Friday, March 31, 2006

IRNA: "Rafsanjani: Islamic Republic of Iran, a democratic system"

From Islamic Republic News Agency:
Substitute Friday Prayers Leader of Tehran Hojjatoleslam Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said here Friday that Iran has deep democratic roots, being based on both a school of thought and the ideals of people.

Addressing thousands of worshipers at Tehran University, Hojatoleslam Rafsanjani listed Iran's "fourteen great opportunities and worthy capital", including the "unique political structure of Iran", expressing regret that such a gem has not been properly introduced to the world due to foreign intrigues.

Rafsanjani meanwhile admitted that the country's political system itself, too, has failed in properly introducing its positive points to the international community.
Also from IRNA: "Holy Prophet (PBUH) maritime wargame kicks off"

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Questions from Kos

A dubious gambit:
Funny how after three years of war in Iraq, war supporters still can't answer these three simple questions:

1. How does sending our troops to Iraq, separating them form their families and loved ones, putting them in harm's way, and keeping them there equal "supporting the troops"?

2. Why do those who claim to "honor their sacrifices" want them to continue sacrificing?

3. Why don't those who bloviate about "supporting" and "honoring" the troops against an enemy they think threatens Western civilization actually, you know, put on combat boots and join them?
Let's see:

1 is a straw man argument. Supporting the troops means expressions and concrete acts of solidarity with the troops and their mission.

2 is sort of a duh. Their worthwhile efforts should continue, meet with rapid success, and involve as little sacrifice as possible.

3 is the old chicken-hawk argument. Does Kos support the efforts of firefighters? So why doesn't he go out there and fight fires with them? (And what does he have to say about people who express solidarity with the fire?)

Further thoughts: When I read this sort of argumentation, I often feel that I am reading the words of a pacifist, someone opposed to all war, who is pretending (not very convincingly) to merely object to the present war. Some of the writers in the Kos comment thread point out that these questions could be asked about any war.

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Jill Carroll: "I am going to devote the rest of my life to exterminating the scum who kidnapped me!"

Quoth the AP:
American reporter Jill Carroll's three-month hostage ordeal ended Thursday when she was left on a Baghdad street in front of a Sunni political party office. She appeared composed and eager to talk about her 82 days held captive in a tiny room.
"Those S.O.B.'s!" exclaimed Carroll, "They are going to be so sorry they released me!" When asked by a reporter if she was well-treated, she responded, "Well treated!? Are you an idiot or something? How would you like it if they held you prisoner for three months in a tiny room and made your family think they were going to kill you?" The reporter was later overheard to comment, "Wow, she's even madder than Norman Kember was!" We now return you to the real world.

Update: Dhimmi Watch has a post-title that refers to one of Carroll's actual statements: "The Mujahedeen are merciful and kind that’s why I’m free and alive." Jawa Report complains that this is all unfair to Carroll until she gets back to the US.

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Newsmax: "Louis Farrakhan Calls for U.S. 'Regime Change'"

File under "barely newsworthy":
Speaking at a press conference in Cuba this week, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said that the U.S. government needs "regime change" and called on the Muslim world to rally in defense of Iran . . .

Last month Farrakhan blamed Israel for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, telling a Chicago audience:

"These neo-cons and Zionists have manipulated Bush and the American government and our boys and girls are dying in Iraq and in Afghanistan for the cause of Israel, not for the cause of America!"

"Israel is the tail waggin' the dog, which is America," the Muslim leader insisted.

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Inevitable, really

Jameel would also like you to read this.

"towards God is our journey" on apostasy and the death penalty

Interesting comment thread.

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IRIB: "Iran to launch massive naval wargame"

As long as it's a "message of peace and friendship":
Iran is to launch a massive joint naval wargame titled "The Exalted Prophet", beginning on March 31 with shooting of a Shahab II missile into the air with the message of "peace and friendship" for the regional countries, Persian Gulf, and sea of Oman littoral states.

Commander of the Islamic Republic Guard Corps Naval Force Admiral Morteza Saffari announced the news at a press conference here on Wednesday, adding, "the IRGC naval force, the IRI naval and army forces, volunteer forces and the IRI disciplinary forces will participate in the military maneuver.

The wargame would begin with the password "Muhammad, the emissary of Allah," according to the IRGC naval force commander and last till April 6 in the northern coasts of the Persian Gulf up to 40 kilometers to the south, to Iran's border port city of Chabahar in the region.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Aljazeera: "Arabs offer Israelis olive branch"

This refers to the "annual Arab League summit," currently meeting in Sudan:
A draft final communique, which is not expected to undergo substantial changes, reaffirms an Arab initiative of 2002 which offers Israel peace in exchange for withdrawal from land occupied in the Middle East war of 1967. Israel rejects the offer.
This is probably the text of the initiative in question. The reference to Resolution 194 is probably meant to assert some sort of "right of return" for Palestinians. So Israel is essentially being invited to self-destruct peacefully.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Linkim 3/28/06

Chomsky on "The Israel Lobby" (h/t: Martin Kramer)

CWY on Trader Joe's

DovBear gloats about the election

Mississippi Fred McDowell has a new blog called "English Hebraica." Assad gets into the Holocaust-denial act (h/t: Israel Matzav)

ZioNation explains that a "Pernicious lobby controls US foreign policy" (h/t: Simply Jews)

NewsMax: "Chavez Readies Troops to Battle U.S."

Big Pharaoh explains "Why we all won't be around when Islam reforms" "War of the blogs"

Is Tel-Chai Nation shutting down?

Guardian: "The Lonesome Death of Rachel Corrie"

Billy Bragg, whom I once liked, has now turned Dylan's "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carrol" into "The Lonesome Death of Rachel Corrie." You can download the MP3 at the Guardian, although I'm not going to. The words, thoughtfully provided by the Guardian, include the following lie: "But Rachel Corrie believed in non-violent resistance." Rachel Corrie was actively engaged in assisting and enabling deadly Palestinian violence against Jews. The next time you buy a tractor or a bulldozer, consider buying a Caterpillar. And pass the syrup. (Hat tip: LGF)

Update: Here at Judeopundit we have learned that this was actually the first of several failed attempts by Bragg to rewrite classic songs in order to memorialize Corrie. According to highly-placed Zionist operatives who have infiltrated ISM, Bragg's initial idea was to rewrite the Commodore's "Brick House." He was quite surprised when the following chorus emerged:

She's a pan . . . cake
The mighty 'dozer
Didn't put on the brake
She was a big . . . flake
Now the lady's flat, that's a fact
Ain't enough time to react

Eventually he decided that something from Bob Dylan's more protest-oriented output might be more appropriate.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Israel Election

This seems to be a worthwhile opinion on the election.

So does this.

Another take.

Election results, of sorts.

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Hitchens on "The Israel Lobby"

You are not going to like the beginning of the essay, but keep reading. (Hat tip: Martin Kramer, who also links to what he calls "the most idiotic thing ever written about Hamas.") Further thoughts: Joseph Massad on "The Israel Lobby." Have a nice day.

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First Tom and Jerry and now this . . .

See Judeosphere. The Tom and Jerry conspiracy is discussed here.

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Seattle Times: "Politically charged 'Rachel Corrie' leads bold Rep lineup for 2006-07"

This was bound to go over well in Seattle. Bulldozer exhaust fumes contain greenhouse gasses.
Seattle Repertory Theatre is now the first major U.S. regional theater to announce that it will produce "My Name Is Rachel Corrie."

The controversial play, a hit in London, will appear at the Rep (March 15-April 22, 2007) as part of the theater's boldly contemporary 2006-07 season, the second under its new artistic head David Esbjornson . . .

But the most provocative choice is "My Name Is Rachel Corrie." Drawn from writings by an American political activist who died in Gaza while protesting Israel's treatment of Palestinians, the Alan Rickman-Katharine Viner script sparked a censorship debate when New York Theatre Workshop delayed a spring staging of it, due to political concerns.

Esbjornson says he read the play months ago, found "it very moving and well-done," and the New York flap did not affect his decision to produce it here.

"The fact that Rachel Corrie was from Olympia, and went to college at Evergreen, is a big part of why we want to do this," he noted. "This is about someone local, who could have been any of us. And it's about what happens when your passion and activism reaches the level that hers did."
I heard that the portrayal of Corrie was a bit two-dimensional.

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Does this remind you of your shul?

From Arab News:
As Dhuhr prayer commences, the imam calls the devoted to stand in line and fill any gaps between them. The mosque is a near-perfect atmosphere for peaceful, quiet self-reflection and piety. Suddenly the ambience of the holy place is shattered by the hip-hop beats of Los Angeles rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg. The worshippers turn their head to look at the offender. Tsk-tsk. Once again somebody didn’t turn off his cell phone!

“There is no hope for them,” says Khaled Muhammad, imam of a mosque in Jeddah’s Al-Rawdah neighborhood. “I warn them time and time again against bringing mobile phones inside mosques. If these people were meeting with their company boss they would turn off their phones. Why is it when they’re meeting with God they don’t extend the same courtesy?”

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Stanislaw Lem dies

According to the AP:
Lem was one of the most popular science fiction authors of recent decades to write in a language other than English, and his works were translated from Polish into more than 40 other languages. His books have sold 27 million copies.
This, in my opinion, does not quite capture the fact that he was a major literary figure. I am not disputing the label "Science Fiction," but the label "Satire" fits just as well. Afterthoughts: Wikipedia describes him as "ethnically Jewish." Here is a good review of Cyberiad.

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IRNA: "US to adopt policy of co-existence with Iran, other Islamic states"

From Islamic Republic News Agency:
A noted analyst in Pakistan has hinted at the United States reviewing its policy towards Iran and other Muslim nations within a year or two.

"There are clear indications that the US is on the move to review its policy towards Tehran and other Muslim countries and it will adopt a policy of co-existence with Ummah," remarked Agha Murtaza Pooya, former President of the Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad and ex-editor of the newspaper "The Muslim".

Taking part in a television program Wednesday night, Pooya believed that the US was about to write off Israel as a non-entity and review its policy with the Muslim countries.

The expert pointed out that it would be a historic event when the US and Iranian officials would be discussing the Iraq situation, which was reflective of America's shift in its policy.

Giving reasons in this connection, he said that the US had learnt a lot from its invasion of Afghanistan and Iran, therefore, it wanted to write off Israel, as it had a different opinion about the Zionist regime, following the threats by Ariel Sharon, just before 9/11 events.

He supported the Iranian policy of annihilation of Israel and said it was a welcome sign that the governments even after the demise of the leader of Islamic Revolution Hazrat Imam Khomeini.
The Zionist conspiracy appears to have stolen some of the words of that last sentence.

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Aljazeera: "US rappers sing for Palestine"

The next big thing at Pacifica radio?
They rap about checkpoints, military oppression and refugee camps. Their songs express longing for Jerusalem and anger at the hardships of life in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

But they grew up in Tennessee or Virginia, live in Los Angeles and perform in New York City.

Far away from the their parents' homeland in the Middle East, Arab-American rappers are trying to find their own voice in the United States - expressing the frustrations of the Muslim world at a time when anti-Islamic feelings are on the rise following the September 11 attacks.
Way to go, Zionist consipracy!
Their neophyte movement is spurred on by the success that rap and hip-hop have in voicing the grievances and reflecting the lives of other minorities in the US.

Two of the Arab-American rappers, Umar Offendum and Ragtop of Los Angeles, are on the forefront of this small but growing trend in hip-hop music.

"Hip-hop has always been trying to voice resistance in the face of oppression," said Omar Offendum, the performance alias of 24-year-old Omar Chakaki. "And if you're growing up Arab, politics are very important because they affect every level of your life in many different ways."

"There's definitely a feeling of solidarity with other minorities, like African-Americans, and not just when it comes to the music," added Ragtop, 25, whose real name is Nizar Wattad. "Palestinians in Israel and the territories are also second-class citizens."
Can we look forward to songs about violence against Jews in France?
Clapping and singing, the crowd enthusiastically applauded the hip-hop performances of Wattad and Chakaki.

The two artists rapped in English and Arabic, combining electronic samples of popular and classical Arabic music from their parents' generation with fast hip-hop drum beats.

"I place my palms to the east where my people seek peace, and freedom from police control, checkpoints and patrols," Wattad and Chakaki rhymed in the song "Free the P" which stands for "Free the Palestinians." "Domination from another nation; we used to be brothers like Cain; now they got us living under occupation."
The good old days of the Damascus blood-libel?
While many of their songs focus on the plight of Palestinians, Wattad and Chakaki also rap about their own experiences as Arabs, and Arab-Americans, in a post-September 11 world where suspicion of Muslims runs high.

"After 9/11, I got stripped-searched on 17 flights in a row," said Wattad, offering an example of what he perceives as growing discrimination against Arabs in the US. Despite their anger about incidents like this, the two rappers reject violence as a solution for conflicts.
It is very bad form to engage in violent retaliation over incidents that earned you frequent-flyer miles.

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Linkim 3/26/06

Augean Stables on "Jews Leaving, Muslims Rising" in France. (h/t: Atlas Shrugs)

Jewish Worker on strange Israeli political parties

It's Almost Supernatural on "The Palestinian Version of the Amazing Race"

AbbaGav presents the "New Hamas Govt Employee Benefits Form."

SerandEz reveal the baby's name

Kaus on the LA immigration protest (h/t: Instapundit)

Simply Jews on secret talks

Elder of Ziyon on another wacky conspiracy theory

WPGIW observes that "Terrorism Does Not Work for Basques, But it Sure Works for Palestinians"

Captain's Quarters on Feingold in Iraq

Haveil Havalim # 63 is up.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Environmental Zombies Control Seattle

Calling global warming a "planetary emergency," elected officials and a mayoral commission today presented a series of recommendations for curtailing Seattle's greenhouse gas emissions.

Mayor Greg Nickels and the city were praised for leading the nation on the issue and urged to continue in their fight against planet-warming pollution in a packed event at Seattle's City Hall.

"The United States of America has really messed up on this," said former Vice President Al Gore, the event's featured speaker. "But let me tell you about Seattle."
Just think, we barely escaped having Gore for president.
The proposed solutions are multi-faceted in their approach and include increasing bus service, building more bike lanes and parking spaces, and discouraging driving by imposing tolls and higher parking lot taxes. There are recommended zoning changes that would encourage the creation of pedestrian-friendly communities where stores, jobs and homes are close together.

While some of the ideas could cost consumers, residents and businesses, the supporters of the plan note that the strategies aren't only about sacrifice. Some of the changes could benefit communities by cutting down on the overall pollution levels. They can boost the economy through the development of new and widely desirable technologies. Businesses and homeowners could cut costs in the long-run by becoming more energy efficient.
I'm sure Seattle business owners are clamoring for these things.
But even as the city was basking in the glow of the proposal and successful recruitment of cities nationwide, some at the event already were asking for more.

"Kyoto, my friends, is not big enough," said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club. "We need a bigger dream, we need a higher bar ..."

"Seattle, lead again."
In related news, Scotland has been taken over by anti-smoking zombies.

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Sixteen Posts

Some people think a blog
Is made out of sweat
And puttin' in time
Til your wife wants a get
If you think that's true
Just view your stats
You'd get more readers with pictures of cats

You post sixteen times
What do you get
A measly two comments
and a Jihad threat
You feel appalled when you view your stats
'Cause they get more readers with pictures of cats

I blog at night when the sun don't shine
The rest of my life
Has gone into decline
I try to be brilliant when I can
But the thing loads slow 'cause of HaloScan

You post sixteen times
What do you get
A measly two comments
and a Jihad threat
You feel appalled when you view your stats
'Cause they get more readers with pictures of cats

If you see me bloggin', better step aside
The political spectrum is a-gettin' too wide
The next post's a-talkin' 'bout Kim Jong Il
If the right wing don't get you, then the left wing will

You post sixteen times
What do you get
A measly two comments
and a Jihad threat
You feel appalled when you view your stats
'Cause they get more readers with pictures of cats

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Canadian Jewish News: "Toronto school board pulls Three Wishes"

This is a positive development:
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has joined the York Region District School Board in removing a controversial book about the Middle East from a children’s after-school reading program.

The TDSB announced last week it was pulling Three Wishes; Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak from the Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch reading program and removing it from school and library shelves. Children in Grade 7 and up will still be able to borrow the book from a librarian or school office.

The move came after Canadian Jewish Congress asked the TDSB and other school boards across the province to reconsider whether Three Wishes was appropriate for children in grades 4, 5 and 6. Congress argued the book failed to provide sufficient historical context to the conflict while demonizing the Israeli army and making suicide bombing appear as a legitimate recourse for Palestinian children.
From an earlier CJN story:
In Three Wishes, several Palestinian children say they hope they will be able to one day kill Jews.

One Palestinian girl, Wafa, 12, complains about Israeli military checkpoints, saying “ the Israeli soldiers treat us like dogs. They make us stand and wait for no good reason, just because they can.

“Killing an Israeli will make me feel glad. It will make me feel strong… I am tired of them making me feel small and weak. I want to feel strong and proud.”

Another Palestinian girl, Maryam, 11, said “there are women martyrs who do the suicide bombings. They are very brave… I have only one wish. I would like to go to heaven. Maybe in heaven there is happiness after we die. Maybe then.”

Salam, the 12-year-old sister of suicide bomber Aayat Al-Akhras, who killed herself, a security guard and 17-year-old Rachel Levy at a Jerusalem market, said she would have made her sister a special breakfast on the day of her attack, had she known about it.

“I don’t think it would hurt if I blew myself up. I don’t think it hurt my sister. I think she was very brave, not scared at all. I think she was probably very happy,” Salam said.
Here is an example of what we learn about the book at Amazon:
An excellent presentation of a confusing historic struggle, told within a palpable, perceptive and empathetic format.
And also:
The wide range of voices shows the connections between warring neighbors despite the distances that separate them, and the personal details reveal the universals ("I just want to ride horses") in a moving way. Even the grimmest stories have a glimmer of hope, as in the account of a Palestinian girl whose Israeli and Palestinian friends return again and again to help rebuild her house, which is repeatedly bulldozed by soldiers. The specifics and the passionate immediacy of the voices will spark discussion on the Middle East and on civilians in war.

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IRIB: "Zionists set a copy of Quran on fire"

And now news about the little Satan, from Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting:
Soldiers of the Zionist regime's army set a copy of the Holy Quran on fire during their raid on the Deir Ghassaneh in north of Ramallah, local sources said Thursday.

The accident took place when the Zionists raided house of a Palestinian family, they added.

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IRIB: "US behind terrorism - Morales"

More nutcase demagogues:
Bolivian President Evo Morales accused the US government Wednesday of sending Americans to conduct terrorism in his country, after bombs planted in two La Paz hotels killed two people.

"There is a battle against terrorism and the government of the United States is sending Americans to do terrorism in Bolivia," Morales said from Santa Cruz, in eastern Bolivia.

Police have arrested two people, an American and an Uruguyan, in the wake of the explosions, attorney general Jorge Gutierrez said, adding that officials were investigating whether the incident.[sic}

The two suspected bombers, a man and a woman, were apprehended at a hotel in El Alto, 12 kilometers (seven miles) outside La Paz, police said.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Reuters: "Korean missiles can’t hit continental US"

By way of the Daily Times (Pakistan). Note the last paragraph:
North Korea has hundreds of missiles within reach of South Korea and Japan but it does not have an operational missile that could strike the continental United States, a report released on Wednesday said.

North Korea has more than 800 ballistic missiles, some of which could deliver chemical or possibly biological weapons, the California-based Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) said in its report on North Korea’s capabilities. The report said missile exports are a major source of foreign exchange for the North Korean government.

North Korea’s earliest and most loyal customer for missiles and missile technology has been Iran,” it said. CNS says it is the largest non-governmental organisation in the United States devoted exclusively to research and training on non-proliferation issues.

Concern over North Korea’s missile programmes mounted when it launched two, and possibly three, short-range missiles earlier this month.

The commander of US forces in South Korea described the missiles in the test as representing a “quantum leap forward” from North Korea’s previous weapons because they had greater reliability and precision . . . .

US intelligence estimates have said a two-stage and yet-untested missile called Taepodong-2 could theoretically reach Alaska, Hawaii and parts of the continental United States, while a three-stage version could strike deep into US territory.
That title should have the word "yet" appended to the end. (That's about half the article.)

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JTA asks, "Is Matisyahu too white for reggae?"

An excerpt featuring a J-blogger:
These issues were perhaps best, and most troublingly, brought to the foreground last week in a review of Matisyahu’s Manhattan concert written by The New York Times’ pop music critic, Kelefa Sanneh. The review, published on the front page of the paper’s Arts section, had little to say about Matisyahu’s music but plenty to discuss about his race.

“Matisyahu’s black hat,” Sanneh wrote, “also helps obscure something that might otherwise be more obvious: his race. He is a student of the Chabad-Lubavitch philosophy, but he is also a white reggae singer with an all-white band, playing (on Monday night, anyway) to an almost all-white crowd. Yet he has mainly avoided thorny questions about cultural appropriation.”

Almost instantly, the Jewish blogosphere lit up. Why, most commentators asked, was Matisyahu singled out for a cultural act — call it appropriation — that many white artists have happily, and seamlessly, committed?

Writing in his blog, “Canonist,” religion writer Steven I. Weiss labeled Sanneh’s review as a “hackneyed, disingenuous, and self-contradicting series of assessments about religion, race, and culture.”
Does anyone remember "Mother and Child Reunion," a Reggae song by a Jewish boy named Paul Simon? And what about "Ob-la-di Ob-la-da"?--Reggae by white boys from Liverpool. And speaking of fake Jamaican accents, what about "Louie Louie"?

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Moving article about Halimi's mother, with some denial included

Read it all, but here is the denial part:
“It was an open secret in the neighborhood that a Jew was being held and tortured, and nobody called the police anonymously, not one person,” she says, shaking her head. “The elevator was blocked for 10 days and people were guarding the door to the apartment, and nobody called the police. It was not that all those neighbors were anti-Semitic. It’s more that they simply did not care.”

She doesn’t find it difficult to believe that most French people do not think this was an anti-Semitic crime.
She agrees, in fact.
“Everyone agrees that this is a sick crime,” she says, “but beyond that, most French people simply do not care, one way or the other. That’s the way they are.”“It was an open secret in the neighborhood that a Jew was being held and tortured, and nobody called the police anonymously, not one person,” she says, shaking her head. “The elevator was blocked for 10 days and people were guarding the door to the apartment, and nobody called the police. It was not that all those neighbors were anti-Semitic. It’s more that they simply did not care.”

She doesn’t find it difficult to believe that most French people do not think this was an anti-Semitic crime.

“Everyone agrees that this is a sick crime,” she says, “but beyond that, most French people simply do not care, one way or the other. That’s the way they are."
And guess the ethnicity of the person they didn't care about . . .
She is careful to say she has nothing against Muslims.

“I grew up with Muslims in Casablanca, in Morocco,” she says. “I never had any problems, never. The problem is with France. I think the country has become sick from a lack of feelings, a lack of emotion.”
There have been some developments in the Muslim world since she was young. I feel very sorry for her.

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“I often think it's comical / How Nature always does contrive / That every boy and every gal, / That's born into the world alive . . .

. . . Is either a little Liberal, / Or else a little Conservative!” --W.S. Gilbert (Ruddigore? Music Mavens?)

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(North) Korean News: "Increased Driving Force for Korean Reunification Called for"

I think all this mind-deadening repetition means that Kim Jong Il would really like to be the dictator of North and South Korea.
Increasing the driving force for reunification is a sure guarantee for achieving Korea's reunification. Only when all Koreans unite close as one under the banner of great national unity, will they prove to be a mighty driving force for reunification and is it possible to shatter every move of the separatist forces at home and abroad against reunification and pave a wide avenue for accomplishing the cause of reunification as early as possible. Rodong Sinmun Tuesday says this in a signed article.

In order to increase the driving force for reunification all Koreans should come out as one in the movement for independent reunification under the banner of patriotism irrespective of ideology and social system, the article notes, and goes on: It is necessary to strengthen the driving force for reunification in every way through a practical struggle for independent reunification, peace against war and great national unity.

All the Koreans in the north and the south and abroad should keep pace with one another and take joint actions in the struggle for Korea's reunification in order to frustrate the evermore undisguised moves of the enemies against reunification. Compatriots from all walks of life should glorify the June 15 era of reunification through their many-sided contacts, wide-ranging discussion on the reunification issue and solidarity and alliance and bind the anti-reunification forces at home and abroad hand and foot.

Great national unity should be achieved in the idea of "By our nation itself" and under the banner of the June 15 joint declaration.

All members of the nation should courageously join the ranks of forces standing for great national unity, bearing in mind that increasing the driving force for reunification under the banner of the declaration guarantees national reunification. Under no circumstances partisan, class and individual interests can be more important than the cause of great national unity and the cause of national reunification. Now that the separatist forces at home and abroad have gone to extremes in their moves, whoever is concerned about the destiny of the country and the nation and truly wishes national reunification should unite close in thinking and purpose in the idea of "By our nation itself" and under the banner of the June 15 joint declaration and turn out in the movement for great national unity.

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Who's spoofin' who?

Jameel invites you to guess.

Seattle PI: Fisk Complains about Press Bias

The following has him particularly exercised:
Let's move to a more recent example of what I can only call institutionalized racism in U.S. reporting of Iraq. I have to thank reader Andrew Gorman for this gem, a January Associated Press report about the killing of an Iraqi prisoner under interrogation by U.S. Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer Jr.

Welshofer, it was reported in court, had stuffed Iraqi Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush headfirst into a sleeping bag and sat on his chest, an action that -- not surprising -- caused the general to expire. The military jury ordered a reprimand for Welshofer, a forfeiture of $6,000 of his salary and confinement to barracks for 60 days. But what caught my eye was the sympathetic detail.

Welshofer's wife's Barbara, the AP told us, "testified that she was worried about providing for their three children if her husband was sentenced to prison. " 'I love him more for fighting this,' she said, tears welling up in her eyes. 'He's always said that you need to do the right thing, and sometimes the right thing is the hardest thing to do.' "

But the real scandal about these reports is we're not told anything about the general's family. Didn't he have a wife? I imagine the tears were "welling up in her eyes" when she was told her husband had been done to death. Didn't the general have children? Or parents? Or any loved ones who "fought back tears" when told of this vile deed? Not in the AP report he didn't. Mowhoush comes across as an object, a dehumanized creature that wouldn't let the Americans "break the back" of the insurgency after being stuffed headfirst into a sleeping bag.
Let us recall, to put this in perspective, that AP stories about suicide bombings are often accompanied by pictues of grieving family members, the bomber's grieving family members that is, not the victim's. See here and here. And what does Fisk mean by "racism"? Is that the only explanation that comes to his mind for sympathy for one's own country's soldiers?

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IRIB: "Hamas assured of continued UAE aid"

This is interesting after the ports controversy:
The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas announced said it was assured Wednesday that the United Arab Emirates would continue to provide financial aid to the Palestinians under a Hamas-led government.

During talks in Abu Dhabi with presidential affairs minister Sheikh Mansur bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the Emirates assured the Hamas delegation led by political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal about financial aid to the Palestinian people.

Ezzat al-Reshq told AFP that the Emirati side also promised to "continue to sponsor and support infrastructure projects in the occupied Palestinian territories."

The UAE has funded housing projects in the territories, footing the bill for the reconstruction of homes demolished by the Zionist regime's army in two parts of the Gaza Strip and in the Jenin refugee camp on the West Bank.

Saudi Arabia has also said it will carry on its financial support for the Palestinians.

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Interesting article, but it is a little suspicious that the word "nuclear" does not occur in it

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Linkim 3/21/06

Michael J. Totten on "The Israel Lobby" (h/t: Worldwide Standard)

Dershowitz on "The Israel Lobby"

Soccer Dad on "Bytes and Carnivals"

Transterrestrial Musings on "The Other Civil War" (h/t: Instapundit)

MOT News on a bishop who blames the Jews, militarization of refugee camps, and Iranian funding for Fatah.

Religious Policeman and a must-read Big Pharaoh on Abdul Rahman

Biur Chametz on upcoming elections in Israel

Hashachas halinkim 3/22/06:

"Actor Charlie Sheen has joined a growing army of other highly credible public figures in questioning the official story of 9/11 . . ." (h/t: Captain's Quarters)

Judeosphere (again) on "The Israel Lobby."

Question for J-Blogosphere Music Mavens

Can anyone tell me anything about this music beyond the information listed on the tape cover? Musicians? Is the group called "Ein od milvado" or is that just the name of the tape? And is there anything else available by them?

I love the music, which is all-acoustic, but very energetic in an attractively unpolished and oddly 60's-ish way. My MBD-loving FFB kids hate it, interestingly, and start screaming "They don't know how to sing!" whenever it is played. How about it, Mavens? (Click for a larger version of the image.) Update: Blog in Dm now has a post in response.

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BBC: Boom, Boom, Boom, Pizza, Pizza, Pizza

The post title refers to a taunt used by a terror-supporter who used to post at soc.culture.jewish.
An Israeli military tribunal has charged two West Bank Palestinians with plotting bomb attacks for al-Qaeda.

It is the first time Israel has formally charged Palestinians with membership of the militant network.

The two men were arrested in December after allegedly meeting al-Qaeda operatives in Jordan to receive funding and training to carry out attacks . . .

They are accused of plotting a suicide bombing at a pizzeria in the Jewish French Hill neighbourhood of Jerusalem.

It was to be followed shortly afterwards by a car bomb in a nearby street targeting people who came to the scene.

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Tikkun Olam Watch: Archbishop and Reform Jews "celebrate five decades of tikkun olam"

T-O is such a flexible concept!
With a history of collaboration on issues from civil rights to housing discrimination, members of the Bay Area Jewish and Catholic communities got together to celebrate “Five Decades of Tikkun Olam” and welcome San Francisco’s new archbishop to the area. The event drew more than 200 people Sunday, March 12 to Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco.

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Newsmax: Hail to the Chief

It is always good news for the Republicans when the Dems place their hopes in Hillary. Expecting her to win the presidency is sort of like expecting the next Yoko Ono CD to go platinum:
Ex-president Bill Clinton has agreed that when it comes to speaking out on controversial issues, his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, will have the last word from here on out.

Mr. Clinton has promised to clear all future pronouncements with his wife after he embarrassed her by lobbying for the Dubai Ports World deal, which she publicly opposed.

"He knows it's Hillary's time now," an adviser close to both Clintons told the New York Daily News, which said Mrs. Clinton invoked her veto power out of fear that her husband's wayward comments might hurt her 2008 presidential bid.

"Hillary has final say," said the adviser, explaining that even Bill's staff has been warned not to comment on anything without first clearing it with Hillary's office.

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Boston Globe: The "Hamas effect"

Very informative, although puffy at times:
In the lobby of the House of Arkam school, a map shows a green wave washing over the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa. ''The Muslims Are Coming!" declares a banner above the map.

The staid administrators of this well-appointed Islamic school have always maintained that Islam will one day replace secular governments throughout the Muslim world.

But the victory of the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas, just across the Jordan River in the West Bank, has invigorated Jordan's steadily growing Islamist movement and reinforced its conviction that democratic elections will pave the way to an Islamic republic in Jordan.

The school and the Islamic Action Front, the sole authorized religious party in parliament, are both wings of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that has followed the same blueprint as Hamas, cultivating support by running charities, hospitals, and schools along with its political party.

Now the Islamists in Jordan have set the stage for a major confrontation over the election law. Jordanians are going to the polls in 2007 to choose a new parliament, and the Islamists have sworn to push through a reform that would fully legalize political parties -- and could dramatically increase the Islamist representation.

Across the Mideast, analysts are calling this new optimism among Islamists the "Hamas effect."
Suggesting that the vote for Hamas was not merely rejection of PA corruption. There is quite a bit more to the article.

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IRIB: "Initiative, in hand of resistance"

Not clearly written but interesting:
Secretary General of the Lebanese national resistance movement Hezbollah said Monday that the Zionist enemy would rather remain intimidated and fazed.

Sayed Hassan Nasrallah was speaking to people in a ceremony south of the capital Beirut in commemoration of the third Shiite Imam Hussein (A.S.).

Nasrallah pointed to state of red alert the Zionist regime has declared along the Lebanon-Occupied Palestine borders in fear of possible Hezbollah operation, adding that Hezbollah will never grant assurances to the regime.

Nasrallah warned the enemy to always recall that in lebanon there is a resistance body which never forgets the slaves languishing in the regime's jails as well as the lands it has occupied.

The Lebanese prominent figure vowed that the movement will never keep silence towards the aggression.

The Secretary General assured that time will come sooner or later in which we fulfill our promiss to Samir Qantar (the longest-serving Lebanese prisoner) and his other jailed brethern to make them free.

He said that Hezbollah will continue to keep the initiative.

Nasrallah also pointed to a flurry of international efforts in recent days to assure the Zionist regime about the situation in the southern Lebanon in the run-up to the regime's elections.

"We may find no guarantee rather than under the auspices of resistance and its weapon," Nasrallah said, adding that US and UK gurantees proved phoney in the Arriha prison attack.

Pointing to fresh rounds of 'national talks' set to be resumed Wednesday, Nasrallah said that the only natural ground to discuss about weapon of resistance is to approach to the issue as a strategic national defence.

"We must find answer to the question of how to support Lebanon in face of enemy," Nasrallah said.
Another article at IRIB today: "US soldiers murder family, children."

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Is this a joke?

From Yemen Times, by way of LGF:

For all the ugliness that the current White House administration and the Neo-con/Zionist Establishment represent, there are indeed shining beacons that remind us and the rest of the world that there is still really a lot of latent and apparent good left in America. If not for anything else worth citing, Rachel Corrie is the embodiment of all that good and more and still remains to many people who love freedom, hate oppression and despise tyranny, a shining beacon of human rights advocacy that will always be looked upon for strength and determination to challenge all the rotten evil that has come to eat away at anything that may be called half way decent and human in this world.
It's so moving. It's . . . dare I say it . . . it's . . . Juche! It's Juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuche!!!!!!!!!!!!! Juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuche!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is not an easy thing to forget Rachel Corrie, although two years has passed since her untimely and tragic death. Two years have passed and to this day every effort is being made to erase her existence and the tragic memory of her untimely and brutal murder by the ugly Zionist ethnic cleansing machine, which she bravely challenged, armed with nothing but her moral values and unlimited courage.
Hey, it wasn't ugly. It was a very nice Zionist ethnic cleansing machine. It shone like the sun. It will bulldoze forth wherever evil lurks. Time cannot wither nor custom stale its infinite dozerosity.
Yes, Rachel Corrie was a martyr in all the implications of the word. She gave away the most that any one can give for any cause and she sacrificed her life, which could have been free of pain and agony and might have even been extravagant. In Rachel’s mind, to live in extravagance while there are people in the world facing the worst kind of racial and ethnic injustice is not human and an escape from the reality of the madness that has taken over this world. Rachel Corrie saw in the Palestine problem an issue worth sacrificing everything for, because human suffering unleashed by other fellow men is not welcome in the kind of world that Rachel Corrie believes we should live in.
And she was going to Cuba as soon as she was finished in Palestine.
Rachel Corrie believed in the universal brotherhood of mankind and that oppression against a people based on racial or ethnic myths is simply hogwash that is unbearable and un-Godly. Ms Corrie was protesting the destruction of the homes of innocent Palestinian civilians, so that the land could be cleared for Zionist settlements that aim to turn the Holy Land into an elegant suburbia with all the fancy materialistic polishing of modern “western” civilization – with the audacity of making the rest of the world believe that this is God’s will. All God fearing men and women know that God is far above than to let himself be the champion of a monstrous injustice that has been defiant of all Devine [sic] and man-made laws. Rachel Corrie was insistent on a different kind of justice. Her justice says that human beings should never be forcibly deprived of homes they and generations of their ancestors have been living in since any history has ever been written. Her God and the God of all decent peace loving people throughout the world say such oppression must be ceased and punished because it means brutality, theft, terror and injustice in all their manifestations.

Yes, Rachel Corrie could never be forgotten, even if the New York Theater Workshop cows down to Zionist lobby demands that the theatrical masterpiece work promoted by Vanessa Redgrave and produced by the Royal Court Theatre, “My Name is Rachel Corrie”, should be postponed indefinitely from showing in New York. This is how America rewards a true heroine of its own, who gave her life to an American Caterpillar tractor provided by the US Government to one of the most oppressive regimes of all times. Why? Because Rachel Corrie really represented what America should have been all about and the ruling establishment in the US simply could not stomach such idealism.

This is what Robert Fisk of the Independent (UK) had to say about Rachel: “An American heroine, Rachel earned no brownie points from the Bush administration which bangs on about courage and freedom from oppression every few minutes. Rachel’s was the wrong sort of courage and she was defending the freedom of the wrong people.”

No, Rachel we will never forget you and will continue the fight where you left off with everything at our disposal, including our lives if necessary.

May she rest in peace and may her relatives find justice against the murderous perpetrators who insisted that freedom and human rights are out of context in their chauvinistic plans and designs for the New World, as they see it.

Hassan Al-Haifi has been a Yemeni political economist and jurnalist [sic] for more than 20 years.
Pancake is truth, truth pancake,—that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. And call your mother once in a while. Update: Greetings from the French Hill posts some statements from the actual bulldozer.

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IRIB: "Holocaust politically motivated-rabbi"

It would probably make David Kelsey happy to note that IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting) is not the world's most reliable source; however, it seems less likely that we will see a denial of these remarks:
Leading Austrian Jewish rabbi said here that Holocaust catastrophe in Europe is nowadays used as an instrument for suppressing the rightful demands of the world nations.

Rabbi Moishe Fridmann, who leads the association of anti-Zionist Jews in Austria, made the remark late Saturday on the sidelines of the two-day "Global Conference on Constructive Interaction among Divine Religions: A Framework for International Order".

He said a limited number of people, advocating certain notions during the past two centuries, have been trying to establish a universal society void of any religious notions with God and holy prophets having no places in it because such a society would create them an economic paradise.

Saying that both the world wars during the past century were provoked and administered by this limited group, the rabbi said they tried to abuse differences between Muslim Arabs and the West as the founding base of a new power structure in the world which victimized the Jews at the very first step.

Terming as "vain" Zionist regime's attempts to introduce itself as the representative of the Jewish community to the world, Fridmann said since the regime in Israel was a secular it could not function as so in any possible manner.

Commenting on the remarks of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regarding the Holocaust in Europe, the rabbi noted those who are now lamenting over the catastrophic event of massacre of millions of Jews in the Nazi camps were themselves the real initiators of the horrendous act.
Have a nice day.

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A new sort of UN, hmmm.
The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, has called for the creation of a world body with representatives from the major religious groups.

Rabbi Metzger was addressing the International Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace in Seville, Spain.

He called for the formation of a "United Nations of religious groups".

The Imam of Gaza, Imad al-Faluji, said politicians lied but religious leaders had a different objective - to work towards a higher good.

The imams and rabbis at this conference, which opened on Sunday, say the world is in crisis and it is time they acted to restore justice, respect and peace.
Who would get a delegate? One for the Muslims? One for Shiites, one for Sunnis, one for Sufis? One for the Jews? One for Chassidim, one for Misnagdim? Are Mormons included with Xians or are they a separate religion? Would Wicca be included?

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LA Times: Extremism in Indonesia

I am surprised to find the LA Times sounding like Jihad Watch:
Yusman Roy, a former boxer and a convert to Islam, is serving two years in prison because he believes that Muslims should pray in a language they can understand.

Roy, who led bilingual prayer sessions at his small East Java boarding school, is seen as a heretic by conservative Muslims here. They believe true prayer can be conducted only in Arabic.

Roy's desire to pray in Indonesian has sparked such an outrage that he was convicted last year in criminal court of "spreading hatred." Animosity toward Roy ran so high that police posted guards to keep an angry mob from torching his house and school . . .

Indonesia is a democratic, secular country, and there is no constitutional basis for using Islamic law in court in most regions. But insulting a religion is a crime, and a fatwa, or religious edict, issued by the Council of Ulemas can carry great weight as evidence of an alleged offense to Islam.

Indonesia, which has more than 190 million Muslims, the world's largest Islamic population, has become increasingly conservative since the 1998 collapse of President Suharto's military regime. In recent years, the government has grown more active in enforcing religious law.
Read it all, as they say, and note the contrast with this.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Arab News: "Ministry to Start Field Checks on Lingerie Shops"

Tzniyuskeit is a good thing:
The Ministry of Labor has announced that it will begin inspections of all stores and shops selling women’s lingerie starting June 18 to make sure that only women are employed in them.

Khadija bint Khuwailed Center organized a meeting at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday to discuss the implementation of a Cabinet decision made two years ago in this regard. Only a handful of businessmen were present at the meeting; the low attendance may have been due to skepticism about enforcing the decision.

Those who attended voiced concerns about the requirement to conceal the stores or sections in the stores that sell women’s items. They also raised doubts about the availability of enough qualified saleswomen.
There isn't really that much to snicker about here. A later paragraph explains:
Women shoppers find it a little strange that they are supposed to purchase lingerie and undergarments from male salespersons in a country like Saudi Arabia. All over the world, women sell women lingerie, they observe.
I suppose what is striking here is the heavy-handed government-mandated lurch from all-male salespersons to all-female salespersons. See Religious Policeman.

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Blog in the place where you work

Blog in the place where you work
(Bug your boss)
Think about parnassa
Wonder why you're unproductive
Blog in the place that you live
(Risk your job)
Blog in the place you work
Wonder why you're unproductive

If you're employed
You won't be for long
Your archives will show you
Just how you went wrong
Your job is at risk
Your chances are slim
You're helpless to stop
The future is grim

(Repeat first verse)

Your non-blogging colleagues
Are minding the store
Your boss arrives
To show you the door
You're standing in line
You lost your parnassa
You're free to go learn
In a Madrassa

(Repeat first verse)

Ain't got no Torah
The emes is brutal
Now all your learning
Is botul and mevutal
Fortune's not smiling
Lunch isn't free
You've gone back to filing

So Blog (blog)
Risk you job
Think about parnassa, wonder why you're unproductive
Now blog (blog)
Bug your boss
Think about the loss of your check
Wonder why you haven't

(repeat first verse)

Blog in the place where you are (Bug your boss)
Blog in the place where you are (Risk your job)
Your check ain't going to be in the mail (Blog in the place where you are)
Your hammer ain't hittin' the head on the nail, so blog.

Tags: , , , "Islamists to dominate Hamas cabinet"

I recently posted about a JPost article that claims that "Technocrats" will "dominate" the cabinet. Here is Aljazeera stating that "Islamists" will "dominate" the cabinet. What's the deal?
According to an unofficial line-up, the new cabinet includes 24 ministers, 10 from the Gaza Strip and 14 from the West Bank. Of the 24 ministers, only eight come from the legislative council, while the rest are technocrats and independents, with Islamist leanings.
I see, "technocrats . . . with Islamist leanings." A bit more about why Abdel Razek/Abd al-Razzak was imprisoned:
The new minister of finance will be Umar Abd al-Razzaq, professor of economics at the Najah National University.

Abd al-Razzaq was released from an Israeli detention camp only a few days ago after an extended incarceration as a resistance fighter.
And let us not forget those lovable Marxist-Leninist pioneers of crimes against the aviation industry:
The door was still open for the participation by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a small group holding two seats in the Palestinian legislative council, Haniya said.
Fortunately, there is a moderate in the cabinet:
The existing minister of economy, Mazin Sinukrut, an Independent Islamist, will remain in his post. This, it is hoped, would maintain a degree of continuity in the management of the Palestinian economy.

Sinukrut is a wealthy businessman from Ram Allah and advocates liberal economic policies. He also holds relatively moderate views with respect to Israel.
Oh well, a "relative" moderate anyway. Peace is just on the horizon.

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IRIB: "Palestinians fire rockets, mortars"

From Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, a source that approves of the rocket attacks:
Members of Palestinian Resistance announced on Saturday that they launched two homemade rockets at the Zionist settled town of Sderout and four mortar shells at Kessoufim crossing east of Gaza Strip.

Salah el-Din Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it is in reaction to the killing of a girl in the West Bank and two other activists.

The group said in a statement that the shelling of Sderout and Kessoufim was a natural response to the two crimes committed by the Zionists against our people.

According to Palestinian medical source and witnesses, a 8-year-old girl was shot dead on Friday night by the Zionist forces who stormed into al-Yamoon village near the West Bank city of Jenin.
Other interesting stuff in IRIB currently: "Zionists pillaging water by wall," "US change Saddam torture chambers to its own," and "Insult to Prophet, offense to all."

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Linkim, Motza'ei Shabbos, 3/18/06

Daled Amos has what AbbaGav calls a "fantastic post" on journalistic stringers.

Martin Kramer posts about an Israel-bashing essay recently published in the London Review of books. He also directs us to this post at Volokh Conspiracy. See also Judeosphere.

Elder of Ziyon rounds up articles from Iran's IRNA news agency.

Simply Jews reports on "EATAPETA day in Las Vegas."

A Simple Jew discusses the Chabad minhag of only making noise when Haman's name is mentioned with a title.

Meryl Yourish asks "Where did Israeli bird flu come from?"

Canadian Jewish News reports that "Insurance restrictions" have been "lifted for travellers to Israel"

Hamshachas haLinkim 3/19/06:

Haveil Havalim #62 is up.

Washington Post: Document Shredder Accidents

Calabasas Chronicle asks "Did You Get Your Pamphlet?"

Yo, Yenta! points out some political cartoons by Dr. Seuss.

Kramer again on "The Israel Lobby."

Captain's Quarters on (or at) "The Karni Crossroads"

Ben Chorin offers a "brief caricature" of Religious Zionism.

BTB asks, "Who's starving whom, and for what?"

Lee Kaplan declares "Not One More Dime for the Palestinians" (h/t Iris Blog)

Jonah Goldberg cautions "Don’t Get Cocky, Lefties."

Disgustingly Puffy Article on Hamas in Jerusalem Post

The article is entitled "Technocrats dominate Hamas cabinet," and a certain olfactory onset is stirring. What is a Hamas "technocrat"? Someone who designs bombs?
Hamas officials told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday that the new cabinet, which consists mostly of technocrats and academics, was chosen by the movement's Shura Council - the same body that handpicked its candidates for the January 25 parliamentary election.

Shura is an Arabic word for consultation. It is believed to be the method by which pre-Islamic Arabian tribes selected leaders and made major decisions. Sunni Muslims believe that Islam requires all decisions made by and for the Muslim community to be made by a Shura Council. To some, this means that Islam enjoins representative democracy.

Shura is recommended in the Koran and by numerous hadiths, or oral traditions of the sayings and doings of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions. The first four caliphs, or successors to Muhammad, were chosen by the same method.
Gee, thanks for the history lesson.
Sources close to Hamas revealed on Saturday the names of some of the new ministers. The new lineup includes five professors from an-Najah University in Nablus and a number of independent academics closely associated with the Islamic movement.

None of the ministers are known to have taken an active role in terror attacks on Israel. Mazen Sinokrot is the only minister from the outgoing cabinet who is scheduled to remain in his position.
Anyone associated with Hamas in any way bears complete responsibility for all Hamas attacks. This is analogous to observing that a Mafia boss does not carry out his own hits--and the Mafia does not issue public statements claiming responsibility for its crimes.
Omar Abdel Razek, who is tapped for the Finance Ministry portfolio, was released last week after three months in an Israeli prison. The US-educated professor, who was born in the town of Salfit near Nablus, is a specialist in international economy.
Obviously imprisoned for his academic activities.
Mahmoud Zahar, who is expected to serve as foreign minister, is the overall leader of Hamas. Born to a Palestinian father and an Egyptian mother, Zahar was raised in the Egyptian city of Ismailiyeh before his family moved to the Gaza Strip. He studied medicine in Cairo and has worked as a physician in a number of hospitals in Khan Yunis and Gaza City.
No, he doesn't have any role in Hamas attacks.
The sources said Hamas would keep the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of some of the security forces. Said Siam, a pragmatic member of Hamas's political bureau, will become the next interior minister. Siam, according to the sources, was chosen because of his good relations with all the Palestinian factions, including Fatah.
The author of this little journalistic bonbon is Khaled Abu Toameh.

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Lodi Terror Trial

This is flagged by LGF, acompanied by the observation that the MSM is downplaying the story. From the AP:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. A prosecutor says publications promoting jihad and a Pakistani militant group were found in the home of a Lodi father and son who are standing trial on terror-related charges.
Hamid Hayat (hah-MEED' HY'-et) is being tried on charges of providing material support to terrorists by attending an al-Qaida training camp and separate charges of lying to the F-B-I.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Required Reading

Lee Kaplan has a gripping piece at FrontPage Magazine on his attendance/infiltration at an ISM conference at Georgetown University. (Hat tip: Power Line)

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Reuters: "Abbas says Israeli raid is an unforgivable crime"

This is unbelievably funny:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday condemned Israel's raid on a West Bank prison and seizure of a militant leader as a crime that would not be forgiven.
Please, Mr. Abbas, please forgive us. Please, please, please. We'll do anything. Please forgive us. We'll let Saadat go free. We'll let him kill as many Jews as he wants. We'll help him kill Jews. We'll help him figure out why his name has too many "a"s in it. Just please forgive us.

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Did Sheehan make anti-Israel remark?

The Jewish News of Northern California, in an article about a Sheehan appearance at the Osher Marin JCC, doesn't want you to think so:
Krasny brought up familiar allegations, including Sheehan’s statements that Israel should not be in Palestinian territories and that her son did not go to war to defend Israel.

“I never said that,” Sheehan said of the statement about her son. “I do believe that all occupations are wrong, no matter who’s occupying what country.”
And from later in the article:
Maureen Dixon of the Osher Marin JCC said she heard little public Jewish outcry about having Sheehan speak, receiving a total of two letters and one phone call. She urged people to do a little research before coming to conclusions about Sheehan, saying, “Rumors can take on a life on their own. It’s what propaganda is all about.”
OK, here's a little research:
Her controversial comments were put on the record . . . in a letter to ABC's Nightline.

The letter reads as follows:

"Am I emotional? Yes, my first born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a PNAC Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel. Am I stupid? No, I know full-well that my son, my family, this nation, and this world were betrayed by George [W.] Bush who was influenced by the neo-con PNAC agenda after 9/11. We were told that we were attacked on 9/11 because the terrorists hate our freedoms and democracy...not for the real reason, because the Arab-Muslims who attacked us hate our middle-eastern foreign policy. That hasn't changed since America invaded and occupied fact it has gotten worse . . ." The nightline letter is confirmed by ABC News which says that Mrs. Sheehan had indeed signed her name to the letter.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Ayatollah Effigies Burned--Happy Purim!

From the invaluable Iran Focus:
Anti-government demonstrations erupted across the Iranian capital as well as in towns and cities across the country as young people used the annual Persian “fire festival” to ignite fireworks and set cars belonging to the State Security Forces (SSF) on fire, dissidents told Iran Focus.

In the south-western city of Ahwaz protestors constructed an effigy of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and set it on fire.

Similar anti-government demonstrations by young people celebreating the fire festival have been reported in Garmsar (south-east of Tehran) and Rafsanjan (southern) Iran.

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I love this headline

The source is Arutz Sheva and the article is entitled "Ze'evi murderers surrender to IDF." "ZE'EVI MURDERERS SURRENDER TO IDF"! Can you imagine a Reuters story with that title? Of course not. That's all I wanted to say.

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New Dennis Prager essay, which will probably prove controversial

The essay is entitled "Explaining Jews, Part IV: All the types of Jews," and it devotes a number of paragraphs to categories such as "Conservative," "Reform," and "Secular." It all builds up to the following:
Among the reasons it is so important to understand these types of Jews is this: The great majority of Jews who affect the world are either non-Jewish Jews or Jews with minimal Jewish identity, and very rarely have Jewish religious faith or religious values. That is why all talk about "Jewish control" of Hollywood or of media or of anything else is meaningless. A disproportionate number of powerful figures in these professions and in academia may have been born to a Jewish parent, but most of them have no Jewish identity and they surely do not work on behalf of any Jewish interest. When was the last pro-Israel movie made, for example?

However, given the influence of non-Jewish Jews on society -- in the arts, the university, the media -- it is fair to say that a Jewish revival among Jews is in both the Jews' and humanity's interest.
That is about as tactful a way of making that point as I can imagine, but it is bound to offend some. We might ask, if some other ethnic group was disproportionately represented in positions of power in Hollywood, would we have a more conservative country than we do now? I am not convinced that we would necessarily. It is very hard to be certain about alternate universes. A more conservative country and more Jewish-identified (I would stress frummer) Jews are both worthy goals in any event.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Purim: "These days are remembered and done"

An important idea in Chassidic philosophy about all holidays, that each one represents a spiritual reoccurrence of the original event, is associated with a verse in the Megillah that we all heard read tonight: "These days are remembered and done" (9: 28). Here is a paragraph about this idea, actually from an essay about Shavuos:
The [Lubavitcher] Rebbe often quotes the AriZal's interpretation of the verse in the Megillah: Hayamim ha-eleh nizkarim venaasim -- literally, "These days are remembered and done." However, the AriZal explains that every year when the holiday comes around (not only Purim, but any holiday or festival), the same spiritual energy that was first revealed on that date, is revealed again, every year. Moreover, we have to remember what happened then, and do something about it so that it will happen now as well. These days are here for us to do. We're not just going to sit and reminisce about the old days, drink and be merry, because of a date on our calendar. For Yidden, all of our holy days and celebrations are an opportunity to do something, to affect us and to change us and to make us and the world better.

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Seattle PI prints Hagiography of St. Pancake for Taanis Esther

Here is a sample paragraph:
Corrie's critics delight in lamenting her supposed naiveté, as if 23-year-olds all ought to sit on the sidelines awaiting the enlightenment of additional decades. The London play, "My Name is Rachel Corrie," is about the inspiration to be drawn from a caring young person's engagement with the world. In one of its many beautiful lines, the play quotes an e-mail from her worrying mother, Cindy, "Palestinians have really been invisible to me, but you are changing that."
The editorial is accompanied by an interesting comment thread.

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Daily Kos: "Feingold Question"

Someone calling himself "Shaneh" finds Russ Feingold attractive as a presidential candidate but wonders "Will this country elect a Jew? And should this country elect a Jew?" (Bold in original.) He continues:
Before you fire up your flame-muscles, think about it objectively. Personally, I habor no predjudice against jews. In fact, I've always liked jewish girls. Don't ask me why.

But could you imagine what that would do to Arab-American relations? Could we even get the leaders of some of these countries -- Iran, Saudi Arabia -- to sit down and negotiate with a Jewish President? (I know the head of the Iranian gov't is not an Arab, but I assume he harbors similar feelings as his countrymen)
Our Intrepid Author could have avoided this awkwardness by referring to "Muslim-American relations." Perhaps there is some politically correct difficulty there I don't see.
I've seen terrorist propaganda using our support for Israel against us. Imagine the propaganda value of a Jewish American President?

I bring this up here because I know there are a lot of very intelligent Feingold supporters here. I'm sure that those who have been cheerleading his candidacy for the past couple of years have thought about this at one time or another.

It does remind me a little of the "you can't elect a catholic" arguments against Kennedy 50 years ago. And that was only proven false by the gigantic will of JFK (and the gigantic checkbook of his father)... Does Russ have what it would take?
The same question comes up with Kerry, who wasn't Jewish, but who was close enough for conspiracy-theorists. And remember, in the Arab/Muslim world, that includes entire regimes. OIA now tries to extricate himself from the quagmire created by the remark "I've always liked Jewish girls":
For what it's worth, I've always found Jewish girls to be particularily attractive. And I'm sorry if it's not OK that I, as someone said, excluded "african american girls;" or any other ethnicity. And I'm sorry if, as someone said, it shows that I look at Jews as seperate and "exotic."

To every jewish woman: I'm sorry for singling-you-out based on the fact that you're hotter then average. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.

This is followed by, would you believe, a poll concerning whether the "Jewish girls" comment was "blown out of proportion." Just thought you might enjoy seeing how the other half blogs.

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The similarity between Purim and Yom Kippur

The Zohar states that "Yom Hakippurim" can be read as "a day like Puirm," and the connection between the two holidays is elaborated in Chabad Chassidic philosphy. has a good essay which presents these ideas in an accessible way. An excerpt:
On Yom Kippur we fast and pray, on Purim we party. Yet the Zohar sees the two days as intrinsically similar, going so far as to interpret the name Yom HaKippurim (as the Torah calls Yom Kippur) to mean that it is "a day like Purim" (yom k’purim)!

The casting of lots expresses the idea that one has passed beyond the realm of motive and reason. A lottery is resorted to when there is no reason or impetus to choose one option over the other, so that the matter must be surrendered to forces that are beyond one’s control and comprehension.

Therein lies the significance of the lots cast by the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur. After all is said and done, implied the lots, no man is worthy in the eyes of G-d. We all stand before Him with our faults and iniquities, and by all rational criteria, should be found lacking in His judgment. So we impel ourselves beyond the realm of nature and reason, beyond the pale of merit and fault. We disavow all the accouterments of physical identity--food and drink, earthly pleasures, and our very sense of reason and priority. We cast our lot with G-d, confident that He will respond in kind and relate to us in terms of our quintessential bond to Him rather than by the existential scales of pro and con.

Haman’s lot-casting was his attempt to exploit the supra-reality of the divine to an opposite end. The Jewish people, said Haman, might be the pursuers of G-d’s wisdom on earth and the implementors of His will, thus meriting His favor and protection. But surely G-d, in essence, is above it all--above our earthly reason and its notions of "virtue" and "deservedness," beyond such concepts as "good" or "evil." Ultimately, the divine will is as arbitrary as a roll of dice. Why not give it a shot? I might just catch a supernal caprice running in my direction.
Ayein sham.

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