Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Erez Levanon: Father of Three Murdered While Praying

Israellycool's Aussie Dave covers this heartbreaking news better than anyone here.

Digg his article to highlight its importance.

It will come as no surprise to neoZionoid readers that the ABC's Middle East section of the news website has no mention of it.

Not even a line tucked away obscurely in an article about Israeli soldiers.


Israel's Acting President a Druze Arab

An interesting development:

Israel will appoint its first acting Druze president this week, to replace incumbent Dalia Itzik who leaves for a week-long visit to the United States, the Yediot Ahronot daily reported Sunday.

Majali Wahabe, from the ruling Kadima party, will also serve as Acting Knesset Speaker during Itzik's absence, which begins on Tuesday.

Under Israeli law, the Knesset speaker becomes acting president, if the incumbent is absent.

Another example of Israel's diversity and successful integration of minorities.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Is This the Future of Jewish-Muslim Relations?

From the UK, an incredible success story, as reported in the UK's Independent:

The Jewish school where half the pupils are Muslim

King David, in Birmingham, is a state primary where the children learn Hebrew, recite Jewish prayers, eat kosher food and wave Israeli flags. So how come the majority of pupils are followers of Islam?

... half the 247 pupils at the 40-year-old local authority-supported school are Muslim, and apparently the Muslim parents go through all sorts of hoops, including moving into the school's catchment area, to get their children into King David to learn Hebrew, wave Israeli flags on independence day and hang out with the people some would have us believe that they hate more than anyone in the world.
Read the fascinating article in full here.

In some ways, this is no different from Israel, the Jewish State that has over one million Muslim Arabs among its six million population.

Two examples proving the point that - provided they are willing to do so - Muslims have no problems or impediments to living happily within a Jewish environment.

(Hat tip: Fiorelli)

Diggheads and How to Identify Them

Little Green Footballs (LGF) is one of the best blogs on the Internet. Not necessarily due to its opinions - which people may or may not agree with - but in terms of its transparency.

Digg is arguably the most popular social bookmarking website on the Internet.

A recent article called Mob Rule at Digg highlighted how Digg is being exploited by those who have differing political views to LGF's Charles Johnson:

Somehow, I don’t think the “social bookmarking” model is supposed to operate like this. The idea behind an ostensibly non-partisan site like Digg.com is that people submit links to interesting things, and other people rate the links, so that interesting stuff gets more votes and rises to the top.

But at Digg, this utopian web fantasy has turned into a system of mob rule.

Case in point, our post today about the ACLU’s newest attempt to get Islamist spokesman Tariq Ramadan into the US: Digg - ACLU: US Can’t Bar Terrorism Supporters.

As soon as this post was “made popular” (received enough votes to get listed on the front page), leftist Digg readers swarmed all over it, clicking the “bury” button like busy little progressive beavers. They also voted against almost every supporting comment, so that they disappeared from the list.

They’re doing this with every LGF post that shows up at Digg now, and the swarm is almost instantaneous. If one of our posts gets to the front page, it’s buried within minutes.

It’s a leftist totalitarian dreamworld. They simply exclude any and all points of view that violate the groupthink—and call it “democracy.”
The concept of "burying" seems inferior to the concept of "adding comments", because the former is about stifling information discovery and dialogue, whereas the latter is about enhancing it.

Those that actively exploit Digg to stifle or restrict online information discovery and dialogue for the purpose of pushing their own agenda are henceforth known as diggheads.

No system like this is free from exploitation and arbitrage. It is better to shine a light on it rather than try suppress it.

Therefore three suggestions are proposed:
  1. There should be a list of articles that have the most number of "diggs" and "buries" in total. Volume implies interest, whether positive or negative,
  2. There should be a list of people who do the most burying, along with the list of articles that they bury, and
  3. There should be some visual representation highlighting groups of people and the sets of articles that they bury. Given Digg's impressive tools, this should not be too difficult to develop.
All three suggestions do nothing to restrict information. On the contrary they increase information. In this case, information that can identify diggheads.

News That's Fit for ABC to Omit

As discussed before, the ABC's Middle East Conflict section of their news website claims to have 'complete coverage of the crisis in the Middle East'.

That sentence seems to be correct only if one adds the following words: 'that fits our narrative'.

Case in point from this Jerusalem Post article:

Troops from the Nahal Brigade's elite Reconnaissance Battalion uncovered a bomb-making laboratory in Nablus on Saturday.

According to the Central Command, troops have discovered eight "terror labs" in the city since the beginning of the year. The soldiers clashed with Palestinian gunmen during the early-morning raid.

Officers said five pipe bombs, two gas canisters, scrap metal used in bombs, and large quantities of explosives were found in the lab. The sources believe the lab belonged to Islamic Jihad, which has been responsible for most terrorist attacks originating in northern Samaria recently. On Wednesday, a would-be Islamic Jihad suicide bomber was caught in an apartment in Bat Yam, south of Tel Aviv, after entering Israel from northern Samaria.

As an aside, Jimmy Carter's Apartheid Wall played a successful role in reducing the chances of the 'successful' terrorist act. Pre-separation fence, the terrorist could reach Tel Aviv in the order of minutes. Now, it is in the order of hours or days, as the terrorists have to take a huge detour. The window of opportunity for actionable intelligence increased exponentially. And with it, the success rate of preventing mass casualties of Israeli civilians. Israeli civilians that are Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Druze, Circassian, Bahai or any other religion or creed for that matter that live freely in Israel.

Back to the ABC. Browse the articles on the ABC Middle East section over the last week:
Revenge attacks kills 3 in Gaza Strip
Three Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip in clashes between supporters of the rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas.

Israeli forces kill Islamic Jihad leader
Israeli undercover forces killed an Islamic Jihad commander today, a day after a Palestinian suicide bomber he had sent to Israel was captured by police near Tel Aviv.

Israeli civilian murdered in West Bank
Police say an Israeli truck driver has been killed inside a Palestinian village in the West Bank.

Rice holds Middle East talks
Israeli-Palestinian talks hosted by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have ended with little sign of progress on reviving long-stalled peace moves.

Unity Govt not good enough, Israel says
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni says the unity government deal between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Hamas movement does not satisfy the demands of the international community.
No mention of the bomb-making laboratory.

Certainly no mention there have been eight such laboratories already found in the first two months of this year.

Apparently, no mention of the arrests and prevention of terror attacks in Israel earlier this week. This story does however, appear briefly - buried in the article Israeli forces kill Islamic Jihad leader.

So why does the newsworthy item - the successful discovery and dismantling of weapons of medium-destruction* in the Palestinian Authority controlled city of Nablus - not appear on the ABC News website?

Suggested answer: The combination of
  1. Palestinians with an organised semi-industrial setup producing weapons of medium-destruction
  2. These laboratories - multiple not just one - being run within the PA-controlled areas
  3. Israeli soldiers successfully reducing potential Israeli civilian casualties by dismantling these laboratories
  4. Israeli soldiers not killing anyone in the process
make it un-newsworthy.

* killing scores of Israeli civilians with high-explosives would not be considered by most MSM to be mass destruction

Saturday, February 24, 2007

An Iranian Dissident and the Fall of Regimes

Michael Rubin writes in the Middle East Forum about the Iranian dissident, Mansour Osanlou, who led the 2005 / 6 bus drivers strike in Iran:

On December 22, 2005, several thousand Tehran bus drivers belonging to the Syndicate of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (sharkat-e vahed) went out on strike paralyzing the capital. Their leader, Mansour Osanlou, called the job action to protest government refusal to discuss housing and education benefits, working conditions, and recognition of the union. The strike was the first major independent strike in the Islamic Republic where, since the revolution, the government has served both as the largest employer and the regulator of organized labor representatives.
Osanlou came out second-best:
When Osanlou began organizing Tehran's bus drivers, a pro-government vigilante group affiliated with the officially-sanctioned labor organization attacked him and, while holding him down, severed part of his tongue. How ironic, then, that while Osanlou and his allies refused to be silenced, the White House failed to speak up.
Almost thirty years ago, US President Ronald Reagan, UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II conspired in secret to bring down the Soviet Communist regime.

One of the main tools was to support the Solidarity movement in Poland, a trade-union led by Lech Walesa. Despite intimidation and threats, Walesa and Solidarity stood resolute and did their part in opening cracks in the totalitarian empire.

The overwhelming majority of the Iranian people hate the mad mullahs who rule the country by force and fear.

The country's young disillusioned could erupt and rebel against the totalitarian authorities at any time.

Where are the strong leaders of the free countries lighting the tinder that will start spreading revolutionary fires in Iran?

ABC Spins in Real Time

It could be back on again.

The Palestinian in-fighting between the Islamofascist terrorists (Hamas) and the secular nationalist terrorists (Fatah).

The ABC reports the death of three Palestinians in their Middle East Conflict section (emphasis added):

Three Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip in clashes between supporters of the rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas.

Residents in Khan Younis say a Palestinian from the Islamist Hamas movement was shot and killed by gunmen from a rival clan.

The killing triggered a clash in which a Fatah supporter was killed and a bystander also died in the attack.

There are reports nearly 20 other people have been wounded.

Earlier this month the leaders of Fatah and Hamas met in Mecca and agreed to forge a Palestinian national unity government to end months of violence between them.

But there was always the danger that families on either side might continue to carry out revenge attacks and undermine the new accord.

The most fascinating part of this article is the last sentence.

It is something one might expect from a Palestinian apologist.

But it's not in quotes. It's from the ABC.

And it was posted in real-time along with the news of the deaths.

Saeb Erekat would be proud of this.

Israeli Concessions + Peace = Rejectionism

Saul Singer has written a thought-provoking new opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post called Peace = Capitulation, which seems to turn the usual Middle East rationale upside down (emphasis added):

As hard as it is for us to comprehend, we must accept that in the Arab mind, peace with Israel - far from success - still represents capitulation, humiliation and defeat.


In Western eyes, peace is so obviously desirable that the idea that it could be seen negatively is rarely considered. But try, for a moment, to look at the situation through Arab eyes. Peace would be the ultimate ratification of Israel's existence. It would be seen as an abject surrender to the West's bid to dominate the Arabs.


It may be counterintuitive, but the Palestinians' many allies who think they are promoting peace by vilifying Israel are doing the opposite. The same goes for Western governments who assume that "evenhandedness" advances peace.

The most pro-peace policy is the one that most convinces the Arabs of Israel's permanence. Even the US is far from such a policy, since it will not routinely reject the currently favored back-door means to Israel's destruction, the Palestinian demand for a "right of return" to Israel.

This thinking resonates with that of Daniel Pipes, who at a debate three years ago, said the following with regards to the Oslo process (emphasis added):

... as the Israelis made concessions, gave autonomy, turned over tax revenues, permitted various developments in the Palestinian Authority to take place, Palestinian ambitions against Israel, rather than being tamped down by finding their own satisfaction in their own autonomy and economy and culture and politics, in fact what happened is the Palestinians became more displeased with the continuing existence of Israel. So there was this terrible logic, in that the more that Israel gave the more anger it found directed against it. If there was a cycle of violence, this was it. Israeli concessions led to more rejectionism on the Palestinian part.

I think we need to rethink our understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The general assumption is that this is a conventional conflict, it's about borders, religious sanctities, who lives where, armaments, water, and the like. I would argue to you in reality that this is not a conventional conflict, it is a conflict in which today, as in 1948, the existence of Israel is at stake. The goal therefore of the United States must be to win Palestinian acceptance of Israel.

Putting the two together, for the US to win Palestinian acceptance of Israel requires all parties - the US, the EU, the UN, Israel and the Palestinians - to acknowledge the Palestinians have been defeated.

Who would find this acknowledgement more difficult to stomach: the EU and the UN or the Palestinians?

MSM = Mass Sewerage Media

Arguably, the king of the MSM is Eric Keller, executive editor for New York Times.

The New York Times has been on the receiving end of considerable criticism within the US for their part in Plamegate, the revealing of the NSA terrorist surveillance program and the terrorist finance tracking program.

In a recent interview, Keller took a swipe at bloggers (emphasis added):

Some blogs are pockets of expertise like the one that Dan Rather ran afoul of: somebody who had expertise in typewriter fonts. Some blogs are very, very smart analysts of events. Some are actual witnesses; there are some good bloggers in Iraq, for example, both American military and Iraqis. But most of them are recyclers. They riff on the news, and they tell you what they think of it. Those so-called citizen journalists would be out of business without us, because we supply them with their raw material ...
Bloggers as recyclers is an interesting analogy.

Would that be as in recycled water from the sewerage system?

Now what would that make the raw material supplied by the New York Times?

Friday, February 23, 2007

How to Tell There Will be War in 2007

For this reason:

Defense and security officials: War in 2007 unlikely

Defense and security officials were expected to present to the government on Sunday the annual security assessment, according to which a war in 2007 is unlikely.
That from the Jerusalem Post, which in the same article has the quote of the week:
'Hizbullah has not increased its strength but merely its potential,' said Peretz.

This from the man who Israellycool shows as has having invented night-vision goggles:

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Second Holocaust Countdown: 979 Days

Continuing on the thread from last time, here is an update on the Iranian threat to Israel's existence.

The EU diplomats have opted for the two things it does best: write reports and act defeatist, as reported by the UK's Financial Times:

Iran will be able to develop enough weapons-grade material for a nuclear bomb and there is little that can be done to prevent it, an internal European Union document has concluded.

In an admission of the international community’s failure to hold back Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the document – compiled by the staff of Javier Solana, EU foreign policy chief – says the atomic programme has been delayed only by technical limitations rather than diplomatic pressure. “Attempts to engage the Iranian administration in a negotiating process have not so far succeeded,” it states.
This must really get the Europeans depressed. Not the fact that there will be a nuclear Iran. That the Iranians don't want to negotiate.
The downbeat conclusions of the “reflection paper” – seen by the Financial Times – are certain to be seized on by advocates of military action, who fear that Iran will be able to produce enough fissile material for a bomb over the next two to three years. Tehran insists its purposes are purely peaceful.
Who to believe? Tehran or the advocates of military action?
“At some stage we must expect that Iran will acquire the capacity to enrich uranium on the scale required for a weapons programme,” says the paper, dated February 7 and circulated to the EU’s 27 national governments ahead of a foreign ministers meeting yesterday.

“In practice...the Iranians have pursued their programme at their own pace, the limiting factor being technical difficulties rather than resolutions by the UN or the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Heresy! Surely the UN or IAEA are the answer to global policing?
“The problems with Iran will not be resolved through economic sanctions alone.”
Instead, it's back to the negotiating table, even if the other side of the table has an empty chair.

France's Jacques Chirac wins the quote of the month for January regarding Iran:
I would say that what is dangerous about this situation is not the fact of having a nuclear bomb. Having one or perhaps a second bomb a little later, well, that's not very dangerous.
Chirac has worked out the Iranian hit list is (1) Israel, (2) United States, and (3) Europe. So a maximum of two nuclear bombs is OK.

Elsewhere in Europe, the UK Daily Telegraph's Legal Editor Joshua Rozenberg lists four ways of tackling Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to Irwin Cotler, former attorney general to Canada. To paraphrase, these four ways are:
  1. taking legal action using the international treaty, Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide,
  2. taking legal action through the International Court of Justice,
  3. taking legal action through the International Criminal Court,
  4. taking legal action through a nation's own judicial system.
Not wanting to spoil all of Cotler's legal eggs sitting in the one basket, but what if legal action against a single man doesn't stop the Iranian nuclear program and the mad mullahs in the shadows?

In the same article, Rozenberg quotes Benjamin Netanyahu:
The real danger is that Iran could become one gigantic suicide bomber.
Somehow, the thought of legal action wouldn't appear to phase Ahmadinejad. Bore him perhaps, but not phase him.

Meanwhile, Russia continues to triangulate, as reported in Jerusalem Post:

Russia believes it is "crucial" to have a nuclear-free Iran, Andrey Demidov, currently Russia's top diplomat in Israel, has said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post, distancing Moscow from those saying a nuclear Iran is inevitable.

Crucial enough to have a nuclear-free Iran to provide them with the Bushehr nuclear reactor.

Demidov, Russia's acting ambassador, said Russia did not agree with French President Chirac's comment that one or two nuclear bombs in Iranian hands would not be disastrous.
The difference between France and Russia? France's Chirac doesn't care and is open about it. Russia doesn't care and is duplicitous about it.
"We want Iran to be nuclear-free, and we will work in that direction. Iran is very far away from France, and he [Chirac] can say whatever he wants, he is going to leave [office soon]. But for us it is crucial, important to have a nuclear-free Iran," Demidov said.

"The Americans are trying to change the regime. What if the ayatollahs go, and there is a new shah?" he said. "The shah was very hostile to my country. First of all we want to have a friendly regime in Iran, and secondly we want it to be nuclear-free."
In that order of priority.

Jerusalem Post's Anshel Pfeffer describes the second-order effects of a nuclear Iran. Whether or not Iran has a nuclear weapon, the mere possibility it may have one is enough to cause Israel problems:

To change that, Iran doesn't even need to announce it has a bomb or carry out a nuclear test like North Korea did last year. It would be enough for the Middle East to think that it had the bomb. Iran might even take a page out of Israel's book and develop its own brand of nuclear ambiguity.

An Iranian nuclear umbrella would be spread over its allies and proxies within the range of a Shihab-3 missile. This would embolden all sorts of groups, organizations and countries, radical streams among Israeli Arabs, Hizbullah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Syria and the front movements it has already set up on the Golan border.

Israel's deterrent factor, already damaged in the Lebanon war, would be further downgraded once there was another nuclear power in the region. Hassan Nasrallah would have a much freer hand in trying to overthrow the Lebanese government with the backing of a nuclear Iran. Egypt and Jordan would also be destabilized.

So what's the bad news then?

Surprisingly, good news comes from Caroline Glick in her op-ed piece in Jerusalem Post:
Today positive and negative indicators regarding the nature and outcome of a US confrontation with Iran run together and so forecasting the likely form and outcome of the contest is all but impossible.

On the one hand, the US is beginning to openly target Iranian agents and assets in Iraq. This limited move has been enough to unnerve Iranian leaders who apparently fear that it is but the first step towards an all-out American offensive against Iran.

Their fears are also raised by the US naval buildup in the Persian Gulf, the Iraqi government's announcement that it is sealing its borders with Iran and Syria and the build-up of NATO forces near the Afghan border with Iran.

Economically, the pressure that the US has been exerting on European and Asian oil companies to curtail their operations in Iran is beginning to pay off. Tuesday The New York Times reported that the Iranian economy, which is completely dependent on oil and gas exports, is beginning to show signs of distress. Without foreign assistance, the Iranians cannot long maintain their current export rate or develop their reserve capacity. This shortfall will force the regime to curtail government subsidies of gas and oil prices and so encourage civil unrest.

The regime's fear of unrest grows by the day as the regime itself shows increased signs of disintegration. With the supreme leader Ali Khamenei reportedly suffering from the late stages of cancer, Iran expert Michael Ledeen reported this week that factional fighting for succession between forces loyal to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and forces loyal to former president and leader of the powerful Guardians Council Hashemi Rafsanjani is gaining momentum. The succession battle has engulfed the ayatollahs who are themselves turning against one another.

Furthermore, according to the Iran Press Service, the attack in Baluchistan that killed a dozen Revolutionary Guards troops on Tuesday was only one of many violent attacks against regime targets to have occurred in recent days. If the US and its allies act wisely, there is every reason to believe that they could successfully foment a revolution that would bring down the regime.

So that was the good news. Of course, there is always the small print:
For both Bush and Rice made it clear this week that they do still cling to the fantasy that diplomacy can carry the day with Iran. While touting her deal with North Korea on Tuesday, Rice said it should be viewed "as a message to Iran that the international community is able to bring together its resources, and that strong diplomacy has achieved results."
Wouldn't it be lovely if Iran decided to negotiate? Better still, it chose the South African nuclear disarmament option? Even better still, it shed its Islamofascist theocracy for a genuine democracy?

Yes, it would be lovely.

But that isn't the point.

The point is, as is most likely, what if they do not?

What then?

979 days until we find out.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

What Will Syria Do Now?

Breakthrough with North Korea on their talks.

Assuming it is not 1994 all over again, now that North Korea is going to disarm and live happily ever after with the peaceful free nations of the Earth, what impact will this have on Syria?

Will Syria decide to stay with Iran or switch horses mid-race?

Add into the mix:

  • the forthcoming change in dynamics on the ground in Iraq - or lack thereof, and
  • the strength of the US / French pushback in Lebanon to sustain Siniora's government.
Will Iran decide to play their hand more forcibly in Lebanon and Gaza, dragging Israel into conflict again with its neighbours? Would that also discourage Syria from siding with the US?

Is it all connected or just an isolated event?

Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

ABC = A Bit Confused

ABC News Online have got themselves a bit confused. They do not know the difference between a Palestinian and a Muslim. They are also confusing mosques with parks.

In the latest report titled Mosque excavations spark Jerusalem clashes, the ABC 's Middle East correspondent David Hardaker begins (emphasis added):

Widespread clashes have erupted between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli police over work being carried out at a holy Islamic site.
Palestinian or Muslim?

Firstly, about use of the word "Palestinian". The question I have for David is: how do you know the demonstrators were all Palestinian?

There are over 1.1 million Muslims living in Israel. I suspect that a proportion of the demonstrators were in fact Israeli Muslims.

Also, a proportion of Palestinians are Christian, although their numbers are declining due to intimidation and economic hardship. Which means Palestinian is an inaccurate term to use here.

So in summary:
  • All worshippers were Muslim
  • Not all Palestinians are Muslim
  • Not all worshippers would have been Palestinian
So why not be accurate and call them Muslim demonstrators?

At a Mosque or Park? Islamic or Jewish? Holy for Whom?

Onto the second set of words "at a holy Islamic site" and the words in the title "Mosque excavations".

The location and purpose of the excavations is detailed in the Israeli Antiquities Authority press release:
The Israel Antiquities Authority has begun salvage excavations in the Archeological Park, for the purpose of erecting supporting pillars for a permanent Mugrabim Ramp, to be built for the benefit and safety of visitors. The new ramp will replace the temporary wooden bridge which was established following the collapse of the old Mugrabim Ramp, which was declared a "hazardous structure". The salvage excavations are standardized archeological excavations which are carried out in declared archeological sites slated for construction and development. The purpose of the salvage excavations is to prevent and minimize damage which could be caused to ancient remains as a result of the construction.
Here's more detail from Ha'aretz:
Excavations near the Temple Mount's Mugrabi Gate were approved two weeks ago as a necessary precursor to replacing a ramp that provides access to the gate. The ramp collapsed three years ago, and was replaced by a temporary wooden structure. Plans have since been approved for a permanent replacement, and by law, any construction work in the Old City must be preceded by a salvage dig.

The dig is taking place in the Jewish Quarter, outside the Temple Mount, but the Islamic Movement in Israel has accused it of being meant to undermine the Temple Mount
"Mosque excavations" seems inaccurate since they are not excavating a mosque.

Also, in terms of the location of the dig, according to Wikipedia, the Dung Gate (another name for the Mugrabi Gate):
... is the closest to the Western Wall.
So if the dig is close to Dung Gate, it is not only close to the Al Aqsa Mosque, but also to the Western Wall, which is the most sacred and holy site for Jews. Two further observations:
  • Why has the ABC mentioned it is close to the Mosque but not to the Western Wall?
  • Why are Jews not protesting or demonstrating too, given their sacred site is close by?
So in summary, they are not "mosque excavations" and they are not taking place "at a holy Islamic site" but in an archeological park near Mugrabi Gate, which is 60 metres from the sites of the Western Wall and Al Aqsa Mosque - sites holy to Jews and Muslims respectively.

Other than being out by 180 degrees for virtually every detail, it was a very good article.

Is the Third Intifada About to Begin?

Caroline Glick of Jerusalem Post thinks so:

As they did in the months that preceded the outbreak of their jihad in September 2000, for the past several months the Palestinians have been accelerating their preparations for war. On Monday Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) Director Yuval Diskin revealed some of those preparations.

Diskin said that in 2006, the Palestinians imported 30 tons of explosives into Gaza from Egypt. Hamas has dug 10 tunnels into the western Negev from which it will be able to launch attacks against the IDF or against civilians. The situation along the breached Gaza-Egypt border is even worse. Diskin referred to the weapons and personnel smuggling tunnels there as "one big rabbit warren."

As the Palestinians prepare themselves for battle, this week they invented their justification for attacking the Jews. Just as they did in September 2000, this week Palestinian and Israeli Arab leaders opened their propaganda campaign for war by falsely accusing Israel of conspiring to destroy the mosques on the Temple Mount.

Like its excavation by the Western Wall that has been going on quietly for the past several months, the Israel Antiquities Authority coordinated its salvage dig by the Mughrabi Gate of the Old City with the Islamic Wakf, the Jordanian government and all other relevant authorities before its archeologists began their work this week. Everyone understood that the excavation is being conducted 70 meters away from the Temple Mount and will in no way affect it.

The situation is overcast, despite efforts of transparency, as reported by the UK's Guardian no less:
The Israel Antiquities Authority is considering broadcasting real-time, 24-hour video from a contentious Jerusalem holy site in a bid to allay Muslim fears the shrine will be harmed by recently launched repair work, an authority spokeswoman said Thursday.

Israel says it needs to replace a centuries-old earthen ramp leading to the hilltop compound known to Jews as Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, which was damaged heavily in a 2004 snowstorm. It has promised the work would cause no harm to Islamic shrines at the site, some 60 yards away, but those assurances have not calmed Muslim outrage over the project.

Lawmaker Israel Hasson said he proposed installing cameras at the site so ``all the Arab world would be able to see everything that goes on there.''
It appears as though nothing will satiate those seeking conflict. Other than conflict itself.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Who is More Racist: Arab Palestinians or the West?

One of this blog's readers and a colleague of mine directed me to the website Omedia. There's a link called The Hamas Covenant In English.

Doing a word search revealed the following results:

  • 'Israel' is mentioned four times, including
Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it

Arab countries surrounding Israel are asked to open their borders before the fighters from among the Arab and Islamic nations so that they could consolidate their efforts with those of their Moslem brethren in Palestine.
Comment: Islam is Hamas's weapon to try eliminate Israel. They are calling on other countries to aid this effort to eliminate Israel. This isn't rocket science analysis, since subtlety isn't Hamas 's strongpoint.
  • Zionist/Zion/Zionism is mentioned twenty two times, including
The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders.

... through Zionist organizations under various names and shapes, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, espionage groups and others, which are all nothing more than cells of subversion and saboteurs

With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests.

The Zionist invasion is a vicious invasion.

The Zionist Nazi activities against our people will not last for long.

Their plan is embodied in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion"

The Islamic Resistance Movement consider [sic] itself to be the spearhead of the circle of struggle with world Zionism

The present Zionist onslaught has also been preceded by Crusading raids from the West and other Tatar raids from the East. Just as the Moslems faced those raids and planned fighting and defeating them, they should be able to confront the Zionist invasion and defeat it.
Comments: Conspiracy theories are abound; from the Freemasons and Rotary Club to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The Nazification of Israel has its roots in the Hamas Covenant - the far-left anti-Israel commentators are mere plagiarisers. Hamas see this as a chapter in religious wars dating back hundreds of years, rather than the modern day 'occupation' narrative.
  • Jew is mentioned twelve times, including
Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews."

In face of the Jews' usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised

In their Nazi treatment, the Jews made no exception for women or children.

We should not forget to remind every Moslem that when the Jews conquered the Holy City in 1967, they stood on the threshold of the Aqsa Mosque and proclaimed that "Mohammed is dead, and his descendants are all women."

Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Moslem people. "May the cowards never sleep."
Comment: Setting aside the scientifically curious botanical question about Gharkad trees, Hamas is clearly anti-Semitic, obsessed with Jews and will use falsities to support this.


Hamas is clearly a racist organisation, so what does it say about the popular support among the Arab Palestinians that voted Hamas into government?

Suppose that an organisation in Germany had a covenant such as Hamas'. What would be the German reaction to it? Would they be arrested for incitement to racism and anti-Semitism? Would they be voted in?

Suppose also that such a hypothetical organisation in Germany formed a unity government with the Social Democrats. Would the Germans be comfortable with this? Would they vote for this coalition?

Would other Europeans and countries be comfortable with this? Presumably, this would not be tolerated in Europe.

So why is it tolerated among the Arab Palestinians? Are there two standards of decency and morals - a high one for Europeans and a low one for Arab Palestinians?

Is it racist to give a free pass on anti-Semitism and racial hatred because it is believed Arab Palestinians are not civilised or capable to be held to the same moral standards?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Listen to Blogs and News with Odiogo

To the right hand side of this blog, you will notice a link with the image:

Subscribe to the Odiogo podcast.

This cool link will convert this blog to a podcast on your iPod or other portable media player.

It will also allow you to listen to this blog on your PC.

Presumably it will also assist visually impaired and blind people to access the web cheaply and easily.

Odiogo is an Israeli company that can convert text on the Internet to speech.

Its mission is "to provide innovative ways to distribute web content for consumption on the go, anytime, anywhere and on any device."

Yet another example of Israeli ingenuity and positive contribution to the Web's worldwide community.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Al Jazeera Publishes Cartoon of Mohammed (Updated)

Click here for the article and scroll down to the bottom.

For how this came to be (and a screenshot in case Al Jazeera decide to update the article) click here.

Will a fatwa be issued condemning Al Jazeera?

Kudos to Al Jazeera for their brave stand they have taken on freedom of the press, presumably amidst the incoming threats.

Braver than a lot of Australian media outlets.

(Hat tip: Little Green Footballs)

UPDATE: Al Jazeera finally removed their Mohammed cartoon link before their building was burnt down and editor threatened.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

ABC = Australian Bipolar Corporation

Looking at the ABC News Online's Middle East Section, one can almost feel sorry for them.

The context is the current internecine conflict in Gaza between the Islamist rejectionist terrorists (aka Hamas) and the more nationalist rejectionist terrorists (aka Fatah).

The reality is that there is no ceasefire. It's an ex-ceasefire. It has ceased to be a ceasefire.

It is merely a tactic employed by both as a safety valve and a ploy in a fight between two thugocracies for domination of Gaza. Two thugocracies who have temporarily let power struggles get in the way of their hatred of Israel.

In the ABC's world of spin, it is causing much angst and mood swings. Setting aside that it distracts the ABC from Israel-bashing, the resultant news coverage is a tragically farcical set of news headlines that is obsessed about the current state of agreements, ceasefires and talks:

Palestinian leaders fail to reach agreement
Surprise, surprise.

Hamas suspends talks with Fatah
A daily occurrence. This is news?

2 killed in Gaza university battle
What are the professors teaching?

23 dead in Palestinian unrest
23 dead is unrest?
ABC: "Don't we use the word 'massacre' to describe this many killed or is that reserved for the Jenin battle only?"

Palestinian PM calls for calm as fighting spreads
Should that be 'Palestinian PM calls for fighting as calm spreads'?

Fatah, Hamas agree to unity talks
ABC: "Things are looking up. I think I can hear 'We Are The World' in the background."

Hamas, Fatah fighting continues despite talks offer
An example of two-track negotiations.

Hamas, Fatah agree to cease-fire
Putting a lid on a volcano.

Cease-fire between Palestinian factions takes hold
Notice the present tense.
ABC: "Rushed news article posted since a few minutes later ..."

Militant killed despite Gaza truce
ABC: "... anxiety and denial set in ... followed by ..."

Thirteen deaths shatter Palestinian truce
ABC: "... deep depression."
Thirteen deaths actually shattered thirteen families, assuming they were not 'celebrated' as martyrs' deaths.

Hamas, Fatah agree on new cease-fire
ABC: "Yes! Finally agreed. Gazans will all live happily ever after. Bet my Lane Cove studio flat (complete with Che Guevara and Mao posters) that this ceasefire is the one ...."

Gaza gunfire continues despite truce
ABC: "... except if you exclude the 'gunfire'. Anyway, it's gunfire without the gunmen, so strictly speaking, no-one is involved, right?"

World leaders concerned as factions fight in Gaza
That'd be the same concern the leaders have shown for Darfur victims?

Egypt urges Palestinians to end infighting
ABC: "At last, an honest broker arrives on the scene ..."

Fatah, Hamas agree to renew Gaza truce
ABC: "... whose appearance seems to have worked ..."

Cease-fire shaky as new gunfights rock Gaza
ABC: ".... err, only temporarily ... oh oh, here we go again ..."
If only the ABC could reveal the human tragedy side to these stories, there might be some integrity to the reporting.

However, they tend to reserve this emoting to when Palestinian civilians are caught in the crossfire between Palestinian militants and Israeli soldiers.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Daniel in the Lion's Den

Daniel Pipes at University of California - Irvine:

And here in London as the guest of Ken Livingstone:

Part 1

Part 2