03 May 2015

Aromantic or aromatic? Or both?

That previous post of mine caused me an urgent need to look up the term "aromantic" that  was first misread by me (and at least one other reader) as "aromatic".

The answer appears in an offshoot of Wiki called AVENWiki (?) and is so... so different, shall I say? - that I have no choice but to bring it all here:

An aromantic is a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others. Where romantic people have an emotional need to be with another person in a romantic relationship, aromantics are often satisfied with friendships and other non-romantic relationships. What distinguishes romantic relationships from a non-romantic relationships can vary diversely, but often includes physical connection (holding hands, cuddling, etc.) The aromantic attribute is usually considered to be innate and not a personal choice, just as the lack of sexual attraction is innate to asexuals. It is important to note that aromantics do not lack emotional/personal connection, but simply have no instinctual need to develop connections of a romantic nature. Aromantics can have needs for just as much empathetic support as romantics, but these needs can be fulfilled in a platonic way.

It is possible for an aromantic individual to be involved in, and enjoy, a devoted relationship with another person, but these relations are often closer friendships, naturally reflecting the closeness of the two individuals and not a purposely initiated monogamous separation as is often found in romantic couples. Aromantics may experience squishes which are the aromantic or platonic equivalent of a romantic crush. When an aromatic get's into a relationship that's more than friends - but less than romantic - that is known as a queerplatonic relationship.

Like all romantic identities aromatics can be of any sexual orientation.
I have to say that it is not a simple text and should be mentally parsed several times to be understood. Unfortunately, the punchline (see the last sentence in the quote above) destroys your last chance to get an answer to the question asked in the headline.

So there.

For posterity: snapshot of the quoted above page (click to embiggen):

02 May 2015

מחשבות על "מדינת כל אזרחיה"

ביליתי שבוע בים המלח.
אנו עושה זאת על חשבון משרד הביטחון פעם-פעמיים בשנה, אבל זה לא ה-issue כאן.
בדרך כלל הקהל המבלה במלונות ים המלח בימי השבוע הם גימלאים. הם מגיעים באוטובוסים למספר ימים, ודי מכתיבים את אופי המקום. התרגלנו לזה.
השנה הופתענו לראות קהל אחר. משפחות דרוזיות.
השבוע היה חג דרוזי - חג הנביא שועייב. זהו חג בן 4 ימים. ראו תיאור.
וכמו שהיהודים ממלאים בהמוניהם את המלונות בימי חול המועד פסח וחול המועד סוכות, כך הדרוזים.
וכך בבריכה של המלון נהנו להם ביחד כמה גימלאים דוברי עברית, נכי צה"ל בגילאים שונים, המון תיירים דוברי רוסית ומשפחות דרוזיות דוברות ערבית.
אסקפיזם במיטבו.
אגב, בהבדל גדול מהישראלי הקולני הממוצע (ראו מקרה השוקולד במטוס או האלימות במלון באילת), המשפחות הדרוזיות הן קהל נעים ביותר. הילדים מחונכים, ההורים ממעטים לצעוק עליהם, הרבה כבוד רואים שם בין בני המשפחה, הרבה משפחות רב דוריות. הצניעות מתבטאת בכך שהנשים לובשות בגדי ים המכסים את כל הגוף - כמו בגדי ספורט, והרבה מהן עוטות צעיף לבן ככיסוי ראש.

הביאו אותי כל יום לבלות עם הקהל הזה ולא עם קהלנו הקולני.
וקצת מידע על העדה באופן כללי ניתן למצוא כאן.

והנה הגיע סוף השבוע, הדרוזים חזרו לבתיהם, ישראלים קולניים הגיעו במקומם.

אבל, סוף השבוע הביא איתו הפתעה:
חוף הים הפתוח התמלא בקבוצות של גברים ערבים. יושבים במעגלים קטנים על מחצלות, צולים בשר על מתקני צלייה קטנים, מעשנים נרגילות, שומעים מוזיקה ערבית. וכך - הולכים להם נופשי המלונות על הטיילת בין המלונות למרכז הקניות הקטן, ולידם תושבי המדינה הערבים חוגגים בצורה אחרת. ואלו לא מפריעים לאלו.

האם זה אפשרי? מדינת כל אזרחיה?

29 April 2015

Left, right and Christian

I was reading a ToI blog post by Ben Gladstone, who is "a liberal Zionist teenager from Boston, MA and a first-year undergraduate student at Brown University". The post is titled The Zionist movement should never depend on the Christian right. Eloquently written, with its rousing references to Yom HaShoah, to the timeless quote from Pastor Martin Niemöller etc, the article cautions us to be aware of "Christian right, as it creeps insidiously into the Zionist movement."

While eloquent, the article made me a bit dizzy in a sense. The author sometimes goes into amazing resolution level*, only to zoom out suddenly when defining other terms like "Christian right"** or "true Zionism, with its leftist, secularist, socialist history". Not being an expert on the subject of American Christians, I still find it hard to believe that millions and millions of US Christians that support Israel all espouse antisemitic views like those described by Ben. Like I find it quite hard to believe that all of them were members of Ku Klux Klan and/or unrepentant haters of folks with different lifestyle. And I definitely disagree with broad-brushing of "true Zionism": far from all of it was leftist, secularist and socialist, like Ben would like you to believe. The two movements are wrongly presented as some monolithic entities, while Ben himself strongly objects to, for instance, presentation of American Islam as a monolithic entity later on.

This arbitrary zooming in and out could be deceptive, as it is in the case of this article.

Not being a part of a Zionist movement, the movement part being over for me, since I and mine are here (see article 8 of our Charter), I have to look at the warning rather as a citizen of Israel. And I have to say that the view I see differs from the black and white picture drawn by Ben. Being a part of this world, Israel maintains diplomatic relationships with a lot of countries and a lot of different regimes, some (many) of them reprehensible. Israel engages in trade with a lot of them, quite a few reprehensible ones included. Israel shares the UN General Assembly forum with tens of revolting and inhuman dictatorships. In all that Israel behaves like any other country, including the most enlightened democracies out there.

So what do I have to say on the subject of out relationships with American Christians? Yes, a small part of them may be antisemitic (not a big surprise) and a rather larger part of them may believe that the Jews should all gather here for the rather distant purpose of the second coming of Jesus (which expectation doesn't bother me a lot: we are a frisky gang and collecting us all in one place is a tall job). Yes, some of the American Christians were members of KKK and some were persecuting gay folks - but rather a smallish number of them persists in these two pastimes.

If you follow Ben's logic from here on consistently, we (Israel) should not only disconnect from the American Christians, but also abandon many (if not most) of our diplomatic and trade ties, leave the dictators club that calls itself UN etc. Actually, if we base our decisions about international ties on the existence of anti-Semites in a nation, I feel safe to say that we should simply fire all our Foreign Ministry staff and be done with it, not to mention closing down all the foreign trade - related outfits.

I strongly feel that Ben's rather politicized (to the left) worldview (not that I am going to argue with it here) and his youthful appetite for over-simplification had a strong impact on the article, denying it a sufficient measure of logic.

All in all - nope. Doesn't work for me, Ben.

(*) In this sentence, for instance:

I thought about how they have already come for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, intersex, asexual/aromantic, and otherwise non-heterosexual/non-cisgender (LGBTQIA+) community.
Some of the (hardly necessary) terms, like "aromantic" will provide me with some future study for sure.

(**) The definition of which, presented at the end of the article, is also somewhat flimsy. Is, for instance, Presbyterian Church of US, which is largely anti-Israel and quite antisemitic, to be considered left of right? 

28 April 2015

Iran's military 'fires at and seizes US cargo ship'

British Independent, referring to Tehran semi-official Fars News, reports:

Iranian forces have reportedly fired at and seized a US cargo ship with 34 sailors on board, according to Saudi Arabian state TV.

The vessel has been directed to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas on the southern coast, Al-Arabiya has reported.
Iran's semi-official Fars news agency suggested that the ship was trespassing in the Persian Gulf.
So far no similar reports surfaced in US press.

Update: Nope, apparently not a US ship, after all.
Iran seized a Marshall Island-flagged cargo ship on Tuesday in Iranian waters in the Strait of Hormuz, Defense officials said Tuesday.

There were no Americans aboard the Maersk Tigris, though the United States has security responsibilities with regard to the Marshall Islands.

Pentagon spokesman Brent Colburn sent a tweet that said the Navy "is communicating with representatives of the shipping company and continue to monitor the situation.

Israeli assistance to Nepal and the usual responses

Every single time that a catastrophe like this happens, when Israel sends its rescue teams and medics, the usual crowd of little shits wakes up with their knee-jerk responses:

Now, imagine the same crowd responses if Israel didn't send assistance...

Via FB user Mark Lott, with thanks.

26 April 2015

Gideon Levy and the Other Side

Gideon Levy, the self-appointed Moral Compass of Israel and appointed by others Baron of deceit industry, is a topic that is guaranteed to get me some heartburn. More than enough has been written about this strange critter on these pages.

The linked clip, however, offers the watcher/reader a hitherto undisclosed angle on the workings of Mr Levy's brain and the resulting tunnel vision of the world espoused by the gentleman. The clip in question is a part of a Israeli Hot TV Channel 3 Mehubarim series, recorded in 2012. The circumstances of the recording: Gideon Levy (driving) and his spouse, with their son Uri (a soldier at the time) and his partner drive to Maale Adumim (a "settlement" township near Jerusalem), when a heated political discussion develops.

Transcript of the clip (G - Gideon L., U - Uri L.):

G: Yesterday I had a great experience: a youngster approached me, while I was eating. He is a member of Maale Adumim town council. I told him that tomorrow I'll be again in Maale Adumim and he almost fainted. He couldn't believe that I am coming to a settlement on Rosh Ha Shana [Jewish New Year Eve]. I find it hard to believe too... A minute later, when the... er... things... got a bit heated, I called him a war criminal. And thus I was left to finish my shawarma in peace.
U: You are over the top...
G: Why over the top?
U: Don't you think that your opinions are too extremist?
G: I don't think that my opinions are too extremist. Why do you think they are too extremist?
U:  Because your mind is locked. Because you say "that's it". Because you think that there is no other way... no way, in your opinion.
G: Right.
U: You are not listening, you are not... You are... your opinion is sacred and you can't be moved [from it]. But first you should listen to the other side.
G: But I am listening. The other side says: "Kill Arabs, be strong, live by the sword, murder Arabs"...
U: Do you agree with me that the Arab that launches Qassams deserves to die?
G: Yes, but...
U: Fine, now...
[a few seconds of both parties trying to get the upper hand in the dialog]
U: No, no, no, just answer me.
G: So?
U: Yes or no, simple, without "buts"?
G: Yes.
U: Fine, we have made half of the distance. So write once an article in favor of Israel. Write once that you are happy with the soldiers. That you son is a soldier. Write at least once, what could happen? What - you will get off your mountain?
G: Uri, take a look to your right. Do you see the roadblock, the fence?
U: OK.
G: Behind the fence there are people living there. These are people who sit behind the fence in a prison. These people live like dogs. And while they live like dogs, we'll not fare well.
U: This is what you say...
G: It will be no good for us...
U: Heck, only the last week a Qassam fell on Sderot. Fuck it! What? I know how to shout too! This is what the other side will say: I don't care! Fuck it! Let them live like dogs and let them all die! Why should I care? Fine, you see - everyone can shout, can come and say... Just listen to the other side.
G: Who is the other side?
U: "Who is the other side?" Here, you see? You are not listening, oh God... "Who is the other side"... you are simply locked in your worldview, that's it.
G: I am very locked.
U: The other side is not of interest to you. Tell me I am not right, and I shall slap you. Because you are wrong. You don't care what I am saying.

Yes, the dialog (oh well...) is sometimes incoherent. And yes, I believe that every son (mine included) had this urge to slap his dad a few from time to time (sometimes deservedly), so I am not gloating at this angle of the conversation at all. But the main point for me (the one I have helpfully emphasized in the transcript) is that "other side" view by Mr Levy.

Apparently, according to this view, aside of Gideon Levy, the "other side", meaning 6.5 million non-Gideon-Levy Israelis is a uniformly hateful gang of bloodthirsty murderers, having only one goal: to kill the Arabs. And only one way of living - by the sword.

That's it, ladies and gentlemen. I don't know about you, as far as I am concerned, the case of the Israeli Moral Compass is closed. Enough said.

But: don't forget the following (by Ben Dror Yemini):
...earlier this week I was asked by a young Israeli I do not know personally, how can I sit in a television studio with Gideon Levy, and not boil from indignation. I assured him I was proud to live in a country where there is a Gideon Levy, who writes and kicks freely. Any other option will be worse.

24 April 2015

Mary Harf: so young and already in history. Did you harf today, my dear?

Even after a long disconnect from the virtual reality and an overwhelming amount of mess to be cleaned up after a long absence, one cannot pass such a monumental addition to the dictionary unnoticed.
To say or assert something so patently stupid and preposterous as to generate widespread mockery. Named in honor of State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf.
The State Department Spokesperson was harfing on about how Islamic State jihadists only needed job opportunities in order to give up their evil ways.
So, if your wife (or husband or, to be politically correct, any other kind of partner) asks you that question after a long and tiring day - take it easy, it is not like "barfing".

Well, but pretty close, come to think of it.

P.S. Still, let's not forget that Ms Harf is not, strictly speaking, an owner of her tongue. Someone else, much higher up, should have at least a share of the glory.

Hat tip: American Thinker.

31 March 2015

Blogging is going to be light for a while

For the next three weeks or so. Especially if some lazy people don't pick up the slack.
And you all out there: behave!

30 March 2015

Israel as a magnet for foreign journalists

I could source this text only to a Russian FB post. But it clinches nicely with what I know personally about the subject, so...

Pilar Rahola i Martínez - a Spanish journalist, writer, and former politician and MP about her fellow journalists in Israel.

Israel is a magnet for foreign journalists, not because there is more terror than in Mexico, and not because any of the journalists really care about the war of the Arabs vs the Jews. The real reason: Israel is the West. Foreign journalists live comfortably in Israel, they are looking for the slightest excuse for sensational stories with a magnifying glass and created a reputation for Israel, where shooting happens around every corner. Hence, the stay of a foreign special correspondent in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and so on is life-threatening, and the correspondent has to be paid at the higher rate.

At least 100 foreign special correspondents live in Israel permanently, including reporters of Al Jazeera and all this writing and broadcasting community is eating at the restaurants with clean utensils and regular health supervision. No matter whom of my colleagues I asked, no one dares to buy food in the Arab markets, with the exception of Jaffa, where on Saturdays the Jewish throngs gather. I forgot to point out that there are less accredited foreign journalists in Argentina than in Israel, not to mention Mexico and Colombia.

For a pleasant life one has to pay by providing material. As a result, when Israeli border guards kill two Palestinian terrorists, moans and cries rise to high heaven, but when in Mexico the gangsters and the police shoot 20-30 people daily, the wide world doesn't even know about it.

At the end of the reporting Rahola writes: "Israel must undoubtedly be considered a country under martial law. Any other country in this situation will introduce a strict censorship and definitely establish a Ministry of Information. Israel - an exception. In all the years of [Israel's] existence such ministry or government office has not been established.

When people ask me, "How did they live there ?!" - I say, "Okay," - and they say, "You're kidding, right?".

29 March 2015

Operation Charlie Foxtrot

The man uses same noun twice in the quoted below sentence, but a fact is a fact:

In fact, you can say what you want about the origins of the current mess in the Middle East, but the fact that America’s relations with every important country in the region are worse with the exception of Iran is telling.
Or, in an even shorter but all-inclusive description:
The technical foreign-policy term for this is giant cluster-fuck. (In the military’s shorthand, using its own phonetic alphabet, the expression is charlie foxtrot.)
Now read the whole piece (subscription required, but easy with your e-mail address or your FB ID).

28 March 2015

Germanwings Pilot, Andreas Lubitz exposed as a Jewish Mossad Kamikaze agent

Oh well, it was only a matter of time:

Since the crash occurred, a lot of people have come out and claimed that Andreas Lubitz was a Muslim or a Muslim-convert. This is completely false, Mr. “Lubitz” was in fact a German Jew.
And there are tons of proof in the article, like this:
It should be fairly obvious to the seasoned Jew-Spotter that Mr. Lubitz is not a White man. Firstly, let us examine the eye slits of Lubitz, we find that they are small and slit-like. This is a common feature among the Jews, for they are originally from the desert and the eyelids evolved in a way as to defend the eyes from sun glare.
I cannot give you the direct link, since we here don't link to dreck like that, for fear of ITDs, but a search for the headline will definitely bring it up.

But I definitely could give you a link to the author of the piece, one Joshua Mark John Bonehill-Paine. Judging by the double-barreled name and proliferation of other names, it must be a sad result of inbreeding...

But "Jewish Mossad" is a good enough giveaway, without the name being "racially profiled".

So there.

Update: 2 days after publication and already 450 hits on search for the text in the headline. Cool.

When even MSNBC don't buy your crapola...

it is just the time to regroup.

The panel on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” wasn’t having any of what White House press secretary Josh Earnest was saying about Yemen, calling him out multiple times and putting him on the defensive during a tough interview Thursday morning.

The issue is that Earnest and the administration are touting Yemen, which is in the midst of civil unrest and being overrun by Houthi rebels, as a success story and a model for fighting against terrorism.
Saying that the jobs of various administration spokepersons became more difficult lately isn't saying much...

Yemen as a model or I still don't want Jen Psaki's job

...a reporter asked if the State Department still agreed with President Barack Obama’s September claim that Yemen is the model for his successful counterterrorism strategy.

Spokesperson Jen Psaki answered, “Correct and we stand by that.”
Somebody give the gal a medal. A big one, please...

27 March 2015

King Bibi - the one-eyed man in the land of the blind?

Since this post isn't going to be complimentary to our new/old PM, let's start with a disclaimer: Benjamin Netanyahu is absolutely right in his fight against the Iranian quest for nuclear weapons. Even without the nukes Iran is the hub of destructive overt and covert terrorist and expansionist activities in the Middle East and all over the world, pulling strings and sowing seeds of dissent. Nuclear Iran will become a major nightmare, and those who tend to reduce the problem to Israel only are due for a rude awakening. So yes, everything Bibi says about Iran is true. And this more or less exhausts the repertoire of good things to say about the subject.

Otherwise - but this blog was never too kind to various negative traits of Mr Netanyahu. While not being solely focused on Bibi, as some people are (Ben Caspit of Maariv comes to mind immediately, with his almost obsessive coverage of the "royal" family), nevertheless many unkind (but true) things were said here on the subject. Yes, the man is clearly focused on his political survival at any price, his personal vanity is exceeded only by that of his spouse and his adherence to truth, common moral and elementary decency tend to disappear if his political survival is endangered.

Oh, and on top of all that he is a very poor liar. But this is an established fact since times immemorial, probably since his affair with Ruth Bar. The affair has shown how easily Bibi breaks down when a bit of pressure is applied (after all there was no "in flagrante delicto" recording, and Bibi's public confession was for nothing, as it appeared).

I frequently used Ariel Sharon's characterization of Bibi's inability to withstand pressure, but it is time to document the quote, for instance from this Hebrew source (supported by video recording):
This man generally tends to panicking. Netanyahu is a jittery man that every time folds under pressure and loses his marbles.

I have seen him this way several times. Israel is a special country, here you have to manage the country and to stand up to most complex problems, you need common sense and nerves of steel. He is lacking both.
And the above is not the only occasion when Arik characterized Bibi in this way. So why this reference to the opinion of a man who wasn't without faults himself? Just because Arik's description of Bibi's traits appeared to be prophetic, and also because the traits have never before been taken to such absurd heights as in the last elections campaign. 

Starting with the (in)famous visit and speech in the Congress. As I said at the start of this post, the speech was necessary and a real case of speaking truth to power. But - and this is an important but - the timing and the botched arrangement of the speech have done nothing to alleviate the mutual dislike between the POTUS and Bibi. Rather the opposite - it is so close to hatred now as to be practically indistinguishable - indeed a fine diplomatic coup for a man who was for a very long time gainfully employed in various diplomatic roles. A fine outcome indeed, and the whole country will pay for it for a long time. But Bibi was sure it will be a feather in his hat as far as the coming elections are considered, and nothing could deter him from this act...

Is Obama delusional about Iran? Definitely. Are Bibi's shenanigans the way to turn the tide? Highly doubtful.

And then came the famous pre-election polls, showing a significant lead of the center-left Zionist Camp, and Bibi completely lost it - just as Arik diagnosed. His declaration of no more support for two state solution, aimed at the right wing voters, his alarm at (imaginary) buses the lefties use to bring more Arab voters to the polling stations, aimed at the Jewish population, his overuse of Iranian scarecrow - in spite of the polls showing that voters care more (much more) about the skyrocketing housing prices, his hysterical poaching of voters even from the friendly right wing parties... All that and more was a clear sign of panic. Come what may, Bibi was seeing his political demise, and it scared the crap out of him. Hence the results.

Theses days, after the Pyrrhic elections win, Bibi is feverishly - and not very successfully - mending the broken links, but at least one and most important link - that to the White House - stubbornly refuses to be mended, and there is no single lump payment that will mend it. We all shall pay the price - in many installments over the years to come.

And no, I am not saying that the current state of Obama-Bibi relationships is solely Bibi's fault - far from it, the POTUS (I am ready to bet) is only too happy to use (abuse) the situation. But Bibi has done a lot and more to give the White House sufficient reasons for this state of affairs. And a good part of this just because he broke down and lost his marbles and his common sense - as predicted.

It is a sad fact that a small and resource-less country that has nevertheless excelled in science, technology, agriculture etc, has dismally failed in one area - it failed to produce at least a few political leaders with gumption, vision and coolness to take on the many problems it is faced with. And no such leaders in view, unfortunately.

Too bad.

For desserts: Ashamed of Netanyahu, infuriated with Obama by David Horovitz.

26 March 2015

In Latest Column, NYT’s Friedman Mirrors Administration’s Shift on Iran

This The Tower article summarizes aptly the Friedman's about-turn:
Three years ago, Friedman touted Obama’s toughness in confronting Iran. Now he’s justifying the president’s retreat.
Enough said.

Only one detail: is it my eyes or the TF's nose in the picture is somewhat brown-tinged?