Monday, 16 November 2009

Israel Matzav: Pakistani from Chicago arrested and charge in Mumbai attacks

Pakistani from Chicago arrested and charge in Mumbai attacks

An American citizen of Pakistani origin was arrested last month as he attempted to board a flight from Chicago to Philadelphia, and charged with laying the groundwork for the Mumbai terror attacks last November.

David Coleman Headly (49) was arrested last month at Chicago's O'Hare Airport while on his way to Philadelphia, and from there to Pakistan. The American Federal Bureau of Investigations suspected he was involved in a plot to carry out an attack in Denmark following the publication of the controversial Prophet Muhammad caricatures.

A deeper look, however, revealed that he was also involved in the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, in which at least 173 people were killed.

Since Headley's arrest, the US has been investigating his actions along with the Indian authorities. Over the weekend Headley's role became clear: Indian security sources reported that he was the one who scanned the Chabad center for the Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is believed to be responsible for the attacks.

Head of the Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided a number of locations in Mumbai on Saturday in search of incriminating evidence against Headley. Indian defense ministry sources told the Chinese news agency Xinhua that its investigators found that Headly had visited all ten locations that were attacked last November.

According to the report, Headley visited the Chabad center in Mumbai in July 2008 – four months before the attack – and presented himself as a Jew in order to stay at the place. Prior to the Chabad center, he stayed at the Taj Mahal Hotel, which was one of the central targets of the terror attack.

But the Obama administration will continue to pretend - as the Bush administration often did - that there is no connection between attacks on Israel and Jews and attacks by Islamist terror groups on the United States and its allies.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Pakistani from Chicago arrested and charge in Mumbai attacks

The Torah Revolution: The next phase

The Torah Revolution: The next phase

The Torah Revolution: Western money fuels feuds and radicalization

Western money fuels feuds and radicalization

B"H -

If the "palestinians" were a real people and the Palestinian Legislative Council a real parliament and the PA something - anything real, apart of the terrorist organization it is against the Jewish people and Israel the world loves to finance to the tune of millions of dollars a day, every day, if the so called "palestinian" territories, Judea and Samaria, were anything but the Biblical Heartland of the Jews, this operation would be called: a coup. One gets the impression that the Arabs really have their minds confused. Shame on the international donor community to finance this group of Jew-haters so heavily to provoke feuds and to maintain radicalization. Check out and realize that the so called “palestinians” is just one of the many autonomist and secessionist movements. What makes them sexy is that they are against the Jews. Through them the world can say loud and clear: “Jews, we hate you!”

- This is talkback # 5 on "PA confirms PLO to take over parliament"

The Torah Revolution: Western money fuels feuds and radicalization

Happiness in Marriage

Happiness in Marriage


Question: I am not happy in my marriage. Every time I ask my husband to do something it causes endless arguments. What should I say to him?
Answer: Happiness is not something we receive but something we give. If you give, you will be happy. And the greatest kindness you can give is not with your mouth but with your ears. In order to make him happy, you have to listen to him. Obviously, you should not listen with impatience but with affection and understanding. And when you listen to him, speak to him about things which interest him.
It is true that he is sometimes quiet, but his silence also says something, and you must translate his silence into words. It is for this reason that Hashem gave women nine kavim of speech, so you can pleasantly express his words. In fact, you should think ten times before you say something unpleasant.
And regarding your unfulfilled requests for help, we hope that when you create a pleasant atmosphere, he will soften and come towards you. We hope. If not, we will consider it again.
Originally posted by Torat HaRav Aviner

Twenty-one Questions about the Messiah

Twenty-one Questions about the Messiah

["Be-Ahavah U-Be-Emunah" – Chayei Sarah 5770 – translated by R. Blumberg]

1. Q: What will be the Messiah’s task before he becomes the Messiah?
A: He will be king (Rambam, Hilchot Melachim 11:1).

2. Q: Will he really be king, or just in a symbolic, metaphoric sense, like a Torah scholar?
A: He will really be king – the king referred to in the ten chapters of Rambam’s Hilchot Melachim.

3. Q: What will his job be?
A: To restore the David monarchy as of old (ibid. 11:1 elaborates).

4. Q: How will we know who he is?
A: He will have to fulfill six criteria: 1. Be a king. 2. Be from the Davidic line. 3. Be a Torah scholar. 4. Observe the mitzvot. 5. Compel the nation to observe the mitzvot. 6. Fight G-d’s wars (ibid. 11:4).

5. Q: How will he compel mitzvah observance?
A: Like any king who passes laws and makes certain they are fulfilled.

6. Q: What are “G-d’s wars”?
A: Real wars like King David fought: “The first Mashiach [anointed one], King David, saved Israel from their enemies. The last Mashiach, who will emerge from David’s descendants, will save Israel from Esau’s descendants” (ibid. 11:1).

7. Q: Can you elaborate?
A: Rambam wrote (ibid. 4:10): “The king’s intent and goal shall be to exalt the true religion, to fill the world with justice, to smash the power of the wicked, and to fight G-d’s wars. For ideally, we do not crown anyone king unless he is prepared to pursue justice and war, as it says, “Our king will judge us, go forth before us and wage our wars” (Shmuel 1 18:20). Likewise, [David’s wife] Avigail said of David that he fought G-d’s wars (ibid. 25:28).

8. Q: If someone fulfills these six conditions is he the true Messiah?
A: No, he is then the “presumed Messiah.” In other words, as he has fulfilled the six prerequisites, we relate to him as the Messiah until it becomes clear whether or not he really is (Hilchot Melachim 11:4).

9. Q: What conditions must be fulfilled for him to become the true Messiah?
A: There are four conditions: “1. He was successful. 2. He vanquished all the surrounding nations. 3. He built the Temple. 4. He gathered in the dispersed of Israel. Then he is the Messiah for sure” (ibid.).

10. Q: And if he failed, is he then a false Messiah?
A: No. Whoever has fulfilled the six conditions is a reputable king (ibid.).

11. Q: Today, do we have a true Messiah?
A: No. No one has fulfilled these four conditions.

12. Q: Is there anyone who is the “presumed Messiah”?
A. No. Neither is there anyone who has fulfilled the six conditions of the presumed Messiah.

13. Q: When will the Messiah come?
A. We don’t know. “One should not calculate the end. Our Sages said, ‘Blasted be those who calculate the end” (ibid. 12:2)

14. Q: How will the Messiah look and how will he operate?
A: No one knows exactly. “Regarding all such matters, no one will know how it will be until it happens” (ibid. 12:2).

15. Q: Won’t the Messiah bring the Jewish People to repentance?
A: He will lead the Nation according to the Torah (ibid. 11:4). The one who will bring them to repentance is Eliyahu the Prophet (ibid. 12:2).

16. Q: What known figure is similar to the Messiah?
A. King David (ibid. 11:1).

17. Q: Is there another example?
A. Bar-Kochba, whom Rabbi Akiva and all the sages of his generation said was the Messianic King (ibid. 11:3).

18. Q: But he wasn’t?
A. He was the presumed Messiah, but not the true Messiah. When he unfortunately died, it became clear that he was not the Messiah (ibid.).

19. Q: Does the Messiah have to perform miracles?
A. No. One proof is that Bar Kochba was not asked to perform miracles. Otherwise, they would immediately have declared that he was not the Messiah (ibid.).

20. Q: What must we do to bring closer the Messiah’s advent?
A. We must become stronger in good traits -- kindness, the fear of G-d, Torah learning, observance of all the mitzvot, those between man and G-d, those between man and man, those associated with agriculture in Eretz Yisrael and those associated with building the Land, Shabbat, Kashrut, loving one’s fellow Jew and going to the army, study of Halachah and study of faith.

21. Q: Will this take time?
A. We don’t know. We await the Messiah whichever day he comes (Rambam’s 13 Principles of Faith and see Hilchot Nezirut 4:11).
Originally posted by Torat HaRav Aviner

Love of the Land: Beyond Appeasement: The Concession Man

Beyond Appeasement: The Concession Man

Herbert I. London
President, Hudson Institute
16 November 09

When Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich in 1936 he noted that based on his stance of appeasement with Hitler “peace was at hand.” Alas, Chamberlain was duped and, as might have been expected, history has not treated him kindly. But, however false the concessions made by Hitler, Chamberlain believed he had obtained a concession: Restraint on Nazi imperial ambitions.

In 2009 America’s own Chamberlain, President Obama, has adopted a stance beyond appeasement; he engages in preemptive conciliation without any expectation of a quid pro quo. President Obama does not wait to be double-crossed; he is concession man who gives before he is asked and remarkably puts American interests at risk in order to enhance his international standing.

Without securing any benefit from the withdrawal of missile sites and radars in Poland and the Czech Republic, President Obama blithely gave up what had been negotiated and settled with our allies. This move was heralded by the Russians, as might be expected. But Russian leaders immediately noted that they will not use this gesture to put pressure on Iran’s ambition to obtain nuclear weapons. After all, a Russian spokesman noted, “Why should we make a concession when you’ve decided to correct a mistake?”

On September 23, President Obama addressed the United Nations, and in the midst of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, he embraced the Palestinian position for a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, a divided Jerusalem, a cessation of new settlements in the West Bank and a “contiguous” Palestinian state. This was said without the slightest concession from the Palestinian side. There wasn’t any demand that the state of Israel must be recognized. There was not the slightest recognition of defensible borders. There was not a hint that Palestinian violence would be arrested. And most significantly, there did not seem to be the slightest recognition of geographic realities: A contiguous Palestinian state of Gaza and the West Bank means Israel would have to be divided in half.
(Continue article)

Love of the Land: Beyond Appeasement: The Concession Man

Love of the Land: Diplomatic Warfare: Palestinians Threaten Unilateral Statehood

Diplomatic Warfare: Palestinians Threaten Unilateral Statehood

Will they try it? And how will Israel respond?

P. David Hornik
16 November 09

The rhetoric is flying these days in Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that “there is no substitute for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and any unilateral path will only unravel the framework of agreements between us and will only bring unilateral steps from Israel’s side.”

He was responding to threats by chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat that the Palestinian Authority would ask the UN Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state in all of the post-1967 territories with its capital in East Jerusalem — part of Israel’s united capital of Jerusalem and formally under Israeli sovereignty for over four decades.

Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority and universally acclaimed moderate, has joined the fray with some immoderate words,saying: “God willing, we will soon have an independent state with its capital in Jerusalem. … Today we are renewing our commitment to the entire Palestinian people — the martyrs, the wounded and the prisoners … to continue the path to victory, the path to a free and independent Palestine.” Given that “martyrs” refers to suicide bombers and “prisoners” to convicted terrorists in Israeli jails, these words would be regarded as endorsement and encouragement of terrorism if someone less diplomatically protected and anointed than Abbas had uttered them.

Israeli leaders have fired back some warning shots.

Even some visitors from abroad have gotten into the act. Bill Clinton, speaking at the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv,said: “In the last 14 years, not a single week has gone by that I did not think of Yitzhak Rabin and miss him terribly. Nor has a single week gone by in which I have not reaffirmed my conviction that had he not lost his life on that terrible November night, within three years we would have had a comprehensive agreement for peace in the Middle East.” For many Israelis who lived through the drastically increased terrorism of the early “Oslo process” and then through the three years of greatly reduced terrorism during Netanyahu’s first term as prime minister, the second sentence of that quote from Clinton is more than a little problematic.

To top it off, Arnold Schwarzenegger is here too, though he appears to be keeping his remarks mercifully neutral and anodyne.

What’s behind the rhetoric? The idea of a unilateral Palestinian push for statehood was broached recently by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and has been gaining steam. The Palestinians say that with the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic talks frozen, they have no choice but to try and get their state by their own means. A quirk in that position is that, ever since Barack Obama became U.S. president, it’s Abbas who has steadfastly refused to meet with Netanyahu whereas Netanyahu has been constantly affirming his readiness to meet with Abbas and start negotiations on the two-state solution.

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Love of the Land: Diplomatic Warfare: Palestinians Threaten Unilateral Statehood

Love of the Land: Spain, Israel and the Row Over UNIFIL

Spain, Israel and the Row Over UNIFIL

Soeren Kern
Hudson New York
16 November 09

Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Strategic Studies Group

Both friends and foes believe that Zapatero’s increasingly erratic anti-Israel antics are undermining Spain’s international credibility. And indeed, the Zapatero government’s is becoming more radical in its anti-Israel bias.

Earlier this year, for example, a Spanish magistrate aligned with the Socialist party attempted to prosecute Israeli officials for war crimes. In August, the Zapatero government paid for 40 Spanish activists to travel to Israel to rebuild Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem that the Israeli government deemed illegal and tore down in 2008. More recently, Zapatero’s Housing Ministry disqualified a group of Israeli academics from a solar power design competition (which is being sponsored by the US Energy Department) because their university is in the West Bank.

But what about UNIFIL, where Spain has deployed around 1,000 troops?

Most analysts agree that UNIFIL’s mission has been compromised from the start. Although UN Resolution 1701, which brought an end to the Lebanon war in August 2006, is unequivocal in its call for an arms embargo, UNIFIL’s rules of engagement were deliberately muddled by countries like Spain to prevent the force from actively looking for Hezbollah’s weapons.

The lack of a clear commitment by UNIFIL to disarm Hezbollah is a shortcoming that Iran and Syria have been quick to exploit: They have rebuilt Hezbollah’s arsenal while Europeans have stood by and watched.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has cancelled a November 4 and 5 visit to Spain amid a dispute over the command of the European-led United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The visit was called off after reports surfaced that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had secretly asked Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to keep Italy in command of the 13,000-strong UNIFIL force for six months longer than planned, instead of allowing Spain to take over.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Spain, Israel and the Row Over UNIFIL

Love of the Land: Britain's least effective lobby?

Britain's least effective lobby?

Melanie Phillips
The Spectator
16 November 09

In respect of tonight’s TV programme on the allegedly malign influence of the Israel lobby in Britain -- previewed here in today’s Guardian by presenter Peter Oborne -- readers may find enlightening these comments by Robin Shepherd, who takes issue with Oborne’s claim that he is not peddling ‘Jewish conspiracy theory’, and Tom Gross, who observes that there is no effective British pro-Israel lobby.

A propos, in view of Oborne’s suggestion that pressure from pro-Israel donors upon the Tory party silenced criticism of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza by the Tories’ foreign affairs spokesman William Hague, it is instructive to see what Hague actually said about that operation.

He first called for restraint from Israel:

‘We deeply regret the loss of civilian life in Gaza today. We call on the Israeli government to show restraint. At the same time we call on Hamas to stop the rocket attacks which are an unacceptable threat to Israel’s security, so that the ceasefire, which Hamas failed to renew, can be urgently restored’.

A few days later, he amplified this when he called upon Israel to stop its action against Hamas:

‘I am gravely concerned about the continuing violence in Gaza and the numbers of civilians killed and injured. The crisis is exacting a terrible human toll on both sides and it is imperative that further loss of life is avoided. I join the Security Council’s call for an immediate ceasefire and call on Arab countries to use their influence to urge Hamas to end rocket attacks on Israel. I also call on Israel to work with the international community so that the humanitarian relief so desperately needed in Gaza can be provided. The British Government must work with the United States and other members of the Middle East Quartet to secure an early return to negotiations in 2009. The only long-term solution is a negotiated two-state agreement that achieves a viable and secure Palestinian state living alongside a secure Israel with her right to live in peace and security recognised by all her neighbours. The world looks to the new President of the United States to place these negotiations at the top of his foreign policy agenda and to pursue them with vigour and determination from the very outset.’

He also condemned the Israeli shelling of the UN headquarters and joined the outcry over the ‘humanitarian crisis’ in Gaza:

William Hague, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, said: ‘The shelling of the UN Headquarters in Gaza is unacceptable. This undercuts efforts to bring relief to the people of Gaza and is against Israel's own interests. The UNWRA provides food and aid to over a million Palestinian refugees in Gaza. The suspension of its operations will bring more misery to civilians. We desperately need a ceasefire by both sides, not further escalation. Both sides must meet their obligations to protect aid workers at all times.’

He also, as reported here, called for alleged Israeli ‘war crimes’ against the Palestinians to be investigated.

Given that Hague allied himself to some degree with the disproportionate canards of anti-Israel hysteria over Cast Lead and went along with at least some of the blood libels used to defame Israel– not mention the more extreme denunciations emanating from the Labour Foreign Secretary David Miliband -- can there ever have been in fact a weaker and more ineffective pressure group than Britain’s Israel lobby?

Love of the Land: Britain's least effective lobby?

Love of the Land: Bill Clinton pushes false State Department line

Bill Clinton pushes false State Department line
14 November 09

One sometimes forgets what a fool Bill Clinton was capable of being. And then he reminds us:

“In the last 14 years, not a single week has gone by that I did not think of Yitzhak Rabin and miss him terribly,” Clinton told a VIP gathering at the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv.

“Nor has a single week gone by in which I have not reaffirmed my conviction that had he not lost his life on that terrible November night, within three years we would have had a comprehensive agreement for peace in the Middle East.” — Ha’aretz

Oh really? What does Clinton think Rabin would have added to the already over-the-top offers made to the Palestinians at Camp David and Taba that would have caused Arafat to accept them?

Does he think Arafat would have refrained from sponsoring terrorism and educating a generation to be suicide bombers if Rabin had been alive? Does he think that any of the clear messages sent by the Palestinians to this day, that the only ‘peace’ deal that they would accept is unconditional surrender, would have not been sent if Rabin were around?

Either he really is a fool and actually believes this, or he is helping push the current State Department line (after all, his wife is the Secretary) that the reason that there isn’t ‘peace’ is that Israel isn’t giving up enough. Just like the helpful media, Clinton is reinforcing the message that the problem is Israel’s intransigence rather than Palestinian anti-Zionism.

“If you want it, it is no legend,” Herzl said. Unfortunately, this inspiring proposition is only sometimes true. Some people want a peaceful two-state solution next week, but this is one of those times that reality intervenes, and it doesn’t matter how much one wants it, it remains a dream.

Love of the Land: Bill Clinton pushes false State Department line

Love of the Land: Top British documentary makers peddle conspiracy theory about secretive Zionist lobby ahead of landmark TV show

Journalist Peter Oborne

Robin Shepherd
Robin Shepherd Online
16 November 09

(This article has been updated with links to the full pamphlet explaining the show which airs Monday night. The distortions therein are quite breathtaking. The update also gives a link to Melanie Phillips’ take on the matter. For both, see the links at the end of the article)

You know the old line about the racist who prefaces a torrent of racially charged abuse with the words: “I’m not a racist, but…”? Something similar about conspiracy theories could be said about the makers of a landmark documentary due to be aired this evening on Britain’s Channel 4 Television alleging that a secretive group of Zionists (just “Zionists”, not Jews you understand) has got hold of Britain’s main political parties and is manipulating them to spew pro-Israeli propaganda.

Writing about their documentary in the Guardian (where else?), Peter Oborne, a columnist for the Daily Mail, and television journalist James Jones are, of course, anxious that they should not actually be labelled as conspiracy theorists and seek to pre-empt such charges thus: “It is important to say what we did not find,” they tell us nervously. “There is no conspiracy, and nothing resembling a conspiracy.”

Except that their entire piece makes it quite clear that a conspiracy is precisely what is being alleged.

Read the rest of this entry »

Love of the Land: Top British documentary makers peddle conspiracy theory about secretive Zionist lobby ahead of landmark TV show

Love of the Land: NYT derisive over Jewish claims to Temple Mount

NYT derisive over Jewish claims to Temple Mount

Leo Rennert
American Thinker
15 November 09

In its Nov. 15 edition, the New York Times features a lengthy article by Jerusalem correspondent Isabel Kershner about publication of a book by Israeli and Palestinian scholars of Jewish and Muslim claims to Temple Mount. Kershner notes that this is the site that "Jews revere as the location of their two ancient temples, and that now houses the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam."

What interests me about the article is not so much the contents of the book, which I have yet to read, as Kershner's own derisive and dismissive view of Jewish claims to Temple Mount, coupled with a more deferential attitude to the Muslim side.

Putting aside the various views expressed in the book, here's Kershner's -- and the New York Times' -- own verdict on which side appears to have the stronger claims:

"The lack of archaeological evidence of the ancient temples has led many Palestinians to deny any real Jewish attachment or claim to the plateau," Kershner writes.

Nothing in Kershner's article about archaeological finds that point the other way, especially about the Second Temple, destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 of the current era.

Nothing in Kershner's article about evidence of the Second Temple in the writing of the Jewish-Roman historian Josephus.

Nothing in Kershner's article about the frieze on the Arch of Titus in Rome showing the triumphant return of Roman soldiers carrying the Menorah from the Second Temple.

Nothing in Kershner's article about Jesus's presence in and around the Temple.

Nothing in Kershner's article about specific refrerences in the Koran to both Jewish temples. Yes, in the Koran!

As far as Kershner is concerned, Jews may revere Temple Mount because they believe the temples existed, but her own spin is that there's no empirical evidence to substantiate such a belief.

As for the current status of the Temple Mount amid sporadic tensions and clashes, Kershner is much harder on Jewish behavior on Temple Mount than on Muslim outrages which she glosses over or totally ignores.
(Read full article)

Love of the Land: NYT derisive over Jewish claims to Temple Mount

Love of the Land: Ha'aretz's Mualem Waters Down Mofaz Plan

Ha'aretz's Mualem Waters Down Mofaz Plan

Tamar Sternthal
16 November 09

Haaretz Mofaz plan small.jpg

A page three large font headline in Ha'aretz yesterday informs readers:

Mofaz supporters: Haaretz poll shows Israelis are willing to talk with Hamas

The article, by Mazal Mualem, begins:

A Haaretz poll showing 57 percent support for Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz's peace plan "proves the Israeli public is almost always a step ahead of its leadership," sources close to Mofaz said yesterday.

Mofaz's plan includes negotiations with Hamas and an interim Palestinian state on 60 percent of the West Bank in a year.

"The survey results speak for themselves, and here's proof for all to see the Israeli public isn't shocked or appalled by the idea of negotiating with Hamas," one Mofaz associate said.

Not once does the 11 paragraph article by Mualem note that Mofaz's proposal endorses dialogue with Hamas only if the group relinquishes terrorism and recognizes Israel, a fact pointed out in the second paragraph of Friday's front-page article by Yossi Verter, also in Ha'aretz.

Moreover, this would not be the first time a Dialog poll was cited to claim that a majority of Israelis support negotiations with Hamas. And it would not be the first time that poll results from Tami Steinmetz Center of Tel Aviv University contradict the Dialog results. The September 2009 Tami Steinmetz War and Peace Index states:

As to the question of whether Hamas can or cannot be a side to negotiations on a peace agreement with the Palestinians, a clear majority of the Jewish public (71%) says no, while a 53% majority of the Arab public says yes.

Love of the Land: Ha'aretz's Mualem Waters Down Mofaz Plan

Love of the Land: Israeli wins gold in fencing; Austrian hosts don't play 'Hatikva'

Israeli wins gold in fencing; Austrian hosts don't play 'Hatikva'

JPost Staff
15 November 09

(Congratulations to Daria and her teammates, both for the win, and for knowing at 14, what's expected of you.)

Israeli fencer Daria Strelnikov won the gold medal at the cadet's fencing world championship in Austria Saturday night. However, as the 14-year-old athlete stood at the podium waiting to hear the Israeli national anthem, she was greeted by a disturbing quiet.

Strelnikov and a fellow teammate on the podium decided to fill in the silence by singing Hatikva themselves. They were joined by their coach, and other supporting voices in the crowd.

Love of the Land: Israeli wins gold in fencing; Austrian hosts don't play 'Hatikva'

Love of the Land: AP's Caption Challenged Photographer

AP's Caption Challenged Photographer

Tamar Sternthal
15 November 09

Remember Bernat Armangue, the AP photographer whose erroneous photo caption wrongly stated that a Palestinian protestor passed out, even though he was holding his hand up in the air? (CAMERA staff prompted a correction.)

Once again, Bernat Armangue is caption challenged. Consider the following photo and caption:

haredi al aqsa sm.jpg

An ultra Orthodox Jewish man pauses in front [sic] the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third-holiest site and known by Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009

Here are the problems with this caption, starting with the fundamental falsehood followed by two secondary points:

1) This caption gives the misimpression that the man is actually standing in front of the mosque, on the Temple Mount. Given the tensions surrounding the Temple Mount in recent weeks, the presence of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man standing in front of the mosque could be enough to set off additional Arab rioting, both on the mount and in nearby eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods.

In reality, he is apparently standing at the top of the steps that lead down to the Western Wall. He is resting his left arm on something, most likely the wall at the overlook at the top of those steps. From where he stands, he is separated from the Temple Mount by the Western Wall plaza. Especially in light of the sensitivity of the site, there is a huge difference between an ultra-Orthodox man standing on the entrance steps to the Western Wall, an area next to the Temple Mount and completely under Israeli control, versus an ultra-Orthodox man standing in front of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, on the Temple Mount itself, which is under the day-to-day control of the Islamic Waqf.

This would not be the first time that an AP photo caption has incorrectly placed a scene on the Temple Mount.

2) Why refer to the Temple Mount as the third holiest site in Islam and not point out that it is the holiest in Judaism?

3) The Al-Aqsa Mosque is not known by Jews to be the Temple Mount, it is known to Jews to be on the Temple Mount.

AP corrected photo captions in September 2000 and May 2009. We await a November 2009 correction as well.

(Hat tip to Yisrael Medad, who noticed this photo on BBC's Web site).

Love of the Land: AP's Caption Challenged Photographer

Love of the Land: Terra Incognita: The (ir)responsibility of the academy

Terra Incognita: The (ir)responsibility of the academy

Seth Frantzman
15 November 09

(Thoughtful with interesting points)

Recent debates surrounding politics at university have usually juxtaposed two different political viewpoints against one another. The Right argues that the academy is overflowing with extreme-leftist professors who work to undermine the existence of the state at home and abroad. The Left argues that its freedom of expression is being threatened by the Right and that its campaigns for "justice" or "human rights" are part of making the state more humane.

The Left believes that if a few of its extremist voices call for boycotts of their own universities then that might be "misplaced," but it is part and parcel of a democratic society. Perhaps both sides are right. The academy is at the forefront of anti-Israel intellectual extremism. It is also a bastion of freedom of expression in a free society.

But what both sides are missing is a third view of the academy, namely one that sees it as enshrining certain values, three of which should be responsibility, decency and maturity. The extreme-leftist antics of some faculty members should not be curtailed by laws or by dismissal from the academy. Instead there should be an inculcation of self-control.

Instead of crying "Nazi" every time the IDF does something an academic disagrees with, one could hold his tongue. Instead of requesting the boycott of one's own university, one could have some restraint. Instead of signing petitions encouraging soldiers to desert their units or calling on European powers to immediately intervene to "save" the Palestinians from a "genocide," one could show some self-control.

It is apparent that the central problem with too many of Israel's academics is that they are unsure of their place in society, they misunderstand their relevance and they are embittered and hysterical in their pronouncements to the point of having a childlike "crying wolf" mentality when discussing the conflict in the Middle East.

Consider a few examples. Prof. Ada Yonath, fresh after receiving a Nobel Prize, instead of saying a few words of praise for a society that gave her the opportunities to succeed and excel, immediately launched into a barrage of opinions about Gilad Schalit. She declared that Israel should release all its Palestinian prisoners and that holding them was the real source of all Palestinian attacks on Israel.
(Continue to full article)

Love of the Land: Terra Incognita: The (ir)responsibility of the academy

Love of the Land: Non Believers

Non Believers

the Islamist and the Non Believer : Dry Bones cartoon.

The focus of today's cartoon is the Western "Non Believer".

These folks are committed to not believing what is happening before their eyes. Their ability to maintain their non-belief in the Islamist war that is being waged against them is astounding!

Love of the Land: Non Believers

RubinReports: Life in an American Fourth Grade: Teaching Kids to "Respect Other Views" by Making Them Not Have Any of Their Own

Life in an American Fourth Grade: Teaching Kids to "Respect Other Views" by Making Them Not Have Any of Their Own

[Please subscribe for news/analysis of the Middle East, U.S. foreign policy, and reports from the fourth grade]

By Barry Rubin

First came the reading list of four books: one about an African-American, one on an Asian- or Hispanic-American, one on a Native American, and one--amazingly enough--a free choice.

Then came the first book read in class on an African-American runner.

By the way, it should be understood that all these readings are not about a group of youngsters from all races, religions, and creeds, playing together while getting along but rather a focus on minorities in isolation rather than as part of the whole big society.

And next came the second book read in class, portraying the “horrors” of Japanese internment in the United States during World War Two.

By this point, my 10-year-old son piped up that he thought internment was necessary as a war-time measure. Whether or not this position is "correct," it is certainly one that wasn't going to be made otherwise in that classroom.

The teacher gave my son’s remark, in conversation with my wife, as an indication that he was opinionated and didn’t listen to other views. Naturally, of course, precisely the same thing can be said of the teacher. Different views weren't permitted in the class. Indeed, when he gave another opinion the opinionated teacher shut him up fast. Remember that these students had never been presented with two points of view but only one, over and over again.

No commemoration of September 11 but three days on manmade global warming. Even if the latter is more likely true, no alternative point of view or reservations were expressed.

The teacher explained later to my wife that when she went to school she was taught that the Indians were “bad” but now she understands things from the Indians, I mean Native Americans, view point. When applied to history and international affairs, this is clearly the dominant orientation today: America is always in the wrong

But dimwitted guardians of our children don’t understand the most basic concept of democracy and free speech. If at one point, teaching portrayed Native Americans as “bad” and the U.S. government, cavalry, and white settlers as “good,” the best solution is not simply to reverse this and to teach that Native Americans are “good,” and the United States, cavalry, and white settlers were “bad.”

One-dimensional propaganda is no proper substitute for one-dimensional propaganda. It would be far more beneficial for students to be taught how to think, that not everything is black and white, that some balance must be found. Ironically, all those people who once touted such slogans as “challenge authority” are now asserting authority more vigorously than those they displaced. Their new approach is: repeat what I say or you are opinionated and closed to alternative ideas

In addition, they must develop their own point of view. All "other" and no self makes Jack a dull boy. It deprives native-born Americans of an ego, to use Sigmund Freud's term, and just makes them a reflection of their treatment of others, which is presented universally as not good.

In this class at least, all of the "African-" and "Asian" and "Hispanic" American students are immigrants so they don't know much about America or its achievements or the concept of the melting pot. They aren't going to learn it here. What they will learn is that the United States is a series of disunited set of communal states, semi-separate communities--a sort of confederation--and that the whites in particular, and the Americans in general, have treated everybody pretty badly.

Of course, the goal, whether conscious or not, is precisely to teach little kids that their country is bad and that others—especially its enemies—are in the right. The goal is not to teach children to be more open to alternative explanations but to teach them that there is only one right answer. And, usually, it isn’t the one that arises from their own group’s history and interests.

Of course, it is proper to teach about all the different groups that went up to make America. But not just the non-Caucasian ones, not to the exclusion of the majority group, not only in the context of these other sectors being apart from the whole. The old slogan of racism in the form of segregation was "separate but equal," that;s the new "progressive" slogan, too, unless one considers it to be--with some reason--separate and superior.

Ironically, all those people who once touted such slogans as “challenge authority” are now asserting authority more vigorously than those they displaced.

“Multiculturalism is an excuse for anti-intellectualism,” one veteran high school teacher told me, “Some of it was a necessary corrective in the 1970s and 1980s but it has gone way overboard.”

And that’s quite true: you don’t have to think about the rights and wrongs or messy details of the issue (all that scalping and murder of not only settler civilians but also members of other tribes). You simply side with the prefabricated victim group in question. The “oppressor” is always the same, of course.

I also noted a funny thing about this version of Political Correctness. The women’s issue has virtually disapeared. I speculate that women as a victim group is a problem for those with a political agenda. Women divide up roughly along the same political lines as men. They are not reliable “bloc voters”; the issue does not lend itself to bashing American society. Perhaps too much obvious progress has been made.

What the PC commissars want is to focus on groups that can fit entirely into their victim and anti-American framework. Consider the idea of having a story read about a woman in some Muslim woman living in the Middle East or even United States who is oppressed. That would be a definite no-no.

RubinReports: Life in an American Fourth Grade: Teaching Kids to "Respect Other Views" by Making Them Not Have Any of Their Own

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DoubleTapper: Yuri Foreman first Israeli boxer to win major title

Yuri Foreman first Israeli boxer to win major title

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس

Last night, after the Jewish Sabbath ended, Yuri Foreman became the first Israeli boxer to win a major world title.

Foreman, an aspiring rabbi who mixes religious studies with work in the gym, beat Daniel Santos after 12 rounds to claim the WBA super welterweight crown.

Foreman, 29 years old, was born in Belarus but lived in Israel from the ages of 10 to 19, knocked Santos down with a right hand in the final round, but by then the outcome had long since been decided. He won 117-109 on two ringside scorecards and 116-110 on the third, upsetting the odds to bring glory to Israel.

Congratulations to Yuri as he joins the tradition of Jewish Boxing Champions

DoubleTapper: Yuri Foreman first Israeli boxer to win major title
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