Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Israel Matzav: Israelis in Dubai: Inspector Tamim is full of hot air

Israelis in Dubai: Inspector Tamim is full of hot air

The more I hear about Dubai police chief Dubai police chief Lt.-Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the more I believe that my quip that he reminds me of Baghdad Bob was spot on. With apologies to Allah and Ed and their new owners, the Israelis in Dubai say that Tamim is full of - well - hot air.

A day after Dubai police chief Lt.-Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim said travelers suspected of being Israeli would not be allowed into the country, Israeli businesspeople who visit there regularly said his statement was mostly hot air.


While not rushing to come forth and identify themselves in the media, frequent Israeli visitors to Dubai responded nonchalantly to questions about the threat posed to their business dealings, and said they thought the episode would soon blow over.

“The bottom line is that the whole world wants Israeli hi-tech, agricultural and medical products, and that includes the residents of the United Arab Emirates,” said S., an Israeli-American trade promoter who travels to Dubai several times a year. “If they need the product, they quickly learn to ignore its origin.”

S. noted, “The police chief said that they will bar the entrance of people with dual citizenship, but there is no way they can find out if someone carries an Israeli passport aside from the one they present at the border patrol. He, like many other anti-Semites, seems to think he can sniff out Jews or Israelis, but really there is no way of knowing. He knows that, too, but because of the pervasive anti-Israel sentiment in the country at the moment, he has to at least pretend that he can do something. Otherwise, he won’t be around much longer.”

According to S., being anti-Semitic or anti-Israel in the Gulf is more a matter of appearance than reality.

“The problem isn’t if you purchase an Israeli product, the problem is what happens if your neighbor finds out you purchased it,” he said.

S. said he found that the anti-Israel sentiment seemed to lessen among the younger generation.

“Many younger people don’t like the strict civil and religious dictates and choose to ignore the mind-set disseminated by the authorities. For them, buying Israeli products may be a way of sticking it to the man,” he suggested.

“I once attended a trade show in Dubai where a man wearing a long jalabiya, a checkered keffiyeh, and sporting a long Wahhabi-style beard approached me,” S. recalled. “We started talking business, and he mentioned that he wanted to buy products from my country. Since I was there representing an American company, I assumed he was talking about the United States, but then he pointed to my business card and said it again: ‘I want to buy products from your country.’ He was pointing at the Israeli cellphone number on my business card.”

Read the whole thing. For those of you who don't know how (or who didn't know that) Israelis do business in Arab countries, it will be a real eye opener.

Israel Matzav: Israelis in Dubai: Inspector Tamim is full of hot air

Israel Matzav: Maureen Dowd goes off the deep end

Maureen Dowd goes off the deep end

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd sings the 'progressive' praises of Saudi Arabia, a country where it's still illegal to believe in any faith other than Islam, a country in which pre-pubescent girls are married off by their families with no say in the matter, and a country in which a woman seen talking to a strange man can be gang-raped, whipped for being promiscuous and then murdered for impugning upon her family's 'honor' (Hat Tip: David F).

Instead, Dowd attacks Israel for being a country in which 'some Orthodox men' (everyone that I know) thank God every morning for not making them women (if she had bothered to ask, she would have discovered that we make that blessing because men are required to fulfill more religious commandments than are women and we are thankful to God for having the opportunity to do so - women make a parallel blessing in which they thank God for making them as He wished).

Here's a sample of Dowd:

Yet by the Saudis’ premodern standards, the 85-year-old King Abdullah, with a harem of wives, is a social revolutionary. The kingdom just announced a new law that will allow female lawyers to appear in court for the first time, if only for female clients on family cases. Last month, the king appointed the first woman to the council of ministers. Last year, he opened the first co-ed university. He has encouraged housing developments with architecture that allows families, and boys and girls within families, to communicate more freely.

Young Saudi women whom I interviewed said that the popular king has relaxed the grip of the bullying mutawa, the bearded religious police officers who patrol the streets ready to throw you in the clink at the first sign of fun or skin. Their low point came in 2002 when they notoriously stopped teenage girls without head scarves from fleeing a fire at a school in Mecca; 15 girls died. Two years ago, they arrested an American woman living here while she was sitting in a Starbucks with her male business partner, even though she was in a curtained booth in the “family” section designated for men and women.

“It is not allowed for any woman to travel alone and sit with a strange man and talk and laugh and drink coffee together like they are married,” the religious police said.

The attempts at more tolerance are belated baby steps to the outside world but in this veiled, curtained and obscured fortress, they are ’60s-style cataclysmic social changes. Last week, Sheik Abdul Rahman al-Barrak, a pugnacious cleric, shocked Saudis by issuing a fatwa against those who facilitate the mixing of men and women. Given that such a fatwa clearly would include the king, Prince Saud dismissed it.

“I think the trend for reform is set, and there is no looking back,” he told me. “Clerics who every now and then come with statements in the opposite direction are releasing frustration rather than believing that they can stop the trend and turn back the clock.”

Jennifer Rubin rips Dowd.

She gets in her swipe at Israel, sniffing that it is “growing less secular with religious militants and the chief rabbinate that would like to impose a harsh and exclusive interpretation of Judaism upon the entire society” and hissing that in “Orthodox synagogues, some men still say a morning prayer thanking God for not making them a woman.” And then she proceeds to assure us that while Gloria Steinem wouldn’t applaud Saudi Arabia as a feminist paradise, “I can confirm that, at their own galactically glacial pace, they are chipping away at gender apartheid and cultural repression.”

Oh really? Perhaps she had not heard about or was not permitted a peak at the real Saudi Arabia.

Well, you can bet she wasn't allowed to go left at the fork in the road to Mecca. Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: Maureen Dowd goes off the deep end

Love of the Land: Dowd Goes Around the Bend

Dowd Goes Around the Bend

Jennifer Rubin
03 March '10

Goodness knows whether Maureen Dowd’s latest column — a noxious propaganda brew on behalf of the Kingdom of Saud and its foreign minister’s ludicrous moral relativism – was born of abject ignorance or whether she was sent trolling for Saudi money to help her employer’s bottom line. Or maybe she’s trying to out-Friedman her colleague when it comes to ingratiating herself with despotic abusers of human rights. Doesn’t really matter. From Dowd we hear unfiltered this argument:

The Middle Eastern foreign minister was talking about enlightened “liberal” trends in his country, contrasting that with the benighted “extreme” conservative religious movement in a neighboring state.

But the wild thing was that the minister was Prince Saud al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia — an absolute Muslim monarchy ruling over one of the most religiously and socially intolerant places on earth — and the country he deemed too “religiously determined” and regressive was the democracy of Israel.

“We are breaking away from the shackles of the past,” the prince said, sitting in his sprawling, glinting ranch house with its stable of Arabian horses and one oversized white bunny. “We are moving in the direction of a liberal society. What is happening in Israel is the opposite; you are moving into a more religiously oriented culture and into a more religiously determined politics and to a very extreme sense of nationhood,” which was coming “to a boiling point.”

She gets in her swipe at Israel, sniffing that it is “growing less secular with religious militants and the chief rabbinate that would like to impose a harsh and exclusive interpretation of Judaism upon the entire society” and hissing that in “Orthodox synagogues, some men still say a morning prayer thanking God for not making them a woman.” And then she proceeds to assure us that while Gloria Steinem wouldn’t applaud Saudi Arabia as a feminist paradise, “I can confirm that, at their own galactically glacial pace, they are chipping away at gender apartheid and cultural repression.”

Oh really? Perhaps she had not heard about or was not permitted a peak at the real Saudi Arabia. From a more discerning eye, another perspective is in order:

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Dowd Goes Around the Bend

Love of the Land: Dinner in Damascus: What Did Iran Ask of Hizballah?

Dinner in Damascus: What Did Iran Ask of Hizballah?

David Schenker/Matthew Levitt
Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Policy Watch #1637
02 March '10

On February 26, Syrian president Bashar al-Asad hosted Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinezhad and Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah for a dinner in Damascus. Nasrallah is a routine guest in the capital, but the timing of this high-profile trip -- just a week after the United States dispatched Undersecretary of State William Burns to Damascus and nominated its first new ambassador in five years -- seemed calculated not only to irritate Washington, but also to highlight the central role Hizballah plays in Iran and Syria's strategic planning. Apart from serving as a pivot between Tehran and Damascus, however, the group also holds the power to engulf Lebanon and perhaps the entire region into another war through actions of its own.

Unfulfilled Promise of Retaliation

Two years after Hizballah military commander Imad Mughniyah was assassinated in Damascus -- prompting Nasrallah to declare an "open war" on Israel, the presumed perpetrator -- the group has yet to successfully retaliate. But it is not for lack of trying: in 2008, two Hizballah operatives and several Azerbaijani nationals were convicted of plotting attacks against the Israeli and U.S. embassies in Baku and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. The same year, Turkish authorities foiled as many as six possible Hizballah terrorist plots targeting Israelis and possibly the local Jewish community. Iranian intelligence agents were reportedly helping the group establish a network of operatives posing as tourists.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Dinner in Damascus: What Did Iran Ask of Hizballah?

Love of the Land: Dubai's Mossad Videos: The Mother of All Distractions

Dubai's Mossad Videos: The Mother of All Distractions

Honest Reporting/Backspin
03 March '10

Is Dubai’s police chief playing the media like a fiddle? I don’t rule it out after reading this NY Times snippet:

For the moment, Dubai’s aggressive response has interrupted the steady stream of negative news coverage about the city’s continuing struggles with debt, and — perhaps not coincidentally — shifted attention to its crime-fighting prowess. That may partly reflect the priorities of Mr. Tamim, who has strong ties to the city’s ruler and enjoys greater latitude than almost any other public official here.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Dubai's Mossad Videos: The Mother of All Distractions

Love of the Land: The Vision Thing

The Vision Thing

Emmanuel Navon
For The Sake Of Zion
03 March '10

The man whom George W. Bush used to dismissingly call “The Eye Doctor” seems to be doing fine without glasses. Bashar al-Assad, an ophthalmologist who inherited his father’s hereditary job only because his older brother was killed in a car accident, has turned the tables on the United States. Five years ago, he complied with the American injunction to pull his troops out of Lebanon. Today, he is publicly humiliating the United States.

In February 2005, the US withdrew its ambassador to Syria following the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. Assad’s involvement in Hariri’s murder was so obvious that former French President Jacques Chirac, a personal friend of Hariri (and long-term guest in his Paris apartment), has been boycotting Assad ever since. By recalling its ambassador, the US was also expressing its discontent with the fact that Syria hosts and shields Palestinian terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, transfers weapons from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon, lets terrorists crossing into Iraq, supports Iran’s foreign policy goals, and cooperates with Iran and North Korea to develop nuclear capabilities (concerns about Syria’s suspected nuclear program were brought to the world’s attention by the Israeli bombing of an alleged nuclear facility in eastern Syria in 2007).

Last month, five years exactly after the scolding of the Bush Administration, President Obama nominated Robert Ford as the new US Ambassador to Syria. The rationale of the current US Administration is that Assad can be sweet-talked into trading his alliance with Iran for a deal with America. Obama’s gamble has produced immediate results, but not the expected ones. Shortly after the nomination of Ambassador Ford, Ahmadinejad paid an official and pompous visit to Damascus (where he also met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah). Baffled, Hillary Clinton asked Assad why he was doing the opposite of what her government’s policy was supposed to produce. Assad responded as follows: “We have a hard time understanding Clinton, either because of a translation problem or because of our limited capabilities.” Hillary Clinton is being pushed around by Middle Eastern machos and America is being ridiculed.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: The Vision Thing

Love of the Land: What a hutzpa

What a hutzpa

Ben-Dror Yemini
03 March '10

THE REUT report has already generated a significant buzz and a wide range of incredible responses.

One of the most important documents about the delegitimization process against Israel was recently published by the Reut Institute. It reported that over the past year, Israel has been the subject of a campaign of unprecendented force – which reached its peak with the Goldstone Report – against it in North America and Europe, “where Israel is slowly becoming a ‘state beyond the pale’ as its right to exist is challenged.”

It describes two types of networks – the “resistance network” comprised of nations, NGOs and individulals who reject Israel’s right to exist on the basis of ideology, and the “delegitimization network” comprised of those who reject its right to exist based on a combination of political objections, including branding Israel as the ultimate “human rights violator.”

The report states that these networks have devised seemingly effective strategies to advance their claims and that their success “stems from their ability to engage and mobilize others.”

The report goes on to mention that Israel has presented an “inadequate systemic response” and offers counter-strategies and proposes policy changes for fighting back against the posed “existential threat.”

THE REUT report has yet to be translated into English (but an executive summary is available in English on the Reut Web site) but has already generated a significant buzz and a wide range of incredible responses.

One of these responses is that of Bouthaina Shaaban, a former minister in the Syrian government, who currently serves as a senior adviser to President Bashar Assad.

The text, titled “The Decade of the Victory for Freedom and Justice,” published in CounterPunch magazine, is incredible because it confirms the report’s claim: The struggle against Israel has shifted to the arena of “human rights,” in whose name the campaign to delegitimize Israel is waged.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: What a hutzpa

Love of the Land: Another Hit Job By The Financial Times

Another Hit Job By The Financial Times

Marty Peretz
The New Republic
02 March '10

Hardly a day goes by that the Financial Times doesn’t do a hit job on Israel. The otherwise sober pink sheet has such an obsession with the Jewish state that I’ve come to wonder what its views were on the rescue of Jewish children into England during the Nazi onslaught on them and on their parents.

Tobias Buck is virtually on call full time to twist Israeli reality into his own jaundiced view of Zionism. Last week in the FT, he came to conclusions about Israel’s diplomatic isolation which he himself had trumpeted. Since Buck is the paper’s Israel correspondent, all you have to do is pick up the daily or log on to its web site, and you’re almost sure to find the same story he wrote yesterday or last week and will surely write tomorrow.

Sometimes the FT sinks so low that it will even ask Henry Siegman, a dreary old Jewish bureaucrat who found glory in being asked to speak at gentile soirees and left-wing “getting-to-yes” talkfests, to write. So, on the very same day, Siegman picked up Buck’s theme and argued that “for Israel, defiance comes at the cost of legitimacy.”

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Another Hit Job By The Financial Times

Love of the Land: So You Want to Boycott Israel

So You Want to Boycott Israel

(As this has been declared to be "Israel Apartheid Week" I didn't want to feel left out.This is truly an oldie but goodie! Y.)

Get the secret tips you won't find anywhere else! Guaranteed to end the occupation now!

Maker's note: This vido was originally posted by me in Spring of 2008. After over 170000 views and well over a thousand comments, it was deleted for being offensive. Whether the whistle-blower was a Palestinian who got the joke or an Israeli who didn't, I don't know. Therefore I must break character and say the following: IT'S A SATIRE! It's all sarcastic! IDFco12

Excellent resource: Divest This!

Love of the Land: So You Want to Boycott Israel

Love of the Land: Dubai Killing: Curiouser and curiouser

Dubai Killing: Curiouser and curiouser

Clarice Feldman
The American Thinker
02 March '10

(It would seem from the Reuters account that he made friends wherever he traveled. This could serve as a case of true "Middle East Peace" cooperation. Y.)

Over the past few days the number of suspects in the Dubai assassination of an Hamas murderer has jumped to 27, two of whom the Dubai authorities traced to an escape to Iran. Dubai officials are now quoted as having offered up at least four different accounts and contradictory accounts of the means of the assassination adding to the notion that this is looking more like Murder on the Orient Express than some streamlined "Mossad" operation as they first claimed.

Adding to the murky nature of all this, Reuters reports:

"Hamas suspects the security forces of an Arab state were behind the assassination of a senior group operative in Dubai earlier this year, the Al-Quds Al-Araby daily reported on Tuesday. Mahmoud Nasser, a member of Hamas' political bureau, told the newspaper that slain commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was likely being tracked by agents from Jordan and Egypt prior to the January 19 killing."

Love of the Land: Dubai Killing: Curiouser and curiouser

Love of the Land: Demography, Geopolitics, and the Future of Israel's Capital: Jerusalem's Proposed Master Plan

Demography, Geopolitics, and the Future of Israel's Capital: Jerusalem's Proposed Master Plan

Nadav Shragai
JCPA Global Law Forum
03 March '10

The aspiration to create and preserve a stable Jewish majority in the unified capital of the State of Israel has been the dream of the Jewish people over many generations.Yet, the Jewish majority in Jerusalem is declining due to the mass migration of the Jewish population from Jerusalem, together with the migration of an additional Arab population into Jerusalem.

According to the proposed master plan for the city, the planned inventory of Jewish housing does not meet expected needs for 2020, while the planned inventory of Arab housing will suffice until at least 2030. Lands earmarked on paper for expanding Jewish neighborhoods are Arab-owned, have unregistered ownership, and a minority are Jewish-owned. In the current political and diplomatic reality, it is not plausible that the state will expropriate land as it did in the past.

Furthermore, the proposed master plan will create urban contiguity between eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods and Palestinian neighborhoods outside the city, reinforcing the Palestinian demand to recognize the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem as a single political entity.

The demographic struggle for a Jewish majority in Jerusalem should be waged with an emphasis on staunching the emigration of Jews from the city. The steps required include building tens of thousands of housing units.

(Read complete report)

Love of the Land: Demography, Geopolitics, and the Future of Israel's Capital: Jerusalem's Proposed Master Plan

Love of the Land: The Deafening Silence Over Paul Martin

The Deafening Silence Over Paul Martin

Honest Reporting/Backspin
02 March '10

Hamas extended the detention of British journalist Paul Martin by 15 days.

Unfortunate news, but hardly suprising. Hamas is waging a war on press freedom, to the point of dictating throwaway lines.

What is surprising is the media's silence on the affair. Martin's not a high-profile personality like Alan Johnston. But you'd think the UK news services that have used Martin's work over the years -- particularly the BBC -- would be more vociferous.

Tom Gross points out:

Paul Martin, who formerly lived in Cairo, has worked for a number of media over the years, including BBC TV and radio. Indeed he was last in Gaza six weeks ago on assignment for the BBC, and yet the almost complete silence of the BBC now on his fate is deafening. Contrast this to the near hourly mentions, day after day, week after week, by the BBC of their former Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston while he was held in Gaza in 2007.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: The Deafening Silence Over Paul Martin

Love of the Land: Our enlightened Fisher-clones

Our enlightened Fisher-clones

Sarah Honig
Another Tack/JPost
26 February '10

Most Israeli leftists are hardly hostile anti-Zionists. They are just a lot like Irving Fisher, the self-confident star-economist.

Israel’s left-wing elite, cliquey opinion-makers, self-serving trend-setters and bon-ton groupies glory in posturing as anti-establishment nonconformists.

Their premise that Jews must always pay is perhaps the root symptom of the Jewish nation’s abnormality and inability to behave like other sovereign nations. Nowhere is there another country whose citizens ponder daily what more to offer their foes, what they can cede to appease and how to curry a little favor abroad.

The need to pay for our right to live is a uniquely Jewish syndrome. We alone bear an onus to justify what’s a self-evident, inalienable right to any other people. Our obsession to analyze things from our enemies’ perspective and understand them is simply unparalleled.

That said, most Israeli leftists are hardly hostile anti-Zionists. They are just a lot like Irving Fisher – among the forerunners of the modern breed of celebrity gurus. The self-confident star-economist’s most famous prediction – in October 1929 – was that “stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” But literally several days later, alas, reality confoundedly interfered with his rosy forecast and financial markets uncooperatively crashed.

Was the oracle of Wall Street a smidge contrite? Heck no. For long months Fisher (non-Jewish despite his name) clung to his optimistic orientation. The Great Depression’s misery notwithstanding, he assured despairing investors that recovery was just around the corner.

Today, when psychologists discuss the cognitive malfunctions and logical fallacies collectively known as wishful thinking, Fisher is almost inevitably cited as a prime example of one whose deductions weren’t based on evidence or sound analysis but on what he desired.

(Read full story)

Love of the Land: Our enlightened Fisher-clones

Love of the Land: Antisemitism and anti-Zionism, joined at the hip

Antisemitism and anti-Zionism, joined at the hip
01 March '10

Recent anti-Israel propaganda seems, more and more, to be mixed with traditional antisemitic images and themes.

[Louis] Farrakhan, speaking to a crowd of 20,000 followers at Chicago’s United Center on Sunday, said that Obama’s political problems began when he, according to the Chicago Sun Times report, stood up to the Jewish lobby during a White House meeting. When they left the White House, his problems began,” Farrakhan said, adding that “the Zionists are in control of the Congress.”

Minister Farrakhan also referred to the U.S. president’s chief economical advisors, Timothy Geithner, Henry Paulson and Larry Summers, asking “Who does he have around him? The people from Goldman Sachs.” [Geithner and Paulson are not Jewish -- ed.] The leader of the Nation of Islam added that “bloodsuckers of the poor” were rewarded with a bailout…

Further on in his address, Farrakhan also reiterated his claims that the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 was “an inside thing…”

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Antisemitism and anti-Zionism, joined at the hip

Israel Matzav: Multilateralism's dead end

Multilateralism's dead end

On Tuesday, I reported that Hillary Clinton had told reporters on her Latin American tour that a resolution imposing new sanctions against Iran would come before the UN Security Council in the next few months. I argued that we cannot wait 'a few months' and that Prime Minister Netanyahu will not wait 'a few months.'

Of course, Obama promised that we would move onto sanctions at the end of September, at the end of December, in February, and now 'in a few months.'

Noah Pollak argues that the reason for the continual delays is that the Obama administration is in denial about the fact that Russia and China will not join any effort to impose new sanctions. Here's why:

There are two reasons, I think. The first is that acknowledging Russia and China’s unwillingness to help would strike the most powerful blow yet to Obama’s central foreign-policy message: that his personality and eagerness for engagement would open up doors for America that were slammed shut by the Bush administration’s alleged arrogance and quickness to go to war. Acknowledging that the Security Council will never allow strong sanctions would be tantamount to admitting that the very logic and premises of Obama’s foreign policy is flawed. Thus, this isn’t really about Iran. It’s about the politics of failure and Obama’s increasingly desperate attempt to shield his presidency from the hard realities of the world.

And there is a practical reason why Obama may never admit that the Security Council is a dead end: doing so would force him to move to a new strategy — and there is no new strategy. So instead of thinking seriously about a Plan B, the administration is simply burying Plan A in a process with no chance of success and no expiration date. This is passivity, and it puts Obama in the position of reacting to events instead of shaping them. That’s not a good position for the American president to be in.

I would add a third reason. Another central plank of Obama's foreign policy is acting through multilateral organizations, particularly the United Nations. If the United Nations cannot answer Iran effectively, that plank is blown to bits. Multilateral organizations like the UN are not capable of reigning in rogue states because ultimately each state has its own interests. In Obama's delusional world, each state subverts its own interests to the common good. But the only states that are subverting their own interests when it comes to Iran are the United States and - for now - Israel.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Multilateralism's dead end

Israel Matzav: UN official calls for end of Gaza 'blockade'

UN official calls for end of Gaza 'blockade'

United Nations Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes called on Israel to lift its 'blockade' of the Gaza Strip, saying that the 'blockade' has "continuing and growing pernicious and negative consequences" that include a situation of "development going backwards."

Israel imposed import restrictions on Gaza after Hamas captured an Israeli soldier in a cross-border raid in 2006, and strengthened them a year later after Hamas, which calls for Israel’s destruction, seized Gaza. Israel allows daily shipments of food, medicine and other supplies.

Mr. Holmes, who was last here a year ago, discounted the legitimacy of using the blockade to force the release of the soldier, Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit. But he said that Sergeant Shalit should be released and should have been granted visits by the Red Cross, which Hamas has not allowed.

Mr. Holmes noted that some commerce had found its way around the blockade through smugglers’ tunnels from the Egyptian Sinai, but noted the dangers of a smuggler economy, including conditions in the tunnels, which frequently collapse.

He toured a factory in northern Gaza that turns rubble into limited amounts of cement. He also saw some mud huts that a few Gazans had started to build.

Of course, Holmes made no demands on Egypt and no demands on Hamas - not even an insistence on Shalit's release. He ignores the consequences of allowing terrorists to cross into Israel, ignores the massive amounts of 'humanitarian aid' that enter Gaza daily (they look like they're starving in the picture at the top, don't they?) and ignores the likelihood that Hamas would hijack any building materials for its own building - rocket building.

But then, you wouldn't expect anything else from the UN, would you?

Israel Matzav: UN official calls for end of Gaza 'blockade'

Israel Matzav: Coup coming in Turkey?

Coup coming in Turkey?

The mass arrest of Turkish army officers last week may leave the Turkish army with no choice but to engage in a coup if they wish to prevent Turkey from becoming an Islamic state according to analyst Daniel Pipes.

The AKP devised an elaborate conspiracy theory in 2007, dubbed “Ergenekon,” to arrest about two hundred AKP critics, including military officers, under accusation of plotting to overthrow the elected government. The military responded passively, so the AKP raised the stakes on January 22 by concocting a second conspiracy theory, this one termed “Balyoz” (“Sledgehammer”) and exclusively directed against the military.

The military denied any illegal activities and the chief of general staff, İlker Başbuğ, warned that “our patience has a limit.” Nonetheless, the government proceeded, starting on February 22, to arrest 67 active and retired military officers, including former heads of the air force and navy. So far, 35 officers have been indicted.

Thus has the AKP thrown down the gauntlet, leaving the military leadership basically with two unattractive options: (1) continue selectively to acquiesce to the AKP and hope that fair elections by 2011 will terminate and reverse this process; or (2) stage a coup d’état, risking voter backlash and increased Islamist electoral strength.

At stake is whether the Ergenekon/Balyoz offensives will succeed in transforming the military from an Ataturkist to a Gülenist institution; or whether the AKP’s blatant deceit and over-reaching will spur secularists to find their voice and their confidence. Ultimately the issue is whether sharia will rule Turkey or the country will return to secularism.

Pipes argues that which way Turkey goes has implications for other Muslim countries as well. Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: Coup coming in Turkey?

Israel Matzav: Nasrallah accuses US embassy of spying for Israel

Nasrallah accuses US embassy of spying for Israel

Hezbullah chieftain Hassan Nasrallah has accused the United States embassy in Beirut of passing information to Israel. Nasrallah has urged the Lebanese government and its security forces not to cooperate with the embassy.


Israel Matzav: Nasrallah accuses US embassy of spying for Israel

Israel Matzav: The Nanny State strikes again: Massachusetts to ban circumcision?

The Nanny State strikes again: Massachusetts to ban circumcision?

Whenever the radical left wants to attack Jewish ritual, they attack one of two things for being 'cruel' and 'inhumane.' One is ritual slaughter. The other is circumcision.

There is a bill pending in the legislature of the People's Republic of Massachusetts that would ban circumcision for anyone under the age of 18. It specifically states no exceptions for religious reasons (Hat Tip: Lance K).

Under the legislation, people who disregard the ban would face a fine and possible 14-year prison sentence.

The proposal classifies male circumcision as genital mutilation and supporters of the bill say male infants can't possible consent to the procedure.

They testified here on Beacon Hill, calling circumcision unethical at its core.

The Centers for Disease Control says lack of circumcision has been linked to sexually transmitted diseases, urinary tract infections and penile cancer.

In the US, common complications include minor bleeding and infection.

The CDC doesn't recommend either way, preferring to leave the decision up to the person and their parents.

There are a lot of comments - most of which seem to be in favor of the bill.

If this passes, I suspect a lot of people in the Boston area will be traveling to Providence to circumcise their sons.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: The Nanny State strikes again: Massachusetts to ban circumcision?

Elder of Ziyon: How Israel-bashers win at York U.

Elder of Ziyon: How Israel-bashers win at York U.

DoubleTapper: Purim Photos

Purim Photos

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس

Peter Parker at the Western Wall

Hat tip Rafi G

DoubleTapper: Purim Photos

Chester Chronicles - Artists Against Hatred: Confronting Genocide in the Middle East

Chester Chronicles - Artists Against Hatred: Confronting Genocide in the Middle East

Israel Matzav: Acer Computers wipes Israel off the map

Acer Computers wipes Israel off the map

Acer computers is based in Taiwan. A reader of the blog was looking for support for his Israeli-bought Acer netbook (with Hebrew keyboard) and was unable to locate his country on Acer's international support map.

Here's Acer's web site:

And here's what you get if you click on Middle East (by the way that web page is located in the United Arab Emirates):

Note the imaginary country that begins with the letter "p" and the missing country that begins with the letter "i."

Now, what's worse is that if you assume that Acer has an Israeli cite and click on, you get taken here and you end up back at the Middle East page.

Perhaps this has something to do with Acer's taking a greater interest in 'Palestine' than in Israel.
The winning of this bid can be attributed to the superior technical know-how, as well as the infrastructure and support of New Techni Comp, Acer's local channel partner and committed IT reseller, based in the bustling city-centre of Ramallah.
Ramallah is about ten minutes from my home, but I can't go there because it's Area A and Israelis cannot go to Area A. Fortunately, I also don't own an Acer computer. I don't believe Mrs. Carl does either, but hers is serviced by the store from which she bought it (mine was bought in the US and brought back as luggage - we also each own an IBM - Lenovo laptop and I have another computer in our storage room whose manufacturer's name escapes me but could be an Acer).

This is not an isolated phenomenon in this part of the world, which does not make Acer's actions any more forgivable.

For example, Adobe has a partnership with Bir Zeit University, which is listed as being in "Palestinian occupied territories," which I suppose is slightly better than the imaginary country of 'Palestine.'

But that information is probably inputted by Bir Zeit itself.

Here's Cisco's web site:

Note the imaginary country of 'Palestine' which appears in the emerging markets.

But Cisco Israel has its own web page and Cisco has bought several companies in Israel. In fact, if you go to their partners' page, the pull down menu includes both Israel and 'Palestinian territories - occupied.' But at least, unlike Acer, you can find service in Israel on the web page.

One more. Here's Hewlett-Packard:

Note that Israel appears by itself, while 'Palestine' is with a bunch of other countries, all of whom have one phone number (which is also in the United Arab Emirates).

Of the companies we've looked at, only Acer wipes Israel off the map.

Israel Matzav: Acer Computers wipes Israel off the map

Israel Matzav: What happens in Dubai stays in Dubai

What happens in Dubai stays in Dubai

Please don't ask me about the title of this post. It's Roger Simon's and I couldn't think of anything better so I kept it.

Roger exposes the big elephant in Inspector Tamim's living room by asking the following question:

[T]he longer this story stays in the news the longer the biggest of all lingering questions stays there: What the Hell was Dubai doing being the transit for Hamas weapons for all these years that it would necessitate this Mossad action? It’s unlikely the Israelis want to send six, sixty or six hundred (whatever the number proves to be) agents into their country. Well, the answer is a four-letter word and it begins with I….

And with that, let me remind you that Part 1 of the Mission Impossible episode I've been showing you is here, Part 2 is here, Part 3 is here and Part 4 is here. And now here's Part 5.

Let's go to the videotape.

You know those passport pictures the Dubai police keep showing? I'm sure they're masks just like on Mission Impossible. I wonder how Mr. Phelps would have liquidated Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.


Israel Matzav: What happens in Dubai stays in Dubai

Israel Matzav: The 'mystery' of American support for Israel

The 'mystery' of American support for Israel

Here's a hard question for the world's 'Israel lobby' conspiracy theorists like Walt and Mearsheimer: Given that it has been the case for at least the last 60 years that the overwhelmingly non-Jewish American public supports Israel, what basis is there for attributing that support to the 2% of the country that is Jewish?

American foreign policy in the Middle East may not be wise and it may not be right. That subject is and must remain open to debate, and every American citizen is entitled to have and to express an opinion on the topic. But a failure to recognize that long standing, deeply rooted and consistent gentile public opinion is the driving force behind that policy–foolish or wise as that policy may be–is just dumb. And when smart people go suddenly and inexplicably dumb, it’s reasonable to posit the presence of an irrational, uncontrolled mental force — in this case, ILS [Israel Lobby Syndrome]. Not every victim of ILS is an anti-Semite, but the prevalence of ILS shows that anti-Semitism like other forms of racism and unconscious prejudice retains a more powerful place in our society than we would like.

Indeed. Read it all.

Israel Matzav: The 'mystery' of American support for Israel

Israel Matzav: Olympic Committee revokes skier Lindsey Vonn's gold medal

Olympic Committee revokes skier Lindsey Vonn's gold medal

This is off topic but way too good not to share. The US Olympic Committee has revoked skier Lindsey Vonn's gold medal and given it to....

Hat Tip: NY Nana

Israel Matzav: Olympic Committee revokes skier Lindsey Vonn's gold medal

Israel Matzav: Sarah Palin on Jay Leno

Sarah Palin on Jay Leno

This is way off topic, but I decided to post it because it's a break from the serious stuff and I actually thought her standup comedy was cute (although the Tina Fey line was totally predictable). If you just want to see the comedy routine, skip to the second tape, around the 4:40 mark. It runs about two and a half minutes.

Here's Part 1. Let's go to the videotape.

Here's Part 2. Let's go to the videotape.

By the way, the comments at YouTube are vicious. So much hatred for a hockey mom....

Israel Matzav: Sarah Palin on Jay Leno

Israel Matzav: Israel to stop helping to build 'Palestinian institutions'

Israel to stop helping to build 'Palestinian institutions'

Thus far, Israel has been playing along with 'westernized' 'Palestinian' 'technocrat' Salam Fayyad's plan to establish 'Palestinian institutions' of 'statehood' even though Fayyad has announced that his ultimate goal is to declare statehood in a year and a half, ready or not, with or without Israel's agreement. Now, amid accusations that Fayyad is inciting violence (well, how else did you expect a unilateral declaration of 'statehood' to have any meaning), Israel is having second thoughts.

Israel believes, the official said, that Fayyad wants on the one hand to continue cooperating on a professional level with Israel on economic issues as well as the training of PA forces in Jordan, but at the same time has made a strategic decision to retain the right to use violence against Israel.

“We need to remember that Fayyad’s ultimate plan is to unilaterally declare statehood within a year and a half if negotiations do not reach an agreement by then,” another official said. “The current cooperation between Israel and the PA is assisting the Palestinians in establishing the institutions that Fayyad will use one day to show the world that he is ready to declare statehood.”

As a result, the political establishment will likely need to decide, in the near future, if it will continue assisting the Palestinians in establishing these institutions, particularly in light of the Palestinian refusal to restart peace negotiations with the Netanyahu government.

On the other hand, the IDF supports continued security cooperation with the PA, whose forces have been doing an effective job in cracking down on Hamas in the West Bank.

At the same time, though, there is concern within the IDF that, while unlikely, the PA security forces could turn their weapons against settlers and IDF soldiers in the West Bank. Recent incidents include the stabbing of a soldier at the Tapuah Junction by a PA policeman as well as the involvement of PA security officers in the shooting of Rabbi Meir Chai, a father of seven from Shavei Shomron late last year.

It's long past time for Israel to stop cooperating with Fayyad. The IDF should have learned its lesson from the last 'intifada' in which one of the first incidents consisted of a 'Palestinian policeman' murdering his Israeli patrol partner. If the 'Palestinians' are going to insist on using violence (as they inevitably do), they cannot be our partners.

Israel Matzav: Israel to stop helping to build 'Palestinian institutions'

Israel Matzav: Abu Bluff may initiate new 'intifada' to divert attention from corruption

Abu Bluff may initiate new 'intifada' to divert attention from corruption

JPost correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh, who is a 'Palestinian' himself, says that 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen is about to instigate a third 'intifada' (the word means "popular uprising") to divert attention from the corruption scandals in the 'Palestinian Authority' exposed by whistleblower Fahmi Shebaneh.

Yasser Arafat was the first to employ this policy to divert attention from the fact that his regime was stealing hundreds of millions of dollars of international aid to the Palestinians. Almost each time that the issue of financial corruption and bad government was raised, Arafat and his aides would step their rhetorical attacks on Israel under various pretexts. The incitement, which in the beginning led to periodic outbursts of violence against Israelis, finally saw the eruption of the second intifada. Now Mahmoud Abbas and his administration in the West Bank are employing the same policy.

In recent months, Abbas has been facing growing criticism from many Palestinians who, on the one hand accuse him of turning a blind eye to corruption in the Palestinian Authority and, on the other hand, denounce him as a “puppet” in the hands of Israel and the US.

The main complaint against Abbas - as one of his former intelligence officials put it - is that he has “surrounded himself with the same thieves and corrupt guys who used to work for Yasser Arafat.” The most recent cases of sexual and financial corruption in Abbas’s administration (which were revealed by the former intelligence official, Fahmi Shabaneh and have become to be known as “Fatahgate”), have caused irreparable damage to his standing and reputation.

The Palestinian Authority is now searching for any excuse to increase tensions with Israel, hoping that this will invite outside pressure on the government of Binyamin Netanyahu to make as many concessions as possible.

Netanyahu’s recent decision to include two religious sites in Israel’s national heritage list is already being exploited by Abbas’s government to send schoolchildren in Hebron and Bethlehem to throw stones and firebombs at Israeli soldiers.

Abbas is also hoping that renewed violence on the streets of the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem will force the US Administration to get more involved in the Israeli-Arab conflict.

And of course, it should be obvious to all of you, that even if Abu Bluff entered into an agreement with Israel, he could not sell it to his own people, and he could not enforce it.

He can't even control (or enter) Gaza.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Abu Bluff may initiate new 'intifada' to divert attention from corruption

Israel Matzav: Colon cancer awareness month

Colon cancer awareness month

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and since we have an issue with that in my family (my Dad is - bli ayin hara (warding off evil eyes) a survivor, my paternal grandfather was killed by it), I thought I would re-link the post I did two years ago about my last colonoscopy (it's really quite funny, so please do read it). If you need one, please get one! Don't be afraid!

About 3,400 people in Israel are diagnosed with the disease, with 1,300 succumbing to it. Thanks to increased publicity in recent years, the Cancer Association said, many more Israelis are discovering that they have the disease at an earlier stage, making it much easier to treat.

The picture at the top is the delicious drink they give you to prepare for a colonoscopy. Heh.

Israel Matzav: Colon cancer awareness month

Israel Matzav: If it hurt, where's the pain?

If it hurt, where's the pain?

Israel's Chief of Military Intelligence Yossi Baidatz says that the disclosure of Iran's nuclear enrichment facility in Qom 'hurt' Iran's nuclear program, but the facility continues to operate.

During a discussion in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Beiditz said that the Iranians "continue to work at the site in violation of IAEA demands and are carrying out an experimental project to run modern centrifuges that are three or four times more effective than those currently in their possession."

So where's the pain?

Israel Matzav: If it hurt, where's the pain?

Israel Matzav: Is it anti-Semitic or 'just' anti-Israel?

Is it anti-Semitic or 'just' anti-Israel?

The disgusting cartoon at the top of this post comes from Cologne, Germany.

A crude anti-Israel exhibit in Cologne’s Cathedral Square in the heart of the bustling pedestrian zone does not meet the criteria of inciting hate, Rainer Wolf, a spokesman for the public prosecutor in Cologne, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

Wolf said the public prosecutor plans to dismiss the complaint of Gerd Buurmann, a non-Jewish theater director, who filed a grievance in February, asserting a violation of Germany’s hate-crime law.

Buurmann told the Post that he was “horrified” by the decision and plans to now participate in a civil legal action against Walter Herrmann, the exhibitor of the anti-Israel exhibit.

Herrmann’s long-standing exhibit, “Cologne Wailing Wall,” has been deemed anti-Semitic by critics in the Cologne City Council and a commentator from the large daily Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger.

Buurmann initiated legal action because the exhibit shows a cartoon of a man sporting a Star of David on his bib as he devours a young Palestinian boy with a fork draped in an American flag and a knife with the word “Gaza.” A blood-filled glass next to the plate appears to symbolize the blood of the child.

Wolf, the prosecutor’s spokesman, told the Post that six or seven complaints have since been filed, ranging from private individuals to the Society for Christian-Jewish relations.

Asked whether the cartoon is an expression of modern anti-Semitism, Wolf said, it is “not a tendency of hostility toward Jews, but an actual criticism of the situation in Gaza.”

He added that the exhibitor, Walter Herrmann, seeks to “criticize” and the “cartoon is a sarcastic expression of the Israeli army in Gaza.”

Read the whole thing. Hitler and his friends would have fit right in to Cologne 2010. Hope and change same.

Although in all fairness, I have to say that I have been to Frankfurt a couple of times (once on business and once I got stuck there on my way back to Israel), and it was a lot less creepy than Vienna, for example. Apparently, there are some parts of Germany where there is shame over their role in the Holocaust, while there are other parts where they would like to pick up where Hitler left off.

Israel Matzav: Is it anti-Semitic or 'just' anti-Israel?

Israel Matzav: Some 'blockade,' isn't it?

Some 'blockade,' isn't it?

The next time someone tells you that Israel is running a 'blockade' that's starving poor Gazans, you can throw this at them.

Over the last week, a total of 595 truckloads, consisting of 13, 976 tons of humanitarian aid were transferred into the Gaza Strip from Israel via the various crossings. Likewise, ten truckloads of carnations were exported from Gaza to Europe.

Additionally, 255 medical patients and accompanying individuals from the Gaza Strip crossed into Israel and the Judea and Samaria region for medical treatment. 222 staff members of international organizations crossed into the Gaza Strip.

Essential food and humanitarian aid products, including milk powder, baby food, rice, cooking oil, flour, hygiene products and medicals supplies including a CT scanner were among the goods that crossed into Gaza this past week.

Lastly, 1,216,297 liters of diesel fuel and 992 tons of cooking gas also crossed into Gaza.

I get these statistics from the IDF daily and weekly. There is no 'blockade' except for materials like cement and metals that can be used by Hamas to make rockets (and even those - along with the rockets themselves - are being smuggled in from Egypt). No one in Gaza is starving. There is no 'humanitarian crisis.'

Just keep repeating those things. For they are the truth.

The picture at the top is trucks lined up waiting to enter Gaza. Some 'blockade,' isn't it?

Israel Matzav: Some 'blockade,' isn't it?

Israel Matzav: Generosity, Syrian style

Generosity, Syrian style

Forgetting that his country lost the Golan Heights in two aggressive wars that it started, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem has adopted 'generosity.' So long as Israel 'recognizes' that Syria is entitled to 'every last inch' of the Golan Heights, the Syrians will consider accepting payment on the installment plan and not insist on receiving the entire Golan upon signing of an agreement. Good luck with that.

"There could be stages of withdrawal, the timing of which could involve a form of normalization," he told the Guardian's Gabrielle Rifkind in December. "Half of the Golan could lead to an end of enmity; three-quarters of the Golan, to a special interest section in the US embassy in Damascus: a full withdrawal would allow a Syrian embassy in Israel."

During the interview, details of which were published on the British newspaper's Web site at the weekend, Moallem said issues such as Syria's support for terror groups would "only be answered after withdrawal."

The Syrian foreign minister stressed that while Damascus was willing to resume negotiations, "Israel needs to be ready to recognize that Syria is entitled to every inch of the Golan."

"For us the land is sacred and a matter of honor," said Moallem.

And we all know about the Arabs and their 'honor,' don't we?

For reasons I discussed on Tuesday, Israel has a far better claim to the Golan than does Syria. Combining that with Syria's intractable hostility (note that he says nothing about an Israeli embassy in Damascus, let alone 'normalization' or recognizing Israel's 'right to exist') and its support for terror groups, I wouldn't bet on an agreement being reached with Syria in your lifetimes or mine.

Israel Matzav: Generosity, Syrian style

Israel Matzav: Nasrallah speaks

Nasrallah speaks

Hezbullah Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah spoke to his supporters on Monday night - from his hiding place via a big screen. After all, the rodent never knows what might happen if he comes out of his hiding place.

Speaking through a large TV screen to mark Mohammad’s birthday as a part of the Week of Islamic Unity in the Sayyed As-Shouhadaa’ complex south of Beirut, Nasrallah claimed that Israel was indifferent to the one billion Muslims in the world, and that as well as wanting Jerusalem within its territory, it was seeking to include the "Islamic holy sites" in the recently announced Israeli national heritage plan.

“All this happens amid an Islamic and Arab silence only violated by minor denouncement statements,” Nasrallah said, adding that nobody was actually defending the Muslims’ holy sites except the Palestinians.

“Israel doesn't expect any response from the Arab street or from Arab governments. It takes into account the minority found in Lebanon and Palestine… this resistant minority has refused to surrender,” Nasrallah said of the Palestinians, adding that they don’t fear death but rather want to live with honor and dignity, according to the Al-Manar report.

Nasrallah continued to ascertain that the entire Arab nation had to thank Syria and Iran for standing by the “resistance.” “It is unacceptable to doubt Iran's intentions that aim at intervening to support the Palestinian cause,” he was quoted as saying.

The Hizbullah leader also addressed President Shimon Peres directly. "You have exited Lebanon once and for all, and I tell you, you will never be able to come back to Lebanon," he said.

“When Israel was confronted with a stern and unyielding rhetoric, it was forced to change its tone and to seek pacification on its northern border,” Nasrallah continued.

“The Israelis know very well that everything we have said can be achieved,” he added. "When we threaten Israel, we mean what we say, and Israel knows quite well that every word said would not have been iterated had there not been absolute conviction in the possibility of implementing and realizing it. What we have said is not everything, as we harbor surprises."

Nasrallah's time is coming soon. Just like his predecessor Abbas al-Moussawi. Someone got Mahmoud al-Mabhouh and someone will get Nasrallah too. Rest assured that he is unlikely to die of natural causes.


Israel Matzav: Nasrallah speaks
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