Category Archive 'Israel'
23 Feb 2015

Would Bill de Blasio or Boris Johnson Do This?

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NirBarkat
Jerusalem’s mayor Nir Barkat

Bridget Johnson :

The mayor of Jerusalem and his bodyguard took down a knife-wielding terrorist today, a takedown captured on Jerusalem Municipality Emergency and Safety Department footage.

According to YNet News, the 18-year-old Palestinian teen from Ramallah stabbed a 27-year-old Haredi man in central Jerusalem’s Safra Square.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, 55, was in his car nearby, jumped out of his vehicle along with his security guard, and rushed the suspect. They also gave first aid to the victim, who suffered “moderate” wounds, until paramedics arrived.

Barkat, who was a paratrooper during his six years of IDF service, is in the white shirt in the… security footage.

01 Feb 2015

Israel Likud Party (Conservatives) Campaign Ad: “Bibi-Sitter”

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Arutz Sheva reports that Binjamin Natanyahu’s latest campaign ad is proving a hit:

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is getting excellent reviews from commenters following the release of his latest campaign video.

The video features a young couple that is about to leave for a night out when the baby-sitter knocks at the door. “You asked for a babysitter? You got a Bibi-sitter,” says Netanyahu.

“Look, it’s either me or Tzipi [Livni] and Buji [Herzog],” he explains to the bewildered couple. The couple immediately protests that their children would need to babysit Herzog, and not the other way around. In addition, “by the time we return we’d have no house… he’d even hand over the carpets” – a play on the Hebrew words “shtichim” (carpets) and “shtachim” (territories).

As for “Tzipi” – the woman says she doubts that she would stay in the same place for two hours, and Netanyahu agrees she would probably have gone over to the neighbors’ by the time they returned. This, of course, is a swipe at Livni’s frequent migration from one political party to another.

At one point in the video, Netanyahu can be seen sitting in the couple’s living room, watching Likud’s earlier, banned campaign video, which featured Netanyahu as a kindergarten teacher trying to control rowdy children, who played the roles of Livni, Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid, Jewish Home’s Naftali Bennett and Yisrael Beytenu’s Avigdor Liberman. The video was banned because of the illegal use of child actors, but it seems the new video is a spin-off of sorts.

When the couple returns and greets him with the word “Shalom” – hello – but also the word for “peace”, Netanyahu responds “but not at any price.”

15 Aug 2014

Forbidden Editorials

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Gagged

Andrew Sullivan’s little munchkins are manning his blog while the great poof vacations on the Cape. Phoebe Maltz Bovy (who actually gets a byline — you go, girl!) yesterday identified two pieces so notable for thought crime that they may not be quoted or linked.

Piece 1 was a rant contending that “Transphobia is Perfectly Normal” by Gavin MacInnes at Thought Catalog. Bovy says:

I tend to agree with Allen, who writes:

    I refuse to link to it—that’s how bad it is. McInnes willfully misgenders all transgender people, Janet Mock included, while pathologizing them as “nuts” and fixating at great length on the state of their genitals. It’s repulsive.

    McInnes’ piece doesn’t deserve a formal response.

Yep. McInnes does not simply make an argument about gender identity that falls outside conventional liberal (and, as Allen notes, medical) norms. Such an argument might be buried below what it is he did write, but it’s hard to say, given the muck surrounding any possible substance. I’m also not keen to drive traffic to something odious…

Actually, his editorial is pretty short, and most of it consists of intentionally-colorful-and colloquial rhetoric. But MacInnes does really make one serious argument: the argument that, when you play along with the particular fantasy and encourage all this, you are helping psychologically defective people harm themselves. Quote:

By pretending this is all perfectly sane, you are enabling these poor bastards to mutilate themselves. This insane war on pronouns is about telling people what to do. It may empower you to shut down a school’s computer system because they phrased your gender wrong, but that’s just a game to you. To them, it’s a life-changing event that fucks them up. To fight against transphobia is to justify trannies. To justify trannies is to allow mentally ill people to mutilate themselves. When your actions are getting people mutilated, you’re at war with them.

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The other case of forbidden speech was an August 1 editorial in the Times of Israel (republished here) by Jochanan Gordon, titled “When Genocide is Permissible.”

Gordon’s editorial was quickly removed from the Times of Israel web-site and, a bit later, also taken down from The Five Towns Jewish Times web-site with this explanation:

An article that was posted earlier today on our website dealt with the question of genocide in a most irresponsible fashion. We reject any such notion or discussion associated with even entertaining the possibility of such an unacceptable idea.

The piece should have been rejected out of hand by editors but escaped their proper attention. We reject such a suggestion unequivocally and apologize for the error.

Gordon has since grovelled for forgiveness, deleted his Twitter account and gone into hiding.

In reality, though, Gordon’s sin consists entirely of his use of the word “genocide.” Gordon was really trying to justify the “disproportionate” Israeli response to Hamas’s rocket attacks. He implicitly (and most unwisely) accepts the accusation that what Israel has been doing in Gaza is a kind of genocide, and then argues that Israel is justified by its right of self defense. He never actually advocates real genocide. He just agrees to term what Israel is already doing “genocide,” and contends that Israel’s actions are necessary and ought to continue. He should have used a different word.

03 Aug 2014

Over-reaction

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Overreaction

Via Vanderleun.

28 Jul 2014

Libya and Barack Obama’s “Smart Diplomacy”

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Ramirez39

Walter Russell Mead admires the way the Mainstream Media looks carefully away as the Obama Administration’s “Smart Diplomacy” puts Middle Eastern countries, provinces, and WMDs into the hands of murderous fanatics. The days of the New York Times micromanaging US Foreign Policy are clearly over.

If Obama were a Republican, the press and the weekly news shows would be ringing with hyperbolic, apocalyptic denunciations of the clueless incumbent who had failed to learn the most basic lessons of Iraq. Indeed, the MSM right now would be howling that Obama was stupider than Bush. Bush, our Journolist friends would now be saying ad nauseam, at least had the excuse that he didn’t know what happens when you overthrow a paranoid, genocidal, economically incompetent Arab tyrant in an artificial post-colonial state. But Obama did—or, the press would nastily say, he would have done if he’d been doing his job instead of hitting the golf course or yakking it up with his glitzy pals at late night bull sessions. The ad hominem attacks would never stop, and all the tangled threads of incompetence and failure would be endlessly and expertly picked at in long New Yorker articles, NYT thumbsuckers, and chin-strokings on all the Sabbath gasbag shows.

Why, the ever-admirable tribunes of a free and unbiased press would be asking non-stop, didn’t this poor excuse for a President learn from what happened in Iraq? When you upend an insane and murderous dictator who has crushed his people for decades under an incompetent and quirky regime, you’d better realize that there is no effective state or civil society under the hard shell of dictatorial rule. Remove the dictator and you get chaos and anarchy. Wasn’t this President paying attention during the last ten years?

Some of the criticism would be exaggerated and unfair; the Monday morning quarterbacks never really understand just how complicated and tragic this poor world really is, not to mention how hard it is to make life and death decisions in real time in the center of the non-stop political firestorm that is Washington today. And the MSM attracts more than its share of deeply inexperienced but entitled, self-regarding blowhards who love to pontificate about how stupid all those poor fools who have actual jobs and responsibilities actually are.

But luckily for Team Obama, the mainstream press would rather die than subject liberal Democrats to the critiques it reserves for the GOP. So instead, as Libya writhes in agony, reputations and careers move on. The news is so bad, and the President’s foreign policy is collapsing on so many fronts, that it is impossible to keep the story off the front pages. “Smart diplomacy” has become a punch line, and the dream Team Obama had of making Democrats the go-to national security party is as dead as the passenger pigeon. But what the press can do for the White House it still, with some honorable exceptions, labors to accomplish: it will, when it must, report the dots. But it will try not to connect them, and it will do what it can to let all the people involved in the Libya debacle move on to the next and higher stage of their careers.

Read the whole thing.

28 Jul 2014

Tweet of the Month

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ArabChild

Tweet57

27 Jul 2014

The Arab Problem

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Arabs

David Gutmann thinks he has figured out the Arabs’ real problem, why they are continually being moved to murderous rage.

I do not agree with many hawks that Islam by itself is the prime mover of Arab violence. When I consider the obsessions, the language and the actions of the extremists, it becomes evident that, perhaps even more than religion, overlooked aspects of national character contribute to the fevers of jihad. As a Jew who owns a Koran (Oh Imams, is this permitted?) it appears to me that the more lurid stanzas of that generally inflammatory text are being used, by Islamic extremists, to rationalize their fury over perceived insults that have nothing to do with Islam per se.

That fury is not a product of the Koran. Rather, it has to do with a prior, psychological cause: the vulnerabilities of Arab national character, which is centered on the maintenance of honor and the avoidance of shame. Some readers will probably accuse me of psychobabbling. Note, however, that some very smart observers—the Israeli anthropologist Rafael Patai, for instance—have already documented the Arab phobia against the experience of shame.

That sensitivity is now at fever pitch. The Arab world is suffering a crisis of humiliation. Their armies are routed not only by Americans, but also by tiny, Jewish Israel; and as Arthur Koestler once remarked, the Arab world has not, in the last 500 years or so, produced much besides rugs, dirty postcards, elaborations on the belly-dance esthetic (and, of course, some innovative terrorist practices). They have no science to speak of, no art, hardly any industry save oil, very little literature, and portentous music which consists largely of lugubrious songs celebrating the slaughter of Jews.

Now that the Arabs have acquired national consciousness, and they compare their societies to other nations, these deficiencies become painfully evident, particularly to the upper-class Arab kids who attend foreign universities. There they learn about the accomplishments of Christians, Jews, (Freud, Einstein, for starters) and women. And yet, with the exception of Edward Said, there is scarcely a contemporary Arab name in the bunch. No wonder, then, that major recruitment to al-Qaeda’s ranks takes place among Arab university students. And no wonder that suicide bombing becomes their tactic of choice: it is a last-ditch, desperate way of asserting at least one scrap of superiority—a spiritual superiority—over the materialistic, life-hugging, and ergo shameful West.

But this tactic is not, I suggest, a product of Islam. Rather, it is a product of the bruised Arab psyche. Remember that the Japanese also turned to suicide tactics in WWII to evade the humiliation of defeat. Though their religion was Shinto rather than Muslim, they too constituted a paradigm shame/honor culture, and defeat brought about, as with the Arabs, a furiously suicidal/homicidal response. After their armies had been defeated, their fleets sunk, their cities set aflame, and their home islands invaded, they launched the kamikaze bomber offensive, thereby committing a hi-tech form of hara-kiri, their usual remedy against intolerable shame. It is in this way that the modern Arab world resembles the Japan of World War II. In both cases it is not religions but psychic wounds, the wounds inflicted by defeat and evident inferiority, that inspire suicide bombers.

It is often asserted that the changes set in train by modernization are particularly toxic to the Arabs. No doubt this is true. But if we are going to be therapeutic, our diagnoses need to be more specific; we need to identify the particular pathogens that are released by modernization. Besides sharpening their sense of inferiority relative to the West, modernization threatens to bring about the liberation of women (as in Afghanistan and Iraq). I say “threatens,” because the self-esteem of Arab males is in large part predicated on the inferior position of their women. The Arab nations have for the most part lost their slaves and dhimmis, the subject peoples onto whose persons the stigmata of shame could be downloaded. But anyone who has spent time among them knows that Arab males have not lost their psychological need for social and sexual inferiors. In the absence of slaves and captive peoples, Arab women are elected for the special role of the inferior who, by definition, lacks honor. Arab men eradicate shame and bolster their shaky self-esteem by imposing the shameful qualities of the dhimmi, submission and passivity, upon women. Trailing a humbled woman behind them, Arab men can walk the walk of the true macho man.

Hence the relative lack of material achievement by Arabs: the Arab world has stunted the female half of its brain pool, while the men acquire instant self-esteem not by real accomplishment, but by the mere fact of being men, rather than women. No wonder, then, that the Arab nations feel irrationally threatened by the very existence of Israel. Like America, the Jews have brought the reality of the liberated woman into the very heart of the Middle East, into dar al-Islam itself. Big Satan and Little Satan: the champions of Muslim women.

Read the whole thing.

21 Jul 2014

The 317,000,000 Country Solution

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317000000solution

The Onion has figured out the answer of how to achieve an enduring Middle East peace.

NEW YORK—Marking the latest and most ambitious attempt to bring stability to the region, the United Nations announced Wednesday that every single person in the Middle East will receive his or her own sovereign nation as part of a historic 317,000,000-state solution.

The broad and extensive compromise, which affects more than 3,000,000 square miles formerly occupied by the territories of Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Oman, Yemen, Egypt, and Jordan, will reportedly draw over 750,000,000 new borders in what experts claim will help drastically curb sectarian violence.

“Given the incredibly complex and volatile sociopolitical landscape throughout the Middle East, a 317,000,000-state solution is the only realistic means of achieving lasting peace,” said U.N. Security Council president Eugène-Richard Gasana, noting that the treaty was reached after lengthy negotiations, which brought together each of the more than 300,000,000 independent factions. …

“We are confident that with every man, woman, and child possessing his or her own autonomous area of sovereignty to run as he or she sees fit, we will avoid many of the conflicts that have plagued this part of the world for centuries and left countless dead,” Gasana added. “This is a bright new future for the Middle East.”

According to U.N. officials, the newly demarcated Middle East now consists of 8,000,000 independent Jewish states, 4,000,000 independent Palestinian states, 112,000,000 Shi’ite Islamic republics, 156,000,000 Sunni Islamic republics, and 19,000,000 Kurdish nations, as well as approximately 18,000,000 territories that include various Christian, Bahá’í, Druze, Zoroastrian, and secular countries.

Read the whole thing.

09 Jul 2014

5 Hamas Infiltrators Nailed by IDF

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Five Hamas terrorists trying to infiltrate the Bahad 4 Israel Defense Forces Training Base by sea are quickly eliminated by helicopter gunship.

Via Bill Jacobson.

02 Jul 2014

Mysteries of the Aleppo Codex

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AleppoCodex

Matti Friedman gives a fascinating account of the history, and recent partial theft, of one of the oldest and most valuable books in the world.

The Aleppo Codex, a bound book of approximately 500 parchment pages, was compiled in Tiberias around the year 930 C.E., making it the oldest known copy of the complete Bible. It was moved to Jerusalem, stolen by crusaders in 1099, ransomed by the Jews of Cairo, and studied by the philosopher Maimonides, who declared it the most accurate version of the holy text. It was later taken to Aleppo, Syria, and guarded for six centuries. There it became known as the “Crown of Aleppo.”

In 1947, in a riot that followed the United Nations vote on the partition of Palestine, the codex disappeared, surfacing 10 years later in mysterious circumstances in the new state of Israel. The codex is currently held in the Israel Museum, in the same building as the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is controlled not by the museum, however, but by a prestigious academic body, the Ben-Zvi Institute, founded by Israel’s second president, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi. Somewhere along the way in the mid-20th century, 200 priceless pages—around 40 percent of the total—went missing. These include the most important pages: the Torah, or Five Books of Moses.

There are two mysteries linked to the codex. The first: How did the book move to Israel from a grotto in Aleppo’s Great Synagogue and effectively become the property of the new state? And the second: How did its missing pages vanish, and where might they be now? …

The official version of the story, propagated by the academics in Israel who control the manuscript, claimed the pages vanished in Aleppo around the time of the 1947 riot. But we know now that the manuscript was seen whole as late as 1952, five years later. The first description of any significant damage to the codex dates, strikingly, only to 1958—after the manuscript reached the Ben-Zvi Institute in Jerusalem.

At around the same time, my investigation found, dozens of valuable books and manuscripts vanished from the library of the same institute. When I approached former officials at the institute with evidence of the other missing books, several went on record saying the man responsible for their disappearance was the institute’s director at the time, Meir Benayahu, a scholar who throughout a long and illustrious career studied, collected, bought, and sold rare Hebrew books. He left his post amid a legal battle over control of the institute in 1970.

Benayahu, who died in 2009, came from a powerful political family with roots in Iraq; he was the son of a Sephardic chief rabbi, Yitzhak Nissim, and brother of a senior Likud cabinet minister, Moshe Nissim. (As was common in those years, Benayahu adopted a more modern and Israeli-sounding last name.) This scandal has long been known in Israel’s small and insular academic world but was never made public. Legal proceedings were avoided at the time thanks to the direct intervention of Israel’s president, Zalman Shazar. Police were never summoned, no charges were filed, and no books were returned. Benayahu’s family denies any wrongdoing and says the accusations against him are a smear campaign aimed at covering up thefts by other people; they have asked, rightly, why no one went to the police at the time. Today Benayahu’s family owns a collection of Hebrew texts that is one of the world’s largest in private hands.

Whatever precisely happened at the Ben-Zvi Institute, the long-buried affair of the institute’s vanished books—whether it is connected or not to the disappearance of the codex pages—is arguably the worst corruption scandal in the history of the Israeli academy.

The Aleppo Codex web-site.

14 Dec 2013

Unabashed Zionist Song

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No twerking in this one. Instead Miley Cyrus delivers a pop culture defense of Zionism. “It’s our LAND we can BUILD where we want
It’s our LAND we can PRAY WHERE we want. It’s our LAND we can LIVE HOW we want.” And she sagely counsels: “Don’t take nothing from JOHN KERRY.”

I hadn’t even known she was Jewish.

14 Nov 2013

Israeli HD TV Commercial

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