Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Like A Blog

Joke going around:-

One of the gifts the Bar Mitzvah boy received was a journal.

He looked at it carefully, but couldn't quite figure it out. After all, even a pen he didn't receive.

"Mom, what's this book for? All the pages are blank," he asked.

"It's called a journal," she explained. "You write down interesting stuff that happens to you."

His face broke out into a smile.

"You mean it's sort of like a blog, only on paper?"

Again, Morning Prayer at Jericho

Rosh Hodesh Av

Rosh Hodesh Shaharit Prayer at “Shalom Al Israel” in Jericho

On Monday 1st Menachem Av (12th July 2010): Departure from the community of “Mevoot Yericho” (with IDF escort) at 7:45 AM. A bus will be provided from Binynei HaUma in Jerusalem at 6:30 AM and will stop over at Beit Hogla at 7:00 AM.

* Possibility of boarding the bus at Beit Hogla (near the old Beit HaArava junction – take Highway 1 from Jerusalem to the Jordan Valley, then turn north on Highway 90 and then travel 2km to the Mul Nevo army base).
* Possibility of arranging a ride from the central area (Petah Tikva, via Highway 5 and Tapuah Junction), phone Yoni 052-3527313.
* Cost: 50 sh; for youth and Yeshiva students: 25 sh.
* Advance booking required with Erna, tel 052-8699300 or Yoni, tel 052-3527313.

New Signposts for Shalom Al Israel

New signposts have been made and, with the help of G-d, we will affix them in and around Shalom Al Israel after the shaharit prayer in the Beit Knesset.

Beit Hogla is 9 Years-Old

We are situated in the lowest place in the world! Opposite Mt Nevo (where Moses is buried), we preserve the tradition of Moses our teacher.

Here is the place of the covenant between the multitudes of the Israelites and G-d, after crossing the Jordan river. Here, the Israelites held the first Pessah in the Land of Israel. Here the Israelites became a People with the aim of conquering the Land

On Monday 1st Menachem Av (12th July 2010) at 18:30: Guided tour and talk in Beit Hogla, followed at 21:00 by a fascinating lesson (in Hebrew) by Rav Doron Rozilio.

Contact Erna, tel 052-8699300 or Yoni, tel 052-3527313.

I'm Hosting a Radio Show At Arutz7/INN Today

I'm substituting for Eve Harow.

Listen in.

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Pics of Last Week's Brush Fire At Shiloh


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That Blockade

No, not the one on Gaza.

The one with no travel and food restictions?

The one on Cuba.

By the US:-

A congressional panel is poised to take the first step toward ending a decades-old U.S. ban on travel to Cuba and removing other hurdles to food sales to the Caribbean island, a senior lawmaker said on Tuesday.

It's a

nearly 50-year-old U.S. embargo on communist-led Cuba

50 years???

But it seems there'll be strong resistance from conservative lawmakers and Cuban-Americans who oppose any step to ease restrictions on trade and travel with Cuba until a democratic government is in power in Havana.

So I checked:-

The United States embargo against Cuba is a commercial, economic, and financial embargo partially imposed on Cuba in October 1960. Entitled the Cuban Democracy Act, the embargo was codified into law in 1992 with the stated purpose of maintaining sanctions on Cuba so long as the Cuban government continues to refuse to move toward "democratization and greater respect for human rights". In 1996, Congress passed the Helms-Burton Act, which further restricted United States citizens from doing business in or with Cuba, and mandated restrictions on giving public or private assistance to any successor government in Havana unless and until certain claims against the Cuban government are met. In 1999, U.S. President Bill Clinton expanded the trade embargo even further by ending the practice of foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies trading with Cuba. In 2000, Clinton authorized the sale of certain "humanitarian" US products to Cuba...It is the most enduring trade embargo in modern history.

No flotillas, though.

Well, none going in.

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Could This Be For Real?

An ad that appeared in the Israel press:


A security organization requires Women possessing formidable physical prowess
and motivation for the removal of women
from Hezbollah's humanitarian aid flotilla to Gaza.
The activity in voluntary.
Please call to leave details: voice mail 076-5400116

Would that it be true.

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Seen The Satirical NYTimes Glossary?


settlers, Jewish (n.)

The cause of all conflict in the Middle East, and arguably in the entire world. (No other people in the entire history of the whole world ever "settled" anywhere they weren't supposed to except those damn Brooklyn-born Jews.)

Op-ed by Roger Cohen, June 10, 2010: Several factors have nudged the country [Israel] rightward: religious-settler extremism...

Read it all.

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And Therein Lies A Tale

Samir Hulileh, the C.E.O. of Palestine Development and Investment:-

“I have to admit, we, the private sector, have changed,” said Hulileh. “The mood used to be all the time to complain and say there is nothing we can do. And then the politicians were trying to create this atmosphere of resistance — resistance meant no development under occupation.”

Think about that.

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Will The Irish Expel Now a Russian Diplomat or Two?

Sent to me by FB:-

From an Irish friend

A *Richard and Cynthia Murphy* in NJ, and a *Tracey Lee Ann Foley* in Boston, MA are among the 10 held [the Russian spies in the US].

The use of a good Cork name like Murphy is clearly an effort to embarrass Foreign Minister Martin, and scupper his ill-concealed plans to rapidly replace Brian Cowen, while *Foley* must be aimed a well-known retired North Kerry Fianna Fail TD, Denis Foley who was exposed as having a secret off-shore tax-dodging bank account with Ansbasher.

Just has to a Mossad revenge operation - not a Russian one.

Unless of course Richard and Cynthia Murphy are related to Provo IRA chief, Thomas *Slab* Murphy...

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Read Carefully: How Many "Settlements"?

This is going around regarding left-wing extremism:-

Friday 2/7/2010
Returnig to Sheikh Jarrah
Continuing the struggle! Strengthening the solidarity!
against the settler and police violence, the house demolitions and the eviction of families.

The vigil will start at 16:00
At Shiekh Jarrah garden, Damascus road (next to the American Colony)
You can join us for the march (at 15:00) from Damascus gate to Sheikh Jarrah

New - from the vigil there will be tours to the various settlements in the Sheikh Jarrah
For more information:, Yuval - 054-7982889

Transportation from Tel Aviv will leave from Arlozerov train station at 14:30. for more information call: Lihi - 0504880969


a) there's a spelling typo "returning"

b) just how many "settlements" are there in Shimon HaTzadik? Are there "Arab settlements", too?

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Now We Know

Here's Ahmed Qrei'a's opinion:

Israeli radicalism foremost obstacle to peace -

...the first and foremost challenge that confronts the peace process today, is the radical right-wing mentality that controls the Israeli decision-making, which is reflected clearly in the outright denial of the basic human rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination.

And what happened to terror? To Hamas policy of eradication? The PA's economic "ethnic cleansing"?

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International Settlements?

Ever heard of "The Bank of International Settlements"?

I didn't until I read something here.

It's the Bank for International Settlements, actually.

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is

an international organisation which fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks.

The BIS fulfils this mandate by acting as:

  • a forum to promote discussion and policy analysis among central banks and within the international financial community
  • a centre for economic and monetary research
  • a prime counterparty for central banks in their financial transactions
  • agent or trustee in connection with international financial operations

The head office is in Basel, Switzerland and there are two representative offices: in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and in Mexico City.

Established on 17 May 1930, the BIS is the world's oldest international financial organisation.

No, I have no aspirations to be international.

I'd settle for Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

That's enough.

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Haaretz Is Either Ignorant or Biased

This picture, from AP, accompanies a story in Haaretz

and its caption reads:

Settlers pointing handguns at Palestinians near Nablus - Photo by: AP

The story is headlined:

West Bank settlers outraged by Israel Police curb on handguns | West Bank residents claim discrimination as nationwide campaign to limit gun use makes no exception for Israelis living beyond the Green Line

Now, do those look like handguns to you?

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While Mullen Mulls...

Jennifer Rubin, over at Contentions, pegs down Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and asks What Is Israel to Do?

Quoting him from a JPost report that "A military strike against Iran would be 'incredibly destabilizing'”, Ms. Rubin adds:

...this should certainly unnerve you — on multiple counts. First, we again see that the Obami consider the prospect of a strike on Iran to be ”destabilizing” — apparently more so than a nuclear-armed Iran. Second, Mullen confesses he really doesn’t know how far Iran’s nuclear program has it evidence that our intelligence is deficient...Third...he thinks economic sanctions will be ineffective. Finally, and worst of all, even if Mullen believes these things, why in the world would he say them?

Her conclusion is that Mullen and Obama would want us to

...learn to live with a nuclear-armed Iran. As many of us have argued for over a year, that has been and remains, if not the intent, at least the inevitable result of Obama’s Iran policy. That the vast majority of mainstream American Jewish leaders have not woken up to this reality – nor in any meaningful way challenged the administration – is a tragic failure of immense proportions.

I like being a blogger. It's being in good great company, company like Jennifer.

Her opinions and thinking I line up with.

But can't those American Jewish leaders think?

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Burns' Rush


Julia Gillard was elected [Australia's] prime minister last Thursday...

On Monday she was caught in her first political storm as prime minister following a letter written by Ross Burns, who served as Australia's ambassador to Israel between 2001 and 2003.

In a letter to the Sydney Morning Herald, Burns said Gillard has been ''remarkably taciturn on the excesses of Israeli actions in the past two years''.

The former diplomat hinted that Gillard's stand stemmed from her relations with Jewish Melbourne property developer Albert Dadon, who employs Gillard's partner Tim Mathieson and has been active in advancing Australia's ties with Israel...Burns was joined by another former Australian ambassador to Tel Aviv, Peter Rodgers, who said that under successive governments, Australia's approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had become increasingly unbalanced

Despite the stink of antisemitism in bringing up Jewish money, could it be that she simply has heard the truth through good sources?

That she doesn't need to be 'even-handed' be faithful to the truth?

What type of ambassadors were these mates?

P.S. See MerylYourish.

(Kippah tip: DG)

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They Really Are Engaged in Cleansing

Again, the Pals. are engaged in ethnic cleansing:

Palestinians 'cleanse' shops of goods made in settlements

‘This campaign is much stronger than throwing stones at the Israeli Army’

RAMALLAH, Occupied West Bank: Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad launched on Monday a new door-to-door campaign aimed at “cleansing” shops in the occupied West Bank of goods produced in Israeli settlements.

The so-called “Shop-to-Shop” campaign is part of a months-old boycott that has seen the Western-backed Palestinian Authority impose fines and even jail sentences on merchants who trade in settlement goods.

“This is a new campaign, and an important part of the efforts, both official and popular, to cleanse the market of all settlement goods by the end of the year,” Fayyad told reporters on a visit to a supermarket in Ramallah, West bank.

That settles it (excuse the pun).

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Found here:-

The accused in recent plots aimed at the United States are a diverse group, including an Army psychiatrist of Palestinian ancestry spraying gunfire at Fort Hood, Tex.; a popular coffee vendor from Afghanistan planning to blow up the New York subway; the son of a prominent Nigerian banker trying to take down an airliner over Detroit; and Mr. Shahzad, a Pakistani-American who loaded his Nissan Pathfinder with fertilizer, propane and gasoline in fortunately ineffectual combination.

Yet they all appear to have imagined themselves as warriors against the enemies of their faith. Their national or ethnic loyalties had been supplanted by loyalty to their co-religionists, the global community of Muslims, known as the ummah.

Maj. Nidal Hasan, accused of killing 13 people in the Fort Hood shooting spree last November, had quoted the Koran in a 2007 PowerPoint demonstration to explain why some Muslim American soldiers might feel conflicted: “And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his punishment is hell.”

“If Muslim groups can convince Muslims that they are fighting for God against injustices of the ‘infidels,’ ” Major Hasan wrote, “then Muslims can become a potent adversary; i.e. suicide bombing.”

Not diverse. All Muslims.

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Intelligence That Flummoxes

A reaction to the arrest of Russian deep-embedded spies in the US:-

Jessie Gugig, 15, said she could not believe the charges, especially against Mrs. Murphy. “They couldn’t have been spies,” she said jokingly. “Look what she did with the hydrangeas.”
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Unpublished Letters to the NYTimes

In writing of Israel's "three small wars" against Arafat, Hebollah and Hamas that "Israel chose to go after them without being deterred by the prospect of civilian casualties", Thomas Friedman pens an immoral calumny ("War, Timeout, War, Time ...", June 27). Israel, more than the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than Nato in the Balkans as well as Syria in Hama, was very much deterred from causing unnecessary civilian casualties. This aversion was not due to international pressure but our country's rule of law and religious/cultural heritage. Inquiries and trials are the norm including punishment for proven offenders.

This behavior was of no diplomatic benefit as Israel, nevertheless, was pilloried and subject to condemnation such as the Goldstone Report. Why then should Israel, despite its very Jewish ethics, seek to offer any further sacrifices, especially security endangerment and possible existential threats simply to gain favor from columnists and biased diplomats?

* * *

Roger Cohen describes the Biblical portion his daughter read for her Bat Mizvah as "about the Korah rebellion and God’s sweeping punishment" ("Modern Folly, Ancient Wisdom", June 11). He is referring to 250 Israelites swallowed up by the earth. They had sought to undermine Moses' authority. His daughter has learned that God needs human help to sensitive himself to the human condition.

However, it seems that in relation to the punishment meted out to the Golden Calf sinners when 3000 were killed by the Levites, according to Exodus 32:28, God was learning from experience in a quite orderly, and human, fashion. It is another question whether man is learning from God.

* * *

Lydia Polgreen's report on Ayodhya ("Years Later, Destruction of a Mosque Still Echoes", Dec. 7) has ramifications for another religio-nationalist flashpoint - Jerusalem's Temple Mount - on two levels. The first, unfortunately she provides no indication that the Muslim mosque built there in 1582 supplanted previous Hindu temples as similarly, the Temple Mount's history as a Jewish sacred location is too often glossed over, ignored and deprecated. Secondly, there is the parallel unwillingness of the Waqf Islamic trust not to seek compromising on facilitating shared use of the large compound. Moreover, the Waqf and also the Palestine Authority are propagating a 'Temple denial' theme in the face of archaeological finds despite Muslim efforts to destroy them.

The Jewish people cannot be expected to erase the Temple Mount's past nor it's expected future. Will the lesson of Ayodhya be learned?

The New BackwardsThinking

On May 31, Emily Henochowicz lost an eye.

She had been on a semester program at Bezalel Arts Academy and now

...recalls waking up to reports of a deadly clash between Israeli Navy commandos and those aboard a Gaza-bound Turkish aid flotilla.

Though she already had attended many protests against the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Henochowicz said the circumstances surrounding the flotilla gathering felt different. She expected the protest to be relatively calm, given that nine Turkish passengers died in the early-morning raid [???].

Events, however, took a violent turn when border police responded to several Palestinian youths who had begun throwing rocks. [isn't that backwards? events took a violent turn when Arabs began acting violently, no?] Authorities have said that Henochowicz was not intentionally targeted, according to news reports, but she questions that claim.

Witnesses at the protest have reported that the canister was shot directly at Henochowicz, who was holding a Turkish flag aloft at the time and was not standing near the rock throwers. [and other witnesses say differently]

...“Tear gas shot from those guns does not even closely equal throwing stones,” she said. [so, the police should throw stones back?] “I know maybe this is apologetic or something, but I think that usually when people throw stones it is more of a symbolic thing because [stones] are highly inaccurate” [as are gas canisters?] and usually are cast in frustration [so, if they are thrown with malice aforethought, we can then defend ourselves?].

Even before Henochowicz arrived in Jerusalem, she says she had already begun to question the Jewish state’s policies regarding the Palestinians, as well as use of military force...American Jewish youths are taught that “Israel is surrounded by hostile Arabs who are just closing in on it,” but after arriving in the country, Henochowicz says she now believes that Israel is the true aggressor.

“The thing that scared me the most about going to the West Bank was the Israeli military,” she said. “I wasn’t going to get hurt by Palestinians there.” [no, because she identified with them and supported them. silly.]

...Henochowicz says she was motivated to act after witnessing a confrontation in Sheikh Jarrah, an Eastern Jerusalem neighborhood. A group of Chasidim had begun screaming prayers at Palestinian children, she recalled.

“For me it was really strange because ... these prayers are a part of me, and it’s really hurtful” to see religion utilized as a weapon of hate, she said. [talk about being strange]

Don't they teach logic anymore?

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Man, Oh Manna


Seems people are promoting Ancient Manna on Modern Menus

...When the sons of Israel saw it, they said to one another, What is it? In ancient Hebrew, what is it can be rendered man-hu, a likely derivation of what this food has come to be called, manna. The Bible describes it as being like coriander seed, and white, and its taste was like wafers with honey.

...Mannas form best in extremely dry climates like the Middle Easts where sap oozes at night and dries up in the morning. The favored theory on what the Israelites called manna is the sap of a tamarisk tree...Behroush Sharifi, a New York dealer in rare spices and dried foods from the ancient Silk Road whos known as the Saffron King, imports two venerable forms of manna from Iran: Hedysarum manna and Shir-Khesht

...Garrett McMahon, a sous-chef at Perilla in Manhattan, uses Hedysarum manna with sea salt to finish off a foie gras terrine with Marcona almonds, candied kumquats and toasted brioche. The manna allows us to achieve a sweet, salty balance while maintaining a great crunchy texture, Mr. McMahon said.

...Even more complex and subtle is the Shir-Khesht manna from the cotoneaster nummilaria shrub. Shir-khesht looks like broken-up bits of concrete or coral and is whiter than hedysarum manna. It is sweet, with some gumminess that eventually dissolves in the mouth...

Well, what do you know. Another Bible story come true.

(Kippah tip: RH)

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At The Knesset: Construction Suspension Discussion

I participated in a conference at the Knesset today to discuss the suspension of construction in Yesha, its legal, economic, social and political ramifications. Likud, National Union and HaBayit Hayehudi MKs were present, Yesha leaders including Gershon Mesika, Avi Roeh, Beny Kasriel and others were there as were activists and academics. Commercial and business reps were also there. Economic professionals, building contractors and lawyers made presentations.

The suspension was limited until September 26 and people and groups are getting ready for a variety of options.

No one is convinced things will return to what they were.

But more depressing is the situation in metropolitan Jerusalem where 3000 housing starts need to begin annually but we are no where near that. Jewish population since 1967 has grown 150% but the Arab population by 291%. On the other hand, 40% of the capital's Jewish population lives in neighborhoods beyond the former Green Line boundary. The private land reserves are dwindling and the government must free up public land.


Dr. Aviad HaCohen analyzed the legal aspects of the suspension directive:

MK Yaakov Katzeleh Katz, National Union, conference organizer:

Dany Dayan, Chairman of the Yesha Council:-

Not-quite-frozen construction - a primary school expansion:-

Not-quite-frozen construction:- residential homes:

US Consulate General Forges Ahead in Creating a "Palestinian Heritage"

Item of interest:

U.S. Consulate General Supports the Opening of the Al-Jib Museum in the West Bank

On May 18, the West Bank community of Al-Jib inaugurated its first cultural heritage museum showcasing Palestinian artifacts and cultural arts. The museum and its gift shop, which features handicrafts made by local female artisans, was made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation to the Palestinian Association for Cultural Exchange (PACE)...The grant provided much needed support and assistance to three historic villages in the West Bank – Beitin, Aboud, and Al-Jib – as these communities work to preserve their cultural heritage and to promote local tourist destinations.

...The director of PACE and members of the local community, including the mayor and governor, attended the opening ceremony of Al Jib’s cultural heritage museum, and thanked the Consulate General for its support. Cultural Affairs Officer Cynthia Harvey addressed the audience, congratulating them on the success of their program and the launching of the museum, which will benefit Al-Jib residents for the years to come.

In order to have successful peace negotiations, I guess the State Department needs to create also a "Palestinian heritage" so that there should be a "Palestinian people" so that there may be a "Palestinian state".

That's a lot of creative diplomacy.


Even Gaza gets in the act, literally:

Gaza Theater Group Presents American Classic Steinbeck’s “The Pearl”

“Basma” (Smile), a Gazan cultural arts organization, held its first performance of John Steinbeck’s classic story “The Pearl” on May 12 in Gaza. With a $20,000 grant from the Consulate General’s Public Affairs office, Basma translated Steinbeck’s work into classical Arabic and hired actors and a director to stage the play. Approximately 200 people attended the initial performance including intellectuals, artists, and civil society leaders.

Goldberg's Goof

Here is Jeffrey Goldberg's latest:

I received an angry e-mail (now there's a first!) from a friend who argues that I'm too naive about J Street, the liberal pro-Israel group. An excerpt:
I watched your debate with Jeremy Ben-Ami the other night and it seemed like you agreed with nearly everything the guy had to say. You should understand that J Street is not a Zionist group at all. It supports congressional candidates who are hostile to Israel, and, in its own statements it says it's opposed even to the threat of military action against Iran, something that Obama does regularly. Why don't you understand that J Street is a wolf in sheep's clothing? It is designed to separate Israel from the Democratic Party. It is not interested in supporting Israel, it is interested in providing cover for Jews who dislike Israel but need a Jewish cover to say so.
I told my friend that I respectfully disagree, and furthermore, I'm troubled that he finds J Street such an existential threat (you'll pardon the expression). I don't agree with everything J Street stands for, certainly, but I find it, in the various brief encounters I've had with its leaders and members, to be filled with American Jews who a) love Israel, and b) wish it would end its policy of settlement of the West Bank, and, if possible, the occupation of the West Bank as well. Since I'm for an end to the settlements myself, I find it hard to believe that J Street is anti-Israel, since I am certainly not anti-Israel. One can be pro-Israel and anti-settlement. There has to be room in American Jewry for people who disagree with the policies of Israeli governments but want Israel to survive as a Jewish democracy.

Jeffrey is wrong.

J Street is the new Utopia for all the antis: the anti-Zionism, anti-Israel, anti-nationalism. It serves as a nice home for all the street hobos who have found themselves marginalized. Their intermarriage flashed in the NYTimes Mag, their gunning for AIPAC, their links to anti-Israel politicians, their flagrant flip-off of Israel, their concern for America, etc. is all symptomatic of an underground exercise in undermining Israel's support.

That's the danger, existential danger and that's why they are anti.

The road to hell is paved with a helluva lot of sh*t in this case.

World Cup Item: Islam and The Ball

The soccer players who are Muslim in the World Cup are to be congratulated.

They have won out over radical, fundamentalist Islamism.

If you go here, you'll learn that

On August 25, 2005, anonymous radical Islamist clerics published in the Saudi daily newspaper al-Watan, an anti-soccer fatwa (ruling)...The fatwa declared that soccer is permissible to play only when its rules are different from the accepted international rules. The ruling is based on a hadith (prophetic tradition) which forbids Muslims to imitate Christians and should "not set the number [of players] according to the number of players used by the non-believers", and thus, only a larger or smaller number than eleven players can play together...

There's more there.

(Kippah tip: BC)

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ha-Ha Haaretz Is Now Pro-...Roman

Don't you just get that very 'funny' feeling when you read that Ha-Ha Haaretz is more concerned over Roman artifacts?

Like in this story:-

Western Wall museum plans threaten Roman relics, archaeologists warn

according to which,

Jerusalem's district planning council was on Sunday set to rule on a controversial museum project that archaeologists claim would destroy valuable ancient structures beneath the Old City. The new museum is planned for the concourse beside the Western Wall of the Temple Mount – Judaism's holiest site. [er, so which is the "holiest" - the Western Wall or the Temple Mount? -YM]


a group of archaeologists who have petitioned the council says the new building, designed by architect Ada Karmi, would damage an ancient Roman road, flanked by rare and elaborate columns, that runs beneath the planned construction. They say that if Jewish relics were under threat, the project would never have been allowed. [ah, Jewish racism - YM]


Karmi's plans would preserve the Roman relics, which the public would be able to view from a basement gallery beneath the new building. But the group of archaeologists, which includes several members of Israel's UNESCO committee, says that this solution ignores the possibility of developing a unique historical site.

Any other possibility? Yes:-

In response to the petition, Shmuel Rabinovitch, the Western Wall's rabbi, said the new building would be essential in providing services to the increasing number of visitors to the site. Far from damaging fragile ruins, the new structures would ensure their preservation, he said.

So, if the Romans were around, does anyone think they'd preserve a Jewish site, a site they tried to destroy, twice?

- - -

No Fury Like Female Fury

You know that 'ship of female fools' that is supposed to make Israel shake in its boots?

Well, with a little imagination and a lot of technical skill that I do not possess, the following clip, with a little editing, could serve as a wonderful Israeli response:

What do you think?

References: 1; 2; 3.

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Ever Heard of Aruma?

Aruma is an historical site in Samaria, south-east of Itamar. A fortress of Avimelech ben Gideon and upon its ruins the Hasmoneans and Herod rebuilt for themselves a fortress. Six cisterns of 5,000 cube meters.

Judges 9:41 And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah; and Zebul drove out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem.

In this map, it is located almost in the middle of the map, east of Beita El-Fukka (Upper Beita):

Some friends of mine walked through the area to Aruma and saw, on the way:

However, the IDF decided to "close the area"

and the hike came to a fairly abrupt end, including detention for a short period of some of the participants.

If you read Hebrew, here is a detailed explanation from a previous hike.

The Obama Obami Whammy

Read this from Barry Rubin and ask yourself, well, don't really. Just sigh.

The June 20 White House statement opens thusly:

"The President has described the situation in Gaza as unsustainable and has made clear that it demands fundamental change."

One would expect that a rational policy would use the words "unsustainable" and "demands fundamental change" to mean that the president demands the overthrow of Hamas. In fact, it signifies the exact opposite: he demands the stabilization of that regime.

The statement continues:

"On June 9, [Obama] announced that the United States was moving forward with $400 million in initiatives and commitments for the West Bank and Gaza. The President described these projects as a down payment on the U.S. commitment to the people of Gaza, who deserve a chance to take part in building a viable, independent state of Palestine, together with those who live in the West Bank."

Just think of the calm insanity of that paragraph. The United States is going to pump money into Gaza. That money is a "down payment on the U.S. commitment," that is, it is not an act of generosity for which the United States deserves to get something in return. No, the phrasing makes it seem that the United States owes them the money.

Watch and Hear Me - Today Only

For a very limited time only, today, Sunday:

I am interviewed on a B'tselem report and ethics of media reporting.


Starting at 16:49.

Or go here and click on English TV News at right.

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Max Mixes It Up

And who is subtle in his twisting of facts in a book review of Bernard Lewis' newest book, Religion and Politics in the Middle East?

Max Rodenbeck, Middle East correspondent for The Economist.

Here's what he writes:-

"But he gets the past subtly wrong, too, often by omitting vital context. He says that when the Arabs rejected the partition of Palestine in 1947, it was simply because they refused to accept having a Jewish state next door. Yet Arabs were not alone in questioning the United Nations plan to allocate 56 percent of Palestine’s territory to a minority consisting mostly of recent immigrants, which made up barely a third of the population and owned just 7 percent of the land. Greece, India and Cuba, among others, also voted no, while China, Ethiopia, Colombia, Chile and Mexico abstained. The overriding motive of all these doubters was presumably not bigotry, as Lewis implies, but concern about Palestinians’ rights.

Vital context? Subtly wrong?

Hmmm. But we'll keep it concise.


We all know that immigration to Mandate Palestine was restricted. The infamous "schedule" system. For example, Arab terror forced Britain to limit incoming Jews between 1939-1944 to 75,000 and only some 60,000 or less made it in.

And how "recent" is recent"? What about the Ottoman period when Jews had to sneak in?

Heck, how many Arabs - from Syria, Lebanon, Egypt - were recent arrivals?


But "Palestine Mandate" was partitioned. If it was all or nothing, what difference "minority"? Besides, all the Jews in the "Arab State" were killed or ethnically cleansed.

And if he includes Judea and Samaria in the concept of "Palestine", well, we're back. The "territories" belong to Israel because Rodenbeck says so since they're part of "Palestine", all or nothing.


More than 7 per cent but Arabs only privately owned some 15% so big deal. Over 75% of the land was state land, belonging to the government in power.


Most of those voting against did so because either Arab Bloc/Muslim nations pressure or pressure from the Vatican.

It's all fairly straightforward and simple, but not Max.


here; here; here;

Read A Great Yiddish Story

Here, and find out what Rabbi Avi Weiss (first on left, third row back) is doing in a picture there.

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Words of Wisdom

“If the conflict is about the size of Israel, then long and difficult negotiations can eventually resolve the problem. But if the conflict is about the existence of Israel, then serious negotiation is impossible.”

Bernard Lewis

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New Haveil Havalim Up


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Can You Define "Mingling"?

No, not the Emperor Ming.

He's from Mongo.

I mean mingling as in Saudi Arabia.

This is Saudi Arabia "mingling":-

Saudi women and men sentenced to flogging and prison for mingling at party

Four women and 11 men were sentenced to flogging and prison terms for mingling at a party, judicial officials said.

The men, who are between 30 and 40 years old, and three of the women, who are under the age of 30, were sentenced to an unspecified number of lashes and one or two year prison terms each.

The fourth woman, a minor, was sentenced to 80 lashes and was not sent to prison.

The ruling was handed down on Tuesday at a court in the northern town of Ha'il.

The officials said the police saw the group partying until dawn last month...Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam that prohibits unrelated men and women from mingling.

Is Madonna Doing Yentl?


To The Mount of the Lord

A Position You Don't Want To Be In

Another Reason I Don't Live in A "Settlement"

This story:

Family Dies When Poisoning Rats with Exhaust Fumes

Three residents of a small settlement in Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk region died from exhaust fumes of their own Zaporozhets vehicle. The head of the family, a 71-year-old man, decided to exterminate rats in the house with the help of his old car.

The man attached a hose to the exhaust pipe of the ZAZ-968 “Zaporozhets” car and put the other end of the hose into the basement of the house. He started the engine and went upstairs.

Some time later, the man decided to see what was happening in the basement. As soon as the man entered the basement, he lost consciousness because of the high concentration of exhaust fumes. His wife, a 77-year-old woman, started worrying about her husband when he did not come back. She went downstairs to see what was happening in the basement and fainted too. The same happened with their 29-year-old granddaughter. Their other granddaughter found the bodies two hours later and was lucky to stay alive. However, her three relatives died.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

James "Clown" Jones

I am not impressed with General James Jones' ability to assure Israel's security.

And guess what:-

Another aide refers to National Security Adviser Jones as a "clown stuck in 1985".
Yep, some others don't think much of him either.


The article.

Stand With Us Doesn't Quite Stand With Us

The very good group Stand With Us has put out a good booklet on the topic of Judea and Samaria.

But they call it "West Bank":-

It deals with West Bank Settlements, Communities and Facts on the Ground but there are no "settlements".

There are Jewish communities, towns, villages, kibbutzim, moshavim and even cities.

But no "settlements".

Too bad.

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Wrong Shiloh - Not Our Mosquito

This Shiloh

A mosquito pool in Shiloh tested positive for the West Nile virus Wednesday, marking the first time the insects have been found infected this year

is in in St. Clair County, Illinois

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And From New York, The Word of Dan Meridor

Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat debated Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor in New York this past week at the International Peace Institute.

It's Board of Directors includes H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Honorary Chair, Secretary-General of the United Nations; Rita E. Hauser, Esquire, Chair of the IPI Board of Directors, President of the Hauser Foundation; and its President is Mr. Terje Rød-Larsen.

Terje? Of Oslo Accords infamy? Oiy vey.

Anyway, at the meeting, Meridor said the future of Palestinian refugees is the most crucial issue for Israel.

"It's more important than even the exact delineation of the border, which is a problem but we can agree on this: It's more important even than the security arrangements that are very important," he said.

Meridor said Erekat's statement that the Palestinian Authority has no right to negotiate the right of return of the refugees — that the refugees themselves will have to make the choice and they have the right both to return and to compensation — raised major problems.

Any peace agreement that did not settle the refugee issue would mean "there is no end to the conflict."

From information I have, the most potent argument that Israelis across-the-divide believe is a good reason for keeping Judea and Samaria under Israel's control is the fear that if Arab refugees flood the "territories", it is just a matter of time before the pressure to let them "return" to Lod, Jaffa, Beer Sheva and Haifa builds up.

And this is interesting about Jerusalem and religion:-

Meridor nonetheless quoted the late Pope John Paul II saying that Jerusalem is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, but was promised only to the Jews. The remark drew audible gasps from the audience. Erakat threw his hand to his forehead in desperation.

Er, Saeb, how come the Koran doesn't mention the city at all?

In another story covering the debate, we read:

“If by the end of this year we have no two-state solution, you will sweat,” Erakat told Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Daniel Meridor

Truth told, I think it is Erekat who is sweating.

Tzipi Livni Isn't Dying

You just got to admire the chutzpah of some columnists.

Take Deborah Solomon of the NYTimes.

Here's her final question to Tzipi Livni this week:

Are you dying?

And Ms. Livni replies:

It’s not part of my plan for now.

I do not quite know how to describe Tzipi's answer. Does anyone really "plan" to die? Why not respond: "Are you dying?". Or, "Don't we begin dying the moment we are born?".


What else is there in that interview?

Well, let's read on in Leader of the Opposition

...Many Americans agree Hamas is a disaster, but might Israel do more to show concern for the Palestinian people and the problems they face?

I know that there is no humanitarian crisis.

Why do you say that?

The crossings are open for humanitarian needs. I suggested in the past to put cameras online, on the Internet, for the world to see all the goods entering Gaza Strip. This was my suggestion when I was foreign minister.

Now, that is a good idea. It might have even caught some terror activity by the Gazans.

But here, she gets a bit hubric:-

You lost to him [B. Netanyahu] in the race for prime minister last year. Will you run again?

I will be prime minister. It’s about the future of my state.

Wow, a prophetess in Israel.

And in this series, she avoids the rumors that her husband was very much involved in Foreign Ministry-related projects:-

Isn’t your husband in advertising?

My husband is in branding. He brands places — cities, institutions.

Do you ever talk to him about improving Israel’s image?

Yes, of course. I believe Israel needs branding. I want that the word “Israel” will relate not just to an Israeli soldier or a camel, but Israel as an advanced liberal society with a strong economy and great people.

At least we find this in there:-

On the right of Israel to exist and to defend itself, there is no opposition in Israel.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Someone Is Beginning To Think

"Have you failed to notice that the more we lend legitimacy
to a Palestinian state, the more it comes at the expense of our own?"

Uzi Arad,
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's national security adviser
in an address to a Jewish Agency audience,
June 22, 2010


"The creation of a Palestinian state remains the choice of many. But in the process, have you failed to notice that the more we lend legitimacy to a Palestinian state, the more it comes at the expense of our own?"

...the Palestinians [are] "major actors in the de-legitimization of Israel"..."In trying to make peace" via the indirect U.S.-led talks, "we are embracing an adversary who is conducting a very effective battle against us internationally..."Maybe we should have acted somewhat differently -- less zealous to champion the Palestinians and more eager to defend our own ranks."

..."If we do make an initiative, which incorporates further concessions, it would only validate their current rejectionist position, leading them to say, 'If we wait long enough there will be some more,' " Arad said, referring to the Palestinians.

Finally, some, ahem, original thinking.

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Oh So Notable - Not

"HAA Travels" has invited Alumni, Family, Friends, and Guests of the Harvard Alumni Association to travel to the Middle East with the HAA.


Here is the blurb for one of the tours, entitled "The Holy Land: Views on Israeli-Palestinian Relations" to take place between Oct 6-16, 2010 with Everett Mendelsohn:-

Explore the archaeological and cultural heritage of Israel and Palestine, and engage in the political issues that they face. Visit Jerusalem with its unique interplay of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim cultures and Ramallah, the political center of the Palestinian Authority. Then travel through the Jordan Valley to Tiberias, base for visits to ancient Capernaum and Beit She’an, a well preserved Roman and Byzantine city. Conclude in sophisticated and vibrant Tel Aviv. Meetings with distinguished Israeli and Palestinian notables in the political and diplomatic worlds will enhance this unique journey.

Here's an appreciation:

“Depth of information and contacts was beyond my expectations…It is hard to single out highlights as there were several each day. Personal contact and exposure were very meaningful.” – HAA Traveler from Hingham, Mass. reflecting on the trip to Israel in 2008

See here for more info.

By the way, this is a 'rich' tour: it "starts" from $7,795 per person. For 10 days (actually almost 9). Are they leaving big tips for Arab refugees?

But let's get back to basics.

Everett Mendelsohn is...Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at Harvard University, where he has been on the faculty since 1960. Among his recent publications are “Religious Fundamentalism and the Sciences” and “Grasping the Elusive Peace in the Middle East.” He coauthored the report, “Israeli-Palestinian Security – Issues in the Permanent Status Negotiations” for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences where he chaired the Middle East Security subcommittee. He has visited widely in the Middle East on a regular basis since 1968. He is committed to using his personal contacts to ensure we receive a balanced perspective on the history and current state of Israeli-Palestinian relations.

He happens to be on the FFIPP-USA Advisory Board. FFIPP is

an international network of academics and students that support a complete end to the illegal Israeli occupation of lands seized in the 1967 war and removal of all the settlements and the separation wall built on occupied land.

We call on Israeli, Palestinian and international academics everywhere to take a stand in support of ending the occupation, as well as against the extreme violence to which it has subjected both Palestinians and Israelis. Academics worldwide must also stand firm in support of the basic human right for free education in both Palestine and Israel, a right that has been compromised, continually in Palestine, due to the continued occupation.

1. We call upon international academics visiting Israeli institutions of higher education, and Israeli academics visiting foreign institutions, to make clear their support of ending the Israeli occupation and the removal of the separation wall built on occupied land.
2. Academics invited to speak at Israeli educational institutions should try to visit and speak at equivalent Palestinian institutions.
3. FFIPPI supports the call to sanction faculty and institutions, which clearly support the occupation.
4. FFIPPI calls on professional associations of academics, in Israel and internationally, to take a stand against the occupation and to issue guidelines regarding the use of academic connections to promote the end of Israeli occupation.
5. FFIPPI expresses its strong support for and encouragement of individuals in the Israeli and Palestinian academy whose actions against the occupation and in support of peace and justice have resulted in personal hardship. Notable cases include Israelis refusing IDF military service in the occupied territories; those publicly condemning the violation of civil and human rights in the occupied territories; and those Palestinians who have called for an end to suicide bombing and the use of arms against Civilian targets. FFIPPI will act to publicize their actions.
6. FFIPPI views the College of Judea and Samaria in the West Bank as a part of the machinery of Israeli occupation and calls upon academics worldwide to refuse to collaborate with it in any way...

Well, I just love the liberal progressive approach to academic freedom.

Those poor (actually quite rich) tourists. This is a political tour of pro-Pal. character.

But one more thing.

I love the use of "notables" up there.

"Notables" is a key term in what is claimed to be "Palestinian nationalism" which at the most was a clash of competing elite families who sought (and bought) favors from the central power authority - Ottoman or British, or Jordanian for that matter.

See here and also here. And this:

...the Muslim-Christian Association (MCA) first appeared in Jaffa early in November 1918, and in Jerusalem later the same month; subsequently it set up branches in various Palestinian towns. The purpose behind creating the MCA was to organize a Palestinian national struggle against the threat of Zionism.

The top leadership of the MCA was drawn largely from the older generation of urban notables who had social standing in Ottoman times. Initially, the MCA, under former Jerusalem mayor Musa Kazim al-Husayni, did not have much political power, and its significance derived from the fact that it embodied the concept of political cooperation between Muslims and Christians in Palestine. Gradually, however, it became a group of leaders and activists who were able to mobilize important segments of Palestinian society around a program of independence and opposition to Zionism...

More sympathetic background here.

The tour doesn't seem balanced.

I would suggest a meeting with a revenant Jew residing in the area of his historic national homeland to present his view and narrative.

Want to suggest me?

Write them at

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Is This What The Red Sea Crossing Would Look Like Today?

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Another Satire on the Three

After this, this:-

Found here.

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Israeli Opinion

From latest War and Peace Index Poll:-

We asked: “Some claim that despite the international criticism, Israel should continue the blockade of Gaza and only allow the entry of the most essential items so as to keep the pressure on Hamas and prevent attacks from there on Israel. Others claim that the price Israel is paying for the blockade in world public opinion is higher than the risks of removing it. With which opinion do you agree more?” A sweeping majority of the Jewish public—78%—sided with the first claim, voiced repeatedly in the past by decision-makers, that the blockade should be continued so as to pressure Hamas and prevent attacks. Only a minority—17%—thought the price in terms of international public opinion was too high (note that the survey was done before Prime Minister Netanyahu’s announcement on canceling the limitations Israel had imposed in the past on the entry of goods into Gaza).

The War and Peace Index is written by Prof. Tamar Hermann and Prof. Ephraim Yaar under the auspices of the Evans Program for Conflict Resolution of Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute. The telephone interviews were conducted by the Dahaf Institute from June 7-9, 2010, and included 603 interviewees who represent the adult population of Israel (including the territories and the kibbutzim). The sampling error for a sample of this size is 4.5%.

Temple Mount 80 Years Ago

At Least He Avoided Their Fate

At least General Stanley McChrystal didn't suffer their fate:

Dignified as A Reverse Racisim

Who said:

"People are not savages because they have dark skins. The Arabian civilization is one of the oldest in the world...the Arabs are dignified and keen brained."

That's right,

Valentino as The Sheik.

Leftwing Liberal Thinking

Okay, The Nation is far-out radical, progressive left.

But it pretends to be fair, democratic, pluralistic and intellectual.

Well, here's an exchange betweeon someone wishing his article to be published and an editor:

In response to the article's submission:

Thank you for thinking of The Nation. Your proposed article is diametrically opposed to our opinion on this blockade, so we will be unable to take you up on your offer of this article.

Author's response to the editor:

Hi Jl,
That is a very interesting email. Never before have I ever been told that a news website or publication wouldn't publish an article of mine because they oppose my point of view. How does your response and refusal to publish my article, based on political reasoning, fall in line with The Nation's founding prospectus?

"The Nation will not be the organ of any party, sect, or body. It will, on the contrary, make an earnest effort to bring to the discussion of political and social questions a really critical spirit, and to wage war upon the vices of violence, exaggeration, and misrepresentation by which so much of the political writing of the day is marred."

It seems to me you are diametrically opposing your own prospectus?

All the best,
Jacob Shrybman

The Nation editor's response to that:

We are a journal of opinion--usually dissenting opinion. You espouse the run-of-the-mill mainstream views that we are here to correct, as they are based on misinformation/propaganda. It doesn't need repeating.

Jacob's response:

The funny thing about opinion is, if you ask me I would say your view is "run-of-the-mill" and that is the one I am here to influence. That's how opinions work, everyone has one. So you should be ashamed that you call your site a "journal of opinion" when you don't allow for opinions other than the decided upon stance to be represented.

If you believe Osher and Rami Twito's rocket maimed legs are misinformation, I invite you to Israel to come and see them for yourself.

JL would seem to be Copy Chief Judith Long.

And here are "5 Questions with Judith Long" who has been a copy editor for The Nation for more than twenty years.

Q: What is your preferred environment for writing?

A: Home, either out in the yard (weather permitting) or inside by a crackling fire.

Q: What punctuation mark are you fondest of?

A: Em dash (you didn't ask, but my least favorite punctuation mark is the semicolon—although it has its uses).

Q: What punctuation, spelling, grammar, style, or usage error annoys you the most?

A: When "I" is used instead of the correct "me," as in "They slid the secret file to Boris and I." Also, when people are over-sticklerish, as when they freak out at "Who did you vote for?" I also hate the incorrect "chaise lounge" for the correct "chaise longue" and the incorrect pronunciation of "forte" (basketball is not my forte) as "for-tay" instead of "fort." Also, it's "different from" not "different than," and never, ever say "the reason why ___ is because . . ."

Q: If you weren't in your current line of work, what would you be doing instead?

A: Teaching English (which I spent many years doing before my current incarnation as a copy editor).

Q: What drove you to become a writer?

A: Love of words, writing, language, publishing, and making a silk purse out of a sow's ear—which is what editing is.

Not a word about ideological fanaticism. Hmmmm.

She thinks that there were "terrorists occupying the White House".

Thinks? Is that the correct term?

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Turning Things On Their Head

Anything and everything goes when pillorying Israel.


[Israel] treats Gaza as an "enemy state,"...That Gaza continues to function today is a testament not to Israel's or the international community's humanitarian impulses, but to the remarkable social cohesion of Palestinian society and, let us acknowledge the fact--to Hamas's governing skills.

He comes to praise Hamas - and to bury Israel.

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Know What A 'Decoy Jew' Is?

I once was involved in having a young women go to Jaffa and sort of pretend, or at least allow some people to think, that she was a "working girl". It was a journalistic assignment to investigate the activities of Arabs running Jewish girls as prostitutes.

And now in Holland:-

Dutch police use 'decoy Jews' to stop anti-Semitic attacks

Lodewijk Asscher, Amsterdam's mayor, has ordered the new decoy strategy to cut the number of verbal and physical attacks on Jews, amid fears that anti-Semitic "hate crime" is on the rise. "Jews in at least six Amsterdam neighbourhoods often cannot cross the street wearing a skullcap without being insulted, spat at or even attacked," according to local reports.

...Secret television recordings by the Jewish broadcasting company, Joodse Omroep, broadcast at the weekend, have shocked Amsterdam, a city which prides itself on liberalism and which is home to the Anne Frank museum.

The footage showed young men, often of immigrant origin, shouting and making Nazi salutes at a rabbi when he visited different areas of the Dutch capital.

"Immigrant origin" = Muslim.

And look what happens in Germany.

(Kippah tip: SR)

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The Three Rs: Rabbi, Rabbi, Rabbi

Not Much Time for Justice

Spotted this sign just outside the entrance to Jerusalem's Rabbinical Court:

That's right. Hours of judgment at 8:45- 12:00.

Not much time for justice.

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Did She Slip On The Spill?

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New York Times Defines The Labour Party's Ideology

Here it is:-

Defense Minister Ehud Barak [is a] member of the Labor Party, the only centrist element in a right-leaning government

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Words of Wisdom

Riding shotgun in an armored vehicle as it passed through the heat and confusion of southern Afghanistan this month, an Army sergeant spoke into his headset, summarizing a sentiment often heard in the field this year.

“I wish we had generals who remembered what it was like when they were down in a platoon,” he said to a reporter in the back. “Either they never have been in real fighting, or they forgot what it’s like.”

The sergeant was speaking of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and the circle of counterinsurgents who since last year have been running the Afghan war, and who have, as a matter of both policy and practice, made it much more difficult for troops to use airstrikes and artillery in the fight against the Taliban.


One Marine infantry lieutenant, during fighting in Marja this year, said he had all but stopped seeking air support while engaged in firefights. He spent too much time on the radio trying to justify its need, he said, and the aircraft never arrived or they arrived too late or the pilots were reluctant to drop their ordnance.

“I’m better off just trying to fight my fight, and maneuver the squads, and not waste the time or focus trying to get air,” he said.

Several infantrymen have also said that the rules are so restrictive that pilots are often not allowed to attack fixed targets — say, a building or tree line from which troops are taking fire — unless they can personally see the insurgents doing the firing.

This has lead to situations many soldiers describe as absurd, including decisions by patrol leaders to have fellow soldiers move briefly out into the open to draw fire once aircraft arrive, so the pilots might be cleared to participate in the fight.


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The Prize For Prayer Participation - Visit to the Temple Mount

Some two dozen kids from Hebron were awarded a prize - a visit to the Temple Mount in recognition of their regular participation in morning prayer services.

Here they are:-

Source (in Hebrew)

If They Ascend to the Temple Mount, You Can't?

Sure you can.

One Eye-Patch and a...Traditional Palestinian Wedding Dance

[With appreciation to BT]

Of course you knew that when I read this, I immediately thought: "why doesn't he go with a Moshe Dayan costume?", right? And then I had another thought. Read on.

Kate Spear-Brodsky and Louai Abu-Osba

Kate Spear-Brodsky, a daughter of Duston Spear of Bedford, N.Y., and Eugene V. Brodsky of New York, was married Saturday to Louai Yousef Abu-Osba, a son of Nadia Salem Saqer of New York and Dr. Yousef Khalil Abu-Osba of Amman, Jordan. The Rev. Donna Schaper, a minister of the United Church of Christ, officiated at the home of the bride’s mother and stepfather, Jon-Marc Seimon, in Bedford.

...Ms. Spear-Brodsky and Mr. Abu-Osba met in October 2002 when she visited a fellow student’s apartment to watch movies. Mr. Abu-Osba often came to the apartment to play video games with a friend who also lived there, and to cook spicy meals...As Halloween neared, she asked him what costume he was going to wear at the campus party. He revealed plans to go as a software pirate and hand out pirated software. But Ms. Spear-Brodsky said she mistook his answer to mean he “was going to be like Jack Sparrow” and asked if he was going to wear an eye patch.

He was initially taken aback by the question, but then quickly readjusted his costume design — especially after she told him “eye patches are sexy.” Put in that context, he recalled, “I made sure I was wearing an eye patch.”

...The couple chose an olive branch as their theme for the Jewish-Muslim union, and the ceremony under a wedding canopy combined readings in Arabic and English, and a traditional Palestinian wedding dance.

Traditional? No shooting?



Carmiel suffering from Arab neighbors' celebratory gunfire

Custom of shooting guns into the air celebrations in Arab villages has been around for years, but the residents of Carmiel are finally fed up. City resident says, 'Police say not to leave the house if I'm scared. Is that a solution?' Mayor petitions minister of internal security on issue

The celebratory gunfire shot off in Arab towns in the Galilee is not making for particularly happy neighbors. The shooting has reportedly increased during recent nights because of the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

This has provoked Carmiel Mayor Adi Eldar to petition Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch on the issue, demanding that he "exercise all the force of the police to stop the unending gunfire in the neighboring villages."

Nearly every night throughout the summer gun shots can be heard during one of the weddings in the Arab villages nearby Carmiel. The phenomenon increases during the Eid al-Fitr holiday and during major sporting events. In many cases, the explosions heard are from fireworks, but often comes from hunting rifles, revolvers, and even automatic weapons.

Our house faces the villages. The situation here is just getting worse," said Margalit Wolovitch, a resident of the western section of Carmiel. "The gunfire is unbearable, both in terms of the safety risk and in terms of the fact that large weapons caches exist in these villages, and no one is doing a thing."

According to Wolovitch, "There are entire nights that you can't even shut your eyes here. When there is a wedding, they shoot; when there is a holiday, they shoot; when there are elections, they shoot. Multiple shots in the air at once. On election day last month, they shot throughout the day.

Even Ahmed, the Producer/Host of the Arab American TV Show Belahdan at Minnetonka, MN knows:


Oh, and even he was thinking like me: