.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Palestinian history quiz, part one - before 1948

1. Where did the Yaman and Qais tribes, who fought a bloody feud for hundreds of years in Palestine, come from, respectively?

A. Ancient Canaan and Philistia
B. Yemen and Northern Arabia
C. Syria and Transjordan
D. Yemen and Egypt

2, According to John MacGregor, who visited Palestine in the 1870s, what was the worst insult that an Arab could hurl at another Arab?

A. Dog
B. Pig
C. Monkey
D. Jew

3. What was the year of the first organized Arab attack against a Jewish settlement?

A. 1852
B. 1886
C. 1921
D. 1929


4. What was the year of the first official Arab boycott of Jewish businesses in Palestine?

A. 1909
B. 1921
C. 1936
D. 1946


5. In the early 1930s, tens of thousands of people from what country illegally immigrated into Palestine because of a severe drought?

A. Russia
B. Poland
C. Syria
D. Egypt

6. Who gave a live radio broadcast to the attendees of the Palestine Pavilion in the 1939 New York World's Fair?

A. Hajj Amin Husseini
B. Winston Churchill
C. Fawzi al-Qawuqji
D. Chaim Weizmann

7. Two teams of Nazis parachuted into Palestine in 1944. Each team included one person who had what in common?

A. Jews who bargained their lives to avoid death camps
B. Arab ringleaders of the 1936 uprising who fled to Nazi Germany
C. British Nazi-sympathizers
D. Iraqi collaborators

8. What were "boycott bombs"?

A. Bombs against Arab businesses by Jews
B. Bombs against Jewish businesses by Arabs
C. Bombs against Arab businesses by Arabs
D. Bombs against Arabs by Jewish victims of the Arab boycott

9. Who collaborated with the Arab side in the 1948 War of Independence?

A. Escaped Nazi prisoners of war
B. WWII French Resistance fighters
C. Members of the British Union of Fascists
D. Soviet spies

10. Who were the first refugees forced to flee their homes in the days leading up to the 1948 War?

A. Jews from Jaffa
B. Arabs from Deir Yassin
C. Arabs from Jaffa
D. Jews from Jerusalem



Answers with links:
1. B
2. D
3. B
4. A
5. C
6. D
7. B
8. C
9. A and C
10. A  (Palestine Post pageviews gone at the moment)

PA continues to embrace terrorism

What other conclusion can be derived than that the PA continues to embrace terrorism when you read that again they named a summer camp after one of their most horrific terrorists?
"The Ministry of Social Affairs in Ramallah opened yesterday in El Bireh the fourth integration camp for people with special needs, and in Bethlehem the second Shahida (Martyr) Dalal Mughrabi camp [opened]... The second Dalal Mughrabi summer camp was opened in the headquarters of Light of Generations' youth association in Bethlehem, with support from the National Committee for Summer Camps and the One Voice Palestine organization in Ramallah. It aims at training young leaders in the eastern countryside of Bethlehem District. Present [at the opening] were... the Secretary of Fatah's Bethlehem branch, Yusuf Al-Aref, ..., Chairman of the [Light of Generations' youth] association, Ibrahim Mubarak, Muhammad Khalil - camp director... 70 young girls from the Dar Salah village and neighboring villages participated." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 29, 2010]
Dalal Mughrabi keeps on being glorified by Fatah, while she is (with others) responsible for the deaths of 37 Israelis (among which 13 children).

Friday, July 30, 2010

Poverty-stricken Gazans have a lot of computers

A new statistical study released today that I quoted earlier has some interesting figures for the West Bank and Gaza.

Here's one:


West Bank
Gaza
Percentage of households with a computer
51.1
45.6
Percentage of households with an Internet connection
 27.2
30.9




The mind reels at so much poverty.

Gaza unemployment facts

Palestinian Arabs released some statistics about the West Bank and Gaza on the occasion of World Population Day.

One of the statistics was that unemployment for the first quarter of the year was at 33.9% in Gaza and 16.5% in the West Bank.

While the Gaza number is very high, giving Gaza one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, there is an assumption made that this high rate is because of the Israeli closure of Gaza.

This is not quite the case.

Gaza's unemployment rate before Israel's closure was at 32.3%.

It is true that the unemployment rate had soared to perhaps as high as 45% at one point, but right now it is not much worse than it was before the closure.

Looking at the unemployment trends in both the territories, there is one huge spike - where Gaza's unemployment rate jumped from 19% to 34%, and West Bank unemployment from 12% to over 21%.

That year was 2001.

So when people complain about Israeli policies that are causing such economic problems for Gazans, keep in mind the single event that devastated their economy more than any other over the past four decades: their decision to start a terror war against Israel.

Friday linkdump

Khaled Abu Toameh discusses why many Arabs would prefer to live and work in Israel than in any Arab country.

Jonathan Dahoah Halevi points out the irony of how Hamas, supposedly yearning fro independence, is fighting tooth and nail to keep Gaza "occupied."

Mustafa at "Horses and Definitions" updates a post about how the Arabs rejected Israel's offers to return the Sinai and the Golan after the 1967 war, pointing to a recent interview of Shimon Peres by Benny Morris.

Israellycool continues his series on photos from Gaza that look pretty attractive, with a view of the Islamic University of Gaza.

Here's the latest Latma:

"Reporters Without Borders" silent on Hamas crimes

Gaza's Journalists Union has condemned a break-in at their headquarters today, in which a computer was stolen.

Yesterday, as I mentioned, another Gaza journalist was held by Hamas in solitary confinement for six hours and needed to be hospitalized.

At the Reporters Without Borders website, nothing has been written about any press freedom issues in Gaza or the West Bank since early May, even though there have been numerous published reports of actions against journalists as well as other relevant stories there in that timeframe.

In that same time period, no less than seven articles were written about problems with Israeli press freedom.

Is there any wonder that the media is disproportionately focused on demonizing Israel?

Hamas still smuggling in weapons. Not that the media will mention it.

Today, a Grad rocket was shot from Gaza into Ashkelon and two mortars were also shot into Israel from Gaza.

Grad rockets are smuggled into Gaza, not manufactured there.

In the past day, Egyptians have uncovered three more smuggling tunnels. Also, today they announced that they found a weapons storehouse and explosives south of El Arish that were earmarked for delivery into Gaza.

Oh, and an IED exploded on the Gaza border.

The media does not find these sorts of stories to be newsworthy.

The "direct talks" farce

The world is abuzz over the supposed fact that the Arab League has given Mahmoud Abbas the green light to hold direct talks with Israel.

From what I can tell, that is not what happened.

Abbas has been adding pre-condition upon pre-condition for months, saying that he cannot agree to direct talks until he gets specific, written concessions from Israel in advance. He has demanded a complete and permanent halt to settlement building (not just a freeze,) a pre-condition of progress in the indirect talks (which were in themselves something that he only agreed to after massive US pressure,) a newer pre-condition of Israel accepting the 1949 armistice lines as the basis of talks and then a condition that Israel accept an international force to guard those borders.

It must be understood that all of these conditions are a violation of the status quo. Abbas had negotiated with Israel directly in the past, as did his predecessor Arafat.

Both Arafat and Abbas, when given real (and foolhardy) peace proposals that would have resulted in a Palestinian Arab state, rejected them when they did not get their maximal demands. They have consistently refused to compromise, which is of course what negotiations are meant to do. They have played a waiting game for the world to pressure Israel to make every concession but have never come forward with their own plan that would take into account any of Israel's legitimate concerns besides empty promises.

Abbas is no fool. He knows that his biggest weapon is the myth of Israeli intransigence, even over decades of Israeli and Jewish offers of peace. But he also sensed that he must give the illusion of flexibility to keep world public opinion on his side.

So he added a new card on the table. He demanded concessions before real negotiations can start. Now, if he agrees to negotiate, he can appear to have given a concession himself - a completely inconsequential agreement to an Israeli demand that has no bearing on the final status of the relation between the two sides. Abbas has turned the idea of direct negotiations into a proxy for real concessions.


This is a tricky game, because he needs to save face for the Palestinian Arabs. He cannot simply say that all his conditions are now out the window. But he can use the Arab League as window dressing to move towards this illusory concession, making the Western diplomats/wishful thinkers ecstatic that they have achieved a "breakthrough" and then they would ask Israel to give up something real in return.

Look at what the Arab League really said:

Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr al-Thani, who chaired a meeting of foreign ministers and representatives, spoke in response to a question about whether they had given Abbas a green light to start talks.

"I'll be clear. There is an agreement but with the understanding of what will be discussed and how the direct negotiations will be conducted. And we will leave the assessment of the position to the Palestinian president as to when the conditions allow the beginning of such negotiations," he said.

Arab League chief Amr Mussa said at the press conference that written guarantees were required for direct talks.

There "must be written guarantees ... and the negotiations should be serious and final status talks," he said.
The Arab League isn't pressuring Abbas to negotiate. They are providing cover for his position which hasn't changed. If he decides to cave to pressure from Washington, he now knows that the Arab League will not denounce him - which is significant - but he can make it appear to be a huge concession on his part.

The fact is that Palestinian Arab statehood was never the goal. Palestinian Arab nationalism was never a positive movement for the liberation of a people. Since its inception, it has been a reaction and a weapon against Zionism and Jewish self-determination, not a desire to see a Palestinian Arab nation emerge. The idea that Jerusalem is a necessity for such a state proves the point - if a people yearn for freedom, they should eagerly accept a state being handed to them. Only if the goal of the state is to weaken and ultimately destroy another state does this entire farce make any sense.

A people yearning for independence would pressure their leadership to accept that independence as quickly as possible, not to wait for years for more and more concessions. A people yearning to be free would be working on real state-building. They would be demanding that their brethren be released from the UN-administered camps in their very midst. They would be insisting that their people who are stuck in neighboring countries be either given equal rights in those host countries - or allowed to emigrate into their "promised land."

None of this is happening. Instead, the world is sidetracked and distracted by these silly games of "direct talks" and "written guarantees" which are simply smokescreens for the fact that Palestinian Arabs have been screwed by their own and other Arab leaders for decades. They were pawns in 1948 and they are no less pawns today, for the exact same reason - to enable the Arab nation to pressure, weaken and ultimately destroy Israel.

Instead of allowing the world to see this reality, the facts are hidden by layer upon layer of obfuscation, distraction, misdirection, false history, propaganda, and baldfaced lies. "Direct talks" is merely the latest of this ever growing list.

The entire framework is an elaborate game in which the rules have been rigged by its creators, a game within which Israel cannot possibly win but only delay its own ultimate destruction. After a Palestinian Arab state would be established, the next round of demands will bubble up from those who didn't accept these terms, and over years the next set of demands will become more reasonable sounding by dint of their very repetition and acceptance by plenty of Westerners who claim to only yearn for "peace."

(h/t Daled Amos for the list of Abbas preconditions)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hymen restoration covered by UK healthcare

From The Daily Mail:
Increasing numbers of Muslim brides are having taxpayer-funded ‘virginity repair’ operations before marriage.

There were 116 hymen replacement operations carried out on the NHS between 2005 and 2009. The total for 2009 was 30, up 25 per cent from 24 in 2005.

The health service figures echo a trend reported by private clinics, which are seeing a huge surge in demand for the procedure from Muslim women paying up to £4,000.

One Harley Street clinic said that demand for its half-hour procedure had tripled in recent months.

Doctors say patients are under pressure from future husbands or relatives who insist that they should be virgins on their wedding night.

During the hymenoplasty procedure – viewed by some as invasive and degrading – the hymen is stitched or reconstructed so that it will tear again and bleed on the woman’s wedding night.
In some cases, the vaginal lining can be used to create a false hymen. A blood capsule can then be inserted into the lining to ensure realistic blood flow when the membrane is broken.
Consultant gynaecologist Dr Magdy Hend performs hymenoplasty under local anaesthetic at his Regency Clinic on Harley Street. He charges £1,850 for the half-hour procedure and says that most of his clients are Muslim women.

He said: ‘In the past, we would do one or two hymen reconstruction operations a week. Sometimes now, we get two or three women a day. Demand has tripled.

‘Our Muslim clients worry about having had sex, and their fiance and family knowing that they have been touched before.

‘It is more cultural rather than religious. If the bride is not a virgin and does not bleed on the wedding night, it is a big shame on the family. There have been honour killings in extreme cases.

‘It is simple surgery that takes only half an hour. They can have it done at lunchtime and do not have to give their real names and addresses.’

There have been calls for a ban on NHS surgeons carrying out the operations for women wanting to marry as virgins.

But a Department of Health spokesman insisted that hymen repair operations take place on the NHS only to ensure a patient’s physical or psychological health.

She said: ‘The NHS does not fund hymen repair operations for cultural reasons. All operations on the NHS are on the basis of clinical need.

‘Operations to repair the hymen are only carried out exceptionally to secure physical or psychological health.’
And by sheer coincidence all of these "non-cultural" hymenoplasties are being done for women who share the same culture.

Not that I am against this being paid by public funds. The potential cost to the British taxpayer for an honor killing - investigation, prosecution, incarceration -would be much higher.

Hymen removal is a prophylactic medical procedure to avoid being slaughtered.

The Nakba Obsession (Sol Stern)

A nice piece in City Journal. Here is a portion:


A specter is haunting the prospective Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations—the specter of the Nakba. The literal meaning of the Arabic word is “disaster”; but in its current, expansive usage, it connotes a historical catastrophe inflicted on an innocent and blameless people (in this case, the Palestinians) by an overpowering outside force (international Zionism). The Nakba is the heart of the Palestinians’ backward-looking national narrative, which depicts the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 as the original sin that dispossessed the land’s native people.

There is only one just compensation for the long history of suffering, say the Palestinians and their allies: turning the clock back to 1948. This would entail ending the “Zionist hegemony” and replacing it with a single, secular, democratic state shared by Arabs and Jews. All Palestinian refugees—not just those still alive of the hundreds of thousands who fled in 1948, but their millions of descendants as well—would be allowed to return to Jaffa, Haifa, the Galilee, and all the villages that Palestinian Arabs once occupied.

Such a step would mean suicide for Israel as a Jewish state, which is why Israel would never countenance it. At the very least, then, the Nakba narrative precludes Middle East peace. But it’s also, as it happens, a myth—a radical distortion of history.

During the 1948 war and for many years afterward, the Western world—including the international Left—expressed hardly any moral outrage about the Palestinian refugees. This had nothing to do with Western racism or colonialism and much to do with recent history. The fighting in Palestine had broken out only two years after the end of the costliest military conflict ever, in which the victors exacted a terrible price on the losers. By that, I don’t mean the Nazi officials and their “willing executioners,” who received less punishment than they deserved, but the 11 million ethnic Germans living in Central and Eastern Europe—civilians all—who were expelled from their homes and force-marched to Germany by the Red Army, with help from the Czech and Polish governments and with the approval of Roosevelt and Churchill. Historians estimate that 2 million died on the way. Around the same time, the Indian subcontinent was divided into two new countries, India and Pakistan; millions of Hindus and Muslims moved from one to the other, and hundreds of thousands died in related violence. Against this background, the West was not likely to be troubled by the exodus of a little more than half a million Palestinians after a war launched by their own leaders.

In the 1940s, moreover, most of the international Left actually championed the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. It was widely noted that the new state would be led by self-proclaimed socialists. Statehood for the Jews was supported by the Soviet Union and by the Truman administration’s most progressive elements. The Palestinians were also compromised by the fact that their leader in 1948, Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, had been a Nazi collaborator during the war.

In fact, I. F. Stone, the most revered left-wing journalist of the day, was one of the most influential American advocates for the Zionist cause. I have in my possession a book by Stone called This Is Israel, distributed by Boni and Gaer, a major commercial publisher at the time. The book, based on Stone’s reporting during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, has become a collector’s item by virtue of the fact that Stone’s fans want to forget that it ever existed.

Accompanied by famed war photographer Robert Capa’s iconic images of male and female Israeli soldiers, Stone’s text reads like a heroic epic. He writes of newborn Israel as a “tiny bridgehead” of 650,000 up against 30 million Arabs and 300 million Muslims and argues that Israel’s “precarious borders,” created by the United Nations’ November 1947 partition resolution, are almost indefensible. “Arab leaders made no secret of their intentions,” Stone writes, and then quotes the head of the Arab League, Abdul Rahman Azzam: “This war will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongol massacres and the Crusades.”

And how does Stone explain the war’s surprising outcome and the sudden exodus of the Palestinian Arabs? “Ill-armed, outnumbered, however desperate their circumstances, the Jews stood fast.” The Palestinians, by contrast, began to run away almost as soon as the fighting began. “First the wealthiest families went,” Stone recounts. “While the Arab guerrillas were moving in, the Arab civilian population was moving out.”

What is most revealing about the book is the issue that Stone does not write about: the fate of the refugees after their exodus. Stone undoubtedly shared the conventional wisdom at the time: that wars inevitably produced refugees and that the problem was best handled by resettlement in the countries to which those refugees moved. Stone surely expected that the Arab countries to which the Palestinian refugees had moved would eventually absorb them as full citizens.

Stone could never have foreseen that for the next 62 years, the Palestinians would remain in those terrible refugee camps—not just in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip but in Lebanon, Syria, and present-day Jordan as well. Nor could Stone have imagined that not one Arab country would move to absorb the refugees and offer them citizenship, or that the Palestinians’ leaders would insist on keeping the refugees locked up in the camps for the purpose of dramatizing their Nakba narrative.

Unfortunately, no amount of documentation and evidence about what really happened in 1948 will puncture the Nakba narrative. The tale of dispossession has been institutionalized now, an essential part of the Palestinians’ armament for what they see as the long struggle ahead. It has become the moral basis for their insistence on the refugees’ right to return to Israel, which in turn leads them to reject one reasonable two-state peace plan after another.

Nor will the facts about 1948 impress the European and American leftists who are part of the international Nakba coalition. The Nakba narrative of Zionism as a movement of white colonial oppressors victimizing innocent Palestinians is strengthened by radical modes of thought now dominant in the Western academy. Postmodernists and postcolonialists have adapted Henry Ford’s adage that “history is bunk” to their own political purposes. According to the radical professors, there is no factual or empirical history that we can trust—only competing “narratives.”

This makes for a significant subculture in the West devoted to the delegitimization of Israel and the Zionist idea. To leftists, for whom Israel is now permanently on trial, Stone’s 1948 love song to Zionism has conveniently been disappeared, just as Trotsky was once disappeared by the Soviet Union and its Western supporters (of whom, let us not forget, Stone was one).

Several years ago, I briefly visited the largest refugee camp in the West Bank: Balata, inside the city of Nablus. Many of the camp’s approximately 20,000 residents are the children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren of the Arab citizens of Jaffa who fled their homes in early 1948.

For half a century, the United Nations has administered Balata as a quasi-apartheid welfare ghetto. The Palestinian Authority does not consider the residents of Balata citizens of Palestine; they do not vote on municipal issues, and they receive no PA funding for roads or sanitation. The refugee children—though after 60 years, calling young children “refugees” is absurd—go to separate schools run by UNRWA, the UN’s refugee-relief agency. The “refugees” are crammed into an area of approximately one square kilometer, and municipal officials prohibit them from building outside the camp’s official boundaries, making living conditions ever more cramped as the camp’s population grows. In a building called the Jaffa Cultural Center—financed by the UN, which means our tax dollars—Balata’s young people are undoubtedly nurtured on the myth that someday soon they will return in triumph to their ancestors’ homes by the Mediterranean Sea.

In Balata, history has come full circle. During the 1948 war, Palestinian leaders like Haj Amin al-Husseini insisted that the Arab citizens of Haifa and Jaffa had to leave, lest they help legitimize the Jewish state. Now, the descendants of those citizens are locked up in places like Balata and prohibited from resettling in the Palestinian-administered West Bank—again, lest they help legitimize the Jewish state, this time by removing the Palestinians’ chief complaint. Yet there is a certain perverse logic at work here. For if Israel and the Palestinians ever managed to hammer out the draft of a peace treaty, Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, would have to go to Balata and explain to its residents that their leaders have been lying to them for 60 years and that they are not going back to Jaffa. Which, to state the obvious again, is one of the main reasons that there has been no peace treaty.

Read the whole thing.

Psalms too Zionist for moderate Palestinian Arabs

I had missed this story last week:

The lead singer of the iconic 1970s disco group Boney M said Thursday the band was asked to skip one of its biggest hits in a West Bank concert this week.

Boney M., known for "Rasputin," "By the Rivers of Babylon," "Ma Baker" and "Hooray! Hooray! It's a Holi-Holiday" gained worldwide fame for its music in the late '70s disco era.

Maizie Williams said the Palestinian concert organizers told her not to sing "By the Rivers of Babylon" during the band's first ever Ramallah gig. The song's chorus quotes from the Book of Psalms, referring to the exiled Jewish people's yearning to return to the land of Israel.

Palestinians often question the Jewish historical connection to the Holy Land.

Williams said she did not know if it was a political thing or what, but they asked us not to do it and we were a bit disappointed. Organizers said they asked for the song to be skipped, deeming it inappropriate.
The lyrics of the song quote Psalms 137, one of the most melancholy and heart-rending Psalms:

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. Upon the willows in the midst thereof we hanged up our harps. For there they that led us captive asked of us words of song, and our tormentors asked of us mirth: 'Sing us one of the songs of Zion.' How shall we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy.

You see? Lyrics like that could cause riots! How dare the Psalmist write such Zionist propaganda!

Palestinian Arab intellectuals slam Abbas for admitting Jews have rights

Last month, Mahmoud Abbas spoke to leaders of American Jewish organizations. According to reports, at the meeting he said, "I would never deny [the] Jewish right to the land of Israel."

The reaction to this speech was surprisingly muted in the Arabic press. However, an all-star roster of Palestinian Arab intellectuals have come out squarely against Abbas' statement, pretty much admitting that they do not believe that Jews have any right to live in Israel.

Al Quds al Arabi reports:

Dozens of Palestinian activists and intellectuals signed a message to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, saying that they considered a statement attributed to him as 'a serious compromise of the collective rights of Palestinian people'.

The letter said "During a meeting of your collection with representatives of AIPAC on June 9, you said, as reported in the media, that you 'can not deny that the Jewish right to the land of Israel', a statement that you have not yet disavowed. We consider this announcement, which adopts the central principle of Zionism, a wasting of serious collective rights of the Palestinian people. It is a waiver of the right of the Palestinian citizens of Israel to live on an equal footing in their home, which stood against a backdrop of the apartheid system imposed on them for decades, and it is also a concession the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes."

The letter said 'the institution or the Palestinian leadership has never at any time before this accepted' the exclusive Jewish right to Palestine; it is contrary to the internationally recognized rights of the Palestinian people, and our right is with us as a people, which you do not have the authority to treat as you want.'

I never quite understood how these academics, allegedly so concerned over equal rights, consider Israel's definition of itself as a Jewish state as more racist and exclusionary than the self-definition of every Arab nation as either an Arab or Muslim state (most often, both.)

The signatories include Birzeit University history professor Saleh Abd al-Jawad, University of California professor George Bisharat, Omar Barghouti, who is a founder of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel - and yet currently attends Tel Aviv University, and Columbia University professor Joseph Massad.

Nah, they're not anti-semitic

An email correspondent points me to the Wikipedia page of (as far as I can tell) the only Iranian-designed and manufactured assault rifle.

The rifle's name?

The Khaybar KH2002.

Yes, it is named after the Battle of Khaybar, whee Mohammed slaughtered some 10,000 Jews in 629 CE.

The Iranian military does not use the assault rifle, according to the article. Instead, they ship them to be used by - Hezbollah.

(h/t Ben)

What does the BDS movement want?

An excellent video, from StandWithUs:



(h/t sshender)

Arab American museum raising funds for Helen Thomas sculpture

From the Detroit Free Press:

The Arab American National Museum in Dearborn has launched a fund-raising drive to pay for a statue of legendary journalist Helen Thomas that concerns some in the Jewish community.

Thomas, a former White House correspondent and native Detroiter born to Lebanese immigrants, was forced to quit her job at Hearst Newspapers last month after saying Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine." She apologized.

On Tuesday, the museum started a 45-day campaign to raise the remaining $10,000 for the roughly $30,000 statue. Some in the Jewish community are wary of honoring Thomas.

"I just hope that the support for this memorial is there despite her anti-Israel and anti-Semitic views and not because of them," said Richard Nodel, president of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

Anan Ameri, director of the museum, said she disagrees with her comments, but Thomas "spent her life ... doing a lot of good things."

The campaign, which has a web site, has managed to raise $680 so far.

The museum has sought the sculpture for nearly a year.

If you are not eating, here's a picture. The statue is the one on the right.

Newest Saudi trend: "Daytime marriage"

A new alternative has come up to temporary "misyar" marriages, and this one is approved by Saudi authorities.

Called "Daytime Marriage," this allows a man to have two wives - one for the day shift and one for nighttime.

The advantages are said to be that with this sort of marriage, women who work at night can also enjoy the benefits of marriage. Or, at least, some of them.

Apparently, some older women are taking advantage of this arrangement, marrying younger men as second wives. Many of them are divorced or widowed, making them less than ideal for first marriages.

Men who are taking advantage of this system are being careful to hide the "daytime wives" from their first wives.

Unlike misyar marriages, these are meant to be permanent.

Saudi religious scholars are lauding the advantages of this system. It reduces promiscuity for women, especially night workers; plus it helps stem divorces for men who need more action (and who manage to hide their daytime wives from their first wives.)

I think that the English word for these women is "mistresses."

Egyptian journalist: "A sense of absolute prosperity prevails" in Gaza

MEMRI translates an article in Egypt's Al Ahram newspaper by journalist Ashraf Abu al-Houl:

I was last in Gaza in mid-February. Returning three weeks ago, I found it almost unrecognizable... and the greatest surprise was the nature of that change. I would have expected a change for the worse, considering the blockade – but the opposite was the case; it seemed as if it had emerged from the blockade.

A sense of absolute prosperity prevails, as manifested by the grand resorts along and near Gaza's coast. Further, the sight of the merchandise and luxuries filling the Gaza shops amazed me. Merchandise is sold more cheaply than in Egypt, although most of it is from the Egyptian market, and there are added shipping costs and costs for smuggling it via the tunnels – so that it could be expected to be more expensive.

Before I judge by appearances, which can be misleading... [I would like to point out that] I toured the new resorts, most of which are quite grand, as well as the commercial markets, to verify my hypothesis. The resorts and markets have come to symbolize prosperity, and prove that the siege is formal or political, not economic. The reality [in Gaza] proves that the siege was broken even before Israel's crime against the ships of the Freedom Flotilla in late May; everything already was coming into the Gaza Strip from Egypt. If this weren't the case, businessmen would not have been able to build so many resorts in under four months."

I] began my search for the truth regarding the siege in Rafah, at the Saturday market, which was loaded with large quantities of merchandise and products of various kinds – at prices mostly lower than in Egypt, particularly for food products. Nevertheless, there weren't many customers, and this for two reasons: One, supply is much greater than demand, and two, the workers were all waiting to get paid their wages.

Business owner Abu Yousuf stood at his shop surrounded by hundreds of cans of food. Their price had dropped significantly in the past two months; in some cases by as much as 50%. Clothing vendor Abu Muhammad Al-Masri noted that there was an unprecedented glut on the clothing market in the Gaza Strip. Clothing comes into Gaza from two sources: the tunnels, which provide large quantities, and the border crossings to Israel, via which even more goods arrive, most of which piled up at Ashdod port [and are now coming into the Strip]. He clarified that the merchants wanted to sell [lots of] goods to get back some of their money... and so had increased the supply in the markets, leading to lower prices.

During my tour of the Rafah and Khan Younis markets, I noticed that the merchants were drastically marking down their merchandise, so as to get rid of goods smuggled in through the tunnels, and to prevent heavy losses... after Israel has decided to allow in Israeli and imported goods, as part of Israeli government measures to ease the blockade following the Freedom Flotilla massacre.

Despite the drop in price due to the plethora of goods in the Gaza markets, the residents sense that even lower prices are on the way, due to the easing of the Israeli blockade. The consumers are carefully watching prices, [particularly for] smuggled electrical appliances and cars, and refrain from buying, expecting that merchandise will arrive via the border crossings [leading to a further drop in prices].

A Gaza car showroom salesman said that he hoped to sell off his inventory and that he was not bringing in any new vehicles for fear of heavy losses, because Israel had decided to allow vehicles into Gaza for the first time since 2006. Anyone walking in the Gaza streets will see hundreds, if not thousands, of cars that entered Gaza from Egypt via the tunnels, and some of them are stolen. At the home and kitchen appliance dealers, there is a tempting array of all kinds of smuggled goods that sellers want to get rid of, due to the ongoing information about new products that Israel has decided to allow into to the city... "

The Gaza resorts paint a picture of prosperity enjoyed by only a few groups, most of which have become rich from the blockade, because they either own tunnels or else work for the many international organizations in Gaza, headed by UNRWA.

The Gaza resorts are divided into several [categories], each of which has its own price range. This is not like it used to be, when all the tables on the beach were for the use of all the residents... I noticed that most of the resorts set a certain price for the tables near the sea, and a different price for tables farther away. This is in addition to high fees to enter the resort – no less than NIS 20 – and each activity within the [grounds] has its own fee. In short, a family visit, with a sandwich for each child, can cost up to NIS 500.

Several months ago, Gaza had only one luxury resort, Zahrat Al-Madain. Today, another one opens up every day, such as Crazy Water, Aqua Park, and Al-Bustan. Most of them are owned by members, or associates, of Hamas. In addition, the Hamas municipalities [also] charge high fees, in Gaza terms, for the use of public beaches.

'Aed Yaghi, senior official of the Al-Mubadara Al-Wataniyya party, which is headed by Palestinian Legislative Council member Mustafa Al-Barghouti, said, 'These resorts make you wonder. It is logical to invest when times are good – but when Gaza is suffering under siege and there is a possibility of renewed aggression [by Israel], no one knows what profitability there is in building resorts.'

Walid Al-'Awwad, a member of the Palestinian People's Party political bureau, said, 'In the past two years, money-laundering has flourished in Gaza, as reflected by the construction of numerous resorts – all of which belong to influential individuals who participate in trafficking via the tunnels. Compared to the tunnel owners' increasing wealth, the [status] of the [established] wealthy families has waned... The spread of the grand resorts reflects the emergence of a bourgeoisie. Some of the fluidity in the Gaza market stems from the activity of clandestine elements – distributors of drugs, arms, and tunnel merchandise.'

Human rights activist and political correspondent Mustafa Ibrahim said, 'Building resorts in the north [of the Strip] is contrary to the most fundamental principles of investment, because they are in regions exposed to shelling and destruction, due to the unceasing Israeli threats. Thus, veteran investors don't dare invest in this area. The elements behind the investment [in the north], who are sometimes hasty, rely on profits from trafficking via the tunnels for funding... This huge investment in the leisure industry is taking place today in Gaza at a time when 80% of the residents depend on aid from UNRWA and other organizations, and unemployment is at 45%. This creates a distorted picture, particularly when merchandise is piling up in the shops in a way that does not reflect the economic situation. Perhaps the current government created this distorted situation in order to show that it had succeeded in breaking the siege...

The Flotilla Farce (Danny Ayalon)

Danny Ayalon, writing in the Wall Street Journal, touches on many of my blog themes - the hypocrisy of the flotilla activists, the plight of Palestinian Arabs in Lebanon, and how Gaza's poverty is hugely exaggerated.

A couple of years ago, a Palestinian refugee camp was encircled and laid siege to by an army of tanks and Armored Personnel Carriers. Attacks initiated by Palestinian militants triggered an overwhelming response from the army that took the life of almost 500 people, including many civilians. International organizations struggled to send aid to the refugee camps, where the inhabitants were left without basic amenities like electricity and running water. During the conflict, six U.N. personnel were killed when their car was bombed.

While most will assume that the events described above took place in the West Bank or Gaza, they actually took place in Lebanon in the summer of 2007...

At the time, there was little international outcry. No world leader decried the "prison camps" in Lebanon. No demonstrations took place around the world; no U.N. investigation panels were created and little media attention was attracted. In fact, the plight of the Palestinians in Lebanon garners very little attention internationally.

Today, there are more than 400,000 Palestinians in Lebanon who are deprived of their most basic rights. ...Unlike all other foreign nationals in Lebanon, they are denied access to the health-care system. According to Amnesty international, the Palestinians in Lebanon suffer from "discrimination and marginalization" and are treated like "second class citizens" and "denied their full range of human rights."

In view of the worsening plight of the Palestinians in Lebanon, it is the height of irony that a Lebanese flotilla is organizing to leave the port of Tripoli in the next few days to bring aid to Palestinians in Gaza. According to one of the organizers, the participants are "united by a feeling of stark injustice."

This attitude exposes the dishonesty of the whole flotilla exercise. Whether it is from Turkey, Ireland or Cyprus, those that participate in these flotillas reek of hypocrisy. There are currently 100 armed conflicts and dozens of territorial disputes around the world. There have been millions of people killed and hundreds of millions live in abject poverty without access to basic staples. And yet hundreds of high-minded "humanitarian activists" are spending millions of dollars to reach Gaza and hand money to Hamas that will never reach the innocent civilians of Gaza.

This is the same Gaza that just opened a sparkling new shopping mall that would not look out of place in any capital in Europe. Gaza, where a new Olympic-sized swimming pool was recently inaugurated and five-star hotels and restaurants offer luxurious fare.

Markets brimming with all manner of foods dot the landscape of Gaza, where Lauren Booth, journalist and "human rights activist," was pictured buying chocolate and luxurious items from a well-stocked supermarket before stating with a straight face that the "situation in Gaza is a humanitarian crisis on the scale of Darfur."

...The latest flotilla preparing to leave from Lebanon fully exposes not only the hypocrisy but the danger of these provocative vigilante flotillas. The Lebanese flotilla, whose organizers claim injustice while ignoring the dire human rights situation of the Palestinians in Lebanon, amply demonstrate that these flotillas have nothing to do with humanitarian concerns and everything to do with delegitimizing Israel.

Read the whole thing.

Journalist hospitalized after Hamas detains him

In yet another story of Hamas repression that flies under the radar, a Gazan journalist Hossam al-Mughany was detained by Hamas and placed in solitary confinement for six hours. Since he has back problems, he had to go to Shifa hospital afterwards for treatment.

But Hamas arresting and intimidating journalists is a dog-bites-man story, and the media doesn't even bother to protect their own - because they are scared of Hamas as well.

Will the PA cabinet resign next week?

I've seen a couple of Arabic articles now saying that the PA ministers will resign next week and there will be a major re-shuffle.

A Fatah spokesman was quoted a couple of days ago as saying that "Next week we will form a new government representing the aspirations and ambitions of the Fatah movement."

It is unclear what Salam Fayyad's role will be in the new government, although everyone seems to agree that he would maintain his Finance Minister portfolio.

But from all appearances, it will involve a strengthening of Fatah's already serious grip on power - and Fayyad is not a member of Fatah.

How much agricultural Gaza land does Israel's buffer zone take?

One of the oft-repeated claims about Gaza is that about 30% of its  farmland is eaten up by Israel's buffer zone. This claim has been made by many, including the UN, as in this quote from 2009:
 "Bear in mind that 30% of Gaza's most productive land is within that buffer zone."
More often, the figure given is as a percentage of "arable land" - for example, this UN document says that "The  area  inside  the  Buffer  Zone  along  the northern  and  eastern  borders  with  Israel contains  nearly  a  third  (29%)  of  the  Gaza Strip's  arable  land,  and  is  inaccessible  to farmers."

However, a recent conference in Gaza by the hardly impartial "Palestinian International Campaign To End The Siege On Gaza" claims that Israel's buffer zone takes up 22.5 km2, or 6.25% of Gaza's total land, and that it takes up 20% of Gaza's arable land.

Both these claims are absurd.

The second, smaller claim is easy to demolish. According to the CIA World Factbook, Gaza has 29% arable land, or 104.4 km2. Gaza's total area is 360 km2. If the buffer zone takes up 22.5 km2 - a debatable point itself - then that means that 100% of Israel's buffer zone is arable land, and zero percent is desert or unusable.

A quick glance at Google Satellite images shows that while there are many strips of green land at the border,



much of the southern half of Gaza has no such usable land (here is near the Gaza airport:)

Similarly, much of the northern border with Israel does not appear to be usable for agriculture, as parts are urban.

So even the claim that Israel takes up 20% of the arable land is nonsense, according to their own figures.

Now, how about the claim that Israel's buffer zone is 22.5 km2 to begin with?

Israel officially sets the buffer zone at 300 meters. Israel's border with Gaza is 51 km, so that multiplied by the 300 meters comes out to 15.3 km2, not 22.5. This is a little harder to argue because Israel's attackers claim that the buffer zone in reality extends as much as a full kilometer into Gaza at certain points, but without bringing too much hard evidence for this claim. Without seeing a map of the supposed real buffer zone I cannot check those claims.

There is another important fact to point out, however: Most people don't know what "arable land" means, and think that it is identical with "farmland." However, that is not the definition at all. The UN defines two important terms:

Arable land is the land under temporary crops, temporary meadows for mowing or pasture, land under market and kitchen gardens and land temporarily fallow (for less than five years).

Land under permanent crops is the land cultivated with crops that occupy the land for long periods and need not be replanted after each harvest.
For the purposes of calculating the amount of land available for agriculture, both those types of land must be included.

Guess what? While Gaza has 104 km2 of arable land, it also has over 75 km2 of land under permanent crops!

So, contrary to the UN quote above, Israel isn't taking up 30% of Gaza's "most productive land". It is, at most, using up loser to 12% - even assuming that 100% of that buffer zone land is arable. In fact, the percentage is probably one third less, from eyeballing the map, or perhaps 9% assuming the figure of 22.5 km2 is accurate.

If Israel's figures of 15.3 km2 is closer to the truth, again assuming that one third of that land is unusable, then Israel's buffer zone might be taking up closer to 5% of Gaza's potential and real agricultural land.

There is a big gap between the 30% quoted by the UN above and the reality of 5%-10%.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oldie but goodie: IDF pilot lands F-15 with one wing

Fascinating video from The History Channel:


I looked up this incident. It happened in May, 1983, so I doubt that much of the video of the plane flying with one wing is real.

It's a great story, though. 

(h/t Yerushalimey)

New battle: Hamas versus lingerie

From Ma'an:
Gaza police announced Wednesday restrictions on women's lingerie and dress stores across the Strip.

Among the prohibitions include displaying lingerie or pajamas in store windows, having fitting rooms or cubicles inside shops, and using tinted glass for store windows. Security cameras inside women's stores will also be banned.

Gaza police spokesman Brigadier Ayman Al-Batniji said the new restrictions will "protect morals and allow people to feel comfortable as they walk down the street."
They won't even allow the display of PaHamas Pajamas? Now, I'm upset!

Mecca bid to replace Greenwich as center of world time zones

Two years ago, Al Arabiya reported:
Muslim scientists and scholars have called for the world to replace Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) with Mecca time, press reports said Thursday.

Prominent scholar, Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawy, said modern science had provided evidence that Mecca was the true center of the Earth, the BBC reported.

One scientist argued that unlike other longitudes, Mecca's was in perfect alignment to the magnetic north, it added.

The scientist further went on to argue that GMT was imposed on the rest of the world by force during the times of the British Empire and said it was about time that changed.

The scholars were speaking at a conference held in Qatar titled 'Mecca, the Centre of the Earth, Theory and Practice'.
It seems that a new skyscraper being built in Mecca is intended to further that claim.

The Abraj Al Bait Towers, which are due to be completed this year, will be 601 meters (1,972 ft) high. At the top will be four giant clocks facing each direction - the world's largest, and highest.

A new Al Arabiya article, in Arabic, is a light piece about a reporter visiting the British National Maritime Museum  and Royal Observatory in Greenwich and asking workers there whether they had ever heard of Mecca Time or of the Abraj Al Bait clock tower, which is challenging Greenwich to claim the title of the center of the world's time. None of them did.

One interesting vignette from the article:

On the actual meridian line is a long concrete strip which contains the names of major world cities, that tourists can stand upon. The Al Arabiya reporters was offended for two reasons. One was that the only Arab cities listed were Riyadh and Cairo; the other was that Jerusalem was listed there:

At the edges of the strip they etched the names of some famous capitals in every continent, including only two Arab capitals, namely Riyadh and Cairo, and in between there was a "capital" of other Middle East nation in Asia, which is Jerusalem capital of Israel.

I told an employee who was nearby that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel, and Britain does not recognize it as such. He said: "I am not responsible for this section, but it seems that the name of the cities are there without any mention that they are capitals of Israel or any other nation, and as you can see there are cities such as Sydney, New York and Rio de Janeiro and others, that are not capitals. They seem to select the names of cities they consider famous asexamples. "

I said: "Mecca is also famous - its name is mentioned by more than a quarter of the world's population almost every day, is it not there?

I requested telephone contact information for the employee in charge of the names on the concrete strip, and I received a tactful and respectful answer:

They do not put the name of Mecca so it would not to be trampled underfoot.
A couple of observations from this story:

The Arab Muslim reporter saw the word "Jerusalem" and automatically assumed that this was a legitimization of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, when it could have been easily interpreted as capital of Palestine, had he really had such a bizarre notion. In other words, decades of Muslim indoctrination about "Al Quds" and "Palestine" has not made a dent in the fact that everyone knows that Jerusalem is the real capital of Israel!

And doesn't it look like this reporter is looking for reasons to seethe? He sees only two Arab cities listed, and is upset; he sees Mecca not listed, and he is upset; he sees Jerusalem, and he is upset; and only when he is told that Mecca's absence is for reasons of respect does he calm down.

By the way, the  National Maritime Museum that the reporter was trying so hard to find offense at  has a Ramadan webpage, a page on the Islamic calendar, and pictures of a number of Islamic timepieces and astronomy tools (such as a compass to find Mecca.) It does not have a separate page about the Jewish calendar.

Three idiots; three critics

Three prominent people recently said some very stupid things. Three wonderful critics ripped them to shreds.

Melanie Phillips on David Cameron
Jennifer Rubin on Oliver Stone
Evelyn Gordon on Roger Cohen

German anti-semitism on the increase

From Der Spiegel, an article I missed from two weeks ago:

It was supposed to be a carefree festival in Sahlkamp on the outskirts of the northern German city of Hanover. Billed as an "International Day" to celebrate social diversity and togetherness, the June celebration included performances by a multicultural children's choir called "Happy Rainbow" and the German-Turkish rap duo 3-K. Music from Afghanistan was also on the program.

But then the mood suddenly shifted.

When Hajo Arnds, the organizer of the neighborhood festival, stepped onto the stage at about 6:45 p.m. to announce the next performance, by the Jewish dance group Chaverim, he was greeted with catcalls. "Jews out!" some of the roughly 30 young people standing in front of the stage began shouting. "Gone with the Jews!"

The voices were those of children -- voices full of hate, shouted in unison and amplified by a toy megaphone. Arnds, the organizer, was shocked. He knew many of the children, most of them from Arab immigrant families in the neighborhood.

A social worker, Arnds tried using the tools of his profession -- words -- to save the situation. But his words were met with stones, thrown at the stage by people taking cover in the crowd. One of the stones hit a female Chaverim dancer in the leg, resulting in an angry bruise.

...Until now, attacks on Jews, Jewish institutions and Jewish symbols have almost always been committed by right-wing extremist groups. In the first quarter of 2010 alone, the German Interior Ministry documented 183 anti-Semitic offences committed by right-wing radicals, including graffiti, inflammatory propaganda and physical violence.

The stone-throwing incident in Hanover, however, has finally forced the authorities to take a closer look at a group of offenders that, though largely overlooked until now, is no less motivated by anti-Zionist sentiments: adolescents and young adults from an immigrant community who are influenced by Islamist ideas and are prepared to commit acts of violence.

An informal and accidental alliance has been developing for some time between neo-Nazis and some members of a group they would normally despise: Muslim immigrants. The two groups seem to share vaguely similar anti-Semitic ideologies.

Anti-Semitism from the two groups shows itself in different ways in Germany. On the one hand, there are the efforts of extremist right-wing groups, which tend to follow a certain pattern. During a football match in April, for example, supporters of SV Mügeln-Ablass 09, a district-league football club in the eastern state of Saxony, chanted "a tree, a noose, a Jew's neck" and "we're building a subway, from Jerusalem to Auschwitz," until the match was stopped.

According to the German government's response to a parliament inquiry by Left Party politician Petra Pau, Jewish cemeteries in Germany are defaced, vandalized or destroyed about once every 10 days. Memorial sites are also frequently targeted. Last month, for example, extremists defaced a memorial plaque in the western city of Bochum, a Jewish cemetery in Babenhausen in the state of Hesse and a memorial in Beckum in the Münsterland region.

TV productions like the Iranian series "Zahra's Blue Eyes," broadcast into the living rooms of immigrant families in Germany, only add to the problem. The program is based on a horror story in which a fictitious Israeli general has doctors remove the eyes of a Palestinian girl so that they can be transplanted into his blind son.

Such propaganda apparently serves as a breeding ground for anti-Jewish sentiments among poorly integrated members of the immigrant community -- sentiments which can quickly explode into violence. In late June, for example, two Israeli tourists made the mistake of conversing in Hebrew at a Berlin nightclub. Another guest, apparently of Palestinian descent, asked them where they were from. When one of the tourists, a 22-year-old man, replied, "from Israel," the man attacked him and his companion.

The situation escalated when a Turkish-born bouncer intervened and attacked the Israelis with pepper spray. The tourists were able to flee and required medical treatment. Law enforcement officials assume that the attack was the result of "anti-Semitic sentiment." The bouncer and the man who attacked the Israelis, whose identity is still unknown, are being investigated for aggravated assault and battery.

The Jewish community in Worms, located in the southwestern state of Rhineland-Palatinate, was also the target of a recent attack. In mid-May, unknown assailants tried to set the city's historic synagogue on fire. Forensics experts later identified eight sources of fire at the crime scene. In addition, a Molotov cocktail was thrown through the window of the synagogue's library.

The community was lucky; the building did not go up in flames. Nearby, the police found letters claiming responsibility, written in broken German: "As long as you don't leave the Palestinians alone, we won't leave you alone."
Since "Islamophobia" is considered so rampant, can anyone name a single place in Europe where people are safer showing their Jewishness in public than people showing their affiliation with Islam?


(h/t Legal Insurrection from Soccer Dad)

Today's PalArab news (7/28/2010)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas, in an interview where he was emphasizing how much he wants peace, mentioned how he feels that Tzfat (Safed) is the most beautiful city in the world. He was born there in 1935. Abbas was on a trip to Africa to shore up his support there.

Two people were seriously wounded from an apparent "work accident" in central Gaza.

An Iranian delegation is expected to arrive in Gaza in the next few days. They will be bringing in aid (and, in all probability, cash for Hamas)  via Egypt, and Egypt says it has no problems with any nation wanting to go through proper channels to deliver aid. This may mean that a threatened Iranian ship to Gaza has been canceled. - However, Al Arabiya quotes Iran's PressTV that a political delegation from Iran is not being allowed into Gaza from Egypt. I am not sure if these are the same people.

UNRWA is planning to distribute some 20,000 laptops to Gaza schoolchildren this coming year.

In another case of a multinational company pushing a single religion, Nokia is expanding its line of Ramadan software that runs on its mobile phones.

Scathing attack on Fayyad

Palestine Times, a pro-Hamas newspaper, published a scathing attack on PA prime minister Salam Fayyad.

The article compares Fayyad with the hedonistic Roman emperor Nero, as a "parasite sitting at the head of parasites in the West Bank." The author is particularly upset at the proliferation of nightclubs in the territories, which it claims is being done under American orders.

The PA, referred to as "lice," is castigated for pretending to defend Palestinian Arab heritage - but, the author asks, "What heritage are they talking about!!?? Are there traditions that intertwine the hands of women and men together?? Is there a tradition of mixed dancing and lack of decency?!"

This supporter of Hamas, which recently opened up the Gaza Mall as well as tourist spots for Gazans, asks rhetorically how the PA could countenance these sorts of clubs while so many Palestinian Arabs are suffering from Zionist crimes.

He says that "nightclubs and bars were encouraged by America to spread immorality in the streets of the West Bank, as a number of press agencies and news channels file reports on life in the streets of Ramallah and publish images of nightlife in the bars in the city as if to say, 'look at what we have achieved, we liberated Israel from terrorism, and America's dream of a Palestinian state is closer than ever before!!'"

He concludes by saying that Nero created an army of prostitutes, and that the head of prostitutes must be a prostitute and the leader of a pack of dogs must be a dog. He sarcastically blesses Fayyad, "carrying the banner of immorality in Palestine," but reminding him in an oblique threat that the "top of the pyramid may be removed by force."

The epic battle between Ahmadinejad and Paul the Octopus

From YNet:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Paul the Octopus, the sea creature that correctly predicted the outcome of World Cup games in South Africa, is a symbol of all that is wrong with the western world.

During a speech he delivered in Tehran over the weekend, Ahmadinejad said the octopus is a symbol of decadence and decay among "his enemies", and accused the octopus of spreading "western propaganda and superstition."

"Those who believe in this type of thing cannot be the leaders of the global nations that aspire, like Iran, to human perfection, basing themselves in the love of all sacred values," Ahmadinejad said.
Mahmoud the Madman's problem with Paul is probably because of Islam's dislike for black magic.

But perhaps some of that visceral hate is because of the long tradition of anti-semites comparing the Jewish community (and, more recently, Israel) to that very creature.

From 1938:


to just last month:

Google News links to incomprehensible gibberish

Once upon a time, I aspired to have my blog be indexed as a news site in Google News.

After reading this article from a "news" source called International.To News, I am quite happy not to be in that crowd.

Here are only two paragraphs that indicate a deep psychosis on the part of the writer:


WikiLeaks is a CIA front organization.  WikiLeaks releases High Security Military Documents.  "The White House is screaming like a stuck pig. What nonsense. Obama’s war puts the lives of American soldiers at risk, and the craven puppet state behavior of "our partners" in serving as US mercenaries is what puts their troops at risk."Posted by Paul Craig Roberts. WikiLeaks’ release of the Afghan War Documents "puts the lives of our soldiers and our coalition partners at risk." New information on U.S. military manufactured illegal war and death struggle with itself.  91,000 pages of high security military documents is not new information, merely a deception for very old toxic barbarism. The entire global masses of citizenry are now witness to this hyper self destruction and in fact are the main recipients of this systematic double speak.  An extreme toxic and pervasive odor of genocide filtered in the Zionist controlled media as a pretext to invade all of Asia through Pakistan.  So in effect everything streaming from wikileaks is filtered to the mainstream media American press prohibiting Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Expression.  http://wikileaks.org/ 
Oliver Stone article on Sunday relating to Zionist control of America.  Oliver Stone: "Jewish control of the media is preventing free Holocaust debate." Outspoken Hollywood director says new film aims to put Adolf Hitler, who he has called an ‘easy scapegoat’ in the past, in his due historical context.....Everyone is cognizant, that lazy intellect Hollywood repeats this particular senario operating "a worn out a three day old shirt collar" methodology.  Looking for big money investors for his next film.  What better way than to create controversy to bring in welfare taxpayer big money from the supreme Wall Street leeches and parasites. Reptitive and extremely boring methodology, to bankroll and have Mr. Stone grovel apology. Read Stone's apology and groveling less than 24 hours of his statement  go here.  Zionist media control through the deception that Hitler killed 30 million Russians and deflect historic fact thatBolshevik Wall Street revolution was responsible. Posted by Oliver Stone: Jewish Lobby has distorted United States foreign policy for years
What is this guy on?

Speaking of gibberish in the supposed news media, check out Roger Cohen's latest in the NYT. Evelyn Gordon showed how wrong Cohen's assumptions are, and Fresno Zionism pointed out some other major mistakes Cohen makes.