Friday, April 30, 2010

Remember, Shiloh Is Also A Perfume

I posted about Shiloh perfume once upon a time and I'm glad that the following review I caught proves that anything to do with Shiloh - perfume, wine, babies, et al. - is a very good thing (I am guessing this was written in a language other than English and translated):-

I´ve tested both Shiloh and Lady Shiloh I have to admit, I´m really impressed with both of them. You can read more about Hors La Monde and their scents, jewelry and more right here:

Well, I´m really, really impressed with Shiloh...Shiloh´s opening is wonderfully irresistible, if you can imagine a perfect mix between Noir Epices (also by M. Roudnitska) and Yohji Yamamoto´s Yohji. Shiloh shines, radiates and rises of my skin like the first ray of lights in a magical sunrise. It´s at the same time highly concentrated and yet, delicatly transparent. It´s citrus notes together with adehydes so hightuned I suspect they togehter can break glass and I´m surprised that i can´t see this powerful scent on my skin, it is so powerful and magis I almost expect it to be visable.

The scents calms down a little during the heart note, but still with citrus left, even though the aldehydes have gone to rest, now I can smell the soft, powdery, calm and very sensual notes of rose. Everything in Shiloh smells carefully prepared, expensive and superb quality. The heart notes is very comfortable, warm, open and timeless. Eventually there is a darkness coming through in Shiloh, I imagine a red darkness if such a thing could excist.

Notes of oakmoss, patchouli and noble woods gives a deep to Shiloh. Usually I´m having a hard time with oakmoss and chyprebase, discoveres that i for the very first time actually enjoys and aprreciate a very concrete chyprebase. No, Shiloh isn´t really one of those modern chypres with a wannabe-chypre base, at least my nose thinks of it as a real, but still very easy assecible chypre base. Still, Shiloh is much nicer and friendlier than for instant Bandit. But I hope Shiloh proves to be a "keyscent" for me, a scent that helps me understand and appreciate other chypre bases in perfumes. You know, a perfumista that don´t like chypres feels kind of one-legged... ;)

Well, the base in Shiloh is more than oakmoss, I can almost smell a sublime sweetness from vanilla and a lingering note of smoky incense. The basenote is dark, smoky, multidimensional and saturated. Shiloh isn´t a scent for girls, but apart from that i think it´s very suitable for most ages. Shiloh has good sillage and good lasting power.

Shiloh is a must to try for anyone that likes genuin, well made and beautiful quality perfume. Don´t miss this beauty, even though I´m quite contempt to keep it to myself.

Got a girlfriend or a wife? Get Shiloh perfume!

Uri Blau To Be Subpoened To Reveal Sources?

Uri Blau, a Ha-Ha-Haaretz journalist still is holding stolen military documents. Will he be subpoened to return them?

Well, not yet but if Israel follows in the footsteps of that great democracy, the United States of America, perhaps soon.

The other story:

The Obama administration is seeking to compel a writer to testify about his confidential sources for a 2006 book about the Central Intelligence Agency, a rare step that was authorized by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

The author, James Risen, who is a reporter for The New York Times, received a subpoena on Monday requiring him to provide documents and to testify May 4 before a grand jury in Alexandria, Va., about his sources for a chapter of his book, “State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration.”

...The subpoena comes two weeks after the indictment of a former National Security Agency official on charges apparently arising from an investigation into a series of Baltimore Sun articles that exposed technical failings and cost overruns of several agency programs that cost billions of dollars.

...The Bush administration had sought Mr. Risen’s cooperation in identifying his sources for the Iran chapter of his book, and it obtained an earlier subpoena against him in January 2008 under Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey. But Mr. Risen fought the subpoena, and never had to testify before it expired last summer. That left it up to Mr. Holder to decide whether to press forward with the matter by seeking a new subpoena.

...Mr. Risen still...risks being held in contempt of court...

Belgium's Burkha Ban

The BBC story:

Belgium's lower house of parliament has voted for a law that would ban women from wearing the full Islamic face veil in public.

The law would ban any clothing that obscures the identity of the wearer in places like parks and on the street. No-one voted against it.

The law now goes to the Senate, where it may face challenges over its wording, which may delay it.

If passed, the ban would be the first move of its kind in Europe.

Only around 30 women wear this kind of veil in Belgium, out of a Muslim population of around half a million.

The BBC's Dominic Hughes in Brussels says MPs backed the legislation on the grounds of security, to allow police to identify people.

And The Antisemitism Czar Is...

Sec'y of State Hillary Clinton spoke recently of:

Iran, with its anti-Semitic president and hostile nuclear ambitions, also continues to threaten Israel,

The Administration has a antisemitism czar, Hannah Rosenthal, yes?

Well, soon, we can hear her on this, maybe, at this event, the ADL National Leadership Conference on May 3, at 8:15 A.M. at the Mayflower Hotel's GEORGIA ROOM on a session devoted to "Combating the Global Anti-Semitism Pandemic" where Hannah Rosenthal, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, U.S. Department of State is scheduled to speak.

In the meantime, she'll be in Tunisia for Lag B'Omer. Don't ask me why.

Such British Understatement

The JC reports:

HonestReporting's Yarden Frankl said: "A story based on a gross distortion may be easier to identify as bias. But the soft, but corrosive bias, that pervades day-to-day coverage has a greater impact on the way Israel is perceived by the general public."

A BBC spokeswoman said: "It's not uncommon to hear these sorts of findings from pressure groups but our role is to provide independent reporting and analysis of all perspectives of a story, so our audiences can make sense of what's going on themselves.

"The independent panel set up by our board of governors found no deliberate or systematic bias in the BBC coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict."

No problem, BBC.

Your bias is, then, the no-deliberate unsystematic kind.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Words of Wisdom


A Jewish liberal is someone who thinks that Mexicans with no US visa have the right to move to East Los Angeles but Jews must be prevented from moving to East Jerusalem.

Steve Plaut

Quotable Words

Victory means imposing one's will on the enemy, compelling him to abandon his war goals. Germans, forced to surrender in World War I, retained the goal of dominating Europe and a few years later looked to Hitler to achieve this goal. Signed pieces of paper matter only if one side has cried "Uncle": The Vietnam War ostensibly concluded through diplomacy in 1973 but both sides continued to seek their war aims until the North won ultimate victory in 1975.

Willpower is the key: shooting down planes, destroying tanks, exhausting munitions, making soldiers flee, and seizing land are not decisive in themselves but must be accompanied by a psychological collapse. North Korea's loss in 1953, Saddam Hussein's in 1991, and the Iraqi Sunni loss in 2003 did not translate into despair. Conversely, the French gave up in Algeria in 1962, despite out-manning and out-gunning their foes, as did the Americans in Vietnam in 1975 and the Soviets in Afghanistan in 1989. The Cold War ended without a fatality. In all these cases, the losers maintained large arsenals, armies, and functioning economies. But they ran out of will.

Likewise, the Arab-Israeli conflict will be resolved only when one side gives up.

Daniel Pipes

Back to the Theme of Jewish Self-Hatred

I have dealt with Irene Nemirovsky previously and now in the Times Literary Supplement, Frederic Raphael has a review essay.

The issue, for me, is insanely attracting in that elements of her outlook and behavior seem to keep repeating themselves. In Israel, the theme of self-hatred is not simply a polemical shout of political antagonism but a very real and threatening development among our elite, as self-crowned as they are.

I have selected passages from the essay that deal with the question of the author's Jewishness, self-hatred and reaction to antisemitism:-

...Did Némirovsky satirize Jews simply in order to ingratiate herself with an alien audience? Anti-Semitism was a stylish conceit in the Parisian circles to which she so diligently sought entry, but the émigrés’ world of conspicuous insecurity was also the one she knew best...

Like Proust, only more so, she at once acknowledged and derided the Jewishness she could never shuck (although females are never quite “Jews”, even to themselves, to the degree to which the anti-Semite takes males to be). Literary “self-hatred” can combine self-advertisement with a play for exemption. Karl Marx’s early polemic against the “huckster race” is an example; Harold Pinter’s bully boy Goldstein, in The Birthday Party, just might be another. Self-criticism is, however, fundamental to Judaism: it metastasized into both Communist and psychoanalytic confessional modes.

Némirovsky said later that she would never have written David Golder (and other stories) in so scathing a tone, if she had known that Hitler was imminent. In fact, the dormant bacilli of the Dreyfus affair, and its vocabulary, were always, like shingles, ripe for resuscitation in the Right as it itched for revenge. Meanwhile, the young Robert Brasillach, although already an acolyte of Charles Maurras’s right-wing Action française, stepped out of the ranks of Tuscany to cheer Irène’s early work: “this young woman of both Russian and Jewish origin . . . [grasps] the secrets of our race better than French writers”.

Only with the rise of Fascism, and then of Nazism, was Brasillach engorged by the prospect of power and happily perverted by the genocidal malice which, some say, has to be excused in Céline’s lethal frivolity. In the same spirit, after the defeat of 1940, Henri Béraud – a “friend” of Némirovsky who had won the Prix Goncourt in 1922 – chose to associate Jews with the English and with Freemasons and conclude, “In all conscience, yes, one should be anti-Semitic”. Anti-Semitism is often less a recondite sentiment than a social contagion; opportunism in its Sunday best. Under the Occupation, it could be worn, with profit, all week. Brasillach then advocated giving “serious thought to the deportation of little Jewish children”...

...Suite française occupies a place in Némirovsky’s oeuvre not unlike that of the last section of À la Recherche du temps perdu, in which Proust’s narrator perceives that the gratin to which he has deferred so sedulously, and so long, is a decadent crust. Redemption is recovered personality. Némirovsky’s last work mentions the word Jew only twice. All the vices which had seemed specific to Jews she now realized to be pandemic: her fastidious Parisian aesthete, Langelet, in his flight, cares more for his porcelain collection than for France itself. He scorns the Jewish fugitives hoping to reach Portugal or South America, but all his refinement cannot save him from being run over in the common panic. In the margin of her manuscript, describing his end, Némirovsky scribbled “the end of the liberal bourgeoisie”. Similarly, Hugo Grayer, in the short story “Le Spectateur”, presumes himself too fine for the doomed Europe which he abandons, only to find that he has taken flight on a literally sinking ship...

...As for Némirovsky’s “self-hatred”, a single intelligence might have guessed that the mercilessness directed at “her own people” concealed a much wider scorn. Her underlying topic was the interplay of emotion and callousness, the alternations of vanity and despair, in all the players of the world’s game. Imaginative impersonation is the mark of the natural novelist; fiction is where the truth can be found; documentary is too often where it is confected. Némirovsky could play male or female, be villain or dupe, candid or duplicitous. She moved the black and the white pieces with equal versatility. The insolence of her impostures was a function of an isolation from which neither success nor marriage dispensed her...

What do you say?

You Thought Reading is Easy?

Poor Jonathan Israel.

His claim is that his reviewer can't read:-

Not Spinoza

Sir, – I hope that you will permit me to correct a serious inaccuracy in Jeffrey Collins’s review of my book A Revolution of the Mind (February 26). Collins states there that I “present Spinozism as the ‘chief factor’ propelling the American Revolution”. This is not at all my view and I state nothing of the kind in that book or anywhere else.

In fact, Spinozism was of no importance whatever in shaping the American Revolution, and any suggestion to the contrary would be absurd. Locke was unquestionably far more important than Spinoza in inspiring that great event and writing Locke out of the American Revolution would indeed (almost) be “like writing Marx out of the Russian”.

Professor Collins’s gross misreading here can hardly be regarded as a purely innocent error, though, since the aim of the sentence is obviously to make the author, namely myself, look ridiculous. I can only suggest that in future he read texts about whose authors he attempts to make scathing remarks with much greater care first.

School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Einstein Drive, Princeton, New Jersey 08540

Just Substitute 'Jerusalem' for 'Hollywood'

Mystery novelist and screenwriter Andrew Klavan, a leading conservative activist, put it more bluntly:

"There's a culture in Hollywood where if you're a left-winger, you can talk very openly...If you go in to sell something, you can make anti-American, anti-military, anti-religious remarks, but I'm the kind of guy who's going to say, 'No, I disagree.' But that's pretty much the end of my sale. Whereas, if you're a conservative, especially if you're a religious person, people like that meet in secret, talk in whispers. It's a very disturbing kind of culture."

Will Michael Oren Put His House in Order?

The New York Times decided to illustrate the complexity and, at times, cross-purpose nature of israeli politics by highlighting the inherent contradictions between the same-time visits of Defense Minister Barak and Jerusalem Mayor Barkat in Washington.

But read this:

Across town, on Capitol Hill, the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, was making his own rounds...“There is no freeze,” Mr. Barkat said. “We’re minding our own business, building the city for the residents.”

That is not what the Obama administration wants to hear...Nor is it the message the Israeli government wants to broadcast right now...

...The Israeli Embassy was chagrined by Mr. Barkat’s remarks...

“For him, it’s fantastic; for us, it’s lousy timing,” said a spokesman for the embassy, Jonathan Peled. He tried to put things in perspective, comparing Mr. Barkat to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty of Washington. “He’s not going to be the one negotiating peace with the Palestinians, in the same way that Fenty is not going to be the one negotiating the Start agreement with Russia,” Mr. Peled said.

...“The issue is whether Netanyahu is getting a grip on his bureaucracy,” said David Makovsky, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a co-author of the book “Myths, Illusions and Peace.”

A. It really isn't the task of Mr. Peled to mouth-off on Barkat as he did. Besides the fact that Barkat's position is the same as Netanyahu's, at least his public position, is Peled working for Barak or the Israeli government - or Meretz or Ir Amim?

B. As for Makovsky, he really should know better that bureacraciers are creatures of their own but more importantly, in a democracy, municipalities really do have the releative freedom to approve construction or not. What "grip" would he prefer?

Makovsky is a free agent, a pundit. Oren, however, is the one someone needs get a grip on so that he gets a grip on his spokesperson's gripe, or maybe a simply provide him with an understanding of the rules of bureaucracy.

Is Politics For You?

Much of our politics today is designed
to make people stupid, confused and afraid of change.

No, not about Israel.

Tom Friedman

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More Anti-Obama's Crusade Criticism

Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, asks or wonders:-

Who Speaks for the Palestinians?

Will proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority soon begin? While both Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Abbas have said they hope so, the matter is no longer in the hands of the Palestinians but in those of the Arab League foreign ministers--who meet May 1..

First, Abbas is now refusing to make any decision about peace, instead deferring to Arab states...Second, putting the Arab League in charge magnifies the influence of bad actors. is a diminished Abbas who will visit here. Once again the Arab states intrude deeply into the “peace process,” and as always they will have their own national interests at heart--not the fate of the Palestinians.

Abbas certainly bears great responsibility for this development, but one can’t hold George Mitchell and Obama policy harmless. Fifteen months of Obama diplomacy have not only badly damaged U.S.-Israel relations and produced no peace talks, they have also undermined Palestinian autonomy...

Not to mention Israel's government ability to rule.

In destroying Netanyahu's standing, he can only get a more right-wing coalition after Obama's crusade.
- - -

The Obama War on Jerusalem

Jonathan Tobin zeroes in on a knight in a suit of -not-so-shiny armor on a crusade:

Is Obama Winning His War on Jerusalem?

...The American pressure on Jerusalem is a break from the past because no previous administration has ever made an issue of the building of homes for Jews in neighborhoods that were founded in the aftermath of the unification of the city in 1967. The United States has never recognized Israel’s sovereignty over any part of the city, including the parts that were held by the Jews at the time of the 1949 armistice that ended Israel’s War of Independence. But Obama breaks from past administrations when he insists that that Jewish neighborhoods in the city founded after 1967 are merely illegal “settlements,” no different from the most West Bank outpost. This is an implicit American endorsement of the Palestinian claim

...While Netanyahu has agreed to a two-state solution and even agreed to a freeze on settlements in the West Bank, the Palestinians’ supposedly moderate leader Mahmoud Abbas won’t even sit and negotiate in the same room with the Israelis. Nor is there any reason to believe the so-called proximity talks that Obama is so eager to launch...

...Obama’s war on Jerusalem has not brought peace closer. His pressure on Israel has helped to harden the Palestinians rejectionist position on Jerusalem as the call for a freeze in the city means the Palestinians are likely to demand an Israeli evacuation of the neighborhoods where U.S. officials treat Jewish housing starts as an “insult.” This has made the already dim prospects for peace even more unlikely. But one thing the administration has accomplished is to change the terms of argument about Jerusalem...the president has done more in the last six weeks to undermine Israel’s hold on Jerusalem than a generation of Arab propaganda.

Anti-Jewish Jokes Gaining

First we had James Jones.

Now, this June 2008 incident's recent resolution has come to our attention:

BBC forced to apologise for comedian Frankie Boyle's 'disgusting, anti-Semitic' joke

The BBC Trust's editorial standards committee (ESC) has issued an apology over a joke made by Frankie Boyle which compared Palestine with a cake being "punched to pieces by a very angry Jew".

The committee, which acts as a final arbiter of appeals if complainants are unhappy with the response from BBC management, upheld a previous finding that the comment was inappropriate and offensive.

...The Scottish comedian said: 'I'm quite interested in the Middle East, I'm actually studying that Israeli army martial arts. And I know 16 ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back. 'It's a difficult question to understand. I've got an analogy which explains the whole thing quite well: If you imagine that Palestine is a cake - well, that cake is being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew."

...The ECU wrote back to the compainant in December 2008 upholding the complaint, saying the use of the word Jew in the context was "inappropriate and offensive". Arrangements were then made with the production company for more effective editorial supervision of any future editions of the programme.

...The BBC Trust condemned Boyle for his "humiliating and offensive" remarks and "unnecessary innuendo"...

I Hope Obama or Petreaus Won't Be Blaming Israel For This Tragedy

On the background of the controversy surrounding David Petreaus' remarks, I hopethis tragedy is not blamed on Israel:

Ian Deutch survived a recent tour of duty in Afghanistan, identifying Taliban targets for artillery strikes. But he didn't make it through his second day back on the job as a rural Nevada sheriff's deputy. Deutch was gunned down Monday by a man wielding an assault rifle in a casino parking lot about 60 miles west of Las Vegas...

..."The irony of spending a year overseas in a combat zone and then to come back and have this happen is, you know, tragic," said Lt. Col. Scott Cunningham, a Las Vegas resident and commanding officer of Deutch's guard unit...

...Deutch's mother told the Las Vegas Review-Journal she was devastated by her son's death. "He was finally safe. In our country. And somebody here kills him," Suzy Deutch said.

...DeMeo called the shooting that killed Deutch "an unprovoked attack." "The deputies just pulled up. He was just getting out of the driver's side when the guy opened fire," the sheriff told AP...Deutch was wearing a bulletproof vest, but DeMeo said at least one shot from the assault rifle pierced his body armor. He was flown by medical helicopter to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, where he underwent surgery but died late Monday...

Backwards Thinking

An excerpt from an American Muslim appeal:

“We must begin with a minimum program of principles we can all agree upon:…There is an oppressor (State of Israel) and oppressed population (the Palestinian people…The Palestinian resistance is, de facto, legitimate…Palestinians expelled from their lands have a natural right of return.”

Actually, it was, and is, just the oppositie way around.

They have it backwards. No offense intended.


You can also read this there:

Palestinians expelled from their lands have a natural right of return

and you can ask, 'if they weren't expelled, they can't "come back"'?

If an Arab voluntarily left, say, in 1954 or 1968 or 1993, he's stuck out there? Only "victims" have rights.

(Kippah tip: AB)

There Is A Reason Why, David


Another conference participant, Ben-Gurion University's David Newman, called the polling results "very worrying," adding that there has been an assault on freedom of expression in recent years.

We say Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, but in Europe they are beginning to think of us otherwise," he said.

And they are thinking that, David, because persons like you tell them all the bad news without the background, and you spend time on campuses, at literary salons, in periodicals, theatre and cinema to socialize while ostracizing the rest of israel, so that you and your conscience can be assuaged.


David and I are acquainted since 1975 or so and have been debating partners for years.

Grandkids at the Kretchma - HaGov Bar & Grill

Even the grandkids have visited HaGov, the new Sports Bar & Grill in Jerusalem, 5 Yoel Solomon Street.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It Works Even "Better" From the Other Side

I know Rami Elhanan well. From around 1982 or so when his graduating portfolio work at Bezalel Academy was a political campaign presentation of Geula Cohen and Uri Avnery.

His daughter was killed in a terrorist attack on Ben Yehudah Street in 1997. His wife, Nurit Peled, is an extreme left-winger.

Here is is explaining why he reached the radical political stance he has adopted:

I was a pure product of a cultural-educational and political system that brainwashed me, poisoned my consciousness and prepared me and others of my generation for sacrifice on the altar of the homeland, without any superfluous questions, in the innocent belief that if we did not do it, they would throw us – the second generation after the Holocaust – into the Mediterranean Sea.


Of course, any ideology, any 'cultural-educational and political system' can produce an outlook which 'poisons', which prepares for 'sacrifice' and which presents an 'innocent belief' as true.

Especially a progressive, left-wing one.

Did You Know? A Shiloh Quiz

Can you name a Western TV series with the name Shiloh in the title?


The Virginian is a western-themed television series which aired on NBC from 1962 to 1971 for a total of 249 episodes. It was the first western to air in 90-minute installments each week...The show differed from Wagon Train in that it was filmed in the color format from its inception...

In the final year when Colonel McKenzie took over the ranch, the name of the program was changed to The Men from Shiloh and the look of the series was completely redesigned. The hats worn featured much broader brims and higher crowns, the male characters wore beards and mustaches and the clothing was jauntier and more imaginative. These changes were not considered "improvements" by most of the fan base for the series and after nine years the series was near the end of its run. There was little that could save it as the final season brought in some big guest stars to the remaining episodes.

Hard To Maintain a Freeze When Its Warm

Circumcision: Healthy

I spotted a new health story on the value of circumcision, a topic I have dealt here on my blog previously - and which has drawn a lot of comments from groups who just can't tolerate the snip.

The story claims that Sex virus lasts longer in uncircumcised men as reported in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, May 1, 2010.


While uncircumcised men don't seem to be at higher risk of acquiring human papillomavirus (HPV), it takes them longer to clear the virus from their bodies, new research shows. Because HPV causes genital warts and certain cancers, the finding, say researchers, could help explain why uncircumcised men have a higher risk of such penile cancers..."Our study demonstrates that the apparent protective influence of circumcision against genital HPV infection may not involve a reduction in new infections but rather the enhanced ability to resolve existing HPV infections," Dr. Brenda Y. Hernandez of the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii in Honolulu and her colleagues write.

...There's evidence that circumcision lowers a man's likelihood of developing cancer of the penis and contracting HPV infection, as well as HIV infection, in some populations. Because partners of uncircumcised men face a higher risk of cervical cancer, it's possible that circumcision could affect the spread of the virus as well, Hernandez and her team note.

The researchers had previously found that circumcised men were less likely than their uncircumcised peers to be infected with HPV at a given point in time...Cancer of the penis most commonly develops in the glans, Hernandez and her team point out, and the fact that infection with cancer-related strains lasted longer in uncircumcised men "has clinical significance."

It's possible, they add, "that transmission of HPV to sex partners is more efficient among circumcised men because of the greater duration of their infection." However, they add, "whether circumcision is an effective means of facilitating HPV clearance has yet to be demonstrated."

Well, I guess the weight of evidence is pro-snip.

The Ashkelon Cemetery Prohibition Has Been Renewed

Rabbis Karlitz, Wassner and Elyashiv have renewed the prohibition of constructing on the site of the cemetery close by the Ashkelon Barzilai Hospital:

New Israell Technological Advance: The Cloning of Anat Kamm

Well, here comes maybe another Anat Kamm:

The Civil Administration on Tuesday launched a demolition operation of illegal structures in West Bank settlements. But when the forces arrived to raze the buildings, they were surprised to find that the residents were aware of their plans.

The first place the IDF, Border Guard, police and Civil Administration forces arrived at was the Maoz Ester outpost. The settlers knew they were coming, after National Union Knesset Member Michael Ben-Ari published an announcement in the matter.

When asked how he knew about the plans, he said, "The important thing is that we understand that the Israeli government refrains from razing Arab buildings and demolishes the homes of righteous Jews. This is wrong."

Defense establishment sources said they would examine who leaked the information on the razing plans.

Arab Smoke Violates Human Rights

The issue of human rights is a major theme of the attempt by Arabs and their internationalist supporters to deny Jews their own human rights, as well as our national legal rights.

And then I spotted these pictures of recent demonstrations in Judea and Samaria.

One of them (of Tara Todras-Whitehill/Associated Press) shows a "peace activist", you'll pardon my use of Orwellian lingo, on a background of burning tires during a protest Friday in Nabi Saleh

and here's another one:
This tire-burning happens maybe once a week and in multiple locations.

Think about how many times Arabs burn rubber into the atmosphere.

I think it's about time that environmentalists take a stand and condemn Arab use of such methods that are harmful to our health, the health of all peoples in the area.

It is a violation of human rights.

At least in Peru it seems to be:

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (a division of the Organization of American States) forwarded a petition alleging human rights violations to the Government of Peru, giving them two months to respond. The petition asserts that severe contamination from a smelter owned by U.S.-based Doe Run Corporation, and lack of effective pollution and human health controls by the government, gravely threaten the rights of the residents of La Oroya, Peru, including their rights to life, health, and integrity.

In China, toxic air kills 750,000 people prematurely each year.

And tobacco smoke in Pakistan is dangerous, not to mention everywhere elese in the world.

So, can we attract the attention of human rights groups to this air pollution by Arabs and demand that they join us in asking for a ban on this type of protest?

_ _ _

I have ben an inspiration. See here.

Words of Wisdom

"Nothing is more Western than hatred of the West."

So writes the French novelist and essayist Pascal Bruckner, Daniel Pipes informs us, in his book La tyrannie de la pénitence (2006), capably translated into English by Steven Rendall and recently published by Princeton University Press as The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism.

Superb Analysis

My friend, Jonathan Spyer:

The key Palestinian leader in the West Bank today is Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Fayyad is not a Fatah member, and his government holds power not as a result of that movement's authority. Rather, Fayyad is in effect an appointee of the West. The security forces led by Gen. Keith Dayton, which keep him in place, are Western organized and financed, and not beholden to any political faction. His gradualist approach is quite alien to Palestinian political culture, and despite the undoubted improvements this approach has brought to daily life in the West Bank, the level of his support is uncertain.

It remains widely believed that without the presence of the "Dayton" forces and more importantly without the continued activities of the IDF in the West Bank, the area would fall to Hamas in a similar process to that which took place in Gaza.

Veteran Palestinian political analyst Yezid Sayigh recently noted that both the Gaza and Ramallah governments are dependent for their economic survival on foreign assistance. The Fayyad government has an annual $2.8 billion budget, of which one half consists of direct foreign aid. The Hamas authorities, meanwhile, announced a budget of $540 million, of which $480 million is to come from outside (Iran). The dependence on foreign capital reflects perhaps the salient element shared by both Palestinian governments - they are both able to continue to exist because of the interests of rival outside powers that they do so.

The split in the Palestinian national movement is ultimately a function of the broader strategic situation of regional cold war. It is thus likely to continue for as long as this regional reality pertains.

Yesha, Its Jews, Its Life in Books

Shmuel Rosner reviews several books dealing with life out here in Yesha:

Tris (The Settler)
by Emily Amrousi
Kinneret-Zmora-Bitan-Dvir, 333 pp., 89 NIS

Hebron Jews
by Jerold S. Auerbach
Rowman & Littlefield, 240 pp., $34.95

Ha-Mitnachalim (The Settlers)
by Gadi Taub
Yediot, 190 pp., 88 NIS

Lords of the Land
by Idith Zertal and Akiva Eldar, Translated by Vivian Eden
Nation Books, 576 pp., $19.95

The Accidental Empire
by Gershom Gorenberg
Times Press, 480 pp., $18

Hitpakhut (Disillusionment)
by Dan Margalit
Kinneret-Zmora-Bitan-Dvir, 318 pp., 89 NIS

Rosner notes this:

...the “settlerism of practice,” the settlerism that is far from being “radical” or “messianic” and is very close in nature and performance to early Zionism. It is the achievement of a settler movement that sets impractical goals, and then settles for those it can get; a settler movement that dreams unrealistically, but is very realistic and pragmatic in its policies. And the proof is on the hills of Judea and the mountains of Samaria. A lively, dynamic, vibrant Jewish community now inhabits those areas, one that builds houses, establishes schools, manipulates governments to get more funds, playing the game dangerously but also carefully, handling its affairs in a shrewd, pragmatic way...

...the settler “movement” never went as far as to lose touch with Israeli society. Even in the aftermath of the Israeli government’s recent decision to freeze settlement construction for a period of ten months, they have still been careful not to go too far in their protests and active opposition. Thus, what Taub describes as the worrying signs of settlers’ lying to Israelis about the “real” motives for settling the land could also be viewed as grounds for reassurance: they feel the need to revise their self-justifications because they want Israelis to be convinced. They want Israelis to be convinced, because they themselves are “Israelis” and would like to be part of Israel’s society. They have to change their story in order to be “acceptable.”

Baba Di-Lan

From a book review of a new book on Bob Dylan, "Bob Dylan: Prophet, Mystic, Poet" by Seth Rogovoy :

...It should be said that those who labor in the vineyards of Dylanology (and I’m now working on my own take on him) owe Rogovoy a great debt for persuasively tracking so many Dylan words, lines, and allusions to Biblical sources we might not have noticed. But should we therefore expect Dylan to behave himself as a specifically Jewish artist?

Rogovoy tries to make the case that the most important thing about Dylan is his Jewishness. Even when Dylan converted to Christianity, Rogovoy assures us, he—and his songs—were still really Jewish. And for a time—after the explicitly Christian period of the late seventies and early eighties passed—when Dylan was seen on Chabad Lubavitcher telethons and then, more privately at Chabad services all over the map, it seemed like Dylan had finally found his home in the messianic Hasidic sect.

But then, somewhat to Rogovoy’s misfortune, just as this book proclaiming Dylan’s essential Jewishness was about to be published, Dylan’s label made an announcement that even those like myself, no longer easily shocked by Dylan’s choices, found shocking. Rogovoy’s Jewish “prophet, mystic, poet” was going to release a “traditional” Christmas album, entitled “Christmas in the Heart.” Yes, we all know (as Garrison Keillor churlishly reminded us recently) that Jews have written many Christmas songs, but mostly of the secular “White Christmas” sort. In this album Dylan sings real devotional songs, including “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

Could there be a connection between Rogovoy’s book and the Christmas album? Rogovoy is so relentless in nailing every Dylan utterance to some Biblical or Talmudic or kabbalistic source that on some level Dylan might have known he was about to be tied to this procrustean bed of piety for good. This is more metaphorical conjecture than biographical theory. But if you watch the video of “Must be Santa” from the Christmas in the Heart album (by far the best thing on it), you see a Dylanesque guy desperately trying to flee from a Christmas party and hurling himself through the glass of the venue to escape it.

That’s Dylan: more escape artist than preacher.

And this:

For many years I worshiped Dylan. I occasionally referred to him as Baba Di-lan, Aramaic for “our gateway,” to truth and wisdom [בבא דילן]. For some reason, I always wanted him to be very deeply Jewish, whether or not he was. I felt that he saw things in their stark reality, that his prophetic vision penetrated to the core of everything and his poetic genius enabled him to share that with others.

Jerusalem Day Soon

Two sides of an issue.

Here is someone arguing from the middle-right on the issue of Jerusalem within the current (Obama) context:

Both the right and the left, but mostly the right, are misrepresenting the issues regarding Jerusalem. Israel says it liberated and unified the city in 1967 and that we are a democracy according (in principle at least) equal rights to everyone. So the question regarding new construction and takeovers of existing buildings in Jerusalem is, does Israeli policy enable Jews and Palestinians to live anywhere they choose anywhere in the city? The answer to the first is yes. Jews not only can do that, they get full government backing. New neighborhoods are built with state sponsorship and subsidies; takeovers of Palestinian homes get aid as well, including security. On the other hand, does anyone honestly believe that an Israeli Arab could turn to the government and ask to build a mixed or exclusively Muslim neighborhood and get a positive response? If he chose to buy a home in Rehavia or Gilo, would the police provide 24-hour protection if needed? Would anyone sell it to him? The 4,000 Muslims in west Jerusalem are mostly holdovers from before 1948 (there are some in my neighborhood) and exceptions that prove the rule – west Jerusalem is Jewish and east Jerusalem is up for grabs.

Either Jerusalem is a city for all its residents – thereby upholding Israel’s claim to exclusive sovereignty – or it is a city where Jews enjoy privileges, in which case all the argument about who started the war in 1948 or who conquered what neighborhoods is irrelevant and correctly so.

Here is one response:-

This is a gross and offensive misrepresentation.

Jews do not get full backing to live anywhere they want. In fact, the government oftentimes takes strong measures to prevent Jews from exercising their legal rights over property they legally own in Arab areas. It may be that the government has taken enforcement measures against Arabs seeking to enforce their rights to property they legally own in Jewish areas, but I have yet to see the case. State enforcement of Jewish private property rights does happen, but it is by no means universal. By contrast, I am not aware of a single case where police have refused to enforce private Arab property rights against a Jew on political grounds.

In addition, while state authorities are stingier with building rights to Arab neighborhoods than they are with Jewish ones, they rarely enforce any of the building restrictions in Arab areas such that de facto Arabs have an easier time building than do Jews. In general Israel is excessively stingy with building rights, which is a problem that will hopefully be corrected by both national and local reforms. Of course, the “liberal” left is at the forefront of opposing the reforms, including the reforms that would massively increase Arab building rights in Jerusalem.

If Arabs living in Rehavia – and yes, there are such – were threatened with death by their neighbors, they would without any doubt get police protection. The police protection given Jews in Arab areas is a reflection of overt Arab violence, encouraged by “human rights” activists, not of police discrimination.

Jews and Arabs have the same right under law to buy anywhere. Yes, there is a great deal of private housing discrimination against Jews, but its rather rich to question whether anyone would sell to an Israeli Arab or to claim that Israel permits only Jews to buy but not Arabs. The private discrimination against Arabs by Jews is matched by private Arab discrimination against Jewish buyers. And it is completely outclassed by Arab intimidation and murder, backed by Palestinian Authority law, against anyone who *fails* to discriminate against Jews. Arabs have been executed, judicially and extrajudicially for selling to Jews. The Greek Orthodox patriarch was forced out of the country for renting commercial property to Jews. Who was the last Jew killed or expelled from the country for selling land to an Arab?

You can truthfully say that government housing is built almost exclusively for Jews in Jerusalem, and in much of the rest of the country (the Negev being the outstanding exception), and you can truthfully say that government services are poorer in Arab areas (though this is partly a reflection of Arab attacks on city workers and Arab non-payment of taxes), but there’s a long distance from these statements to your misrepresentations. And it is true that Israel could do a great deal to promote private Arab building were it to accelerate orderly registration of private property rights in Arab areas of Jerusalem, but this registration would be most strongly opposed by the same Arabs and “human rights” activists that favor segregation when it works against Jews.

Hyperbole and demagoguery by others does not excuse it from you.


The first refugees in the war who could not go home afterwards were the Jews of the Shimon haTsadiq driven out of their homes in December 1947. Jews were driven out of south Tel Aviv at the same time but could go home after the war since Jewish forces had taken Jaffa. Now, the crowd that Ezrahi belongs to --if I am not mistaken-- wants to enforce apartheid in "east Jerusalem", retroactively approving Arab "ethnic cleansing" in 1947 and early 1948 by denying the Jewish right to live on Jewish-owned real estate from which Jews were driven out in December 1947.

Another point that you could have made was to point out that many Arab families have moved into the Jewish neighborhoods of French Hill, Pisgat Zeev and Neveh Ya`aqov which are considered "east Jerusalem." I can personally attest to having Arab neighbors where I live. This is hardly apartheid. Obama and his State Dept and his administration generally advocate, indeed demand, apartheid in Jerusalem against Jews as does the EU, especially the UK.


Quite, and I am also sure that as soon is there is peace, and Arabs stop there attempts to redivide the city and perform acts of terror in it, that great forward strides will be made. of course, what you describe is what has happened over the past few centuries in that before Jews came to anywhere in Eretz-Yisrael under Muslim rule, except for very small pockets of Jews, if at all, Jerusalem, Tiberia, Safad and Hebron, Jews didn't live anywhere else and so wherever they ended up, they were "invading Arab neighborhoods", so to say.

Just terrible, that. Such bad behavior.

And then, after Arabs decided to stop such a process by stone-throwing, theft, rape, and murder, Jews fought back and after the Arabs tried to eradicate the small territorially compromised state, well, you know the rest of the story leading all the way up to Jordan shelling Jerusalem-West which brought about a situation of aggression, then defeat and now, Jews can live anywhere and Arabs can't (and now, go back to my first point above).

And to contest their situation, unfair for sure, Arabs hope that Jews will help them.

Which they do. Well, some Jews do.

One more:-

The foreign policy of entire nations has been moved by relatively precise arguments over who took over what neighborhoods on what days. Why should Israel be the only country that's categorically forbidden from appealing to historical precedent (bracketing the democracy argument, which while empirically true doesn't seem to be doing the Jewish State much good, which is why Walt+Mearsheimer-style concern trolling about Israel's "democratic institutions" is so disingenuous). The Old City had a continuous Jewish presence for thousands of years - I know because there are quotes from Jordanian commanders bragging about having suffocated it in 1948 - so I'm curious why restoring that presence via government subsidies is such an atrocity. Democratic nations undertake on-face discriminatory policies all the time in order to justify historical wrongs, and - to the extent that those historical wrongs created lingering imbalances - those policies are generally embraced by a broad spectrum of the body politic.

Thousands and The One

Beth Gilinsky initiated a demo of thousands in New York on Sunday, protesting the Obama Administration's unfair and nonsympathetic pressuring of Israel.

In a report here, guess who pops up?

Some, though, say it is time for a change in U.S. tactics. Israeli journalist and author Gershom Gorenberg says Israel's current policies need to be checked, and says the American president is right to try to do just that.

"By trying to pull Israel and the Palestinians out of the current stalemate, the Obama Administration is directly serving Israel's long-term interests," Gorenberg said.

So did he travel there to appear? Was he there and he dropped by for a sound byte? How'd he get covered?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Naughty Ha-Ha-Haaretz

We all know that media people can be the most vitrolic as well as the nastiest.

See: Gabi Gazit.

But they can also be, well, naughty (or randy, if you are British).

Here is a captured screen shot of Haaretz and you'll note that of all the verbs, the editor in charge selected "probed" to describe what the police will be doing to Shula Zaken:

Media-backed Violence and Twisted History

Isabel Kershner has a report in the New York Times on the Kach march through Ir David/Silwan:-

Israeli Rightists Stir Tensions in East Jerusalem

A small group of ultra-right-wing Israelis marched through a volatile neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Sunday, arousing passions over the future of the contested city as an American envoy wrapped up an inconclusive three-day visit aimed at getting peace talks under way.

I will return to that "arousing passions" in a moment but let me deal with another element in her story.

She writes (and the foreign desk editor approved for publication as we media monitors should know that many keyboards a story make) that the marchers proceeded:-

...through the Wadi Hilwe section of Silwan, a predominantly Arab neighborhood. Wadi Hilwe sits on what Jews believe to be the ruins of the biblical City of David, in the shadow of the Temple Mount, or the Noble Sanctuary, a site holy to both Muslims and Jews. In recent years a Jewish settler group has sponsored excavations in the area and acquired property that is now populated by hundreds of Jews.

Anyone who knows the area knows that Ms. Kershner (or Mrs. Hirsh Goodman) is really splitting geographical hairs on that. A "section" within a "neighborhood"? Sounds as if its another district of "Palestine".

But more importantly, many non-Jews also believe that the location is David's City and there are quite provable and firm scientific elements of evidence to that claim.

Moreover, the property acquired was previously purchased by Jews a century or so ago and Karaite Jews had been living on the east side of the valley for hundreds of years. In the 1870s, Rahamim Natan Meyuchas purchased property in Silwan. In 1937, his son, Yosef, published a book a reminisces of that early period. After 1882, Yemenite Jews moved in and founded Kfar Shiloah. By 1920, over 200 Jewish families of all origin lived in the neighborhood.

Following Arab violence in 1920, 1929 and 1936-37, Jews were finally expelled by the British Mandatory authority form the location.

Jews began repurchasing their previously-owned property and in 1991, moved back and I participated in the public support demonstration as I was working with Deputy-Minister Geula Cohen at the time and we all literally slid down the slope into the houses bought. Geula later broke a leg there.

Why didn't Kershner insert a half-sentence mention of 140-year old Jewish residency at the village?

And a last point, here is an Arab reaction:

Dimitri Diliani, a Jerusalem representative of Fatah, the mainstream Palestinian movement, said the march proved that despite Israel’s claim on the area, it did not have sovereignty there. “Where else in the world would you need 2,000 armed, fully equipped police officers to secure a failed march of 70 of your own citizens in an area that you claim as your capital?” he asked.

Well, since Arabs have marched through Jerusalem with no stone-throwing, it isn't a matter of this being proof the area is not in Jerusalem or in the sovereign area of the state of Israel but simply a matter of Arab violence in the cause of denying Jews their rights anywhere.

And that violence, even assisted by the foreign media and local, will not win.

- - -

Jones With His Foot in His Mouth

Yid With Lid pointed me to a really stupid performance by James Jones.

The National Security Advisor, General Jones gave the key note speech at the Washington Institute For Near East Policy and decided to tell a joke he thinks is true. Others thought it bordered on the anti-Semitic, a la Shylock.

The joke:

A Taliban militant gets lost and is wandering around the desert looking for water. He finally arrives at a store run by a Jew and asks for water. The Jewish vendor tells him he doesn’t have any water but can gladly sell him a tie. The Taliban, the jokes goes on, begins to curse and yell at the Jewish store owner. The Jew, unmoved, offers the rude militant an idea: Beyond the hill, there is a restaurant; they can sell you water. The Taliban keeps cursing and finally leaves toward the hill. An hour later he’s back at the tie store. He walks in and tells the merchant: “Your brother tells me I need a tie to get into the restaurant.”

You can see and hear it here, too.

That he introduces the joke, which I have heard for over two decades now in various forms, as "being true" is really either stupid of Jones or indicative of a mindset which would be "Jew-inimical".

And he should be aware that not all jokes concerning Jews (even though after six decades, I can tell you that the same jokes move about the ethnic groups quite easily) one tells in public, even if they are funny and even if Jews themselves tell them which means not only is Jones insensitive but dumb.



Statement from General Jones about the joke he told during his remarks at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy

“I wish that I had not made this off the cuff joke at the top of my remarks, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it. It also distracted from the larger message I carried that day: that the United States commitment to Israel’s security is sacrosanct.” – General Jim Jones, National Security Advisor


Let’s unpack this. First of all, I don’t believe the joke was made up on the spur of the moment. That’s not how these things work. As a reader pointed out to me, it’s quite likely that not only Jones but also a speechwriter or two thought there was nothing much wrong with this. Second, for an administration under criticism for insensitivity or outright animus in relation to Israel, why play with fire? If nothing else, this confirms the criticism of Jones — he’s a bit of a buffoon.

And finally, why didn’t the president demand an apology? Was he not alarmed that his national security adviser is cracking Jewish-merchant jokes?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

An Interview with Me

Here and click on the icon on my name line.

- - -

Alan Sillitoe 1928-2010

Allan Sillitoe has died. Besides all his other more famous accomplishments of literature, let's not forget these two publications:

- The Interview”, London: The 35s (Women’s Campaign for Soviet Jewry), 1976

- Israel: Poems on a Hebrew Theme, with drawings by Ralph Steadman; London: Steam Press, 1981 98 copies.

and that his wife, Ruth Fainlight is Jewish, and a poet in her own right.

New "Nigerian Letter" Making the Rounds

Dear Intending partner

Assalam O-Alaikum

This mail may not be surprising to you if you have been following current events in the international media with reference to the Middle East and Palestine in particular. I am Mrs. Suha Arafat, the wife of Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader who died in Paris France . Since his death and even prior to the announcement, I have been thrown into a state of antagonism, confusion, humiliation, frustration and hopelessness by the present leadership of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the new Prime Minister. I have even been subjected to physical and psychological torture. As a widow that is so traumatized, I have lost confidence with everybody in the country at the moment.

You must have heard over the media reports and the Internet on the discovery of some fund in my husband secret bank account and companies and the allegations of some huge sums of money deposited by my husband in my name of which I have refuses to disclose or give up to the corrupt Palestine Government. In fact the total sum allegedly discovered by the Government so far is in the tune of about $6.5 Billion Dollars. And they are not relenting on their effort to make me poor for life. As you know, the Moslem community has no regards for woman, hence my desire for a foreign assistance. You can visit the BBC news broadcast below for better understanding of what I am talking about;

I have deposited the sum of 10.5 Million dollars (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) with a security firm abroad whose name is withheld for now until we open communication.

I shall be grateful if you could receive this fund into your bank account for safe keeping and any Investment opportunity. This arrangement is known to you and my personal Attorney. He might be dealing with you directly for security reasons as the case may be. In view of the above, if you are willing to assist for our mutual benefits, we will have to negotiate on your Percentage share of the $10,500,000 that will be kept in your position for a while and invested in your name for my trust pending when my Daughter, Zahwa, will come off age and take full responsibility of her Family Estate/inheritance.

My mean reason to contact you is to assist me to invest this fund when is transferred to your bank account and I wish to invest in Mauritius only if you be honest to me. Therefore, you should inform me if we can be into partnership and in what area of investment you are specialize? Can you introduce me into any lucrative investment? I will state to you the type of investment which I would like to invest when I hear from you in respect of this proposal.

Please note that this is a golden opportunity that comes once in life time and more so, if you are honest, I am going to entrust more funds in your care as this is one of the legacy we keep for our children. In case you don't accept please do not let me out to the security and international media as I am giving you this information in total trust and confidence I will greatly appreciate if you accept my proposal in good faith. Please expedite action. I want you to reach me as soon as you receive this message for more important discussion and on how to proceed.

In return of this message, I want you to forward your full details:

Your Full Name:
Phone Number:
Fax Number:
Company Name and Address:

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. Suha Tawil Arafat

On Shoshana Raziel

Here I blogged on the passing of Shoshana Raziel.

Read of her life:

A life underground

Passover 1938 was the happiest time of Shoshana Raziel's life. The day before the holiday began, she'd secretly married her beloved, David Raziel, and their week-long honeymoon that followed was filled with joy.

"I was 18 years old, in the third class at the teachers seminary, and David was 27," she recounted six months ago at her home in Jerusalem's French Hill neighborhood. "We were very poor and we married in secret. The day before the wedding I went to the hairdresser, but the immersion in the mikveh ruined my hairdo. The wedding canopy was put up during the day, in the yard of a building in Ramat Gan, in the presence of a minyan made up of parents, a few relatives, two witnesses from the Irgun [pre-state underground militia] and the rabbi. My father came in from America just for the wedding. Afterward, we had a family lunch in Tel Aviv."

What did you do after that meal?

"My parents went back to Jerusalem, David went back to dealing with Irgun business at the Leumit Kupat Holim [health maintenance organization] offices, and I went to visit Roni Stern, the wife of Avraham 'Yair' Stern and my music teacher. Roni and Avraham lived on the floor below us on Chen Boulevard. On the wedding night, David and I stayed at a hotel in Tel Aviv under an assumed name. It was the first time in my life I'd been inside a hotel. I couldn't fall asleep that night, and David was up until dawn writing.

"Every night during the week of Hol Hamo'ed we held modest celebrations in our parents' homes. The last night we went with some of David's friends, who were older than me, to the Old City walls and sang a funny Betar [youth movement] song called 'Let's Go Home Hand in Hand.'"

Read it all.

British Sense of Humor

Well, at least this beats anything Danny Ayalon has done:-

The Government has been plunged into a major diplomatic storm after Foreign Office officials circulated an offensive memo mocking the Pope's forthcoming visit to Britain. In the document, staff who were asked to propose ideas for the 'ideal' visit suggested Benedict XVI could launch a new range of 'Benedict' condoms or back a Miss Developing World beauty contest.

Sources in Rome said the document also proposed that the Pope might sing a duet with the Queen to raise money for charity. The pair are due to meet during the Pontiff's visit in September. The memo, which has dismayed Church leaders in Britain, is also understood to suggest that the leader of the world's one billion Roman Catholics could apologise for the Spanish Armada, reverse his ban on women priests and visit an old people's home.

A graphic attached to the document listed 'positive' people who could be associated with the trip, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair and the singer Susan Boyle, and 'negative' ones, such as England footballer Wayne Rooney. All three are Catholics - with Boyle a former singer in her parish choir and Blair converting to the faith two years ago.

To the fury of Foreign Secretary David Miliband, the memo, drawn up last month after a Foreign Office 'brainstorming' session, was circulated to officials in a number of Government departments - including the Department for International Development and 10 Downing Street. From there, it found its way to senior figures in the Catholic Church in Britain and, it is understood, details were passed on to Church officials in Rome.

And Miliband is Jewish.

Tsk, tsk.

Muslims Can't Kill All Cartoonists, Right?

Will this work?

Seattle cartoonist launches "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day"

After Comedy Central cut a portion of a South Park episode following a death threat from a radical Muslim group, Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris wanted to counter the fear. She has declared May 20th "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day."

Norris told KIRO Radio's Dave Ross that cartoonists are meant to challenge the lines of political correctness. "That's a cartoonist's job, to be non-PC."

Is she thinking that if so many join in, they all can't get killed?

No 'Genocide' For Armenia But We're Still "Illegitimate"

My residency in Shiloh is, a la Obama, "illegitimate" but he's afraid of Turkey:

Obama fails to call Armenian massacre a genocide

As a candidate, Barack Obama repeatedly promised to refer to the almost century-old massacre of Armenians in Turkey as a genocide. But since becoming president, Obama has twice passed up opportunities to do so.

In a statement Saturday, Obama called the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians during World War I "one of the worst atrocities" of the 20th century and "a devastating chapter" in history.

The statement, issued as Obama and first lady Michelle Obama spent a weekend getaway here in western North Carolina, marked the 95th anniversary of the start of the slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks. The president called it "a devastating chapter in the history of the Armenian people."

Activists and officials from across the spectrum were quick to express disappointment.

Armenian National Committee of America Chairman Ken Hachikian voiced "sharp disappointment with the president's failure to properly condemn and commemorate the Armenian genocide."

Of course, with Obama now on Turkey's side, a classic pincer movement is in place.

This President is pro-Israel? You recall his use of illegitimate.

Yeah, sure, just like J Street.

The Last Issue of "Nekuda"

Nekuda, which has been publishing monthly for the past 30 years, has closed up, or down. (On Nekuda in Hebrew)

Nekuda, the official organ of the Council of Jewish Communities in Yesha, was always held in high regrd, too often by others looking in rather than the residents themselves (see this article as an example; another.). Ian Lustick used it for his "For the Land, For the Lord". It was even quoted in a UN document from 1987.

I have an article in about Counterpoint but it is in Hebrew. Counterpoint was published in English between 1981-1989 for 30 issues and it too was quoted in Lustick's book (see note 8 for example).

Here it is:

Here is Tom Segev in 2005 on Nekuda:

Nekuda, a monthly put out by the settlers, is an interesting journal because it reflects the culture war that is being waged in Israel. The first issue since the disengagement embodies political and ideological stocktaking as well as much hate and calls of revenge toward the left and the government. The writers also debate their attitude toward the state; many of them want to disengage from it.

Rabbi Dan Be'eri calls on his colleagues to take over the country from within, instead of disengaging from it. "There is no need to be angry with the state," he writes, and suggests that the settlers infiltrate the country's elites...

However, the majority of the writers convey a sense of alienation, estrangement and even political and cultural persecution. Nadav Shenrav, a physicist who teaches at Bar-Ilan University and lives in the settlement of Revava, writes: "It may be that we have to move to a new way of thinking and understand that three peoples live in the Land of Israel today: Arabs, Jews and leftists." The leftists are not traitors, he says, they are strangers. "To a certain degree they are existential enemies of the Jewish people across the generations, in a deeper mode than the Arabs, because with them it is an identity question of to be or not to be...

...Yehuda Etzion, from Ofra proposes "leaving the political system, the un-Jewish [areli, literally, uncircumcised] democratic regime, the pointless culture that prevails here. Not to vote in the Knesset elections and not to run in them ... To come together in the new study house, to be strengthened, for each person to strengthen his brother... and to lead our people to a new covenant, the Covenant of Moriah."

It never went online and the new owners really weren't enthused about its staid format.

Oh well.

The Jewish Spark, Muriel Spark

I think I blogged about this previously (yes, I did), but here, then, it is again:-

...Spark (whom Stannard familiarly, and annoyingly, calls Muriel throughout the book) was born in Edinburgh in 1918. Her father, Barney Camberg, was the son of Russian Jews; her mother, Sarah, known as Cissy, was raised as a Christian but agreed to be married in a synagogue. Neither was very religious, and what the family really worshipped was middle-class respectability. Barney, who worked in a rubber factory, came home to their rented flat every night, bathed and put on a suit and tie. He and Cissy liked to dance and entertain and take a drink. (Cissy, who may have been an alcoholic, admitted to going through a bottle of Madeira every day to steady her nerves.) Both parents made a point of sending their children (Muriel had an older brother) to fee-paying schools even if it meant taking in lodgers and banishing Muriel to a sofa in the kitchen.

Spark went to James Gillespie’s High School for Girls, where she came under the influence of an eccentric, charismatic teacher named Christina Kay, the model for the title character in “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.” (The original, who was stocky and had a mustache, sounds less glamorous than her fictional counterpart but shared Brodie’s habit of speaking in non sequiturs and her love of Mussolini.) Unable to afford university, Spark left school at 16, took a course in précis-writing at a secretarial college and went to work at a fashionable department store. She always had disastrous taste in men, and at 19 she married Sydney Oswald Spark (or S.O.S., as she later referred to him), a math teacher and nonobservant Jew 13 years her senior, who promised her a new life in what was then Southern Rhodesia.

The wedding night, Spark later said, was a “botch-up,” and so was the rest of the marriage. S.O.S, who was mentally unstable to begin with, became violent and abusive. They soon separated, and in 1943 Spark, who by then had a 4-year-old son, Robin, divorced her husband. It was forbidden to transport children during the war, so she parked the boy in an African convent school and returned on her own to Scotland. Robin didn’t make it home until he was 7, and by then Spark had embarked on a new life as a struggling writer in England. She left his upbringing to her mother and, intermittently, to her ex-husband, who raised him as a Jew...The transforming event of these years was Spark’s conversion to Catholicism in 1954...

...Predictably, Spark and her son grew estranged, especially after Robin embraced Orthodox Judaism, and she cut him out of her will.

I Was Mentioned - And Edited Out

Do you remember this post of mine on that panel at the London Jewish Book Week?

I claimed it was unbalanced and promoted self-hating Jews.

Well, here's the video and I am mentioned at 4 minutes in.

Seems, though, something about me was cut.

- - -

The "Invasion" Force is Gathering

Be informed that

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition - USA, The Palestinian Return Centre - UK, and the Free Palestine Movement - USA welcome interested groups and individuals to a discussion and planning meeting for the Return from Exile Project. We are looking for organizers and volunteers to participate in a plan for Palestinian volunteers to be passengers on commercial flights to Lid ("Tel-Aviv") airport on a date to be decided.

The volunteers will insist on going to their homes.

There are many dimensions to this project, which include local support committees for the volunteers who will travel, media outreach, logistics, and other ways that individuals and groups can help.

Full dispatch:

The Return from Exile Project Meeting and Discussion
@ 8th Annual Al-Awda International Convention
9:00 a.m., Sunday, May 2, 2010
Embassy Suites Hotel Anaheim South
11767 Harbor Boulevard
Garden Grove, California, 92840

(Kippah tip: BR)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

An Idea Already 87 Years Old

In a Contentions blog post, How the West’s Silence Undermines Its Mideast Policy, Evie Gordon mentions an

...article by Max Singer of the Begin-Sadat Center. Singer argued that for the Palestinians to be willing to make peace with Israel, two conditions must hold.

First, Palestinians must be convinced that they have no chance of destroying Israel — because if Israel can be eradicated, leaving them with 100 percent of the territory, they obviously have no incentive to sign a deal that would give them at most 22 percent...

That first point was immortalized in Ze'ev Jabotinsky's 1923 "Iron Wall"-

We cannot offer any adequate compensation to the Palestinian Arabs in return for Palestine. And therefore, there is no likelihood of any voluntary agreement being reached. So that all those who regard such an agreement as a condition sine qua non for Zionism may as well say "non" and withdraw from Zionism. Zionist colonisation must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population – behind an iron wall, which the native population cannot breach.

That is our Arab policy; not what we should be, but what it actually is, whether we admit it or not. What need, otherwise, of the Balfour Declaration? Or of the Mandate? Their value to us is that outside Power has undertaken to create in the country such conditions of administration and security that if the native population should desire to hinder our work, they will find it impossible. And we are all of us ,without any exception, demanding day after day that this outside Power, should carry out this task vigorously and with determination.

In this matter there is no difference between our "militarists" and our "vegetarians". Except that the first prefer that the iron wall should consist of Jewish soldiers, and the others are content that they should be British.

We all demand that there should be an iron wall. Yet we keep spoiling our own case, by talking about "agreement" which means telling the Mandatory Government that the important thing is not the iron wall, but discussions. Empty rhetoric of this kind is dangerous. And that is why it is not only a pleasure but a duty to discredit it and to demonstrate that it is both fantastic and dishonest...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Alpher's Alpha: Going Omega or OMG!

What tickles the NYTimes editorial board more than a contributor who claims that

...Israel is dealing with a right-religious-settler-Russian coalition pushing a reactionary agenda.

Well, one who claims that

this political alignment could be dominant in Israel for some time to come.

Who is the tickler?

He is Yossi Alpher, former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, and for a long time has been co-editor of

I am acquainted with Yossi. He invited me to meet, at the beginning of the Oslo Process with Rashid Khalidi, of Columbia University and the friend of Obama and Yezid Sayegh (author of "Armed Struggle and the Search for State: The Palestinian National Movement, 1949-1993" and Professor of Middle East Studies, Department of War Studies, School of Social Science and Public Policy, King's College London) at the lobby of the Hyatt Hotel in French's Hill neighborhood. That was the last meeting. I was too "extreme".

Getting back to his piece, he continues his moaning:

The political left has virtually disappeared, discredited by failed peace gambits. At the same time, the conservative, ultra-orthodox sector is growing rapidly in numbers. So is the Israeli Arab population, which, in the shadow of a failed peace process, is becoming increasingly hostile to the idea of being a minority in a Jewish state — thereby stiffening the reaction of the Jewish majority.

But now, he moves in to defend the progressive, radical Left that has been seeking, through money, to control Israel's civic society and from there to the political echelons:

...The Israeli right perceives an international onslaught against its bastions in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. It has resolved never to permit a repeat of the withdrawal from Gaza. Hence it is attacking its critics and beefing up its grip on the instruments of power. And this reaction further amplifies Israel’s international isolation, creating a vicious circle.

The most blatant aspect of this right-wing campaign is its focus on the Israeli civil-society groups that monitor government actions and decisions. A bill that has already passed a preliminary vote in the Parliament would require all Israeli NGOs that receive support from foreign governments to publicly declare themselves “foreign agents” if they seek to “influence public opinion or ... any governmental authority regarding ... domestic or foreign policy.”

Of course, he wasn't upset when the opposite of this: "The rightward shift of Israeli society is changing the shape of fundamental state institutions" was taking place, led and directed by the Left.

"Left", you know, is right, pure, humanist, etc.

And this is rich:

The Netanyahu government complains loudly about Palestinian incitement against Jews (which is, in fact, decreasing) while its policies encourage or ignore growing anti-Arab incitement in Israel.

And who promotes, funds and encourages this incitement?

The very bodies Alpher seeks to defend.



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Hitler's Wartime Broadcasts to the Arabs

I've blogged about Herf's book before, but let's have his message again: "The roots of Islamic fanaticism can be traced to Adolf Hitler's radio messages broadcast around the Arab world during the Second World War, according to a new book"

The newspaper report:-

..."The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians would have been over long ago were it not for the uncompromising, religiously inspired hatred of the Jews that was articulated and given assistance by Nazi propagandists and continued after the war by Islamists of various sorts," said Jeffrey Herf, a history professor at the University of Maryland.

In his new book, "Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World", Mr Herf argues that Nazi propagandists offered a message that neatly dovetailed with underlying prejudice.

"Islamic fundamentalism, like European totalitarianism in the 20th century, was and is a mixture of very old and very modern elements.

"It is also a product of a mixture of some indigenous currents in the history of Islam with the hatred of democracy, liberalism and the Jews that were so central to National Socialism.

Mr Herf uncovered 6,000 transmissions, produced under the propaganda minister Josef Goebbels and sent around the Arab world from 1939 to 1945.

The transcripts of the broadcasts were made by the American embassy in Cairo during the war, and classified until 1977 in Washington. But it was not until two years ago that Mr Herf became the first scholar to be given access to the files.

..."The Arab language propaganda produced in wartime Berlin was a significant chapter in the longer history of radical Arab nationalism and militant Islam."

Susan Stern: Silly? Stupid?

Here's a Letter to the Editor of the New York Times published today:-

To the Editor:

Re “Obama Puts Own Mark on Foreign Policy Issues” (news analysis, April 14):

I welcome President Obama’s shift on the Middle East. I want nothing more than peace in the region. Both the United States and Israel would benefit from a viable Palestinian state. It is not possible to have a peaceful existence between two groups, living side by side, with a huge differential in power and standard of living.

Since it is not politically feasible for the leaders of either group to make concessions, it is up to the United States to use its considerable power to broker a fair deal for both sides.

Susan Stern
Newton, Mass.

"A viable Palestinian state"?

Where? How? Is it possible? Is that what they really want or just Israel's extinction?

And about that "huge difference in standard of living". Like Mexico and the US?

No understanduing of the issues, of the history - just a vague hope for peace and a dislike of power, except if Obama uses it against Israel.

Dr. Stern, a medical internist, it seems, but not this Susan Stern*, is a pacifist.

On Feb. 5, 2009, she had a letter in the NYT:-

Re: “Pointing to New Era, U.S. Steps Back as Iraqis Vote”: I am relieved that this ill-conceived war in Iraq is finally drawing to a close. I am also happy to see a president in office who favors diplomacy over military might.

On May 10, 2009, she had yet another letter in the NYT where she admits she's

deeply saddened that our youth are once again being trained for war. I believe that the end of our planet will come because of our inability to resolve our differences without resorting to war.

Another fanatic out to save the world.



Susan Stern, born Susan Harris in 1943, was a political activist and member of Students for a Democratic Society, Weathermen, and anti-Vietnam War groups. She was tried on conspiracy charges as one of the famed "Seattle Seven" and later went on to write her memoir, With the Weathermen, before finally overdosing in 1976.

But she could read over 50 years ago/

You've Been to HaGov Yet?

You've read about the great new sports bar and grill in Jerusalem here at my blog.

And at the Jerusalem Post.

Check out their Facebook page.

I was there last night:

Lot of friends and others having fun:

(that's Gannie behind the bar)

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Seems J Street Can't Count for Its Polls Are Worthless

I wonder, will this be reported well here in Israel?

Poll: Obama gets thumbs down on Israel

Only a third of Americans approve of the way President Obama's handling the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, according to a new national poll. A Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday morning indicates that 35 percent of the public gives the president a thumbs up on how he's dealing with the situation between Israel and the Palestinians, with 44 percent saying they disapprove, and just over one in five unsure. This stands in contrast with how Americans feel about Obama's overall handling of foreign policy, with 48 percent approving and 42 percent saying
they disapprove.

According to the poll, two-thirds of Jewish voters disapprove of how the president's handling Israeli-Palestinian relations, with 28 percent saying they approve. Jewish voters were big backers of Obama in the 2008 presidential election, with exit polls indicating that nearly eight of ten backed the Democratic candidate.

Two-thirds of people questioned in the survey say that the president should be a strong supporter of Israel but, by a 42 percent to 34 percent margin, voters say Obama's not a strong supporter of Israel.

Obama, keep listening to J Street!

(Kippah tip: LBD)