12 December 2019

Why does Israel seem to be such a big theme? Good question.

I am visiting Quora from time to time and get some of the articles in my feed. So I have found this long headline today:

Why does Israel seem to be such a big theme on Quora when there are so many other troubled areas in the world?
Normally I would have shrugged the whole off, mentioning the media sickish obsession with Israel in general. But the response to the query, by an Egyptian fellow, deserves to be read. Not that I agree with every single word of it, but... well, just read it.


Antoun Khalil, Gastroenterology Resident at Egyptian Ministry of Health (2015-present).

eing from Egypt, which is the biggest country on Israel's borders and historically known as the most influential Arabic state, meanwhile the country with the most bloody conflicts with Israel, I have a point.

All Arabs and I mean “ALL” excluding few christian minorities and few liberals are raised up to hate Israel. They teach this in schools. We were encouraged to paint drawings about 6th of October “Yom Kippur” war and how Egyptian Army humiliated the mystery of the unbeatable IDF! Nobody cares about the peace treaty of 1979, in fact, the great majority of Egyptians hate this treaty and wish if it wasn't held. Israel is looked to as the demon who raped the Arabic land, kills palestenians and conspires to destroy all the arabic world to form their great state from river”Furat” to river “Nile”.

Making this clear, I don't see it strange that Israel has this huge attention here and everywhere else. There is about 400 million persons who hate the existance of Israel. What's making it worse, is that one small state has a better contribution to world's science, industry and agriculture than the whole 23 arabic countries!

Nobody can deny that Arabs and Israeli have a tragic history. I myself feel angry to remember what Sharon had done to our prisoner of wars in 5-days war or the airstrikes on the primary school of Bahr Elbaqar.

But, I see that the past belongs to the past. We are neighbours with a lot of common interests. Israel is the only democracy and the most advanced state in the Middle East and collaboration will benefit Arabs as much as it will benefit Israelis. Then, we may not hear so much questions and debates about Israel.


02 December 2019

Shaniqua O’Toole vs Gateway Pundit. Spoofer: 1, Pundit: 0.

One of the signs of the time is, unfortunately, that a good spoof is practically indistinguishable from the so called "real life". Of course, we should thank our clinically confused and ridden by fake news media for this situation. But some hilarious misreadings plague even the ones that are supposed to be on guard.

Shaniqua O’Toole, one of the more successful spoofers lately, succeeded admirably to deceive the famous Gateway Pundit (not the first time he is being spoofed, by the way). Here is what caused him to lose his cool:

Here is what Gateway Pundit has said on the subject:
On Saturday Guardian contributor Shaniqua O’Toole argued in her column that the police were at fault for shooting the terrorist and should have known he was wearing a fake suicide vest.

You just can’t make this up!
A far left commentator is attacking police for shooting dead the ISIS killer.
Oh well, Shaniqua O’Toole is only a spiritual entity, and The Guardian, while they might be dying to have her on the list of their contributors, are not able to recruit her.

And the Guardian-looking page that irks so many people, is a product of a piece of software that generates such spoofs at your beck and call.

So there.

P.S. Gateway Pundit, it has to be mentioned, got wise to the nature of the spoof and eventually deleted it, but the delectable Shaniqua saved it in an archive.

24 November 2019

Nachman Shai's open letter to Benjamin Netanyahu

Update: in the first version of the post the letter was wrongly assumed to be by Benny Begin. Apologies.
(With thanks to Vittaly).

Nachman Shai with an message for Bibi. Apologies for bugs in translation, if encountered.


Without flaming, out of appreciation and clear vision.
(Published by Ynet)

My acquaintance with Bibi, I call him Bibi, is long-standing. I first met him 43 years ago, after his brother Yoni's death in Entebbe. Yoni was my classmate at Rehavia Gymnasium in Jerusalem. A few years earlier, immediately after the Yom Kippur War, I interviewed him as commander of the Golan Heights Armored Battalion. It was the only journalistic interview Yoni had ever given.

In 1976, Bibi asked to speak to me and presented his vision for the war on terror. He was 27 years old and already brilliant at the time. He has developed an international counter-terrorism project and recruited people from all over the world to assist. The project exposed him both in Israel and in the US. Later, the late Moshe Arens chose him to serve as his deputy at the Washington Embassy. At the time, I served as the embassy spokesperson and couldn't help but admire his personal and policy capabilities.

Once again, we worked together in the First Gulf War - he in political PR and I in the military, and later in the Madrid Conference and beyond. Of course, I also followed him during my years in the Knesset, and occasionally we even talked and exchanged opinions.

I value and respect him even today, so I refuse to join the chorus that now rolled him in the tar in the outskirts of the city. But last Thursday I listened to the things he said on television - true, with great excitement, a stir of emotion and lack of sense - and realized that he could go no further.

It's over, Bibi.

The Israeli prime minister cannot burn the house on its residents. No, you can't. Only yesterday and maybe tomorrow you will send Air Force pilots or other IDF fighters to protect this home. A home is not just land, roads, buildings. The home is the set of values ​​and norms we all share.

You, the Prime Minister of Israel, have to respect our democracy, which has been serving you for 13 years. This democracy rests on the foundations of law and order and morality. Without them, it would not be democracy and will collapse. So many countries have already seen it. It might happen to us too. The distance is short.

No, this is not a "coup" and it is not an attempt to oust illegally a prime minister. The law keeping and enforcement system has come to a wise and measured conclusion that the Israeli prime minister should be prosecuted. Even now my hands are shaking at the sound of those words. This system may be faulty. But once a decision has been made, after many hesitations and varied considerations, including the timing, the way is now open to you to fight for your innocence. Not through the microphone and booth, which you so well use, but in court. There and only there.

I wish you got out of the indictments. It's hard for me to watch another convicted prime minister go to jail, but the decision is not mine or yours, and at this moment no longer public. Only the justice system, which you have complimented at the beginning of your speech, then roasted it on fire. The court will hear you, Bibi, with an open heart and soul. Go there, cope, and if there was nothing, there would be nothing.


To be on the safe side, follows the original in Hebrew.

22 November 2019

So, how about it now, Bibi?

In this recording Bibi, at the best of his glorious indignation and superb powers of speechifying, explains why Olmert, suspected of corruption, must resign. A part of his tirade reads:

A prime minister neck deep in investigations does not have a moral and public mandate to make fateful decisions for the State of Israel. There is a fear, I must say, and it is real and not unfounded, that he will make his decisions for his personal interest of political survival, not for the national interest.
To remind you all, at the time Olmert resigned even before the charges against him were finalized to indictment.

21 November 2019

Bible stories - in the language you know and love

The silence here is temporarily interrupted to let you enjoy something completely different.

It starts with one Shaul Reznik, who decided to refurbish several Tanach (Old Testament for some of you) stories, presenting them in the language of modern mass media headlines. Some of his readers joined the effort. This post will try to present the most worthy results (so far) in English.

[If you are offended, please go away. Quietly.]

A pensioner tries to kill his son for religious reasons.

Two cities in the south of the country suffered serious damage during shelling with fire and sulfur.

A family of sectarians drove a maid with a child into the desert.

Killing of a farmer: G-d suspects brother.

After marrying an immigrant, the Egyptian leader was diagnosed with urinary tract disease.

Two stone data carriers are broken, an elderly stutterer is suspected.

In the area of ​​the Dead Sea, two daughters got their father drunk and raped him.

The couple was kicked out of a nature reserve for eating fruit.

An Israeli scientist presented a technology of extracting water from a rock.

Amateur shipbuilder invests in creation of a unique zoo.

Children of a large family of religious fanatics decided to get rid of their brother by selling him to merchants of live goods.

The wife of a Sodom lawyer replenished the salt reserves of the city.

Bears gobbled up a group of teenagers.

A cloned woman fell prey to a snake.

UN protests: Israel destroys Palestinian buildings with advanced sonic weapons!

Shock! Another victim of the slander by a #Metoo activist. (In a candid interview with Zuleika, Potiphar discovers shocking details).

SENSATION! A local madman was swallowed by a whale.

Israeli bodybuilder brutally killed a rare predator.

Scandal in the royal family: intimate correspondence between the crown prince and his boyfriend was published.

The battle of psychics on Carmel ended with a stabbing.

The prisoner discovers paranormal abilities and receives an offer to take a high post.

Journalistic investigation: who is behind the string of climate anomalies in Egypt?

Ballistic examination: the world champion in power-lifting was killed by a shot from a slingshot.

Passion for quail meat led to mass poisoning in a nomadic tribe.

The effects of global warming: Red Sea has become catastrophically shallow in one day. Scientists are sounding the alarm!

Animal rights advocates are outraged by the increasing incidence of tearing of the mouths of lions in Palestine.

SHOCK! Donkey's jaw can be used to ...

Tons of counterfeit groats have been sprayed over the supposedly empty desert for decades. The investigation is ongoing.

Was there a boy? A senior citizen claims that he killed a ram on the mountain.

And more from the commenters:

A successful hair removal method invented by the king of Israel. Read the interview with Queen of Sheba about the results.

Elderly vegan destroys an expensive cultural symbol of veal lovers.

As a result of the disproportionate use of force, a building collapsed on pilgrims in Gaza.

Construction of the tallest skyscraper in the Middle East is suspended. Disagreements between unions are growing.

Prosecutor's office is investigating the scandalous affair of the Israeli leader with the wife of a general who died last year: the investigation revealed new facts.

Targeted assassination of a Palestinian field commander by the David's Sling system.

Medical phenomenon in a nomadic tribe. A woman gave birth at the age of 90 years.

A shepherd is wanted for an attempted coup.

In a village near Lake Tiberias, a group of unknown people burglarized a bakery. Police suspect a gang of so-called "Folk healer."

A young man marries two women through his father-in-law.

The elements claimed millions of lives, but a group of enthusiasts managed to save a zoo.

Abraham begat Isaac, Isaac begat Joseph. Feminists are furious!

The Shechem population is slaughtered as part of the #MeToo campaign.

The UN Human Rights Council condemned Israel for the killing of Egyptian soldiers in the Red Sea.

Etc. etc.

03 September 2019

Max J. Bleich hates this question. With reason.

My virtual acquaintance with Max J. Bleich ("Writer, Teacher, Socialist", as he brands himself) started with the slightly discombobulating headline of his article in ToI:

Am I pro-Israel or anti-Israel? I hate that question!

To be frank, if I have seen that "Socialist" self-designation immediately, I might have hesitated to click through, but the headline was so mysterious. Anyway I have seen it, but it was too late.

The article starts with subjects not directly involved with Israel: Jews in US are exhausted, GOP bad, Orange Sheikh bad etc. The litany is accompanied by the tired canard of Trump accusing Jews of double loyalty. No, Mr Bleich, even while yours truly is not a great admirer of the tongue-tied POTUS, the POTUS didn't accuse the US Jews of double loyalty. Just the opposite - he accused them (those who vote Democrats) of lack of loyalty to Israel, as he made clear in "doubling down".

The first mention of Israel, after the above mentioned litany, starts with:
Simultaneously, there is a fundamental misunderstanding that assumes criticism of Israel is inherently anti-Semitic.
It is unclear where this fundamental misunderstanding is lodging, how it spends its nightmarish nights, and who exactly are its proponents. Nor would it become clear from the rest of the article. But the straw man is created and will be thoroughly demolished, don't you doubt it. The article comes to a crescendo with this eruption:
For the first time since the emergence of Zionism, it seems that members of the diaspora Jewish world are facing a politically manufactured choice: are you pro- or anti- Israel? I find this question detestable, suspicious, and misinformed at best, and manipulative propaganda at worst. I hate this question.
Maybe this part of the following sentence could be a hint about the thought processes of the author: "Presenting a complex, non-binary issue in such explicitly binary terms...". Yeah... non-binary issue. Sign of the times, I bet. And you thought nothing could be simpler than to say "I support Israel, but I have the following criticism.....". You are wrong, apparently.

But then you get to the following pearls:
While we argue the right of Israel to exist (which, at this point should be settled)...
[Who is "we" and why should we argue this right at all is unclear, but who knows...]
Does Judaism not teach us the importance of repairing the world through acts of loving kindness? Does Judaism not teach us to pursue justice at all costs?
[At all costs? Not exactly. Judaism also teaches us "הבא להורגך השכם להורגו" (If someone is coming to kill you, hurry to kill him).]
The notion that Jews must maintain loyalty to the state of Israel is itself antisemitic, even if it is what the Jewish Right believes to be true.
[Now this one made me speechless, so no comment. Emphasis mine, by the way.]

But then you notice additional telltale signs, like:
Groups like J Street U, Breaking the Silence, and New Israel Fund are working tirelessly to provide a more nuanced and critical understanding of the geopolitical dimensions of the conflict than the one promoted by Taglit Birthright Israel and others who seek to delegitimize Palestinian claims and ties to the land.
Groups that stand with one foot at least in the BDS camp, and I wonder why the author passed over the ridiculous If Not Now...

And then, from the author's bio blurb you learn that the author himself "founded J Street U Cincinnati", and the picture clears a bit. Not that you get an answer to the "pro-Israel or anti-Israel", cause it is antisemitic, as you have learned, but at least you know the direction of the wind.

Too bad.

23 June 2019

Star light, star bright

This curious document from way back shows that the tentacles of you know who were never at rest.
The document is a part of Ukrainian KGB archives that survived destruction and are being published.
Donetsk region

On November 26, 1980 several customers in the department store #2, city of Shakhtersk* noticed that a fir tree** adornment toy "Comet" (made of glass in the form of a sphere) carries a depiction of a six-pointed star, identical to the Zionist symbol.

The toy is produced by the Terebovlyansk factory of fir tree toys (Ternopol region). The toys arrived to the department store (total of 800 items) on November 6 of this year. 600 of these were already sold to the population. The sale of the toys was suspended.

The investigation is carried out by UKGB*** of Ternopol region.The total number of toys produced and the shops that received them are being studied. The KGB offices of the regions were notified.
(*) A city in Donetsk region of Ukraine
(**) A Soviet euphemism for the Christmas tree.
(***) Ukrainian KGB

I couldn't find a photograph of the toy in question, so in lieu of one:

12 June 2019

MK Miki Zohar* and will of the people

The above mentioned is one of the chief brownnosers of our illustrious and legally haunted PM. It is not news, besides he is only one of many. However, his recent musings on the ongoing legal battle between Bibi and the justice system left a good part of the nation flabbergasted.
“The attorney general and the legal system will have to consider the election results, because the people are the sovereign,” Likud MK Miki Zohar** told Kan public radio. “The people determine the social norms.”

“Those who are responsible for Netanyahu’s legal fate are only the Israeli nation and Israeli citizens,” Zohar said. “If they come to the ballot station in a few months and again tell the attorney general, law enforcement systems, the left and the media that they want Netanyahu as their prime minister — with all due respect to everyone, he will remain their prime minister.”
I am not sure I have to comment on this too extensively. Just, as a side notion: this revolutionary idea, if expanded and fully implemented, will save uncounted billions that are going into support and maintenance of the legal system. No obscure and complicated law books, no judges, thus no lawyers, only the people who determine the social norms and thus the award and/or punishment for each of their fellow citizens.

Come to think of it, there is no need for the law enforcement too in this new world. Just volunteer citizen committees, equipped with rope, tar and feathers, as in the good old days.

Wow. Just wow.

On the other hand, that brief Knesset bio blurb says that the ideas man also chairs the Lobby for the Promotion of Sports and an Athletic Lifestyle. Should the Hon. MK focus solely on sport in the future?


(*) The one on the right in this picture. The hand is, apparently, obscuring his tongue to hide its color.

(**) This comes from a man with apparent knowledge of the law:
Makhlouf Miki Zohar ... holds a 'Bachelor of Laws' (LLB) degree from the College of Law and Business in Ramat-Gan and a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from Bar-Ilan University.

27 April 2019

Happy Passover, New York Times!

Interrupting the (hopefully temporary) silence for this extraordinary bit of news:
The New York Times on Saturday acknowledged publishing in Thursday’s international print edition an anti-Semitic political cartoon, reminiscent of the worst Arab, Soviet and Nazi works. It depicted President Trump as a blind man wearing a yarmulke and being led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the shape of a seeing eye dog wearing a collar adorned by a blue star of David.
The story checked out by several people, who bought the edition in question.

28 March 2019

Social stigma, self-esteem, social justice etc

Still not enough time for anything, but this case deserves all attention one is able to muster. The experiment described in the following page (a copy from a book by Arnhild Lauveng) has implications far beyond a simple personality quirk. Click on the image to make the reading easier.

Just to make sure the story is true, I have done some fingerwalking with Google. First of all it is Major and Crocker, and, besides, the experiment was performed by Kleck, R. E., and Strenta, A. in 1980. However, the description above summarizes the results in a simple and easy language, so I have decided to use it, despite the wrong reference.

In our brave new world, when the battle cry "Discrimination!" is used by so many small and large groups of people, for a good reason or (more frequently) without any reason at all, this experiment should serve as a litmus paper for a lot of cases.

21 March 2019

Thank you, Norway, for getting Europe to stage 3 of Jew-biting

Attorney General Tor Aksel Busch - Norway
The man in the picture above should be allotted a place in history books. He pushed the (willing) population of Europe to the third stage of recognized and approved Jew-hate. To remind you the first two stages:
  1. "Some of my best friends are Jews, it is the Zionists over there, in Israel, that I despise and protest."
  2. "Criticism of Israel/Zionist Entity is not antisemitic, and my Jewish friends that support Israel are not my friends anymore, I despise and protest them too."
Now, thanks to the gentleman depicted above, we are at the third stage: "Fuck all Jews, they are all Israel". With all the consequences, logical, legal and physical that follow.

The article by Elder of Ziyon tells the story. For the lazy here is a summary:

A Norwegian-Iranian rapper says "fucking Jews" during performance. Whether it was a poor joke or an intended racist slur is immaterial for our purpose. Besides, I am not into trying to interpret a rapper.

Norwegian police (sic!) decided that "Fuck Jews" was not a racist statement. Why is this a matter for police to decide is unclear, but also immaterial.

Then a State Attorney Trude Antonsen agrees with the police's assessment. She decides that the statement is "highly derogatory, offensive and false, but that it is not affected by the criminal code". Whatever. Not very enlightening, but immaterial as well.

And here the hero of this post jumps into the fray:
Attorney General Tor Aksel Busch rejected the appeal on the grounds that "fuck Jews" can be understood as criticism of Israel.
At this point I have to disagree with the learned Elder. He says:
In other words, now pretty much any attack on Jews in Norway can be justified as being merely political, and not racist.
Not in Norway only, dear Elder, I am sorry to say. This is a precedent, soon to be expanded and used by many others, to be sure.

Too bad.

18 March 2019

The death of Stalin and other animals

This extraordinary document deserves a translation. While my expertise as a translator is somewhat unimpressive, I shall try to do my best. The letter below was sent to Nikita Khrushchev immediately after the tyrant and mass murderer croaked. Khrushchev was the chairman of the funeral commission.


Dear Nikita Sergeevich [Khrushchev]!

Whether under the influence of the great grief that befell our Soviet people, or under the influence of burning hatred for the enemies and traitors of the people, murderous terrorists who carried their sting over our leaders and statesmen, or under the influence of both. I dare to express and hope, not only my opinion and wish, but also the opinion and wish of many Soviet citizens, the wish is that during the civil funeral for our beloved and beloved leader I.V. Stalin did not allow the "Jewish ensemble", called the State Symphony Orchestra of USSR, which team is always assigned to play mourning music in the Hall of Columns of the House of Unions.

The mourning melody of this orchestra, consisting of 95% of Jews, sounds insincere. After each funeral, this Jewish weed, rallied under the guise of the State Symphony Orchestra of USSR, with a sense of satisfaction, calculates its unplanned income. I believe that this Jewish team of the symphony orchestra is not worthy of being in close proximity to our great, beloved leader, dear I.V. Stalin.

We have many orchestras consisting of the devoted sons of our multinational Soviet state, and there is no need to impose this mission on the people (the Jews), who have not shown examples of heroism and devotion throughout their history. The only thing that our industrious people hear and confront is theft, cheating, speculation, betrayal and murder on the part of this small, corrupt people, one word about which - “Jew” - evokes a feeling of disgust and distaste.

As for the composition of the State Symphony Orchestra of USSR, it would be useful to think about its future existence in such composition. A small group of leaders of the orchestra, that creates an aura of fame for Jewish musicians in the competitive selection of musicians for the orchestra, often under pressure from Jewish musicians, do not give players of Russian nationality the opportunity to join the orchestra, although they are far superior to Jews who insinuate into the orchestra through the intrusiveness of the Jews and the support of the Jewish members of the entire symphony orchestra.

V.Antonov [the author]


The official answer to this letter is no less amazing. Here are some excerpts:


... In fact, the position in the orchestra is as follows: out of 112 orchestra members, 66 are Russians (59%), 40 are Jews (35.7%) and 6 are of other nationalities(5.3%).

The message of the author of the letter that few Russians were accepted at the contests held in the orchestra is not true. In 1951/52, only 14 musicians were enrolled to the orchestra after the selection process, of which 11 were Russian and 3 Jews.

... During May - June of this year. The Arts Committee retires 10 musicians (2 of them are Russians, 8 are Jews). In September 1953, the orchestra will be replenished by new musicians of indigenous nationality.

V. Kruzhkov and P. Tarasov [signed the response]


Hat tip: M.T.

03 March 2019

Fisk - alive and kicking, without fisking

For several years I have neglected the subject, somehow considering it being passe and not exciting at all anymore. After all these years.

Besides, there is that promise given by myself to myself 11 years ago:

It was already agreed in the blogger community that fisking Fisk has lost its appeal due to this specific target becoming too pathetic, senile and totally cooking on another planet. Barmy, in one word.
So, when a kind friend brought this to my attention, I have decided just to bring up a choice quote or two from the shining beacon of anti-Zionism. Here:
Two thousand five hundred miles separate the Israeli ministry of defence in Tel Aviv from the Indian ministry of defence in New Delhi, but there’s a reason why the usual cliche-stricken agency dispatches sound so similar.
But it is difficult to see how Zionist nationalism will not leach into Hindu nationalism when Israel is supplying so many weapons to India – the latest of which India, which has enjoyed diplomatic relations with Israel since 1992, has already used against Islamists inside Pakistan.
And now, instead of fisking, let's just unleash the power of positive thinking: ain't India the biggest dog the Zionist tail has succeeded to wag so far?

At least, according to the much fisked thinker...

24 February 2019

AIPAC as (another) left-wing conspiracy

In a post on his Facebook page, Netanyahu slammed what he called the Left's "double moral standards."
"They criticize an alliance on the Right with right-wing parties while the Left is working to bring radical Islamists into the Knesset to set up its own alliance," the prime minister wrote.

P.S. And just to make clear where I stand on this issue: here is where.

23 February 2019

If You Want to Be Honored By German President Frank Walter Steinmeier

Not much time for anything. Meanwhile watch this, posted by Benjamin Goldstein.

22 January 2019

Baizuo - for further reference

A useful bit of information via a Facebook buddy:
Baizuo (/ˈbaɪˌtswɔː/;[1] Chinese: 白左 báizuǒ, literally "white left") is a derogatory Chinese neologism used to refer to Western leftist liberal elites. It refers to the left faction in the culture wars in Western politics, implying support of multiculturalism, political correctness and positive discrimination. In more than 400 answers submitted by Zhihu users during 2015 to May 2017, the term is defined as referring to those who are hypocritically obsessed with political correctness in order to satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority motivated from an ignorant and arrogant Western-centric worldview who pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours. A related term is shèngmǔ (圣母, 聖母, literally "holy mother", title for the mother of an emperor), a sarcastic reference to those whose political opinions are guided by emotions and a hypocritical show of selflessness and empathy, represented by celebrities.
So there, now you know too.

15 January 2019

Gary Spedding or an appeal to the goddess of fairness

The gentleman in the picture is Gary Spedding*, mentioned in the headline. He was recently kicked out (BBC report) from Ben Gurion airport, back to wherever he has started his flight to Tel Aviv from. His report on Facebook** is placed at the end of the post here, for full disclosure. I would like to stress only one sentence from this report, the cry of an anguished innocent soul:
I invite Israeli authorities to respect legitimate democratic activities and process and permit me to continue with my journey.
Says BBC about the poor soul, being treated so unfairly:
A spokesman for the Israeli embassy in London said: "Mr Spedding's entry into Israel was denied due to his involvement in organising a violent protest in Queens University, Belfast, in which an Israeli representative was attacked, and others were forced to take shelter to prevent being hurt.
And here is the story, from 2011. Some choice quotes:
An Israeli law lecturer had to be rescued by security officers when a seminar was abandoned after being disrupted by pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

Solon Solomon, a former legal adviser to the Knesset Foreign Affairs committee, had been invited to speak to law school students at Queen's University in Belfast.

When the security team eventually moved him out of the university building, protesters attacked the car he was travelling in, punching the vehicle and attempting to smash its windows.

The protest was organised by Gary Spedding, president of the university's Palestine Solidarity Society. Mr Spedding works for the Holy Land Trust charity, which seeks to empower Palestinians in the West Bank.
You know, after reading the above, I can't get rid of a feeling that Gary Spedding wouldn't know legitimate democratic activities if the said activities bit him on his backside. And that Gary Spedding is a choice example of a hypocrite.

But it is neither here nor there. The important thing that he is back home and safe...

(*) Here is how he bills himself in Times of Israel, where he, apparently, is welcome to keep a blog:
Gary Spedding is a cross-party advocate and lobbyist on the Israel-Palestine conflict in the UK, Irish and European Parliaments and an applied peace and conflict researcher. He is a member of the UK’s Labour Party.
However, not being an expert on Gary Spedding, I shall let other people add to the above short blurb.
Here is a brief one.
And here is a longer one, in three parts!

(**) Here it goes:
Five years on, I have just been detained upon arrival at Israel’s Ben Gurion international airport. I have once again been refused entry. I will try to provide updates as I attempt to carry forward with my visit to Israel-Palestine.

I’ve spent the last five years banned from Israel. After having followed all stipulations required of me (including not attempting re-entry during the period of my ban). The main reason for my visit is to meet and catch up with Israeli and Palestinian friends and colleagues.

I do not believe that my political views and positions constitute a legitimate reason to deny my entry to Israel. I do not have a criminal record in any country, I do not post a security threat. It would be understandable if I held extreme views or dangerous tendencies - but I do not.

I wholeheartedly believe in peace, justice and equality for Israelis, Palestinians, Arabs and Jews in this land. It is my hope that this will be recognised and that I’ll be permitted to enter the same as any other UK passport holder without prejudice.

I invite Israeli authorities to respect legitimate democratic activities and process and permit me to continue with my journey.

Press release to follow if I still have access to my phone.

10 January 2019

You dare to call yourself friends of Jews?

A Jewish German political activist Aviel Tromm, who describes himself on his Facebook page:

My name is Aviel Tromm, I actively tried to shape politics from 2001 to 2014. I was chairman of the LAG Queer NRW, the party The Left, fractional employee of the city council faction in Brühl and sat there in 8 committees, have worked with the then parliamentary group and was networked with politicians across the country.
To this day, I have friends in various factions of the Bundestag and the European Parliament and I am still fighting actively in the BAK Shalom, but I am no longer a party member! My "career" ended in Essen in 2014 because I sided with Israel.
The letter to the German government, written by him, is borrowed from Benjamin Goldstein's blog.
You all annoy me the way you mentally please yourself with your ‘culture of rememberence’ and your ‘raison d’État’ and how you at the same time learned so much from history that in fifty years Germany will finally be as your murderish grandparents envisioned it – judenrein!

Every time a Jew in Germany gets beaten, you have to act like shocked politicans with your useless Sunday speeches and slogans and you pretend not to be able to understand where that hatred comes from. You prattle in talk shows that there wouldn’t be a place for anti-Semitism in Germany. You carry wreaths to memorials. Oh, how much you love your dead Jews. I’m inclined to attest you a propensity for necrophilia!

But every time when the living Jews resist, when they insist on their right to self-determination, then you’re there to pass UN-Resolutions together with the religious and ideological fanatics, painting Israel as the world’s demon. In [the Nazi propaganda magazine] ‘Stürmer’ they did it with cartoons. You do it with politics.

High-ranking politicans may clap hands when in the European Parliament Mr Abbas spreads the most anti-Semitic narratives. One may loudly speak of an apartheid state or a regime and it’s also perfectly okay for you to lay down flowers and wreaths on the graves of dead terrorists. Still today Europe must be very sad that the Arabs failed to drown the Jews in the Middle East in 1948 like a farmerman who’s killing kittens in a barrel of rain.

Either you’re so stupid that you can’t distinguish scrambled eggs from shit or you do it on purpose. You’re a bunch of lousy hypocrites who present themselves in front of memorials, howling in the minor chords of Klezmer-music, and at the same time you’re working only to get rid of the European Jews.

What did you learn from the last years? What have you done? Anti-Semitic riots throughout Germany, arson attacks on synagogues, endless insults and repressions against Jews and Jewish institutions. What was the consequence? The German parliament of the state NRW, for example, examined the incidents in the City of Essen, condemned them and after that the topic was over. Nothing of practical use followed. The guilty are still sitting exactly where they sat then. The only effective measure was a big rally, which wasn’t initiated by you, but the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

And what are you working on in practice? You condemn and criticize Israel since the 1960s perpetually. You have no understanding for self-defense and security needs. You reject Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and you pump billions of euros into the terrorist structures of Hamas and others on site. And what does that make of you after your own definition? You dare to call yourself friends of Israel and the Jews? Friends? What the hell is wrong with you?

With this policy of ‘friendship’ you created such a one-sided media coverage that there are only two types of Jews in the daily lives of Germans. Jews have almost disappeared completely from everday life.

First type: Jews in Germany appear in news articles about students who have to change schools because of their Jewish identity. Or in documentaries about the Shoa, which have become so irrelevant that they feel like a substitute of the black-and-white picture noise of the analogue TV set.

Second type: Jews encounter the majority of people in Germany as a boogeyman in the news when Israel every so often has to defend itself and even the headlines then leave no qualms that ‘the Jew’ is always the guilty one. In fact, the media almost always reports negatively about Israel. The attacks against the state of Irael are usually only mentioned as the last line in consistently tendencious articles, and politicians of all parties either drown in their calls for temperance or they curse Israel as an apartheid state like [former] Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel.

The West German post-war narrative is the attempt to avert the guilt. In order not to face the own history Israel is at least equated to the Nazis.

And finally, to crown your hypocrisy, you install anti-Semitism commissioners who have to beg to get heard at all. If they’re listened to, they can have the moral highground for a moment. [Note: I think that he means they are selectively given the mic for purely strategic political advantages.] Fabulous! Great show! So much perversion and deviousness is otherwise known only in psycho thrillers.

The result of over fourty years of German-Israeli ‘friendship’ is that anti-Semitism has become louder, that it’s becoming increasingly dangerous for Jews to walk the streets and that more and more Jews emigrate from Germany.

There’s only left to say that you’re bound by tradition, a German tradition which made it possible to slaughter Jews during the Crusades like livestock, a tradition that was inspired by Martin Luther’s letter of shame ‘From Jews and their lies’, a tradition responsible for the murder of six million Jews on government orders.

It’s not us who have become like your grandparents, no, you’re just as your murderish ancestors desired. At least be honest, this farce is almost unbearable.

08 January 2019

Murder of a poet - 80 years

Behind us still our fate was grimly holding,
A razor-handed madman, seeking fee.
(Arseny Aleksandrovich Tarkovsky)

The picture above is, most probably, the last picture of Osip Mandelshtam, one of the brightest stars in Russian poetry of XX century. It was taken by a prison photographer not long before his death. His murder, in fact. The poet signed his death sentence by his famous epigram of the tyrant:
We live, not feeling the earth beneath us
At ten paces our words evaporate.
But when there’s the will to crack open our mouths
our words orbit the Kremlin mountain man.
Murderer, peasant killer.

His fingers plump as grubs.
His words drop like lead weights.
His laughing cockroach whiskers.
The gleam of his boot rims.

Around him a circle of chicken-skinned bosses
sycophantic half-beings for him to toy with.
One whines, another purrs, a third snivels
as he babbles and points.

He forges decrees to be flung
like horseshoes
at the groin, the face, the eyes.

He rolls the liquidations on his tongue like berries
delicacies for the barrel-chested Georgian.
It is not my place to write about the life and poetry of the genius, but here are some memories of his last days. His last letter to the family:
Dear Shura! 
I am - Vladivostok, СВИТЛ*, the 11th barrack. Got 5 years for the к.р.д.** by decision of the ОСО***. From Moscow, the Butyrki, our group left on September 9, arrived on October 12. Health is very weak, exhausted to the extreme, emaciated, almost unrecognizable, but I don’t know whether to send things, food and money makes sense. Try all the same. Very cold without things.

My dear Nadinka, I do not know whether you are alive, my dove. You, Shura, write about Nadya to me now. Here I am at a transit point. I was not taken to the Kolyma. Wintering is possible.
My dear, I kiss you.

Osya and Shurochka, I am writing more. The last days I went to work, and it raised my spirits. From our camp, as a transit point, they send [people] to the permanent [camps]. I have obviously got "screened out", and I have to get ready for the winter.

And please send me a telegram and money by telegraph.
(*) СВИТЛ - Northeast Forced Labor and Correction Camps - a branch of GULAG.
(**) к.р.д. - Counter-revolutionary activities.
(***) ОСО, Special Committee) - an administrative body under the NKVD of the USSR, which existed from 1934 to 1953.

And a description of the poet's death:
...in November we have started being eaten alive by thoroughbred white lice. Typhus, of course, got to us. The sick people were taken away, and not seen anymore. On a morning at the end of December, a few days before the New Year, we were led to the baths, to "sanitary processing". There was no water. We were ordered to undress in the cold and take the clothing to the heating room*. And then we were transferred to the other half of the premises, the dressing room, where it was even colder. The room stank of sulphur and smoke. At this time two naked men fell unconscious.
Several flankeys came up. They took out pieces of plywood, twine and put tags on the dead. His tag said "Mandelshtam Osip, Article 58 (10), 10 years."
(*) Heating room - a preferred way then to kill the lice in clothing.

This is the end of one of the very few through whom the deity of poetry speaks.
Take from my palms some sun to bring you joy
and take a little honey - so the bees
of cold Persephone commanded us.

No loosing of the boat that is not moored,
no hearing of the shadow shod in fur,
no overcoming fear in life's dense wood.

And kisses are all that's left us now,
kisses as hairy as the little bees
who perish if they fly out of the hive.

They rustle in transparent depths of night,
their home dense forests on Taigetos' slopes,
their food is honeysuckle, mint and time.

So for your joy receive my savage gift,
a dry and homely necklace of dead bees
who have transmuted honey into sun*.
(*) Well, better a poor translation than nothing. Not that there is any possibility to translate him.