבר אחד ידעו כולם : שבמשך אלפיים שנה לא וויתרנו, וזה הכריע.

שלישית : אל תזלזלו בכח הזכות, ואל תגזימו את ערכו של הבניין הנבנה. גם אני מכבד את הבניין הנבנה, אבל אוי ואבוי לנו אם ממנו נעשה בסיס זכותנו. לפני עשרים שנה בימי הצהרת בלפור, רק בקנה מידה של זכות מדד העולם, ואז קיבלנו את ההצהרה את זכותנו על ארץ-ישראל כולה בשלמותה. עברו עשרים שנה, והיום הרשנו להם למדוד בקנה מידה של בניינים נבנים וקיבלנו את התוכנית המטופשת.

זכות הוא למעלה מהיום. אל תפגע יד נוכרייה בזכותנו, אבל קודם כל יד עברית אל תפגע בזכותנו, שהיא נצח, שהיא שלמות, ואין עליה וויתור. אין קפנדריא לציון,

וציון היא כולה שלנו.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Islamic Fashion Glossary

In an Independent puff piece on the glory and advantages of Islamic fashion styles

(here, try this one:
Having spent a lot of her youth in Saudi Arabia, where her father has an office, Elbagir has witnessed, first hand, the Middle Eastern Muslim's woman's passion for fashion; and the irony - that it's the more conservative female Muslims who really go to town when it comes to style - is not lost on her. "The girls I know from Saudi have an incredible love of fashion," she says. "It's precisely because they wear abayas that they can be so outlandish underneath. Because it all goes on beneath the veil and behind closed doors, they don't feel inhibited. Sequins, miniskirts, pink hot pants - the more garish the better.")

I found this glossary which you might fight useful, that is if you live in Paris or London.

Square of black material with adjustable straps that goes around the face with slit for eyes. The full robe cover-up comes together with this piece, so it wouldn't be worn in isolation.

A kind of one-piece that covers the head and body in one black full-length robe that normally zips up the front.

Long rectangular piece of black material that wraps around the head - can be worn on its own and replaced with any kind of scarf/material as long as it covers the head.

Another name for full-length robe - a more common term in countries such as Somalia and Pakistan.

Another name for a veil around the head - normally Pharaoh-shape and lies much closer to neck.

Full purdah
Everything is covered including hands and feet; all that's seen is the eyes through a slit in the material.

And She's Jewish, Too

Nobel writer Nadine Gordimer, 82, attacked and robbed

THE Nobel literature laureate Nadine Gordimer has been attacked and locked in a storeroom by thieves who took cash and jewellery from the 82-year-old novelist at her Johannesburg home. Gordimer was assaulted when she refused to hand over her wedding ring but did not sustain serious injuries, a police spokesman said. “The suspects then locked both Gordimer and her domestic worker in a storeroom and fled,” he said.

There have been frequent cases where thieves have tortured or killed their victims with hot clothes irons, knives and boiling water in order to get what they wanted — even when their victims have not provoked them by refusing them anything.

There is a grim irony to the attack, for Gordimer’s novels are all focused on the inhumanities of apartheid — with blacks always the victims, not, as in this case, the perpetrators.

Gordimer is a national icon, a friend of Nelson Mandela and, unlike JM Coetzee, the country’s other Nobel literature laureate, who has emigrated to Australia, she has refused to leave. Gordimer, who won the Booker Prize in 1974 for her novel The Conservationist, was always a likely target. Thieves frequently target older people and she is known to be well off — she was left large sums by her family and by her husband, the art dealer Reinhold Cassirer, who died five years ago, in addition to her 1991 Nobel prize and large earnings from royalties.

An she's also Jewish.

Yes, the irony of it all.

Today's Post-Zionism

Education Minister (Labor) Prof. Yuli Tamir stated Rabin Memorial Day is as important as Holocaust Remembrance Day.

From the NYT Wedding Announcements

Leanne Sue Abrams, a daughter of Catherine and Denis S. Abrams of New York, was married yesterday evening to Brandon John Glenn Bortner, the son of Janice and Larry Bortner of Reisterstown, Md. Cantor Bette A. Cohen officiated at the Metropolitan Club in New York, with Rabbi Bernice K. Weiss taking part.

Robyn Michelle Sorid and Joshua Daniel Ufberg were married last evening by Rabbi Charles Klein at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

And so goes American Jewry.

The Pals. "Dream Adversary"

I found these lines in a book review of Jeffrey Goldberg's new book (*):-

It is hard to know if Mr. Goldberg, who seems otherwise a reasonably savvy fellow, really was as naïve as he presents himself, or if he uses such a pose as a narrative conceit. He comes across throughout the book as having a rare talent for self-delusion, giving the story momentum through moments of discovery. When he moves to Israel, he seems really to believe it will prove to be a version of Jewish socialist summer camp. He is stunned to find Israelis who are anything but committed to humanity’s highest ideals. Then he gets wise.

In some ways, Mr. Goldberg is a dream adversary for the Palestinians. Intelligent, open-minded and universalist in his quest for justice, he believes not only in Zionism but also in the legitimacy of Palestinian nationalism. And he does not hesitate to report Israeli cruelty and shortsightedness.

Oh how true, how too true!

The Jew, our own worst enemy or adversary or quite unhelpful fellow-religionist.


A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide
By Jeffrey Goldberg
316 pages. Alfred A. Knopf

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Robert Fisk is asking

Did Israel use a secret new uranium-based weapon in southern Lebanon this summer in the 34-day assault that cost more than 1,300 Lebanese lives, most of them civilians?

...scientific evidence gathered from at least two bomb craters in Khiam and At-Tiri, the scene of fierce fighting between Hizbollah guerrillas and Israeli troops last July and August, suggests that uranium-based munitions may now also be included in Israel's weapons inventory - and were used against targets in Lebanon. According to Dr Chris Busby, the British Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, two soil samples thrown up by Israeli heavy or guided bombs showed "elevated radiation signatures". Both have been forwarded for further examination to the Harwell laboratory in Oxfordshire for mass spectrometry - used by the Ministry of Defence - which has confirmed the concentration of uranium isotopes in the samples.

Dr Busby's initial report states that there are two possible reasons for the contamination. "The first is that the weapon was some novel small experimental nuclear fission device or other experimental weapon (eg, a thermobaric weapon) based on the high temperature of a uranium oxidation flash ... The second is that the weapon was a bunker-busting conventional uranium penetrator weapon employing enriched uranium rather than depleted uranium."

Is he fisking again?

The term refers to Robert Fisk, a journalist who wrote some rather foolish anti-war stuff, and who in particular wrote a story in which he (1) recounted how he was beaten by some anti-American Afghan refugees, and (2) thought they were morally right for doing so. Hence many pro-war blogs -- most famously, InstaPundit -- often use the term "Fisking" figuratively to mean a thorough and forceful verbal beating of an anti-war, possibly anti-American, commentator who has richly earned this figurative beating through his words. Good Fisking tends to be (or at least aim to be) quite logical, and often quotes the other article in detail, interspersing criticisms with the original article's text.

Well, Busby belongs to Green Audit and here's his CV. And he wears a French beret.

He's been controversial before:-

The Sunday Times Online, February 19, 2006, reported on a shocking scientific study authored by British scientists Dr. Chris Busby and Saoirse Morgan: "Did the use of Uranium weapons in Gulf War 2 result in contamination of Europe? Evidence from the measurements of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), Aldermaston, Berkshire, UK". The highest levels of depleted uranium ever measured in the atmosphere in Britain, were transported on air currents from the Middle East and Central Asia; of special significance were those from the Tora Bora bombing in Afghanistan in 2001, and the "Shock & Awe" bombing during Gulf War II in Iraq in 2003. Out of concern for the public, the official British government air monitoring facility, known as the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), at Aldermaston was established years ago, to measure radioactive emissions from British nuclear power plants and atomic weapons facilities.

Israel's official response is:

Israel did not use uranium-based ammunition during the Lebanon war, the army spokesperson's office said Saturday. The announcement was made in response to a report published Saturday on the website of the British newspaper The Independent.

The newspaper reported that studies carried out by a European Union-affiliated organization suggest the Israel Air Force used experimental missiles employing uranium against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said Saturday that "all the arms and ammunition that we use are legal and conform to international laws."

Israel and the Imperialists

David Fromkin, a professor of history and international relations at Boston University and author of “A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East”, published an essay in today's NYTimes entitled "Stuck in the Canal".

It mentions Israel several times:

FIFTY years ago tomorrow — on Oct. 29, 1956 — Israeli paratroops were dropped deep behind Egyptian lines in the Sinai peninsula, opening the way for the ground troops that followed. In a lightning campaign lasting less than five days, the Israelis took control of the entire peninsula. The Israelis had a rendezvous at the Suez Canal with the armed forces of Britain and France. But the British and French stopped short of their goal. Like out of shape ex-champions attempting a comeback, the Europeans were unable to get past the first round in their effort to return to the Middle East...

...Eden, Prime Minister Guy Mollet of France and his foreign secretary, Christian Pineau, joined by a number of colleagues, hatched a plot based on an earlier plan for France and Israel to act together, and in which Britain now joined. In October 1956, Israel attacked Egypt through Sinai and drove to Suez. Britain and France then invaded, occupying the canal and claiming to be separating the Egyptian and Israeli Armies. The British, French and Israelis stuck to their prefabricated story, but their collusion was evident; soon they had to admit the truth...

...Israel compromised itself through its partnership with European imperialism — providing evidence to enemies who had asserted all along that Israel was no more than a European imperialist itself. And its victory in the Sinai campaign — one of many dazzling triumphs — illustrated the paradox that the more Israel won on the battlefield, the further it got from achieving the peace that it sought.

And then, he draws a lesson"-

THE undoing of the British-French-Israeli alliance was that it rested on a lie. It is difficult to re-create the shock felt around the world when it became apparent that these supposedly honorable countries, and the principled statesmen who led them, would stoop to such a ridiculous fabrication. It was disgraceful: that they lied, and that the lie was so childish.

Scenarios had been prepared at various levels of the American government in the event that the Europeans acted against the Nasser regime. So far as I know, none of them envisaged the United States intervening to stop them. Had the allies fully and honestly informed Washington of their intentions, either the Eisenhower administration would have persuaded them to adopt an alternative strategy, or the allies would have convinced Washington to let them go ahead, or the United States would have explained to London how America’s control of the British currency gave it a veto power over British policy. One way or another, America’s angry reaction would have been avoided.

Though it cannot be proved, the lies of the allies weakened their cause in another important way. It outraged public opinion in France and, especially, Britain. A message was delivered: decision-makers in European governments were on notice that they no longer were free to initiate colonial wars.

The Europeans, to their credit, understood the message. Within years of the Suez crisis, Britain and France began decolonization programs in which they released territories they had held around the world. The winds of change had begun to blow — and they had come from Suez.

But what he doesn't do is inform his readers that Israel had been suffering a terror campaign launched from Egypt as well as Jordan for seven years resulting in over 550 deaths and 1000 wounded. This was pre-PLO and the terrorists were called Fedayeen.

Fromkin failed.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Fashionable Swastika

A bit obscene, no?

But if the Voyage designers Rocky Mazzilli and his mother, Louise, are to be believed, the swastika is the new black.

It seems that Harry’s “Gestapo look” [???], otherwise known as the biggest fancy dress disaster since the invention of French maids, may have been the inspiration for their new collection, Year 0. And the reaction from the public was also perfectly in tune with the Prince: the designers were unceremoniously ejected from a Soho nightclub for upsetting revellers with their swastika-print garments this weekend.

“My interpretation of the swastika is of anarchy, rebellion and nonconformism. Isn’t that what London’s clubs believe in, too?” asks Rocky.

Note to self: if heading to Soho, avoid leather trenchcoats, knee-high boots and small, square moustaches.

Source: here.

Shiksa Smith Update

Remember my lampooning Howard Stern (the lawyer) who 'married' Anna Nicole Smith and even may have faked a mikveh dip (see here)?

Well, the waters get murkier:-

TMZ has learned that Anna Nicole Smith confessed during her pregnancy that Larry Birkhead was the father of her baby.

Sources tell TMZ that late last year, Anna Nicole began having sexual relations with Gaither Ben Thompson, a wealthy real estate developer in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We're told that Howard K. Stern, the lawyer who claims to be the father of Anna Nicole's newborn baby, was in Myrtle Beach during the time Anna Nicole was seeing Thompson. Remember, Stern has said he had a long-term relationship with Anna Nicole, which seems odd given that Stern accompanied Smith to Myrtle Beach.

Sources say in May of this year, Anna Nicole contacted Thompson to say that he was the father of her soon-to-be-born baby girl. It's especially interesting because we're told that Anna Nicole had contacted people familiar with Thompson inquiring about his wealth. That's when Thompson dropped a bombshell -- that it was impossible for him to father a baby because he had already had a vasectomy. Days later, sources say Anna Nicole confessed to Thompson that Larry Birkhead was the father. Birkhead, an entertainment photographer who had a relationship with Anna Nicole, has filed legal papers in Los Angeles to establish paternity.

Howard K. Stern, Anna's lawyer and rep, could not be reached for comment.

UPDATE on "Enlightened Religion"

And to be fair, let's amend that to Enlightened Cleric.

The Immam has been barred.

Australia’s top Muslim cleric has been barred from preaching for three months after he compared women who dress immodestly to meat that is left uncovered and then attracts cats. But the government on Friday denounced the punishment as too lenient.

The comments by the cleric, Sheik Taj el-Din Hamid Hilaly, the mufti of Australia’s biggest mosque, outraged many Muslims and other Australians and prompted calls for his firing and deportation.

On Thursday night the Australian Lebanese Muslim Association, which owns the mosque, suspended him.

On Friday, Prime Minister John Howard said that was not enough.

“I believe that unless this matter is satisfactorily resolved by the Islamic community, there is a real worry that some lasting damage will be done,” Mr. Howard told Australian radio. “We do not want the Islamic community isolated. We do not want the Islamic community to be an object of criticism and derision.”

Mr. Howard said that Mr. Hilaly, who was born in Egypt and courted controversy two years ago by glorifying martyrdom and calling the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States the work of God, was now an Australian citizen and could not be deported.

Balanced Reporting Until Death

This letter I found while surfing through the search engine of the NYTimes, which I do occasionally.

It was published on October 1, 2006 and deals with a media issue - balance in reporting.

To the Editor:

In his review of Frank Rich's "Greatest Story Every Sold" (Sept. 17), Ian Buruma wrote that "someone reporting on the persecution of Jews in Germany in 1938 would not have added 'balance' by quoting Joseph Goebbels."

In fact, American journalists reporting from Germany in the 1930's worried about providing balance in news stories about German Jews. A 1935 journalism textbook actually used "the Jewish persecution by the German Nazi government" to illustrate the need for "both sides in a controversial matter" to be "given a chance to have their position stated." Balance was necessary, the text explained, because the story is about a struggle "between rival groups, each of which is strong in its own right, and each of which is anxious to get as much propaganda across to newspaper readers as is possible."

Laurel Leff

West Hartford, Conn.

The writer teaches journalism at Northeastern University and is the author of "Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper."

How simplistic smart people can be.

And here is a major part of that book review of Frank Rich's book, THE GREATEST STORY EVER SOLD, The Decline and Fall of Truth From 9/11 to Katrina, 341 pp., The Penguin Press:-

What is fascinating about the era of George W. Bush, however, is that the spinmeisters, fake news reporters, photo-op creators, disinformation experts, intelligence manipulators, fictional heroes and public relations men posing as commentators operate in a world where virtual reality has already threatened to eclipse empirical investigation.

Remember that White House aide, quoted by Rich in his introduction, who said that a “judicious study of discernible reality” is “not the way the world really works anymore”? For him, the “reality-based community” of newspapers and broadcasters is old hat, out of touch, even contemptible in “an empire” where “we create our own reality.” This kind of official arrogance is not new, of course, although it is perhaps more common in dictatorships than in democracies. What is disturbing is the way it matches so much else going on in the world: postmodern debunking of objective truth, bloggers and talk radio blowhards driving the media, news organizations being taken over by entertainment corporations and the profusion of ever more sophisticated means to doctor reality.

Rich’s subject is the creation of false reality. “The Greatest Story Ever Sold” is not about policies, or geopolitical analysis. The pros and cons of removing Saddam Hussein by force, the consequences of American military intervention in the Middle East and the threat of Islamist extremism are given scant attention...

...Yet — and this is where Rich is particularly acute — most serious papers published the White House claims on their front pages, and buried any doubts in small news items at the back. Political weeklies with a liberal pedigree, like The New Republic, fell in line with the neoconservative Weekly Standard, stating that the president would be guilty of “surrender in the war on international terrorism” should he fail to make an effort to topple Saddam Hussein. Bob Woodward, the scourge of the Nixon administration, wrote “Bush at War,” a book that seemed to take everything his White House sources told him at face value...the press, by and large, took the bait.

How could this have happened? How could some of the best, most fact-checked, most reputable news organizations in the English-speaking world have been so gullible? How can one explain the temporary paralysis of skepticism? This is perhaps the most painful question raised by Rich’s book, since his own newspaper was clearly implicated. An air of intimidation, which hung over the United States like a noxious vapor after 9/11, is part of the explanation. Susan Sontag became a national hate figure just for saying that United States foreign policy might have had something to do with violent anti-Americanism. When John Ashcroft declared to the Senate that people who challenged his highly questionable policies “give ammunition to America’s enemies,” he was simply echoing the ranters and ravers of talk radio. But they are poisonous buffoons. He was the attorney general. No wonder that the mainstream press, after being continuously accused of “liberal bias,” preferred to keep its head down.

Newspaper editors should not have to feel the need to prove their patriotism, or their absence of bias. Their job is to publish what they believe to be true, based on evidence and good judgment. As Rich points out, such journals as The Nation and The New York Review of Books were quicker to see through government shenanigans than the mainstream press. And reporters from Knight Ridder got the story about intelligence fixing right, before The New York Times caught on. “At Knight Ridder,” Rich says, “there was a clearer institutional grasp of the big picture.”

Intimidation is only part of the story, however. The changing nature of gathering and publishing information has made mainstream journalists unusually defensive. That more people than ever are now able to express their views, on radio shows and Web sites, is perhaps a form of democracy, but it has undermined the authority of editors, whose expertise was meant to act as a filter against nonsense or prejudice. And the deliberate confusion, on television, of news and entertainment has done further damage.

The Republicans, being more populist than the Democrats, have exploited this new climate with far greater finesse. Accusing the media of bias is an act of remarkable chutzpah for an administration that pitches its messages straight at radio talk show hosts and public relations men. Rich gives many examples. One of the more arresting ones is of Dick Cheney appearing on a TV show with Armstrong Williams, a fake journalist on the government payroll, to complain about bias in the press. Something has gone askew when one of the most trusted critics of the Bush administration is Jon Stewart, host of a superb comedy program. It was on his “Daily Show” that Rob Corddry, an actor playing a reporter, lamented that he couldn’t keep up with the government, which had created “a whole new category of fake news — infoganda.” Rich is right: “The more real journalism fumbled its job, the easier it was for such government infoganda to fill the vacuum.”

THERE may be one other reason for the fumbling: the conventional methods of American journalism, marked by an obsession with access and quotes. A good reporter for an American paper must get sources who sound authoritative and quotes that show both sides of a story. His or her own expertise is almost irrelevant. If the opinions of columnists count for too much in the American press, the intelligence of reporters is institutionally underused. The problem is that there are not always two sides to a story. Someone reporting on the persecution of Jews in Germany in 1938 would not have added “balance” by quoting Joseph Goebbels. And besides, as Judith Miller found out, what is the good of quotes if they are based on false information?

Bob Woodward, one of Rich’s chief bêtes noires, has more access in Washington than any journalist, but the weakness of his work is that he never seems to be better than his sources. As Rich rightly observes, “reporters who did not have Woodward’s or Miller’s top-level access within the administration not only got the Iraq story right but got it into newspapers early by seeking out what John Walcott, the Knight Ridder Washington bureau chief, called ‘the blue collar’ sources further down the hierarchy.” This used to be Woodward’s modus operandi, too, in his better days. Fearing the loss of access at the top and overrating the importance of quotes from powerful people, as well as an unjustified terror of being accused of liberal bias, have crippled the press at a time when it is needed more than ever. Frank Rich is an excellent product of that press, and if it ever recovers its high reputation, it will be partly thanks to one man who couldn’t take it anymore.

Ian Buruma is the Henry Luce professor at Bard College. His latest book is “Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance.”

A very interesting insight into journalism.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Enlightened Religion

Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, the nation's most senior Muslim cleric, compared immodestly-dressed women who do not wear the Islamic headdress with meat that is left uncovered in the street and is then eaten by cats.

Politicians including Prime Minister John Howard, community leaders and a large number of Muslims condemned the mufti's comments amid calls that he should be deported to Egypt, his country of origin.

He has since been forced to apologise for his remarks.

In a Ramadam sermon in a Sydney mosque, Sheik al-Hilali suggested that a group of Muslim men recently jailed for many years for gang rapes were not entirely to blame.

There were women, he said, who 'sway suggestively' and wore make-up and immodest dress "and then you get a judge without mercy and gives you 65 years. But the problem, but the problem all began with who?" he said, referring to the women victims.

Addressing 500 worshippers on the topic of adultery, Sheik al-Hilali added: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it..whose fault is it - the cats or the uncovered meat?

"The uncovered meat is the problem."

He went on: "If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab (veil), no problem would have occurred."

Women, he said, were 'weapons' used by Satan to control men.

Gee, and here I thought that when women wear makeup and dress themselves up, they are cooked meat. (Just kidding)

Olmert Out?

Lindenstrauss finds evidence for investigating PM

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss said in a letter submitted Wednesday to Attourney General Menahem Mazuz that he estimates there is sufficient evidence for a criminal investigation into Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's involvement in the sale of the controlling interest of Bank Leumi.

It is now up to Mazuz to decide whether to order an investigation into the affair.

An internal opinion in the State Prosecutor's Office recommends that a criminal investigation against Olmert be opened without delay. He is suspected of having acted to further the interests of two businessmen friends from abroad while serving as acting finance minister in 2005.

Olmert is suspected of interfering with the tender for the controlling interest in Bank Leumi to benefit businessmen S. Daniel Abraham and Frank Lowy. Olmert is also suspected of a conflict of interest through a law firm headed by Prof. Yossi Gross, Olmert's father-in-law, who dealt with Lowy's affairs in Israel.

In addition, Abraham had previously bought Olmert's Jerusalem home, at a price that was allegedly too high, while letting Olmert continue to live there and pay relatively low rent. It is thought that Abraham is one of the consortiums of private investors trying to receive approval from the Bank of Israel to purchase control of Bank Leumi, along with the group of Cerberus Capital Management and Gabriel Capital Management, which won the tender in November 2005.

Olmert's relationship with both businessmen is suspected of being tainted by bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Lindenstrauss told Mazuz about three months ago that the interim findings of the comptroller's report indicate possible criminal behavior, and asked whether he should stop his investigation so a police investigation can begin.

Now we can get on with the real business of governing.

Carfumishing Carter

Jimmy Carter, you know, the peanut man, is carfumishing.

Carter Book Slaps Israel With ‘Apartheid’ Tag

As Republicans step up their efforts to paint Democrats as increasingly hostile toward Israel, former President Jimmy Carter is releasing a book on the Middle East, titled “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.”

Judging from an advance review manuscript of the new work, published by Simon & Schuster and set for release November 14, Carter places the bulk of the blame on Israel for its continuing conflict with the Palestinians. But critics of the former president probably will be most offended by his use of the word “apartheid” in the book’s title and text.

Israel’s current policy in the territories, Carter writes in the book’s summary, is “a system of apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land but completely separated from each other, with Israelis totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights.” In a separate passage in the advance draft, the former president stated that “Israel’s continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land.”

In addition, Carter takes what is being interpreted by some critics as a swipe at the pro-Israel lobby. “Because of powerful political, economic, and religious forces in the United States, Israeli government decisions are rarely questioned or condemned,” the former president writes.


Gay "Palestine"

You were looking for news about gay Palestine?


But be warned:-

Since Palestine is a very homophobic culture many Palestinian gays and lesbians are forced against their cultural and religious will to hide in Israel where homosexuality is much more acceptable and, indeed, protected.

Israel Has A Right To Exist? Ha!

I have raised some serious concerns regarding Israel’s so-called right to exist. Any right to that effect will derive from its legitimacy as a state. Because Israel’s genesis and continued existence ¬ as a state, not just as its actions, conducted somehow accidentally or due to some bad apples in the government ¬ is at the moral expense of a people (Israeli and non-Israeli Palestinians) who have rights against it, then its legitimacy as a state is in doubt. But if so, then its “right to exist” is in doubt, too. This sounds right. The conclusion is confirmed by the thought that if Israel is, by its very essence, a state that excludes other people who have rights against it, then other states surely do not have duties to preserve it. No state has the duty to preserve another state that is illegitimate (which is not the same as having the duty to attack it; these are not the same duties).

Well, now. First Tony Judt, then Richard Cohen and now...Raja Halwani, Associate Professor of Philosophy in the Liberal Arts Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He specializes, and has published in, in ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, and the philosophy of sex and love. He is currently writing a book on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He's up there with that Iranian bloke.

It is so comforting to know that there really are intellectual heavyweights who just can't figure it out that Jews have a right to statehood, political sovereignty and the right to beat the hell out of anyone who uses lethal force in opposition.

Oh, he has a blog.

A Very Unkind Cut

Man Accused Of Circumcising Daughter With Scissors


An immigrant from Africa has gone on trial on charges alleging he circumcised his 2-year-old daughter with a pair of scissors to avoid bringing shame on his family. Khalid Adem could face 40 years in prison if convicted in Gwinnett County [Georgia] on the charges of aggravated battery and cruelty to children.

Prosecutor Marty First [said] "There is no doubt that she was mutilated. And this is not something you go to a doctor and do because no doctor will do it. He did this to his own baby."

Police have said that Adem used scissors to circumcise his daughter in their Duluth apartment in 2001. The child's mother said she didn't discover it until more than a year later.

First said the girl told Gwinnett County authorities that her father cut her. The prosecutor quoted Adem as saying in late 2002 and early 2003 that if the girl were not circumcised, "it will be a shame to the family."

Another One of Those Haaretz Headlines

Okay, after yesterday's "enjoy" headline, Haaretz proceeds apace.

Here's the story line:-

The conflict between Israel and Hamas is likely to escalate soon in light of the Israel Defense Forces' decision to try to thwart the establishment of a Hamas security service in the West Bank.

In Gaza, Hamas' "Special Security Service" has become one of the organization's main power bases in its struggle against Fatah. Members of this force are well-equipped and very disciplined, and they have won almost all their street battles with Fatah gunmen. Though the service's more than 5,000 members appear on the Palestinian Authority payroll, in practice, they answer solely to Yusuf a-Zahar, a member of Hamas' military wing and brother of PA Foreign Minister Mahmoud a-Zahar. Alongside its official task of keeping order in Gaza's streets, the force has another, no less important, mission - intimidating Fatah.

However, Hamas is having trouble consolidating its rule in the West Bank. Members of Fatah's military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, may not rejoice at taking orders from PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, but they are happy to use their weapons to intimidate Hamas members and Hamas-affiliated charities.

So, what headline is given?

Israel sabotaging Hamas bid to set up West Bank security force


What, we're doing something wrong?

Why not "Israel Suceeds in Protecting Its Citizens' Security"?

Joining the Tribe

Borat you've heard of, yes?


Well, in any case, unlike that Jewish lawyer of Anne Nichol Smith, his non-Jewish fiancee will probably become one of the tribe:-

Australian actress ISLA FISHER is considering converting to her funnyman fiance SACHA BARON COHEN's Jewish religion before their forthcoming wedding.

The sexy redhead is fascinated by the ALI G comic's religious beliefs, because she has never been taught about different spiritual teachings and has no faith of her own.

And THE WEDDING CRASHERS star is already learning about Judaism, to prepare herself for a possible Jewish wedding ceremony.

She tells Britain's THIS MORNING TV show, "Yes I've been learning all about Judaism. I was never brought up with any particular faith so it's fascinating to find out what Sacha believes in.

"I'm constantly asking him questions about it because it's really beautiful and complex. It's so interesting to find out what lies beneath the Jewish afro."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bombs Away

Bombs and bomblets left intact on Lebanese soil have become one of the latest instruments to keep Israel in the "whipping-boy" mode which the Left wishes to portray it.

But, it seems, this problem is not a unique one.

60 Years Later, Buried Bombs Still Frighten Germans, and Kill Some

FRANKFURT, Oct. 23 — More than six decades after the end of World War II, Germans still routinely come across unexploded bombs beneath farmers’ fields or city streets. Lately, there has been a skein of such dangerous discoveries, one with deadly consequences.

On Monday morning, a highway worker was killed when his cutting machine struck a World War II bomb beneath a busy autobahn southeast of Frankfurt. The explosion ripped apart the vehicle and damaged several passing cars, wounding four other workers and a motorist.

Also on Monday, a weapons-removal squad defused a 500-pound bomb found next to a highway near Hanover, in the north. The police said it was a British aerial bomb, one of tens of thousands dropped on German roads, factories and cities during Allied bombing raids.

On Saturday, 1,000 people were evacuated from a town east of Berlin after a bomb was discovered. And last week, 22,000 people were evacuated from a district in Hanover after three bombs were discovered near a house. It was the second largest evacuation for a disposal operation since the end of the war.

While the four incidents were not related, they reminded people that even though Germans have spent decades digging out rusty munitions, their landscape remains something of a minefield.

“We’ll have enough work to keep us busy for the next 100 to 120 years,” said Sebastian Semmler, the owner of a small company in Bavaria that specializes in defusing and clearing munitions.

Allied warplanes dropped about two million tons of explosives on Germany, ranging from small firebombs to giant high-explosive bombs. There are also buried mortars, land mines and hand grenades, which often turn up during road construction or other major excavations.

Well, Israel is in 'good' company.



The German Defense Ministry said Wednesday it is investigating an incident in which two Israeli fighter jets fired shots and dropped flares near a German warship patrolling the Lebanese coast as part of a peacekeeping force.

The planes -- two F-16s -- fired two shots and released the flares, which can be used as a defense measure against heat-seeking missiles, said a ministry spokesman. He did not identify the vessel or say when the incident occurred.

The Israeli military denied the reports, saying the air force did not attack any ship or fire in the vicinity.

BBC is Really Spooky

"Spooks" is a BBC spy drama series.

Eric Lee blogs about it:-

October 16, 2006

"Spooks" and the Jews: The BBC crosses a red line
Web exclusive

The BBC has just aired a special two-part episode of the hit television series "Spooks" in which the villains -- a team of terrorists -- turn out to be agents of the Israeli government.

In the episode, the Israelis (who are Mossad agents) pose as Al Qa'eda terrorists, and seize control of a Saudi Arabian building in London, taking hostages, several of whom they murder in cold blood. One of their confederates, a British agent whose Israeli wife was killed in a terrorist blast in Tel-Aviv years before, stabs to death a female, blonde MI5 officer who suspected that he was helping terrorists.

In scenes in which the top MI5 boss, Harry, confronts his Mossad counterpart in London, it is made clear that this is no "rogue" outfit, but an official (albeit deniable) Mossad operation.

Now, I don't know if anyone else has a problem with this, but a couple of things come to mind.

October 24, 2006

Once more on the subject of "Spooks"

Following a special double episode of the hit BBC television series "Spooks" in which the bad guys turned out to be the Israeli Mossad (see my previous article) you'd think they would take a break. But instead, the episode aired last night on BBC3 (next week on BBC 1) in which the bad guys are initially fanatical Christian fundamentalists also turns out to have an Israeli angle.

The really bad guys in last night's episode manage to trick the Mossad into thinking that the show's hero, an MI5 agent, is some kind of anti-Semite, so the Mossad sends in a crack assassination team of around six men armed with easily-identifiable Israeli pistols. ("Ooo! Jerichos - they must be Israelis!" declares one of the crack MI5 team.)

Fortunately, the tall blonde heroine this season (who in the previous episode snarls out the phrase 'Yemenite Jew') uses her martial arts skills to disarm most of them, while unarmed hero Adam deals with the rest. The one surviving member of this "elite" unite of bumbling Jewish terrorists is called off following a phone call made by MI5 boss Harry to his Israeli counterpart, the cultural attache at the Israeli embassy. (Harry threatens to have all the Mossad agents in London deported if they don't stop shooting at MI5 officers right now. And no, I'm not making this up.)

You would think that the Mossad would be running out of trained (albeit rather inept) assassins, having lost an entire squad last week to MI5, but there seems to be a limitless supply of these types floating around London, ready to be picked off by MI5 each week. This is now three weeks in a row that Spooks is staying focussed on the Mossad theme.

The writer of some (all?) of the most recent episodes is a Lebanese-born author named Raymond Khoury. I wonder if he has a political agenda that we're not aware of.

(kippah tip: Melanie Phillips)

Not Nice of Haaretz

This is the worthy newspaper's double-entendre headline today:

Rabin assassin Amir enjoys his first conjugal visit

After years of legal battling, he has gained the right to create a family.

Yigal Amir, convicted assassin of prime minster Yitzhak Rabin and his wife Larissa Trimbobler spent eight hours together in the private room at Ayalon prison for conjugal meetings. The two met yesterday morning after the Shin Bet security service removed its objection to the visit based on concerns that Amir would take advantage of the situation to transmit messages to extremist elements outside the prison.

The Prison Service permitted the visit since Amir is one of a relatively small group of prisoners who are not allowed furloughs. Since his marriage to Trimbobler was recognized by the state, the couple is entitled to conjugal visits once a month.

I was wondering: will the liberals next demand that a murderer's children be killed with him?

Striking Out for Orthodox Feminism

Nancy Edelman of Teaneck, N.J. strikes back at the NYTimes' mischaracterization of Jewish Orthodox feminism in this letter:-

Immersed in Julia Moskin’s otherwise wonderful article about Sephardic cooking in Brooklyn (“Mother to Daughter, Since Forever,” Oct. 11), my reverie was broken by the sentence that stated that like Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish women, the women of this community rarely work outside the home.

While it may be true that many of the Syrian women who were interviewed do not work outside the home, most of the Orthodox women I know do. I juggle my career and my commitment to my family, and occasionally, I also bake some Ashkenazic mandel bread.

I Just Love it When The NYTimes/Tom Friedman Gets Angry

This editorial today expresses the paper's deep displeasure.

Tsk, tsk.

The Wrong Partner in Israel

Badly weakened by criticism of his conduct of this summer’s inconclusive war in Lebanon, Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Olmert, has chosen to make an unwise and damaging trade-off. Bringing the pro-settler Israel Beiteinu party into his governing coalition reinforces his vulnerable parliamentary majority. But it makes it virtually impossible for Mr. Olmert to carry out the partial West Bank withdrawal program he ran on just seven months ago.

Israel Beiteinu is the political vehicle of Avigdor Lieberman, who advocates annexing West Bank settlements and reassigning Arab Israeli citizens to a rump Palestinian state. Mr. Lieberman, who is set to become a deputy prime minister, has criticized other right-wing leaders, like Ariel Sharon, for evicting settlers from occupied regions.

American and European diplomats have been arguing that the one positive result of the Lebanon war could be new momentum toward a wider Middle East peace. The idea was that a new awareness of the limits of Israeli military power and growing Arab fears of Shiite radicalism would push both sides toward the necessary compromises.

That now seems less likely than ever. The chief Palestinian party, Hamas, refuses to take the most minimal steps required for diplomatic credibility — a clear rejection of terrorism, acceptance of prior agreements and acknowledgment of Israel’s legitimacy. Efforts by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to bring Hamas around have not gotten as much support as they should from Israel. With Israel Beiteinu joining Mr. Olmert’s coalition, they are likely to get even less.

Creating new obstacles to peace with the Palestinians is the last thing Israel needs after the Lebanon fiasco.

Limits of Israeli military power? You mean the fumbling ineptitude of some military brass encumbered by a vacillating political echelon.

Efforts of Abbas not supported by Israel? You mean not be able to stop the Kassams, tunnels and arms sumggling.

New obstacles? Excuse me, and the old ones were....?

Monday, October 23, 2006

I'm Back

I've returned to Israel from a brief (four day) trip to the States for the Bar Mitzvah celebration of my nephew.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

This Guy is Beginning to Be a Real Pain

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called Israel a "counterfeit and illegitimate regime that cannot survive", in a live broadcast on state television.

"The Zionist regime is counterfeit and illegitimate and cannot survive," he said in a speech to a crowd in the town of Islamshahr in southwestern Tehran.

"The big powers have created this fraud regime and allowed it to commit all kind of crimes to guarantee their interests," he added.

Who Gets to Benefit?

An Arab woman, resident of Anata in the territories, a doctoral candidate at the Hebrew University, appealed to Israel's Supreme Court for permission to enter Israel against a security ban she suffered from.

Today, as Haaretz reports, the Court suggested that an exception could be made and Justice Elyakim Rubinstein urged:

"At some point, we would like to achieve a measure of normalcy in ties with our neighbors, and if there are no security issues, then perhaps we can come up with some kind of rubric"

That's nice.

Will this apply to Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount? Or, at the least, to halt Muslims from destroying Jewish artifacts and archeological remains?

That would be a step towards normalcy.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Let Me Know

Let me know when a left-wing humanitarian civil rights group posts this on their web site for action.

Eighteen Jews from various outposts in the Yitzhar area of the Shomron (Samaria) received administrative orders over the Sukkot holiday ordering them to leave their homes, and in some cases all of Judea and Samaria, for periods ranging from three months to a year.

No compensation was offered and the reason given by the IDF was so that the individuals will not bother Arabs during the olive harvest.

Those receiving the orders were: Boaz Albert (father of five), Nerya Ofan (father of five, previously placed in administrative detention ahead of Disengagement), Hanoch Albert (father of three), Aryeh Gruner (father of one), Meir Bartler (father of one), Eran Schwartz (father of one), Yehoyariv (father of one) and Shlomo Meir (father of one), Edan Malul, Yehuda Meir, Oriya Cohen, Hen Raz, Hanan Herbst, Yehoshua and Yehuda Albert, Hillel Shiloach, Mordechai Noam, Elad Keller

A Piece of His Mind

New York Review of Books
Volume 53, Number 17 · November 2, 2006

By William J. Connell
In response to A Shrine to Mussolini (February 23, 2006)

To the Editors:

Both Sergio Luzzatto's fine book, The Body of Il Duce, and Amos Elon's wonderful review [NYR, February 23] left out a macabre but interesting final detail that perhaps deserves to be better known. In her memoirs Mussolini's widow, Rachele, tells how in 1966, nine years after her husband's burial in the crypt built for him at Predappio, several men with foreign accents visited her bearing what they said was a slice of Mussolini's brain wrapped in cellophane. One of these men, and it was he who confirmed the story to me, was the late Merritt N. Cootes, a former American consul general in Florence. Cootes used to say that the strangest mission in a lifetime spent in the Foreign Service was his flight across the Atlantic with an attaché case handcuffed to his wrist that contained a piece of Il Duce's brain.

One of the goals of the autopsy ordered by the American authorities in Milan in 1945 had been to obtain a piece of Il Duce's brain to send to Washington. Presumably scientific motives were alleged, but this was also a trophy—a twentieth-century version of Pompey's head sent to Caesar in a basket. By 1966, after all of the fuss over Mussolini's burial, and after rapprochement between the Christian Democrats and the neo-Fascists, Washington realized that the obscure former trophy would become a liability should the neo-Fascists, with their new cult centered on Mussolini's corpse, find out about it. And so the slice of brain was discreetly restored to a dumbfounded Rachele Mussolini.

Stories of superpower involvement in postwar Italy are often quite extravagant, but this one really happened.

William J. Connell
Professor of History and La Motta Chair
Seton Hall University
South Orange, New Jersey

Hearsay? Of course!

Not hearsay?

“It’s a rather serious book based on interviews, not just hearsay,” said Patrick Jarreau, one of the editors of Le Monde, though the book does circulate old rumors that the authors say cannot be confirmed.

I don't think so.

If one doesn't have a picture or a document, even interviews should be considered hearsay.

True, hearsay usually means what one has heard orally from another, not having seen the event occur oneself.

But in a book detailing events, interviews are hearsay.

I Guess There's No Free Love

Haaretz reports:-

Thus Mazuz may decide not to charge Katsav for rape, but, according to the varying reliability of the testimonies, may choose to charge him with "illicit consensual intercourse." This clause does not necessarily involve the use of physical force.

The maximum penality for this offense is three years in prison. In Katsav's case, the law stipulates that a man who has intercourse with a woman aged 18 or more by abusing his authority in a work relationship, is liable to three years in prison.

The key word there is abusing.

Since the lady involved in one case has been reported to be quite sexually active, I was wondering whether a charge could be brought against her.

Is the one in 'authority' only the one who has the superior position (excuse the pun), or, if Israel is the liberated country in mores our secularists claim it is, perhaps Mazuz should be looking at another indictment sheet.

Olmert Fudges on Removing Convergence from Agenda

Funny, but in his speech before the Knesset yesterday, Olmert avoided mentioning convergence/realignment altogether.

Not that it is "temporarily off the agenda" or any other such phrase.

Here's what I found:-

Ladies and gentlemen, Members of Knesset,

Considerable changes have recently taken place in the political arena. A Hamas government is currently ruling the Palestinian Authority. Unfortunately, this government does not fulfill the minimal preconditions outlined by the international community, which would enable it to become a possible partner for negotiations. As long as the Hamas government fails to recognize the State of Israel, accept and implement the agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and act to terminate violence and eradicate terrorism, including attacks on our southern communities, we cannot conduct dialogue with it. We, together with the international community, will not compromise on these conditions.

...The State of Israel has demonstrated many times its willingness to live in peace and good neighborly relations with the Palestinian people. We do not wish the Palestinian people to continue suffering. On the contrary. We prefer a thriving Palestinian society, free of humanitarian hardship - a society which enjoys economic welfare and which operates in cooperation with the State of Israel.

I believe with all my heart that this reality is possible. The Palestinian people must make a profound internal decision: should they seize the chance of becoming a healthy and strong society and overcome the grim reality in which they live. The responsibility for their situation is theirs alone, and the responsibility for their decision is theirs alone.

We have already made our decision. We have no desire and no intention to rule over the Palestinians forever. If the day comes when the Palestinian government accepts the preconditions which will make it a legitimate player, it will allow the opening of a comprehensive political horizon, which will change the reality in the region. However, even under the conditions existing today I pledge to act tirelessly to seize every opportunity, every opening, every possibility of negotiations which will generate real dialogue with responsible representatives of the Palestinian people.

Ehud, these words of yours aren't that encouraging.

Doesn't the BBC Believe in a Free Press?

Oh, my.

BBC mounts court fight to keep 'critical' report secret

The BBC has spent thousands of pounds of licence payers' money trying to block the release of a report which is believed to be highly critical of its Middle East coverage.

The corporation is mounting a landmark High Court action to prevent the release of The Balen Report under the Freedom of Information Act, despite the fact that BBC reporters often use the Act to pursue their journalism.

The action will increase suspicions that the report, which is believed to run to 20,000 words, includes evidence of anti-Israeli bias in news programming.

Like all public bodies, the BBC is obliged to release information about itself under the Act. However, along with Channel 4, Britain's other public service broadcaster, it is allowed to hold back material that deals with the production of its art, entertainment and journalism.

The High Court action is the latest stage of a lengthy and expensive battle by Steven Sugar, a lawyer, to get access to the document, which was compiled by Malcolm Balen, a senior editorial adviser, in 2004.

Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, who is responsible for the workings of the Act, agreed with the BBC that the document, which examines hundreds of hours of its radio and television broadcasts, could be held back. However, Mr Sugar appealed and, after a two-day hearing at which the BBC was represented by two barristers, the Information Tribunal found in his favour.

Mr Sugar said: "This is a serious report about a serious issue and has been compiled with public money. I lodged the request because I was concerned that the BBC's reporting of the second intifada was seriously unbalanced against Israel, but I think there are other issues at stake now in the light of the BBC's reaction."

...The BBC declined to say how much it was spending on the High Court action. "We will be appealing the decision of the Information Tribunal," a spokesman said. "This case has wider implications relating to the way the Act applies to public broadcasters."

Well, we'll just have to wait.

(Kippah tip: HTS)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Once a Knight is Enough

Here's all of Melanie Phillips posting today:

The new Jews are, er, the old Jews

An article in the Sunday Times by India Knight leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Complaining that it is now ‘open season’ on Islam (funny, that, I thought Islamists had declared open season, or to be more precise, war, upon us) she comes up with the following enlightened view:

My former husband and I once went to look at a house we were thinking of buying in a Jewish Orthodox bit of London. As it happened we were the only non-Orthodox people on that bit of pavement that morning. I noticed a group of Hassidim were walking around us in a peculiar way. ‘They’re avoiding our shadows,’ the estate agent said, ‘because we’re unclean.’ I didn’t think much of that, either. But we all need to coexist peaceably. The fact that I find the man in Camden market with bolts through his face, or the Orthodox woman dressed in a drab sack and wearing a bad wig, as ‘weird’ — weirder, actually — than a woman dressed in black with only her eyes showing is neither here nor there.

Well how frightfully tolerant – not. Ultra-orthodox Jews don’t walk ‘in a peculiar way’ round people’s shadows, nor do they think ‘they’ (who? Estate agents? Journalists?) are ‘unclean’. In order to make a false equivalence between Jews and Muslims (hey, they’re all equally weird, so criticism of the veil must be discrimination; the fact that the Hassidim don’t want to impose their beliefs or values on anybody else doesn’t occur to her as a rather significant difference) she misrepresents orthodox Jews as bigots while managing to disavow that, too, in order to make herself appear wholly unprejudiced, and so that she can conclude that

Muslims are the new Jews.

Well actually, Jews are the new Jews. As we can see from the mind of India Knight.

Well, two comments.

First, in my experience, most Orthodox women do not dress that drabily.

Secondly, Melanie missed one point regarding this sentence there:

My experience of Muslim life is not that it is the patriarchal nightmare of legend, but that women are powerful, vocal and iron-fisted beneath their velvet gloves.

My experience with Muslim women, especially suicide bombers, confirms that opinion of Ms. Knight.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

When is a Village a Town?

I've always referred to Shiloh as a "community village".

Maybe it's a "town".

In a sorrowful story, I learned that Bonaparte, Iowa is called a "town" by its residents, all of 460 them:-

Bonaparte, population 460, is about 145 miles southeast of Des Moines, in southeast Iowa's Van Buren County. It is a historic town on the Des Moines River, known for its restored buildings and Victorian homes that date to the 1800s.

And then this:-

"The town has a pretty big cloud over it," she said. "It'll pull together. It always does."

Shiloh has about 1500 persons so that surely makes us a town. By American Midwest standards, at least.

P.S. Yes, I know it's been called something else:-

this quiet hamlet of 455 in southeast Iowa.

But we're Jewish and "ham", in any form, won't make it to our plate.

Rice is Too Robust

“I believe that there could be no greater legacy for America than to help to bring into being a Palestinian state for a people who have suffered too long, who have been humiliated too long, who have not reached their potential for too long, and who have so much to give to the international community and to all of us.”

Thus spake Condoleeza Rice.


No greater?


Not reached their potential?

Who have so much to give to the international community and to all of us.

Come on.

Belated BBC Report Reference

Do you recall the independent BBC commission of inquiry?

Well, belatedly I found out I was mentioned:

Other Reviews: a number of individuals have also undertaken systematic or more
impressionistic exercises monitoring BBC output. These include reviews by Trevor Asserson and Yisrael Medad, each concluding that the BBC is biased against Israel. These reports were also read by the Panel and they met both people, informally in Israel in the case of Yisrael Medad;

Saturday, October 14, 2006

This IS Funny

"Perky" is hardly the word that comes to mind to describe a rabbi's wife. But Sandy Wolshin is hardly the wife that comes to mind for an Orthodox Jewish rabbi. She is willowy, with long blond hair that she continually flips to punctuate the twists and turns of her life story, she is hilarious and upbeat, she is graceful, and she carries two shiny silver pom poms. "Perky" is definitely the word.

Sandy Wolshin calls her story The Rabbi and the Cheerleader, and she prances her way through it. She begins, as all life stories begin, with her mother and father, two drama queens who were larger than life. Her father, a Borscht Belt performer, was a Jewish atheist. "He knew he was one of the Chosen People, he just didn't know by Whom," she explains. Her mother, a Russian Orthodox gypsy flamenco dancer taught her to play the castanets. "Theirs was like a marriage between Carmen Miranda and Jackie Mason," she says.

Wolshin brings them both vividly to life, along with her grandmothers, whom she evokes by changing her headscarf and her accent. And as for the religious dichotomy in the household, she notes that her gypsy grandmother liked to point out that, since Sandy was only half-Jewish, that made her only "half a Christ-killer."

Here, watch:-

Diagnosed at an early age with a hole in her heart, Wolshin lived with the trauma of knowing that she would never be able to compete in the Olympics—even though that had never been a desire or a goal. What she did desire was to be a cheerleader. And she became one, for the National Football League's Los Angeles Raiders. As one of 48 Raiderettes, she traveled with the team for five years, making an impressive salary of $35 a game. She demonstrates her cheerleader routines, twirling prettily and performing a cartwheel. And she sings, encouraging the audience to sing along and clap.

She also matriculated at Santa Monica College, which she liked so much that she spent 10 years there, collecting a variety of degrees. And finally, after having "an epiphany at the Pep Boys", she began to study Judaism. Which she did with such eagerness that she became the bane of everyone else's existence. (You know about the curse of the newly converted and their zealous devotion to proselytizing everyone within earshot). This part of her odyssey is both touching and hilarious, as she describes her conversion to Orthodoxy, her dates with inappropriate bachelors arranged by a matchmaker, and her first encounter with her husband-to-be, an Orthodox rabbi who approaches her table at a kosher restaurant and begins to ply her with questions to determine her suitability for marriage. Talk about "meeting cute"!

Sandy Wolshin, Orthodox cheerleader, had the audience in the palm of her hand throughout as she distributed Sabbath candles and brought her remarkable story to a close with a final exuberant twirl.

Yehuda Glantz is My Neighbor.


Charitable Terror

In a case kept secret for nearly two months, the religious leader of a mosque in Rome, Ga., has pleaded guilty to providing financial support to the militant Palestinian organization Hamas, federal prosecutors said Friday.

The government said the 42-year-old defendant, Mohamed Shorbagi, a citizen of the Palestinian territories who is living legally in the United States with his wife and young children, was charged on Aug. 28 with providing aid to Hamas through donations he made to the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, an Islamic charity shut down by federal authorities in 2001.

Mr. Shorbagi was also a Georgia representative for the Holy Land Foundation and attended meetings that were addressed by “high level” Hamas officials, said David E. Nahmias, the United States attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

Support for Hamas is illegal, because the government deems it a foreign terrorist organization. Prosecutors said Mr. Shorbagi provided financial help to the group from 1997 until the Holy Land Foundation was shut down five years ago. In pleading guilty to material support of terrorism, he agreed to serve a maximum prison term of 15 years and pay restitution of at least $240,000 to unidentified victims of that support.

Seven former board members and fund-raisers for Holy Land, six of whom are American citizens, have previously been charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists because they gave money to charities believed run by Hamas and to the orphans and families of “martyrs” killed in the Palestinian conflict.

And what could happen?

John W. Boyd, a partner in an Albuquerque law firm that has represented the Holy Land Foundation, said he was not familiar with the particulars of the case against Mr. Shorbagi and so could not comment on its merits. But he did say he was dismayed to hear that a donor to Holy Land had been charged, since, he said, that was likely to discourage people from giving to Palestinian relief organizations.

“It certainly is going to have that effect if there’s any aroma that donors are being targeted,” Mr. Boyd said. “If they’re now going to make it so that Islamic charities can’t function at all, that’s pretty dire.”

Gee, life as a terrorist is tough.

Ironic, No?

Seems that five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor are facing the death penalty in Libya based on a charge that they deliberately infected hundreds of children with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS.

The doctor and nurses, who had been working at a hospital in Benghazi, were arrested in 1999. They confessed under torture, according to human rights organizations, but later protested their innocence. The charges that they deliberately infected more than 400 children were clearly bogus.

One of the world’s greatest experts on H.I.V., Dr. Luc Montagnier, testified that the real cause of the infections was poor hygienic practices at the hospital. The infections emerged before the accused started working at the hospital and continued to spread after they were thrown in jail.

The six medical workers were convicted and sentenced to death in 2004, while nine Libyans who worked at the same hospital were acquitted. The convictions were overturned by the Libyan Supreme Court, which ordered a retrial.

Considering all that the Pals. themselves have accused Israel (poisoning water, distributing infected chewing gum, and other silly sotries), I hope the Pal. doctor there is thinking about his situation.

Ironic, no?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Tibi's Topsy-Turvey Tumult

The news is that:-

Hundreds of Palestinians riot over Temple Mount restrictions

Hundreds of Palestinians rioted outside Jerusalem on Friday morning to protest restrictions on Palestinian entry to the Temple Mount for Friday prayers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Palestinians hurled rocks and bottles at Border Police officers manning the Atarot and A-Ram checkpoints north of Jerusalem and two checkpoints south of Jerusalem.

And meanwhile,

...some 160,000 Muslims gathered at the Temple Mount for prayers around noon Friday.

MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) said the Israeli restrictions on prayer services at the Temple Mount violated freedom of religion and international law.

"Israel is impinging upon the freedom of worship and thereby callously violating international law," Tibi said.

Gee, and here I thought that when the Muslim Waqf prevents Jews from praying, saying Psalms, moving their lips or even swaying, that's religious discrimination.

That not allowing Jews to openly identify themselves as such, and not just as neutral "tourists", is discrimination and illegal.

That destroying Jewish artifacts from the First and Second Temple periods, dumping remains with archeological finds and so forth should be discrimination.

What a topsey-turvey world Tibi lives in.

Lucky for him, though, it's called the liberal and progressive state of Israel.

Too bad for the Jews, however.


Post Shabbat UPDATE:

As Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA points out, First they burned and destroyed the Jewish
facility at Joseph's Tomb - in gross violation of Oslo and all norms. Then they replaced it with a mosque. And now they complain...

Jewish Colonisers Storm Mosque in Nablus

NABLUS, October 12, 2006 (WAFA - PLO news agency) - Jewish colonisers,
guarded by Israeli soldiers, stormed Thursday a mosque in the West Bank city of Nablus and performed rituals in it, local sources said.

The sources said that a number of armed colonisers stormed "al-Nabi Yossef" Mosque in the city and performed Jewish prayers and rituals inside it.

They added that the colonisers stayed in the mosque for long time, stressing that the Israeli soldiers, in the area, did not even try to prevent them from storming the Mosque.

Jews Funding Arabs: On Civil Rights, Responsibilities & Liberties

On first glance, it's simple.

Arabs are citizens of the state of Israel and all monies donated to the state should also benefit them. Moreover, Arabs, too, suffered during the campaign in the North.

And on another first glance, it's simple.

The charity monies raised was done by Jewish charities and were advertised as going to Jewish needs.

So, what am I blogging about?

Well, read this release:-

In recent days you may have received emails criticizing the UJC/Federation Israel Emergency Campaign, which provided vital aid to the most vulnerable populations of Israel's north during this summer's war and continues to help Israelis recover and rebuild.

These allegations stated -- incorrectly -- that one-third of IEC funds are designated for non-Jewish residents of Israel. In fact, about 3 percent of all IEC monies raised to-date have gone to non-Jewish Israelis in the north.

So far, UJC/federations have raised more than $320 million for the IEC, with nearly $105 million in cash collections to UJC. The IEC has allocated $92 million to the federation system's main overseas funding partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and the Ethiopian National Project.

From its outset the IEC was aimed at helping all vulnerable Israelis under fire from Hezbollah terrorists, whether Arab, Druze or Jews. Israel, as a democratic state, and the Jewish Agency have always provided aid and benefits to all Israelis, including minorities, some of whom serve in the Israeli army. Israel has never applied an ethnic or political litmus test to those in need, and the government today follows the same principle in its own rebuilding efforts.

More info here and you e mail them here.

But Buddy Macy had received a previous notice to the one above and wrote the following after comparing the two (with abridging):

Mr. Rieger, you have a lot of explaining to do to your constituency -- about your organization's policies and practices of allocating donors' hard-earned money to non-Jews without clearly stating its intentions to do just that, and of not following through with your promises regarding announced allocations of EMERGENCY funds.

Please note that the text of the two updates...contains the identical information, with the exception of the following:

..."In fact, about 3 percent of all IEC monies raised to-date have gone to non-Jewish Israelis in the north." According to the first sentence of the third paragraph, "So far, UJC/federations have raised more than $320 million for the IEC..." 3% of $320 million is $9.6 million. I will be conservative and use the figure of $9 million, as it was mentioned later in the second version of the update. Dividing the $9 million that has "gone to non-Jewish Israelis" by the amount of the funds that have gone to all vulnerable populations (the amount they "...have so far spent") - "$50 million" - produces a figure of 18% -- SIX TIMES MORE than the 3% included in both versions of UJC's official IEC Update.

In the fourth paragraph, there is one minor addition and one major one. First, the phrase, "as well," was added to, "and the Jewish Agency." Second, and of major consequence, the following sentence was added in the revised version:
"Of all IEC funds raised to-date to help Israelis, nearly $9 million has helped non-Jewish populations." Here, UJC is comparing the amount of money that "HAS HELPED" (and thus, HAS SPENT) to the amount of funds "raised to-date" (pledges and donations received). That must be the case, because the UJC and its affiliates "...have so far spent $50 million on vulnerable populations..."

...In the sixth paragraph, "and providing trauma counseling to those who required it" was added to the last sentence.

...Why were certain words and numbers omitted, and why were others added, from and to the second version of the update? It should be clear that without the $50 million figure in the second version, it is impossible to determine the percentage of dollars that had been spent on non-Jews!

It should also be apparent to the readers of this email that one or more people felt the need to alter the original update. UJC obviously felt pressured to respond to the "emails criticizing the UJC/federation Israel Emergency Campaign;" specifically, to the issue of the percentage of money raised by UJC in its Israel Emergency Campaign that has gone and will be going to non-Jews. And, its reaction is more than a bit puzzling to me.

Why has UJC felt the need to defend its reputation, and why has it expressed such concern over the numbers, when it clearly states in its email that: "From its outset the IEC was aimed at assisting all vulnerable Israelis under fire from Hezbollah terrorists, whether Arab, Druze or Jews. Israel, as a democratic state, and the Jewish Agency as well, have always provided aid and benefits to all Israelis, including minorities, some of whom serve in the Israeli army. Israel has never applied an ethnic or political litmus test to those in need, and the government today follows the same principle in its own rebuilding efforts?"

Could it be, because the UJC is the United JEWISH Communities, and that most of its supporters believed or assumed that all monies going to IEC through UJC would be going exclusively to Jews? (In fact, my dad told me that he had contributed to the IEC and had assumed that 100% of his contribution would be going to the Jews who had suffered through the rocket attacks from Hezbollah during the recent war.)

In a separate but related issue: "The IEC [Israel Emergency Campaign of UJC] work group also allocated $400,000 for trauma relief for those evacuated from the Gaza Strip during the disengagement, to help these Israelis adjust to new homes and communities and rebuild their lives." (Source: Howard's View from June 23, 2006/27 Sivan 5766), Howard's View is the weekly online newsletter written by Howard Rieger, president of UJC - the Jewish Federation network in North America) ACCORDING TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE GUSH KATIF COMMITTEE, NOT ONE DIME OF THE $400,000 HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY THOSE EVACUATED FROM THE GAZA STRIP DURING THE DISENGAGEMENT! (Source:

Based on this and other analyses of what is happening, this story appeared:-

A broad swath of center-right American Jewish groups is expressing shock and outrage that millions of dollars being raised by Jewish federations in North America for the post-war recovery effort in Israel is being used in part to help Israeli Arabs.

"To placate Israeli Arabs in the north who were celebrating Israel's defeat is totally absurd," fumed Helen Freedman, former director of the Americans for a Safe Israel. "Let the Arab countries take care of them. They are a fifth column that is working to support Hezbollah and Hamas, and we foolish Jews are saying there is no difference between Israeli Arabs and Jews who were victims of this war."

Stephen Savitsky, president of the Orthodox Union whose own Israel emergency campaign merged with that of the United Jewish Communities, said he was unaware that the UJC money went to help Israeli Arabs. Told it does, Savitsky said he plans to ask the UJC to "segment the money" raised from OU members "to make sure it goes to the places we want."

He said that before the campaigns were merged, the money the OU raised was designed to "help Jews in need." He said it went to provide entertainment and food to those in bomb shelters and that "whoever was in the shelter we serviced; we didn't discriminate."

But the idea of the campaign, Savitsky said, was to "raise money to help Jews in need."

"If we help in Haifa and there are non-Jews there, we should not discriminate. But we would not go to an Arab village or town to give services."

...Howard Rieger, the UJC's president and CEO,...defended the decision to use the money to help Israeli Arabs and Druze.

"About one-third to one-half of those killed [by Hezbollah rockets] were Israeli Arabs, as well as Druze who serve in the Israel Defense Forces and died in the IDF," he said. "We were getting kids out of harm's way [in the north], and we think it is a fair and valid use of the funds" to help Israeli Jewish and Arab youngsters.

...Freedman said, however, that she finds it distressing that the decision to use part of the money for Israeli Arabs was not widely known. "I am sure that most people who give to the UJC have no clue that a percentage of their money is going to Arabs," she said.

...Steven Mostofsky, president of the National Council of Young Israel, said he was "really surprised" to learn that Israeli Arabs were benefiting from the Israel Emergency Campaign, which was launched shortly after the outbreak of the Israel-Hezbollah War in July.

"It's not that I want to seem harsh or that this is an anti-Arab statement, but money raised from Jews because of a war against Jews should only be used for Jews," he said. "There are plenty of Arab not-for-profits in the United States. They should be supporting the Arabs. … Any money that is raised because of the recent war should go to benefit the Jews who suffered in the war — those whose houses and businesses were destroyed and hospitalized soldiers whose families need support."...

Many liberal-minded persons, myself included, may feel a bit nervous and uneasy over this. On the face of it, the Arabs are citizens, the country was attacked, all population sectors suffered, including civilian fatalities, so why get all upset?

Well, in the first place, if they do considere themselves as citizens, with full rights, full responsibilities then should follow. NO?

Full pament of taxes.
Army or national security service.
Lack of identification with Israel's enemies.
Halt of subversive activities.
Withholding electoral support for MKs who incite and fulminate.
No dancing on the roofs.

Little things that would make them really appear to be Israeli citizens and not "Palestinian Arabs residing in Israel", as they at times refer to themselves.

I am not denying insitutional discrimination or other forms of illegal, and so unnecessary, actions. But in comparison to what the Arabs of israel could do for themselves, they still have a long way to go to integrate and to receive before the UJC can do what is is now doing.