Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Indian Court To Decide Between Hindu Or Muslim Ownership of Land Where Mosque Stood

This is the kind of case that is likely to cause mass violence no matter how it is decided--and not deciding is probably not an option either.
Authorities in India have tightened security across the country ahead of a court ruling that will decide whether Hindus or Muslims own land around a disputed mosque, the demolition of which in the 1990s led to one of the country's worst riots since independence.

Hoshana Rabbah, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchas Torah--Oh My!

Chag Sameach!

Mahmoud Abbas: Poster Boy For Apartheid!

Elder of Ziyon has another poster.
See also here and here.

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Gaza Tunnels, Once Used To Smuggle In, Now Used For Exporting

According to Reuters, the tunnel trade is doing so bad now that Gaza's troubled tunnel trade swings into reverse:
Business has become so bad for Gaza's smuggler barons since Israel relaxed its blockade that tunnel traders have given up spiriting goods into the enclave, and some have even turned underground exporters.
So what is Gaza able to export?"
"We're exporting raw materials like aluminum, copper, scrap metal, plus eggs, ducks and chickens," said one masked worker who was packing bags for the short trip underground from Rafah to Egypt, which prohibits overt commercial trade with Gaza.
I think it's great that Gaza is able to help out Egypt like this.
Maybe as the demand from Egypt grows, Gaza will be able to organize a flotilla to help them out.

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Video: The Islamization Of London--Much More Than Just Muslims Praying In The Street

The video below from this month is from the English Defence League., which is featured at the end of the video.
Since the video is done by French journalists, the interviews are in English with a voiceover in French with English subtitles.

In one scene, a woman seeking a divorce is being interviewed by an imam--who tells here she probably deserves the beatings she is getting.

The highlight is at about 8:23, where Anjem Choudary, an Islamist extremist whose organization was dismantled for inciting terrorism, gives a class on Islam--and interrupts in the middle to phone in a message to a demonstration in New York to urge them on to jihad.

NGO Monitor: UN Flotilla Report Lacks Credibility and Transparency

Apparently, the only thing transparent about the UN report is its bias.
NGO Monitor Press Release

For Immediate Release
September 29, 2010

Contact: Jason Edelstein, 052-861-2129

UN Flotilla Report Lacks Credibility and Transparency
Human Rights Council Refuses to Disclose Witnesses, NGOs that Contributed to Report

JERUSALEM – The UN Human Rights Council’s (HRC) report on the May 31, 2010 flotilla violence is based on secret and unverifiable allegations, is highly biased, and is therefore no more than hearsay, finds NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research institution. The HRC-appointed “fact-finding mission” submitted the report to the HRC during the Fifteenth Session currently underway in Geneva.

Iran Will Hang Woman Instead Of Stoning Her

The New York Post reports that Iran has a heart: 'Stoning woman' to be hanged instead:
The Iranian woman who became the center of an international outcry after being sentenced to death by stoning for adultery is to be hanged for murdering her husband, local media reported Tuesday.

The new fate planned for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was announced by Iran’s national prosecutor general, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, at a news conference in Tehran Monday.

Updated Version Of The Abbas Apartheid Poster

After verifying the quote, Elder of Ziyon has come up with a revised version of the original poster he made
(Also see latest version here)

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Let's Kidnap Ahmadinejad!

"The year is 1938 and Iran is Germany...When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust, he is preparing a second holocaust against the Jewish people. Believe him and stop him.
Benjamin Netanyahu, 2006

Aluf Benn writes that with Hitler At The Gate, why not kidnap Ahmadinejad--after all, Bibi did call for putting Ahmadinejad on trial in The Hague on charges of incitement to genocide!
Three weeks from now, Netanyahu will have a one-time opportunity to stop the new Hitler and thwart the incitement to genocide. Ahmadinejad will pay his first visit to Lebanon and devote an entire day to a tour of the southern part of that country. He will visit sites where Hezbollah waged battles against Israel and, according to one report, he will also pop over to Fatima Gate, just beyond the border fence at Metula. The route is known, the range is close and it is possible to send a detail across the border to seize the president of Iran and bring him to trial in Israel as an inciter to genocide and Holocaust denier.

The media effect will be dramatic: Ahmadinejad in a glass cage in Jerusalem, with the simultaneous translation earphones, facing grim Israeli judges. In the spirit of the times, it will also be possible to have foreign observers join them (David Trimble of the Turkel commission was a leader of the "try the Iranian president" initiative ).
It does make for a tempting image, doesn't it?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Poster: Stop Abbas And The Implementation Of Palestinian Apartheid

(See the updated version of this poster with source.)

From Elder of Ziyon:

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Looks Like Abbas Gets The Dead Cat This Time Around

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has “managed to leave the dead cat at the doorstep of both the Obama Administration and [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas,” said Aaron David Miller, a former U.S. peace negotiator who is a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Ben Smith, In blame game, arrow tilts to Abbas

Writing about Abbas giving in to pressure and coming to the peace table, Evelyn Gordon notes A Lesson for the Future in Abbas’s Retreat on Refusing to Talk:
[A]fter months of proclaiming that he would not resume talks with Israel without a complete freeze on Israeli construction in both the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has backed down. And this offers a crucial lesson for the future.

“The reason Abbas was willing to move his red line was because he came under intense pressure from the US, certain elements inside the EU, and from Arab states such as Egypt and Jordan to start talks, even though all his conditions were not met,” [Jerusalem Post's Herb] Keinon noted [here]. “The valuable lesson here: The Palestinians, too, and not only Israel, are susceptible to pressure.”

Ahmadinejad Wants To Prove He Was Just A Stone's Throw Away From The Israeli Border

I suppose he'll get a standing ovation for this:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad plans to throw a rock at Israel to demonstrate his hatred on his planned trip to Lebanon, London-based paper Al-Quds al Arabi reported on Tuesday.

It's The Subtle Things The Media Misses

I've blogged before about the TIME Magazine piece on "Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace."

Recall the cover:

Soccer Dad came up with an idea for a better cover.
And now Elder of Ziyon ha improved on it:

Video: Hillel Neuer Blasts Biased UNHRC Report on Gaza Flotilla

Here is an interview with Hillel Neuer of UN Watch with RT, a Russian 24/7 English-language news channel.

From the YouTube page:
Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, told RT that the results of the recent UN report on the flotilla incident were pre-determined.

Fatah-Hamas Reconciliation Talks Going Well

Oh joy.
Ya Libnan is reporting that Hamas, Fatah agreed to continue discussions:
Fatah Secretary in Lebanon Fathi Abu al-Ardat told NBN television on Monday that the Fatah representative in Damascus Azzam al-Ahmad said that most issues have been agreed on with Hamas.

Is J Street Falling From Favor At The White House?

That's the implication of the followup article by Eli Lake, who broke the story about J Street's deception about its connection with George Soros:
The White House appears to be distancing itself from the liberal advocacy group J Street that it once embraced as its envoy to the U.S. Jewish community after disclosures that nearly half the group's funding for 2008 came from a single Hong Kong donor.

White House spokesman Thomas Vietor declined to comment when asked on Monday if the White House would continue its past practice of inviting J Street's leaders to take part in conference calls with senior White House officials and to other White House events, and whether senior Obama administration officials would take part in future J Street conferences.

Video: Star Trek Episode Validated By Actual Alien Visitations During Cold War?

The Telegraph reports that Aliens 'tried to warn US and Russia they were playing with fire during Cold War’:
Aliens have landed, infiltrated British nuclear missile sites and deactivated the weapons, according to US military pilots.

Robert Hastings, a long-time UFO researcher, who collated the information, said at a press conference in Washington that “this planet is being visited by beings from another world who for whatever reason have taken an interest in the nuclear arms race”.

He claimed to have gathered witness testimony from more than 120 military personnel showing infiltration of nuclear sites. Six retired officers and one former NCO spoke of their personal experiences.

In some cases, nuclear missiles supposedly malfunctioned while a disc-shaped object hovered nearby. Although the officers produced fresh affidavits detailing their experiences, the incidents, many of them the 1960s, had previously been publicised by UFO enthusiasts. Some of them were first disclosed decades ago.

Mr Hastings stated that beings from UFOs had also tinkered with Soviet nuclear weapons and speculated that the aliens had been seeking to send “a sign to Washington and Moscow that we are playing with fire”.
Now, if you're a trekkie, tell me if the video below doesn't remind you of this episode of Star Trek!

UN Ambassador To Aliens--A Funny Story Till You Find Out How Iran Is Involved

It was a funny enough story, and various bloggers have been running with the humor in it. The person who has been appointed to be Earth's emissary to any and all alien visitors is Mazlan Othman--a Malaysian astrophysicist who is head of the UN's Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA, also known as OOSA). One would imagine that one of her first jobs would be to revise the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 which UNOOSA oversees. According to the treaty as it is currently formulated, UN members agree to protect Earth against contamination by alien species by "sterilizing" them.

But all kidding aside, Claudia Rosett has a warning about The Dark Side of a UN Envoy for Extraterrestrials:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Challenging Charles Krauthammer On Israel

You’ve missed the boat, Mr. Krauthammer

Arlene Kushner

September 2010

A response to a column by Charles Krauthammer -- “Your move, Mr. Abbas” -- that appeared in the Washington Post on September 10, 2010 and can be found at:

Charles Krauthammer commends President Obama for establishing a final agreement as the goal of Middle East talks. Krauthammer identifies two major stumbling blocks to such a deal: that PA President Mahmoud Abbas lacks a popular consensus, and that he refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. If Abbas had popular backing and the courage to move ahead, Krauthammer says, a settlement would be within reach. After all: “a final peace… remains on the table.”

Krauthammer is correct in his initial, limited assessment of Abbas. However, he then strays far afield, offering unwarranted assumptions and errors of fact:

Krauthammer On Obama--Goes For Abbas Too

Charles Krauthammer on Obama
It's really questionable how a commander-in-chief can increase the number of troops and put them in harm's way in a war he seems only to want an exit.

J Street And Human Rights Watch--Soros's One-Two Anti-Israel Punch

Guess Who?

George Soros has donated money to a large number of groups--which of course is his right. Naturally, it is also right that we should be aware of those causes that rely heavily on Soros's largesse--especially when those groups claim to be independent of outside or foreign influence.

J Street presented itself as representing the authentic voice of American Jews.
We now know that is not true.
There is a similar problem with Human Rights Watch.

The Moratorium Is Over! Now Comes Abbas's Next Demand!!

Arutz Sheva is reporting that with the moratorium on construction having ended at midnight, construction is slowing resuming:
Jewish building teams are or have been at work in only two locations as of now, Monday morning: At Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem and in the city of Ariel.

Video: Why Aren't First Amendment Rights Protected In Detroit The Way They Are At Ground Zero?

As many in the liberal media will tell you, the protest against building the a mosque 2 blocks from Ground Zero doesn't have as much to do with insensitivity towards the family of the victims, or questions about how moderate--or how law abiding--imam Rauf and his friends are. No, the whole issue really boils down to a simple and absolute question of First Amendment rights.

That being the case, I expect that any day now we will hear the outrage reported by Islamist Watch as Christians Preach to Muslims, Get Arrested.

And it's not as if this were a one-time occurrence:

Another Flotilla Leaves Northern Cyprus--Missing The Irony

Here we go again:
A boat carrying Jewish activists from Israel, Germany, the U.S. and Britain set sail on Sunday for Gaza, hoping to breach Israel's blockade there and deliver aid.

Richard Kuper, an organizer with the U.K. group Jews for Justice for Palestinians, said one goal is to show that not all Jews support Israeli policies toward Palestinians.

Kuper said the boat, which set sail from northern Cyprus flying a British flag, won't resist if Israeli authorities try to stop it.
Emanuele Ottolenghi writes about a historical note that apparently has escaped the attention of the organizers of the flotilla:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Video: Two Polish Skinheads Find Out They're Jewish--And Then...

Outside The Beltway has a post about Polish Neo-Nazis Discover That They’re Jewish
This, my friends, is what you call irony:
(Sept. 25) — Two Polish neo-Nazis who were childhood sweethearts and later became skinheads have discovered what for them is a shocking family secret: They’re actually Jewish.
Well, yeah--that is ironic. But the problem is that while OTB stops here, there actually is more to the story:

Hey Ahmadinejad, Here's Another Theory For You To Consider

I've written before about Ahmadinejad's ramblings about 9/11. Apparently he liked his ideas so much, Ahmadinejad brought them to the UN:

Another Mosque Burned Down By Muslims

Here's a rundown of the most recent cases.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights recently noted the arson attack on the Crazy Water Park in Gaza, and gave a list of what was destroyed:
1) (Al-Safeena) building, consisting of 3 floors on an area of 250 m². It includes the administration and the restaurant;
2) Accounting and warehouses building, on an area of 140 m²;
3) Al-Badiya section, which includes works of the Palestinian heritage, in addition to two mosques for men and women on an area of 300 m²; and
4) Narjila (Hubly bubbly) room.
Before that, in Lebanon there was a confrontation in August between Hezbollah and Al Ahbash:

Next Time, Maybe Obama Should Not Address The UN On Sukkot

I noted earlier that Obama had addressed the UN General Assembly on Thursday. It appears the fact that Obama addressed the UN on Sukkot almost caused problems between Israel and the US:
As Obama spoke about the importance of supporting U.S.-brokered peace talks, television cameras panned to empty chairs at Israel's U.N. desk.

Speculation immediately spread across Internet sites and among arm-chair analysts about whether Israel was snubbing Obama and boycotting his speech. Israel has been resisting mounting international pressure to extend the partial moratorium, which is set to expire Sunday. Palestinians have threatened to quit peace talks if construction resumes, though they've also hinted in recent days that they are open to a compromise.

Looks Like Obama Has Finally Brushed Up On His Jewish History

It seems that somebody may have finally clued Obama in to the fact that Jews in Israel is not a modern phenomenon that started after the Holocaust.

In his remarks to the UN General Assembly on September 23, Obama said:
Israel is a sovereign state, and the historic homeland of the Jewish people. It should be clear to all that efforts to chip away at Israel’s legitimacy will only be met by the unshakeable opposition of the United States. And efforts to threaten or kill Israelis will do nothing to help the Palestinian people. The slaughter of innocent Israelis is not resistance -- it’s injustice. And make no mistake: The courage of a man like President Abbas, who stands up for his people in front of the world under very difficult circumstances, is far greater than those who fire rockets at innocent women and children.[emphasis added]
Aside from his warning about delegitimizing Israel, Obama's remarks are a vast improvement on his previous remarks about the history of Jews and Israel.

Video: From Latma--Shlomit's Sukkah Has Destroyed Peace

From Latma.
Two segments--
  • The first gives a history lesson on how Winston Churchill forced WWII against a peace-seeking Adolf Hitler
  • The second segment is a song on how building a sukkah is the cause for a lack of peace in the Middle East--illustrating how ludicrous it is to blame the settlements for the lack of peace in view of the terrorists and terrorist-enablers who abound there.

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Beware The Mark Of Soros! Soros And J Street From The Beginning

Soccer Dad reminds me that I started posting about Soros and J Street before there even was a J Street--back in November 2006: A Kinder, Gentler Alternative To AIPAC?:
A kinder, gentler alternative to AIPAC may be in the works.

On board with this is George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist and major contributor to, who sent a top staffer to a meeting in September to explore the possibilities, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency:
The September meeting — and other related meetings — focused on how best to press the U.S. Congress and the Bush administration to back greater U.S. engagement toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and how to better represent American Jews who don’t buy into AIPAC’s often hawkish policies.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ahmadinejad's Record Really Is Questionable

Ahmadinejad takes the US--and the world to task:
"The United States' administrations . . . must recognize that Iran is a big power," he said. "Having said that, we consider ourselves to be a human force and a cultural power and hence a friend of other nations. We have never sought to dominate others or to violate the rights of any other country.

"Those who insist on having hostilities with us, kill and destroy the option of friendship with us in the future, which is unfortunate because it is clear the future belongs to Iran and that enmities will be fruitless."
Which is all well and good, but is does leave some questions-like the questions that Karim Sadjadpour has for Ahmadindejad. Here are a few:
• According to human-rights organizations including Amnesty International, executions have increased four-fold since you became president in 2005, and Iran now executes more people per capita than any other country in the world. Iran also lifted its moratorium on stoning since you became president. And according to Reporters Without Borders, Iran is now the world's "biggest prison for journalists." Do you take pride in your record?

Closed For Sukkot

Chag Sameach!

Hamas In A Panic Over Being Infiltrated By Israel

And, not surprisingly, Hamas action to catch spies spreads panic in Gaza
A secretive Hamas campaign to catch Palestinians spying for Israel has ensnared some prominent Gaza residents, drawn unusual criticism and highlighted the Islamic militant group's deep fears about being penetrated by agents of the Jewish state.

Though action against accused collaborators is always popular in Gaza and tensions are hardly new in the seaside strip — a crowded and impoverished place that endures a three-year blockade that has kept key supplies scarce and made travel out for most people virtually impossible — this time seems different.

There is widespread shock at some of the well-respected names among those thought to be detained — including two prominent physicians and a respected engineer, alongside members of Hamas itself.

...Hamas feels "the government has been completely infiltrated, that Israel knows more about Hamas than what they know of themselves," [political scientist Mukheimar] Abu Sada said.
There is nothing quite like a paranoid terrorist group. I imagine that Hamas is following up every possible lead.
(I wonder if they've heard the rumor about Khalid Meshal and Ismail Haniyeh being double agents...?)

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It's About Time For Great Britain's 'Operation Embarrass' To Live Up To Its Name

In an exclusive article for the Daily Beast, Andrew Roberts writes that from 1946-1948, WW2 Britain Blew Up Jewish Refugee Ships:
A new book uncovers shocking secret attacks launched on ships bearing Holocaust survivors en route to Israel. Andrew Roberts on the violent lengths to which post-war Britain went to appease oil-rich Arab states.

After Taking The Tour, Karl Vick Is Back

Yesterday, in Karl Vick Takes The Tour, I wrote about how the journalist who wrote the Time magazine articleWhy Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace, was invited to take a tour of the settlements.

A day later, we see the result in his new article Despite Peace Talks, Israel's Settlers Are Dug In. It may not be a glowing tribute, but it is balanced:

Is Americans For Peace Now “Facts on the Ground” For iPhone APPropriate?

Alex Margolin from HonestReporting writes that iPhone Apps Enter Mideast Political Battlefield:
This week, the Americans for Peace Now (APN) launched their “Facts on the Ground” app designed to allow people to track settlement activity through their mobile phones.

The app consists of a map of the West Bank with dots identifying Jewish communities in the region. When a user clicks on a dot, the app shows a wide range of information about the community, including when it was established and how much “private Palestinian land” it takes up.
APN intends to make this app as real-time as possible, with information not only about the settlements themselves, but also on incidents that break out there between Israelis and Arabs.

Margolin raises 2 issues:
1. How democratic can app can be when it's created by a group attempting to influence politics in Israel? The timing of the app’s launch – the same week Israel’s West Bank settlement freeze is due to expire – points to APN's political ambitions. While it may strive to provide “facts on the ground,” APN is limited by its own perspective on the issue, which does not represent the consensus opinion in Israel.

2. How will Peace Now’s opponents respond? Wired magazine noted, in its own coverage of the new application, that Israel has a poor record spreading its message through apps.
Margolin adds that:
social media is not like the mainstream media. It cannot be pressured to provide balanced coverage of an issue.
This is reminiscent of the issues with Google Earth--not in terms of providing aid to terrorists, but rather the 'facts' it claimed to provide on the names and background of cities.

Back in June 2008, Andre Oboler noted:
o Virtual Israel, as represented by Google Earth, is littered with orange dots, many of which claim to represent "Palestinian localities evacuated and destroyed after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war." Thus, Israel is depicted as a state born out of colonial conquest rather than the return of a people from exile. Each dot links to the "Palestine Remembered" site, where further information advancing this narrative can be obtained.

o Many of the claims staked out in Google Earth present misinformation, and sites known to be ruins in 1946 are claimed to be villages destroyed in 1948. Arab villages which still exist today are listed as sites of destruction. The Google Earth initiative is not only creating a virtual Palestine, it is creating a falsification of history.
Later that year, in reaction to criticism, Google made some corrections:
Now Google has rolled out the new "Places" layer, which aggregates information from several sources, including Wikipedia, YouTube, the picture site Panoramio and the original Google Earth Community to present a richer multimedia layer over satellite maps worldwide.

Key to the new layer are special algorithms that corroborate information received through one source with the other sources. According to a company statement, this will make "it easier for users to learn about a given place through photos, videos, and annotations contributed by users around the world."

But it will also allow Google Earth to automatically corroborate any information received from users before displaying it on the default layer. Only information appearing in more than a single source will be displayed in this layer.[emphasis added]
Google, in the interests of accuracy, required corroboration before just allowing information.

To the degree that Google may have been pressured into doing what only makes sense, keep in mind that Google was providing a product and was therefore more sensitive to public perception. The same cannot be said for APN which is clearly out to pursue--and press--an agenda, creating facts in the ether instead of facts on the ground.

The only remaining question is what will now be done to counter the APN propaganda.

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Turns Out Fayyad Is Not A 'People' Person

You say eether and I say eyether,
You say neether and I say nyther;
Eether, eyether, neether, nyther,
Let's call the whole thing off!
Fred Astaire, Let's Call The Whole Thing Off

Well, this isn't going well at all--is it?
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad angrily left a UN Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee meeting and canceled a scheduled subsequent press conference with Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon in New York on Tuesday, after Ayalon refused to approve a summary of the meeting which said "two states" but did not include the words "two states for two peoples."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Some Ideas On Stopping The Flotillas

In the old world, in the old times, if such an incident were to take place, wars would follow," Gul said in an interview with The Associated Press from New York. "But in our world today, it is international law that has to be taken into consideration."
Turkish President Abdullah Gul, on the Mavi Marmara incident

But we live not in the old world but in the 21st century--and thanks to Emanuel A. Winston,
Middle East Analyst & Commentator, we have another way of dealing with future flotillas:

Karl Vick Takes The Tour

Karl Vick, author of the Time magazine article “Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace", was recently invited by the Shomron Regional Council to see the area for himself:
The day started out with a visit to the residential community of Beruchin, the town of 100 families inexplicably called an "unauthorized outpost" in the 2005 report prepared for the Prime Minister Ariel Sharon by Dalia Sasson, Vick saw for himself the tens of permanent homes and the town's infrastructure built with government aid, the government authorized connection to Israel's electricity grid and water system that characterize the town that was later termed "unauthorized".

HonestReportingCanada Gets Repulsive Poll Removed

Yesterday Q107, a classic rock radio station in Toronto, featured the following survey on its website regarding the investigation into what happened aboard the Mavi Marmara during the Gaza Flotilla:

Ahmadinejad: Testing, Testing, 1-2-3

Aljazeera is reporting on Ahmadinejad's speech to the General Assembly--at least they think it was his speech:
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has addressed the General Assembly on the second day of the UN's millennium development goals summit. But it is not what he said on Tuesday that has made the news but what happened during the simultaneous translation of his speech, which has caused controversy.

Right from the start, his speech was overshadowed by technical problems, as the president was heard saying: "there's no translation." And these problems continued to cause confusion two minutes into his speech. All this was followed by an ominous announcement: "The interpreters would like to state that they are reading from a written text translated into English." With that, the translation stopped altogether.

Despite all the technical issues, Ahmadinejad managed to communicate his message that there is a need for an overhaul of what he called "undemocratic and unjust" global decision-making bodies.

The much anticipated speech has now left many wondering what actually went wrong as the Iranian president's speech ended the same way as it had started, without any translation.
No doubt a Mossad plot.
In any case, I imagine we can imagine what he said--even without a translation.

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Did Bush Say He'd Take In 100,000 Refugees?

Two days ago, Olmert came out with the following:
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that the Bush administration had assured him that the United States would be willing to absorb some 100,000 Palestinian refugees immediately as American citizens, should Israel reach a permanent settlement with the Palestinian Authority.

The former premier told a Geneva Initiative conference in Tel Aviv that during negotiations with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2008 he had offered a solution to the refugee problem that would have been in line with the Arab League peace plan and promised that any measures would be the result of a coordinated agreement.
Now, Former National Security Council member Elliot Abrams is saying that it couldn't be:

I Don't Know, Some Might See Abbas Being Out Of Power As Being A Problem

I wrote yesterday about the fact that Abbas has postponed the elections for his position as President for almost 2 years now. As a result, for all the fanfare the Obama administration is lavishing over Abbas, the fact remains that he lacks any real authority (or respect) not only internally inside the West Bank--not to mention in Gaza--but also and externally in the Arab world.

And yet Obama continues this charade, dragging out Abbas as both a moderate and a peace partner, and talking about how the Arab world needs to work with him.

Addressing this obvious hole in Obama's peace talks, Michael Totten writes about Why Mahmoud Abbas Cannot Make Peace:

Dictating To The Media: Libel Tourism Abroad--And Journalist 'Training' At Home

We don’t need your money; we need big ads retracting the story.
Rachel Ehrenfeld, quoting Saudi prince on libel tourism

Here is a video produced by the Moving Picture Institute on what has become known as libel tourism [see New York Sun: Libel Suit Leads to Destruction of Books]. It shows how Saudi billionaire Khalid Bin Mafhouz exploited the British legal system and sued for libel whenever he was accused of involvement in terrorism.

The video explains how this time Mahfouz filed a libel suit against Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of the book Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed -- and How to Stop It. In Ehrenfeld's case, the suit was not filed in the United States, where the book was published and sold, but instead in London, where Mahfouz associates ordered 23 copies online. The judge ordered all copies of the book pulped, and ordered Ehrenfeld to pay the legal fees and damages, despite the fact that nothing in her book about Saudi funding of terrorism was ever disproved.

Her experience led to the passing of the New York State “Libel Terrorism Protection Act”[PDF] (also known as “Rachel’s Law”)--and later the SPEECH (Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage) Act, HR 2765, which was signed into law in August.

In a phone interview, Jennifer Rubin asked Ehrenfeld about the broader implications:

The Next Israel-Hezbollah War--And What It May Look Like

Jeffrey White of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy has come out with a new report If War Comes: Israel vs. Hizballah and Its Allies

At a luncheon White discussed his paper and outlined the different nature of such a war in terms of strategy and the players who may be drawn into it:
...All potential participants have been preparing for war. Israel is preparing its ground forces for action in Lebanon, bolstering its intelligence apparatus, and strengthening its defenses against expected strikes by Hizballah rockets and missiles. In a conflict, Israel's strategy will be essentially offensive, with its ground forces likely crossing the Litani River and driving into the Beqa Valley, its air force conducting offensive operations over Lebanon and probably Syria, and its navy operating aggressively off the coast of Lebanon. And while the Israeli military will take measures to reduce civilian losses, Hizballah's defensive concept and the nature of the fighting will result in civilian casualties among the Lebanese population.

Will Abbas And Fayyad Be Asked Any Of These Questions?

In an op-ed in today's Arutz Sheva, David Bedein--director of the Israel Resource News Agency & The Center for Near East Policy Research Ltd--has a few questions for Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad:
-Will you arrange for revisions -- beginning immediately -- of official Palestinian Authority textbooks, so that:
All praise of the armed struggle ("Jihad") and all praise of Palestinian terrorists ("martyrs") is removed.

Israeli cities such as Tiberias, Acre, Haifa and Tzfat are identified as such, rather than as Palestinian

All maps identify Israel as such, at least within the Green Line?

Fasten Your Seat Belts--Here Comes Sukkot!

Hat tip: Muqata:

I work for a Jewish company. I remember a number of years ago when a non-Jewish woman was hired in September, people explained to her about the days she would be off. She probably thought she had the greatest job in the world--until she found out that it changes from year to year.

(And don't forget--it's a Three.Day.Yom Tov!)

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Who Cares That 500 Academics Endorse A Boycott Of Israel?

Academic: marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning especially its trivial aspects

Just how much weight should we give to something like this?
Over 500 academics endorse boycott of Israel

The call was dismissed as having little to no significance and was reflected in the statement from Gerald Steinberg. For Steinberg and others, the power of an academic and cultural boycott would be achieved with a critical mass of 500 endorsers.

The US Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) has reached that critical number. Endorsements by US academics and scholars recently crossed 500, and there are now 150 cultural workers who have also endorsed USACBI!

This is a major victory for the growing academic and cultural boycott of Israel, and for the movement for justice and equality in Israel, as defenders of the status quo in Israel have repeatedly observed that the legitimacy of the state of Israel in the global court of public opinion is threatened by the boycott movement.
Obviously the person who wrote this thought that a lot of weight should be given to this.
But why?

Israel: Not SO Isolated

Efraim Inbar, professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University and director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, asks Is Israel More Isolated than Ever?

And he comes to the conclusion that it is not.

While it is true that back in 1973, Israel was faced with a number of countries that severed relations--since 1991, diplomatic relations have turned around and in fact countries have established or upgraded their relations with Israel:

From YU: Sukkot To-Go 5771

Here are links to the shiurim available on Sukkot--from both this year and past years.
Chag Sameach!
Individual Articles download
Individual Articles download
Individual Articles download
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Today In The Huffington Post Monitor

One of the things I enjoy reading in the The Huffington Post Monitor, is the way they address the comments people leave in the Huffington Post.

Today, there are 3 comments they address today in 2 posts.

This one is from Comment of the Day

These 2 are from The Representation Two-Step

Go take a look.

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Jonathan Pollard's Reaction To Being Freed In Return For A Moratorium Extension

Yesterday, I posted about word that there is talk of a possible deal where Jonathan Pollard will be released in return for a 3-month extension of the settlement moratorium.

The question posed was to what extent is Obama willing to sacrifice in the interests of peace.

Another question, of course, is whether Jonathan Pollard himself would go along with the idea.

Today, on the Justice For Jonathan Pollard website there is a new page dedicated to the Proposal to Free Pollard for 3-Month Extension of Building Freeze. The page features some of what has been written so far about a possible deal. And at the top of the page is the following disclaimer:

Peace Partners To Die For

"The PLO's representative in Lebanon, Ambassador Abdullah Abdullah, emphasized yesterday that the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, which have started in Washington, are not a goal, but rather another stage in the Palestinian struggle... He believes that Israel will not be dealt a knock-out defeat, but rather an accumulation of Palestinian achievements and struggles, as happened in South Africa, to isolate Israel, to tighten the noose on it, to threaten its legitimacy, and to present it as a rebellious, racist state. He noted that Israel faces international isolation with doubt cast on its legitimacy, because of its actions and the war crimes which it has carried out. He added, 'Many Israelis in senior positions are afraid to travel to European countries lest they be put on trial for their crimes.'"
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 9, 2010--translated by Palestinian Media Watch

Remember, this was reported in Palestinian Authority official daily, which has no problem spreading this sentiment around the West Bank--regardless of the peace talks.

So why does this kind of stuff go on in the media in the West Bank, albeit in Arabic, knowing that there are groups like Palestinian Media Watch that will translate it and make it available?

Confusion Over "New" NIF Grant Guidelines

The press release is the followup to: New NIF Guideline Recognizes Right To A Jewish State

Press Releases
Confusion Over "New" NIF Grant Guidelines
NGO Monitor
September 20, 2010

Unclear Whether Organization Changing Policy
Towards Groups that De-legitimize Israel

Jerusalem – Retractions, multiple messages, and overall confusion followed reports yesterday that the New Israel Fund (NIF) had adopted new grant guidelines stipulating that grantees will no longer be able to “deny the right of the Jewish people to sovereign self-determination within Israel,” notes NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research institution.

In response to the initial report of new guidelines, NGO Monitor said that “NIF leadership is taking an important step by agreeing to adopt the substance of NGO Monitor’s ethical guidelines for funding political NGOs.”

“NIF is now sending mixed signals regarding these reported new guidelines,” says Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “We do not know whether these are old or new guidelines, or how they will be implemented. NIF clearly is having an internal debate about whether to continue funding groups that de-legitimize and demonize Israel. This is an important debate, but it is muddied with unclear messages.”

JTA reported that NIF director Daniel Sokatch last week said that the guidelines’ language “would prohibit proposals for a binational constitution of the kind that two NIF grantees submitted several years ago.” The grantees in question, Adalah and Mossawa, co-wrote a manifesto in 2007 calling for Israel to abandon its definition as a Jewish state. Mada al-Carmel’s Haifa Declaration is similar. However, Itzik Shanan, the NIF’s director of communications, said that no changes to grant guidelines will be implemented. This was followed by Israeli NIF head Rachel Liel today on Israeli radio station “Reshet Bet” saying that NIF will not fund groups that act against Israel’s existence as a Jewish democratic state.

“If NIF is serious about funding transparency and severing ties with groups that de-legitimize Israel, then it is on the same page as NGO Monitor,” Steinberg added. “We expect NIF to implement these changes, and to clarify how and when the new grant guidelines will be enforced. NGO Monitor is prepared to work with NIF and its donors in the implementation of guidelines.”

NGO Monitor’s report on NIF grantees: NIF Has Crossed the Line, May 14, 2010
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New NIF Guideline Recognizes Right To A Jewish State

Note: see the followup press release--Confusion Over "New" NIF Grant Guidelines
For Immediate Release
September 19, 2010

Contact: Jason Edelstein, 052-861-2129

New NIF Guidelines a Positive Change
NIF Adopts Guidelines Recommended by NGO Monitor

Jerusalem - As part of revisions to their guidelines, New Israel Fund (NIF) grantees will no longer be able to “deny the right of the Jewish people to sovereign self-determination within Israel,” notes NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research institution.

The Palestinian Human Rights T-Shirt--From Elder Of Ziyon

Just remember: years from now, when bloggers start coming out with their own line of designer clothes--Elder of Ziyon was the first!

In response to this T-Shirt from the Free Gaza Movement:

Elder of Ziyon has come out with a design of his own, available from CafePress:

Abbas Threatens To Quit Post He No Longer Holds

Nothing unusual about this:
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is once again threatening to resign – this time if the direct peace talks fail, a senior PA official said over the weekend.

Despite Abbas’s latest threats, the PLO and Fatah have yet to start searching for a replacement, the official said.
Of course they haven't started looking for a replacement for Abbas. After all, Abbas has threatened to resign before--many, many, many times before:

Video: "Educational" Field Trip To Mosque Ends Up With Students Joining In Prayer

From the YouTube page:
In late May of 2010, Wellesley, Massachusetts public middle school students took a field trip to the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center - a controversial Saudi-funded mega-mosque run by the Muslim American Society of Bostn. There, the students were separated by gender and the boys were asked to join the Muslim adults in their prayer. Several of the public school boys took part.

The school has since apologized for the incident:
Wellesley School Superintendent Bella Wong has issued an apology for the incident, in which she stated as follows.
"It was not the intent for students to be able to participate in any of the religious practices," Wong said. “The fact that any students were allowed to do so in this case was an error."
The video was made by Americans for Peace and Tolerance--see their website here.

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Unidentified Gunmen Burn Gaza's Crazy Water Park To The Ground--Including 2 Mosques

From the Jerusalem Post:
Unidentified gunmen set fire Sunday to the Crazy Water Park, one of the Gaza Strip’s most popular entertainment sites.

Eyewitnesses said that at least 25 men participated in the predawn attack. The gunmen beat the two night watchmen, bound their hands and confiscated their mobile phones before setting the complex on fire, they said.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Who Will Make The Case For The Muslim Right Of Return--To India?

At a time when rhetoric takes precedence over history, and cries for justice drown out calls for reason, it seems pretty pointless to remind people of the larger context of the calls for a Palestinian Right of Return--but here goes.

Historian Professor William Rubinstein has a guest post on the Daphne Anson blog, where he provides a historical overview of how the rest of the world deals with partitions and population transfers. For example:

Is OBAMA Ready To Make A Sacrifice For Peace? Release Jonathan Pollard!

Hat tip to Israel Matzav, who notes the following from IMRA:
IMRA understands that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would have no problem getting his cabinet to approve a three month extension of the settlement construction freeze in exchange for the release of Jonathan Pollard. Just as important - if not more - none of the parties in the ruling coalition are expected to threaten to leave the government in the event that such a deal is implemented.

Someone's Calculated The Bill For Creating A Palestinian State--Dutch Treat Anyone?

Elder of Ziyon has noted the progress made in the West Bank to the extent that PA ready to become a (welfare) state--based on a report from Bloomberg:
The Palestinian Authority is “well-positioned” to establish a state, though it remains donor dependent and economic growth is unsustainable, the World Bank said.

“If the Palestinian Authority maintains its current performance in institution-building and delivery of public services, it is well-positioned for the establishment of a state,” the World Bank said in a report to donor countries. “Sustainable economic growth in the West Bank and Gaza, however, remains absent.”

The West Bank and Gaza economies are heading for 8 percent growth this year, up from 7.2 percent in the West Bank in 2009 and 5.4 percent in Gaza, Oussama Kanaan, the head of the International Monetary Fund’s mission to the area said on Sept. 14. While some of the growth is due to improved investor confidence and the partial easing of restrictions by Israel, the main driver remains foreign donations, the World Bank said in its report.
So how much in foreign funding will it take to see the PA through to the end of the year?

Videos: Can You Tell Which Of These Palestinians Are Israel's Peace Partners?

Is it Saeb Erekat?

Or is it these guys?

Video: Latma--Peace Now With Iran & Sorry Song

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Book By Former Confidant For Eshkol, Rabin, Golda Meir, and Begin

[A]t a White House banquet, Avner’s lavish kosher meal created such a stir with his table companions that across the room President Gerald Ford wondered what was going on. It was Avner’s birthday, explained Prime Minister Rabin. Accordingly, the U.S. commander-in-chief led the entire banquet hall in a chorus of “Happy birthday, Yeduha,” unaware that Avner’s name had been misspelled on his place card. Afterward, Rabin explained to Avner that he had no choice but to fabricate the story about his birthday. Otherwise, he tells him, “there’d be a headline in the newspapers that you ate kosher and I didn’t, and the religious parties will bolt the coalition, and I’ll have a government crisis on my hands.”
Lee Smith, recounting an episode in Yehuda Avner's book The Prime Ministers

The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership is a new book by Yehuda Avner, who served under various capacities for Levi Eshkol, Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir, and Menachem Begin. Lee Smith reviews the book and notes that Begin in particular tends to dominate, even in the retelling of events when he was not the prime minister.

Smith, who spoke to Avner about his book writes:
“He [Begin] was a quintessential Jew,” said Avner, who, as he explains, had not been a Begin supporter until then. “For years the word ‘terrorist’ clung to him,” Avner told me, “and when he was elected in 1977 he was described in many a corridor of power as a ‘warmonger.’ Nevertheless, it was he who won the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the peace with Egypt. Upon election he asked me to stay on working with him as an adviser, and I was hesitant at first. I asked him for time to think it over, and he said, ‘You want to speak to Rabin don’t you?’ Yes, I told him. So I called Rabin and he said, ‘Take the job, Begin is an honest and responsible man. He’s your kind of Jew, observant.’ Before Begin, all of Israel’s leaders were diehard socialists. It was unheard of before him, for example, that a dinner at the White House would be kosher. After him, all White House dinners for visiting Israeli prime ministers are kosher.”

...“What opened my heart was the man himself,” Avner said. “His nobility stretched into the small things. I was recently telling Natan Sharansky something about Begin, which he didn’t know and which brought tears to his eyes. When Sharansky was imprisoned in the Soviet Union, his wife, Avital, received a government stipend to make phone calls to Moscow each week to keep the campaign for his freedom alive, but some bureaucrat told her she was overstepping her budget. When Begin heard about this, he instructed that all of these bills should come to him, and he would pay for them out of his own pocket.”
Read the whole thing.

Yaacov Lozowick, where I found about about Lee Smith's article, writes that The Prime Ministers is "yet another book we've got to read, I guess."

Sounds like it.

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Video: IDF Band Playing In Moscow's Red Square

They get a good response from the crowd.

I was surprised that their selection included 2 songs from Fiddler On The Roof, but then again, I suppose there might be a bit of a Russian tune to them.

Hat tip: BW

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Abbas Admitted To Dennis Ross What We Already Know

Writing about the Mideast peace talks, Rick Richman notes:
Near the end of his 800-page book on The Missing Peace, in a chapter entitled “Learning the Lessons of the Past,” Dennis Ross wrote that:
Whenever my exasperation with Arafat was reaching its limits, [Mahmoud Abbas], Abu Ala, or [others] … would remind me that only Arafat had the moral authority among Palestinians to compromise on Jerusalem, refugees, and borders. … “Remember, he is the only one who can concede on fundamental issues.” Often [Abbas] … or other Palestinian negotiators would tell me, “You prefer dealing with us because you see us as more moderate, but we cannot deliver, only he can.” [emphasis added]
Read the whole thing.

Considering that it was not so clear that even Arafat could deliver on any kind of compromise, it is not surprising that Abbas had difficulty even delivering on showing up.

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Has Sharia-Creep In UK Finally Met Its Match: Animal Rights Activists!

The Daily Mail is in a tizzy:
A Mail on Sunday investigation – which will alarm anyone concerned about animal cruelty – has revealed that schools, hospitals, pubs and famous sporting venues such as Ascot and Twickenham are controversially serving up meat slaughtered in accordance with strict Islamic law to unwitting members of the public.

Three Palestinian Leaders Back Out Of Peace Partner Videos

You can imagine how they feel about the peace talks.

I've been thinking about my last post, If Europe Is So Eager To Support Peace Groups In Israel, Why Does It Support Incitement In The West Bank?

There really is a huge discrepancy between the nature of the funding for 'peace initiatives' by third party groups in Israel and the West Bank. The fact that--as noted in the Wall Street Journal article about Funding Palestinian Incitement--European funding goes toward activities that discourage reconciliation with Israel and increase hatred, brings up the question:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Gmar Chatima Tova

Gmar Chatima Tovah

Wishing a Gbentched Yor--A Year of Blessing--To All