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Monday, September 29, 2008

Shana Tova u'Metuka! ! שנה טובה ומתוקה

May this be a year of peace, happiness, blessings, prosperity, and redemption!


Today's search terms

Here's how one can tell that it is almost Rosh Hashanah - my blog is Google's number one link for "Shana Tova u'Metuka"! (Because last year's post was so popular in recent days, and Isaw people were looking for how to write it in Hebrew, I added the Hebrew to the title this year - and already it surpassed my last-year post in Google.)

These are the keywords that people are using to find me today, in order of popularity:

shana tova u metuka
shana tova wishes
shana tova u'metuka
qods day iran
elder of ziyon
www.sagangor
shana tova ve metuka
shana tova u'metuka in hebrew letters
shanna tova u'metuka
shana tova u metuka! means
chomsky zionist
jewish humor shana tova
most hated kuwaiti
dalal mughrabi
saudi women preachers
shana tova wishes in english
adnan al-baitouni
nazi paratroopers
kidnaping soldiers jewish
world domination jews
druze jerusalem post
cleric targets mickey mouse
shana tova u'metuka translate
unclean employee
umetuka wikipedia
bahrain gays
shanah tovah wishes
images of non violent protests
sumaya al yusuf
falaka in ramadan series
elder of zion
fallisi, joe opera
shana tova u' metuka
g'mar chatima tovah
what does shana tova u'metuka mean
'gay bahrain'
saudi gazette
succes of the israeli wall
saudi maid
press release about a bank taking over another bank
g'mar chatimah tovah
u'metuka
lbj took 2000 jews to israel
street harassment of female joggers
muhammad seif al-islam
shanah tova u metuka
jihad photos
shimon peres speech to un
qods day
good yom tov
metuka translation
has obama ever met prince al-walid bin talal bin abdul aziz al saud
egypt hijab
stuff they found by the kotel
shimon peres
moses 72 cartoon
hebrew alphabet handwriting style
new york sun palin speech
grenades for sale
o servant of allah, o muslim, this is a jew behind me, come and kill him
shana tova metuka
shaná tová u metuká
chatima in hebrew
shanah tova u metuka translate
shimón peres, new year speach
anti semitism financial crisis
sigheh mashad islamic temporary marriage
g'mar chatima tova
yom kippur 19th-century
basnage
jews in jordan
prostitution in islam

Another heartbreaking Gaza starvation picture

A Palestinian vendor sells sweets as Muslims prepare for the Eid-al-Fitr festival in the southern Gaza Strip September 28, 2008. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA)

The packaging on the candy boxes is in Hebrew.

(Although it is possible that the vendor is using old boxes as display cases. "Medjool" is a type of date.)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Abbas in 2007 accused Israel of "desecrating holy places"

I couldn't find Mahmoud Abbas' full speech at the UN this year, but his speech last year included an amazing libel against Israel that I do not recall anyone condemning him for:
Is it not time for the city of Jerusalem to become a city of true peace for all peoples of faith from all religions, and for Israel, the occupying Power, to cease all actions aimed at altering the character of the sacred city, imposing siege on it and forcing its inhabitants to leave, and desecrating the Christian and Islamic holy places in the city?
This is an outrageous lie, and it far better fits the description of how Arabs have historically taken care of the city rather than how Jews did.

Yet I do not recall the Israeli government angrily condemning Abbas for this libelous claim, let alone other Western nations.

When a supposed "peace partner" cannot be trusted to tell the truth, how much weight should one give to his promises?

Religion of Peace firebombs book publisher

From the Guardian (h/t Yerushalimey):
The London home of the publisher of a controversial new novel that gives a fictionalised account of the Prophet Muhammad's relationship with his child bride, Aisha, was firebombed yesterday, hours after police had warned the man that he could be a target for fanatics.

A petrol bomb is believed to have been thrown through the door of Martin Rynja's £2.5m town house in Islington's Lonsdale Square, which also doubles as the headquarters of his publishing company, Gibson Square. Three men have been arrested on terrorism charges.

The Observer has learned that police told Rynja late on Friday night to leave his property. His company recently made headlines when it announced it was to publish The Jewel of Medina.

Written by US journalist Sherry Jones, the book was due to have been published in August by US giant Random House. But amid controversy the company halted publication, a move denounced by Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, as 'censorship by fear'.

Rynja bought the UK publishing rights earlier this month. 'The Jewel of Medina has become an important barometer of our time,' Rynja said at the time. 'As an independent publishing company, we feel strongly that we should not be afraid of the consequences of debate.'

Yesterday the Metropolitan Police confirmed that three men had been arrested in connection with the incident in Lonsdale Square. Two men aged 22 and 30 were stopped by armed officers in the street outside the property and a third man, aged 40, was arrested near Angel tube station. Police have begun searching four addresses around north-east London - two in Walthamstow, one in Ilford and one in Forest Gate.

The men were arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism, and last night were being questioned at a central London police station, a Met spokesman said. Scotland Yard confirmed that a small fire inside the property had been extinguished. 'At this early stage it is being linked with the arrests,' the spokesman said.

This is exactly how Jews, Christians and other religions react when books are published that they feel insulted by, right?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Anatomy of a supposed "settler attack"

Ma'an, as well as the rest of the PalArab media, reports:
Israeli settlers executed an 18-year-old shepherd boy in the fields outside Aqraba, a town in the Nablus district of the northern West Bank.

Village municipal affairs representative Ghassan Douglas identified the young man as Yahya Atta Riahin. Douglas said that a gang of Israeli settlers from Itamar settlement shot the boy at least 20 times at close range.

Yahya did not return home with his sheep for the fast-breaking meal, Iftar. His family alerted the neighbors and the whole village organized a search party to look for the missing boy.

His body was found in fields between the illegal Israeli settlement of Itamar and the villages of Aqraba and Awarta.

According to Douglas, eyewitnesses reported seeing a white vehicle driven by Israeli settlers stop, chase down the boy and shot him directly.
We have here a story that only exists in the Palestinian Arab press and its veracity depends on a politician who claims that eyewitnesses saw it. (Some of the Arabic press is more lurid, claiming that the settlers beheaded the victim.)

None of the Israeli media has picked up on this story nor has any wire service.

Besides the fact that it is highly implausible that a carful of settlers was driving around just to kill a random Arab shepherd for no reason, there is another problem with this story: it supposedly happened on the Jewish Sabbath.

It had to have happened before the Sabbath was over, because the dead youth would have made sure to make it home to his family at the moment of the Iftar meal during Ramadan which would be roughly the same time that Shabbat is over.

So now we are supposed to believe that not only were settlers driving around and randomly murdering Palestinian Arabs, but that these supposed religious fanatics were violating the Sabbath to do that?

Sorry, but chances are more likely that the victim was shot by other Arabs, or something completely different happened. As it is, the accusations seem to be just another of a long series of lies.

UPDATE: The Israeli media is now reporting this story. YNet mentions the skepticism that "settlers" have towards being blamed; al-Aretz predictably believes the accusation, which now includes the detail that it happened "late Saturday night" - which means that the shepherd was still alive when he missed his family's Iftar meal, again making no sense.

UPDATE 2: Sure enough, it was not a settler attack. Ma'an reports it came from a grenade, which might indicate either a mistake or a "work accident." (h/t Shimshon)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Iranian "Qods Day" pictures (updated)

Hat tip to commenter Marc El, who noticed that the turnout to this year's Iranian hatefest was pretty poor.

From Iran's Fars News Agency:

No rally is complete without the obligatory burning of the infidel flags:



The "Holy War or Victory" sign shows a kid with a Palestinian Arab flag smashing a Star of David:

"How many must die before YOU act?" says this sign held by an army of veiled drones. Looking at it closer, it appears to show a US soldier shooting bullets that have - corporate logos. (The upper left is clearly Coca-Cola, I couldn't make out the others.) Does this mean that Iran is imposing sanctions on the US? I hadn't noticed.

True love - a Hezbollah supporter and his partner.


Chances are very good that this keffiyeh was manufactured in China.
Can't you feel the love?
UPDATE: A couple more:

This guy should go into advertising.


Finally, someone who admits that the Al Aqsa mosque was built on Jewish land!

"Free Gaza" freaks delayed yet again

There is an old maxim that when someone gives you more than one reason, you can be sure that they are lying:
Foreign activists who planned to sail to Gaza in defiance of an Israeli blockade have delayed their trip to late October, an organizer said on Friday.

Members of the U.S.-based Free Gaza Movement had planned to sail to the Palestinian territory from Cyprus this week, but said they were held up while attempting to find a boat.

There were also poor weather conditions in the eastern Mediterranean, and activists did not want their trip to coincide with the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan next week, a spokeswoman said.

"The only analogy I can think of is like showing up with 22 people you don't know for Christmas dinner," said Greta Berlin, a spokeswoman for the Free Gaza Movement.

Hmm. If they don't have a boat, the rough seas don't seem to be as big a problem. And isn't it amazing that the people who planned this trip for weeks - includign many Muslims - didn't notice that it was the end of Ramadan?

Their press release, which is not yet on their website, darkly implies that the Jooooz were behind their inability to find a decent boat:

Unfortunately, every time we thought we reached an agreement with a boat owner, our agreement has fallen through, in part, we believe, due to outside pressure. Though it is a very difficult decision to make, we have decided to temporarily delay our voyage.
Yes, that Jewish lobby stops all boat owners from selling their boats to an organization that is still deeply in debt and almost certainly couldn't scrape the money together to pay for it.

Even though their website has mutliple pages begging for money, they don't have the honesty to tell reporters the truth, and would rather blame those nefarious Zionists yet again for their own pathetic inability to do anything remotely useful for Gazans.

Bolton on Iranian nukes

From the New York Daily News:
A wakeup call on Iran's nukes

BY JOHN BOLTON

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, just a few hours after President Bush. The contrast was palpable. Ahmadinejad expressed continued defiance of the UN Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency, insisting that Iran would continue and even accelerate its nuclear program. Bush, by contrast, has overseen nearly six years of failure trying to stop Iran from doing exactly that.

Iran is now closer than ever to achieving its long-held strategic objective of obtaining deliverable nuclear weapons. Why has Iran succeeded and the United States failed in this struggle? What does it tell us about the options available to our next President, in this increasingly dangerous situation? Will Iran be a centerpiece of the first presidential debate?

First, negotiating with Iran will not stop its nuclear weapons program. Sen. Barack Obama has said that he will speak with rogue state leaders like Ahmadinejad "without preconditions," implying this is a new idea. In fact, Britain, France and Germany ("the EU-3") have been doing exactly that for over five years. Throughout, they have been surrogates for America, and yet Iran has shown no inclination to terminate its nuclear program.

Negotiation is like all human activity: It has costs as well as benefits. The history of Europe's efforts underscores a significant cost of negotiating with a nuclear aspirant: time. More time is almost always on the proliferator's side, because it allows for the complex work necessary to master the nuclear fuel cycle. The net effect of five years of EU-3 negotiation is that Iran is five years closer to achieving a deliverable nuclear weapon. We cannot afford more of the same.

Second, Europe still does not fully appreciate the risks of a nuclear-armed Iran, nor is it willing to take the steps necessary to prevent it. Europe's lack of real concern stems in part from the controversy over intelligence about Iraq, but also from the deeper EU mindset that its members have passed beyond history, and entered a zone of security that will persist as long as outsiders are not "provoked."

This false sense of security saps EU willingness to take steps stronger than mere diplomacy, such as tough economic sanctions, much less contemplating the use of force. Thus, whatever impact on Iran that sanctions might have if imposed swiftly and comprehensively have only wound up giving the appearance of decisive action rather than the reality.

Third, the Security Council will not solve the Iran problem. Russia, and to a lesser extent China, have made it clear that they will block meaningful sanctions in the Council. This was the case in the first three sanctions resolutions, where Russian intransigence wore down the EU-3 to the point where they accepted only what Russia was prepared to allow, so they could "declare victory" even when weak sanctions resolutions were finally adopted.

Russia has an enormous interest in protecting Iran from meaningful Security Council sanctions. Moscow hopes to sell nuclear fuel, and construct many nuclear power plants in addition to the one nearly complete at Bushehr, and sees Iran as a substantial market for high-end conventional weapons sales. Similarly, China's large and growing demands for energy make Iran an attractive partner for assured supplies of oil and natural gas, as well as a potential market. All of these interests and more virtually guarantee that the Security Council's role in dealing with Iran will remain minimal at best.

On Jan. 20, either President McCain or Obama will face very unattractive choices if he is serious about disarming this outlaw regime. One is regime change in Tehran, through support of the widespread discontent across Iran with the mullahs. The other is the targeted use of force against Iran's nuclear program.

Both of these options are complex, risky and highly difficult. Unfortunately, the only other alternative - Iran with nuclear weapons - is far worse. Ready or not, our new President will have to make decisive and far-reaching choices.

14 weeks in a row

For the fourteenth consecutive week, far more Palestinian Arabs managed to die from their own actions than from anything Israel did.

According to the PCHR, the IDF killed one "child" this week (a boy who was lighting up a Molotov cocktail and who had, the week before, stabbed a 9-year old). Interestingly, they repeat the accusation that the IDF was responsible for a woman's death in Abu Dis, but they don't count it as someone the IDf killed. (The woman apparently died of a heart attack.)

Meanwhile, I counted 10 people killed by Palestinian Arab actions this week in the territories - 5 in tunnel incidents that had no apparent other cause, the rest shootings and the like.

And, for more comparison, 5 more were apparently killed by Egypt when it dynamited a smuggling tunnel. And one PalArab was killed in a bomb in a mosque in Lebanon this week; three more killed last week in intra-PalArab fighting.

I dunno; this genocidal IDF is not doing a very good job compared to the Palis themselves.

Happy Qods Day!

Today is the last Friday of Ramadan, a day declared by the late Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran to be "Qods Day," where a city that Islam essentially ignored for most of the first twelve centuries of its existence is suddenly considered vitally important - only after Jews recovered control of Jerusalem.

Here is a roundup of posts I've made to celebrate Qods Day over the past couple of years:

Introduction - An overview of how Muslims have ignored Jerusalem when they had control over the city.

The originator of Qods Day: A brief snippet of another, rather disgusting, legal ruling by the late Ayatollah.

A 1910 article showing the tremendous growth of Jerusalem in the few decades since mass Jewish return to the city, including how much land values increased and how much money Arabs were getting for selling land to Jews.

Jerusalem in Islamic art: A survey of the (non)-existence of Jerusalem in any Islamic art that pre-dates Zionism, compared to some ancient Jewish pictures of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem in Islamic poetry: A very similar posting showing every ancient Islamic poem I could find that mentions Islam's "third holiest city," plus a 12th century Jewish poem about the city.

Jerusalem in Islamic coins: Another post comparing the number of times Jerusalem was depicted in historic Islamic coins compared to ancient Jewish currency.

Jerusalem in Islamic prayer:
Jerusalem, for some strange reason, is not mentioned once in Islamic prayer, but it is a central motif of Jewish prayer.

Guest post: Review of Paul McCartney's Tel Aviv concert

Guest post by commenter Yerushalimey:
------------------------------------
It's difficult to decide where - or when - to begin an account of Sir Paul McCartney's "Friendship First" concert last night in Tel Aviv. I could describe the closest train station, a couple of hours before the event where, besides the steady flow of people of all ages wearing Beatles T-shirts there were about 20 women standing in line outside the shirutim (public toilets), presumably because they didn't expect to be able to relieve themselves comfortably at the Hayarkon Park venue. (There were, in turned out, rows of Portapotties lined up near the park's shirutim.) Or I could review the death threats from Muslim clerics; or the comments in The Guardian arguing that it is not hypocritical for someone to demand that McCartney boycott Israel yet, at the same time, enjoy Israeli cell phone and computer technology...

Although I saw a security guard single out a lone male for what seemed to be careful questioning, for the most part the people at the gates seemed to be at least as intent on preventing large bottles of water from being brought in as detecting weapons. (The most lax security I've ever seen in Israel was at a reggae concert: at music events I suppose the people who don't belong are easily spotted.) I saw no weapons within the fabric wall. That's understandable, but noteworthy because so many people routinely carry guns in public in Israel.

Two hours before the show was scheduled to start, the area in front of the stage was filled. We spread our blanket a couple of hundred yards back and waited. There was a gigantic vertical screen on either side of the stage and the crowd became a little more energized when images from Paul's history scrolled down. No Israeli songs came over the sound system, just British and American music (and one Jimmy Cliff).

Ten minutes after the eight o'clock scheduled start, Paul began with a rousing "Hello Goodbye." Obvious opening choice, but especially canny because the audience couldn't resist joining in with the "Hey La, Hey Hey Lo Ah...." part. Then came "Jet." This pair of songs was a taste of what was to come: 32 songs (if I counted correctly,) the vast majority of which were
Beatle songs, and only a handful from after 1975.

"Shalom, Tel Aviv!" Paul greeted the audience, who seemed delighted when he added, Shana Tova!" It was the week before Rosh Hashana: maybe that was why there were so few men with yarmulkes visible - with the notable exception of the Chabad people outside, encouraging concert-goers to don tefillin...

"Baby You Can Drive My Car" was next, with an automobile sequence rolling behind him on the stage's rear wall.

I confess I don't know what the next song was: I could blame the poor scrawl in my notebook, but truthfully I didn't recognize it.

Paul next addressed the audience in Hebrew again: "Zeh echad hayashanim." ("This is one of the oldies.) And it was! "All My Loving." The crowd loved it.

Next was "Flaming Pie," followed by "Let Me Roll It." This was, therefore, the second of four tracks - including the title song - from Band on the Run. Later, when he sang "Mrs Vanderbilt" the audience sang along, "Ho, hey ho!" as though we were in a jungle....

The audience listened attentively to his next number, especially since he introduced it, in Hebrew, dedicating it "L'Linda." It was a very moving "My Love." he followed it with another from his post-Beatle songbook ("Let 'em In"); then came "Long and Winding Road." He played "Dance Tonight" (from 2007's Memory Almost Full), which, apart from "Flaming Pie," I think were the only songs from after 1975! (But you can check the Internet...)

Paul then talked briefly about how he and George - this was before they were Beatles - used to sit sometimes and play classical pieces on guitar. He demonstrated a Bach piece they used to play, and then showed how he stole a riff and turned it into...."Blackbird"!

During one of his anecdotal reminiscences, one of Paul's spontaneous asides probably baffled the native Israelis in the audience. "A long time ago," he began, and then interrupted himself with "- this wasn't in Bethlehem." I figure he wasn't referring to his trip to the Church of the Nativity; instead he was alluding to the '50s song that began "Long time ago in Bethlehem" about Mary's Boy Child... This seemed to be the only Christian reference in the evening. (He has stated that the mother Mary in "Let It Be" was actually his own mother, Mary.) But he did make a point of saying "Ramadan Karim" twice during the evening, the second time almost asking us to be fair. (Sorry, I didn't catch his exact words.)

I watched virtually all of the concert on one of the screens. I think it was during "Let It Be" that I turned around to see the lights of a thousand cellphones held up instead of candles. At one point I went forward and stood on my toes and craned my neck and peeked and finally caught a glimpse of the tiny figure in a pink shirt, so I can say I actually saw Paul with my naked eye, albeit from a couple hundred yards away. During the show he addressed the people he could see outside in the park proper. I turned to see what he saw: thousands of people who didn't pay and who, sitting or standing on a hill, probably had a less obstructed view of the stage than many of the paying audience. He had nothing to gain by greeting them. Paul was playing for the people - not simply for the money.

"I'll Follow the Sun," "Mrs Vanderbilt," "Here, There and Everywhere." After "Eleanor Rigby" (with keyboard synthesized violins), Paul addressed us in Hebrew again" "Hashir hazeh l'George." And he played "Something" - on the ukelele! The band joined in after the middle eight, so it ended up sounding quite like the album version, with thousands of people singing along.

Next he announced, "This is for John." I'm sure I wasn't the only one in the audience surprised - and delighted to hear "A Day in the Life." It's just not something you'd expect at a concert (unless Phish decided to perform "Sgt. Pepper!). It was amusing to watch one of the band members on the big screen panting just before the "Woke up, fell out of bed" segment. Without the London Symphony Orchestra present, there needed to be a new ending - it was Paul singing "Give Peace a Chance."

Clearly, Paul's tribute to John was, as Lennon himself would probably have wanted, a powerful political and very human declaration. Before the show I'd lamented that it's too bad that no one but Lennon could really sing the lead vocal. So I was happily impressed that Paul led about fifty-thousand Israelis in an indisputably sincere rendition of the plea for peace. I confess I felt smug, convinced that nowhere else in the Middle East could this anthem be sung by so many people. (Oddly, for me, this was not the most moving experience of the melody: the first time I heard "Oseh Shalom bimromav, etc." sung to "Give Peace a Chance," [at Kol Rina, in Jerusalem] tears came to my eyes: All we are saying...O-oseh shalom...)

"Band on the Run," "Back in the USSR" (with amusing old films of Soviet dancing in the background). Then "I Got a Feeling" with an extra hard biting extra ending.

There were fireworks for "Live and Let Die." Rockets shooting up, mostly white, with some glowing red balls. Not the most expensive or elaborate pyrotechnics, but especially effective because they were unanticipated and because they emphasized the sudden violence of the title. I took it as a kind of affirmation. "Live! and (if those crazies want to go around killing each other) Let Die..."

"Let it Be" - more inspiration, instruction for the weary - but not, like Olmert and his gang, hopeless - Israeli. And "Hey, Jude!" Paul playfully acknowledged different sections of the audience, singing "Na, Na, Na, Nanananah". "Rak Hanashim!" (Only the women!) he called, hand on hip, mincing across the stage...

He'd performed for two hours. Now the end of the show approached. The first, faux end. Stage empty, screens blank for a minute, while they took a quick break. First encore? What would it be?

"Lady Madonna." Then "Get Back." He chatted with the audience again, asked if they weren't real old rock and rollers, before he slammed into "I Saw Her Standing There." What was left? Of course: "Yesterday."

He bid the audience goodbye again. Introduced the musicians. Thanked everyone. Declared that the crew was the best in the world. (Maybe they were; but someone I was with said that the sound was off. I didn't know. I couldn't tell. I didn't care.)

"Shana Tova! Ramadan Karim!"

The final encore: "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (Reprise: "We're sorry but it's time to go...") And finally, "The End."

Wow! From "Hello, Goodbye" to "The End." Great set. Great show.

Paul McCartney is an amazingly talented composer and performer. It was a privilege to see him live in concert. He clearly is genuinely devoted to peace and love. His tribute to Linda was an act of personal courage, exposing himself as a vulnerable human. His tributes to George and John were similarly mentschlich. The fact that he ignored threats and criticism from the Blue Meanies, exposing himself to the possibility of physical danger and censure from some of the media, show him to be a seeker of justice.

Thank you, Paul.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Haifa, December 1-7, 1947

In the comments to my posting of Peres' speech at the UN, devoted commenter (and sometimes adversary) Aaron said:
Well,it was a half truth for Peres to say that "the Arabs went to war". The last weeks of 1947 saw a number of aggressive actions by both Arabs and Jews.
I responded with a link to a previous posting of mine, showing that the first Arab massacre of Jews occurred on the day after partition, to which Aaron responded:
There was not a Jewish attack before November 30th,but there was not an Arab attack in Haifa before the Irgun attack on December 7th.


So I went to the Palestine Post to see if there were any attacks against Jews by Arabs before December 7, 1947.

Here's what I found in date order:










Things did not appear to be idyllic in Haifa in the days after the Partition vote; at least one was killed (another Jew was killed by an Arab but it appeared to be an armed robbery) and the Jews lived in fear. And there were clearly numerous Arab attacks in that time period.

Open thread

For the sheer heck of it.

Not that they have been so successful, but its nice to know they are there when needed!

(This is a "random" image from the Internet.
Literally. I typed in "random" at Google Images and chose the first picture. Although these numbers sure don't look random!)

Shimon Peres' speech to the UN

Mr. President,

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over Sixty years have passed since the United Nations General Assembly voted on the historic resolution that would have put an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Resolution 181 called for the establishment of a Jewish and an Arab state. Its title was: "Plan of Partition with Economic Union". It envisioned two states for two peoples, each fulfilling a distinct national aspiration.

The Jewish people adopted the resolution and established the State of Israel. The Arabs rejected it and led to war.

What happened in the ensuing years is much different from the resolution's original intent. While much has changed, the ironies of history summon similar circumstances today.

Today, again, we are the middle of the lake. There is no sense in rowing back. Continuing forward will show how near we are to the shore of peace.

Mr. President,

A year prior to Israel's declaration of statehood, its first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, called me, a young man from a Kibbutz, to serve in our national defense.

Since then, I participated in Israel's dynamic realities: the building of security, striving for peace. So, I need no book to learn the history. I witnessed its miraculous unfolding.

We went through seven wars. All have paid heavily. Tears still flow down the faces of bereaving mothers.

Remembrance Days fill the air with silent prayers of widowed families who lost young boys and girls in battle. They are, today, at the same age, but lifeless.

Israel turned military victories to a peace process, knowing that the cost of life renders imperfect peace superior to perfect victories.

We have also achieved two peace agreements. The first with the largest Arab country, Egypt. The second with the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan.
All the land, water, and natural resources that fell in our hands through war, were repatriated after peace was signed. Our countries can now offer remedies to other disputed areas.

But for peace, the call in our region is to repair the damaged environment and wounded land leading to poverty.

If we shall not overcome the desert, the thirst, the pollution - they will overcome us.

Joint ventures can meet this call. Nature does not carry a national passport.

With the Palestinians, we negotiate full peace. Both parties agreed to building a Palestinian State side by side with Israel, living in peace, security and respect.

We tried to conclude the negotiations this year. It will take longer. But, I believe it can be accomplished within the next year.

We agreed to progress in spite of possible changes that may take place in the leadership.

Gaps have been narrowed through negotiations. Particularly the territorial ones. But, peace is not just a matter of territorial compromise.

Rogue politics reject peace even where territorial dispute was resolved.

In Lebanon, we implemented resolution 425. Yet Hizbullah paralyzed the country and cut the road to peace.

From Gaza, we withdrew completely and dismantled our settlements. Hamas responded with a bloody takeover and turned the strip into a basis of rocket fire.

These militants carry no positive alternative - but the agonies of Job.

They added kidnapping to bombings, bringing strife for innocent families. From this important stage, I call for the immediate release of Gilad Schalit. The son of Aviva and Noam. A peace-loving family.

This honored assembly should make his release top of its agenda. Holding a hostage in Gaza determines its isolation and further deterioration.

Mr. President,

At the center of this violence and fanaticism stands Iran.

It built a danger to the entire world. Its quest for religious hegemony and regional dominance divides the Middle East and holds back chances for peace, while undermining human rights.

Iranian support for Hizbullah divided Lebanon. Its support for Hamas split the Palestinians and postpones the establishment of the Palestinian State.

Yesterday, on this very stage, the Iranian leader renewed the darkest anti-Semitic libel - the protocols of the elders of Zion. An attempt to bring to life one of the ugliest plots of history.

Their despicable denial of the Holocaust is a mockery of indisputable evidence, a cynical offense to survivors of the horror. Contradictory to the resolutions adopted by this assembly.

Iran continues to develop enriched uranium and long range missiles.

They introduce a religion of fear, opposing the call of the lord in respect of life.

The Iranian people are not our enemies. Their fanatic leadership is their problem and the world's concern.

Their leader is a danger to his people, the region and the world.

He is a disgrace to the ancient Iranian people.

He is a disgrace to the values of Islam.

He is a disgrace to this very house, the United Nations, its basic principles and values.

His appearance here is already shame.

The Jewish People have known, throughout history, to stand firm at the face of evil.

Alongside the enlightened humanity we shall know to enable good and freedom to prevail.

Tehran combines long-range missiles and short-range minds. It is pregnant with tragedies.

The General assembly and the Security Council bear responsibility to prevent agonies before they take place.

Israel has shown that democracies can defend themselves. We do not intend to change.
Terrorism did not solve a single problem. It never has, and never will.

They will make the world ungovernable. If small groups of violent killers are allowed to threaten innocent masses, the world will be without order or security. A hopeless battleground.

The free world must unite to combat it.

Israel, on its part, shall continue to seek peace. We suggest immediate peace with Lebanon.

Israeli prime ministers indicated to Syria that for peace, we are ready to explore a comprehensive compromise.

In order to gain trust, and save time, we have suggested face-to-face meetings with President Assad: "Follow the successful example set by President Sadat and King Hussein".

We still await an answer.

I know there is a growing concern that peace is far away. My life-long experience provides me with a different point of view.

True, I have seen stagnation and regression in our journey. But, today, I can identify a road leading to the right direction.

In addition to the peace agreements, a series of summits took place - Madrid, Oslo, Wye, Camp David, Sharm and Annapolis. Their accumulated sum encourages a clear direction. In fact, Israelis and Arabs are marching towards peace.

After a long internal debate, Israel accepted the two state solution.

The Arabs replaced the three NOs of Khartoum (no peace, no negotiation, no recognition) with a peace initiative, inaugurated by King Abdullah Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

I call upon the king to further his initiative; it may become an invitation for comprehensive peace, one to convert battlegrounds to common grounds.

I invite, respectfully, all leaders to come and discuss peace in Jerusalem, which is holy all of us. Where we all pray to the same lord, as offspring of the same father.

Israel shall gladly accept an Arab invitation at a designated venue where a meaningful dialogue may take place.

Mr. President,

We are facing a serious economic crisis. Maybe it has happened because we are rich and light with funds and poor and heavy with ideas. While we live in an era where science, not land, is the basis of economy.

Science does not stop at borders. Is not disturbed by distance.

Wisdom is not conquerable by armies. Knowledge diminishes discrimination because it operates through good will and transcends race, nationality and gender.

The Global dangers unite and divide us at the same time.

The dangers are the deterioration of environment. The shortage of water. The lack of renewable energy. The spread of terrorism and the increased poverty.

Divisions of the free world will increase them.

Unity offers the potential of alternatives. It will direct global investments to new areas and demanding challenges like health, security, education and environment.

The future is not in the hands of oil or gold. Intellectual assets, new inventions and superior education hold the key to our future.

In our region, border areas can become open economic zones. Enabling free movement of people, commodities and ideas. They may encourage tourism and build High Tech incubators. They will cultivate advanced agriculture.

Economic zones will provide a million jobs and produce billions of cubic meters of desalinated water. We started to do so. The first steps are promising.

The 21st century calls for pioneers. It is an opportunity to provide our children with peace and knowledge. Strength and friendship. It is their right. It is our moral obligation.

Mr. President,

The Jewish people are celebrating a new year. I would like to end with a quote from Rabbi Nachman of Breslav:

"May it be thy will to remove war and bloodshed from the world and perpetuate the wonders and greatness of peace.

All the inhabitants of the world shall recognize and know the truth: that we have not been placed on this earth to wage war and not for hatred or bloodshed."

Amen.
Shana Tova.
Thank you, Mr. President

"The world's most phallic fashion accessory for men"

From NPR: (h/t EBoZ)
Yemeni men don't invest as much time and money as some American men do in finding the perfect cell phone, car, hunting rifle or flat screen TV. In this society, where tribal Arab traditions still dominate, men have a different method of showing off their wealth and social class — they wear short, curved daggers tucked into the front of their robes, in ornately embroidered belts.

Known locally as "jambiya," these ornamental knives may be the world's most phallic fashion accessory for men.

In the centuries-old market of San'a, Yemeni men who already proudly wear fine daggers, cluster around shop windows to gaze longingly at new jambiya blades.

The men browsing here explain that in Yemen, the jambiya is an important symbol of masculinity.

Mohammed Jassim was hoping to buy a $300 knife for his 14-year-old son in time for Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that follows the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Jassim took a moment from appraising new blades to give some friendly fashion tips to a foreign visitor.

"If you wear a jambiya, it will be good," he said. "You will be more handsome and good-looking."

The knives are crafted in the winding back alleys of the Old City in San'a. Late at night, showers of sparks tumble onto the cobblestone walkways, as blacksmiths squat barefoot in cubbyhole workshops, hammering and grinding away at blades.

According to the locals, the best of these knives are sold at Abdullah al Azeri's shop.

Azeri sits cross-legged on the floor, buffing the handle of a 350-year-old dagger that he says is worth more than $25,000. He says his family has been in the knife business for more than 1,000 years.

"The handle is the most important part of the jambiya," he says. "The best ones are made of rhinoceros horn."

The export of the horns of the endangered rhino was banned long ago — a move that Azeri and his fellow jambiya enthusiasts resent to this day.

"If there is an offer for thousands of tons of rhino horn, I will buy them," Azeri's son Adel vows.

In the final days before the end of Ramadan, you can see proud fathers like Naif Mohammed tenderly strapping a new dagger, scabbard and belt onto the waist of his 7-year-old son, Bashir. Onlookers said the gift is a symbol of manhood for Yemeni boys.

Yemeni women toil at home, sometimes for months, embroidering the jambiya belts with golden thread. They then approach the shopkeepers dressed in all-concealing black robes, selling the belts out of plastic bags.

Yemeni knife-sellers say the jambiya should be drawn only as a matter of last resort.
Notice how NPR equates the Yemeni status symbol of a weapon meant to kill people with Western status symbols of cars or TVs, as if they are equivalent.

While it is an amusing article, it shows a serious shortcoming of Western perceptions of Arabs and Muslims.

People cannot understand Arab societies without understanding their obsession with the perception of manliness. So much of Arab and Muslim politics are affected by this mindset, and for gullible Westerners to pretend that "they are just like us" is to embolden them to not only use their symbols of violence in a symbolic manner.

No, they are not just like us.

It is not racism to point out that different societies think differently and act differently, that they have different priorities and different goals. The French and British do think differently than Americans, but their differences are tiny compared to the differences between the Western and Middle Eastern mindset.

This does not mean that all aspects of Arab culture are inferior to Western culture; there are some things that are admirable. The point is that they really are different and this fact must be taken into account when deciding how to negotiate with them.

Iranian nuke roundup - old news recycled

The EU has now officially stated that "Iran is likely to have the technical capability of arming a nuclear bomb" and that "Iran's nuclear program appears to be aimed at acquiring weapons." Also that "Iran is close to developing the ability to arm a nuclear warhead."

The IAEA said that Iran appeared to be making plans to add nuclear warheads to its long-range missiles. And also that "the IAEA has recently found evidence of 'foreign expertise' in Iran's nuclear research program, something forbidden by both UN sanctions and international non-proliferation treaties. And Tehran refuses to say whether it has 'specialized high-precision explosives of a type commonly used to detonate nuclear warheads.' The IAEA knows Iran once had such detonators and suspects it still may."

Well. it's not as if we weren't warned. Three years ago, Ahmadinejad ridiculed Western efforts to stop Iran's nuclear ambitions:
Ahmadinejad expressed confidence that the West will be forced to retreat in the face of the Iranian regime’s uncompromising stance, and he indicated that his government was emboldened by what it perceived as the West’s “feeble” reaction.

“God willing, the West will accept our position since Iran’s political power in the world is very great and in certain regions unrivaled. ...The West is very susceptible to blows and more feeble than it pretends.

“As time goes by, we will continue to move up step by step and we will not back down. When we start the fuel cycle, no doubt, everything will become different”.
Iran's game plan was explicit and they've followed it, unlike the blustering Western responses of partial and ineffective sanctions. Iran knows quite well that the West is paralyzed by its unwillingness to act without consensus, which can never happen as long as there is even implausible deniability and gutless EU diplomats for whom aggression is not a last resort, but an impossibility.

This morning's peaceful PalArab news

Another clan clash in the Gaza Strip, resulting in the death of an 18-year old.

Hamas continues to harass, arrest and torture doctors in Gaza. Yesterday they arrested a pediatrician.

Doctors Without Borders still refuses to comment on Hamas' campaign of terror against doctors. The only mention I could find on their main website was just noting the strike, implicitly blaming the doctors, and not a word about the arrests and assaults that have been well documented.

Egypt found another ton of TNT, plus hand grenades and mortars, in the Sinai, meant for Gaza.

Mahmoud Zahaar imitated Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, now saying that Israel has changed from an expansionist bullying state hellbent on enlarging its borders "from the Nile to the Euphrates" and instead it is a pathetically weak nation who is offering Jews money to leave territory, proving its imminent demise.

Firas quotes some Egyptian sources as saying that yesterday's tunnel blast was not the result of Egyptian explosions but because some fuel in the tunnel ignited. Although it quoted Reuters and AFP, I could not find any article in the MSM confirming that, so for now those deaths will not count in my self-death count.

The 2008 PalArab self-death count is now at 190.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Arabs upset that non-Muslims tour the Old City

An interesting, and telling, article in Palestine Today (Arabic):
Israel is preparing to launch tourist activities in the walled Old City of Jerusalem, which goes back to the reign of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the legal and under a lot of effects and its holy places, Islamic and Arab Umayyad to the days of the first and entrusted warrior Saladin and the Mamelukes.

It appears that Israel wants to weave their own story about the history of Jerusalem and ignore the facts of history about the place of the city in the hearts of Muslims around the world, and the importance of Al-Aqsa mosque to them.

It is clear that Israel wants to interest Jewish, Christian and Western tourists and to marginalize the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem and their contribution to the preservation of the heritage of the old city with distinction.
The article goes on to quote the press release about this tour, which I am reproducing here in the original English:
JERUSALEM'S OLD CITY BECOMES ISRAEL'S NEWEST NIGHTSPOT

Visitors to Jerusalem can now experience the holy city's remarkable sites in a whole new light with "Autumn Evenings in the Old City." The guided nighttime tours, combining live musical performances, stories and meetings with Jerusalem's fascinating inhabitants, take participants through the Muristan neighborhood, David's Citadel, Tekuma Park and the ancient "Jewish" and "Christian" Quarters on Mondays and Thursdays through October 30th.

Visitors are able to select from two tours- "The Storytelling Tour," featuring encounters with characters from the city's past and present, such as a British soldier and an "Effendi" and his followers; and "The City & A Song," a musical tour of the Old City including visits to the Cardo and Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue. Each tour culminates with a special musical performance with acts ranging in style from New Orleans jazz and Turkish folk to traditional Jewish and Arab songs.

"This is the very first time this kind of nighttime activity is taking place in the Old City," says Jerusalem Development Authority Director Reuven Pinsky. "I have no doubt that the awareness of the Old City as a place that can be enjoyed after dark will grow, bringing in many more visitors each and every day."

"Autumn Evenings in the Old City" is an initiative of the Jerusalem Development Authority in cooperation with the Jerusalem Municipality, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ariel Company. The tours begin at 6:30 p.m., free of charge.
It takes a bit of a stretch to imagine this night-time tour as being offensive to Muslims or Arabs. In fact, it includes mentions of Arab history and culture during the tour.

It is quite possible that the reason the Muslim quarter is not included in the tour is because there is additional danger to tourists at nighttime there.

Muslims often accuse Israel of "Judaizing" Jerusalem and of attempting to erase the history of Muslims there, but it simply isn't true. Archaeological sites as well as tours and history mention the Arab presence and history there prominently. To complain that the Al Aqsa mosque is not on the tour, when the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are not either, is ridiculous.

The only people who are trying to erase history from Jerusalem are the many Muslims who categorically deny any Jewish connection to the city. Here we have yet another example of Elder's First Rule of Arab Projection, where Arabs accuse Jews of doing something that Arabs are much more guilty of.

The nutty ramblings of a madman

From reading the news reports on Ahmadinejad's UN speech one gets the impression that it was just another political speech at the UN, with some pointed attacks towards America and Israel but not much else.

Only when you read the actual transcript can you appreciate the sheer messianic and twisted craziness that this man is filled with.

Here are some parts of the speech that the mainstream media doesn't feel is very important.

First, the entire first half of his speech was a messianic religious rant, with nothing to do with politics:
In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful, all praise be to Allah, the Lord of the universe, and peace and blessing be upon our master and prophet, Mohammed, and his pure household and his noble companions. Oh, God, hasten the arrival of Imam al-Mahdi, and grant him good health and victory, and make us his followers and those who attest to his rightfulness. [The UPI transcript had a comma between "make us" and "his followers" but the Mathaba.net version does not, and the comma doesn't make sense. Ahmadinejad is calling on everyone to become a Shiite. - EoZ]

...
Ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues, today I would like to talk to you about the main reasons behind the conditions ruling the world and the means to tackle them.

Of course, you're already aware of what I am talking about, but I think it is necessary to remind ourselves.

It seems that the roots of problems align the way one views and perceives the world and humankind, as well as in the important issues of freedom, obeisance to God, and justice.

The world, humankind, freedom, and obeisance to God, and justice have been the utmost importance to humans throughout history.

One, the world. God Almighty purposely created the world. This world is the bedrock for the evolution and growth of a creature called man. And the laws governing the world and all other creatures are at the service of man's quest for loftiness.

The world should provide the needed opportunities for the fulfillment of the purpose behind man's creation. No phenomenon, creature, or, indeed, anything has been created in vain.

Together, they all pave the ground for the flourishing of mankind in a complex and purposeful system. And they are each one of the signs of God Almighty. All are his creations, and he is the sole creator and ruler of the world. All existence, including power, knowledge, and wealth come from him.

Two, humankind. God created the world for humans and humans for himself. He created humans from mud and in the soil, but he did not want them to remain in the soil and with animal instincts.

He kindled the light of guidance in their souls and asked them to rise from the soil to the heavens and to him, with the help of wisdom, prophets, and perfect men.

The world will ultimately disappear, but God has created man for eternity and has made them a manifestation of himself.

Creativity, mercifulness, kindness, knowledge, wisdom, zeal, concealment of sins, splendor, justice, bounteousness, generosity, greatness, love, glory, dignity, forgiveness, insight, kingship, and all other goodness and beauty are attributes of God.

God has not created humans for aggression, bloodshed, ranker, selfishness, and destruction.

He made humans his ... servants on Earth and has asked them to, on the one hand, make Earth prosper by using their God-given potentials, and to prepare the ground for the growth of divine attributes in all humans, and to provide all with a life of beauty, amity, freedom, justice, and goodness, and, on the other hand, in pursuance of this path, to prepare for a prosperous everlasting life endowed by God's mercy.

God has obligated humans to live divinely and socially, for it is only through social life and interactions with others that divine attributes may emerge.

Three, obeisance to God. God Almighty has tied their perfection and true freedom of humans to their devotion and obedience to himself. True freedom and obedience to God are in balance and, in fact, are two sides of the same coin. Obeisance to God means confessing to monotheism and obeying his commands and to be free from ungodly worship. Obeisance to God means the acceptance of the absolute truth, the absolute light, and the absolute beauty.

Obeisance to God means abandoning selfishness and animal instincts, power-seeking and aggression, surrendering to righteousness, justice, love, and perfection.

And in this way, humans can achieve their true freedom and flourish. They can grow and manifest divine attributes, have affection for others, stand up for justice, and fear no power or threat, and defend the oppressed.

In such an environment, one's freedom -- one's freedom will not impinge on any other's. Contention and conflict are characteristic of materialistic freedom and animal instinct. The essence of all divine religions and obeisance to God and true freedom is disassociating from oppressors and instead obeying and worshiping God.

Four, God is omniscient and knows all that is revealed or kept secret, and he is kind and merciful. All creatures are humbled before him and resign to his will.

God is alive and is the creator of the universe and all life. God loves his creatures and desires nothing but goodness, blessings, and perfection for them, and is against bullying, injustice, selfishness, and domination.

Four, justice. Justice is the foundation of the creation of humankind and the whole universe. Justice is tantamount to placing every phenomenon in its own place and providing humans with opportunities to actualize all their divine capabilities.

Without it, the order of the universe will collapse and the opportunity for perfection will fade away.

Without justice, it would be impossible for human society to taste real peace, beauty, joy, and happiness.

Justice is the main pillar of social life, and without it social life cannot continue or grow.

Humans need to know God in order to realize a prosperous society in this world, as well as to strive for a beautiful eternal life. And to this end, they first have to know themselves and strive for loftiness in themselves and their societies.

However, as long as the world is construed as closed, limited, and aimless, as long as eternal life is considered imaginary and illusory, and afterlife and the Judgment Day, as well as reward and punishment, are thought of as fictional and unreal, as long as morals and commitment to them are called backwardness and immorality, lies, deceit, and selfishness are considered desirable, and humans are limited to a materialistic life in this world, as long as attempts are made to replace obedience to God, and following his prophets, and true freedom with servitude to materialistic tendencies, and animal instincts, and servitude to oppressing human beings and contention reaches its pinnacle, as long as the aggressors, because of their financial, political, and propaganda powers, not only escape punishment, but even claim righteousness; and as long as wars are started and nations are enslaved in order to win votes in elections, not only will the problems of the global community remain unsolved, but they will be increasingly exacerbated.
And his obsession with Zionism and Jews takes up a significant portion of the speech, not only the brief snippets quoted in the papers:
In Palestine, 60 years of carnage and invasion is still ongoing at the hands of some criminal and occupying Zionists. They have forged a regime through collecting people from various parts of the world and bringing them to other people's land by displacing, detaining, and killing the true owners of that land.

With advanced notice, they invade, assassinate, and maintain food and medicine blockades, while some hegemonic and bullying powers support them.

The Security Council cannot do anything, and sometimes, under pressure from a few bullying powers, even paves the way for supporting these Zionist murderers.

It is natural that some U.N. resolutions that have addressed the plight of the Palestinian people have been relegated to the archives unnoticed. ...

The dignity, integrity, and rights of the American and European people are being played with by a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists. Although they are a minuscule minority, they have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers, as well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries and the U.S. in a deceitful, complex, and furtive manner.

It is deeply disastrous to witness that some presidential or premier nominees in some big countries have to visit these people, take part in their gatherings, swear their allegiance and a commitment to their interests, in order to attain financial or media support.

This means that the great people of America and various nations of Europe need to obey the demands and wishes of a small number of acquisitive and invasive people.

These nations are spending their dignity and resources on the crimes, and occupations, and the threats of the Zionist network against their will.

Friends and colleagues, all these are due to the manner in which the immoral and the powerful view the world, humankind, freedom, obeisance to God, and justice, the thoughts and deeds of those who think they are superior to others and consider others as second-class and inferior, who intend to remain out of the divine circle, to be the absent slaves of their materialistic and selfish desires, who intend to expand their aggressive and domineering natures, constitute the roots of today's problems in human societies.

They are hindrances to the actualization of material and spiritual prosperity and security, peace, and brotherhood among nations. I explicitly state that the Iranian people and the overwhelming majority of the peoples and governments are against those deeds and perspectives of the world-domineering powers.

Establishment of justice requires people who achieve moderation and justice inside themselves and have restrained their domineering attitudes and actualized their attributes of self-sacrifice and are at the service of humanity.

The complete and full-scale manifestation of such characteristics can happen only under the rule of the righteous and the perfect human being, who is obedient to God and who was promised by the divine prophets.
Finally comes his implicit threats against America and his return to his messianic theme:
American empire in the world is reaching the end of its road. And its next rulers must limit their interference to their own borders. Today, the thought of hegemony quickly becomes a demerit.

And now a few words with the expansionist governments' ruling global relations. Be aware that living with obedience to God and carrying out his orders, compassion for people, and striving for the fulfillment of justice is to your advantage, too.

I invite you to return to the path of God, the prophets, and to the path of the people of the world, and to the truth and justice. The only route to salvation is a divine, straight path.

Otherwise, God's hands of power will emerge from the sleeve of the oppressed nations and will make your life difficult and will put an end to your hegemony.

Let's love the people of the world and respect their rights, rectify past behavior. This will benefit you and the human community.

The Iranian people are prepared, along with other nations, to help you be rescued from your current situation and to establish peace and prosperity.

My friends, fortuitously, opportunities are accessible. With the grace of God Almighty, the existing pillars of the oppressive system are crumbling. Great developments in favor of humankind, as well as its true and real rights, are on the way.

A golden and brilliant future is awaiting mankind. A global community filled with justice, friendship, brotherhood, and welfare is at hand and, as I have elaborated, a community which will tread the path of beauty and love under the rule of the righteous and the perfect human being, the one promised by all divine prophets, and the one who is the true lover of humanity.

A community that will be devoid of any fear, despair, and privation, such a community will soon be ours, the community promised by the great divine prophets Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ, and Mohammed, peace be upon him, is about to materialize. Let us, hand in hand, expand the thought of resistance against evil and the minority of those who are ill-wishers.

Let's support goodness and the majority of people who are good and the embodiment of absolute good that Imam of Time, The Promised One who will come accompanied by Jesus Christ, and accordingly design and implement the just and humanistic mechanisms for regulating the constructive relationships between nations and governments.

Oh, Great Almighty, deliver the savior of nations and put an end to the sufferings of mankind and bring forth justice, beauty, and love.

Friends, let's have a proper share in the establishment of that illuminated and promised divine age.

I thank you all very much.
To describe this speech, as the media has, as anything other than a crazed, messianic, anti-semitic screed is tantamount to lying about it. This is not a political speech; it is pure hate clothed in religious garb. To even imagine that the author of this rant will soon have weapons of mass destruction available to hasten the coming of his Mahdi is incredibly frightening, and the MSM missing the point of this speech is mind-blowing.

Quickies

5 were killed in a tunnel explosion in Gaza. Since it appears that Egypt set the explosion, these will not be counted in my self-death counts.

In a move that symbolized the Gaza/West Bank split better than any other, both governments chose wildly different days to celebrate Eid at the end of Ramadan. The PA says it starts on September 30th, Hamas says the 25th.

Finally, a purely anti-semitic anti-Palin screed in the Pakistan Daily site.

Ahmadinejad's anti-semitism and the MSM

Yesterday's speech by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the UN was the most anti-semitic speech given there since the infamous 1975 UN resolution that equated Zionism (with a small z) to racism.

While most of the mainstream media reported (as in this AP example)
Ahmadinejad accused “a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists ... (of) dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries and the U.S.”
very, very few took the small step to mention that this is a classic anti-semitic belief. The three that I found, outside of Jewish and Israeli media, were:

The New York Daily News:
From there, Ahmadinejad called up classic anti-Semitic canards and - without ever mentioning Israel or Jews by name - he attacked "acquisitive and invasive people" who dominate "financial and monetary centers."
The New York Sun:
On Israel he used Europe's oldest anti-Semitic language to blame "a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists" for "dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers."
And, most surprisingly, the Times of London:
In a rambling speech punctuated by anti-Semitic bluster, an emboldened Mr Ahmadinejad vowed not to bow to “illegal demands” to halt Iran’s nuclear activities which he defended as the peaceful pursuit of civilian energy.

...A rambling religious treatise gave way to a series of startling attacks on Israel and Jews in general, blaming them for all the world’s ills. “The dignity, integrity and rights of American and European people are played with by a deceitful group of people called Zionists,” he said.

The global financial crisis was the fault of “a small number of acquisitive and evasive people” who had taken control of the whole world order, he said, but predicted that this would soon change.

A few more media did quote various others denouncing the speech as anti-semitic (including Barack Obama,) but a huge majority is so cowed by the idea that anti-Zionism has nothing to do with anti-semitism - even when they are presented in historically identical ways - that they will dispassionately report the fact that the leader of a large nation, on the verge of nuclear capability, is single-mindedly obsessed with ending the rights of Jews to national self-determination.

Kudos to the few exceptions, and shame to the MSM for not drawing the very short line between Ahmadinejad's speech and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Autotranslation of the day

From Saudi Arabia's Okaz news agency, an article about a car accident:
Path General Hospital announced a state of emergency and alert yesterday morning following a traffic accident on the road [[in] Mrbp near Brownish Discharge led to the death of one person and wounding of 17, according to the available details.
Not my idea of a place to have a nice family outing, but to each his own....

"Free Gaza" freaks continue to show utter disregard for Gazans

The latest "Free Gaza" ship, called the "SS Hope," is scheduled to set sail from Cyprus on Thursday.

Now, they are sending some doctors, which sounds like the Freaks might for once actually be interested in helping the people of Gaza. But, alas, it is not true. According to the FG site, "Doctors and lawyers are going to Gaza at the request of the people of Gaza to assess the medical tragedy there and to talk to the people."

So the doctors will not do anything that existing NGOs in Gaza (Doctors Without Borders, the many UNRWA doctors) are not doing already. The lawyers will do, pretty much, nothing except feel important. The Arab Knesset member will give interviews as will other other "human rights" activists to the two Al Jazeera reporters on board.

But perhaps the most valuable person on the entire ship will be "Joe Fallisi (Italy) Opera Singer, Composer." Gaza is suffering from a severe shortage of opera singers and the poor Palestinian Arabs stuck there have expressed their clear desire for an operatic tenor to entertain them and move them to tears. Fallisi has already entered the Free Gaza song contest, and Fallisi - who, we are helpfully told, is a vegan - sings lyrics such as "Zionists, oppressors, tyrants will fall."

One can only imagine how much he will lift the hearts of supposedly starving Gazans with his songs.

Because his ship sure isn't bringing any food.

Moderate Palestinian Arab negotiator threatens violence

From YNet:
The Palestinian chief negotiator with Israel cautioned on Tuesday that violence could erupt if peace talks collapse.

"The Palestinians will continue to negotiate. But, if the talks reached a dead end, what do we do? Capitulate? Resistance in all its forms is a legitimate right," said Ahmed Qureia in a message to newly-elected Kadima chairwoman, Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni.
So sweet that this moderate leader greeted the apparent next leader of Israel with such touching words, threatening that if she doesn't give in to all his demands, his people will resort to murdering innocent civilians, which he asserts is quite legitimate. In other contexts this would be considered blackmail, but in the Middle East this is business as usual.

One may be pedantic and recall the words of Yasir Arafat at the onset of Oslo:
The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security.

The PLO commits itself to the Middle East peace process, and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations.

The PLO considers that the signing of the Declaration of Principles constitutes a historic event, inaugurating a new epoch of peaceful coexistence, free from violence and all other acts which endanger peace and stability. Accordingly, the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators.
It's almost as if the PLO and its PA subsidiary are filled with - violent liars whose promises are not worth the paper they are written on!

But, they are considered "moderate," so that makes it OK. Because, after all, Hamas and Islamic Jihad might act the exact same way but they are a bit more extreme in their initial demands, so of course the PLO and the PA are so very moderate and peace-loving in comparison.

The latest fashionista wearing a keffiyeh

The keffiyeh has become standard garb for anti-war activists across the globe and a chic accessory for urban hipsters -- a vaguely subversive, vaguely exotic all-weather neck warmer.
Do you think that Mahmoud's decision to join the hipsters will enhance or discourage the keffiyeh's use?

Tuesday PalArab press roundup

Another man was killed by falling into a smuggling tunnel. I believe that this makes 37 tunnel deaths this year.

One more was found dead of gunshot wounds in Deir al-Balah in Gaza.

An anti-Hamas news site is reporting more evidence that last July's beach bombing that killed 5 Hamas members and a girl was from internal fighting.

A previously unknown Gaza group is threatening to shoot rockets at the Rafah crossing and to kidnap Egyptian soldiers unless Palestinian Arab prisoners in Egyptian prisons are released.

All the Palestinian Arabic media is reporting that a website "funded by the Mossad" is offering a cash reward for the assassination of Samir Kuntar.

Once again, the priorities of people getting Eid gifts will not be poor people but children of terrorists, alive and dead.

The 2008 PalArab self-death count is now at 189.

Isn't it romantic?

The Israeli media is reporting on the apparent motivation of the driver in yesterday's terror attack: A broken heart!
The terrorist who rammed his BMW into a group of soldiers at a central Jerusalem thoroughfare late Monday night has been identified as Kasem Mugrabi, 19, from Jebl Mukaber in east Jerusalem.

Mugrabi, a resident of the same village as the Mercaz Harav terrorist who killed eight in March, wounded fifteen people before being shot dead by an off-duty IDF officer.

The assailant had no previous security record, police said Tuesday.

According to an initial police investigation, the 19-year-old wanted to marry his cousin, and when she refused his offer, he decided to carry out a terror attack, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said.
Unrequited love has led to many a suicide in the West, and it is tragic that the ideas of Romeo and Juliet are such a part of our culture that lovestruck victims will sometimes kill themselves.

The Palestinian Arab culture, however, doesn't romanticize suicide - it romanticizes self-destructive mass murder. It is unthinkable to just kill oneself, because that adds shame and dishonor to your family.

Our young, pained Kasem Mugrabi seems to have been jilted and he responded with the Palestinian Arab concept of ultimate self-sacrifice - to kill oneself while trying to murder as many of the enemy as possible. A shameful act is thus elevated to an act of martyrdom, and the loss of a love on Earth is replaced by the concept of unlimited sex in Paradise.

Rather than hoping that the object of his desires would cry for him and regret her rejection, the terrorist can hope that she will be jealous that she didn't fall for such an honorable man - the same type of man who Palestinian Arab culture considers heroes.

This is the idea of romance in Palestinian Arab culture - a society where mass murder is celebrated so routinely that it becomes an attractive alternative for shamed people to become heroes.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Buzzworthy Open Thread

I just tried to add Yahoo Buzz! to my template, but it is not working as nicely as I would like.

But since you guys asked, here is another open thread.....

PalArabs thrilled with terror attack

Here are some of the autotranslated comments at the Fatah-linked Palestine Press news agency to the article about the terror attack in Jerusalem today:
I hope more heroic operations

Yahya God all the freedom fighters in the city of Jerusalem, especially the bomber

We congratulate the process [operation] and wish [that the source was] the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and it is not with the [Hamas] resistance, the Iranian Hamas pigs who deliver [only] a paper resistance and we say [to Hamas] Go to hell

Thank God with us, which we thought that the beloved Palestine and the Palestinian issue still has insisted in Palestinian hearts and that despite all attempts to disperse the Palestinian thinking, but we can work to break the cover of occupation

Thank God for this work which God chose us Homnfz driver and the process is a martyr hero God bless his soul to God, what a bargain Jewish Lord violin and violin operations Aktar more, you know, I do not kill each other so you O Palestine, Fatah and Hamas miles Msolon us what is Sahhhhhhhhhhhhhawwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Ome fine fine Halina Unit Nationally supported in some yen Thank you, you Iarepettstjibwa Arabs

The name of God Rahamin Rahim
Web and thrown and thrown, but God contact us thank God that we have made Islam and Muslims hail you a martyr and God Spoof you, hero of God you are happy and the Palestinian people in the holy month of Ramadan, God willing, and more heroic operations

But there was one commenter against the attack. Well, of course he praised the attack, but he thought that the timing was not the greatest, because it might delay the Israelis giving up more land to the Palestinian Arabs for free.

Another Ramadan terror attack

Ah, Ramadan. All about fasting, prayer, spiritual reflection, reading from the Koran - and attacking the dhimmis.
A terrorist driving a black BMW ran his car into a crowd of pedestrians at a busy intersection in central Jerusalem near the Old City on Monday evening.

At least 17 people were confirmed wounded at Zahal Square, all in light-to-moderate condition. Magen David Adom paramedics evacuated those wounded to the Hadassah Ein Karem and Shaare Zedek hospitals for treatment.
The JPost adds:
Jerusalem police chief Aharon Franco said that the attacker was shot dead "within seconds" by an off-duty IDF officer who was touring the city with his unit.

He added that there was no intelligence information ahead of the attack, but noted that Jerusalem was under heavy security alert due to Ramadan.
But why, oh why would anyone associate Ramadan, the holiest Muslim month, with terror attacks?

Could it be because a couple of days ago there was a Ramadan terror attack against a hotel in Pakistan, killing dozens?

If Islam is a religion of peace, wouldn't it be logical that their holiest month would be the most peaceful month?

Perhaps, unlike what we've been told by apologists for Islam, Ramadan is really the "month for Jihad," as this Christian Science Monitor article from 2003 discovered.

But Israelis know this very well. After all, the Yom Kippur War in 193 is known in the Arab world as "The Ramadan War."

So there is nothing unusual for terror attacks to occur during Ramadan. On the contrary, it is expected.

British Muslims celebrating 9/11 anniversary

From MEMRI:
Reporter: Islamic activists in the British capital have chosen to mark the seventh anniversary of 9/11 in their own way. Once again, they called the attacks, which caused thousands of casualties, the "New York Raid." They warned that new attacks would occur in the future, unless the U.S. reexamines its policy and attitude toward Islam and the Muslims.

Anjam Chaudhary, Secretary-General Al-Ghuraba Movement: Since the raid of Manhattan seven years ago, and the collapse of the twin towers in New York, many developments have taken place around the world. Many events similar to September 11, July 7, and November 3 [sic] have taken place in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, Iraq, and Afghanistan since then.

Reporter: The event took place after the fast-breaking meal at a religious center in east London, and was attended by dozens of participants. The speakers focused on the lessons to be drawn from the attacks, and they derided the war on terror waged by Washington, and by Western and Islamic countries, saying that it had managed to strengthen Al-Qaeda, rather than weaken it.

Muhammad Seif Al-Islam, The Salafi Youth Movement: This is the consequence of your own actions an of every step you take. Wake up, wake up. So many times we have heard the warning of Sheik Osama Bin Laden, as well as the warnings of Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Al-Qaeda, calling upon the Western peoples to awaken from their slumber, and to be on their guard so that their governments will not lead them to war, causing violence and aggression. [These peoples] should prevent their governments from inciting them to become the enemies of Islam and the Muslims.

Reporter: Sheik Omar Bakri, whose return to British soil has been denied, addressed the participants by phone from Lebanon.

Omar Bakri: "Among the Believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah: Some of them have died, and others await their turn, but they have not changed [their religion]."

Reporter: From the support for Bakri's words, it was clear that Bakri, founder of Hizb Al-Tahrir and the Muhajireen Movement, still enjoys the support and trust of his followers, who said their struggle against the British government's policy would continue, regardless of the measures taken against them.