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Monday, April 30, 2007

Fatwa against PalArabs emigrating

It appears that the recent mass emigration of Palestinian Arabs away from that hellhole is starting to make the muftis nervous.

In this fatwa printed in the Islamic Jihad Arabic website, a fatwa is printed prohibiting leaving Palestine except for specific reasons. Here's the auto-translation from the "Association of Palestine Scholars":
God Almighty says : "O ye who believe, if you come across someone who disbelieved the march do not turn your backs to them," Qur'an 40:51.

It was observed in the past few months the migration of large numbers of our people especially the youth to foreign countries such as the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia and with the complicity of the occupation, on the pretext of crimes of the Zionist occupation incursions, assassinations, arrests and demolition of houses and the unjust embargo and the many barriers, and also because of security problems and murders, thefts, and others.

The seriousness of this phenomenon on our people, religiously, politically, socially and where we are still in a battle with the occupiers militarily, politically and economically, and it is heart-rending arrival of thousands of Jews to Palestine month despite their suffering.

Good legitimate in this case : There is impermissible for any of our people stationed migration to a foreign nation it is a Administrating day crawl only legitimate reason, such as education, treatment and other infrastructure, repatriation and parents.

What all of us patience and Almassabreh stationed resistance and the unification of the occupation forced to leave the country and the migration of Quranic verse, "O you who believe, be patient and fear steadfast, fear Allah, that ye may prosper." Qur'an 40:51

Relief is just and victory is coming soon, God says, "God will make yet given him"

"He said the Messenger of Allah and peace be upon him, "I know that victory with patience and with anguish and vaginal lining"
OK, I somehow doubt that the "vaginal lining" part is an accurate translation, but this shows how nervous these guys are, despite the bravado they display for the West.

Update on the Kotel ha-Katan

In January I blogged about the Kotel ha-Katan, a little-known part of the Western Wall that is even closer to the holiest part of the Temple.

Earlier, I had blogged an extremely disturbing story about someone who was arrested for blowing the shofar at the Kotel ha-Katan last Rosh Hashanah - by Israeli police.

It looks like it is finally starting to receive the attention it deserves.
From Arutz-7:
Unknown to most visitors to the Western Wall, the remnant of the Holy Temple compound extends to the north far beyond what they can see - and a campaign is underway to publicize this.

The Western Wall is a supporting wall of the Temple Mount complex, on which the two Holy Temples were built approximately 2,850 and 2,350 years ago, respectively. Though it is technically outside the Temple area, it has special sanctity; the rabbinic Sages taught that the Divine Presence would never leave the Western Wall.

Of the nearly 500 meters of length of the Western Wall, roughly 200 meters of the southern end [to the right of the worshipers] are easily accessible today - but the remainder is just as sacred. Another 100 meters or so are included in a tour of the Western Wall Tunnels. Above these tunnels, near the Iron Gate entrance to the Temple Mount and on Temple Mount floor level, is an open area facing a short segment of the Wall. This is the area known as the Kotel HaKatan.

One Would Not Know It
Though it is off the beaten track, the Kotel HaKatan is actually slightly more holy than the familiar Western Wall plaza, because of its closer proximity to the Holy of Holies of the ancient Temples. However, one would not know this upon visiting it - for it is hard to get to, has no trappings of a holy site, and is not even protected 24 hours a day.

An ad-hoc committee named Kotleinu, "Our Wall," is working to promote and improve conditions at the Kotel HaKatan. The committee comprises mostly residents of the Old City of Jerusalem who are concerned that the area is not treated with the respect it deserves.

The group says that of late, for the first time ever, the Tourism Ministry department in charge of Holy Sites has committed to upkeep the Kotel HaKatan. Deputy Director-General Rafi Ben-Hur acknowledged that the Ministry is responsible for the area, but said that special budgeting must be obtained before this responsibility can be actualized.

Despite this, some recent improvements at the site include a police presence during daylight hours, a security camera monitoring the area and the access road, municipality-provided street-sweeping - and even a sign that says "Do not litter."

"A no-littering sign is an improvement," an active Kotleinu member told Arutz-7, "but what we really want is a sign saying that this is a holy site and that it should be treated appropriately."

Prayer Services and Arab Bicycles
Yeshivat HaKotel maintains a daily afternoon prayer service there, and other groups and yeshivot also pray there on Shabbatot. This, despite the fact that there are no chairs or prayer stands at the site; even prayer-books cannot be stored there, as there is no security at night. Sometimes, Arab children pass through there with their bicycles, or Arab women with their shopping bags - reminiscent of the scene of the "regular" Western Wall up until several decades ago.

"If the Ministry sees that tourists from both in and out of Israel frequent the place and are interested in it," Kotleinu feels, "this will provide an incentive to upgrade it. This is why we have started a letter-writing campaign to this effect."

Kotleinu asks concerned citizens and tourists to join the campaign for improving Kotel HaKatan conditions by visiting the Small Wall and by writing to or faxing (02-6496157) Tourism Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch. A recommended sample letter can be seen here.

Jordanian report on men kissing men

Autotranslation is a very inexact science, and I cannot claim to understand every detail of this report published in Jordan and reproduced by Ma'an, but it sounded so funny I couldn't resist posting it here.

The upshot seems to be that a Jordanian study showed that men kissing men can spread disease and also seems to have some social connotations depending on how the kissing is done, so the authors recommend replacing kissing with a handshake.
Amman-Jordanian Constitution newspaper published in its issue today a report on the views of professionals and religious scholars about the phenomenon of men kiss men, a phenomenon which has spread in Arab societies.

The report showed disparity in the positions of those surveyed thought their views about the phenomenon and the following is the full text of the report, as published by the Constitution.

Spread large communities usually "kiss men for men" when they meet at some events, or after an absence, or when visiting among themselves, and perhaps that of Jordanian society in which the values of love and tolerance, and its members Surayrah purity and clarity of hearts, most communities sprouting Fihahdh phenomenon, which did not hide their aversion many Jordanians of them, citing what can be caused by complications in the event of a disease can be transmitted, in addition to the revulsion of this custom among many people who find themselves Mensakin to live with them despite what caused them hardship.

In the book Professor of Sociology Dr. Suleiman Obeidat "customs and traditions of Jordanian society" saying (that men kiss men on the cheekbones of common habits when Jordanians, and this pattern of Kissing reflects the longing and desire in the meeting).

Adds Dr. Obeidat "The Kissing on the cheekbones, it might be some kind of sympathy, it dies of a person close to him comes to people's sympathy, condolences and most unable to know its own even if it did not knew personally, and although these usually to express sympathy to the people of the deceased and alleviate the grievances, but that have many disadvantages, the Jordanians Elmsonha and talk about them, and wish to stop causes usually Kissing, and apply negative practice this habit of meetings and rallies also women, and equally applicable to the meetings and rallies men.

While Samaha says Dr. Abdel Azizakhiat and former Minister of Religious Endowments : that usually men kiss men hated so taboo, and he hates to accept men bite men, or something from it, or embraces, and then hand-shake and then Ptqubel hands of the Sultan and the world just because they inherited year-old Muslim, born of first-Sadr to this day.


Dr. facilitate Abu Rajab Al-Tamimi is internal diseases specialist said : possible impact of the men kiss men negative results of the most significant transition germ "Estrepettokukas", as composed in the throat and go abroad through the mouth and saliva, and the transmission of venereal diseases such as syphilis caused by the type of bacteria, and the transmission of viral diseases especially if the wounds in the lips, As can move Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) if the wounds in the face Natiaankin one of the parties, in addition to that Kissing given the opportunity to move respiratory viruses, such as cold viruses, influenza at the convergence of the nose above.

Dr. Atta-Khalidi, professor of psychology, said the Kiss between men and symbolic meanings : Kiss that the cheekbones between two mean equality, the man does not accept another cheekbones less centers or position or rank, Kiss between two estranged Trmazali tolerance and forgiveness, and Kiss between two occasions in the consolation mean humility and volunteer for service and assistance, and Kiss on the head mean reverence and appreciation , Kiss Stinger mean respect, and Kiss on the nose mean estimate.

He added that Dr. Khalidi usually men kiss men of old habits die when Jordanians, are an expression of love and a desire to help and participate in weddings and funerals, the time has come to abandon the practice of hand-shake and self instead.

As a professor of educational administration, Dr. Ahmed Yousef Hill : he emphasized that this habit hateful religious prohibition to a degree, and adverse health, and socially unacceptable, and that many of the sons of Jordanian society dislikes them, adding that this usually is not alone, which should stop exercising, but there are tens of negative habits and concepts which should be debated and developed , or to refrain from exercising, and his Dr. Hill said : Given the conviction and the conviction of most Jordanians need to stop this practice Elad e negative, it is proposed to initiate the Prime Minister announced the government's position on this practice, and appeal to Jordanians to stop practice in the public and private occasions, and initiate clan Jordanian announcement in Douaouinha of self in a hand-shake all events, and initiate everyone who reads this subject to discontinue the practice of this custom.

The terrible plight of PalArab prisoners

Angry Palestinian Arab family members have been demonstrating for the release of their relatives, languishing in prisons where there is a history mistreatment and torture.

Hamas asked them to be patient and rejected any use of violence on the relatives' parts.

Doesn't make sense? Of course it does - when the prisoners are in Egyptian prisons:
Palestinian security forces on Monday foiled an attempt to break into the Egyptian embassy by Palestinian family members, whose sons are being held in Egyptian jails.

Ma'an's correspondent reported that a number of people have been participating in a 'sit-in' strike for the last two days in front of the embassy, calling for the release of their sons. Today, they attempted to forcibly enter the embassy, but presidential forces intervened and dispersed them after shooting in the air.

The Hamas movement has expressed reservations over handling of the events, and rejected dealing with the issue of the arrested Palestinians in Egypt through violent means.

In a statement issued on Monday, the movement stated that "dealing with this issue can be only through dialogue. This can be achieved in the bilateral meetings with our brothers in Egypt, and also through Hamas leaders' meetings with the Egyptian ambassador in the [Gaza] Strip". The statement also highlighted that the Egyptian government "has promised that this subject will be dealt with within two months".

Hamas called on all citizens "to be patient, and give a chance for the efforts made in this regard." The movement also urged the Egyptian government and their embassy to understand the feelings of the family members, who are worried about their sons in Egyptian jails.
For some strange reason, I haven't been able to find any pictures of these distraught family members in any wire service photo, the way I see the people who demonstrate against prisoners in Israeli jails. (There are a couple of photos of PalArab police guarding the Egyptian embassy but no pictures of the emotional protesters, as is the case for similar protests against Israel. See here. )

In fact, it is hard to find out any information about Palestinian Arabs in Egyptian prisons - what crimes they were charged with, how long they've been detained, how many there are.

One can almost come to the conclusion that only prisoners in Israeli jails are of interest to PalArabs, even though Egypt routinely tortures prisoners with real torture, not the pseudo-torture ascribed to Western countries. It's almost like they use the prisoners for propaganda purposes, but don't really care about them on any other level. And that the wire services and "human rights" organizations play along with the fiction that only Israeli prisoners are important, while PalArabs who languish in Egyptian prisons have no value whatsoever.

Nah, that's crazy talk.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Results of years of rewarding terror

In the interview (with the Al-Ayyam paper), Mashaal also said Palestinians would renew violence if the international community continues its boycott of the Palestinian unity government, a coalition of Hamas and Fatah.

"We are doing the impossible to end the embargo on our people...if, God forbid, it continues...the results will be serious," Mashaal said.

"The explosion will be in the face of the Zionist enemy," Mashaal said.

OK, so the West stops giving some aid (while increasing other aid) to the PalArabs because the Hamas-led government won't renounce violence.

And Hamas answers that if the West doesn't stop the embargo, there will be more violence. (Against Israel, of course - he's not that stupid to threaten the West.)

It would be funny if it wasn't for the fact that the West has acceded to Arab and Muslim threats of violence for decades. Mashaal is just using a formula that has been proven successful time and time again.

So while it might seem like it makes no sense, the Pavlovian response of the West proves that terror, and threats of terror, have been mostly successful in getting the Arabs what they want. he very idea that violence is counterproductive is not even entertained by PalArab leaders.

A further proof of this happened today: Egypt scolded the PalArab terror groups for shooting rockets into Israel, calling it a "lost gamble." Their responses:
The spokesperson of the Hamas movement, Ismail Radwan, said "resistance is not gambling, but a legal right for the Palestinian people, secured by all international laws and conventions."

He told Ma'an "the Palestinian factions adhered to the ceasefire for a sufficient time, yet the Israelis broke it and so they are to blame for their aggressive actions."

Radwan affirms that as long as the Israelis violate the ceasefire, the homemade projectiles will continue to land on Israeli towns.

A leader of the Islamic Jihad movement, Khadir Habeeb, says he disagrees with the Egyptian delegation on the use of the term "gamble" to describe the hurling of homemade projectiles. However, he admits that the projectiles must be used "efficiently and not excessively". He also argued that the Palestinians unanimously agreed on the ceasefire, but it was the Israelis who violated it.

The military spokesperson of the An Nasser Salah Addin Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), Abu Sharif, refuted the Egyptian declarations regarding Palestinian projectiles and described them as "accusations against the Palestinian people".
Egypt is hardly against PalArab aspirations, but instead of even considering that Egypt might have a point, the Paleos instinctively berate and continue threats of terror and blaming Israel - an almost subconscious predilection for violence and redirection that seems to be a result of many years of being rewarded for just such actions and threats.

And until Israel and the West makes a consistent stand that such thinking is wholly unacceptable and will be punished rather than rewarded, it will continue.

Palestan news you may have missed

The wire agencies often have their separate section for offbeat news items. One can construct the same style of news from recent events that occurred in the nascent terror state of Palestan, but they tend to be a little...different:

Haircut fatwa:
The Supreme Fatwa Council of Palestine has issued a fatwa permitting men's and women's hairdressers to operate on condition that they do not break Islamic law.

The fatwa stated that women can be employed as hairdressers as long as they only cut the hair of women that want to look attractive for their husbands and not other men or foreigners; this would be Haram (forbidden).

It also stated that if a foreign man is present in the hairdressers, women must be prohibited from entering it.
Entrepreneurial spirit:
The Palestinian Executive Force (EF), which is affiliated to the ministry of interior, announced on Sunday that they arrested a gang that planned to kidnap children and hold them hostage for ransom money.

The group was caught whilst attempting to kidnap a child in front of a school in Gaza City. The EF have been investigating and monitoring the suspects for 3 days.

The EF said in a statement "the group was caught whilst attempting to kidnap a boy near his school and they admitted during interrogation that they were planning to ask for $10,000 from his father."
Student debate gets violent:
More than 20 students were injured in clashes that erupted between Hamas and Fatah student blocs at Al-Quds university in Abu Dis, in the West Bank, on Sunday afternoon.

The clashes erupted during a debate between the students in preparation for the student senate elections to be held on Monday. Eight student blocs are meant to be competing in the elections.
Terror is declared legal:
Several Palestinian resistance factions on Sunday affirmed their right to retaliate to Israeli military operations, rejecting the statement of the head of the Egyptian security delegation, who depicted the launching of homemade projectiles at Israeli targets as "a lost gamble".

The spokesperson of the Hamas movement, Ismail Radwan, said "resistance is not gambling, but a legal right for the Palestinian people, secured by all international laws and conventions."

Joooos behind Hindenburg disaster?

In an otherwise generic article about the 70th anniversary of the Hindenburg disaster at a South African aviation website comes this jawdropper:
LZ 129 Hindenburg and sister-ship LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin II were German airships, called zeppelins. The two had an impressive safety record: the Graf Zeppelin had flown safely for more than 1 million miles, and made the first circumnavigation of the globe. The controversy relates to the cause of the fire in such a safe aircraft. The cause is still unknown and theories persist that the fire was sabotage.

One of several theories is that Adolf Hitler ordered the destruction of the Hindenburg in retaliation for the Zeppelin company's openly anti-Nazi stance. Another theory is that Zionist agents working against anti-semitic Germany were behind the fire.

Say what? I just quickly Googled through the seamy underbelly of the web and didn't find any such theory anywhere.

But I'm sure we will start seeing it now!

Today's Palspeak/Reuters word: "siege"

In standard English, the word "siege" means:
the act or process of surrounding and attacking a fortified place in such a way as to isolate it from help and supplies, for the purpose of lessening the resistance of the defenders and thereby making capture possible.
But in PalArabia, the word takes on a different meaning:
“There is a possibility of the lifting of the siege on the Palestinian people, it will come gradually,” Abbas said in Cairo on Saturday. “We didn’t feel that there are problems with the European countries, either in terms of the lifting of the financial siege or the political siege.”
That article, from the Daily Times in Pakistan, correctly puts "siege" in scare quotes and refers to the sanctions as an "embargo."

But look how Reuters captions this picture:

A Palestinian woman attends a rally against the siege in Gaza April 29, 2007. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA)

As soon as Mahmoud Abbas open his mouth, the Reuters editors scramble to update their stylebook to stay in sync. And in this case, they are more biased than the newspapers in Pakistan!

For Olmert, forever is a long, long time

From YNet:
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said at the cabinet meeting Sunday that Israel "cannot continue to ignore the Qassam lunching [sic] and infiltration attempts of terrorist cells."

He stressed that "Israel has conveyed clear messages to the Palestinian Authority and international authorities that it did not want an escalation but would not avoid the necessary steps to protect the residents of the South."

Where have we heard that before?

Oh yes - over two months ago:

Olmert said that if the Kassam rocket attacks on Israel continue, Israel would have to retaliate. "We are not going to restrain ourselves forever," he said. "The continued attacks challenge Israel's patience. In the end, if the attacks continue, we will respond."
And in December, in a letter to the UN:
"Israel is demonstrating restraint and has avoided retaliating at this stage, but warns the Security Council that this restraint cannot continue for much longer."

Olmert's strong words ("we are a little disappointed") extend all the way back to the fourth day of the "cease fire," in late November.

And even earlier, when the "cease fire" was brand-spanking new and already breached:

Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Sunday morning that any attempt to fire into Israeli territories would be considered a breach of the cease-fire and treated with severity.

According to Peretz, Israel is interested in quiet, but would not accept attacks on its citizens.

It's so reassuring to know that Israel's leaders don't intend to wait forever to respond to Qassams. Perhaps for two or ten or a hundred years, but not forever.

Israeli baseball team drafts Sandy Koufax

Forty-one years after he retired from baseball, Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax was the final player chosen in the draft to stock the six teams for the inaugural season of the Israel Baseball League.

Koufax, 71, was picked by the Modi'in Miracle in the draft conducted Thursday night by former major league general manager Dan Duquette, who heads baseball operations for the league.

"His selection is a tribute to the esteem with which he is held by everyone associated with this league," said former big leaguer Art Shamsky, who will manage the Miracle. "It's been 41 years between starts for him. If he's rested and ready to take the mound again, we want him on our team."

In the 1965 World Series, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 for Los Angeles because it fell on Yom Kippur.

In his career with the Dodgers, in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, the left-hander threw four no-hitters, including one perfect game. He retired due to arm problems after the 1966 season and was later voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Cease fire funnies

Israel killed three Hamas terrorists planting a bomb by the border in Gaza.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the Islamist militant group, which leads a Palestinian unity government, has the right to respond to the deaths by "all means available".

He called the incident a violation of the five-month-old Gaza ceasefire, which all but collapsed earlier this week when Hamas's armed wing started firing rockets into Israel.

Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for the Hamas armed wing, said the four militants were on a "jihadist mission when the Zionist enemy opened fire on them".
At least Hamas is consistent: the "cease fire" is only broken when Israel does something, but "jihadist missions" are A-OK!

Friday, April 27, 2007

No matter how anti-Israel you are, there's always someone who hates it more

The ultra left is in a tizzy over an article by far-left, "progressive" Uri Avnery where he argues that there should be a two-state solution - in large part because there are more Jews than Arabs between the Mediterranean and the Jordan, and it is simply not acceptable to have a state where Jews are a majority in the Middle East. (I'm surprised he doesn't call for an pan-Arab Islamic 'Ummah to take care of that little problem.)

The criticisms of Avnery are vituperative and borderline psychotic. One article berates him and puts him in company of other closet Zionists like Chomsky and Jimmy Carter. Ilan Pappe weighs in with his own special brand of Jew-hatred. One guy puts his criticism in terms of his Communist leanings, blabbering about a class struggle in Israel. Another tries to psychoanalyze Avnery for why he would possibly consider Israel legitimate in any way, shape or form. Even within Avnery's own "Gush Shalom" organization there are many who disagree with the idea of Israel existing.

In many ways, the Left mimics the Arab world in that if one advances an argument that is not on the extremist fringe extreme, he gets slammed as a traitor to the cause. You can almost see the pain as people who admire Avnery are so upset that he doesn't beat his head against the furthermost left wall along with the crowd. And, as in the Arab world, as long as the nutty fringe is accepted as mainstream, there is no hope for real progress from these "progressives."

Another example of Reuters pro-terrorist bias

Reuters dispatched a photographer to one of those ubiquitous "press conferences" in Gaza yesterday, but instead of the usual pictures of ski-masked terrorists, they took a number of pictures of fully masked female terrorist wannabes:



Female Palestinian militants (with white scarves) from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades arrive at a news conference in Gaza April 26, 2007.



But nowhere can one find an actual Reuters article about the topic of the press conference, and why women with guns were there.

You would need to search a bit harder to see what the press conference was about (via UPI):
GAZA, April 26 (UPI) -- Palestinian women activists are publicly joining the ranks of militant suicide bombers and have threatened Israel should its forces attack the Gaza Strip.

Four masked women said Thursday in a news conference in Gaza they were human bombs ready to blow themselves up inside Israel and at other unexpected Israeli targets. They identified themselves as activists from four military units affiliated with the nationalist Fatah movement, of which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a leading member.

The women, dressed in military fatigues, said they were ready to respond to the Israeli threats to invade the Gaza Strip, adding they have established an operations room to "confront the Israeli aggression." They urged all the other factions to join them in expanding the operations for "coordination, confrontation and to direct painful blows to the occupation."

Palestinian factions have recently appealed to young women to join their military ranks, and several have announced female brigades.

Reuters attended a press conference where women, recruited by the "moderate" Fatah, promised to blow themselves up. Yet, even though they took pictures showing them with guns, they refrained from pointing out that the women were wearing bomb belts as well (AP mentioned it), and that they promised to kill Jews to enter Paradise. They didn't bother mentioning that Fatah is led by Mahmoud Abbas, the darling of the wishful-thinking brigade.

In other words, because the fact that these women terrorists do not fit the liberal media playbook of "Fatah=good, Hamas=bad, Palestinian Arab women=innocent victims of Israeli aggression", Reuters deliberately chose not to report the story.

More proof of media bias in Gaza

Yesterday I wrote about how everyone admits that the media coverage in Gaza is overwhelmingly tilted to make Palestinian Arabs look as sympathetic as possible. Journalism, in Gaza, has a clear agenda and the reporters play their parts perfectly.

Further proof can be seen from this article about a Gaza-based photographer who just won a $15,000 award for a photograph of a dead child at a funeral in Gaza:
A PALESTINIAN photographer for AFP has won an Arab award for a picture of the funeral of a Palestinian child killed during an Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip.

Mahmud Hams, 27, a native of Rafah, bagged the prize for photography of the Arab Journalism Awards handed out by Dubai Press Club at the end of a two-day Arab media forum in Dubai on Wednesday.

The US$15,000 prize "is a boost which will prompt me to work with more enthusiasm", said Hams. "I am happy to be able to convey the Palestinian people's daily reality."
If one looks at the news photo archive at Yahoo (which cover the past month) we can see all of the photos that Mahmoud Hams took. Here is the breakdown (not counting older file photos or non-Gaza photos):

Palestinian Arab political figures making speeches: 2
PalArabs seeking shelter after sewage flood: 2
Grieving relatives after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza: 7

How does Hams cover stories that could possibly put Palestinian Arabs in a poor light? He manages to make them look heroic anyway!

There was a crippling garbage worker strike in Gaza this month, and there were piles of garbage everywhere rotting in the streets. But the only Hams photo that mentions the strike is this one:

A Palestinian boy stands in front of blaze from garbage piled up in a street in Gaza City during a general strike by municipality workers.(AFP/Mahmud Hams)

There were many murders in Gaza over the past month, and security is nonexistent. So how does Hams cover this story?

Palestinian Hamas militants hold up their weapons while attending a press conference in Gaza City, 2006. The Palestinian government on Saturday voted to implement a security plan aimed at restoring order in the Palestinian territories and unifying diverse security forces.(AFP/File/Mahmud Hams)

And the generic cute kid picture, flying that wonderful flag of theirs:


What pictures are missing?

Considering that during the past month, Gazans managed to be outkilled by PalArabs compared to by Israelis by a ratio of roughly 30-6, one would expect pictures of dead bodies from clan clashes, or wailing relatives, or perhaps people injured in infighting. A family carried a corpse into a PA government building and shot the place up - where was Hams? A 5-year old girl was shot in the head, two 12-year old boys were killed - where was Hams? Police attacked 5 PalArab journalists - where was Hams? A Christian bookstore was bombed in Gaza - where was Hams? Video stores and libraries were burned down - where was Hams?

Apparently, in the alternate Gaza universe that Hams and his journalist friends choose to show the world, we not include such unpleasant topics. And what editor can resist a picture of smiling Palestinian Arab kids waving flags - when they have no other pictures to show?

UPDATE: Dave at Israellycool had noted a similar award, for a similar picture, also given to Hams two weeks ago where Hams actually "dedicated the prize to Palestinian martyrs."

Given that, I believe that "bias" is not an accurate word when referring to Hams - it is "propaganda." (I also believe that "opportunistic" is another accurate adjective, but journalists and photographers always seem to do their work with one eye towards receiving awards, actively seeking out pathos at the expense of fairness.)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sderock

Imagine a place where there is poverty, where you are in danger of being killed every time you step outside, where it seems like even your own people don't care about you outside of empty slogans.

If you are the Western media and this is Gaza, you would expect that the natural reaction to this numbing situation is violence - joining terror gangs, marching with AK-47s and rocket launchers.

But the people in the Israeli town of Sderot react somewhat differently:
The underground Israeli pop-rock music scene seems to start here, in a bomb shelter set in the center of town.

It does not matter how loudly the teenagers hammer at their drums or pluck at the guitars; the metal walls that are meant to protect residents from incoming rockets also work as a sound barrier for the funky music.

It is not unusual for Israeli towns to turn shelters into community centers of some sort. But Sderot, barely a mile from the Gaza Strip, is one of the few cities where such shelters are still used with frequency.

And in Sderock, as the shelter-turned-music-studio is called, the teenagers grapple with the dueling realities that have made the city famous: the music that comes out of it and the rockets that come into it.

"This is the safest fun place in the city," said Nir Oliel, a 21-year-old resident, who has played guitar for several years. "It is also where everyone great came from."

In the Israeli public consciousness, Sderot is a place of poverty and danger. It has been barraged by more than 4,000 rockets in the past six years, including nearly 200 since November's shaky cease-fire. Six people have died and dozens of homes have been damaged.

Yet Sderot is also the hometown of a pop-culture hero of the moment: Kobi Oz, lead singer of Teapacks, the Israeli pick for the popular Eurovision song contest. ...

Oz, with two platinum albums in Israel, is by far the most successful musician to come out of Sderot, but he is hardly alone. He got his start with Sfatayim (Hebrew for "lips"), a band composed of young artists from Sderot who played Moroccan music. On Israeli radio, it is possible to hear more than half a dozen bands from this city, quite a feat for a place with a population around 25,000.

The musicians who grew up in the 1980s are the children of immigrants from North Africa and other parts of the Middle East. They blended guitar and drum with oud (a stringed instrument) and darbukah (a goatskin-covered drum) to create what critics called ethnic pop. Those who perform it say it is simply Israeli.

But it is a particular kind of Israeli, reflecting the sort of chip-on-the-shoulder attitude that many children here grow up with, convinced that the wealthier European Jews in the bigger cities like Tel Aviv look down on them....

"Don't Break," a song one group recorded for Independence Day celebrations this week, focuses on their sense of defiance and fear: "We won't break, we won't be afraid," the chorus goes.

And then:

How does the state abandon?

This war, who is extending his hand?

They do nothing, when it comes to you.

The verse ends with "Shma Yisrael," which translated literally is a command: "Listen, Israel." It is also a reference to the Shema, the Jewish prayer said twice daily.

With the success of so many musicians in the past decade, the city has poured considerable resources into cultivating more talent. The city estimated it spends some $30,000, a considerable portion of its budget, on music. International groups have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars on projects like Sderock...

For their teachers, it is only a matter of time before the younger students become more political in their songs and outlook. A byproduct of parents' insistence that their children stay inside to avoid the crash of Qassam rockets, the music shelters have became more popular than the basketball courts.

Biton's anthem for Sderot has become a sort of mantra for the residents: "I don't leave the town for any Qassam."

And Oz, who has become a sort of ambassador of Israeli kitsch, said he was determined to sing about a place that lives in a constant tension between joy and sorrow, always navigating cultural divides.

"Our music is a bit schizophrenic, but that is how life is," said Oz, who now lives in Tel Aviv but visits Sderot frequently. "There is always a double kind of meaning. The point is to show everybody that's normal here."

I've recently blogged about how maturity can be defined as taking responsibility, something that most Arabs seem congenitally unable to do. Another good definition of maturity is the ability to work with the cards that you are dealt and make the best of them, as opposed to whining and waiting for other people to bail you out.

The comparisons between Sderot and Gaza are compelling, but the differences of how they handle adversity are even more so.

The hits just keep on coming

From Paltoday Arabic, a Force 17 member was killed by a family in Al-Bireh.

The "security forces" imposed a curfew on Al-Bireh and tried to arrest members of this family (translated as "rainfall") but they shot back.

Curfews? Surrounding buildings to arrested wanted people? Nah, the enlightened Palestinian Arabs wouldn't act that way!

The self-death count for the year is now up to 187.

UPDATE:
Ma'an says that Israeli soldiers killed the Force-17 man, but admits that Paleos imposed the curfew. The PalToday article remains up and is very clear blaming the family. YNet also says that it was an intrafada death, so I'm still counting it as a self-death.

UPDATE 2: A member of the Palestan security forces,
Abdul Rahman Shihda Abu Tair, was shot in the head and killed by a "family" at the Rafah crossing Friday morning. Two others were injured. 188.

UPDATE 3:
Mohammad Khalil, 27, from the An Nasser Salah Addin Brigades (PRC) blew himself up in Beit Hanoun, Gaza. 189.

UPDATE 4: The PalArabs are claiming that a 19-year old was killed by an Israeli artillery shell in Gaza. Israel denies it. Since Israel has no problem admitting when they do fire into Arab areas, I'm counting this as a self-death until I see any evidence otherwise. 190.

UPDATE 5:
55 year old man killed in another Clan Clash in Gaza. 191.

UPDATE 6:
Body of 20-something Nasser Abu Amuna
found in Khan Younis, victim of those ubiquitous "unknown gunmen." 192.

Ineffective Arab boycott update

A four day meeting of 14 Arab League states that pretend to enforce an economic boycott of Israel just ended, in Damascus.
So-called US allies Iraq and Saudi Arabia are among the countries represented at the conference, despite US pressure on the two countries to end their enforcement of the boycott, which bans business with Israel or business in Israeli-made goods.

Saudi Arabia continues to uphold the Israel boycott in blatant violation of an agreement made with the United States in November 2005, The Jerusalem Post reported.

"The Arab boycott of Israel will remain an influential tool and strong backer of the Palestinian people until the establishment of their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital and the restoration of all the occupied Arab territories," Muhammad al-Ajami, director of the Syrian Office for the Boycott of Israel, said to the official Syrian news agency SANA.

Among the countries represented at the conference are Syria, Sudan, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Libya, Lebanon, Qatar, the Palestinian Authority, Tunisia and Yemen. Egypt and Jordan, the only two Arab countries that have signed peace treaties with Israel, are not participating in the meeting.
Isn't it strange that the PA, which is so heavily dependent on Israeli goods, says that it enforces this boycott?

Even Arabs know that the boycott is a joke:
The Arabs set up an organization decades ago to boycott Israel to isolate the Jewish state, but the effectiveness of the boycott dwindles by the year.

Sources close to a four-day meeting that opened in Damascus Monday are describing the conference's agenda as "ridiculous" in the wake of pressure on Arabs to abandon "the weapon of the boycott."

The sources told United Press International on condition of anonymity the "absurdity" of the agenda was a reflection of the pressures placed on the Arab countries by Western powers led by the United States.

"The participating Arab countries in the conference are like someone drowning and trying to prove he is still alive, especially after previous meetings have failed in imposing a ban on multinational firms" dealing with Israel, one source said.
Which begs the question: if the boycott doesn't hurt Israel, and in fact if Israeli goods continue to be sent to Arab countries directly or indirectly despite the boycott, why do they keep the fiction going?

The answer is simply that to admit it is a failure would be a disgrace and these macho nations cannot bear to look like they have capitulated. Honor yet again trumps true self-interest in the Arab world.

UPDATE: Once again, those Likudnik Zionist neo-cons show how cunning they are, by encouraging their puppet Iraq government to join the Zionist boycott and thereby redirecting suspicion away from themselves - since we all know that the entire invasion was a Zionist plot.

PalArabs win 20th in a row, in a squeaker

Anyone reading the news over the past seven days saw that the IDF killed 9 Palestinian Arabs in a 24-hour period last weekend (seven of them seem to have been terrorists, including a 17-year old "child" throwing a firebomb.)

But even with this commanding lead in the weekly game of Who Kills More Palestinian Arabs, the Paleo side managed to methodically increase their score, reaching 10 dead right at the final buzzer and managing to include 2 kids and one woman in their final tally (a 12-year old girl shot in the head may have died too, but I couldn't find it reported anywhere.) The feared IDF offensive never materialized and the PalArab team managed once again to outkill the Israelis.

This marks 20 weeks in a row that PalArabs have managed to kill each other in greater numbers than that genocidal, ethnic cleansing, IDF war machine. Apparently the fearsome US-funded weapons of the Zionist pigs cannot hope to overcome the tenacity and pure pluck of the scrappy Palestinian Arab team when it comes to killing.

Congratulations to the winners, and it is too bad that your accomplishments do not get the publicity that they deserve.

April Qassam calendar

As with the February and March calendars, the numbers for each date represent the number of Qassams fired on that day. The numbers in parentheses are those I saw reported by Palestinian Arab media, outside of parentheses are those reported in Israeli media.

The dates with URLs (in red on some browsers) are the days Israel responded to events in Gaza.

May calendar here.

April
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1
2
3
4
5 6
7
(2)

1
3
1
(2)
1
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
(1)



(4)

(2)
15
16
17
18
19
20
21

1 (2)
(1)

(4)

4 (6)
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
1
(2+ 2)
10 (30)
1 (3)
2 (2 +2)
1 (1)

(3)
29
30





1 (2)
(5)






It appears that Blogger doesn't allow me to link contiguous strings with different URLs so I lost some of the URLs above. Sorry.

The ten second truce

Reuters reports:
Palestinian armed factions renewed their commitment to a Gaza Strip truce on Thursday but said rocket salvoes from the territory could resume if Israel did not halt military operations in the occupied West Bank.


But as this "news" went out over the wires, Israel confirmed one rocket being shot and two PalArab groups in Gaza claimed four rockets and two bombs aimed at Israel.

So the PalArab definition of "truce" seems to be "the time period between shooting rockets." Not that Reuters would notice things like that.

JIB musings

As I've mentioned in past years, I have a problem with self-promotion, both for the weekly Haveil Havalim as well as for the JIBs. And it is utterly irrational - I spend enough time creating postings for the blog, and the entire point of these postings is to advance a pro-Israel argument, so why shouldn't I do everything possible to increase my audience?

On the other hand, the blogs that are screaming "vote for me!" and who nominated themselves in every category under the sun just rub me the wrong way.

Yet on the proverbial third hand, I am still obsessively checking how this blog is doing in the first round votes for Best Israel Advocacy Blog, and I see my position in third place teetering precariously. (In order to make it to the finals, I need to stay in at third place or better.)

So, reluctantly, I am asking my readers who have not voted yet, and who like this blog, to vote here - at least get me to the finals. I don't expect to win but there is definitely a bump in readership from being nominated, and I do work hard to put together original articles and perspectives that you will not find elsewhere.

And as always, a great "thank you" to those who did vote and all of you who continue to visit here.

Everyone agrees that the media is biased towards PalArabs

Around 100 journalists demonstrated to release Alan Johnston. But guess where they held the demonstration?

On the Israeli side of the Gaza border.

One UK newspaper said that the kidnappers faced the wrath of the world's media. Yes, I'm sure they were quaking at the thought of a few dozen reporters too scared to even enter Gaza to begin with.

The BBC reiterated how news coverage of Gaza suffers when no foreign journalists work there:
In terms of news, they also fear that Gaza could be neglected by the wider world.

"It only serves to limit the coverage in the Gaza Strip, if foreign journalists stop going," said Walid Batrawi, a Palestinian correspondent for the Arabic satellite TV station, Al-Jazeera.

"The human stories of the people of Gaza will not be told."
There is a recurring theme that when foreign journalists stay away from Gaza, the Palestinian Arabs suffer - because their story is not getting out. For example, this article in Asharq Alawsat:
By kidnapping the BBC reporter, this "victimized" executioner has lost one of the world's leading and most reliable media outlets. Without further engaging in unacceptable arguments on Western bias, let us recall our numerous rightful issues that were revealed by the Western rather than the Arab press – Abu Ghraib is just one example. Can we imagine what it would mean to hide the stories of Palestinian suffering from the global press?
Or look at what rabid anti-Zionist London mayor Ken Livingstone said:
"All the Palestinians needed was the truth to be reported, which is what Mr Johnston did. His abduction was a catastrophe. If you wanted to find a person whose abduction could damage the Palestinian cause, you couldn't find anyone better to do the job."

The mayor then appealed directly to Johnston's kidnappers. He said: "Look what you have done. Instead of the foreign media continuing to report on the situation in Palestine, the media focus has been shifted to the story of the kidnapping.

"Unless the journalist is liberated it's likely that coverage of the situation will continue to be about Mr Johnston."
Is a journalist's job to act as a PR representative of the area he or she is covering, or to report the news - whether it is good or bad?

No Zionist is saying "Israel needs more foreign journalists, in order to show the human face of Israel." Because we all know that the vast majority of journalists in Israel have little interest in making Israel look good. In most areas of the world, having more journalists would not be considered a great PR move - their job, after all, is to uncover news, and news is usually negative. But the unspoken backstory here is that journalists in Gaza do have an agenda, that they will gloss over bad news from Gaza and that their absence hurts the Palestinian Arab people.

Let's look at how life in Gaza is today. In the past six months there have been dozens of kidnappings, hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries. The very reason that journalists refuse to go there is because it is too dangerous for them. Now, why exactly would foreign reporters in Gaza be expected to help make PalArabs look good? If they are truly meant to be fair and unbiased, wouldn't they be reporting and publicizing the chaos far more than they are now? Aren't daily murders considered newsworthy anymore? Wouldn't their presence be a bad thing for most Palestinian Arabs?

And it is not like there are no journalists in Gaza now. As the BBC says:
[I]nternational organisations have been relying almost entirely on their local staff to gather information for reports.
So there are reporters there - all of them Palestinian Arabs. They still gather the news and sometimes write for the major media outlets. Why would foreign journalists in Gaza be expected to be more favorable towards PalArabs in their stories than PalArabs themselves are?

The only possible reason that foreign coverage is widely assumed to help Gazans is because foreign reporters are heavily biased towards Arabs against Israel.

And everyone knows it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

First quarter injury report: 1065 PalArab self-injuries

I haven't been keeping statistics on injuries from PalArab internal violence, but the Al-Mezan center does.

In the first three months of this year, according to Al-Mezan, 1065 PalArabs were injured in internal violence (their count of deaths was not too far off from mine - 147 vs. 160 during those three months - so this looks like an accurate number.)

In contrast, the UN OCHA counts 513 PalArabs injured from Israeli actions during that same time period.

I guess that the PalArabs must be practicing "genocide" against themselves!

Hamas, Qassams and Freud

I found a wonderful Arabic article on Alqassam.net (the Hamas "military wing" website) which just screams out "PENIS ENVY". Qassam missiles are just phallic symbols, meant to restore the masculinity that PalArabs have lost over the years by losing wars to lowly effeminate Jews.

Although much of the translation is almost incomprehensible, it shows how in Arabic the themes of humiliation and disgrace are so central. This is a critical part of the Arab psyche that must be understood. Anyone who thinks about the Middle East starting from the premise that the Arabs have the same values and thought processes as Westerners is fatally wrong.

It must also be understood that since humiliation and disgrace is so feared, and masculinity to treasured, that the goal of these missiles are not so much to physically damage Israelis as to disgrace them. This is why a rocket barrage that caused essentially no damage is being celebrated - damage isn't the point, but the fact that Israel could not destroy the rockets or launchers immediately.

This ode to Qassams shows the Arab psyche far more accurately than anything one will find in English.
In the shadow of missiles (1)

By : Rashid firm

Now a Qassam rocket to measure the nobility and dignity; and the balance of masculinity and attitudes of men in Palestine or absence!

Shell and the most destructive in the percentage of anger missile Al-Qassam Brigades and not one cent of that missile battalions riddling the venerable nests brothers of monkeys in two hours; and the rate of one missile every seventy-two seconds!

...

Today renewed Hamas killed last hope of leading Zionist dementia; or American official Smug; European politician or sinful gay; to subject movement and spoken word atheism and the National Forensic; and let resistance in the name of Allah and Jihad for the Mundane fleeting soaring dignity; and refrain from cutting the tree which paved without God versus Drahmin Najasin of Satan; Like who had reneged Ghazlam and falling and Artxoa; replaced their pride and humiliation; and national treason; and sold Immortality alienate young martyrs and the waiver; and pronouncing words and missed on contempt martyrdom operations!

They have killed scruples chests Oh Qassam; How are you prepared a clear demarcation between the two schools : schools do not recommend increasing the people and win in the elections and push for the rule only closest to the people; and attached to the charge of the people; the sake of spiritual covenants and the Grand National; School of the homeland and the blood of martyrs, and soil and sanctities Hemostat for lovers; and peaceful for personal ambitions and heart disease and corruption conscience; even at the expense of religion and homeland and its people!

...And in the hands of Qassam honors one or insulted ...

Also today Akram Aqsa holy God; and loved the land Ascension; and lovers of the first Qiblah and CO mosques and the Rock Wall sons of the Islamic nation; renewed hope that they had never disappointed in this Althlh Almstavoyer Maairiyha Ansariyeh Army Mohammed peace be upon him; even though the unbelievers; even with the football team error Muslims and Hassadtham and Guchechtham!

If modern viewers who danced their hearts eve percentage rocket joy!

The worst whose right Qassam them shame and humiliation that singles out those in need of special article; to prevent the viewers and at worst one; and also because some of the humiliation and inseparable Qassam Hakram greater coverage urgency; Valley Forum in the near future, God; again in the shadow of missiles!

PalArabs still just don't get it

In order to be able to negotiate with someone, you need to be able to understand that other person's perspective. You may disagree, but at the very least you need to be able to articulate the positions of the other side and see how they are consistent from the other viewpoint.

PalArabs, whether from blindness or stupidity, have no ability to understand Israel's point of view. Everything is colored through their own "Israel is evil" perspective and their resulting conclusions have no relationship with he real world.

The complete and total cluelessness of most Palestinian Arabs can be seen in the following "analysis" by an PalArab academic. While it is altogether possible that there will be some sort of active conflict between Israel and PalArabs in Gaza in the coming months, his methods of reaching that conclusion are nothing less than idiotic:
Hazim Abu Shanab, a Palestinian political analyst, said that the Israeli threats to invade the Gaza Strip and carry a military offensive are real since Israel is trying to evaluate the capability of its army after its defeat in Lebanon and the latest offensive in the southern part of the Gaza Strip which failed to achieve its objectives.

Abu Shanab added that this military offensive was prepared and planned to encourage the Israeli soldiers after their defeat by the Lebanese resistance.

He also said that another motive for this offensive is to show the United States that Israel is carrying a parallel war “against terrorism” in the Middle East, in order to garner further American support to its offensives in the occupied territories.

Abu Shanab warned that Israel is trying to create links between its offensive in Palestine, with what it calls “the Iranian threat”, this means that Israel will authorize the army to act more violently without any international objections to its acts since they are categorized as “war on terror”.

“I fear that an attack against Iran will be preceded with an attack against the Gaza Strip and several areas in the West Bank”, Abu Shanab stated, “These attacks will most likely target resistance fighters, and Palestinian security posts, along with attacks against other constructions and groups”.
In short, this "analyst" gives us four possible reasons for Israel to invade Gaza, all of which would be fodder for conspiracy theorists rather than true analysts.
  • As a sort of test for its army - like a real-life war game.
  • As a morale-booster for the IDF.
  • To consolidate American support for Israel.
  • Some vague reason about linking Gaza to Iran that I don't really get.
Not only are these reasons absurd, but they show how Arabs think - because they would in fact go to war for similar, stupid reasons, and they assume that: 1) They are smart, and 2) That Israelis would think the same way.

Let's contrast this with real reasons that Israel might go into Gaza:
  • Because Qassam rockets are still being fired at alarming rates, despite promises five months ago to curtail them. Israel's restraint has been rewarded with more rockets, not less.
  • Because its human intelligence from Gaza has deteriorated since the withdrawal from Gaza and it needs to be improved.
  • To increase Israel's bargaining position to get Gilad Shalit back.
Anyone with a passing familiarity with Israel would see that one set of reasons are simply stupid and the other set is consistent with how Israel thinks, since before 1948.

Meaningful negotiations are impossible with a people whose "best and brightest" are so incredibly clueless. They cannot offer anything that Israel would want because they cannot fathom that Israel can legitimately want anything.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Latest conspiracy theory - evil Zionist pigs. Literally.

The latest conspiracy theory blaming evil Zionist pigs for all the world's problems now comes to include, literally, evil Zionist pigs:
A herd of wild boars on Tuesday attacked the cleaning workers of Salfit municipality while they were emptying a garbage truck.

The driver of the garbage truck, 'Umran Abu 'Umar, said "while I was emptying the garbage in the early morning, a group of boars attacked the workers who had to use the truck as a shield and kill one of the boars."

The wild boars are being released by Israeli settlers in order to destroy the plants and crops of Palestinians.
Keep in mind that Ma'an is by far the most objective and reliable of Palestinian Arab media site, yet they blame this wild animal attack on Israel with no shred of evidence. (They also bizarrely illustrate the story with a picture of a pig's head with a kaffiyeh.)

A similar claim was made in February:
Palestinian sources in Salfit, in the northern part of the West Bank, reported on Thursday that Israeli settlers released boars in Palestinian farmlands near Salfit, in the northern part of the West Bank.

Resident Abdul-Fattah Al Ghazzawi, 43, stated that the settlers released at least twenty boars that attacked his farmland and several surrounding farmlands and ate the plants.

The settlers kept the boars in the farmlands overnight and only moved them away on Thursday morning.

Al Ghazzawi added that the settlers have carried out several similar attacks against the farmlands recently, and that the number of attacks has significantly increased.
Those nefarious Jews training wild boars to attack poor PalArabs, damage their crops, and then return to the Jewish fields and leave them untouched?

Well, anything possible - after all, the Jews are training boars to sniff out land mines and terrorist bombs.

Hamas' terror cheerleaders

The Al Qassam Brigades website does not often include purposeful irony or humor, but the English version celebrated their launching of many Qassam rockets this morning with this "Good Morning, Israel" graphic:



(I have no doubt that EUdiots and other similar morons will look at this and see it as a sign of Hamas moderation - after all, they said "Israel" which is practically recognition!)

The accompanying article, celebrating the fact that Hamas is back in the direct rocket game, includes a couple of lovely comments from Hamas' English-speaking fans:
Qassam | Norway
Qassam Attack Against The Zionist jew Animals

Inshalla with Gods Help we will kill Every zionist and every Jew settler On palestinian Land..may God protect our soldiers in Izz el deen Brigades ..



Qassam Mujahida | United States
Lots of Qassam rockets and mortar shells

Good. Lots of Qassam and mortar. Al-Qassam Brigades has right to fire their rockets and mortar shells as the Zionists' attack on the Palestinians are continuing daily. And the Zionists refuse to stick to the ceasefire. Inshaa Allah they will cause severe damage and deaths to the illegal Zionist occupation.


The website actually has an entire forum section in English that is something to behold. The person quoted above, "Qassam Mujahida," is apparently an American woman who moderates some of the forums (although her command of English is pretty shaky - she might very well be a man in an Arab country trying to make Hamas look a bit more inclusive.)

In the unintentional irony department, there are lots of pictures of dead shaheeds (including one smiling in death,) body parts, blown up Humvees in Iraq, and posters celebrating Hamas' wonderful terror achievements:


Page after page of bloody and violent images with accompanying text exhorting all to kill the Zionists - and then there comes this curious cartoon asking
"Does the Zionists want peace with Hamas?"[sic]


But this cartoon showing Hamas extending its hand for peace with Israel was too much for the regulars in the forum:
thats not a good picture sister because it signifies hamas making compromise with the zionists and wanting to be a friend of them.

Norway's recognition of Hamastan, one month later

Reuters reports:
Norway said the month-long policy of international engagement with the Palestinian unity government, led by the Islamic group Hamas, was starting to bring results and helped avoid "civil war tendencies".

Norway was the first Western state to recognise the new Palestinian government last month and said it would soon be ready to resume aid to the Palestinians, raising criticism from Israel and the United States.

In an interview ahead of this week's NATO meeting in Oslo, Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere called on the European Union and the United States to normalise economic relations with the Palestinian government to shore up its fragile institutions. "This type of engagement is slowly demonstrating results," Stoere told Reuters on Tuesday as Hamas's armed wing declared an end to a five-month-old ceasefire by firing rockets into Israel, despite the unity government's calls to keep the shaky truce.

Asked if Norway would consider suspending relations or aid if Hamas did not make good on its promises, Stoere said the time was not right to speculate on such scenarios.

"We should not underestimate the tremendous efforts it took for the Palestinian parties to come together and (we should) solidify what is still quite fragile," said Stoere.
The progress that Stoere notices are:
"We have a Palestinian government which has ended the most flagrant civil war tendencies, there has been an improvement in the security situation, the Arab countries have taken new initiative ... and you have stronger U.S. engagement, all these signs are positive," Stoere said.
So, according to Norway, the Fatah/Hamas civil war has been forestalled because Norway recognized them. I can just imagine the masked leaders of these terror organizations canceling their rumbles in appreciation to Norwegian peace moves.

Today, of course, we saw the biggest dividend of the Norwegian initiative - Hamas' rocket barrage in an attempt to kidnap Israeli soldiers. For some reason I don't think that Norway will take credit for that, though. And Hamas' announcement that the ceasefire against Israel is over will not make Norway budge either - because, of course, for them not to support Hamas' terrorism they might upset that delicate balance.

It is perhaps not coincidental that Norway, which is essentially a non-player on the world stage, identifies with Muslim terrorists whose incentive is also to prove Islamic relevance to the world. Norway's bucking the West shows the same infantile tendencies that Arabs and Muslims tend to show. And the egocentrism in the Norwegian statement, taking credit for every event in the region that can be construed as positive, is also very similar to Islamic egomania.

Abbas: "Cease fire" still on

Even though Hamas showered Israel with rockets and mortars today, and even though Hamas has said that its non-existent "cease fire" with Israel is over, Mahmoud Abbas knows better:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday that a violation of a five-month ceasefire by Hamas was an exception and would not be repeated, while Israel should show restraint to avoid a security deterioration.

"The violation of the truce is an exceptional event that will not last," said Abbas at a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi in Rome. "I take this opportunity to appeal to Israel to show the necessary self-control so that this will not happen again."

PalArab family shoots up Pal Legislative Council

Israel isn't the only place celebrating Yom Ha'atzmaut with fireworks:
Dozens of Palestinian citizens broke into the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) building in Gaza City on Tuesday, carrying the corpse of a Palestinian youth.

The boy was killed on Sunday by unidentified gunmen after being abducted in the northern Gaza Strip.

Ma'an's reporter stated that family members of the murdered boy, Hasan Abu Sharikh, broke into the PLC building during its session and fired gunshots into the air.

The Abu Sharikh family shouted slogans condemning the state of chaos that prevails in the Palestinian territories and calling on the government, the minister of the interior and the PLC to reveal the killers of their son and punish them.

The family issued a statement in which they depicted the killers as "a merciless group which has gone astray, taking advantage of the lack of security to spread murder and chaos amongst the Palestinian people." The family affirmed that the murderers "will be revealed and pay for their crime."

A group called 'Army of Islam' claimed responsibility for the killing of Hasan Abu Sharikh in Jabalia refugee camp, in the northern Gaza Strip, and claimed that it was an accident.

The group said in a statement, "The man was not meant to be killed. It was an error and we pledge before God and the family of Abu Sharikh that we will bear complete responsibility and repercussions." The statement also commended the Abu Sharikh family and said they had always played a significant role in the Palestinian struggle.

The group also pledged to punish the perpetrator according to Islamic law once the details of the incident are revealed.
Of course, the best way to fight against security chaos is to bring corpses into a parliamentary session and shoot "into the air" - indoors.

And here is an account of how Abu Sharikh was killed - sounds very "accidental:"
At approximately 17:00 on Sunday, 3 masked gunmen stormed a shop of electrical appliances belonging to Hasan Mahmoud Abu Sharekh, 51, from Jabalya refugee camp. The gunmen kidnapped Abu Sharekh. During the attack, the gunmen exchanged fire with members of the Executive Force of the Ministry of Interior who were in the area. Four people, including a member of the Executive Force, were wounded, and the kidnappers were able to leave the area taking Abu Sharekh with them. At approximately 19:00 on the same day, Abu Sharekh’s body was found near Barcelona Park in Tal al-Hawa neighborhood in the south of Gaza City. He was killed by a gunshot to the head.

Yom Ha'Atzmaut


Chag Sameach!

April, 1948: How the Arabs left Tiberias

In March, 1948, on the eve of Israeli independence, the Jews and Arabs of Tiberias forged a cease-fire:


Unfortunately, the truce was short-lived. Within weeks, Arabs started firing at the Jews, and the Haganah fought back:



Soon, the Jewish forces were proven superior again. And after the Jews defeated the Arabs, details emerged about what had happened earlier.

It seems that the Tiberias Arabs didn't want to fight the Jews, but Arabs from the outside infiltrated and attacked the Jews from the local Arab homes. Local Arabs even fought against the invading Arabs, but in the end they were forced to leave - by the invaders. Not for the first time, the larger Arab community cynically used the local Arabs who had no real quarrel with the Jews in order to achieve a political gain - that ended up hurting the Arabs themselves.



Evidence of this can be seen by the immediate aftermath of the Jewish victory, where the Jews themselves safeguarded the abandoned Arab homes from Arab looters. See also how the Jews, protecting the homes of their Arab neighbors, clearly want to see those neighbors return to their homes:



An opinion piece in the Palestine Post elaborated on how Tiberias' Arabs had turned into pawns as well as how the Jews, as a whole, had no interest in kicking out the Arabs from their nascent state.



In 1949, a very articulate Haifa Arab wrote a remarkable letter to the Palestine Post (2/6/49) in which he laid the greatest share of the blame for the Arab refugee crisis on the British, and he claimed that the British were the ones who forcibly moved the Tiberias Arabs to Transjordan:
The Editor, The Palestine Post
Sir, — Mr. Bevin appears to
hold the Jews responsible for
the flight of the Palestine Arabs.
Although the Israel military
forces destroyed certain Arab
villages and carried out wholesale
transportation of their occupants,
yet the primary responsibility
for the panicky
flight of the Arabs is the British
Government's. Whether intended
or not, there can be no
doubt that the mischief originat -
ed from the conduct of the
British, and not from the attitude
of the Israeli Government.

There is ample evidence
for this statement.

The sequence of occurrences
showed that the British Government
had no intention or
desire to enforce law and order,
and that Palestine Administration
was labouring to create an
atmosphere permeated with fear
and alarm. No effective measure
was adopted by the authorities,
civil and military, to ensure
safety. On the contrary, they
encouraged disorder and disobedience
of the law, and countenanced
insubordination. They
allowed a large force of armed
Arabs to infiltrate into the country,
and to roam about with
impunity. Palestine was virtually
converted into two antagonistic
armed camps under the
eyes and nose of the Mandatory
Power. Huge quantities of arms
and ammunition were openly
smuggled in, and recruiting and
drilling of combatants became
conimonplace events. ...

Secondly, the idea that the
Arabs should quit their homes
was advanced, sponsored and
propagated by the British. The
Government of Palestine granted
its officers three months' pay
in advance, and facilitated the
departure on leave of Arab of -
ficers to adjacent territories.
British companies, such as the
Iraq Petroleum Company, and
Steel Bros. & Company, unnecessarily
transferred a part
of their offices and the majority
of their Arab employees to the Lebanon.
And generally, the at -
titude of the responsible British
authorities was such as to infuse
into the minds and hearts of the
Arab population a feeling of
consternation and the belief that
their departure was a logical
necessity , or, at least, a prudent
precaution.

Thirdly, it was the British, and
not the Jews, who first put into
effect the dislodgement and deportation
of the Arab popula -
tion. When conditions in Tiberias,
where the friendly relations
between Arabs and Jews formed
a bright illustration of the
possibility of the two communities
co-operating, became acute,
the British authorities forcibly
transported the Arab inhabitants
en masse to Trans-Jordan. They
did not take any action
toward pacification and restoration
of peace and order. It was
their evident duty to do so;- but
instead of discharging their obligation
with honesty and dignity
they discarded it with
ignominy, and compelled the
Arabs to abandon their homes
and belongings and seek refuge
in the contiguous Arab territory.

Yours, etc.
E .N. KOUSSA
I don't know how accurate Mr. Koussa's claims are, but they make a certain amount of sense. Even so, the British didn't act in a vacuum, and they were almost certainly acting in ways that their Arab allies wanted them to.

What is clear, though, is that (as in Haifa,) the Jews did not drive out the Arabs of Tiberias and the people who claim a pre-meditated ethnic cleansing are simply liars.