Archive for February, 2007

They’re all murderers

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

It may have been hard to notice what with all those Qassam missles falling on Sderot and vicinity, but Hamas has been maintaining a truce with Israel for the past few months.

What about the suicide bombing in Eilat recently? Silly me, that was Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in cooperation with the [Fatah] Al-Aqsa brigades. And the recent attempt to do a mass-casualty bombing in Tel Aviv was PIJ too.

The good Hamas that controls the Palestinian authority insists that they have kept the truce. It’s the bad guys in PIJ who haven’t. But now they’re fed up:

Abu Obaida, spokesman for the [Hamas] Qassam Brigades, said in the statement that “the truce with the Israeli occupation is no longer valid,” citing the “assassination of Islamic Jihad commander” Mahmoud Qassem as the reason.

Qassem was shot dead in the West Bank by Israeli Border Police on Tuesday, after security forces traced a foiled suicide bomb attack planned for Tel Aviv back to him [and after he fired on police trying to arrest him — ed.]. — YNet

Now let’s see, Hamas is maintaining a truce (except for rockets from Gaza which don’t count), and PIJ is killing Israelis. So when Israel strikes back at PIJ, elements in Hamas rush to their defense. But there’s more:

It should be noted that the statement is not a formal announcement from the Hamas movement as a whole.

Naif Hawatma, director of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine [DFLP], said on Wednesday that Hamas is involved and supportive of the political process.

Hamas, Fatah, and DFLP intend to participate in the Palestinian Unity Government, but PIJ will not participate (but will ‘support’ it).

Confused? Here’s a simple explanation: they’re all murderers.

Syrians hate without drawing distinctions

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

The distinction between criticism of Israel and antisemitism, much discussed in the West, is a distinction without a difference to many in the Arab world.

Nationalism, in the sense of Syrian, Egyptian, or lately, Iraqi, has never been a powerful force. Even broader Arab nationalism never caught on among peoples who were far more closely identified with ethnic and religious groupings. So it shouldn’t surprise us that Arabs don’t make a big distinction between Israel and the Jews.


Asa Kasher talks about Judaism, culture

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Asa Kasher is a professor of Philosophy who wrote the IDF’s new code of ethics (read more about this here).

The Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot asked Prof. Kasher a few questions about his personal thoughts on Judaism and related subjects. For example:

What is Jewish culture, in your opinion?

A person’s culture is a collection of concepts, the ideas and outlooks from which he forms the meaning of life and the practical expressions of this meaning. The Jewish people’s religious tradition includes this collection—deep, varied, and inexhaustible. This is Jewish culture in its traditional format. It is appropriate to add to it the soft, fresh, promising expansion of the Jewish people’s Hebrew tradition, which is mainly the tradition of the Land of Israel. The world is full of alternatives, you can learn something from each of them, but only this is our culture in every sense of the word.

You can read the whole interview here.

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Surreal item of the day

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

“Small packets of sugar bearing the likeness of Adolf Hitler and carrying Holocaust jokes have been found in some cafes in Croatia, prompting an investigation, the office of the state prosecutor said on Monday.” — YNet (Reuters)

Those Croatian jokers again!

When will the occupation end?

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

By Vic Rosenthal

Ha’aretz reports today that Hamas may have ‘Sagger’ antitank missiles in Gaza. While these are old technology and not as dangerous as the missiles used by Hezbollah in Lebanon, they nevertheless represent an advance over the crude (but still dangerous) RPGs that they’ve had until now. The report continues: