31 December 2008

Really, why do we need Seumas Milne?

Why indeed - when in addition to our own Amos Harel providing fresh food for anti-Israeli crowd, there appear to be other, no less potent, enemies within? Here comes another one: Michael Freund of Fundamentally Freund with his article in Jerusalem Post.

War aside, Mr Freund decided to contribute his considerable effort to Bibi's election campaign. And the way he has chosen to do it is by ascribing the Cast Lead operation to political aspirations of Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak. Nothing more and nothing less.

So it seems somewhat odd that precisely 45 days before the elections, with their fortunes sagging at the polls, Barak and Livni suddenly seem compelled to act to stop the rocket fire.

And not surprisingly, it is already paying political dividends, at least for Barak's Labor Party. On Sunday, Channel 10 reported the results of a poll which was conducted after the air strikes on Gaza the previous day. It showed Labor soaring to 16 seats from a projected 10 in earlier surveys. That is a gain of 60 percent in just a matter of days.
Yep. Another one in my collection of the favorite imbeciles.

Smile, Michael!

Apparently Amos

In the propaganda war that unfolds around the war in Gaza, the sides follow the old played out scenario. Our FM and its tentacles declare a "hasbara" offensive that in a few hours becomes overwhelmed my the well oiled (pun intended) wave of Muslim histrionics, accompanied by a not much more subtle chorus of their friends. "Friends" could be a bit of a misnomer, though, the people of this kind are motivated by their hate to Israel rather than by their passion for Islam, Palestinians or anything else.

Why would I link to the article by Seamus Milne - the Guardian pet communist, a liar, a serial falsifier, a patented Israel-basher? Because, besides several ripped out of context quotes statements and lies of omission, I have encountered a rare case of a precise* quotation - from an Israeli journalist Amos Harel, not known for being anti-Israeli, anti-establishment or anti-IDF - quite the opposite was supposed to be true, in fact. First to the linked above article:

As Israeli journalist Amos Harel wrote in Ha'aretz at the weekend, "little or no weight was apparently devoted to the question of harming innocent civilians", as in US operations in Iraq.
Wow, I said. An Israeli military journalist, quite respected in his chosen line of work, publishes a statement that (and I know this for a fact) is not only patently untrue, but causes a crippling blow to any Hasbara attempts - no, something is wrong here. So I have started to look for the original. It wasn't that easy, since Seumas Milne does not link to the sources of his quotes - for reasons that must be clear to anyone familiar with the kind of garbage he publishes. Eventually I came up with the original article in the English version of Haaretz. And to my chagrine here comes the full sentence:
Like the U.S. assault on Iraq and the Israeli response to the abduction of IDF reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser at the outset of the Second Lebanon War (the "night of the Fajr missiles," a reference to the IAF destruction of Hezbollah's arsenal of medium-range Fajr missiles), little to no weight was apparently devoted to the question of harming innocent civilians.
Wow again. It is one thing to see a libelous statement in an article by an Israeli-hater and a liar. It s something completely different when you read this coming from a leading Israeli military journalist. To double check, we went to the Hebrew original of the same (translated in English) article:
כמו ארה"ב בעיראק וכמו המהלך הישראלי בתגובה לחטיפת חיילי המילואים רגב וגולדווסר בפתיחת מלחמת לבנון השנייה ("ליל הפאג'רים" שבו הושמד מערך הרקטות לטווח בינוני של חיזבאללה), גם הפעם לא ניתן כמעט משקל לשאלה כמה אזרחים חפים מפשע ייפגעו בהפצצות.

And you know what: as far as the English translation, gladly picked up by Milne goes, it is even less damaging than the original - somebody thought enough to add the word "apparently", which word does not appear in the Hebrew original...

IDF has its faults, its fuck-ups and its villains, but one thing I know for sure, not even being a military correspondent: IDF invested months of effort and intelligence gathering to choose its targets having in mind maximum "awe and shock", that's true, but to the same degree of importance (even higher due to accumulated knowledge of previous botched attacks) minimum civilian victims. Even the Hamas and other non-Israeli sources confirm that the first wave of attacks reached its designed targets - overwhelmingly Hamas "militants".

If you google the text "little to no weight was apparently devoted to the question of harming innocent civilians" you shall see that the libelous statement is already making its rounds - not only in the hateful article by Milne, although yesterday it was first in the list. Many a Jew-hating sight like Rense picked it up, but also quite a few of more respected news sites as well.

(*)As a (more or less) technical, but titillating detail: it is quite easy to find out who picked the quote from Milne and who went to the original article: Milne the falsifier couldn't resist a minuscule change: where the original says "little to no weight", Milne put "little or no weight". Not terribly important, but telling nevertheless.

The damage is done and is spreading steadily, and it's irreparable. Somebody should be answerable for this, and I don't mean Seamus Milne.

Whether the statement was a typical case of journalistic sloppiness or an intentional libel is for Amos Harel to explain. Being a lawyer by education, he should know the possible consequences if IDF decides to take him to task. And I, for one, wouldn't be sorry to see these consequences.

30 December 2008

What Israel is doing is nothing to do with peace but its own selfish security concerns

This made me laugh and cry simultaneously. But I didn't break my PC. It's too... what?

Read more here, and many thanks to Andrew Ian Dodge.

Also - read the whole linked article in The London Daily News.

(Warning - after laughing and crying comes a puking session).

P.S. But the picture of F-16 is undeniably nice. Here it comes:

Mmm... still, cutting a piece of that missile on the right. Oh well...

25 December 2008

Halal electronics

It is with richly deserved pride of somebody who comes first to publish a scoop, that I announce here an advent of the first in history halal electromechanical device. Here is the certificate:

And here is an example of why Widget Printers are the first in the field that promises the richest pickings to anyone who dares (PG recommended):

If you have a teenager at home, you know what to do now...

Hat tip: SEO.

Tal Nitsan revisited

Do you remember Tal Nitsan, the aspiring anthropology student from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who's made a big splash about a year or so ago? She found out that the lack of IDF rapes of Palestinian women is designed to serve a political purpose.

I have dedicated a post to the lady, offering a all-encompassing, relatively low resource-consuming and satisfactory for all sides solution of this issue. Then, of course, I have promptly forgotten the whole business, leaving it to the junior Elders for implementation. Definitely a few jokes on the subject exchanged in strictly male gatherings do not count...

Then, out of the blue, this document was (forcibly) brought to my attention. With some additional information. It appears that Tal is now working on her doctorate in British Columbia: "In fall 2006 I moved to Vancouver to do my PhD, after six years and two degrees at the
department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem." Bully for Tal. Here she is, basking in the feeble rays of Canadian sun:

It also appears that Tal seems to be still hurting after the unwelcome responses from the majority of Israeli press and public (I mean aside of yours truly). And that she desperately wants to be understood, thus writing a whole article on the subject, starting with the following (remarks in the square brackets are mine):

It is uncommon to question the relative absence of a social phenomenon instead of questioning the extant phenomenon. [You bet.] This raises four problems: First, how can an analytical framework be developed for a largely non-existent phenomenon? [Indeed. But it may be a harbinger of a whole new approach in the future of modern science: scientist's degrees on non-existing phenomena will definitely become a rave, you just wait.] Second, the question itself tended to be questioned (why question something that does not happen?) [To get that degree, stupid.] Third, is it just a case of underreporting? [Stealth rape squadrons? Hmm...] And fourth, what would be the method to gather data on a phenomenon I claimed rarely occurs [Candles? Torches? Anything to do with more lighting in shadowed or otherwise dark corners where the rape business is usually conducted.]?
I was delighted and spent a few minutes of quiet happiness reading this:
As an Anthropologist, I wished to do fieldwork for my research, but since I was studying the absence of a mode of violence, watching for a phenomenon to not happen did not seem to be a suitable method.
Tal, in her youthful naivety, skips over something that could become a cornerstone of a whole methodology for this new scientific approach - I mean SONEP - Study Of Non-Existing Phenomena (copyright, trademark, whatever - STG). As a Blogger, I already envision the outlines of SONEP : it should involve some secluded* spot on a first-rate vacation resort, a comfy chaise-longue, field binoculars**, plenty of cold and refreshing drinks with appropriate alcohol content, sufficient quantity of snacks, mmm... what else? It will be a subject for another post, methinks, one that will become a cornerstone... but I have been there already.

Anyhow, read that article, I warmly recommend it.

And as for Tal: my advice will be to forget the whole story. I mean, the solution is there already, it is only a question of implementation and the usual bureaucracy and all these forms to fill out. After all, if it takes too long, just let me know and we'll organize a few raping squads. As a temporary measure, of course.

So forget all this aggro. The sushi in Vancouver is heavenly. The climate is moderate for Canada, the public is friendly, albeit a bit too stoned (at the average) - but then it makes them even friendlier, so who is complaining?

!תעשי חיים

And we'll be waiting for your doctoral thesis - I am holding my breath already.

Hat tip: Gudrun.

(*) But not too secluded, upon second thought. If you know what I mean.

(**) The binoculars shouldnt' be too heavy. There is no need to overdo things.

24 December 2008

Merry Christmas

to all our Christian friends and readers. And Happy New Year!

And this one was so dumb that it was impossible to overlook. Enjoy:

22 December 2008

Normal services will be resumed soon

It's rather a declaration of intent than a promise. After all, how can one be sure of anything when the moment one sticks one's head from under the blanket, the said head gets immediately hit upon by something like this:

Burger King launches beef-scented body spray


Hat tip (of sorts) to SEO.

FAA, reading comprehension, ministers and all that crapola

As if the latest developments on Gaza borders and upcoming elections are not enough to keep us occupied, here comes an unwelcome, albeit expected news on a completely different subject:

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today changed Israel’s aviation safety standard rating to Category 2 following an assessment made last July of the country’s civil aviation authority.
The long and the short of this means: when you are on a plane getting close to the Israeli airspace, you shouldn't be worried too much by a bearded guy in the next row with a suspicious bulge around his waist and a mad gleam in his eyes. I recon he is just a fatso with fear of flying syndrome. You should start worrying instead about an intrepid jet jockey from IAF or a tired pilot of another passenger plane getting mixed up by a garbled instruction from an (undertrained and overworked) air traffic controller and slamming into your plane, making your landing swifter than expected, although a bit harder.

If it is a consolation, though, you shouldn't be worried more than if your plane were approaching a Ukrainian, Bulgarian or any 3rd world country's airport.

Unfortunately, even if this clumsy attempt to console you worked, it wouldn't work for the Israeli airlines, especially El-Al, because for them it means:
As a consequence of the announcement, Israeli airlines' flights to the United States will be limited, meaning there will be no additional flights to the U.S and no option for other aircrafts to be added. Moreover, supervision on air traffic and the activity of Israeli airlines in the U.S will be increased.
And El AL really neither deserves this nor needs this, since their own safety record is quite fine. Israeli airlines are, quite rightly, indignantly pointing the accusing finger at our government, chiefly at the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Finance, whose joint effort in mismanagement, stupidity and sloth prevented a swift solution to the issue that was brewing for several years.

To remind you all - the current Minister of Transport, Shaul Mofaz, was recently vying other politicos for the post of Kadima party leader. Oh well...

On a related subject of reading comprehension: there is a professionally looking blog, calls itself DWS Aviation that dedicated a long and detailed article on the subject. Unfortunately, the author got two confusing English words: "safety" and "security" mixed. No, Ben Gurion airport is not suffering from lack of security - the opposite, if anything, is true: I am more worried about where I put my passport or other security-related paperwork and whether my underwear is clean, just in case of a sudden advent of a cavity search, than about a terrorist sneaking through the cordons.

Anyways, Haaretz' journalist, Zohar Blumenkrantz, fell into the same trap - "safety" and "security" are liberally mixed in the article. Ynet, on the other hand, got it right, even to the point of explaining the difference between the two words:
The rating, given by the FAA’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program, is not related to security issues, but rather to standard safety items.
(They didn't explain what does "standard safety" mean and how it differs from sub-standard one, but one can guess, methinks). Just to be on the safety side, here is a direct quote from the FAA press-release, linked above:
The rating is not related to security issues.
Yep. Anyway, have a nice and secure flight, folks...

P.S. Jerusalem Post didn't react yet to this news. The only thing my searches of their site brought up was an article from 2007 about a Jooish captain of an aircraft carrier. Nice guy, an ex-pilot himself and commands a mountain of high-tech machinery and a lot of people. Means that sons of Israel can do wonders somewhere else, but are unable to fix a tiny airport?


21 December 2008

No, that's too much. Really.

Every vow is taken only to be broken sooner or later, and this will break the strongest will:

Beckham presented as an AC Milan player

Come on, folks, really. I mean, you can present me as a new hope of Brazil for the next Mondial as well.

Nah... I better forgo the rest of the stuff I could say on the subject.

Its' gonna rain tonight, they promise...

Merry Hanukah, all!

This year, instead of the usual crappy pictures that are supposed to be funny but rarely reach that goal, you will be subjected to a

Boogie Woogie Hannukah


18 December 2008

So Long and Thanks for all the Hate

'Weapon of mass destruction', reads the label, easy to use anytime anywhere contains pure high grade anti-Zionism /anti-Semitism. If the weapons dealers could have bottled it or encased it in steel they would have made a fortune. These WMDs can be made out of anything animal vegetable & mineral. The most powerful trigger is certainly the human voice striking in the name of hate, ignorance, propaganda, incitement, disinformation and indoctrination. In fact just about anything in any form anywhere in the world has been used in one way or another in the active pursuit of wiping the Jewish people off the face of the Earth.

What a warm feeling it should be to be the center of attention. The state that goes out of its way to send help to earthquake and mudslide victims, medical and, dare I say it, humanitarian aid to the world's dark places, is the subject of so much hate.

Yet here we stand, more powerful than ever. Strike us down and we become more powerful, to paraphrase a famous man.

So bring it on. Misquote the Koran and bible, pervert your religious beliefs as much as you want, rewrite history and create facts on the ground. Write books about world domination, conspiracy theories. Yes, my relatives were the Elders of Zion, they loved Zion and they were old, but that's where it ends.

You'll keep trying, you won't stop. And the more you fail the more you'll try and then just as your grandfathers and generations spanning 4000 years have tried and failed so will you, because good always defeats evil. Maybe not immediately, but ultimately. But you have no idea how much good you are doing as well.

Where there is no anti-Semitism we disappear, assimilate, but you're too involved in rewriting history to notice that. Take Poland and Germany before the Holocaust you love to deny. The places where we were harassed most are the places we thrived and the places that accepted us we assimilated and disappeared.

It seems your greatest weapon of mass destruction is to accept us, welcome us, integrate us and make us assimilate and then we will cease to be. Well two things, we won't disappear even if you love us you'll never stop hating us so we don't need to worry. Every Kassam rocket you fire, every grave you defile, every word of your hate-filled rhetoric only strengthens us and secures us. So I guess what I am saying is, thanks. Thanks for hating us, thanks for reminding us we are Jews, thanks for bringing us together , trying to unite us.

But the trouble is that although you have done so much good, you're not going to escape unpunished. The price our people have paid for all the goodness you have bestowed on us over the generations is quite unbearable. We are still only a few million. You have culled our numbers, murdered us in unspeakable horror, and any Rabbi will tell you, really you can't do a sin in order to do a mitzvah, a good deed. You can't steal to give charity and you can't hate us in order to drive us together. And, oh, how you have sinned.

In an effort to neutralize your WMDs which you will never do willingly, we will have to wait. We have waited 4000 years, another few won't hurt. Then on that day we will totally vanquish you and on that day good will overcome evil.

04 December 2008

The Boy with the Orange Ball – Moshe Holtzberg You’re Not Alone

Let us deal wisely with these people, Pharaoh said, as they cast all the baby boys into the river committing mass murder. But a little boys parents hid him, only to be saved by the kindness of an Egyptian Princess who called him Moshe.

Every time I close my eyes I see that little orange ball. I see his messy blonde hair and the sad eyes of a baby boy who has witnessed terror beyond belief. I read all the papers, listened to the news and tried to find some light in the darkness but all I saw was the sad eyes and the orange ball.

On that day the world briefly acknowledged one fact. The terrorist went out of their way to seek out Jews and kill them. The more cynical among us, will also claim that the boy makes great news. The press will write 'that even in depths of horror these terrorists released little Moshe'. They won’t write 'after they had beaten him, and shortly before they sentenced his parents to death'.

This is not another Mumbai / Islamic Terror article. This is about the light at the end of the tunnel.

I have a friend who lost a daughter to cancer when she was very young. With incredible strength he acknowledged that even though her life was very short she was a vibrant little girl who gave so much to the community, bringing people together through learning Torah and the chanting of Tehillim (Pslams)on her behalf. People united, returned to the fold and became connected through this little girl. Maybe that was her mission in life, to unify a fractured nation and to bring mutual respect and a common cause.

In their brief life little Moshe Holtzbergs parents achieved the same. And the light from the darkness of Mumbai is staggeringly bright almost blinding. The incredible work that Chabad do throughout the world, the selfless dedication, being torn from their land, from their birthplace and from their families to a far flung country on the off chance that a fellow Jew will have a roof, a safe haven, a hot meal, a familiar atmosphere and reminder of their own roots.

Their mission in life will be remembered as one of strength and self sacrifice, an inspiration to us all. A lesson in accepting your fellow Jew regardless, with no exceptions, no discrimination, black Jew, white Jew, Sephardi, Ashkenazi and secular or religious.

The light will shine brighter because of a little Jewish family the other side of the world showed so much love and devotion and we are all the better for it. Their loss together with their fellow Jews was tragic, horrific, and unbearably sad but their legacy will remain in hearts and souls lighting the dark days we live in.

And who knows maybe little Moshe, with his orange ball, will see his peoples suffering and like his namesake, rise to challenge, as his parents did, leading our nation into an age devoid of the evils we face today. As the prophet Zachariah says ‘And the LORD said unto Satan: 'The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan, yea, the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee; is not this man a brand plucked out of the fire?'

We mourn your parents Moshe, but we celebrate their legacy and wish you a life of happiness, health and to walk in their footsteps lighting the way for your people.

03 December 2008

Jalapeno for your breakfast

The habit of eating spicy food in the morning is not something easily accepted in the West. However, there is one thing at least to be said in favor of biting on a juicy and deadly jalapeno when you are still sleepy - it tends to awaken you fully and immediately.

So get this:

I am sure you will therefore be as angry as I am about two egregious recent bits of anti-Israel propaganda that have issued from the self-hating Jewish enemies. Here is the first one:

...the [apartheid wall] is worse than useless. It is no more than the product of momentary hysteria and a Maginot-line mentality that seized some of our politicians, who deluded themselves into thinking that terrorism could be "fenced out."...

The time has come to take a good look at this outlandish project. Does it make any sense to continue building it? And maybe we should begin considering dismantling what has already been built. Do our politicians have the courage to admit they made a mistake?

And this:
But there is worse to come. A rabbi no less, said that "Israeli expulsion forces" were like the Nazis in Poland. How low can you go? This guy is worse than the Neturei Karteh nutcase who kissed Ahmadinejad at his Holocaust Denial Conference. This was quoted in several Israeli newspapers, including Ha'aretz in Hebrew, and, inevitably, in Al Jazeera.

It gets even worse. This so-called Rabbi, a filthy shtinker moser (informer) and rodef (persecutor) is a paid employee of the Israeli government. I pay for this miserable anti-Zionist vermin who insults our officials. And this is not the first time he has spread his hateful bilge. The ADL has had this man in their sights for a while. We all know what is the Talmudic punishment presecribed for informers and persecutors - din moser vedin rodef.
Who would be these two filthy Joo-hating Jooz, you may ask?

This is the first one, the inimitable Likudnik, professor Moshe Arens.

And the second one is Rabbi Dov Lior, the Chief Rabbi of Hebron and Kiryat Arba...

Go figure...

But I hope you are awake now, at least.

01 December 2008

Jewish Blood

Whenever we went on long car journeys when we were kids we would play all manner of word and general knowledge games. Describing the Prime Ministers cat with every letter of the alphabet (X was always a challenge, he was always Xenophobic), countries of the world using the last letter of the country (A was the best, Australia, would then become Austria, Angola, Albania etc) and then there was ‘I Spy’. We have a new game, name a country that does not have a problem with Muslim fundamentalists, militia or terrorists. Now there’s a challenge.

Name a country where an act of Muslim terror has occurred which hasn’t somehow tied in with Jews and Israel. From Iraq to Denmark, every act of terror by the many, many Muslim extremist and not so extreme groups have killed in the name of their global Jihad and, oh yes, for their brothers and sisters in Palestine.

Now name a time in the last 40 years when we have stood up for ourselves, turned our back on the demands for self restraint, diplomacy and doing what was right for us as a state, a people and nation without pandering to the US, EU, BBC, and any other worthless acronym you can think of. Actually that’s another game. Name all the acronyms of organizations seeking to destroy, destabilize or delegitimize Israel and the Jews. PLO, PFLP, UN, EU, BBC, HRW the list is endless.

OK a new game. Name a time when the world has cared, been moved, wept or mourned or uniformly condemned the spilling of Jewish blood. (Maybe the Munich Olympics, maybe.)
Name a country that has stood up to the Muslim extremists and fundamentalists among its own citizens. Name a country that is not in denial about what they are seeing before their eyes. Name a country that isn’t trying to brush the problem under the carpet hoping it will go away and name a country that feels that action rather than words will solve the problem.

In Mumbai, an attack perpetrated by Pakistani extremists, Kashmiri separatists or Iran, they purposely targeted and attacked the Chabad center killing the Jews inside. Jews in India totally unrelated to any of India’s problems, non military, non-political, just there to help their fellow Jews with a warm smile, a Shabbat meal and maybe some direction in life. And Jewish travelers escaping to see the world and be young for maybe the last time before they returned to Israel, to study, work and settle down.

We are victims, and that’s our lot. In every generation, as we recite in the Haggada, they rise up to destroy us but the Holy One blessed be He, saves us. Or the running joke, they tried to kill us, we were saved, lets eat! We have been victims ever since Abraham was thrown into a fiery furnace by Nimrod. And since then look at our history. Pretty horrific. True in every generation they rose up to destroy, and some of us were saved to regroup and wait for the next round of crusades, blood libels, inquisitions, pogroms, holocausts. We have more ways to describe the way we have been persecuted and murdered than Eskimos have for snow.

Now name a nation that has more Nobel prizes under their belts, in every category. Name a nation that has produced some of the greatest teachers, thinkers, scientists, doctors, mathematicians. Name a country that in just 60 years has overtaken almost every country on the face of the world in commerce and industry.

Name a nation that should be proud, upstanding, strong and selfish in the face of so much adversity. Name a nation that seems to drag its feet and panders to the will of others at the expense of its own citizens.

Name a nation that will one day, with the help of those who are not in denial and don’t have their heads in the sand, breed great leaders that will stand up for the blood of their brothers and sisters and represent our people as a strong determined nation, pursuing peace and prosperity, security and tolerance and an example to the rest of the world.