20 November 2018

Human rights? Here you go.


This is a seriously mind-boggling bit of news:
Mexico and three Central American countries have filed a protest with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights over President Trump’s new asylum policy, arguing their citizens should be allowed to flee their countries to find refuge in the U.S.
Let me see how to translate it to simple Engrish. In effect these four countries are saying: we are shit on human rights, so let somebody else take care of our people... interesting, to say the least.

Cool.

12 November 2018

Brainwashing

Everyone is brainwashed. The entire world is brainwashed in some way. Whether you like it or not, you've been brainwashed. It starts the moment you're born, and ends the moment you die. Unless one is very, very good at completely isolating oneself, there's no way to escape it. The entire world is a 24/7/365 effort to keep as many people brainwashed as possible. Madison Avenue and many, many, many other places see to that.
This is the opening paragraph of the article by Benjamin Goldstein.

And, to end on a lighter note, my favorite brainwashing scene ever:

06 November 2018

Craig Murray: sharing his dream with you


Craig Murray appeared on these pages several times. No need to rehash the sad story of a man supported here for a while becoming a man obsessed. So this is a short reminder of the latter:
The only potential resolution of the situation in Palestine must involve justice and dignity for all. That solution requires the abolition of apartheid Israel and its replacement by a unitary, democratic state blind to race and religion. That is no more impossible in Palestine than it was in South Africa.
There, there, nothing more to see here, move on, ladies and gentlemen.

05 November 2018

Miri Regev and degenerate art

She wasn't any good as IDF Spokeswoman either.
History provides many examples of political leaders’ efforts to censor art and restrict public funding of culture in the name of promoting nationalist ideals and protecting communities from adverse artistic influence. The Jewish people have not come out on the winning side of such efforts.
There isn't much I can add to the above quote from the article by Scott Mortman, the Israeli Chair of the America Israel Cultural Foundation.

When you assign the ministry of culture to a person proud of not ever reading Chekhov and the ministry of justice to a person whose main goal is to limit the power of the High Court of Justice etc etc... the outlook is poor.

24 October 2018

Gaza - as a bolt out of the blue?


Whatever you say about our politicians, their ability to play dumb*, coupled with their ability to point an accusing finger at somebody else are still up there with the best.

Recently, while desperately searching a way out of the Gaza stand-off, some of our ministers happened to find what looked to them a suitable scapegoat: out Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot. The soldier's soldier was suddenly blamed in the situation:
...one unnamed minister was quoted as saying, “In the final analysis, Eisenkot’s policy on responding [to Gaza violence] has failed and allowed things to deteriorate.”
Amazing, but it is not all:
Ministers used the meeting to lambast the IDF chief for allowing an Israeli “loss of sovereignty” on the border, and what they called the military’s insufficient action against the balloon launchers.
The sheer gall and stupidity of these attacks is mind-boggling. Blaming your gun for not jumping up and shooting your enemy? The very same people who are responsible for IDF and should decide, after interminable months of border violence, what to do, are accusing IDF in inaction?

To the honor of our illustrious minister of defense, whom I never suspected of overflow of any honor at all, he stood up in defense (no pun intended) of CoS.
It’s ridiculous that cabinet members are blaming the chief of staff for a policy they laid out. This crosses a red line, and it hurts national security.
Liberman's response has probably been strong enough, because lately, due to the general impotence and lack of ideas, our ministers have found another, even better, scapegoat.
According to the lightning theory that emerged Thursday, the projectiles were armed, ready and aimed at Beersheba and Gush Dan in case of an outbreak of violence with Israel when lightning struck in the area and sent them on their way.

Five bolts of lightning struck in the Gaza area around between 3:10 and 3:20 a.m. that morning, according to maps produced by Dr. Barry Lynn of the Weather-It-Is company and the Israel Total Lightning Network, which tracks lightning strikes.

Four of them touched down out at sea, but one struck within the Gaza Strip.
So now it is not Hamas and even not the so handy Gadi Eizenkot. It is He who sends the bolts out of the blue. To save the ministers' faces, which are already so covered by the proverbial eggs that it is difficult to see them.

What can I say? If it looks like bullshit, if it sounds like bullshit, if it smells like bullshit - it is probably a politician...

(*) Or being dumb, choose your preferred option.

17 October 2018

ROC vs priest Alexander Shramko and Facebook


ROC priest Alexander Shramko hasn't expected the bolt out the blue, I bet. He just wanted to document the epic arrival of Patriarch Kirill, the ROC chief, for a meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in Minsk (Belarus). Well, he added a few sarcastic remarks about the manner of the Patriarch's arrival, his inattention to the public gathered to meet him, his seemingly excessive security detail. He posted a few pictures on his Facebook page, like these two (and more):

On October 16, the priest received a decree on his release from the post of cleric of the St. Michael's parish of Minsk. The document states that he is forbidden to serve, to wear the priestly cross, and to bless the believers. Such a decision is justified, in particular, by the publication of messages that "slander the Orthodox Church and sow hostility and hatred in the hearts of people." The ban will be valid for a year, after which the Minsk Diocese will consider the resumption of ministry. “They said that after a year, if you repent, change your attitude ... Probably, it means that I should stop writing, stop speaking,” said Shramko to Euroradio.
Decree attached:


The sensitivity of the most powerful religious institution of Russia (and beyond) is mindboggling, isn't it?

08 October 2018

Don't you ever change, Russia. Stay classy!


This opus, written by a Facebook user Natalya Kuzmina* in 2017, isn't remarkable in its content. Only in the diligence and verbosity of its creator. Her Russian is quite poor, by the way. But she speaks for many, possibly for a lot over there.
Do not purchase sausage, grounded meat, cutlets, frankfurters. They are made of ritually slain children, which disappear in millions every year.
Blood is pumped out (sic!) from the kids, and meat is processed and arrives to the shops' counters.
Our children are being stolen during the year, and sacrificed for important holidays Purim, Hanukkah, Pesach.
[They] could use the adults as well, but the best are children, since they are clean and innocent.
Such sacrifice of innocence is identified with the virginal sacrifice of Christ.
The children are also taken away by Juvenilka**  and sold to Judeans for organs.
Read Psalter every day for your relatives. The strongest prayer in God's eyes comes from Psalter, especially the night one.
This information will soon be removed from the Internet possibly, forward it to people.
Somehow it doesn't look like vegan propaganda leaflet to me...

(*) Don't try to look her up, there is a myriad of people with the same name (Наталья Кузьмина) он Facebook. The name isn't rare.
(**) A slang moniker for the children social services.

06 October 2018

Does Bibi swim? Ayatollahs want to know.

An Iranian Internet site, named Iran Front Page (later about it) published a new eruption of vitriol by yet another Iranian general:


A personal remark, which I hope will not be considered racist: I have found that I can't really tell the Iranian generals apart. They all look kinda the same to me. Although that one has a bit less hair... oh well, to the text:
Lieutenant Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has advised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to practice swimming in the Mediterranean because he will soon have no choice but to flee into the sea.
Brigadier General Hossein Salami said in a Friday speech that the Zionist regime does not have any elements of a state and government, and it is not at the level of being a threat for Iran because the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah is enough to destroy it.
I am not sure what the good general means by "Zionist regime does not have any elements of a state and government" and what exactly elements seem to be missing. In my opinion the said regime has more than enough of these elements. Especially ones that stop innocent motorists on the highway and check their documents, their breath etc. Whatever.

General Salami was in a prime form during this interview, because he continued to produce additional pearls of wisdom. Apparently government-sanctioned pearls. But the point of Bibi swimming somehow caught my attention and held it. Enough to induce me to post this.

I've never learned whether Bibi can swim. Of course, this includes a more specific question: could Bibi swim good enough to get, say, from Eilat to Iran and to duke it out with general Salami. To settle the differences like real men are known to.

But I am sure Bibi has other ways and means to duke it out with general Salami. And it will be better for everyone if he doesn't use those. So let him swim instead. If it is OK with y'all.

Now about the source, the Iran Front Page. This is what they say about themselves on their "About" page:
The Iran Front Page news website or IFP News was established in 2014 after obtaining an official license from Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. It is one of the only private and independent Iranian news websites with English-speaking audiences.
So far so good - a loyal and approved publication, by all means. But then the last sentence on that same page:
By and large, IFP is trying to say that in Iran life goes on as normally as it can.
Mmm... ain't this interesting? You decide. But look at general Salami first.

25 September 2018

O Come All Ye Jew Haters - says Pat Condell - and promptly gets censored.

I have made a screenshot of the "offensive" three minutes clip page:


Click to enlarge for better viewing. I can't embed the clip itself, since the sharing option was disabled by YouTube owners. So you can only use the link above to get there.

And if you find what was so offensive in the contents of Condell's short speech - do me a favor and explain it to me.

24 September 2018

Donald Trump is literally Hitler

When Akaky Akakievich talks, we, the other bloggers, can't do better than just listen.

This essay is one to listen to. So do it.

20 September 2018

Returning by Yael Shahar


We know now where grief untold goes; it goes on to haunt future generations. It gets left behind on the grating; it passes unscathed through temperatures that can melt iron and reduce human bone to ash. And somewhere far removed in space and decades into the future, a stranger wakes out of a sound sleep with an inexplicable nightmare and a despair so deep as to negate life itself.

Somehow, and don't ask me how, I knew immediately that the quote above, taken from the middle of the book, will be the one for the post that I'll write. The book, Returning, appeared to have a special significance for me, and this is what is this post about. That and the need to tell you to read this book.

This is in no way a review, I am not a literary critic (an ugly combo of two words if there ever was one). It is also not a spoiler, I know y'all hate spoilers and I am not going there. So, unfortunately, it will have to be more about me and how I got to read the book than about the book itself.

Strangely, Soviet Union, an almost perfect implementation of a party dictatorship and the ideal of a Big Brother's bailiwick, was inexplicably generous where the literature about the Nazi concentration/mass murder camps and, by extension, about Holocaust, were concerned. There were several books in our home, and there was no problem whatsoever to get more from the local library. My parents, not being very much into censorship, allowed my reading material to be my own choice (and my own problem), and for some reason, the books about Holocaust took a significant part of my adolescent attention.

After a while, though, I just couldn't continue reading. Something bad was taking over me. The mix of pain, sorrow and, not the least, hate, became so intense that it impacted me on a physical level. Thankfully, there were no Germans in the vicinity, nor implements of revenge or knowledge necessary to operate these, but the mental scars left by the acquired knowledge remained forever. It took me a special effort to agree to visit Germany many years after that period (on business) and I have never been in Poland. The visit to Yad Vashem cost me more - on several levels - than I care to recall. And so it rolled with me. I wasn't able to read more about the Holocaust, or to see the movies, or to view interviews with survivors - all this was just too much for me.

But when I have seen the first notice about the book going to be published and about it subject matter, e.g. a member of sonderkommando*, my acquired resistance weakened. The subject was new to me. Not that I didn't know about sonderkommandos, but I have never seen one talking or writing about the experience, although I heard about survivors... So the ebook was duly purchased and downloaded.

Now about the book. Actually, it is again about me - reading the book this time.  I don't know whether many of you have undergone a musical ability test. Part of it is when the musician sits at the piano and plays a musical piece, where the melody passes from the lower octaves (left hand) to the higher octaves (right hand) and back. You are supposed to point to the correct hand when the melody jumps over, without delay if possible. When I started to read the book, for a short while I thought that I keep following the melody switching hands. But then - it very quickly appeared to be not a relatively simple fugue but a whole complex symphony that kept me on the edge of my chair for the whole time.

This book is a tough read.

This book is also a rewarding read.

This book is a mandatory read.

And many thanks to Yael.

P.S. And I had my own vision too, here in Israel - but it is another story.

(*) The only spoiler you are going to get from me.

16 September 2018

Something is rotten in the Elders' HQ


I am taking a serious risk here, posting this inter-departmental memo from the Elders' HQ. So please don't tell anyone, OK?

To: [redacted], Field agents training dept., Elders' HQ
From: [redacted], European operations dept., Elders' HQ

Date: [redacted]

Subject: Operational readiness of the agents and the British fiasco.

Dear [redacted],

I am sorry to raise the subject, but the recent developments in the Albion are extremely disturbing. On one hand, our operation aimed at destabilizing the Labo(u)r party and discrediting that golem Corbyn was very successful, our fellow Jooz now believe that he is totally antisemitic. Which is good.

But the operation success was undermined by some loose tongues. Look what that Mark Serwotka character discovered:
The leader of one of Britain’s main trade unions has suggested that Israel created the antisemitism row that has engulfed Labour over the summer.

Mark Serwotka, who leads the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) and is a staunch supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, told a fringe event at the Trades Union Congress conference that the Jewish state could have “created a story that does not exist” in order to distract attention from “atrocities” he said it has committed.
Now, [redacted], please tell me that it is not your newly matriculated agents [redacted] and [redacted], that were drinking last week in London, in that [redacted] pub and talked loudly about the ways and means of our operation? It is by sheer luck that the waitress in the pub, one of our senior operatives, was able to slip [redacted] in their beer. Otherwise they might have very well been discussing our mind control technology and other ways to force the golem into his incredibly stupid slips of the tongue. Not to mention our secret way of adding truth serum to the London water supplies that made his minions to behave in the same manner.

Yes, I know that you have asked Colonel Ron Prosor, the ex-ambassador, to write that article in The Telegraph, where he, among other things, tried to discredit the (totally true) fact of him personally printing out the pro-Zionist speeches for MPs, government ministers and royal family members. But who reads The Telegraph, I ask you? It is behind a pay wall anyway. Yes, I know that he was trying to shirk that task, complaining about the sore state of his fingertips after all these years of controlling UK, but in any case the article did exactly the opposite of what it was supposed to accomplish.

So here is what I want you to do now. Open a page from the KGB (FSB it is called now) field manual and do exactly what the Russkies have done with these two hapless Novichok carriers. Prepare an interview where the two young morons, [redacted] and [redacted], will tell how they spent a vacation in GB, while most of the time under influence of a new experimental substance and were mostly concerned with all these British cultural treasures: the Big Ben, the Westminster, the Karl Marx grave - you know what I mean, from the list.

Yes, I know that you are in training dept. and not in operations, but on account of the whole being the fault of your product, I leave this part to you. And don't worry about exposing [redacted] and [redacted] to the media, we'll have to [redacted] them anyway.

Please let me know when the task is accomplished.
Elders rule!

Your [redacted].

P.S. And about this Serwotka putz: [two further paragraphs redacted]

14 September 2018

Really, fellow Murcans?

People say lately that the Onion with its biting satire and ad absurdum (invented) situations isn't really catching up with current reality. How true is it, could be seen in this latest story about the Senate judiciary committee hearings of the Judge Kavanaugh possible appointment to the Supreme Court.

A senior Democratic senator has alerted federal investigators to a confidential letter she received regarding Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s conservative nominee for the US supreme court, in an extraordinary move that suggested she had been informed of possible wrongdoing.
And what it the wrongdoing about?
A source who said they were briefed on the contents of the letter said it described an incident involving Kavanaugh and a woman that took place when both were 17 years old and at a party. According to the source, Kavanaugh and a male friend had locked her in a room against her will, making her feel threatened, but she was able to get out of the room. The Guardian has not verified the apparent claims in the letter. It is not yet clear who wrote it.
After reading this, I have decided to make a clean breast of something in my past that might bite me on the backside if and when it suits me the least. I have already published it on FB, but who knows... so here:

When I was about 5 yrs old, my then GF persuaded me to piss from a second floor balcony. Some of the output dropped on a passerby. Hilarity ensued.

So there. Bite me.

11 September 2018

An epitaph to Goldsmiths

Founded in 1891 in New Cross in south-east London, The Goldsmiths' Technical and Recreative Institute (today known as Goldsmiths) was set up to provide an education to working class people of the area. Goldsmiths became part of the University of London in 1904 and saw a rapid rise in student numbers in the 1960s.

Goldsmiths has an excellent reputation as an academic and research institution with a famously strong arts and social sciences offering and there are several world-renowned artists among its alumni. Goldsmiths has always had a reputation for independence and free thinking both as an institution and among its student body and the university cultivates an atmosphere that is encouraging and receptive to new ideas.
This blurb could very well be used on the tombstone for the glorious institution's remains. Because a place of learning, where students are producing the kind of tirade you shall immediately read, is practically dead. Now just read, there is no need to comment or interpret. You may click on each of the three images to enlarge them.


In a country, where a good portion of population is clamoring for a repeat performance of what once took place in the late Soviet Union, this kind of arrogant ignorance is just the ticker. This time they will do it right, though, so no worries.

05 September 2018

Mohammad Zarif speaks - about Soros. We better listen.


To start with a disclaimer: the man (Soros) is highly distasteful to me for many reasons, not the least of those is his own confession about his years as a youth under the Nazi rule being his happiest. There are other reasons, of course, but this will suffice for now.

The recent story started (for me) with an article in Israel today:

Iran admits to having 'worked closely' with George Soros network
Iran admitted on Sunday that it had worked closely with the Open Society Foundation, a grant-making network founded by American billionaire George Soros, which has often been accused of promoting an anti-Israeli agenda through left-wing NGOs.
Israel Today, being a somewhat funky source, chiefly dedicated to promoting the current government and its glorious achievements, didn't bother to provide any substantial proof of the matter.

Another article, from David Harris JR's site, provided essentially the same information:
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif commented on Sunday that his government is working closely with George Soros’ Open Society.
The article, however, supplied a link to the recording of Zarif's speech, at least the relevant part of it:


My Farsi being somewhat rusty, I have asked Potkin Azarmehr to translate it, and here is the result (with Potkin's kind permission):
Basically Zarif is saying that while he was Iran’s UN envoy there was already a working relationship with Open Society and [other] Soros funded bodies but what he did was to make sure the relationship was better managed and monitored so nothing against national interest would take place. He adds he didn’t like doing this but in NY you have to build a working relationship and not just a hello/goodbye with all kinds of groups there.
In short, the story checks out, at least the part of the Zarif's speech.

Now I have to add a disclaimer (another one). The Ayatollahs are nothing if not crafty, and it would be naive to dismiss the possibility of another disinformation operation by Mr Zarif, who by himself is nothing if not crafty. Just a year ago Ayatollah Ali Khamenei mentioned "a “wealthy American Zionist merchant” trying to interfere in Iran’s 2009 election in his comments, likely referring to liberal billionaire George Soros". So there is no love lost between the two sides.

But, on the other hand, it is quite possible that a common interest helped the sides to overcome the other grudges...

So there. Watch out for Uncle George.

Update: Finally from BBC (Farsi edition):
Mr. Zarif defended the relationship with the staff of the Open Society Foundation, affiliated with George Soros, an American investor, and said that through this relationship he was able to "restrict and regulate" the activities of this foundation in Iran.
And more on this Twitter thread.

02 September 2018

Nazis on British streets - take 1

Who says political life can't be funny? Whoever said it, it is dead wrong. Here is an example:

An ‘Allo ‘Allo reunion on the streets of Gloucester has led to outrage over the 'hard right' due to their Nazi uniforms.

Waitress Yvette, bumbling German Lieutenant Gruber, SS officer Herr Flick and his smouldering sidekick Private Helga were all in town for the Gloucester Goes Retro festival on August 26.

An image of the quartet was posted on Twitter by John Player with the apparently tongue-in-cheek message: “Nazi gathering spotted on the streets of Britain TODAY. This is the 21st century for christ sake. Where is the outrage. It's all happening again.”
Whoever that John Player guy/gal is, s/he caught a big fish, and the fish performed up to specs:

Journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown then replied to the Tweet with the message: “Too busy accusing the UK Labour of anti-Semitism to heed the real scary threat posed by the hard right.
For reference: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. Say no more...

25 August 2018

Jeremy Corbyn and English irony


After Update 4 to this post I was fairly sure that nothing could or should be added to it. However, this battleship  boat refuses to go to the bottom without another fight:
In a statement issued on Friday night, Corbyn said he had used the term Zionist “in the accurate political sense and not as a euphemism for Jewish people”. He added: “I am now more careful with how I might use the term ‘Zionist’ because a once self-identifying political term has been increasingly hijacked by antisemites as code for Jews.”
The man is pathetic and more stupid than I have previously imagined. But the help is coming, so here it is, finally, an official clarification on the "British Zionists" issue from Labour party think tank:
1. British Zionists should not be confused with Jews.

2. British Zionists, whether born in UK or residing for most of their years in UK, are easily identified by their lack of real English irony. A field manual for detecting the lack of irony is being written at the moment by His Excellency Glorious Leader Jeremy Corbyn and, as soon as it is finished, will be issued to all card carrying party members.

3. Jews, on the other hand, are easily identified by:
  • Their big olfactory organs
  • Their predilection for money, mind control and world domination
  • Their religious dietary rituals, which include several dishes requiring, as their chief ingredient, blood donations by non-Jewish people.
  • Sometimes the two horns they wear could be a giveaway, however the horns are retractable, as it was learned.
No special manual is required to identify Jews, use your senses!

Together we shall root out the scourge of antisemitism!

20 August 2018

Media, headlines, the usual

Of course, to complain about media's way to bend our minds to their ends is an exercise in futility. But a good whiny complaint sometimes makes the load of bile in out innards that much lighter, so here it goes.

CNN, August 20, 2018, Monday:

White House rejects Turkey's offer for pastor's release: report

I am not sure why the word "report" had to be added. How different is that article from a myriad others? To be on the safe side, here is a definition of the word, as it seems pertinent to our case:

A written document describing the findings of some individual or group
There is another definition:
A sharp explosive sound,
but we shall leave it for later.

Anyway, if you, like many other surfers of the news sites, skimmed the headlines, your conclusion after reading this headline alone and not clicking through must be unequivocal: the powers that be don't really want the good pastor to get out of Turkish jail. Right?

Only, if you do click through, what you get is a bit different:
The White House has rejected a Turkish offer to release an American pastor in exchange for forgiveness of billions of dollars in US fines on a Turkish bank, expressing that other matters would be considered only after Andrew Brunson is released, a senior administration official told The Wall Street Journal.
In effect, it looks like Turkey was trying to sell an American citizen for a ransom of several billions, isn't it so? Just like a regular gang of kidnappers or, even worse, some terrorist outfit low on cash...

So why wasn't it presented in the headline as it should have been? Like this:

Turkey offers to release the pastor for a ransom of several $B : report

You know why, don't you? Now I refer you to the second meaning of the word "report", and if you are above the age of 18 (or as appropriate in your place of residence), you can see it here.

17 August 2018

Can a fart be misogynist?

"Yes, we can!" could be a male chauvinist answer to that question, of course. But, according to this article, the question was raised in all possible seriousness.


A word of warning: there is a high possibility that most of the content there is a spoof, but Ashleigh Ingle, one of the main protagonists of the piece, does exists and her other ridiculous shenanigans could be traced all over the net.

Well, here is a quote from the other one:
Local activist Steph Guthrie a feminist advocate and community organizer who specialises in social media and interactive events proposed an online campaign to tackle this misogyny that “keeps women down and trapped in their own bodies. I just find it horrific that the patriarchy has been controlling women’s flatulence this whole time and we have just realised this now, it is time for feminist worldwide to re-educate women on how they are being discriminated against.
For full disclosure, I would never try to dominate a lady in that activity.

Safety off and fire at will!

P.S. The hashtag "#FartRape" really exists. Or did exist for some time.

Hat tip: O.S.

16 August 2018

CNN, burning cars, burning boats, bullshit...


A few days ago some Swedish citizens have had them a field day, running around several cities and putting cars on fire. Whether their choice of the cars was random or directed at a specific model or specific owners will remain unknown, probably. But we are here to learn, so CNN helpfully provided an article where one can learn the following:
Around 80 cars were set on fire and a further 40 vandalized in the city of Gothenburg in western Sweden on Monday night, according to Hans Lippens, police spokesman for the country's western region.

It is not unusual for such attacks to take place in Sweden in the week before schools reopen after the summer holiday, Lippens told CNN, but "the current count and level of damage is unprecedented."
Aside of the article showing that the festive events were well organized, the main thing we have learned, of course, is the timing.

What can I say: going back to school after a long, sunny and happy holiday is traumatic for the kids, no question about it. And everyone with real blood in his veins will understand that need for release of the bad feelings. Of course, loving parents can afford a few cars to make the progeny docile for the looming September 1. Especially if the cars were insured.

But - and there is a big but here. The CNN reporters (3 of them on that article!) have done a poor job of research. The real roots of car burning escaped their attention. Which is strange, since at least one of the three names sounds kinda Swedish. But no matter, here I come, helpful as always and armed with Google and a keyboard. Simple as that:
The Vikings were also known to be fearless and ruthless warriors. One of their actions can be used by the aspiring and ambitious managers to help their organizations to create value. After they landed their boat on some distance land and as they departed to fight the local inhabitants (enemies?), the leader would have the crew burn their own boat on the shore. Then they went into battle with the image of their burning boat at their back.

Were they crazy!! Why did the Vikings do that? There seems to be three major reasons. First, it was to strike fear and panic in the hearts of their opponent. Man has always had this love/fear of fire. The awesome sight of a burning ship on the beach could probably be seen for miles, certainly emphasizing the point, “We are here!”

Second, the burning ship was strong signal to the enemy that the Vikings were serious and committed. Given that they had destroyed their only way home, the enemy must have taken that as a sure sign that this was going to be an extremely tough battle.

Third, it was a signal to the Vikings themselves. The burning of their ship clearly made the point that the only possible way home was to win the battle. It reinforced their own level of commitment.

So, dear reader, it is not "Back To School" syndrome at all, but an important part of Viking folklore, a hallowed ancient ceremony, reenacted every year in August, incidentally at the same time when moms and dads visit the department shops to buy new schoolbags, pencils, books, lunch boxes etc.

So there. You are welcome.

13 August 2018

I don’t think I was actually involved in it

They used to say "I was just doing my job". But they weren't sophisticated enough, now they have a new formula.



And since when it rains it pours:


Which occasion is perfectly described by Phillip Mark McGough:
I admit I was present but I don't think I actually knew this was the hand sign for the Muslim Brotherhood, a pan-Islamist organization dedicated to the establishment of a global caliphate and proscribed accordingly in various countries for its terrorist affiliations. At the time I thought I was attending a Star Trek convention. I have devoted my entire life to a lasting trilateral peace between the Federation, the Klingon Empire, and the Romulan Greater Co-prosperity Sphere.
Update: and now another awkward attempt at a spin by Corbyn: a confession mixed with denial. So he was laying a wreath, but it was in memory of the 1985 bombing by Israel.

So patently, pitifully and obviously a lie. Here is what says... Jeremy Corbyn, in Morning Star article he penned:
After wreaths were laid at the graves of those who died on that day and on the graves of others killed by Mossad agents in Paris in 1991, we moved to the poignant statue in the main avenue of the coastal town of Ben Arous, which was festooned with Palestinian and Tunisian flags.
And this post is, most probably, all you will ever need to know about the protagonist. And what better to summarize it all than another quote from Phillip Mark McGough:
Consider the following:

*Corbyn didn't know that "honoured guests" he invited to tea in Parliament were blood-libelling Jew-hating genocidal scum

*Corbyn didn't know that a mural he defended was brimming with grossly antisemitic caricatures straight out of the pages of Der Stürmer

*Corbyn didn't know that social media groups in which he actively and enthusiastically immersed himself for years were foaming with a truly toxic antisemitism

*Corbyn didn't know that many of his fellow speakers at the innumerable pro-Palestinian hate fests he's attended over the past four decades were antisemitic obsessives, even as he sat through their obsessively antisemitic speeches

*Corbyn didn't know that he was at a memorial service for the terrorists who tortured and murdered Israeli athletes in Munich in 1972 even though he flew to Tunisia to attend the same and was photographed holding a wreath over the aforementioned terrorists' graves while muttering an Arabic benediction in their memory

Bearing the foregoing in mind, there are three- and only three- possible explanations:

(1) Jeremy Corbyn is lying

(2) Jeremy Corbyn has dementia and needs immediate institutionalization, electroconvulsive shock therapy, and a brisk, hourly beating

(3) Jeremy Corbyn is being gaslighted by an evil alter ego, much like Roger Moore in the psychological/supernatural thriller "The Man Who Haunted Himself" [Basil Dearden, 1970]
Update 2: ridiculous as the series of mumbling denials have been to start with, now the denial has become even more so:
Labour claims that no perpetrators of the Munich massacre are buried where Jeremy Corbyn attended a wreath-laying ceremony have been cast into doubt by an article from a leading Palestinian political party. Fatah’s official Facebook page carries a tribute to Atef Bseiso, who is buried at the cemetery in Tunisia, stating that he was involved in planning the “Munich operation”.

The post also sets out how Bseiso worked with “security officials like Ali Hassan Salameh”, who was operations chief for Black September, the group behind the Munich attack which left 11 Israeli athletes dead. It then records how Bseiso was killed at The Meridian Hotel in Paris in 1992, with Israeli intelligence organisation Mossad accused of the assassination.
What now, Jeremy?

Update 3: Again, for documentation purposes only: Jeremy Corbyn’s secret trip to Israel to meet Hamas.
Jeremy Corbyn visited Israel and the West Bank in November 2010 with an Islamist lobby group to meet senior Hamas officials...
No Jew encountered on that visit. The cup of my happiness overflows... enough, really, it is becoming grotesque.

Update 4: not to prove something new we didn't already know from the above. Just to (I hope so) put an end to the endless tragicomedy.
They [British Zionists - go figure, right?] clearly have two problems. One is that they don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, don’t understand English irony.
This from a totally humorless and tedious bore, who will know what irony is only if a blazing hot piece of it was pushed up his arse...

Update 5: but of course, nothing would end so quickly, not when the two powerful voices of support, which incidentally belong to two neo-Nazis, get into the fray:



Update 6: the ridiculousness of this all... now to the last defense of a scoundrel:
Jeremy Corbyn claimed that Israeli officials control the speeches made by British MPs, in bizarre comments that have been called an 'anti-Semitic conspiracy theory' which ‘casts Jews as sinister manipulators’, MailOnline can reveal.

The remarks were captured on video in 2010, at a meeting of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) in London. In a speech about the shooting of Turkish activists at sea by the Israeli commandos, the Labour leader said:

‘[British MPs] all turned up [to the debating chamber] with a pre-prepared script. I’m sure our friend Ron Prosor (the Israeli ambassador) wrote it.
Oh boy... will the wonders ever cease?

Update 7: the answer to the last question is - definitely no. Here comes a new one:
Jeremy Corbyn has said he does not believe it is anti-Semitic to describe the creation of Israel as racist in a move which last night saw his relationship with the Jewish community plumb to new depths.
This changes my view on behavior of excrement. I expect it to dry down an smell less with time. Not in this case, apparently.

10 August 2018

And this is the way it rolls with Gaza...

I am really tired of the topic, nothing new to be added to or subtracted from it. So, purely for documentation purposes, here is a summary of the latest developments by Irina, and old friend from the good old blogging days.

***

A few words about the latest Hamas led attacks on Israel:

* They were completely unprovoked. The Arab media is only reporting images of Israeli counterattacks. Israel and US advocates are failing to engage Arab audience on the reality of what happened.

* Hamas was in the middle of reported negotiations over ceasefire terms - so it scored particularly high on the bad faith spectrum, also misleading the interlocutor Egypt.

* Israel, in retaliation, struck two Hamas tunnels. Those tunnels were a national security threat even before the 180 rockets Hamas fired at Israeli civilians. Why weren't they destroyed earlier when Israel clearly knew about them?

* Hamas was clearly trying to harm civilians. 180 rockets damaged homes, other types of private property, wounded civilians, sent pregnant women into labor, and gave PTSD to hundreds of children in Sderot and elsewhere. Yet Israeli retaliation included damaging infrastructure that should not have been there to begin with. What lesson will Hamas and the international community draw from this response?

* Hamas attacking Israeli civilians for no reason: NO condemnation from international community and press. Why are we to take the international press seriously when they are clearly ok with unprovoked unjustified terrorism? Hamas did not even provide reasoning for it, not even a totally fake veneer.

*Hamas staged an attack, then, before they could be punished too severely, claimed that they are now done and want peace. That's not how it works. You don't get to fire deadly parting shots and walk away unscathed with no legal or political repercussions. Or at least you shouldn't. How does a bunch of cowardly terrorists hiding in Turkey get to dictate terms of engagement and what happens next?

* The world then wonders how is it that Israelis and right wing Jews in the US and Europe are distrustful of Arabs. Well, where are the Arabs on questioning their media and on condemning Iran-funded Hamas on risking its own civilians and attacking women and children? How can you have trust and understanding from one side when the other doesn't even want to hear your concerns and dehumanizes you from the get go?

08 August 2018

Israel and disproportionate response

It was written by a person named Jonathan Howard in 2014. A good rebuke to idiots, unfortunately I don't have any access to Mr Howard to ask for permission or just to thank him for writing this. Enjoy.

***

For anyone who thinks Israel’s response in Gaza is disproportionate: I agree. It is absolutely disproportionate. So we must ask ourselves: what would a proportionate response look like, exactly?

Every Friday and Saturday, every rabbi in Israel would remind his congregation how important it is to kill all of the Moslems in the world, wherever they find them. Israeli schools would brainwash Israeli kids to die killing Moslems, for the glory of making Judaism dominate the Middle East.

Israeli TV would broadcast threats of genocide to the Palestinians, with the IDF entertainment unit singing specially-written songs in Arabic about how bloody and glorious the massacre will be. (At the same time, they'd go to the UN and accuse the Palestinians of genocide.)

Israeli girls would be killed by their own families if they liked boys. So would Israeli boys.

IDF artillery would shoot rockets into Arab towns without any military targets, with the intention of killing as many civilians as possible, several times a day, almost every day for the last 14 years.

The Mossad would send hundreds of young Jews to blow themselves up in shopping centres, hotels, cafes, nightclubs and bus stops around the world. Israeli municipalities would name streets after the suicide bombers, and the government would pay their families a pension for life. The proud Jewish mothers of the suicide bombers would appear on Israeli TV encouraging mothers everywhere to give up their children for the cause of killing Moslems.

The IDF would bully and threaten the UN to let them store their weapons and explosives in UN facilities. Israeli artillery soldiers would travel around in UN ambulances, kill their own women and children with misfired rockets, then invite the international press to see the dead women and children and blame it on the Palestinians.

They’d put IDF explosives in Israeli homes, and when they blow up in all too frequent accidents, they’d blame the Palestinians and invite the foreign press to come and see the dead women and children.

They’d ban the foreign press from taking any photos of IDF soldiers in uniform, and threaten reporters if they report anything except dead women and children.

The IDF Spokesman would claim that the majority of IDF casualties are actually women and children.

Bibi’s office, and all of the IDF general staff and senior officers, would be relocated to the basement of Hadassah Hospital (confident that the Palestinians generally try to avoid hitting things like hospitals).

Likud would execute members of the Israeli opposition parties if they criticised Bibi’s conduct, taking them out behind the back of the Knesset building and shooting them in the head.

Before running into their bomb shelters, brave IDF soldiers would force Israeli women and children into the firing line, sometimes breaking their legs to stop them getting away, and sometimes chaining them to buildings. Then they'd shoot missiles at the Palestinians, and leg it into the shelter. They'd emerge to find dead women and children, and call the foreign press over to take a look.

The IDF’s Engineering Corps would kill 160 Israeli child slaves during the construction of tunnels. The tunnels would be designed for blowing up Palestinian schools and homes, and for IDF freedom fighters to kidnap Palestinians to use as hostages.

If the tunnel kidnaps succeeded, Bibi would then use the hostages to force the release of the thousands of Jews in Palestinian jails who were responsible for organising the many Jewish suicide bombings. He would give them a heroes' welcome, and put them to work organising more suicide bombings.

The Israeli government would use most of Israel’s public money on terror tunnels and villas for Likud leaders, and put the rest in Swiss and Qatari bank accounts for Bibi and his friends to enjoy. This would sink Israel into poverty. They'd blame the poverty on the BDS movement, and demand more money from the international community to build more tunnels, and more villas for Likud leaders.

They would proudly announce, quoting the Israeli Declaration of Independence, that they're not going to stop until all of the Moslems in the world have been driven into the sea.

And then they'd come for you.

I think we can be thankful that Israel’s response is not proportionate.

07 August 2018

Corbyn's pearls - for own collection

Really, one can get overdosed on so much crap, so this will be for my own archives. You don't have to... you know.

There seems to be a great deal of pressure on the BBC from the Israeli government and the Israeli embassy, and they are very assertive towards all journalists and to the BBC itself - they challenge every single thing on reporting the whole time.

"I think there is a bias towards saying that Israel is a democracy in the Middle East, that Israel has a right to exist, that Israel has its security concerns.
So, saying that we have a right to exist or, for that matter, to have own security concerns, is biased. What would be the unbiased version, I haste to inquire?

Oh boy, what a worm...

05 August 2018

Professor Waxman and discomfort of the British Jews. Oh, and Freedom of Speech...


It so happens that every time I see an article that starts with the "full disclosure" of the kind: "I am Jewish..." or "As a Jew...", I get butterflies in my stomach. This time wasn't any different.

When I have seen the headline of the article in Times of Israel:

Who gets to define anti-Semitism?

I, of course, was slightly thrilled*. I was less thrilled after reading the lede:
The UK Labour Party must protect free speech, including the comments about Israel that most British Jews abhor.
So free speech is the issue then? Hmm...

And then, of course, the "full disclosure" part:
I am a British Jew, though I have spent my adult life in the United States. I’ve found it more comfortable to be a Jew here, but I have always bridled at the notion that Britain is, or is becoming, an inhospitable environment for Jews, whether due to anti-Semitism on the left there or among its large Muslim population.
Quite revealing, especially the part of being more comfortable. I assume that prof. Waxman was already asked about that confession, so I shall leave it alone. Just to mention that the butterflies in my stomach invited a few friends to join the dance. And when prof. Waxman bridled at that notion - what can I say: the butterflies really lost it, each one dancing and jumping up and down to its own music. Inviting more buddies, too.

Now it is my turn to do that "full disclosure" part, I guess. Not being a British Jew, just an oldish Israeli one, with a considerable time done elsewhere (USSR mostly and USA some), I hate the topic of antisemitism. Every one of the few people reading this blog knows that rarely does it go into this murky subject, for various unrelated reasons.

But when many (if not all) of my British friends, Jewish and not so blessed, bitterly complain about that malady in what used to be their political home of preference, when they leave that home in droves, when they start looking elsewhere for acceptance - only a deaf and blind would ignore that.

When the leader of that party is caught again and again in de facto antisemitic acts, like buddying up to terrorists (tell me who your brothers are...). Like declaring the mere existence of Israel bizzare. By seeming unable even to say "Israel", so deeply is the word lodged in his craw.  Etc. etc.

When dignitaries like David Duke and Nick Griffin declare their support for the said leader - tell me who you friends are now.

When the Deputy Leader says things like "Labour faces ‘eternal shame’ over antisemitism."

When the glorious leader himself is forced to issue an artificially sounding half-confession/half denial, which (at least) includes words like "But I do acknowledge there is a real problem that Labour is working to overcome."

What does all of the above leave of prof. Waxman bridling? I don't know and really don't want to.

But all of the above is not really the point of the discussed article, nor of this post. The real point is the big red herring of free speech, placed by prof. Waxman at the center of his article. According to his logic (or his beliefs) it's quite fine (in the framework of free speech, of course) to direct more attention and criticism to Israel’s alleged crimes and misdeeds than toward other democracies. It is cool (free speech) to compare Israeli policies and actions to those of Nazi Germany. It is quite acceptable (free speech) claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour. Etc.

And I wouldn't even comment on that bizarre notion:
The fact that many Jews are justifiably offended by false analogies between Israel and Nazi Germany does not automatically make such analogies anti-Semitic.
Because, as I mentioned already, this is just another piece of the same red herring and as such is besides the point.

To the point: the vaunted freedom of speech prof. Waxman so selflessly defends is not something that should be protected by a political party, it is rather the business of the government and its institutions and the public at large. To use a (randomly chosen, with apologies to prof. Waxman) definition of political party:
A political party is defined as an organised group of people with at least roughly similar political aims and opinions, that seeks to influence public policy by getting its candidates elected to public office.
I strongly doubt that even a man, so liberal in his views as prof. Waxman, will object to the notion that Holocaust deniers, Israel-haters and various other shades of anti-Semites and other racists and bigots, while they might have the freedom of speech protection of their activities and their hate speech, are not entitled to "automatic" (whatever it means) protection of their party membership.

In other words: I might fight to death for your freedom of speech, hateful as your speech might appear, but I wouldn't want to invite you to my party (pun intended).

I hope this dispenses with the red herring in its entirety.

Q.E.D.

(*) And disappointed eventually, since no matter how carefully you read the article, you wouldn't find an answer to this, seemingly trivial, question. Rather a dismissal of the whole by this:
That’s what the British Jewish communal establishment declared in its condemnation of Labour’s definition of anti-Semitism: “It is for Jews to determine for themselves what anti-Semitism is.”

While the feelings and sensitivities of Jews should be considered, they are not sufficient.
One would think (wrongly, apparently) that the issue of defining an insult is in the eyes of the insultee. But prof. Waxman, obviously, doesn't think so. I am not going to deal with this, painfully obvious, strawman, aside of quoting my Facebook British friend, Sarah Minxy Mann Yeager, who expressed it quite well:
People like you are the reason we are running scared. Ask yourself this xxx: if a black person told you they felt there was racism being aimed at them from a political party would you dare to ask them to substantiate it?

If an LGBT person told you they were feeling victimised would you dare to ask them for proof?

Why, as a JEW who tells you there is a palpable threat to their whole group from a political party, do you dare to expect any more substantiation than daily press articles that cover the front pages of our national press from the Daily Telegraph to The Mirror?

If you are curious, YOU go and look. You are clearly not satisfied with the evidence that I have given you and your refusal to believe there is a problem is tantamount to gaslighting.

You are telling me, a JEW, that I am imagining it and there is NO antisemitism. I am telling you there is.

Why is my telling you isufficient? If I were BAME and told your something similar you would not ask for proof.

03 August 2018

Some pigs are not like the others: right, Jerusalem Post?

The story starts with this cartoon a veteran cartoonist posted:

A veteran Israeli cartoonist was cut loose on Tuesday from the magazine he worked at for nearly three decades over an illustration portraying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud lawmakers as pigs from George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.” The cartoon by Avi Katz drew on a photo of Netanyahu and members of his Likud party snapping a selfie at the Knesset following the passage of the so-called Jewish State law last week.
Undoubtedly, the cartoon was inspired (besides Orwell) by this picture:

Likud MK Oren Hazan takes a selfie with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, and MK David Bitan, right of Netanyahu, after the passage of the so-called Jewish State law at the Knesset on July 19, 2018.

I wouldn't go into the rights or wrongs of the artist's vision or his politics. Should I mention my opinion of many years that Jerusalem Post is quite a provincial rag, and that nothing has happened so far to persuade me differently? Nah, no need, really.

I shall just throw in another tidbit that may look somewhat unrelated to the matter and hand. At the first glance, possibly. Here is a Russian cartoonist, in a country that is not known for its gentleness toward dissidents of all stripes, publishing a cartoon including... but see for yourself:

"Orthodox devils" - says the caption.
And you know what: so far Mr. Kopeikin, the author of the cartoon in question, was neither fired nor fed a Polonium cookie.

Make one wonder, innit?

31 July 2018

NKVD uniform circa 1943, for children - why do you wait?

A personal disclosure: I have little sympathy for the Stalin's prime butchers of NKVD. My reasons are, with all else, rather personal. In 1939 one of my late and beloved uncles, being of the socialist persuasion, illegally crossed the border to get to the socialist heaven of USSR, was promptly arrested, accused of spying and spent more than 15 years in the worst parts of GULAG. The folks in blue and red hats have done their considerable best by him.

Anyhow, we are in the blessed XXI century now, and Mother Russia was celebrating the Victory Day (May 9), as it does every year. This time, some enterprising Internet-based outfit decided to spice the celebration with a special gift for kids:

NKVD officer defending the Motherland
"The uniform is intended for military reconstructions, role games, Victory Day celebrations, theatrical productions, photo shoots," it says in the product description. It is noted that, in addition to the uniform, you can buy a belt, a holster, a sword belt, leather boots and epaulettes.

So, enough time has passed that some elements in Russia, nostalgic for the days of the murderous dictator, decided to start whitewashing the murderous vermin at the beck and call of the 'roach mustaches.
We are living, but can’t feel the land where we stay,
More than ten steps away you can’t hear what we say.
But if people would talk on occasion,
They should mention the Kremlin Caucasian.

His thick fingers are bulky and fat like live-baits,
And his accurate words are as heavy as weights.
Cucaracha’s moustaches are screaming,
And his boot-tops are shining and gleaming.

But around him a crowd of thin-necked henchmen,
And he plays with the services of these half-men.
Some are whistling, some meowing, some sniffing,
He’s alone booming, poking and whiffing.

He is forging his rules and decrees like horseshoes –
Into groins, into foreheads, in eyes, and eyebrows.
Every killing for him is delight,
And Ossetian torso is wide*.
This is the man NKVD served so loyally, and the bones of their victims are scattered all over the country in their silent millions.

Adds a blogger tverdyi_znak:
It might be good to hand all buyers a memo - from whom and how the soldiers of the NKVD protected the Motherland. Among the terrible enemies of the Motherland was, for example, Misha Shamonin, who was shot at Butovo landfill at the age of 13. And not just by mistake, but by law, which allowed the NKVD to incarcerate and kill children from the age of 12.
Misha Shamonin, executed at age 13.
The Russians are obviously trying to forget their past, as do many others. And some (too many) of them will not rest until the past is safely buried. Here is a response from an arch-patriotic Bell of Russia. It is a long screed, most of it in defense of the heroic soldiers of NKVD that were the first to defend the Motherland against the Nazi hordes. It is full of scorn and hate directed at the "libruls" who dare to show their indignation by the revolting marketing ploy. The hateful rhetoric raises to its peak at the end:
What the Russian liberals are doing, mocking the heroes of the Great Patriotic War, looks like rehabilitation of fascism, for which the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation provides for up to three years of imprisonment. Perhaps, when the Russian liberal public finally realizes that punishment for such things is inevitable, their desire to engage in sacrilege will begin to wane. Such kind of people, unfortunately, do not understand kind persuasion...
So much for kindness.

(*) Osip Mandelstam, 1933. The epigram that became his death sentence.

26 July 2018

MK David Bitan, esq. - and this is how it rolls in our Knesset


In an radio interview several topics were discussed with the illustrious member of Knesset David Bitan, until last year* the coalition chair in the Knesset.

One of the topics was the newly hatched Nationality Bill that caused (deservedly or not) an eruption of responses from all shades of the Israeli and international political spectrum. One of the factions that really feel injured by the law is the Druze population. Openly and traditionally supportive of the Jewish state, Druze community in Israel is fiercely loyal to the state and its sons serve in IDF and die together with us, protecting the country. Lack of the clause ensuring equality of all non-Jewish communities in the new law, even if that equality is protected by other existing laws, caused anger and protests that are easy to understand. And here is what he had to say on the subject (partial translation only):

(B. - David Bitan, I - the intervieiwer).
  • B. I am sorry that they [Druze MKs!] were allowed [sic!] to vote against the bill, and now [they appealed to] High Court of Justice... this is something unacceptable. 
  • I. This wouldn't have gone this way during your time [as a coalition chair]?
  • B. No, it wouldn't have.
  • I. What you would have done?
  • B. There are all kinds of thing that it's possible to do...
  • I. Sanctions are to be applied to them?
  • ...
  • I. Can't you understand them a little bit?
  • B. No, I can't understand them, because in general we are guarding the rights of the Druze in a special way. We have a covenant of blood with them, we... they receive all they need. There is no reason that a group... a minority of 120,000 will receive special rights in the Nationality bill. It is not all these millions, it is only 120,000 people. Druze are all in all only 120 - 160 thousands... they get a preferential treatment... 
  • I. So they should be thankful, you say... 
  • B. I didn't say that, I say that it doesn't go as they want... Druze too have to respect the majority, it is not like the majority should respect the Druze...
  • I. [changing the subject]
And no, just in case you have asked: he is not the only one on that level of mental prowess, lucidity etc. This is how it rolls - but I have already mentioned it.

Too bad.

(*) Quit that post due to police investigation of alleged bribery. But still remains a member of Knesset. Unfortunately.

24 July 2018

Forward, to a gentler and progressive Israel! Er... how?

Another stumbleupon situation that caused me to argue with another Jew. Two Jews arguing is usually a lose/lose game, but in spite of this we have never been able to desist. This time it was a Facebook encounter with Nathan Friedman Hersh*, who penned an article Israel's Only Policy on Gaza Is to Beat the Drums of War in (you guessed right) Haaretz.

Before I get to the fisking, let me say that I agree with the headline. It is nothing more and nothing less than a statement of fact. This is exactly what is going on for quite a few years. While the beating of the mentioned drums is never as belligerent as in the picture below, the threats aimed at Gazan leaders in particular and Hamas in general are an almost daily occurrence, so far never carried out to their full extent.


Let's start with the most important point: the article, heavy on criticism and denigration of the government, doesn't offer any solution to the hellishly difficult situation with Gaza. Nothing, zilch, gurnisht. One would have hoped that an article with such a bombastic headline and of such epic length will have at least two thirds of it dedicated to a solution that will stop the strife. But no, that hope fell flat.

There are two points the author offers to our attention as potential steps to a solution:
The first is a 2011 Israeli initiative designed to alleviate the blockade of Gaza with an offshore seaport. The plan would help improve the plummeting Gaza economy while also helping ensure security for Israel.
Another plan to ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is a solar energy field Israel would build, perhaps with Gulf funding, to supply Gaza with continuous electricity.
Let's assume that Hamas agrees to a seaport with our military oversight and that Hamas/Islamic Jihad rocket scientists don't destroy such an easy target as a solar energy field, in one of their fits of freedom fighting zeal (as they have repeatedly done with border crossings that provide their vital supplies, electricity, gas and water lines etc.). But what exactly is new with the proposal? I am getting tired to remind people to look at what was agreed with Palestinians toward the disengagement with Gaza, to recall the airport that was build and had to be destroyed, the seaport plan that had to be scrapped etc. We all know how it started and how it ended, don't we?

The other fault with the idea of improvement of Gazans' (indeed largely pitiful) conditions is the assumption that the leaders of Gaza care about their lot. So far, all we have seen shows the opposite. People who build their shelters under hospitals and launch rockets from schoolyards don't really care, that much is crystal clear. People who use all available metal to build Qassam rockets and the available cement to build tunnels (not the drainage ones, to our sorrow) don't really care.

Now to this short and unequivocal statement:
The blockade isn’t working.
I know what Nathan thinks about the purpose(s) of the blockade - he sees the blockade as a measure undertaken to break the spirit of the Hamas' freedom fighters:
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert initiated the blockade to strangle the Palestinians of Gaza until they voted out or overthrew their Hamas leaders...
But in fact blockade had one purpose only: to prevent smuggling of more and more sophisticated weapons that are so helpfully provided by Iran and other state actors unhappy with the mere fact of our existence. And it is working - not a full proof measure, but it works. Nothing more, nothing less.

The next curious paragraph:
Instead of listening to those voices, however, the government was satisfied to allow the army to set Israel’s policy toward Gaza. By yielding to the army the mandate to form solutions for Israel’s Gaza problem, government ministers avoid accountability.
What are the voices that should be listened to is totally hidden, the article so far doesn't mention any. The point about letting the army to set Israel's policy toward Gaza is factually wrong - it is the army and Shin Bet that support and push for an improvement of Gazans' living conditions. The point about accountability mentioned is quite absurd: there is a minister that is responsible and accountable for the military and there is a PM responsible for that minister. The buck doesn't stop an the CoS' table. Meaningless and confused.

And the next one, which is not only curious but rather stupid:
Ultimately, this lack of accountability not only led to thousands of innocent Palestinians killed...
Thousands (multiple) of innocent people - right, Nathan? - no matter how many of those killed were rank and file of Hamas troops? No more comments on this one.
As with the occupation of the West Bank, there is no alternative policy to the Gaza blockade. This is by design.
What kind of a dark design it is, remains unexplained in the rest of the article.

Well, the rest of the article I said. That rest is so long and rambling and so unconnected to the quandary of Gaza that I shall leave it alone. Aside of this curious ending:
Both Israelis and Palestinians deserve the possibility of freedom from occupation and blockade. Israelis deserve a government that can offer them long-term, multi-faceted protection from their enemies.
What is omitted from this passage is whether we deserve an end to the attempts to kill us in many different ways. Because the only thing Nathan mentions is "multi-faceted protection", whatever it means. Not peace.


(*) Nathan Friedman Hersh is a writer and the former managing director of Partners for Progressive Israel**. He has written for the New York Times and the Washington Post. He served in an unnamed IDF combat unit, as follows from the article discussed here and is studying medicine in US. Much to respect, even if his views are somewhat or sometimes confused and his responses when in a tight corner tend to "it is all hasbarah" knee-jerk reaction.

(**) A group that seems to be affiliated with (or very close to otherwise) Israeli Meretz party. Nothing to be ashamed of, some of my closest and dearest are members, but defines one's political allegiances quite well. Boycott the settlements' produce, strive for real peace etc.