Friday, June 30, 2006

Cuba condemns Israel

From ACN:
Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemned the recent military action unleashed by Israel in the Gaza Strip, in a declaration issued on Thursday . . .

“Israel has used as an excuse for its barbarian aggression, the capture of an Israeli soldier by the Palestinian resistance forces which were taking action against the Israeli occupation; but Israel hides the fact that its troops have murdered 52 Palestinians, including nine children in June alone, according to renowned international organizations,” the declaration reads.

The document recalls that the Israeli aggression is taking place just when an agreement had been reached between Palestinian political forces which would contribute to the resumption of peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.
Not according to Hamas.

Criticism of NY Times = Anti-Semitism?

Jon Carroll writing in the SF Chronicle:
The Times is a good target. People who believe in the "left-wing media" believe that the New York Times is the leftiest of them all. The people who believe in the "mainstream media" believe that the Times is the mainest of them all. Hardly anyone has a good word to say about it, except that it's the best newspaper in the country. But really, how important is that?

Also, the name of the New York Times contains the word "New York." Many members of the president's base consider "New York" to be a nifty code word for "Jewish." It is very nice for the president to be able to campaign against the Jews without (a) actually saying the word "Jew" and (b) without irritating the Israelis. A number of prominent Zionist groups think the New York Times is insufficiently anti-Palestinian, so they think the New York Times isn't Jewish enough.
So Bush will get away with his anti-Semitism for sure. Pretty clever for someone the left doesn't consider intelligent. (Hat Tip: Newsbusters)

Update: Canonist has a good response to this.

IRNA: "Cleric condemns Zionists' atrocities in Gaza"

Israel must be doing something right:
Substitute Friday prayers leader of Tehran Hojjatoleslam Ahmad Khatami on Friday questioned double-standards on terrorism, while denouncing Zionist regime's aggression on Gaza.

"Isn't it an instance of terrorism when a usurper government in extreme impudency turns Gaza into an inferno, makes a hell of bombs and bombardment, arrests a group of the representatives of the public and candidly acknowledges to assassination of the Palestinian leaders?" questioned Khatami in his second Friday prayers sermons at Tehran University campus.

Khatami said Zionists' aggressions on Gaza are signs of their savagery and genocide, indicating they are criminals in nature.
Those substitute Friday prayer leaders don't mince words!

IRIB: "FM urge UNSC to end Zionists' crimes"

The Islamic Republic moves to counter the Zionist Entity:
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Thursday called on the UN security council to take necessary steps to put an end to the Zionist regime's aggressions.

"As the ongoing aggression threatens the international peace and security, we request that the security council carry out its responsibility in accordance with the spirit of the UN charter and take necessary steps with a view to putting an end to the aggression", he said.

"In my view, your personal intervention should, as always, help prevent the situation from slipping out of control," said mottaki in a letter to Kofi Annan on Thursday.
There is quite a bit more, including the text of the letter.

Al Gore asks, "What Will It Take to Stop Global Warming?"

Gaining complete control of the sun?

US to Osama: "Sure, you can have Zarqawi's body. May we assume you'll be coming to get it in person?"

From the AP:
Osama bin Laden called on President Bush in an audiotape released Friday to release the body of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and said Jordan should allow the slain terrorist to be buried in his homeland . . .

"What scares you about Abu Musab after he's dead?" bin Laden said, addressing [Jordan's King] Abdullah. "You know that his funeral, if allowed to happen, would be a huge funeral showing the extent of sympathy with the mujahedeen."

Israel threatens to execute captured Hamas ministers unless NY Times becomes more patriotic

Film at 11.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Jewish News of Northern California: Upcoming pro-Palestinian Conference at San Francisco State

The focus of this story is a little odd: making what promises to be a very ugly Israel-bashing event safe for Israel supporters. I guess it makes sense, though. It certainly would be interesting to see what is going on there, and people ought to be safe while doing so.
Minds will not be changed. This is not an opportunity for dialogue. So when the S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council discovered that Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, will be holding its national convention at San Francisco State, those weren’t its top concerns.

Instead, Rabbi Doug Kahn wants to make sure that those who have paid the $45 entry fee to the July 14 to 16 event will be free to attend the conference — even if, by chance, they don’t buy into the ethos of the ardently pro-Palestinian organizers.

“If someone wants to attend and learn about the goings-on at the convention, he should be able to do so and participate, providing he comports with the rules of decorum,” said Kahn, the JCRC’s executive director.

In other words, the pro-Palestinian organizers shouldn’t be allowed to randomly toss out or harass pro-Israel supporters with tickets — and Kahn has made calls to SFSU to ensure this will be the case.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A few Gimmel Tammuz links

Lazer Beams



Al-Aqsa chemical warhead attack: down payment on genocide

This is from Reuters:
A spokesman for gunmen in the Gaza Strip said they had fired a rocket tipped with a chemical warhead at Israel early on Thursday.
It is time to rethink current strategy. Charles Johnson of LGF made a useful point today that "the Palestinian populace voted overwhelmingly (as CAIR is fond of telling us) for the Hamas government, knowing full well its radical nature and genocidal intent." "Genocidal intent" is exactly right.

The Palestinians, thank G-d, are not presently in a position to commit full-fledged genocide against the Jews of Israel. They are not letting that deter them, however. They have taken thousands of small steps towards eventual genocide, G-d forbid. They have used every resource available to them to kill as many Jews as possible, and they succeed in killing Jews all the time. They clearly would like to kill more and they are developing the resources to kill more. Israel sometimes fights back. Mostly it doesn't. This can't go on forever.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Guardian fairly upbeat about pro-jihad rapper

Just what we need:
Two record company executives are threatening to resign from a label over an album by a radical Muslim musician which has tracks about the immorality of the west, suicide bombers and Osama bin Laden.

Aki Nawaz is determined to release what is, by anyone's standards, a phenomenally angry album. He says he fully expects a knock on the door from MI5. As the main component of the band Fun-da-Mental, Nawaz has been producing politically challenging music since 1991 but accepts he is pushing those boundaries further.
Let's see, he's being "politically challenging" and "pushing boundaries." That's good, right?
The album, All is War (The Benefits of G-had), contains one track which uses the words of Bin Laden issuing "a statement of reason and explanation of impending conflict" and equates him with Che Guevara. Another forensically recreates a suicide bomber at work. The opening song is a rejection of what Nawaz sees as the hypocrisy and immorality of the west. One supposedly dream-like track predicts the demise of America at the hands of Islam.
I wonder why it's only "supposedly" dream-like. See the rest for more in the same vein.

Daniel Pipes: "Dismaying" survey of Muslims

"Dismaying" is correct. Pipes reports on a survey of Muslim attitudes by "the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press," covering "two batches of countries: six of them with long-standing, majority-Muslim populations (Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey) and four of them in Western Europe with new, minority Muslim populations (France, Germany, Britain, and Spain)." A sample of the results:
Support for terrorism: All the Muslim populations polled display a solid majority of support for Osama bin Laden. Asked whether they have confidence in him, Muslims replied positively, ranging between 8% (in Turkey) and 72% (in Nigeria). Likewise, suicide bombing is popular. Muslims who call it justified range from 13% (in Germany) to 69% (in Nigeria). These appalling numbers suggest that terrorism by Muslims has deep roots and will remain a danger for years to come.
Other areas covered by the suvey include anti-Jewish attitudes and conspiracism. This is an important article.

"Toxic in Every Language"--Dar Al Hayat on Daniel Pipes

Quite a recommendation:
Many years ago I had a driver with excellent qualities. If asked, he would work in the evening or over the weekend. He would take the dog for a walk in the afternoon and wash the family cars regularly. He would remove leaves from the gutters of the conservatory and work in the garden. He had all qualities except one: he was a bad driver.

Daniel Pipes reminds me of that driver. He is highly qualified . . . .

Pipes went to Harvard University and studied the Middle East. He obtained a BA in history in 1971, and his PhD at Harvard is in medieval Islamic history. He spent six years studying abroad, including three years in Egypt. He speaks French and reads Arabic and German. The institutions at which he has taught include Harvard, the University of Chicago and the US Naval War College.

He has held various positions in US government including two presidentially appointed positions; vice chairman of the Fulbright Board of Foreign Scholarships and membership of the board of the US Institute of Peace. He was the director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute from 1986 to 1993.

As the reader can see Pipes has all the qualities but one. He is bereft of the milk of the human kindness. Just as my driver could not drive to save his life, Daniel Pipes has not a drop of a human kindness in his veins.
Milk in one's veins does not seem like such a good idea to me.

IRIB: "Justice, a great ideal for humans"

The strange gravitational phenomena discussed in the previous post are evidently continuing to have side-effects:
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday night that justice-seeking is an instinctive issue, stressing administration of justice is a great ideal for human beings.

President Ahmadinejad made the remark in a meeting with the visiting Greek President of Socialist International, George A Papandreou.

"Today, despite great progress made in societies, humans still suffer from discrimination and inequality as a result of lack of social justice. " Efforts made by certain individuals and groups to administer justice have failed because there is no correct definition of justice, he asserted.

"those who seek justice in the world should set a proper and comprehensive definition of justice as a base for their activities because human beings will accept justice if they experience realjustice," Ahmadinejad said.
What is happening to our universe? See also Elder of Ziyon.

Back-pedaling warps space-time continuum resulting in massive under-statement--BBC: "Hamas resist Israel recognition"

That "implicit recognition" of Israel, in other words, has been sucked into a black hole, nearly taking the BBC with it:
The BBC's James Reynolds in Gaza says that the central point of the joint manifesto is the creation of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Traditionally that is one half of a two-state solution, but the existing drafts of the deal make no mention of the second half of this solution - the state of Israel.

This omission is deliberate, our correspondent says.

While some have argued that this means Hamas tacitly accepts Israel's right to exist, it is becoming clear that that is not how Hamas sees it.
More from Meryl Yourish and Elder of Ziyon. Related.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Steyn on Coulter's new book

This is a few days old now, but it offers one tour-de-force paragraph after another-- the following, for instance:
. . . it wasn't until Ann Coulter pointed it out that you realize how heavily the Democratic party is invested in irreproachable biography. For example, John Kerry's pretzel-twist of a war straddle in the 2004 campaign relied mainly on former senator Max Cleland, a triple amputee from a Vietnam grenade accident whom the campaign dispatched to stake out Bush's Crawford ranch that summer. Maybe he's still down there. It's gotten kinda crowded on the perimeter since then, what with Cindy Sheehan et al. But the idea is that you can't attack what Max Cleland says about war because, after all, you've got most of your arms and legs and he hasn't. This would normally be regarded as the unworthy tactic of snake-oil-peddling shyster evangelists and, indeed, the Dems eventually scored their perfect Elmer Gantry moment. In 2004, in the gym of Newton High School in Iowa, Senator John Edwards skipped the dreary Kerry-as-foreign-policy-genius pitch and cut straight to the Second Coming. "We will stop juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other debilitating diseases . . . When John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to get up out of that wheelchair and walk again." Mr. Reeve had died the previous weekend, but he wouldn't have had Kerry and Edwards been in the White House. Read his lips: no new crutches. The healing balm of the Massachusetts Messiah will bring the crippled and stricken to their feet, which is more than Kerry's speeches ever do for the able-bodied. As the author remarks, "If one wanted to cure the lame, one could reasonably start with John Edwards."
Good stuff.

NYT: Peretz "Faulted by Left and Right"

This article tells you more about liberal thinking concerning Israel than it does about Peretz, but it is fascinating reading. Here is short excerpt:
"You can say peace, peace, peace, but if you face war then either you fight back or you shouldn't be defense minister," said Yuval Steinitz, a member of the right-wing Likud Party, which has argued for a renewed military role in Gaza.

Critics on the other side wonder whether he will have the courage not to fight back against the Palestinians. "The music sounds a little better, but the substance is the same," said Yariv Oppenheimer, the director of Peace Now, a leftist Israeli group working for a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation. "The policy is the same. I hope he will get more confident and change the policy."
You read that correctly: "the courage not to fight back."

Muslim News: 'Israel abides by moral and ethical standards'

Here's a suprise: a very reasonable letter to the editor defending Israel at the UK Muslim News site: Here is the final paragraph:
The death of innocent civilians is always a tragedy. But Israelis are dying, too. Only by miracle, Kassam rockets have not already caused the deaths of tens of Israeli civilians. Unfortunately, luck can change in seconds. All that Israel can do to protect its citizens is target cars in which Kassam rockets are being transported to Northern Gaza. Every other country would do exactly the same thing.
I wonder if this will be followed by a rebuttal.

Palestinian Chronicle: PC-USA divestment not defeated

Anyone following this story closely already knows that the pro-divestment forces are making this claim, but it is interesting to see a whole article from that point of view:
“We are thrilled,” said David Elcott, director of inter-religious affairs for the American Jewish Committee. He said the compromise was “courageous. ... This is a win-win situation not only for Jews and Christians. Even more, it is a victory for Israelis and Palestinians and those committed to end the suffering.”

Rabbi Jonathan Miller said “I am grateful to all people who stuck with us to make right this mistake.”

Their statements are pure spin on the outcome of the General Assembly’s amended resolution. The impact of the resolution, to explore divestment as a form of non-violent resistance to Israel’s Occupation of Palestinian Territories remains fully intact. They conflict with the statements made by top PCUSA officials at the press conference.

Casey Currie, a member of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) did not think the simple change of language was the stunning victory Israel’s apologists claim it is. The PCUSA reaffirmed its commitment to morally responsible investing and engaging corporations that profit from oppression. As Currie said, “if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s a duck.”

There is no basis for claiming the Presbyterians surrendered their right to divest from companies profiting off of Israel’s military occupation. This vote did not let Israel and the companies helping it off the hook. Yet, the media have largely adapted the twisted version of events. It seems they all wish divestment would just go away.
There is something to be said for the "duck" argument.

JTA currently has a self-congratulatory piece from one of the Presbyterian "peacemakers."

IRIB: Swimming for Nukes

Note the subtext: whether the Persian Gulf is called the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Gulf is a sore point with Iran:
Seven Iranian swimmers are going to swim a five-kilometer waterway between the Iranian islands of Khark and Khargo in the high seas to symbolically support the Iranian scientists' achievement in achieving peaceful nuclear technology.

Iran Swimming Federation announced the competition named "The ever Persian Gulf" will start at 8 AM local time Tuesday.
More from the Iranian press: IRNA: "Iran protests violation of minorities human rights in Britain"

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Well-meaning, pointless "Interfaith Conference" to commemorate 9/11

From Canadian Jewish News:
Representatives of religions from around the world will gather in Montreal on the fifth anniversary of 9/11 for a conference that aims to demonstrate that those of different beliefs can find common ground.

Organziers of World’s Religions After September 11: A Global Congress, to be held from Sept. 11 to 15 at the Palais des Congrès, say their goal – about 18 religions will be represented, including Judaism – is to restore a more positive image of religion.

Congress president Arvind Sharma, the Birks professor of comparative religion in McGill University’s religious studies faculty, said at the official announcement of the event that the perception of religion in general, not just Islam, has suffered as a result of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The arrest of 17 Muslim terrorist suspects in Toronto has only underscored the need for reflection in an ecumenical spirit, he added.
Now he tells us! If only this conference had been held before the arrests.
Confirmed as a speaker is Rabbi David Rosen, a former chief rabbi of Ireland and international director of interreligious relations with the American Jewish Committee, based in its Jerusalem office.

Last August, he was named president of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC), which represents organized world Jewry in its relations with other international religious bodies, notably the Vatican . . .

The Montreal conference is using the broadest definition for inclusion, choosing the term “world’s religions” rather than “world religions” to allow for participation by such smaller or lesser known faiths as African or American Indian religions, Jainism, Zoroastrianism and even Paganism and Wicca, which do not fit the conventional understanding of religion.
Whatever makes them happy.

SANA (Syria): "President al-Assad Talks About Current Political Developments"

Welcoming a new Arab news source to the family of Judeopundit blog-fodder:
President Bashar al-Assad explained the current political developments and nature of conspiracies that have been threatening the Arab nation's existence and identity.

Receiving members of General Secretariat and the Pan-Arab Follow Up and Coordination Committees for Arab Revolutionary Dialogue at al-Shaab Palace on Sunday, the President clarified that Syria's policy and stances are based on her belief in the Arab nation's unified destiny and joint interests.

Al-Assad underlined importance of the Arab political powers meetings on all levels and their dialogue and interaction with the nation's causes.
There is nothing specific in this article about what those "conspiracies" are, but it isn't difficult to imagine.

Linkim 6/25/06

Haveil Havalim 75 is up.

Judeosphere notes a philosophy exam question on "Being George Galloway."

Abu Ardvark observes Yemen's president.

City of Brass presents "a case study in agenda-driving."

In a feature story linked from MyYahoo today, Matisyahu asks "How do you tap into the resources of your soul?"

Jonathan Darman at Newsweek asks "Can Daily Kos Control the Democrats?" (h/t: Real Clear Politics)

Dar Al Hayat on Walt and Mearsheimer. (h/t: Martin Kramer)

Heather MacDonald takes a scathing look at the NYT.

Lileks on the Democrats' "New Direction" Al Aqsa claims to have WMD. (h/t: Israel Matzav)

Indigo Jo discusses some "reasonable" conspiracy theories. Oops! (Oh well, he does say that he now believes that 9/11 was carried out by Al Qaeda.)

Diana West makes some important observations on "The war for moral superiority."

Jaqueline Rose, writing in the Nation, has a predictably hostile take on "The Zionist Imagination."

Jameel has a good summary of the situation in Israel.

Mondale has Beitzim

I don't feel so bad that I once voted for him. From Newsmax:
Former Vice President Walter Mondale said Friday he supports a pre-emptive U.S. strike against a North Korean missile, saying the U.S. should tell North Korea to dismantle the missile or "we are going to take it out."

"I think it would end the nuclear long-range dreams of this dangerous country," said Mondale, who was the 1984 Democratic presidential nominee and a former U.S. ambassador to Japan.

Juche Sentence of the Day

From (North) Korean News:
People should have the stance to carve out the destiny of the revolution and their own fates by themselves no matter what others may say, high national pride and guts that they prefer their own style no matter how the world may change and strong faith to dynamically advance along the path chosen by themselves without the slightest hesitation and vacillation despite any adversity and ordeal.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Perfidious Headline of the Week: "Three Palestinians killed in anti-Israel attack"

Jews were also killed, but who cares about them? From the "honorary-Episcopalians" at AFP:
Three Palestinian activists were killed early Sunday in an attack on an Israeli military post on the border between Israel and the south of the Gaza Strip, the group Committees of Popular Resistance announced.

Military sources in Jerusalem said several Israeli soldiers were also killed or wounded in the attack near the Sufa and Kerem Shalom crossing points.
I'm usually pretty calm when I post something--I'm not calm now.

Update: Speaking of Palestinian attacks, here is a great post from JoeSettler.

Further update: This item from Israel Matzav suggests that early reports only mentioned Israeli wounded. Perhaps the AFP writer wrote the headline, added to the article, and then neglected to update the headline. It's still telling.

Al-Ahram: Corries Confront CAT

The further adventures of Abu Pancake and Umm Pancake:
The parents of a US peace activist who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer built by the global machinery giant Caterpillar confronted the company last week for the first time, urging shareholders at its annual meeting to end sales of "weaponised bulldozers to Israel".

Cindy and Craig Corrie, parents of the late Rachel Corrie, attended the meeting as proxy voters on behalf of Jewish and Christian institutional investors who have filed a resolution asking for greater corporate accountability from Caterpillar.
No atheists among those investors?
"Why would we pay for our own homes with the destruction of other people's homes? Why would we fund our retirements with the destruction of other people's olive groves?" the Corries asked of shareholders. "[Caterpillar shareholders] should know there are good and decent people in Israel, in Palestine ... and [shareholders] should support them and not support violence," they said in a statement.

Episcoterians, Presbypalians, whatever . . .

"Liberation Theology" is what Marxism is called when it is espoused by priests, by the way. From JTA:
A Palestinian priest who is a fierce critic of Israel was honored by an Episcopalian group.

Naim Ateek, an Anglican priest and founder and director of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem, received the Episcopalian Peace Fellowship’s 2006 John Nevin Sayre Award last week.

In his acceptance speech, Ateek praised the Episcopal Church for giving him the award despite pressure from “Jewish Zionist organizations in the States,” according to a Sabeel press release. He also called Israel’s West Bank security barrier an illegal land-grab. Ateek in the past has accused Israel of “crucifying” the Palestinians and reportedly has expressed support for a one-state solution to the Palestinian-Israel conflict, effectively meaning the end of a Jewish state.

He also is a major figure behind the push for universities and other groups to divest from companies that do business with Israel.
There's no pal like an Episcopal.

IRIB: "Iran warns Kuwait on Arash field"

Kuwait must be extremely happy about Iran's nukes:
The Oil Minister's Deputy for Internatinal Affairs, Seyyed Hadi Nejadhoseinian said Saturday Iran will kick off tapping the Arash gas field as soon as Kuwait starts the same for Al-Dora field.

Nejadhoseinian was commenting on the reported remarks of Kuwaiti Energy Miniter's Deputy that Kuwait will soon start tapping the undisputed parts of Arash off-shore gas field.

Studies show any tapping from Al-Dora field will reduce the reserves of Arash field, he underlined.

According to Nejadhoseinian, Iran is ready for cooperation with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to launch a joint tapping of the field based on each country's share.

Friday, June 23, 2006

1 Reason for a Bronx Cheer

Cross-Currents currently has an excellent article by Yitzchak Adlerstein about the Presbyterian assembly in Birmingham, which Rabbi Adlerstein attended, and which modified PC-USA's call for divestment from Israel. The article is filled with sharply-drawn observations, but I disagree with the central point. Here is what I take to be the key passage:
That document began with an apology to Jews for the hurtful action of two years ago, called it flawed, and substituted language that calls for responsible investment in entities that foster peace, conspicuously deleting the word “divestment.” Could that theoretically be used down the road to pull funds from a company they believed was hurting the peace process? Sure. But why jump through all the hoops if nothing was meant to change? Clearly, the delegates who voted for this measure (94%!) saw this as a change they could live with.
It seems very clear that this is a compromise measure and that the sort of Presbyterians who travel to the Middle East to meet with Hizbullah retain considerable influence. Imagine a resolution passed by a major Jewish organization calling for investments in Presbyterian-owned business to be limited to "patriotic pursuits." It isn't just a question of what such a resolution can be used for, but of what it implies and the act of singling out involved in making it. Who says that the peacefulness of Israeli pursuits are in question?

The efforts of more reasonable-minded Presbyterians are laudable, but they have failed. Why do they still belong to an organization in which such people as Gretchen Graf and Clifton Kirkpatrick have a say?

And remember, the next time you are in the market for a tractor, consider a Caterpillar.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

They really wanted Che, but he's dead . . .

Guess who's going to be lighting a menorah? From
Cuban ruler Fidel Castro will use an official state ceremony to inaugurate Israel's symbol – the seven-branch menorah – in a central Havana square, in memory of the Jews murdered in the Holocaust.

Attending the event will be Castro's associate, Israeli Minister Rafi Eitan (Pensioners Party).

Eitan said the idea to set up the memorial was suggested by the Havana Mayor, who is renovating the city's old quarter.

More on Roger Waters

And also here.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Israel not allowed to use Magen David Adom, cleverly substitutes "Red Koran-Stomper"

(Photo credit: BBC)

Incensed by the opposition of the Muslim world to the admittance of the Magen David Adom to the Red Cross, the Council of the Learned Elders of Zion cleverly substituted a seemingly-neutral red diamond-shaped symbol, actually the little-known "Red Koran-Stomper" symbol. Long kept hidden from the world and only mentioned at EOZ meetings, this arcane symbol consists of a four-sided geometrical shape. Each of the four sides symbolizes one of the four "Special Obvious Facts":

Side 1: The son bound on the altar by Avraham was not Yishmael.
Side 2: Avraham, David and Solomon were not Muslims.
Side 3: Avraham and Yishmael did not build the Kaaba.
Side 4: Yvonne Ridley is a nut-case.

HRW debuts new Garlasco

Remember the Jerusalem Post report that Garlasco met with IDF General Meir Klifi and conceded some legitimacy to the IDF investigation? The latest reports on the pronouncements of Garlasco and HRW make it seem that it never happened. From the BBC:
A US-based human rights group has questioned an Israel army report that exonerated troops of killing eight Palestinian civilians on a Gaza beach.
"An investigation that refuses to look at contradictory evidence can hardly be credible," Human Rights Watch said.

Israeli investigators declined to inspect evidence gathered by other sources, saying it may have been faked.

The deaths on 9 June drew international condemnation. Militant group Hamas cancelled its informal truce.

"The [Israeli army's] partisan approach highlights the need for an independent, international investigation," said Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Israpundit examines "The Incredible Marc Garlasco." The Free West asks, "Who got to Garlasco?" Soccer Dad concludes "Garlasco did not change his mind."

Update: See Daled Amos.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Poll on whether pro-Israel blogs accomplish anything

Isreallycool is currently conducting a poll. Aussie Dave explains:
I have always been curious as to how effective pro-Israel blogs like this one are. We like to think we are, but do we really play a significant role in shaping people's opinions, and influencing their hearts and minds? Or do we play a more minor role?
The poll itself is here.

Pro-Palestinian re-write of Roger Waters self-pity anthem

Former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters will give a concert in Israel, despite his opposition to the security fence Israel is building across the West Bank. After protests by Palestinians, he changed the venue from a park in Tel Aviv to Neveh Shalom, a mixed Arab-Jewish town near Jerusalem known as the "Village of Peace." The group's old hit song "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" has become an anthem of resistance to the barrier, with its lyrics changed to: "We don't need no occupation. We don't need no racist wall."
Hey, Jewboys, leave them Pals alone. All in all you're just another pain in the arse, Roger. (Hat Tip: The Kool Aid Report)

The next song in the set.

Gaza beach update: Garlasco concedes some points

Here is something I did not expect, mainly due to cynicism about HRW. From JPost:
While sticking to its demand for the establishment of an independent inquiry into a blast on a Gaza beach 10 days ago that killed seven Palestinian civilians, the Human Rights Watch conceded Monday night for the first time since the incident that it could not contradict the IDF's exonerating findings.

On Monday, Maj.-Gen. Meir Klifi - head of the IDF inquiry commission that cleared the IDF of responsibility for the blast - met with Marc Garlasco, a military expert from the HRW who had last week claimed that the blast was caused by an IDF artillery shell. Following the three-hour meeting, described by both sides as cordial and pleasant, Garlasco praised the IDF's professional investigation into the blast, which he said was most likely caused by unexploded Israeli ordnance left laying on the beach, a possibility also raised by Klifi and his team.
This whole episode is very instructive. (Hat Tip: Backspin)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Dueling Banjos: IRIB and Korea News

IR Leader expounds Principlism

Rodong Sinmun Calls for Upholding Songun Banner

A fundamental turn was brought in party building and overall party work under the energetic leadership of Kim Jong Il who has always put greatest efforts in strengthening the party and steadily increasing its leading role.

"The Iranian nation and authorities will conquer the hights of progress and dignity and resolve the existing problems through unity, faith, vigilance, rationality and knowledge," the Islamic Revolution Leader, Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei told an audience of the Iranianj statesmen, including the President, the Speaker, the Judiciary Head, the System's Interests Council Head, the Cabinet members, the Majlis lawmakers, judicial officials, military commanders and other pro minent political, cultural and religious figures Monday.

He has created the model of the times in succeeding the idea and cause of the leader under the banner of modeling the whole society on the Juche idea, reared our revolutionary armed forces into an invincible strong army and built so many great monumental edifices of the Workers' Party era all over the country, and words fail to describe all the immortal feats he has performed in those days.

Reminding the audience of the spiritual and ethical issues and deliberating on the issue of gratitude in the Islamic thought, the IR Leader made appraisals about the political, economic, cultural and international status of the country and expounded the discourse of the Islamic Revolution, calling on the statesmen to follow prudence, multiple efforts and work as well as boosted intimacy and unanimity.

The cause of the Party is the cause of the Songun revolution and the history of his revolutionary leadership is resplendent as a noble history in which Kim Jong Il has created an ever-victorious heroic epic under the Songun banner.

Ayatollah Khamenei considered "excessive optimism or pessimism" as misleading in appraising the situation in the country.

It is entirely a brilliant fruition of his Songun politics that the lifeline of the Korean revolution pioneered in Mt. Paektu has been steadily succeeded and the dignity and unconquerable features of socialist Korea have been strikingly demonstrated to the world despite the ceaseless war provocation moves of the imperialists and complicated political situation of the world.

The IR Leader then touched on the existing realities in various foreign and domestic issues, adding that the accumulation of great, successive achievements is one of the most outstanding and positive features of the country and the System.

It is a miracle in history that he firmly defended the banner of socialism and opened a new era of building a great prosperous powerful nation with the original Songun policy in the last decade of the 20th century when the Korean revolution faced a grim test.

The IR Leader pointed to creating job, curbing inflation, outreaching to underprivileged areas, launching serious combat against corruption, safeguarding investment security, rationally consolidating the international status of the System and purifying the cultural image of the country as the priorities towards which the Principlist administrative and legislative, along with the other bodies, must take resolute and non-stop strides, by perseverance about principles as well as due planning and enduring efforts.

The whole party, whole army and all the people should more firmly arm with the greatness of the Songun policy of Kim Jong Il, unite ever closer around the headquarters of the revolution, holding ever higher the slogan "Let us defend the revolutionary headquarters headed by the great Comrade Kim Jong Il with our lives!" and resolutely defend his undying leadership exploits in party building and thoroughly apply them to the party work and activity.

Poll at Newsbusters: "Which media outlet is more fair?"--Al-Jazeera or the New York Times?

Go vote. The Times is going to get stomped.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Is it just me, or did the forces of reason go down in flames in the aptly-named PC-USA?

From JTA:
Members of a Presbyterian Church committee hope that altering a policy on Israel divestment will quell two years of controversy.

It appears they may have succeeded.

The new call for “corporate engagement” extends to companies involved in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem and posits the will for a balanced approach to peacemaking efforts between Israel and the Palestinian Authority . . .

[T]he 60-member committee crafted a new resolution Saturday night on Israel divestment that will come before the General Assembly for a vote on Wednesday.

The tenets of the resolution include:

calling on the church to restrict its investments that relate to Israel, Gaza, eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank to peaceful pursuits;

• regretting the pain caused to the Jewish community and within the Presbyterian community for flaws in the resolution’s initial process;

• urging peaceful cooperation among Israelis, Americans and Palestinians, and Jews, Muslims and Christians;

• calling for dismantling Israel’s security barrier beyond its pre-1967 borders;

• and aiming to submit these proposals to U.S., Israeli and Palestinian politicians and religious leaders.

While the new resolution does not rescind divestment, anti-divestment activists are pleased with the new language.
Would that be real anti-divestment activists or Presbyterian anti-divestment activists?

Update: Power Line has an over-optimistic post about this. Normblog also echoes the JTA view. I wish someone would explain to me how singling Israel out for a "peaceful pursuit" rule does not amount to divestment.

Middle East Newsline: "PA Awaits Iranian Aircraft"

The Palestinian Authority has been awaiting aircraft and combat vehicles from Iran.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar said Iran has been preparing to deliver two aircraft and 300 vehicles to the PA. Zahar said Iran would soon send the platforms to the Gaza Strip.

Zahar did not identify the aircraft or vehicles. But officials said the platforms would include helicopters as well as cars for the police and security forces.

Iran has also pledged $50 million to the PA. Zahar suggested that the money would be brought to the Gaza Strip by Hamas couriers.
(Hat Tip: Iran va Jahan)

Linkim 6/18/06

Haveil Havalim 74 is up.

IMRA explains "Why Israel is not taking serious measures to stop the Qassams."

Elder of Ziyon posts a "note about Palestinian Arab polls."

David Warren speculates about a "Clash of (Collapsing) Civilizations?"

"Brussels Journal Editor Threatened with Prosecution over Homeschooling"

There is a new J-Blog aggregator.

NY Times: "North Korea Appears Set to Launch Missile"

Captain's Quarters asks "Are We Talking About A Two-State Solution?"

Judeosphere explores the recent anti-Semitism at Daily Kos.

Baruch Dayan Emes

IRIB: "IRI ready to transfer"--ahem--"experiences"

I think many of the other Muslim countries are alarmed at Iran's acquisition of nukes. Is this an attempt to placate them? It doesn't look good in any event.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday that the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to transfer its economic, develoment [sic] and cultural experiences to other Islamic countries including Morocco . . .

Stressing that there are various energy resources and competent human forces in the world of Islam, he said all Muslim countries should supplement each other and defend the interests of the world of Islam.

President Ahmadinejad considered the Islamic Republic of Iran's access to nuclear technology as the progress of all Muslims throughout the world, adding that the Iranian nation will defend its inalienable rights in different fields patiantly [sic] and prudently.

Cindy the Dolphin is niftar!

Cindy the dolphin gained fame after 41-year-old Jewish millionaire from London married him in 2005; 'Cindy swam slowly and he had problems eating,' reef employee says
Never let it be said that this blog does not follow up on past stories.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

John Pilger: "[T]he vote for Hamas was actually a vote for peace"

From the planet inhabited by the New Statesman:
The reason Israel fears Hamas is that Hamas is unlikely to be a trusted collaborator in subjugating its own people on Israel's behalf. Indeed, the vote for Hamas was actually a vote for peace. Palestinians were fed up with the failures and corruption of the Arafat era. According to the former US president Jimmy Carter, whose Carter Centre verified the Hamas electoral victory, "public opinion polls show that 80 per cent of Palestinians want a peace agreement with Israel".
According to Pilger, Haniyeh "reaffirmed Hamas's commitment to recognize the Jewish state, proposing only that Israel obey international law and respect the borders of 1967." Right. I believe what was mentioned was a cease-fire. The Qassam-festooned status quo we have had up until now is also supposedly a cease-fire.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Daily Kos tops itself

The next time someone tries to argue that left references to "neocons" don't connote a Jewish cabal, these cartoons are going to be Exhibit A in response. Click on the images to enlarge them. (Hat tip: New York Sun via MOT News)

Update: I wonder what Tikkun Olam has to say abut these cartoons.

Terrorist Math: 1 Sunni Bomber + 6 Shi'ite Victims = 6 Martyrs; 1 Pali Bomber + 6 Jewish Victims = 1 Martyr

From IRIB:
A suicide bomber blew himself up inside Baghdad's massive Shiite Baratha mosque Friday martyring six people despite a massive crackdown in the capital, a security source said.

The blast, which also wounded 15 people, came just an hour before the Friday Prayers when the mosque would have been filled with thousands of worshippers.
There will be a test on this.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Linkim 6/15/06

Chrles Krauthammer diagnoses "Victimhood: The Palestinian Disease."

Soccer Dad is "on target."

Divrei Chaim explains "Yes, Virgina, there is more to Judaism than the Rambam's rationalism: on segulos, darkei emori, and psak."

BTB talks to Natan Sharansky.

Link round-ups here, here, and here.

AFP: "Weblogs soar in Gulf states"

Lean Left calls this "some serious smack down on Instapundit."

LA Jewish Journal on Day-school/Cheder tuition woes.

Captain's Quarters asks "Did They Run Out Of Rockets?"

Heichal Hanegina has issued a call for tefilah for the Modzitzer Rebbe shlit"a.

Banned in Iran

From UPI via the Arab Herald:
The government of Iran has banned The Economist magazine for describing the Persian Gulf as merely the Gulf in a map in the latest edition.

State television made the announcement Wednesday night, noting it is the second time the government has made such a move to protect the country's Persian roots.

In November 2004, it banned the National Geographic atlas when a new edition was published with the term Arabian Gulf in parenthesis beside the more commonly used Persian Gulf.

Jewish News of Northern California: Rosenbergs' son compares war on terror to McCarthyism

According to Robert Meeropol (who uses the name of his adopted parents):
“If you look at my parents’ case in the 1950s, what the government succeeded in doing was it took the people the public were most afraid of, the communists, and linked them to the thing people were most frightened of, the atomic bomb, when the Korean War was raging.
I wonder what he thinks the difference is between the words "afraid" and "frightened."
“If you compare that kind of scenario to today, you see the government taking the people the public are most afraid of, Islamic fundamentalists, and linking them to the thing people are most frightened of, weapons of mass destruction, while we’re in perpetual war, and it’s just like before.”
Do you think readers are expected to take this as a profound insight?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency) translated Ahmadinejad's statement as "Israel should be wiped off the world map"

The idea has gained currency lately that Ahmadinejad did not really call for Israel to be "wiped off the map." Two of the better Muslim blogs have posts based on a Jonathan Steele article to that effect. In this connection it is interesting to note that the English section of the website of IRNA, the Islamic Republic News Agency, used that translation. I am not trying to ignore all the learned philology in the Steele article, but if the basic issue is the belligerency of the statement, then it is worth noting that someone at IRNA thought "wipe off the map" conveyed the basic thought well enough in English. And those are pretty bellicose words in English. Blogger Osama Saeed asks, "One obvious question emanating from this is who did spread the 'wiped off the map' translation?" Well, there's one answer for you.

Update: the link to IRNA doesn't work anymore. Here is a Boston Globe article which reports on IRNA's translation. (I should have made a screen shot!)

Further update: IRIB still has it.

Fatah-ist entity commits aggression against Palestinian people

From the BBC:
A Hamas militant has been shot dead in the Gaza Strip as clashes between rival Palestinian factions Fatah and the governing Hamas movement continue.

It is not immediately clear who was behind the attack in Khan Younis.

A commander in a regular security agency loyal to Fatah was injured in an earlier shooting in the town.

Meanwhile, government employees in Ramallah stormed the parliament building, attacking Hamas politicians and demanding to be paid salaries.
This calls for divestment!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tehran Times: "Iran warns EU on violation of human rights"

News from the Bizarro World:
Iran’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday to the European Union, calling on the bloc to take more influential steps to prevent the violation of human rights in some European countries.

The statement was sent to Austria, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

Iran has expressed serious concern about the resumption of street clashes, the imposition of martial law, the labor law crisis, the regretful state of prisons, police brutality, the torture of prisoners, wrong policies toward immigrants, and the deplorable state of the judiciary and social system in France.

The statement also calls upon the EU to take more serious steps to prevent the restriction of social and religious freedom in its campaign against terrorism, long detentions without charges, and violence toward and mistreatment of immigrants and asylum seekers in Britain.

In addition, Iran has insisted that the bloc make efforts to eliminate Islamophobia in the schools of France and Britain and pass a law to prevent affronts to Islam and Muslims in EU member countries.
They're still worried about those cartoons.

Conspiracy of the Day: Mehr News on the Bilderbergers

The annual and secret Bilderberger meeting is one of favorite subjects of conspiracy theorists everywhere. A current article from Iran's Mehr News Agency includes the following:
Alex Jones of Prison and two of his crew were detained by Canadian immigration at the Ottawa airport at 11:45 p.m. on the night of June 7 and only released after 2 p.m. the next day.

Jones said, “It's a group of very powerful individuals whose objective is to create one world government, based on an economic model from the Middle Ages,” adding that it would be “a post-industrial model where you have slaves and slave owners.”

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sort of like Fatah and Hamas . . .

From the BBC:
Rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) have declared war on the smaller guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN) . . .

There is nothing likely to make the Colombian army happier than the prospect of the two principal Marxist rebel groups fighting each other, our correspondent adds.
(Hat tip: Dave's Part)

Speaking of Fatah and Hamas . . .

IRIB: "Iran share [sic] Iraq joy on Zarqawi death"

More reasonable than certain leftists?
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi Sunday said that like the people of Iraq, Iranians are also glad that al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has been killed.

Speaking to the media in his weekly press conference, he said that Iran condemns terrorism anywhere in the world, particularly in Iraq, irrespective of whether the victims are Shiites or Sunnis, given that there is no good and bad terrorism.

The spokesman underlined that killing Iraqi people is unacceptable to any kind of reasoning.

Turning to the joy of the Iraqi people over the death of al-Zarqawi, he said that it proves he was despised by Iraqis because of his violence, adding that Iranians are equally glad.

"Of course, this does not mean that Iran has been cooperating with America or any institution to locate al-Zarqawi. Neither did Iran communicate with Iraq in this respect," he added.

He referred to the claim on providing intelligence by Iran mainly to target al-Zarqawi as a plot by the media with a certain objective and said that Iran has not cooperated with America in this respect.

Tags: Iran, Iraq, Zarqawi

Sunday, June 11, 2006

80 members of SF gay synagogue dead of AIDS

From Jewish News of Northern California:
Mark Feldman had the world on a string.

He was young, gregarious and smart. As director of admissions at New College, his career was on the ascent. As a co-director of publicity for Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, a largely gay and lesbian San Francisco synagogue, he was an emerging leader in the local Jewish and gay communities.

So synagogue colleagues were dumbstruck when Feldman announced at a board meeting he had come down with the “gay disease.”

The year was 1983. The term AIDS had not yet become widely known. And no one then fully understood what had descended so lethally on the gay community. But Feldman knew he was facing a grave illness, and when he succumbed a short time later at age 31, he became the first Sha’ar Zahav congregant to die of AIDS.

Sadly, he was not the last. The names of nearly 80 other congregants felled by the virus adorn the synagogue’s memorial wall today.
That's a relatively short excerpt from a long article.

Linkim 6/11/06

Haveil Havailm 73 is up.

Simply Jews discovers some wacked-out, even for them, conspiracism in the Iranian Press.

Jameel at the Muqata notes that halacha is "On the Move."

Judeoscope has some good articles on Muslim extremism in Canada.

Elder of Ziyon flags a report that may finally reveal the details of the Gaza beach incident.

Al-Jazeera: "Pro-Zarqawi MPs anger Jordan"

Iran Focus: "Iran’s intelligence operatives abroad flee their terror masters"

Daniel Pipes' latest (h/t: My Right Word)

Steyn's latest

The SF Chronicle warns Arnold.

IRIB: "Syria rejects Zionists' claims"

From Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting:
Syria refuted any claims of willing to negotiate with the Zionist regime, IRIB reported Friday.

Syrian Information Minister Mohsin Bilal reiterated that establishing peace in the region is the main strategy Syria foreign policy, so news reported by the Zionist newspaper Ha'aretz are baseless.

The Zionist regime paper claimed earlier that a Syrian official has asked the Europen Union to mediate in resuming Damascus-Tal Abib talks which had stopped since 1991 because of the Zionist regime's ignorance to international conventions.

Syria has turned to the resistance approach since last year to retake the Jolan heights.
Interesting spellings.

Sheehan regrets Zarqawi killing, attacks Hillary

High-calorie blog-fodder from Newsmax:
"Peace Mom" Cindy Sheehan said Friday that she's troubled by the death of al-Qaida's top operational terrorist, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, predicting that it will actually make things worse for U.S. troops in Iraq . . .

Sheehan was in New York earlier this week, campaigning against New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, who she called "a little less evil" than President Bush.
How dare she attack Hillary! Her village didn't raise her right . . .

Saturday, June 10, 2006

"Political Wing" Myth Watch

From the BBC, of course:
Under the ceasefire arrangement agreed with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas enjoyed enormous political success, taking power with a landslide victory in parliamentary elections in January.

So far this does not amount to a complete change in Hamas's position but if it were to return to widespread militant activity, the question would be how Israel might respond, our correspondent adds.

In the past, it has refused to differentiate between political and armed wings, assassinating a number of Hamas leaders, including its founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
Can you imagine anybody bothering with the idea that Bin Laden belongs to the "political wing" of Al Qaeda?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Hamas and Zarqawi

Reuters puts it thus:
The ruling Palestinian faction Hamas on Thursday deplored the killing by U.S. warplanes of the al Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, describing him as a casualty of a crusade against Arabs and Muslims.
Supporters of the Palestinians have been insisting for months that Hamas is the duly elected government of the Palestinians. What now? Are we to take this expression of solidarity with Zarqawi as the voice of the Palestinian people speaking through its elected representatives? This is--or should be--an important infusion of clarity into our understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hamas has the distinction of being the only elected one of the three Islamic-terrorist (or "Islamist") governments the world has seen, the other two being the Taliban and the Mullahs of Iran. This should mark the end of the notion in the mind of any reasonable person (if there are any remaining who think so) that peace can be obtained in exchange for land in this particular conflict--whether through unilateral withdrawal or through negotiation. (Hat Tip: LGF)

Nick Berg’s father invents new school of ethics called “proximism”

Michael Berg recently unveiled a newly-created school of ethics which clearly should be called “proximism.” According to this school of thought, the morality of an action taken by a human being involving another person mainly depends on the proximity of the other person. If the two people are in each other’s presence, the action is good. Anything done remotely is bad. Thus, mugging someone is good. One can only mug another person in that person’s presence. Having a long-distance phone conversation with someone and posting something to the internet, by contrast, are heinous crimes. Here is the master himself presenting an example:
"Zarqawi felt my son's breath on his hand as held the knife against his throat. Zarqawi had to look in his eyes when he did it," Berg added, pausing to collect himself, "George Bush sits there glassy-eyed in his office with pieces of paper and condemns people to death. That to me is a real terrorist."
An immediate apparent drawback to this school of thought is that it appears to drastically transvalue actions normally regarded as injurious to life and property. It is therefore suggested that if you find yourself in the presence of a person known to espouse the doctrine of proximism, and you notice that he is trying to feel your breath with his hand, take evasive action immediately. At least until they get the bugs worked out.

Ahmadinejad aide: "Not many people know it, but the Fuhrer was a terrific dancer . . ."

From Rooz News Online:
On a visit to Gilan University president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s advisor Mohammad Ali Ramin said to a group of students in the town of Rasht, “Ten years ago when I brought up the issue of the Holocaust for the first time in this country, my goal was to defend the Jewish people. But among the Jews there have always been those who killed God’s prophets and who opposed justice and righteousness. Throughout history, this religious group has inflicted the most damage on the human race, while some of its groups engaged in plotting against other nations and ethnic groups to cause cruelty, malice and wickedness.”

“Historically, there are many accusations against the Jews. For example it was said that they were the source for such deadly disease as the plague and typhus. This is because the Jews are very filthy people. For a time people also said that they poisoned water wells belonging to Christians and thus killed them,” Ramin said.

Ramin also pointed that there were other plots that powerful people used to mislead public opinion around the world. “When the Islamic Revolution of Iran succeeded and attracted many people around the world including Christians, the AIDS epidemic came about and fear again overtook the world. After the September 11 attacks the deadly epidermis broke out which was destroyed when the US invaded Afghanistan. On the eve of the invasion of Iran SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) illness broke out but disappeared after the invasion,” he said.

Ramin also claimed that that the spread of bird flu was a conspiracy plot cause by the failure of America, Israel and Britain in the Middle East. Ramin pointed out that to cover up and hide their failures, these countries have spread the news about the bird flu to preoccupy and distract public opinion for some 5 to 6 months. “Nobody asks how a bird that had the flu could fly from Australia to Siberia,” he said, adding that even the Iranian minister of health had claimed to have stopped the disease at Iran’s borders. He claimed the holocaust story and bird flu rumors are interrelated. He attributed the killing of millions of chicken was to control the price and amount chicken in the market.

While acknowledging not knowing the source of these events around the world, Ramin said, “I only know that Jews have been accused of such conspiracies and sabotage throughout history and have not performed well.”

And repeating the president’s claims about the Holocaust, he presented four theories that are presented in its support.

The first is that in order to deny the Germans the ability to increase their power, “the British and Americans present them as a human-burning nation.” The second theory is that the Americans and the British have cocked up this story with the Zionists so as to create the state of Israel in the middle of the Islamic world and thus control the Islamic world on the Holocaust pretext, and getting rid of the Jews from Europe. The third hypothesis relates to the traditional animosity between Christians and the Jews. “The US, Britain with the cooperation of France, Russia and Germany and because of their Christian leanings and its animosity with the Jews, launched the idea of the Holocaust after the Second World War to scare off the Jews and sent them to what is now Israel in order to get rid of them in Europe and America,” he said. He further said that the movement that created Israel is in fact against the Jews. The fourth theory relates to covering up the crimes of the US and Britain. He claimed that Britain had killed some 100 million red Indians in the last 300 years and the US had leveled Hiroshima, which he said were the real Holocausts.

Claiming that the Holocaust was the principal reason why Palestine was occupied while Israel was the main cause of crises and catastrophe in the Middle East. “So long as Israel exists in the region there will never be peace and security in the Middle East,” he said adding, “So the resolution of the Holocaust issue will end in the destruction of Israel.”

Turning to president Ahmadinejad’s comments on the Holocaust, Ramin said that he criticized the president for making those comments. “We do not know whether the Holocaust existed or not and so must find out in order to defend the suffered party. My suggestion to him was to set up an investigative committee on this to collect the supporting documents,” he said.
(Hat Tip:

BBC: Zarqawi "thug" unlike Bin Laden

The death of Zarqawi is great news, but let's get on with complaining about the press coverage. This, for instance:
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was not a global mastermind like al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, says the BBC's security correspondent, Frank Gardner.

Instead he was a bloodthirsty and violent thug, who made enemies and several mistakes that might have contributed to his downfall.
So Bin Laden isn't a thug? Oh right, I forgot, he's gentle and pious. Unbelievable.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Islamic Republic Leader Seeks Pen Pals

From IRNA:
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, referring to his letter to US President George W. Bush, said here on Wednesday, "As new letters with different contents get ready, process of sending letters to heads of states would continue.["]
I can't wait to read the one to Kim Jong Il

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Some thoughts on Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism

Soccer Dad currently has a good post on Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism, and I would like to use it as a springboard for some thoughts of my own. He writes, "Zionism means believing that there is a historical connection between Jews and Israel." He is right that the word is often used in this sense and that the kind of extreme anti-Zionism espoused by the Palestinians usually means to deny this historical connection, one which is obvious to any educated person.

However, Zionism in its historically conscious sense means the political movement that sought to establish a modern nation-state in Israel. This has now been achieved and the original immediate aim of Zionism has now become a moot point. Partially because of this, the word Zionism is often used now, especially by anti-Zionists, to designate any support at all for the state of Israel. Since there is a spectrum of possible meanings for the word Zionism, there is also a spectrum of possible anti-Zionisms.

I think it makes sense to separate the word "Anti-Zionism" from the word "Anti-Semitism." The latter term refers to hostility or prejudice directed at the Jewish people. We tend often to identify "Anti-Zionism" with "Anti-Semitism" because the extreme forms of Anti-Zionism carry bias to the point of bigotry and clearly involve a desire to harm the interests of the state of Israel, a desire that can hardly be said to coexist with a neutral or benevolent attitude towards the Jews that live there--and indeed all Jews (since all Jews have a stake in the connection between the People of Israel and the Land of Israel).

Nevertheless, the Jewish People and the State of Israel are not identical entities. Bigotry towards one, at least theoretically, is not automatically bigotry towards the other. What is clearly needed is a recognition that Anti-Zionism is often a kind of bigotry in its own right. Even extreme anti-Zionists may take pains to avoid anti-Semitism, but that does not exonerate them, it merely means that they exemplify a different sort of bigotry. The notion, for instance, that Modern Israel is a "European" country whose residents all have European "homelands" is a bizarre distortion which in practice is paired with the intent of harming the interests of millions of Jews. Is it Anti-Semitic? This may depend on what you mean by the word "Anti-Semitism," and perhaps the best way to avoid semantic quibbles is simply to affirm that it is a bigoted belief no matter what it is labeled.

So I think that maintaining the distinction bewteen anti-Zionism and anti-Semtiism may actually provide some clarity in the face of people who claim that they are being labeled "Anti-Semites" for mere criticism of Israel. The answer to such poeple is that they if are entertaining beliefs about Israel that no informed objective person can entertain or exhibiting an extreme tendency to single out Israel, they may not be "Anti-Semites" per se, but they are bigots all the same.

Related Earlier Post: Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism

BBC asks, "Do you think it was right for the Colonialist Settler State to commit unprovoked aggression against the peace-loving Ba'athist regime?"

Here is the question:
Was Israel right to bomb Osirak?

Was Israel's destruction of Iraq's nuclear reactor 25 years ago justified?

Israeli warplanes set back Saddam Hussein's nuclear programme when they bombed his main reactor in 1981.

The UN Security Council condemned the attack and called on Israel to account for its own undeclared nuclear programme - a demand Israel still ignores.

Do you think Israel was justified in bombing Iraq's nuclear reactor? Is it right for any state in the Middle East to have nuclear weapons when the region is so unstable?
It certainly seems that they want to tilt the answers in a certain direction, doesn't it? (Hat Tip: LGF)

Just noticed something in a GH post

A recent GH post includes a list (available here) of the world's largest religions, ranked by number of followers. Here is the list down to the entry for Judaism:
1. Christianity 2.1 billion
2. Islam 1.3 billion
3. Secular/Irreligious/Agnostic/Atheist 1.1 billion
4. Hinduism 900 million
5. Chinese folk religion 394 million
6. Buddhism 376 million, not including Chinese folk Religion (see also Buddhism by country)
7. Primal indigenous 300 million
8. African traditional and diasporic 100 million
9. Sikhism 23 million
10. Juche 19 million
11. Spiritism 15 million
12. Judaism 14 million
I just noticed that Religion Number 10 is Juche. Yep, that's Juche as in "the Ukrainian 'Treasured Sword of Songun' Association for the Study of the Juche Idea," and that 19 million is the population of North Korea. Strange world we live in.