.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Palestinian Arabs cheapen their own lives again

An interesting detail about Thursday's terror attack, where a Palestinian Arab who aimed to blow up a children's Chanukah party was stopped by a true hero. The Palestinian media, of course, had a different take:
"Three citizens were heroically martyred today in an explosive operation
that targeted Israeli soldiers at a roadblock south of Tulkarm," declared
Voice of Palestine radio in the lead item of its two main news shows
Thursday afternoon.
The other Arabs that were killed were innocent bystanders, who were goign about their daily business. Yet the Arab media refers to them as "martyrs."

What makes something valuable? It is a simple question of how much importance people place on something. If people decide that a yellow substance that can be mined is valuable, then gold becomes valuable. Pet rocks and Pokemon cards once had value, but as people lost interest the items became less valuable.

It is easy to say that human life has infinite value, but in fact human life is only as valuable as people make it. If a community acts as if life is valuable, where much effort is spent in keeping human beings alive and safe from harm, then life itself becomes commensurately valuable.

On the other hand, if a community shows disdain for the lives of its own citizens, then they obviously do not value life as much and in a very real way their community's lives are worth less than the lives of the community that truly values life.

So, in a very real sense, Palestinian Arab blood is cheap - due to the acts of the Palestinian Arabs themselves.

By celebrating deaths of their own people, by even celebrating the deaths of people who had no desire nor intent to die, the Palestinian Arabs show how they truly feel.

Israel has shown far more regard for Palestinian Arab lives than the Arabs themselves have. Far more Palestinian Arabs have been killed by fellow Arabs and by each other than by Israelis. Palestinians under Israeli "occupation" were treated far better than those in Lebanon and Syria and under the PA, in every sense - economic, educational, medical.

Something is very wrong when the Palestinian Arabs' supposed enemies value Arab lives more than they themselves do.

The planets are aligned. Daughter of Ziyon has a new post.

The always beautiful and talented Daughter of Ziyon has decided to grace the JBlogosphere with her description of my nephew's wedding last month.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Take the racism test!

I was going through some old posts of mine when I used to waste my time frequenting Yahoo Message Boards before I discovered how much fun it is to instead waste my time blogging. Here's an oldie but goodie:

Do you consider Israel's policies racist? Take the Racism Test to see if you are racist too!

Do you believe that:
  • Jews should be able to live in a Palestinian state?
  • Jews should be able to own land in Palestine?
  • Jews should be able to build their own communities in Palestine?
  • Jews should be able to vote in Palestinian elections?
  • Jews should be able to freely immigrate to Palestine; no discrimination in immigration policies?
  • Jews should be able to freely worship at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, and Rachel's Tomb outside Bethlehem?
  • Jews should be able to worship on the Temple Mount?
  • Jews should be able to be elected in a Palestinian parliament?
  • A Jew should be able to be elected President of Palestine?
Answer only one "no", and - congratulations! You must be a racist!

Today's Egyptian Police Phunnies

One of today's bottom stories. After all, Arabs killing people is not a big deal.
CAIRO (Reuters) - At least 10 Sudanese refugees died and around 50 were injured on Friday when Egyptian police dispersed a three-month sit-in by thousands of Sudanese demanding to be moved to another country, officials said.

The head of the local ambulance service, who did not want to be named, said 20 bodies had been taken to medical centres, but the number could not immediately be confirmed.

The Interior Ministry said 10 people had died in what it said was a stampede among the protesting refugees, who have been camped at the site in an affluent part of Cairo. It said 75 police officers were also injured when they tried to move them.

Witnesses said about 2,000 riot police stormed the camp site early on Friday and beat those inside with truncheons and sticks after officials had failed to persuade them to board buses waiting to take them to another site.

Pools of blood were visible on the pavement as men in the camp fought back with sticks and hurled bottles at the riot police, who also fired water cannon to try to disperse them.

About 4,000 police in total ringed the site, near the offices of the U.N. refugee agency, where the Sudanese had set up camp in squalid conditions in protest against what they said was poor treatment since they fled Sudan's lengthy civil war.

'The security forces were present to ensure a process of transporting those mentioned (Sudanese) and to prevent squatting,' the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Reuters witnesses said there were about six unconscious Sudanese, some of them young children, lying on the ground.

A doctor who examined a girl aged about four who was brought to him after being found unconscious said: 'She's dead.'

Just another day in a country that gets $2 billion annually from the US.

Poll: Arabs lose interest in the Palestinian issue

A poll released by the Arab American Institute looked at attitudes of the Arab people throughout the Middle East towards various issues:
Arab American Institute: Arab Attitudes Poll 2005:
1. The most important political issues facing the Arab world are largely the same in 2005 as they were in 2004: expanding employment, improving health care, and education ranking first, second, and fourth. In third place is an issue we did not include in our 2004 poll: ending corruption and nepotism. It is noteworthy that “resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” has dropped from second place in 2004 to seventh place in this year’s survey.
I have a theory about this.

In years past, the Arab governments had a monopoly on information that the Arab public could see, and from the middle of the 20th century until a couple of years ago, they had no problem using that monopoly to manipulate public opinion for their own purposes. This was clearly not the case in the earlier part of the 1900s; the Palestine Post articles I've been researching from the 40's shows that the Arab people were far more independent and outspoken than they had been in the 60's or 90's. They had no problem criticizing their government, and the divide between them and their supposed leaders was apparent.

The Arab people of the early 20th century were far more concerned with their personal family welfare than with any geopolitical issues. National boundaries were meaningless, as Arabs freely moved between areas to where ever they could best provide for their families. In fact, most "Palestinian Arabs" moved to the area after the Jews started moving in en masse for purely economic reasons - a large percentage in the 20's and 30's.

Not to say that they were all happy with Jews taking power in Israel; the Arab mental block against "losing" land that was once Muslim is strong. But to the average Palestinian Arab the Jews brought more prosperity and they co-existed fine. It was the leadership that felt threatened by Jews in power.

As Israel was restored, the neighboring Arab nations wanted to fight it by any means possible, and one very effective way was to manipulate Arab public opinion. The West has always had an irrational fear of the mythical "Arab street," and the Arab leaders used this fact as a weapon, threatening the West constantly with unleashing the power of their angry citizens. It was of course a joke - they were pulling the strings all along, and their citizens had little freedom to protest anything against their governments.

The best example of public opinion whiplash occured in Egypt during Camp David. The Egyptian press praised Israel for dismantling towns in the Sinai, showing TV footage and making Egyptians sympathetic towards peace. As soon as the Sinai was in Egyptian control again, the press did a quick 180 and the incitement started anew.

The Arab governmental control of their media had other consequences, of course. They could limit world coverage of their own atrocities, such as the Syrian massacre of 20,000 in Hama, and they could distract their people from their own corruption by playing up imagined Jewish crimes.

In the new century, things started changing. Three trends are funadmentally changing the ability that Arab governments have to manipulate public opinion: Satellite TV, the Internet, and the US interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now ordinary Arabs can see what is going on from different perspectives. Self-criticism is increasing. People want more freedom. They are no longer dependent on the government line. Even though the Arab countries are still far from democratic, the leaders are clearly reacting to their citizens, rather than just pushing them.

And the Arab people, when armed with real information, tend to see that the importance of the Palestinian issue is nothing compared to the problems they have in their daily lives. Blaming Israel for the problems of someone in Kuwait or Bahrain or even Egypt makes no sense. The Arabs are now feeling more free to express themselves, and freedom is a hard thing to give up once you have had it.

There were other interesting parts of the poll, some unexpected:
2. The most important concerns in personal life are matters close to home; family, quality of work, marriage, and religion. The significance of religion has declined in most countries and is in 5th place among younger Arabs.

3. Overall, Arabs appear to be satisfied with their present situation and optimistic about their future. Most significant changes occurred in Lebanon where both optimism and satisfaction doubled since 2002.

4. Significant majorities of Arabs in all countries accept women in the work place, especially if the reason is to provide financial support for their families, and smaller majorities also support women working for other reasons: “to find a fulfilling career” or “because she wants to work.”

5. In 2005, more Arabs prefer to self-identify with their country of origin, than with their religion, or “being Arab.” In 2002, religion and sect were principle self-identifiers.

6. Overall, favorable attitudes toward the U.S. have rebounded since 2004, but are still slightly lower than the already low 2002 ratings. Negative attitudes toward the U.S. have hardened due largely to Iraq and “American treatment of Arabs and Muslims.”

7. There is a growing pessimism toward “the likelihood of peace.” Positive attitudes have dropped in most countries, most notably in Egypt and Jordan.

8. Only in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates do Arabs report optimism in the promise of finding a job in their own country. Majorities, in the other four countries polled, report that they would relocate to another country to find work.
Each of these are worth an essay in themselves, but much of it is very encouraging and, I would argue, that much of it (acceptance of women in the workplace, less emphasis on religion) is also a result of the freer flow of information to the Arab world.

UPDATE: Daled Amos notices something else interesting about this poll.

PA TV's latest message of peace and co-existence

Palestinian Media Watch captured this:

PA TV program on Jaffa (Tel Aviv):

"It is time for you [Israelis] to be gone. Live wherever you like, but don't live among us. It is time for you to be gone. Die wherever you like, but don't die among us. We have the past here. We have the present, the present and the future. So leave our country, our land, our sea, our wheat, our salt, our wounds. Everything. And leave the memories."

These words of hate are the parting moments of yet another program on Palestinian Authority television calling for the destruction of Israel. The words, calling for the expulsion of every last Israeli from Israel, are spoken while the screen is showing Jaffa-Tel Aviv, Israelis and Israeli flags. Official PA TV has aired this twice in recent months.

To view this clip, click here

The "Roadmap" says:
At the outset of Phase I:
  • Palestinian leadership issues unequivocal statement reiterating Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to end armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere. All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.

Has any pressure ever been put on the PA to stop incitement in their official media?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Quartet of Cluelessness

The United States and three international supporters of the Middle East peace process said Wednesday that the next Palestinian Cabinet should not include members of Hamas or other militant groups committed to violence.

A statement by the four parties, known as the Quartet, did not name Hamas, but said a future Palestinian Cabinet 'should include no member who has not committed to the principles of Israel's right to exist in peace and security and an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism.'


If the Quartet was serious about this statement, it just ruled out every single member of the PA from running in the election, not just Hamas.

There has not been any unequivocal desire to stop terror by any PA leader. Every terror attack is "condemned" because of its adverse effects on the Palestinian Arabs, not because it is wrong. All current PA ministers are members of Fatah, which expresses its explicit desire to destroy Israel. The fact that the PA maps of the region do not show Israel makes it very clear that they have no long-term desire to accept Israel's existence.

There is no difference between the Fatah members of the PA and the terrorists of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, except that Fatah is more secular and slightly more willing to make a temporary truce with Israel en route to destroying it. If the Quartet thinks that its statement excludes Hamas only, it is showing only that it still does not have a clue.

Today's PA "condemnations"

Referring to today's terror attack:
Deputy Palestinian Prime Minister Nabil Shaath denounced the bombing, and said that it was a particular tragedy that Palestinians had been killed. 'We want such operations stopped,' he said."

"We only want operations that kill Jews exclusively," he added.

Elsewhere in condemnation news:
Concerning the Israeli newest military escalation, President Abbas condemned enforcing the off-limit zone northern Gaza Strip.

"Israel had no right to reoccupy the Gaza Strip under any pretexts." Abbas said.

And for the trifecta:
Palestinian security forces set up roadblocks throughout the southern Gaza Strip today as they stepped up a search for three British citizens abducted by Palestinian gunmen, the latest in a wave of kidnappings of foreigners in the chaotic area.

"We have contacted all Palestinian official armed organisations, who all condemned this and are helping us search for her from door to door.”

"Palestinian official armed organizations"? So Hamas murderers have some sort of membership card that allows them to blow up Jews but not to kidnap other Westerners?

JIB award page live

After a few tense days of anticipation, the 2005 Jewish and Israeli Blog Award page sponsored by the Jerusalem Post and Israellycool is finally up, and I am honored to be nominated in three categories!

For each of those categories, to be honest, I wouldn't vote for myself. There are much better blogs than this one in every respect. Specfically, these are who I believe should win my categories:

Best Designed Blog: Jewlicious is a fantastically designed site. Even my designer, the beautiful and talented Daughter of Ziyon, agrees that it is better than the job she did here.

Honorable mentions to The View From Here and Oceanguy.

Best Israel Advocacy Blog: Very tough category. Iris was not nominated and it is my current favorite just for its sheer completeness - I now go there as often as Daily Alert to get the latest news on topics I write about.

Of those nominated, I like IsraPundit, Soccer Dad, the Muqata and Smooth Stone, but I have to admit that I am not yet familiar with many of the nominated blogs. Which is one of the reasons I love these awards - to get a chance to see blogs I missed this year.

Best series: I have to go with Aaron's Story at Elie's Expositions. Brilliantly written, absorbing, terrifying and heartbreaking. It is the single best piece of writing I have yet seen on the web.

I was disappointed not to see Rose's Story nominated - it is well worth reading and very well done.

I am looking forward to checking out many more of the nominated sites. It is a shame that many fine blogs were not nominated or did not properly get nominated; perhaps next year a nomination form would make more sense. This is not to take away from the amazing job that Dave at Israellycool has done in getting this organized - yasher koach and thank you! Thanks also to the Jerusalem Post for hosting the awards this year, adding much visibility to the still-young JBlogosphere. And, again, thanks to those who nominated me.

Preliminary voting starts January 9th, so there is plenty of time to check out all the great blogs listed.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Iran's Mehr News obsessed with Holocaust denial

No fewer than seven articles have been printed in the Iranian Mehr "News" site denying the Holocaust in the past month.

Interestingly, the first one came before Ahmadenijad made his remarks - it was an article by an author upset that the UN decided to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Then they added articles where they interview Holocaust deniers and then claim that Palestinians are the real victims of genocide.

But - don't call them anti-semites!

Germany bans "multicultural" group

The German state of Bavaria banned a radical Islamist group on Wednesday, saying materials seized from its offices urged Muslims to murder Jews and Christians.

'With today's ban of the Multi-Kultur-Haus (MKH) association, Bavaria is making the limits clear to supporters of foreign extremist organisations,' the state's interior minister, Guenther Beckstein, said in a statement.

Bavarian authorities had been watching the MHK (sic) in the town of Neu-Ulm for some time. Security officials had previously seized textbooks and other publications, materials Beckstein said clearly showed the group's radical nature.

One book seized from the MHK (sic) library called on Sunni Muslims to 'execute Jews and Christians as infidels,' the statement said.

An audio cassette said: 'Oh worthy ones, oh friends of love, send us bombs to kill the Jews with. No to the Jews, no to the Jews!'

I'm just posting this story because I love the name of the banned group: Multi-Kultur-Haus
.

Western multiculturalism and Muslim supremacism are two sides of the same coin, so it is not surprising that an Islamist supremacist group would hide behind that innocuous sounding name.

Shmendrik Award winners announced!

The eagerly-anticipated first annual Shmendrik Awards were given out by Dry Bones. As Yaakov Kirschen says:

The 1st Annual Shmendrik Award "winners" have been chosen! The annual awards “honor” those who most distinguished themselves by their seemingly unwitting support of anti-Semitism.

MEMRI's top 10 Muslim conspiracy theories in 2005

A fun read.

By STEVEN STALINSKY - The MEMRI Report

A Saudi journalist, Mshari Al-Zaydi, wrote about the "disease" of the Arab press blaming others for the Arab world's misfortunes in a London-based newspaper, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, on November 20. "This huge obsession among some Arabs and Muslims regarding conspiracy theories and the belief that the world is lurking in wait to pounce on us, as if the world has no worries other than cooking up plans, policies, and moves in order to realize one objective only: to eliminate Islam, Muslims, and Arabs," Mr. Al-Zaydi wrote.

The following are the top 10 conspiracy theories of 2005:

10. An Iraqi Shiite imam, Jalal Al-Din Al-Saghir, gave a sermon on December 16 that was broadcast on Al-Furat TV. He called Al-Jazeera "a TV channel known to be guided by the Mossad and ... whose purpose is to damage ... Islamic interests."

9. On a program that aired September 30 on Hezbollah-backed Al-Manar TV, the director of Sweden's Radio Islam, Ahmad Rami, (who was found guilty of incitement against Jews and served time in prison) discussed Jews in the West who "have 100% complete control of the media, political parties, trade unions, and publishing houses."

8. Saudi Arabia's Al-Majd TV interviewed a Jordanian lecturer, Sheik Ahmad Nawfal, about Jewish history on November 13. "David and Solomon were among our [Muslim] ranks. If Solomon had a temple, we would be worshipping Allah in it. We would not be worshipping idols and polytheism in it, like they do," he said. "There is no indication that a temple existed there."

7. Following the December 6 C-130 plane crash in Iran, the Iranian Student News Agency quoted the secretary-general of the Association of Muslim Journalists, Parviz Esmaeili, blaming, "U.S. state terrorism." Rambling about American sanctions on Iran, Mr. Esmaeili called on, "all the heads of state in the world" to discuss at international meetings this "plane crash and similar incidents over the past two decades [in Iran] as evidence of the U.S. technological crimes."

6. Mr. Esmaeili went on to tell ISNA that if the attacks of September 11, 2001, were investigated, the probe would show that the perpetrators were "the U.S. government and not phantom players like Al Qaeda." Other programs on Iranian TV devoted to the attacks included French author Thierry Meyssan's August 30 interview with Jaame-Jam2 TV and a November 17 interview with an Iranian filmmaker, Nader Talebzadeh, on IRINN TV.

5. Arab TV has also been rampant with September 11 conspiracies, including Al Jazeera's series "The Truth Behind 9-11," which was widely viewed throughout September, and a retired Egyptian general, Muhammad Khalaf, on Al-Mihwar TV on September 11 of this year detailing the American government's "secret plan" first developed in 1999 by "Bush senior."

4. Books on conspiracies continue to be popular throughout the Middle East. One devoted to the Bush family was the topic of a November 11 interview on Syrian TV featuring Syrian cleric Mohammad Said Ramadhan Al-Bouti: "Bush ... the grandfather of the current American president ... wrote a book about the life of the Prophet Mohammed. In this book, which was published in 1831, he says: 'As long as the Muslims' empire is not destroyed, God will not allow the return of the Jews to the homes of their fathers.'"

3. On December 14, the Syrian state owned daily Teshreen wrote about a book called "The Balance of Horror in an Open War," by Abdul Majid Ammar. It includes an analysis of the "Zionist entity and the conspiracies it hatched against the Arab nation in order to achieve its sinister expansionist plans."

2. Following the December 12 assassination of a Lebanese member of parliament and a leading anti-Syrian writer, Gibran Tueni, Iran's foreign minister, Hamid Reza Asefi, was quoted as saying it was "in line with ... the Zionist regime." A Teshreen headline on the story read, "Israeli Factor Should Not Be Dropped." On December 18, Al-Seyassah quoted Syria's information minister, Mahdi Dakhlallah, as saying, "Tueni was in debt and was killed by his debtors."

1. Many Arab writers have attacked Detlev Mehlis, the lead U.N. investigator of the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri. Mr. Mehlis's mother has been accused of being a prominent Zionist, as the Syrian judicial Web site Al-Nazaha reported on November 17. The deputy editor of the Egyptian government daily Al-Gumhouriyya, Abd Al-Wahhab 'Adas, reported November 12 on his mother's "major role in bringing Jews from Germany to Palestine" and that "Mehlis's mother was killed on the Golan Heights by Syrian sniper fire."

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

September 1943: No Jewish children left in Poland

In response to the new fashion of Holocaust denial sweeping the world, I have here a tiny article buried in the September 3, 1943 Palestine Post, one of hundreds of contemporaneous articles that documented the methodical murder of European Jewry.



Speaking of Munich - The Mahmoud Abbas connection

Now that the world is looking at the Munich terror attack again thanks to Steven Spielberg, this Sports Illustrated article from 2002 has some details that are relevant today.
Following the Oslo Accords of 1993, the mastermind of Black September's Munich attack enjoyed a certain respectability. Mohammed Daoud Oudeh, a.k.a. Abu Daoud, sat on the Palestinian National Council, where in 1996 he joined a majority in voting to revoke the clause in the PLO charter calling for Israel's destruction. Though Israel had long known of his role at Munich -- Mossad was believed to have been involved in a 1981 assassination attempt in which he was shot six times -- he even carried an Israeli-issued VIP pass that allowed him to shuttle between his home in Amman, Jordan, and the occupied territories.

All that changed in 1999 after Abu Daoud openly acknowledged his role in the Olympic attack, both in his memoir, Palestine: From Jerusalem to Munich, published in Paris, and in an interview with the Arab TV network al-Jazeera. Germany issued an international arrest warrant on Abu Daoud, and Israel canceled his travel credentials, barring him from the Palestinian lands he had spent his adult life trying to liberate....

"At the time, it was the correct thing to do for our cause," Abu Daoud told SI. AP
In late July, SI's Don Yaeger went to the Middle East to find the 72-year-old Abu Daoud. After five days in Syria, where he met with leaders of several Palestinian groups, including the Palestinian Authority, PA president Yasir Arafat's Fatah faction and the militant Hamas, Yaeger received a call from Abu Daoud, who said he was in Cyprus. Abu Daoud, who would not reveal where he resides -- saying only that he lives with his wife on a pension provided by the PA -- agreed to answer written questions. Among his claims, in his memoir and to SI, are these:

# Though he wasn't involved in conceiving or implementing it, "the [Munich] operation had the endorsement of Arafat." Arafat is not known to have responded to the allegations in Abu Daoud's book. In May 1972 four Black Septembrists hijacked a Sabena flight from Brussels to Tel Aviv, hoping to free comrades from Israeli jails. But Israeli special forces stormed the plane, killing or capturing all the terrorists and freeing every passenger, leaving Arafat, by Abu Daoud's account, desperate to boost morale in the refugee camps by showing that Israel was vulnerable.

# Though he didn't know what the money was being spent for, longtime Fatah official Mahmoud Abbas, a.k.a. Abu Mazen, was responsible for the financing of the Munich attack. Abu Mazen could not be reached for comment regarding Abu Daoud's allegation. After Oslo in 1993, Abu Mazen went to the White House Rose Garden for a photo op with Arafat, President Bill Clinton and Israel's Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. "Do you think that ... would have been possible if the Israelis had known that Abu Mazen was the financier of our operation?" Abu Daoud writes. "I doubt it." Today the Bush Administration seeks a Palestinian negotiating partner "uncompromised by terror," yet last year Abu Mazen met in Washington with Secretary of State Colin Powell.
[...]

# While he doesn't regret his role in the operation, Abu Daoud told SI, "I would be against any operation like Munich ever again. At the time, it was the correct thing to do for our cause. ... The operation brought the Palestinian issue into the homes of 500 million people who never previously cared about Palestinian victims at the hands of the Israelis." Today, he says, an attack on an event like the Olympics would only damage the Palestinians' image.

Dead Jews - to the Palestinians, it is both a strategy and a tactic!

Another detail about the moderate Palestinian leader:
Daoud also was interviewed about the Munich massacre for a film called "One Day in September," produced by John Battsek and Arthur Cohn for Sony Pictures Classics. Director Kevin Macdonald said Abu Daoud admitted Black September was merely the cover name adopted by Fatah members when they wanted to carry out terrorist attacks.

The PLO operative recalled how Arafat and Abu Mazen both wished him luck and kissed him when he set about organizing the Munich attack.

Spain is "occupied territory"

Hamas has a children's newspaper that describes the Spanish city of Seville, calling on Muslims to liberate it as well as the rest of Spain.

This is not surprising; Bin Laden himself mentioned "the tragedy of Andalusia" in his videotaped message right after 9/11, referring to the Muslim loss of sovreignty over Spain in the 15th century. And the phrase "tragedy of Andalusia" is not particular to Bin Laden; other Islamist websites use it freely, sometimes as veiled threats.

Here is an excellent Muslim analysis of how mainstream Muslims think of "al-Andalus." Many feel that Madrid was the target of Islamic terror more because of Andalusia rather than Iraq.

It seems that most Muslims feel that once some territory is Muslim, it is Muslim forever and needs to be taken back forcefully. In other words, there is no difference between the West Bank, Israel and Spain; it is more a matter of where to focus first.

And it is instructive that Muslims are teaching this to their children, today.

Arab boycott news

A month ago, there were headlines trumpeting the "fact" that Saudi Arabia dropped its long-standing economic boycott of Israel as a pre-condition to joining the World Trade Organization.

Unfortunately, the Saudis deny it:
JEDDAH, 22 December 2005 — Saudi Arabia announced yesterday that it would maintain its first-degree boycott of Israeli products despite joining the World Trade Organization (WTO).

An official at the Commerce and Industry Ministry denied reports that the Kingdom had lifted the boycott. “The Kingdom has lifted only the second and third degree boycott of Israel in accordance with a decision taken by the GCC summit 10 years ago,” the official said, adding that the Saudi accession to WTO was not linked to the lifting of the boycott.


Whether the WTO will still allow Saudi Arabia to join even though it is explicitly breaking the rules remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, AP reports that Israel has a healthy underground trade with Arab countries anyway:
CAIRO, Egypt Dec 26, 2005 — Staff members at a Riyadh hospital got a surprise when they looked at the fine print on the paper cups they were using. Workers in a storeroom at a Dubai hospital were similarly shocked when they took a close look at the tags on a large shipment of uniforms, towels and sheets.

The labels said 'Made in Israel,' according to recent newspaper reports from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, both of which have laws that ban imports from the Jewish state.

Experts say the camouflaged trade, with just a small portion receiving publicity, has been going on for years between Israel and its officially hostile Arab neighbors.

The hidden trade is worth about $400 million a year about two and a half times what Israel sold to its official Arab trading partners, Egypt and Jordan, in 2004 said Gil Feiler, the director of Info-Prod Research, a Tel Aviv consultancy specializing in Arab markets, and an economic professor at Bar Ilan University.

Others say such estimates are significantly inflated.

'All the figures are very sexy for the press, but the reality is much less than what is written,' said Dan Catarivas, foreign trade director at the Israeli Manufacturers' Association.

The true amount of Arab imports from Israel is impossible to establish because neither side makes it public, with Israeli-made goods moving to Arab customers through third countries Cyprus or the Netherlands, for example, which list the shipments as local exports.


This naturally upsets the Arab "intelligentsia" who bemoan the fact that Israel gets any recognition whatsoever from anyone.

As was the case in 1946, the Arab boycott against Israel is an ineffective weapon that hurts the Arab people more than it hurts Israel. One would think that after 60 years it would be obvious that Israel's economy is the strongest in the Middle East despite the official boycott, and that the Arab nations that trade with Israel are benefitting. It is also obvious that the entire reason that the Palestinian economy is in a shambles is because of the intifada, the Palestinians lost their jobs in Israel.

Arab pigheadedness once again hurts Arabs while trying vainly to hurt Israel.

"The Society for Resisting Normalization with the Zionist Enemy" was not available for comment.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Disproportionality

AbbaGav, in fine form, displays the trademark black Israeli humor with his solution to Israeli aggression: Proportionality Packs. One size fits all!

I actually have a very proportionate solution of my own to the problem of Palestinian Arab terror, and it is all based on the famous "land-for-peace" formula. Since the entire world seems to accept the concept of Israel ceding land for peace, it stands to reason that the converse should be true as well: if there is no peace, Israel should take more land!

Every terror attack should have a response from Knesset: one square kilometer of "Palestinian" territory will be irrevocably annexed by Israel for every dead Israeli, and it will be named for the victim. All the rest of the land will remain up for negotiation but the Palestinian Arabs would see their dream of a terror statelet dry up in direct response to every terror attack.

Israel can start with unpopulated areas, but it should be methodical and planned, one square kilometer at a time. The night of an attack, the fence goes up and the guards move over.

Given the Pavlovian nature of Palestinian Arabs, this would train the people very quickly not to support the terrorists whose actions are resulting in the exact opposite result than they planned for.

This would stop terror faster than any other "proportionate" response.

The problem in a nutshell

Here, in a nutshell, is why peace will forever be elusive beween Israel and Arabs.

In this article, the writer says that Israel is practicing genocide against Palestinian Arabs, that Israel acts like Nazis, and that Auschwitz is comparable to Sabra and Shatilla.

But he does not deny that the Holocaust happened.

Which means that in any other universe, he would be denounced as an extremist with no concept of history and proportion, as a historical illiterate and as a person who cynically uses the Holocaust to prop up Palestinian Arab pseudo-cause.

But since he is an Arab, he must be a moderate.

The Arab world is utterly bereft of people who can actually speak to these sorts of issues in a reasonable way, so by the fact that his unreasonableness does not extend to advocating genocide, he sounds reasonable by comparison.

These are the sorts of people Israel has to deal with.
Three leading figures of the Middle East have rushed to revise and re-read the Holocaust from a completely immoral and inhumane perspective. Iranian President Mahmood Ahmadinejad began by denying the massacre against Jews ever took place. Soon after, leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, reiterated the same ideas to be followed by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood's supreme guide, Mahdi Akef.

The denial of the Holocaust equates the clearance of Adolf Hitler, with which Islamists should not associate. Such denial is like dissociating Sharon from Sabra and Shatila, Begin from Deir Yassin, the Turks from the massacring of Armenians and Saddam Hussein of his mass murders.

We must draw a line between the fact of the torture of innocent Jews in concentration camps and the Zionist exploitation of the Holocaust with its aim of maintaining a Zionist state that practices the same methods of the Nazis but against Palestinians. For our own sake, we must acknowledge that Zionists cunningly used the genocide of the Jews for political blackmail, whereas no Arab or Muslim organizations have yet documented professionally the genocide of Palestinians to present to the world. Meanwhile, some Arab political parties still insist upon denying the annihilation against the Kurdish village Halabjah and the mass graves perpetrated by Saddam Hussein's regime, however, will seek to justify such horrendous acts!

UPDATE: Judeopundit found an Arab-penned article in Lebanon that did not have the same problems as this one. So the tiny sliver of hope that Israel always clings to, that there might be Arabs who can make sense, has not been completely extinguished.

JIB awards warming up

The Jerusalem Post is getting ready for the Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards, with what appears to be a beta test page of the nominations. Not all the categories are there yet but it is looking good! It is also a great page to check out the entire JBlogosphere from.

I also failed to extend my hakoras hatov to those who nominated me (besides the self-nominations, I admit I was weak): Soccer Dad nominated this blog for Best Designed Blog (where most of the credit goes to Daughter of Ziyon) and Judeopundit nominated it for Best Israel Advocacy Blog. Thank you! (I had nominated myself for Israel Advocacy and I nominated the Palestine Post-ings sister blog for Best Series. Part of me hopes that the editors of the Jerusalem Post won't be able to resist the nomination of a blog dedicated to their early years!)

The first round of voting starts next week. Congratulations to the entire J-Blogosphere for some outstanding blogs and articles, and thanks to Israellycool for doing the hard work behind this event!

UPDATE: The voting has been pushed back a week. Check here for details.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Haveil Havalim #50 is out

Daled Amos hosts this week's Haveil Havalim, in which I embarrassingly nominated three articles (two of them at Soccer Dad's request) and all three ended up making it in. So for a brief time I can fool myself into thinking that I am a major star in the JBlog universe.

The three articles are my Chanukah gift to the blogosphere, my comparison of the news coverage of the same event from two very different sources, and my historical posting from 1949 of a very relevant analysis of the Palestinian Arab refugee problem.

Daled Amos himself is too modest to refer to his own great observation about Reuters.

As usual, a great collection of articles and links!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Iranian Mehr "News" verifies - Holocaust really was a hoax!

If this is the kind of "research" that we can expect from the Iranian world, then we don't have to worry much about Iranian nukes.
TEHRAN, Dec. 24 (MNA) -- Following the statement by President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, who on December 14 called the Holocaust a myth, the Mehr News Agency contacted a number of leading independent historians and scholars from different parts of the world to ask them their views on the idea.

This is followed by quotes from well-known Holocaust deniers and a smattering of emails from first-name-only correspondents.

And yet, Google still considers Mehr a "news" source.

Friday, December 23, 2005

And a Christmas present too

Saturday Night Live's "Christmas-time for the Jews" video.

A real Chanukah present for Elder of Ziyon readers

Over a year ago I came up with an interesting idea.

I am not nearly as fluent in modern Hebrew as I should be, but I thought that since Arabic and Hebrew are so similar, if I could create an Arabic font that used corresponding Hebrew characters, people who were very familiar with Hebrew but who didn't know Arabic letters could read and begin to understand Arabic newspapers. All you have to do is configure your browser to use this font for Arabic, or cut and paste the Arabic to a word processor and then change the font to this HebArabic font.

In other words, change this:


قال مسؤولون فلسطينيون يوم الجمعة ان رئيس وزراء السلطة أحمد قريع الذي استقال من منصبه الاسبوع الماضي ليترشح على قائمة حركة فتح للانتخابات التشريعية سحب ترشيحه. وأضاف المسؤولون أن قريع اتخذ هذه الخطوة احتجاجا على عدم قيام الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس بتأجيل الانتخابات وبسبب دمج قائمتين متنازعتين لفتح ... التفاصيل



Into this:



With only a limited amount of Hebrew knowledge you can pick out the words "Palestinian" and "Mahmoud Abbas", and you see many words beginning with the "al-" prefix.

Here is possibly a shortcut way for Hebrew speakers to learn Arabic.

So I commissioned someone to create the font to my specs, and they did.

It isn't perfect: there seem to be different Arabic standards, right-to-left sometimes gets messed up, and altogether it is not a plug-and-play type thing. I am not doing technical support for this! But it is a fun tool to play with.

It works under Windows but I see no reason it shouldn't work on Macs as well.

Here is the font in ZIP format. Enjoy, and Chag Sameach!

Good news roundup

Israeli creates popular diet with lots of bread
Petah Tikva scientist find gene that causes mental retardation
Copper oxide in textiles keeps bacteria away
Israel lends billions more than it borrows
New high-tech boom in Israel

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Two sides to every story?

Which one makes more sense?

Iranian and Arabic news

Israeli news

Israeli occupation troops on Wednesday murdered a Palestinian activist in the northern West Bank town of Hamas.

The troops reportedly arrested and then killed Ziyad Mousa whom the occupation authorities accuse of having killed an Israeli occupation soldier earlier this year.

According to eyewitnesses, Israeli troops stormed a building in downtown Jenin where they killed Mousa.

The eyewitnesses said Mousa was only armed with a pistol and didn't resist arrest.

"Despite this, the troops killed him in cold blood rather than arresting him."
The eyewitnesses described the killing of Mousa as "a cold-blooded murder and extra-judicial execution."
Hamas officials in the West bank called on the international community to condemn the murder.

"Where is the international community which cries out whenever a Zionist is killed or injured?" said one Hamas spokesman in the northern West Bank.

An elite Border Guard unit shot and killed one of Hamas’ commanders in the West Bank town of Jenin wanted by security forces for killing an IDF soldier in November.

Ziad Suleiman Khalil Moussa, 28, of Marka near Jenin, was located in Jenin Wednesday afternoon and killed in exchanges of fire between Border Guard policemen and Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank town.

Moussa was responsible for the killing of IDF Sergeant Yonatan Evron, 20, near Jenin last month.

A trained police dog was killed and a policeman was lightly wounded during the operation. The policeman was treated at the scene and then taken to Afula’s Emek hospital.

Two Palestinian gunmen were also injured and taken to a Jenin hospital in Palestinian ambulances.

Palestinian Authority officials said Moussa’s killing will draw Hamas back into the cycle of violence, after a long period of commitment to a truce with Israel.

Huh?

NerdTests.com User Test: The Orthodoxy  Test.

When even a computerized test cannot categorize me, I know I'm doing something right.

(from Lamed Zayin, via Elie, via OrthoMom, via Town Crier....)

The United States of Islam

It is not easy to understand the motivations behind Iran's Ahmadenijad (see "Towards a psychoanalysis of Iran" and "Media analyzes Ahmadinejad - and gets it wrong"). It is tempting to denounce Ahmadenijad as a madman, or to come up with explanations that are incomplete.

The real explanation is surprisingly simple: Ahmadenijad is positioning Iran to become a world superpower, and to a great extent he has already succeeded.

What makes a superpower? Part of it is military might, to be sure, but a more important component is the ability to lead. Ahmadenijad's rhetoric is not aimed at his people; rather he is stepping into the vacuum that the Islamic world has had for decades - trying to become a leader in the war against Islam's enemies.

There is a strong religious component to this desire, as I have mentioned before and as this article spells out very well, but it appears that Iran's president is aiming not only to make Iran the religious center of Islam, but the political center as well.

How does one assert political leadership of the Muslim world?
  • Take the one issue that all Muslims agree on (the destruction of Israel) and outdo all of the others.
  • Take on the undisputed existing world leader, showing bravery where everyone else is frightened.
  • Create the most powerful military in the Islamic world, one that now threatens the West.
  • Strengthen industry and scientific R&D to become technologically independent of the enemy:
The Supreme Leader pointed to the threat posed by the global arrogance led by US against different nations and said that under such circumstances, there is not way but, to get stronger, rely upon Almighty God and bolster self-confidence to make use of domestic potentials.

Ayatollah Khamenei said that nations should get stronger in the field of economy, science and politics, adding that reinforcing military and defensive capability is a major need for the nations.

  • Act as a leader, speaking for other countries (notice the use of the plural "nations" in the quote above)
  • Improve economic and political ties with more neutral countries. (A significant percentage of the Iranian news agency's stories are about economic initiatives with Europe, Asia and Africa - Iran hardly feels isolated even after its verbal provocations.)
  • Attack the enemy militarily (Hezbollah, Iraq)
It is worth emphasizing that while the Arab world has become anti-intellectual and anti-science, the Iranians are anything but. In many ways their path to superpower status is similar to the US' path - military, economic and technological might.

Looking at the world map with this perspective, Iran's "bloc" already includes essentially the entire Arab world, much of Africa, Pakistan, North Korea and probably Indonesia. Russia and China are pretty much neutral, although some former Soviet republics are solidly in the Islamic camp. India may not be Islamic but it has more Muslims than any Muslim country.

And as European countries becomes more Islamic and remain dependent on Islamic oil, it is not entirely clear that they are solidly in the US camp in this battle - a significant part of their population is very sympathetic to an anti-Western viewpoint. Iran is not only aiming at increasing its power, but in isolating the US as well.

Nuclear capabilities, along with missile technology, will cement Iran's leadership status as the world's second superpower. And the Iranians have already noted that North Korea became a nuclear power without the West stopping them, and they fully expect that while the protests will be noisier, things will end up exactly the same for them.

From all appearances, it looks like they are right.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Anti-semites crawl out from under rocks to support Ahmadinejad

One of the interesting side-effects of Ahmadinejad's public Jew-hatred has been how it is emboldening other assorted bigoted trash to show their miserable faces in whatever venues they can find.

Check out Holocaust-denier Mark Weber's article in "Axis of Logic" (reprinted from the Tehran Times), terror-supporter Preston Taran's ravings in Amin, and Kim Peterson (supporter of bombings) and his defense of Ahmadinejad in Dissident Voice.

When you wipe away the veneer of pseudo-logic, all that is left is pure Jew-hatred masqerading as liberal, universalist values.

Iran TV adds blood libel to its hit parade

The Iranian mass psychosis have been keeping MEMRI very busy.
Political Analysts on Iranian TV: The Jews Killed Children and Used Their Blood for Passover

Following are excerpts from a TV debate with Iranian political analysts Dr. Hasan Hanizadeh and Dr. Ali-Reza Akbari, which aired on Jaam-e Jam 2 TV on December 20, 2005.

Ali-Reza Akbari: Historians and eye-witnesses, some of whom are still alive... There are still many people who saw with their own eyes what happened 70-80 years ago. These people are alive and are of sound mind. They still possess the analytical abilities they had back then. They are our witnesses, and they deny the existence of crematoria at a place called Auschwitz.

Perhaps the reason... In my opinion, the people who say that the phenomenon of burning Jews on German soil during the World War II crisis is similar to a holocaust do so as a result of propaganda and due to psychological reasons.

In any even, a case of burning people has been registered in history, when many human beings were burnt because of their beliefs. The people who were burnt then were, in fact, Christians. They were burnt by the people who ruled Yemen, who were Jews. This event took place 400 years before the advent of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula. Since then, the burning of human beings has been termed "holocaust."

[...]

Host: Were there six million Jews at all at that time, who could have been annihilated in the crematoria?

Hasan Hanizadeh: First of all, this figure is greatly exaggerated. The number of Jews in the world does not exceed 12 million. Only now, 57 years later, has it reached this figure. Clearly, at that time, considering the dispersion of the Jews, there could not have been six million Jews in Europe alone. In any event, the Zionist lobby and the Jewish Agency use this issue as a club with which they beat and extort the West.

Unfortunately, the West has forgotten two horrendous incidents, carried out by the Jews in 19th-century Europe - in Paris and London, to be precise. In 1883, about 150 French children were murdered in a horrible way in the suburbs of Paris, before the Jewish Passover holiday. Later research showed that the Jews had killed them and taken their blood. This event caused riots in Paris back then, and the French government found itself under pressure.

A similar incident took place in London, when many English children were killed by Jewish rabbis. These two incidents still haunt the minds and souls of the Europeans, but due to the growing influence of the Zionist lobby in Europe - or to be precise, the influence of the Jews - these two incidents are, unfortunately, never mentioned.
But don't call Iran anti-semitic - it upsets them.

Today's Palestinian Police Phunnies XIX

A special edition, focusing on the effective and innovative recruiting methods employed by the PA Police.

Human resource managers around the world closely watch the PA for ideas on how to find well-qualified candidates for their own companies.

Especially striking are the management interview techniques as well as the insistence that the potential new hires meet their future co-workers in real-world situations so that they can integrate better into their new jobs with a minimum of re-training. Also, PA management negotiates salaries during the first interview, and lets the candidates know their decision instantly.

MBA (Management By Assassination) programs are starting to take notice as well.
A group of Fatah gunmen on Tuesday stormed the Bethlehem Municipality building on Manger Square, demanding money and jobs in the Palestinian Authority's security forces. The attackers left the building 90 minutes later after receiving assurances from PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas that their demands would be met.

At least 15 masked gunmen, who described themselves as members of Fatah's armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, forced their way into the municipality at noon. Armed with rifles and pistols, they ordered all employees to evacuate the building immediately and later closed all entrances to the compound. Some of the gunmen took up positions on the municipality roof.

Scores of Palestinian policemen cordoned off Manger Square, ordering shopkeepers and a handful of tourists to leave the area.

A masked gunman who spoke to reporters on behalf of the attackers said he and his friends were trying to send a message to the PA leadership about the need to meet their demands, which include recruiting more than 320 Fatah militiamen to the security forces, resuming monthly payments to each one of them and guarantees that Israel would stop pursuing them.

[Bethlehem Governor] Ta'mari, and the local commander of the PA's Preventative Security Force, Colonel Majdi al-Attari, later entered the building to negotiate with the gunmen. Ta'mari said after leaving the municipality that he had reassured the attackers that he would make every effort possible to fulfill their demands.

Ta'mari disclosed that Abbas personally talked to the gunmen by phone and promised to look into their demands. "President Abbas, who was personally following the case from Ramallah, talked to one of the gunmen by phone and assured him that everything will be ok," he said.

Iran has 3000 km cruise missiles - can reach Berlin

In testimony given on Tuesday by Israel's Director of Military Intelligence, Major General Aharon Ze'evi said something frightening:
Ze'evi said that Iran had recently received 12 cruise missiles with a 3,000-km range, which are capable of carrying nuclear warheads. 18 such missiles were transported from Ukraine to Russia, of which 12 had somehow managed to end up in Iranian hands. The other six were received by China.
To illustrate, here is a map of what a 3000 km range from Iran's borders would include (this is my map, but if the scale in Expedia is accurate this should be pretty close):


Berlin, Rome, and all of India are in danger from Iranian nuclear weapons.

Not to mention that Ahmadinejad has, according to Geman sources, purchased 18 North Korean missiles with a range of 2500 km - whose range he wants to extend to 3500 km and add the ability to fit with nuclear warheads.

That extra 500 km would include Paris, Oslo and just barely hit the shores of the UK.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The prophet of 1949

An absolutely amazing Page One editorial from the Palestine Post of March 9, 1949. The author, David Courtney, was a non-Jewish British journalist who penned Column One in the 40s and 50s for the Palestine/Jerusalem Post.

The column could have been written today.


Cross-posted to Palestine Post-ings.

Media analyzes Ahmadinejad - and gets it wrong

The liberal media has analyzed the Iranian madman's comments and settled on the least problematic explanations possible. Breathe easy, the New York Times has spoken!

Its first analysis is that Ahmadinejad wants turn back the clock to the 1979 Iranian revolution - and then the Times admits that Iranian unity didn't occur until the Iraq/Iran war, so that doesn't make sense.

Then the Times posits that he wants to isolate his country so he can more easily move Iran's nuclear program forward (why exactly he wants to do this, the Times doesn't explain). But if this was true, the Iranian "news" agency would not be bending over backwards to find allies who agree with him and to negotiate with Europe - see this, this, and this just from today. A significant part of Iran's press is obsessed over international relations.

And finally the august NYT contradicts it's own analysis yet again:
The anti-Israeli oratory also has roots in the president's domestic standing.

Some Iranian analysts say that by increasing the world's hostility, Mr. Ahmadinejad is hoping to reproduce that sense of internal unity.

Iranian analysts say he is also trying to satisfy, and perhaps distract, supporters who have begun to feel disappointed that he has not provided financial relief. Throughout his campaign, Mr. Ahmadinejad promised to try to redistribute the nation's vast oil wealth.

"His comments are more for domestic consumption," said Saeed Laylaz, an Iranian political analyst. "He wants to control the domestic situation through isolating Iran. Then he can suppress the voices inside the country and control the situation."
And then a couple of paragraphs later,the NYT demolishes its own argument:
With Iran facing a raft of problems - widespread unemployment, collapse of rural life as more people head to the cities, and a general sense of drift among the young - Mr. Ahmadinejad's comments on Israel have drawn little domestic attention.
So here we have three theories from "experts" where the NYT's own facts do not fit the theories, but amidst all the handwaving the reader gets the impression that Ahmadinejad has no interest in actually exploding nuclear weapons over any other country.

Here is a textbook case where liberal wishful thinking trumps facts.

The AP has a slightly better analysis, arguing that his anti-Israel and anti-semitic comments are"part of a strategy to keep anti-Israel sentiment alive in the Middle East." But even so, they uncritically quote an Iranian "hard-line lawmaker": "'The bottom line is he wants to keep anti-Israeli sentiments alive,' Afrouq said. 'He doesn't think of military action.' "

The real bottom line is that the media does not even want to admit the possibility that someone could be evil. This goes against all liberal thinking - no one is bad, just misunderstood.

No one outside of Charles Krauthammer mentions Ahmadinejad's messianic tendencies and his obsession with the second coming of the "12th Imam". No one wants to talk about how the year before his "World Without Zionism" conference he had a "World Without America" conference.

It appears to little old me, without reading Farsi, that Ahmadinejad is looking to move the center of the Islamic world to Iran - and his Islamic world is the of the Islamofascist variety. His threatening statements against Israel and the West are not meant for domestic consumption, rather for worldwide Muslims already being indoctrinated in hate against the West.

He does view the 1979 Iranian revolution as important because it was a victory of Islam over the decadent West, represented by the Shah. But Muslims look at it from a global perspective, not a national one. The surge of militant Islam is not a localized phenomenon. From an Islamist viewpoint, the entire world will become one ummah and a victory in Iran is just one step on the way to worldwide Islamic domination.

This is why the issue of "Palestine" is so important to him - it represents the closest encroachment of the hated West into the Muslim geographic center. But beyond that, the Westernization of Arab countries and Turkey are another threatening trend - witness his recent banning of Western music in Iran. By turning his country into a shari'a state, with the "pure" morality of Islam, Ahmadenijad is trying to influence and pressure other Muslim nations towards fundamentalism and zealotry. And he knows that he has a ready audience in Arab countries. His being elected president has, to him, given him a world stage to promote Shi'ite Islamic supremacy as interpreted by his religious leaders - and he is wasting no time to take advantage of his new prominence.

After all, as I have mentioned before, Holocaust denial is nothing new in that part of the world. But when was the last time it made world headlines?

Ahmadinejad wants nothing less than to turn the world to Islamic extremism, and to be its leader. Threatening Israel can get attention - but destroying Israel would give him a legacy as well as energize the entire Muslim world behind his cause.

Because in the end, given a choice between the most liberal and Arab-loving Israel that Meretz could dream up and a crazed trigger-happy Muslim nutcase, the Islamic world has consistently sided with the nutcases.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Iran: Anti-semites? Us?

The Mehr News Agency has an amusing editorial defending Iran's tolerance towards its own dhimmi Jews:
No pogroms here
TEHRAN, Dec. 19 (MNA) -- With all the uproar about Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s anti-Zionist statements, it’s necessary to set the record straight by putting things in historical perspective.

A small Jewish community has been living in Iran for over 2500 years, and they have never been persecuted. Today they number about 25,000. The Iranian Jews have synagogues, observe their religious rituals, and have complete freedom of religion.

The Jewish community has one representative in the Iranian parliament, which is called the Majlis. Iran’s other religious minorities also have proportional representation in parliament. The Zoroastrians have one seat, the Armenian Christians have two seats, and one MP represents the Assyrian and Chaldean Christian communities.

Although life is not perfect for Iran’s Jews and there is some prejudice against them, there have never been pogroms against the Jews here. Can Poland or Russia say that? Can several other European countries say that? A careful examination of history shows that the Jews have actually been safer in Iran than in Western countries.

The Jews have never been banned from Iran, whereas they were banned in certain European countries. The Jews of Iran were never locked up in ghettos, as was the case in some European countries.

In 2500 years, not one synagogue has been destroyed in Iran. Jewish graveyards have never been desecrated in Iran. In contrast, this still occurs in some Western countries.

There has never been a Kristallnacht in Iran.

This amazing defense boils down to "We never did what the Nazis did, so you can't criticize us!"

Unfortunately, Iran does have more than its share of true anti-semitism. Beyond the fondness Iranians have for the Farsi edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, their Sahar TV aired programs accusing "Zionists" of stealing Arab children's eyes to cure blind Jewish children; and they have accused Iranian Jews of spying for Israel, gouging out the eyes of a 78-year old cantor and then executing him in one case.

And Iranian Holocaust denial has been above-ground for years, especially in the pages of the Tehran Times:
[The] Tehran Times seemed especially obsessed with the Holocaust. Perhaps “the biggest lie in history,” a 25 January 2001 article maintained, took formal shape during the Nuremberg trials, where a confession “obtained by means of torture” became “the cornerstone of the official Auschwitz version.” No one has ever asked “the Jewish swindlers,” who present themselves as “gas chamber witnesses” any critical questions. Yet, “the terrible accusation” of genocide, is based only upon “the lies of a handful of Jewish swindlers like Rudolf Vrba, Filip Mueller and Elie Wiesel,” and “the confessions of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Hoess who was tortured for three days by his Jewish and British interrogators before signing the statement his tormentors had prepared for him” (Tehran Times, 17 Feb. 2001). There is “no documentary evidence for the gassing of even one human being in a German camp,” it added, and the German documents do not confirm “the Holocaust story,” in fact, they “directly refute it” (1 Feb. 2001).


But, hey, they have a point - any Iranian Jews who obediently paid the dhimmi "jizya" poll tax were treated like second-class citizens, much better than 1940's-era Polish Jews. And Islamic supremacism isn't anti-semitism, is it?

Haveil Havalim #49 posted

The eagerly anticipated First Anniversary edition of Haveil Havalim has been published at SeranEz.

Congratulations on all those who helped HH make it to this milestone, most notably Soccer Dad.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Is Ahmadinejad a chimp or an ape? A scholarly debate!

TEHRAN, Dec. 18 (MNA) -- The Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that the view expressed by President Mahmud Ahmadinejad that there are some doubts about the Jewish Holocaust is not something new and is a matter of "scholarly debate".
It has been a matter of considerable debate among zoologists and anatomists as to whether Iran's president Ahmadinejad is an ape or a chimpanzee. Here are some of the scholarly arguments on each side:

First, let's look at the anatomy of the president's face:


Notice the wrinkles surrounding his eyes and his prominent facial hair, as well as his obtrusive nostrils. Many prominent scientists feel that he bears a striking resemblance to Koko the baby ape:


However, his ritualistic behavior more closely tracks those of homosexual chimpanzees.

In this striking similarity, look at Ahmadinejad's facial expressions when he shows his mating ritualistic sexual affection for another male of his species:


Now look closely at the facial expressions of these chimpanzees:



DNA testing would, of course, solve this debate once and for all, but for various political reasons the Iranian zoo that houses Ahmadinejad is not allowing his blood samples to be taken at this time, despite protests by prominent zoologists and other scholars.

So, the scholarly debate rages on.

UPDATE: Others have researched this as well.

When PA has to choose between US and Hamas, guess who wins?

The "moderate" PA has an incredibly consistent record of siding with their supposed enemy Hamas against any Western or Israeli position.

Will the West ever wake up as to the PA's support of terror?

Notice also the cynical use of "democracy" to defend terror.
The Palestinian Authority and Hamas on Saturday rejected threats by the US House of Representatives to cut off financial aid to the Palestinians if Hamas is permitted to participate in next month's parliamentary elections.

The resolution, taken on Friday, calls on the PA to set criteria for the participation of Hamas and other terrorist groups in the elections for the parliament and warns of possible repercussions if it does not make sure Hamas obeys to these conditions before the elections.

The conditions set out by Congress for participation in the Palestinian elections require Hamas and other groups to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, to stop terrorism and condemn the use of violence, to stop incitement and to dismantle their terror infrastructure.

Nabil Abu Rudaineh, a spokesman for PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, urged the White House and the rest of the world not to endorse the position of the Congress.

'We call on the international community to impose pressure on the US administration and prevent it from complying with the decisions of the House of Representatives as this does not serve the peace process nor the US efforts to maintain peace in the area,' he said. 'The legislative elections will be held on time and all Palestinian parties have the right to participate in them. Otherwise, the elections wouldn't be democratic.'

"We categorically reject this decision," PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told reporters in Ramallah. "These are Palestinian elections and everyone should respect the democratic choice of the Palestinian people."

Erekat said that the PA's electoral law allows anyone above the age of 18 to run or vote in the elections, scheduled for January 25. "On the other hand," he added, "We have a law that forbids the use of weapons and incitement in mosques and churches. We reject the Israeli and American position and stress that the elections will be held on time."

Once upon a time, like three entire months ago, they had a law against the public display of weapons as well. And the esteemed moderate Mr. Erekat supported Hamas' running in elections based on the bizarre reasoning that running in democratic elections is tantamount to giving up weapons.

Once again, when given a clear choice between supporting the murder of Israeli civilians and banning it, the Palestinian Authority and Fatah choose murder.

Sudanese psychosis

Speaking of psychoanalysis....
Dec 17, 2005 (KHARTOUM) — In an interview led by the Iqra channel — an Islamic satellite TV -, the Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir denounced American hostility to Arab and Islamic countries. He also said the international Zionist movement is using all means to eradicate Arabs and Islam and target all Muslim countries, including Sudan.

During the Iqra interview, al-Bashir pointed out that the confrontation will continue.

Can you say "projection?" I knew you could!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Best post?


As the JIB award nominations are underway, a number of bloggers are asking which of their posts were the "best" so they could nominate for "best post."

I think that in general, personal posts have a much greater chance of being "best post" than a political post, but it has caused me to start thinking about which of my posts from this year were the "best."

My historic articles based on articles from from the Palestine Post probably count as my "best" in the sense that the educate people about how this conflict began and they explode a number of myths. My first one, "The Historic Palestinians - A Very Simple Test" got a lot of attention and it did what it was meant to do - prove that the Palestinian Arabs were never referred to as "Palestinians", and in fact the term almost always referred to Palestinian Jews. What this implies as far as the entire history of Palestinian Arabs is left to the reader to decide.

As far as my own original articles, I barely remember them. But for some reason I still see occasional hits to an article from July entitled "Pavlov and the Terrorists" so perhaps it hit a chord with people.

Either way, the JIB awards are coming, so be sure to check out the nominations and vote for your favorites, or at the very least use them to discover other parts of the JBlogosphere.

Towards a psychoanalysis of Iran

Different cultures have different psychologies. While there are always exceptions, to a remarkable degree one can understand nations' actions by understanding their underlying cultural and psychological influences. And even though it may be popular academic theory that we are all the same, it doesn't take much to realize that this is not true.

The Arab psyche in regards to Israel is pretty simple, and I have touched on it in various ways a number of times. Briefly, it is not based on anti-semitism per se; rather it is based on Muslim supermacist ideology combined with Arab pride and territorialism. Since Jews are meant to be second-class dhimmis in this mindset, and since Arabs dominated "weak" Jews in the Middle East for many centuries, the idea that small numbers of Jews could not only control land that they consider Muslim but could repeatedly defeat the combined Arab armies is nothing less than catastrophic (hence, the name Nakba.) It is nothing less than an assault on their basic concepts of Islam and Arab power. The very existence of Israel is, every day, a reminder of their weakness and this is, in a nutshell, why there will never be real peace without a wholesale change to Arab culture.

Iran is a whole different animal. Iran is not Arab, and indeed in some ways Arabs regard Iran as another Israel, a foreign people who have claims on Arab territory. Also, Iran has many non-Muslims which breeds mistrust from the Arabs.

Iranians, in turn, look down on Arabs as well.

Iran seems to have a significant population that is very much against the Ahmadinejad flavored Islamicization - some seem to call it Arabization. This does not seem to translate into any love of Israel - Iran's anti-Israel stance appears to be fairly uniform. But the "moderates" do not like seeing the Iranian president pretend to obsess over Palestinians whom they could care less about. I do not have a way of measuring how many Iranians are in this "moderate" group.

So in Iran at least, many of the people and the government seem to have different psyches, even though the vast majority of Iranians are Shi'ite Muslims.

From the government press and
Ahmadinejad's remarks, it seems that the Iranian regime is feeling very isolated and is desperately looking for validation from the world of Ahmadinejad's hate. A few times already I have found articles in Iran's press finding an obscure Indian professor or Lebanese MP who they quote as agreeing with them that Israel is racist or whatever. The open question is whether the validation that they claim from seeing leftists protesting in Europe is grasping at straws, or is it complete denial as to how isolated they really are.

The worrying part about
Ahmadinejad is that he really does seem to have messianic tendencies. This article in the anti-government Persian Journal shows a scary tendency of Iran's president to try to hasten the coming of the "12th Imam":

"Our revolution's main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi," Ahmadinejad said in the speech to Friday Prayers leaders from across the country.

"Therefore, Iran should become a powerful, developed and model Islamic society."

"Today, we should define our economic, cultural and political policies based on the policy of Imam Mahdi's return. We should avoid copying the West's policies and systems," he added, newspapers and local news agencies reported.

Ahmadinejad refers to the return of the 12th Imam, also known as the Mahdi, in almost all his major speeches since he took office in August.

A September address to the U.N. General Assembly contained long passages on the Mahdi which confused Western diplomats and irked those from Sunni Muslim countries who believe in a different line of succession from Mohammed.
This indicates, first of all, that Ahmadinejad is even more irrational than he appears, and therefore less predictable - he could literally do anything to bring about his messianic imam.

It also may mean that he feels that the religious center of Islam is in Iran, not Saudi Arabia, and that any moves he makes would be to ensure Iran's predominance and leadership of Islam.

Israel is the one issue that the Muslim world agrees on, and Iran's fixation on Israel may be a way to take this leadership role in Islam.

His now regular threats against Israel, his clear pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the fact that he does not appear to fear a Mutually Assured Destruction scenario as long as it brings about his Mahdi all point to an extraordinarily dangerous and insane enemy who is uniquely impervious to diplomatic pressure.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Iran nuke roundup

It is by now clear that Iran is ruled by a messianic madman for whom the doctrine of mutually assured destruction is considered a good thing.

And Europe will do nothing, wishing, as Victor David Hanson puts it, “Hurry up, sane and Western Israel, and take out this awful thing — so we can damn you Zionist aggressors for doing so in our morning papers.”

Ha'aretz has a rambling analysis that talks about Israel's military options, and seems to concludes that only the international community can stop Iran militarily.

Meanwhile, Iran is running war games and testing out new missiles, and is keeping up its rhetoric:
Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar stressed that Iran will vigorously respond to any kind of aggression.

Making the remark while talking to reporters here in southeastern country, he referred to the threats by some Zionist regime officials regarding attacking Iran's nuclear sites, Mohammad Najjar said Iran's defense policy was quite defensive but stressed that Iranian "armed forces would provide a rapid, strong and destructive response if the country faced any aggression."

Then, in an apparently mentally unbalanced state, the Iranian Defense Minister had something to add:
He said Saddam's sad fate after attacking Iran should teach a lesson to the occupying Zionist regime officials.
The Iranian president, not to be outdone in his daily rant of bizarre fiction, made a speech:
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here Thursday said the world politicians and thinkers back Iran's justice-seeking spirit.

Making the remark in a meeting with thousands of university students, the president added, "Today mankind is in search of tranquility and sustainable peace, which could be materialized only through justice, spirituality, and monotheism."
Some countries have piled up their arsenals with nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons to keep dominating other countries, regretted Ahmadinejad adding they even embark on testing biological weapons on people in the name of pharmaceutical donation.

"They even openly confess to their acts and shamelessly say that ethics has no place in politics."

He said the unbiased scientists and scholars no longer believe that "liberalism or humanism schools" could ever provide man with sustainable peace, adding people in Europe and the US are also quite disillusioned with their governments in bringing sustainable peace.
I love it when a genocidal maniac talks about ethics.

Here's a troubling question:

Let's say Israel takes out some Iranian reactors. Iran will no doubt be happy to attack Israel. Who will join the war on Iran's side?

Syria, no doubt - Iran would send her troops through Syria. Hezbollah would start lobbing its arsenal of missiles into northern israel, and Palestinian Arabs would do the same from Gaza.

Jordan may have finally learned its lesson not to attack Israel just in the name of Arab unity.

But here is a sobering thought. The top arms buyers in the world, in 2002, were:
  • Saudi Arabia ($5.2B)
  • Egypt ($2.1B)
  • Kuwait ($1.3B)
How much can the US influence it's "friends" to stay out of a war against Israel?