Archive for March, 2011

Why are they so insecure?

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

The other day my son remarked that TV reports of Syrian protests showed protesters shouting “Alawi Jews.”

As you may know, the Assad family which has ruled Syria since 1971 belongs to a small minority Islamic sect, the Alawis (or ‘Alawites’). About 75% of Syrians are Sunni Muslims, and many do not even consider the Alawis true Muslims. Bashar al Assad, like his father Hafez,  has always tried to keep on the good side of the Muslim world by supporting the most radical Islamist elements (who were crushed brutally, of course, when they tried to get power in Syria). Nobody actually thinks the Assads are Jewish.

In Libya, opponents of Muammar Gadafi could credibly claim that their enemy is a homicidal maniac. You’d think that would be a good enough reason to depose him. But they have a better argument: they are claiming that he is actually a Jew.

When an American woman journalist was brutally beaten and raped in Cairo’s Tahrir square, it was reported that her attackers shouted “Jew!” The crowd had no reason to think that she was Jewish (she wasn’t, as if it matters). Other foreign journalists were also accused of being Jews.

Poster of Hosni Mubarak with star of David held by Tahrir Square demonstrator (courtesy European Jewish Press)

Poster of Hosni Mubarak with star of David held by Tahrir Square demonstrator (courtesy European Jewish Press)

Cairo demonstrators were reported as shouting “leave, leave, ya Mubarak. Tel Aviv is waiting for you,” and “leave, leave, you American and Israeli traitor.” Clearly Mubarak is neither Jewish, Israeli or American.

In Pakistan,

In October 2009, Mahnama Banat-e-Aisha, an Urdu-language monthly magazine which is part of the Haftroza Al-Qalam group of publications belonging to the militant group Jaish-e-Muhammad, alleged in a lengthy article that the international polio eradication campaign was a “dangerous Jewish conspiracy.” The article, “Polio: Disease or Dangerous Jewish Conspiracy,” read in part:

“The Jews, who dream of ruling the world, have invented different types of vaccines, drugs, and injections in an organized way to weaken Muslims in their beliefs on spiritual, practical, and moral levels, and make their bodies contaminated…” — MEMRI

Reverses suffered by the Pakistani cricket team have also been blamed on Jewish plots.

In Indonesia,

A book bomb was found Thursday at the house of musician and producer Ahmad Dhani in Pondok Indah, South Jakarta. The book titled Yahudi Militan (Militant Jew) was sent to Dhani’s residence Tuesday but was only opened on Thursday. Dhani, like Patriotic Party chairman Yapto Soerjosomarno who received a book bomb on Tuesday, is believed to have Jewish ancestry…

University of Indonesia intelligence expert Andi Wijayanto said the targets of the bomb attacks were carefully chosen by the terrorists. “All of the books were about the enemies of Islam. So it is likely that the senders thought these four men personified the enemies of Islam,” he said.

Ulil, the recipient of the first bomb, is the founder of the Islam Liberal Network (JIL), which has been accused of receiving funding from Jewish organizations and the US government. Gories, who received the second bomb, formerly headed the National Police’s Detachment 88 counterterrorist unit, which has also been accused of being funded by Jews and the US.

Andi said this speculation could be true. “We can connect the dots and see the connection. These men could easily represent enemies of Islam, in this case, Jews,” he said. — Jakarta Post

I could go on… and on and on. Jew hatred in the Muslim world is out of control. And it is not especially related to the condition of the Palestinian Arabs, although atrocity stories about them are often used to stir up hatred among Muslims in other places.

During the 2008-9 war in Gaza, Aljazeera broadcast continuous footage showing horribly wounded and dead Arabs. Some of it was from previous Arab-Israeli wars and some was Paliwood fakerey, but the effect was to create an enormous amount of hatred against Israel and Jews.

But one cannot make the Palestinian connection with Pakistani cricketeers, popular Indonesian singers and Muammar Gadafi.

There are 1.4 billion Muslims in the world and perhaps 13 million Jews. They outnumber us by more than 100 to 1. Why are they so insecure?

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Moty & Udi: at the Purim party

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Not everyone is a Star Wars fan, but we are all familiar with the double standard under which it is just fine to accuse ‘Zionists’ of every despicable behavior imaginable, while it is considered inappropriate — and often dangerous — to talk about the Arab and Muslim propensity to terrorism.

For example, a newspaper in the UK has had a complaint filed against it at the Bedfordshire police department because it published a piece by Melanie Phillips containing this:

Today the massacred Fogel family was buried in Jerusalem. And as anticipated, the moral depravity of the Arabs is finding a grotesque echo in the moral bankruptcy and worse of the British and American ‘liberal’ media – a sickening form of armchair barbarism which is also in evidence, it has to be said, on the comment thread beneath my post below.

Overwhelmingly, the media have either ignored or downplayed the atrocity – or worse, effectively blamed the victims for bringing it on themselves, describing them as ‘hard-line settlers’ or extremists. Given that three of the victims were children, one a baby of three months whose throat was cut, such a response is utterly degraded.

The complainant, the head of an organization called “Muslims4UK,” Inayat Bungalawa, said

Her words went far beyond just denouncing the killings. It was a far more generalised racist outburst against Arabs as a whole.

Well, Bungalawa has a blog of his own, called “Inayat’s Corner,” and a filthy little corner it is indeed. Here are some quotations I found there without looking very hard:

(3/11) The Israel lobby views any progress made by UK Muslims in this country’s political life as being against their interests. The only permissible Muslims are those who are prepared to remain silent about the crimes perpetrated by the apartheid state of Israel.

(2/11) Robert Halfon [a British MP] – you are a total and utter coward, much like the members of the murderous Israeli Defence Forces. Whereas the IDF like to hide inside their tanks while firing shells at little children, you hide inside the House of Commons while making your libellous comments.

(10/10) David Cameron spoke out against any calls to punish Israel for its continuing occupation of Palestinian lands, its illegal Jewish settlements, its cruel and barbaric treatment of the besieged and repeatedly bombed people of Gaza and its known stockpile of nuclear weapons.

(9/10) Four Israeli land-thieves killed

All the main news outlets are currently carrying the story of the killing of four Israeli colonist-settlers yesterday by the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, near the Palestinian city of Hebron.

(5/10) It is not difficult to imagine that the UK govt’s reaction would have been rather different if it had been, say, Iran that had massacred a group of aid volunteers [on the Mavi Marmara].

If we had the kind of hate speech and libel laws here as they do in the UK (thank goodness we don’t), I’d file a complaint against Bungalawa on behalf of Israel and the IDF.

Almost everything he says is anti-Israel, but I’ve excerpted only those quotations which appear libelous. He is also remarkably rude to Melanie Phillips — perhaps she should sue him too?

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Shorts: 1) Helen Thomas, playmate; 2) Who the Hell is Martin Raffel?

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Playmate of the month

Helen Thomas has done an interview for Playboy magazine (no, I will not make centerfold jokes here) in which she claims that she was misunderstood:

Nobody asked me to explain myself.  Nobody said, ‘What did you really mean?'”

said Thomas, who was widely called antisemitic for telling Israeli Jews to “go home” to Poland, etc. So she sets the record straight:

[The Jews are] using their power, and they have power in every direction…Power over the White House, power over Congress…Everybody is in the pocket of the Israeli lobbies, which are funded by wealthy supporters, including those from Hollywood.  Same thing with the financial markets.  There’s total control…It isn’t the two percent.  It’s real power when you own the White House, when you own these other places in terms of your political persuasion.  Of course they have power.  [To the interviewer] You don’t deny that.  You’re Jewish, aren’t you?

She said a lot of other things, about the Palestinian Arabs, etc., but you know …who cares?

Who the Hell is Martin Raffel?

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA, not to be confused with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) calls itself “the representative voice of the organized American Jewish community.” It is affiliated with the JFNA, formerly the UJC and before that the UJA, the umbrella organization of the Jewish Federations in the US and Canada.

Confused yet? What’s important to know is that the Jewish Federations raise large sums of money. Some of it is spent for charitable purposes in local communities (despite what Helen Thomas thinks, there are poor Jews) and some of it goes to support the Jewish Agency in Israel and the Joint Distribution Committee, which helps Jews in difficult situations around the world.

These agencies in part paid for the rescue of Jews in Europe after WWII, Jews from Arab countries, Soviet Jews, Ethiopian Jews, etc.

Today I’m afraid that there is beginning to be a loss of focus: JFNA has some highly paid corporate officers, and the agencies that it supports are also less than efficient (the Jewish Agency is famous as a home for tired Israeli politicians).

But I want to talk about the JCPA.

I’m a member of the board of our local Jewish Federation, and I had heard very little about the JCPA until recently, when I received several press releases (for example, this one). While I didn’t find them particularly objectionable, I asked myself who appointed JCPA to speak for the Jewish community — and why we were paying them to do so. Certainly my organization wasn’t consulted!

Here’s an example of why this may not be a good idea. JCPA has created an “Israel Action Network” supposedly to combat attacks on the legitimacy of the Jewish state. Its director, Martin Raffel, has become embroiled in a controversy about which “Zionists of the Left” belong in the “big tent” and should be considered “allies.”

You know where this is going. What about those ‘Zionists’ of the Left called J Street? Raffel wants to include them, because — while they do support boycotting some parts of Israel, they are opposed to boycotting all of it:

But what to think about Zionists on the political left who have demonstrated consistent concern for Israel’s security, support Israel’s inalienable right to exist as a Jewish democratic state, and consider Israel to be the eternal home of the Jewish people — but have decided to express their opposition to specific policies of the Israeli government by refraining from participating in events taking place in the West Bank or purchasing goods produced there? I vigorously would argue that such actions are counter-productive in advancing the cause of peace based on two states that they espouse, a goal that we share. But this is not sufficient cause to place them outside the tent.

Statement of Martin Raffel in JCPA press release

Of course I strongly disagree. An attack on Jewish presence beyond the Green Line is an attack on the legitimacy of Israel as expressed by the League of Nations Mandate. It is a rejection of UNSC resolution 242, which calls for “secure and recognized boundaries,” which are clearly not the 1949 armistice lines. It is an attempt to punish law-abiding Israeli citizens and to support the racist Arab position about who may live where. It is more than just counter-productive, it’s anti-Zionist.

But the more important point is this:

Who the hell is Martin Raffel and who said he speaks for me?

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Coincidences, ironic and not

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Yesterday (“Cycle of stupidity at LA Times“) I quoted an editorial in that birdcage-liner thus:

Anyone who follows the news is familiar with how this cycle works. It might begin with a Palestinian child dying while stopped at an Israeli army checkpoint on his way to the hospital.

I suggested that the story of the Palestinian child was probably made up. But as a matter of fact, a Palestinian child did die recently:

Mohammed Nabil Taha, an 11-year-old Palestinian boy, died this week at the entrance to a Lebanese hospital after doctors refused to help him because his family could not afford to pay for medical treatment.

Taha’s tragic case highlights the plight of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who live in squalid refugee camps in Lebanon and who are the victims of an apartheid system that denies them access to work, education and medical care…

Can anyone imagine what would have happened if an Israeli hospital had abandoned a boy to die in its parking lot because his father did not have $1,500 to pay for his treatment? The UN Security Council would hold an emergency session and Israel would be strongly condemned and held responsible for the boy’s death…

Last year alone, some 180,000 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip entered Israel to receive medical treatment. Many were treated despite the fact that they did not have enough money to cover the bill.

In Israel, even a suicide bomber who is only (!) wounded while trying to kill Jews is entitled to the finest medical treatment. And there have been many instances where Palestinians who were wounded in attacks on Israel later ended up in some of Israel’s best hospitals.

Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post

Here’s another ironic coincidence:

IDF forces and local paramedics helped save the life of a Palestinian woman and her newly born infant Wednesday, at the settlement where Fogel relatives are sitting Shiva for the five Israelis brutally murdered last week.

Just as IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz arrived in Neve Tzuf to offer his condolences, a Palestinian cab raced towards the community’s entrance. In it, soldiers and paramedics discovered a Palestinian woman in her 20s in advanced stages of labor and facing a life-threatening situation: The umbilical cord was wrapped around the young baby girl’s neck, endangering both her and her mother.

The quick action of settler paramedics and IDF troops deployed in the area saved the mother’s and baby’s life, prompting great excitement and emotions at the site where residents are still mourning the brutal death of five local family members. — YNet

Ironic indeed. But here’s a ‘coincidence’ that’s not ironic at all:

One day before the terror attack in the town of Itamar in which five members of an Israeli family were murdered in their home, PA TV broadcast a program honoring Ahlam Tamimi, the woman accomplice who drove the suicide terrorist to the Sbarro pizza restaurant in August, 2001. 15 people were murdered in the attack, 7 of them children.

One week before the terror attack in Itamar, PA TV honored another accomplice to a suicide attack. Fahami Mashahara drove a suicide bomber to Gilo in Jerusalem in 2001 who killed 19 and injured more than hundred. His daughter was invited to perform a song on PA TV…

Visiting Tamimi’s home, the PA TV crew interviewed her relatives, who expressed their longing for her and their hope for her release. The PA TV camera focused on a certificate awarded by Fatah to the terrorist accomplice, calling her “the heroic prisoner.”

PA TV honors Sbarro attack driver Ahlam Tamimi (courtesy

PA TV honors Sbarro attack driver Ahlam Tamimi (courtesy

The award is decorated with photographs of Yasser Arafat and Abu Jihad, the Fatah logo, and a photograph of Tamimi herself.

Mahmoud Abbas says that the PA does not engage in incitement:

RAMALLAH: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday rejected Israeli accusations that the Palestinian Authority (PA) allows incitement against Israel in its mosques and schools…

On Sunday, Netanyahu said that “alarming incitement in Palestinian schools, mosques and media” had prepared the ground for the Itamar attack that led to the killing of five members of a Jewish settler family. [my italics]

Abbas said that there is no incitement. He added that the Palestinian Ministry of Waqf and Religious Affairs has decided that all mosques should deliver the same sermon, distributed by the ministry.

But… he didn’t say TV! Gotcha!

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Cycle of stupidity at the LA Times

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Worse even than the NY Times, possibly on the same level as the UK Guardian, I give you the Los Angeles Times:

Anyone who follows the news is familiar with how this cycle works. It might begin with a Palestinian child dying while stopped at an Israeli army checkpoint on his way to the hospital. In response, an enraged Palestinian shoots into a crowd of Israeli soldiers at a bus stop. To show that it will not tolerate such behavior, an Israeli army helicopter then fires a missile into an apartment building in Gaza, targeting militants but killing civilians as well, after which outraged Palestinians fire a rocket into Israel, which in turn leads the Israelis to tighten whatever embargo or travel restrictions or security rules are in place at the moment. That increases Palestinian rage still further.

Needless to say, the cycle doesn’t end there but continues until, after a while, it becomes completely impossible to say with any authority who began the hostilities or to distinguish actions from reactions. — Editorial, LA Times, 3/14/2011

Is it possible that they still think this way? Leaving aside the fact that the story about the “Palestinian child dying” probably was made up from whole cloth, and that the “enraged Palestinian” was probably a member of an organized terrorist militia, is it possible that they really can’t distinguish between terrorism and efforts to stop it?

Was the Israeli missile fired into a random apartment building like Hamas’ Qassams, or was it aimed at a terrorist operative who was already responsible for the deaths of tens of Israelis, and who was intending to kill more?

Is “Palestinian rage” primarily a reaction to Israeli counter-terror activities or is it fed by the constant antisemitic and anti-Israel propaganda that emanates from Hamas, our ‘partners’ in Fatah and every Arab country? Are Israeli “security rules” punitive retaliation or are they intended to protect Israelis?

You know the answers to all these questions, but the Times has an agenda: to prove that Palestinian Arab society is ‘normal’, and deserves to be given a state taken from the historical Jewish national home.

But Palestinian Arab society is not normal. Its leadership has created a nation in which monsters are venerated, like Samir Kuntar and Dalal Mughrabi.

The editorial continues:

Which is worse — stabbing children to death or building new houses in West Bank settlements? The answer is obvious. But that’s not the point. The point is that no matter how abhorrent the murders are, it serves no purpose to aggravate the provocation that led to them in the first place. How will building more houses for Israelis in the midst of the West Bank, in settlements that are almost universally acknowledged to violate international law, do anything other than keep the crisis going?

I honestly wonder which the writer thought was worse, in his heart of hearts. After all, the children were Jewish ‘settler’ children, international lawbreakers. What would he say after a few beers? But never mind. Let’s deal with the argument:

The vicious murder of the Fogel family was a deliberate act of terrorism, both in the fact and the manner of its commission. The intent was to deter Jews from living in the Land of Israel. The more violent the act, the more effective it is.

One of the first things that you learn in elementary psychology is that if you want to extinguish an unwanted behavior, you have to stop rewarding it. The Times thinks that Israel should give them what they want:

… the Israeli government should be in the business of calming tensions, not stoking them, and of removing obstacles to peace rather than constructing them.

If the response to this crime is the removal of  ‘obstacles’ — settlements, checkpoints, whatever — then there will be more, not less, terrorism. After all, they will see that it gets them what they want.

Let’s give the Arabs credit for rationality, no matter how twisted their expression of it. To stop terrorism, we should make it unproductive for them.

So, therefore, what better response could there be for Israel than to build more homes? And it’s nonviolent!

The Times tells us that settlements are the “provocation” that led to the murders. Here’s another story about similar terrorist murders that took place in 2002:

Kibbutz Metzer is situated near the West Bank in Green line Israel. The Kibbutz was founded in 1953 by Argentinian members of the Hashomer Hatzair movement and is part of the leftist Kibbutz Artzi Federation. Metzer is located east of Hadera in the “triangle” opposite Tul Karm in the the West Bank. The Kibbutz was founded in Green Line Israel. Its members oppose post-1967 expansionism and are leaders in the Israeli Peace movement.

On November 10, 2002 during the Al-Aqsa Intifada, a member of the Palestinian Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (then affiliated with the Tanzim) entered Metzer at night and murdered five people, including two young children and their mother, and the Kibbutz Secretary Itsik. The victims were all shot by one Sirhan Sirhan, who was allegedly rewarded with $20,000 by Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and was later killed by Israeli forces.  — Ami Isseroff, “Metzer Massacre”

Not only were the Metzer victims living within the 1949 lines, they favored giving up the territories! I suppose the Times would have found some other “provocation” to account for this atrocity, just as they would have found one for all the pre-1967 terrorism, or for the 1967 war itself.

The truth is that Jews living in the Land of Israel is, and always has been, all the provocation they need.

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